Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Screen Quality

Dustin Sklavos at AnandTech pinpointed my feelings in regard to crappy displays: Each time I write about a notebook with a crappy display, more and more people get irate in comments, and many of you simply write off the review. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that hardware like this is still what’s prevalent […]

Indispensable Tools

Beyond the screwdriver, knife, scissors, everyone has one or two things in their toolbox that keeps saving the day, or at least greatly simplifying things. Mine lately has been one of these SATA/IDE to USB cables [NewEgg, Amazon]. Perfect for quickly moving data between hard drives/computers. No need to open/close enclosures which aren’t meant to […]

Define Mute

One of the tricky things about building products is defining the details. When you say “mute switch” as you’d see on a phone like the iPhone, what exactly do you mean my “mute”? App sounds? Calls? What about an alarm? Muting an alarm sounds reasonable, but perhaps the reason for using the switch is so […]

CES And Reality

CES is always a mixed bag for me. As someone who loves gadgets, CES coverage is addictive (my coworkers at CNET do a great job covering it every year feeding my addiction, however the opinions expressed in this post are solely my own). A select few things fascinate me, a few more interest me. The […]

HP Produces More Of A Discontinued Product

John Gruber questions the point of HP’s decision to do a final run of TouchPad manufacturing. I’ll propose a likely theory: iSuppli says the Bill of Materials for an iPad 2 (32 GB GSM) is 336.60 when you add in manufacturing. That same iPad retails for $729.00. This is common sense. There’s R&D, marketing, shipping, […]

The Best USB Flash Drive

I’ve always been pretty compulsive about the hardware I buy. Several times I’ve documented it on this blog, most recently keyboards, in the past flash drives. I’m now revisiting flash drives as my current one, a SanDisk Cruzer Titanium is 4+ years old and tiny by today’s standards (2GB). It’s also not exactly speedy. Here’s […]

A Mortician Repair Man

I never throw anything out just because it’s “broken” without attempting to fix it. Generally speaking I’m handy enough that I can get things back up and running. Given my family history I had a 50/50 chance of inheriting this trait. I’ve done this from a very young age. It’s clearly something deep inside my […]

In Search Of Fireproof/Waterproof Backup

Every year or two, I like to audit how I backup and store my data. I’ve got a pretty good routine of backing up my hard drive for my primary and secondary computers. It’s part of my weekly routine. I also remotely backup some files just in case of a site compromising situation (fire, flood, […]

Arduino Uno

The Arduino folks have announced a new board, the Arduino Uno. I’ve worked with the Arduino Duemilanove, the board it’s replacing in the past and found it to be a great starting point for a project. In fact I still have another Duemilanove sitting around ready to go for the next crazy idea I have. […]

Building A PC Headset Adapter For IP Phones

Building a PC headset adapter for a Nortel 1120E actually turned out to be dead simple. The headset port is actually a pretty standard 4P4C port (also known as RJ9 or RJ10 apparently). For about $5 I was able to put together a fully working adapter to use any standard PC headset. I suspect this […]