All posts tagged ‘howto’

File Under: Software & Tools

Find Your Missing Device Driver at DriversPlanet

Ever buy computer hardware on the used market? If so, you’re probably familiar with that sinking feeling you get when you plug it in and your computer fails to recognize it.

DriversPlanet is a website that hosts thousands of device drivers for Windows in a well-organized and searchable database. Printers, scanners, soundcards, storage, joysticks — they’re all here for multiple versions of Windows, including Vista.

DriversPlanet offers direct driver downloads whenever it can. In other cases, the site provides a link to the manufacturer’s download page. Granted, you could probably find most of these drivers by running a few quick Google searches, but good luck finding drivers for discontinued products or devices made by companies no longer in business.

File Under: Software & Tools

How To Build the Ultimate iTunes Media Server


James from Canberra, Australia says he’s been thinking a lot about building the "ultimate" media server. All that time spent daydreaming has paid off in this, one of the most kick-ass media server rigs we’ve ever seen (on paper, at least).

James’ criteria: the system has to be Mac-based and network ready. It also has to be an all-in-one solution (no separate TV tuner or DVD player, for instance) that uses well-known consumer software. His solution is to load iTunes onto a G4 tower, connect it to a decked-out XServe rackmount box via fiber, then distribute the music and movies across the network using a Gigabit switch as the backbone.

Granted, a 5.6TB RAID may be a teensy bit of overkill for a home media server. But then again, you can never have too much space, right? As a side note, I wonder how long it would take iTunes to index five terabytes of MP3s. I have a copy of War and Peace handy, so I’m ready to find out.

[via Digg]

File Under: Software & Tools

Video: How To Replace Your iPod’s Battery

One of the biggest complaints about the iPod is the device’s poor battery performance. An iPod holds a charge just fine when it’s new, but after a year or so of regular use, the operating time of the stock battery starts to shorten drastically.

When your iPod’s battery goes South, you’re left with a few replacement options. You can send the unit to Apple and pay $66, or you can buy a replacement kit for about $25-30 and perform the iPod surgery yourself.

For this replacement, we used a 3rd generation iPod battery kit from a company called Blue Raven. Until recently, you could only purchase replacement kits on the web. But these Blue Raven kits are available in retail stores like CompUSA and Micro Center, a first for iPod battery kits.

The idea of cracking open your precious little iPod and performing surgery on the thing sounds daunting. But as demonstrated in this four-minute video, it’s really not difficult at all. The hardest part is getting the case open — you’ll probably scratch up the iPod’s plastic top half unless you’re very careful — but after that, you can be done in seconds. And the new batteries last longer than the old ones, too.

Remember that any damage you do to your iPod during the replacement is your own responsibility. Also, cracking open your iPod and messing with its guts will void your warranty.

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