Showing posts with label Tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tips. Show all posts

Sunday, February 9, 2014

An introduction to modding

Well, it has been quite some time. If you care to know, finishing an undergrad, applying for a masters, and preparing to raise a baby is very time consuming.

I was hoping that I would have some sweet projects to share in that time, but I do not. What I do have, however, is much experience gained from doing things for other people. Unfortunately, I either cannot share those or they are not really fit for this blog. In lieu of that, I thought I would continue giving tips and theories on doing certain projects. This time, it is modding in general!

Image courtesy of Roboduck:

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Solder Properly with Anything

After posting on solder iron cleanliness, I thought I would write about my experiences soldering with proper soldering irons, lighters, and even a kitchen stove. Soldering properly is the key to both a strong joint and a conductive one - read on to find out the theory.

Sections in this article:
-Soldering AC and DC Wires
-General Technique
-Soldering Heavy/Thick Wires
-Useful Fun Fact about Soldering

Friday, July 19, 2013

Replace your motherboard without reinstalling Windows!

After about five motherboard replacements in my lifetime, I feel confident in my method of motherboard replacement without a clean Windows installation. I've switched between Intel and AMD each time.

Specifically: Intel → AMD → Intel → AMD and now INTEL again.

Cross platform motherboard switches are scariest for me, even thought I've done them multiple times. In order to ensure I don't BSOD or lose my boot, I do the following:

  1. Uninstall motherboard specific drivers or utilities from 'Programs and Features.'
  2. Uninstall motherboard specific drivers or utilities using Revo Uninstaller free version.
  3. Uninstall (not disable) motherboard specific drivers from 'Device Manager.' 
    • Like: audio inputs and outputs, network adapters, ports(COM&LPT)
    • universal things such as USB can stay, as well as non-motherboard specific drivers such as your display adapters.
Until you replace your motherboard you will lose all functioning of the uninstalled pieces of hardware (be warned!). As long as you catch everything, you should have no problems switching over to a new motherboard.

A few things that might happen:
  1. Windows might have to complete an Automatic Startup repair. This can take awhile, and (in Window 8's case) you will not see the repairs because the screen will be blank with only a Windows logo on it until it is finished. By the way, this is probably Microsofts stupidest attempt at simplifying the OS. I think we all like simple computing, but not at the cost of not knowing what is going on when it is critical.
  2. If Automatic Startup Repair does not help, insert your pre-made recovery disc (you made one, right?) and try to make repairs from there. It should work.
  3. If not, boot into Safe Mode. Press F8 during boot until a dialogue pops up asking you to choose your Windows boot type. Choose Safe Mode (obviously) and check and see what drivers may be conflicting, need to be deleted, or need to be installed.
  4. If all of this fails, you will have to do a clean install. This is why you should have a current backup handy to restore from later. Better yet, make an EasyTransfer file just before you make the switch to streamline the process of getting things back to normal. A backup insures redundancy, while EasyTransfer will make things simple.
In the end, some say that this is a gamble. I've never suffered major problems, but some computers may be more finicky than others.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tip: 6 Simple and Effective Computer Cooling Methods

This applies to a wide range of electronics, not just computers. Rather than resort to daunting, expensive, or complex (all three tend to go together) cooling methods, there are many ways in which you can utilize natural physics to cool components cheaply and effectively. The picture on the left looks awesome, but is expensive if not complex. Lets face it, it is just as cool - if not more - if you can harness nature through your own cheap resourcefulness to get the same performance.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Tip: Switch Audio Devices Easily with AutoHotKey

Many people (especially audiophiles and audio engineers) have multiple sound outputs from their computers. Furthermore, they might even have multiple inputs. It is a little tedious to go to the start menu, find sound, switch the device, close out, and then repeat it every few minutes or so. Between RCA, MIDI, and USB, chances are that you will have more than one set of speakers or music makers connected to your computer at any given time. Use AutoHotKey and a little custom script to make switching fast and seamless.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Bits and Bytes: Know the Difference!

Bits and bytes are terms that are often used interchangeably but are grossly misunderstood. Most people are guilty of this without even knowing. An internet provider might advertise speeds of 7Mbps and someone is like, whoa, that's fast! But in actuality they are getting about 1MBps tops. Notice the difference there? No it's not a typo. The lowercase 'b' denotes bits, but the uppercase 'B' denotes bytes. This is often a way the internet providers make it look like they offer fast speeds, because bits are smaller than bytes.

Read for more detail...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Centralized and Easy way to Install/Update Programs

Do you use lots of freeware (you should)? Do you have lots of computers? Are you a professional IT worker? If any of them are yes, then you need Ninite. Ninite is an installer that collects your favorite programs that you check off on a large list and every time you use it, it will batch install or update your programs. The website creates a small .exe that you can put on a USB stick which you just run and leave it unattended. Easy!

Go to:

Everytime I refresh my computer or work on a new one, I just run this app and reinstall all of my favorite programs. For IT pros, you can buy a version for network deployment and complete unattended installation.

Take it for a spin, use freeware, this is a miracle program!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tip: Solder Iron Cleanliness

The Soldering iron is a tool that needs to be in every geeks arsenal, whether you work with cars, build computers, or like to tinker with digital and analogue circuitry. While this tip won't give you the skills you need to solder well, it will give you the ability to solder BETTER than you already do. If you clean your iron, great! If not, read on...