Last saturday, I spent nearly four hours trying to revive a Windows 10 computer that seemed to crash at the lock screen. I tried everything, from BIOS settings to booting from an install disk and attempting repairs.
Nothing worked. The conversation turned to things like installing Linux or buying a new copy of Windows. There seemed to be no way to get this computer operational again. Just as I was about to give up I tried something really simple, and it worked.
More Windows 10 stuck at the lock screen? Try this.
I can’t help but wonder how they can possibly make this for 60 euros? The Lenco TFT-725 combines a DVB-T receiver with one of those 7″ screen typically found in portable DVD players. Throw in a card reader, MPEG 1/2/4 playback, a USB port and you’ve got a pretty amazing deal. And, as I tested yesterday, it all actually works as advertised.
More Lenco TFT-725 does DVB-T on the cheap
I’ve recently decided to move my business out of my family’s home, to a nearby office building. While this is very convenient in many ways, it also meant I had to find a way to move data to and from there safely. As a web freelancer, I feel it’s my responsibility to keep client data very secure. Not only do I not want to lose it, I also need it to remain private. That’s why I looked into things like RFID protected and rugged harddrives.
There are two distinct threats I wanted to keep my data safe from. One is from data loss through drive failure. I’m going to be taking it with me every day, so I needed a sturdy drive that could take some (accidental) abuse. The other threat is theft. I wanted the contents of the disc to be protected in case it fell into the wrong hands. It was essential for me that I’d be able to use the device on Windows, Mac and Linux computers, which rules out most products that use software encryption.
More How to keep your data safe on a budget
It’s been a while since I blogged about Chrome OS. Things have been pretty quiet around the Google-supported operating system for netbooks and tablets. But Hexxeh, a 17(!) year old developer who’s been supplying pre-built versions of the OS for a while now, released an new version yesterday, and it’s a lot more polished than earlier builds. It boots in seconds and runs pretty smoothly for a pre-alpha OS. If you’re curious about Chrome OS, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
Not only is the ‘Flow‘ build very easy to use, there are complete setup instructions as well. The OS is installed on a USB stick or an SD card (provided your target computer has a card reader it can boot from). It runs off of that drive, so nothing is left behind on the computer’s hard drive. Simply take out the SD card and boot up to get back to Windows or whatever you were using before.
It’s been over a year since I first posted the idea of a USB hub that would let you switch each port on or off. To save energy, avoid peripherals from waking up each time you fire up your PC or simply because you won’t be needing the USB missile launcher today. Soon after that, Brando actually released one, but it wasn’t quite what I had envisioned.
Buffalo seems to have done a far better job, with what look to be decent switches and a power supply in case you need to connect things that need the full 500 mW of power that USB can supply. I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to think of this, especially since the Brando came out a month after my blog post. But it’s nice to see the idea catch on.
I usually do plenty of research before buying gadgets so there are very few purchases I regret, but this year there’s one that I feel really bad about. My Logitech MX1000 laser mouse. Not because it’s a bad mouse, quite the contrary in fact, but because it lacks a tail.
More Gadget regret: Cordless mouse
Wow, that was easy! I just installed XEPC (Linux) on my 901 Eee-PC, and it required nowhere near as many steps as most (probably older) tutorials will have you believe. All you need to do is download the iso image from Sourceforge, use 7-Zip to copy its contents to a USB stick (2GB or more) and run the included ‘makeboot.bat’ file. Your USB stick will then be bootable, and all you need to do is boot off of it (by pressing ESC during boot). The onscreen instructions will guide you through the rest.
More Setting up XEPC on the Eee-PC 901 XP
I’ve been connected to my LAN through the air for a couple of years now, and I’ve had some pretty mixed experiences. My Linksys WRT54G router is a marvel, and has yet to fail me. The adapters I’ve used with my PC however have for the must part not been able to keep up. And, as I realized today, they all happen to be made by Sitecom.
More Cheap WLAN adapter trouble
I wrote about this a while back, and it seems someone had the exact same idea. Brando just released a USB hub with switches that let you turn the connected devices on or off as you please.
I’m not too fond of the design (which does little to hide the wiring and uses slide switches instead of more convenient push buttons), and a couple of more ports would have been nice, but this is a great device nontheless. Every time someone does not power up that little-used scanner and saves rain forests as a result is important.
I use lots of USB devices. External hard drives, a flatbed scanner, card reader, webcam, etc… But I don’t use all of them very often. I’ve even disconnected the scanner because it has no on/off switch and it makes all kind of calibrating noises when I start my computer. My external hard drive, which I use just once a week to run a system backup, also makes more noise than my PC does and it too lacks a proper power switch. This why I came up with the idea of an USB hub with switches that let you decide which devices you want to start up and which you don’t need.
More Idea: USB hub with on/off switches for each device