There are a number of variables that can screw up the wi-fi transmission in your house: overall distance, changes between levels, idiosyncrasies between hardware manufacturers, or maddening and unpredictable interference in the walls. If your supposedly “plug-and-play” router is more like hours of “trial and-error” maybe this DIY extender from Discovery Channel is just the ticket. What else are you going to do, use the internet in one set location like it was 2001?
We can only assume the parabolic setup is the same as the increased strength sound is given by the folks on the NFL sidelines holding parabolic dishes.
I’d add onto the list of ingredients a little masking tape to blunt the edge of the razor sharp aluminum, because, well, you’ve got enough problems with wireless without an emergency room trip, right?
NOTE: We don’t know if this works, it just looked interesting. Please consider these tips, which include a tinfoil parabola.
It turns out that second only to Christmas, computer manufacturers depend bigtime on back-to-school demand to fuel the sales of computers. Well, according to major player Intel, the kids (or cash-strapped moms and dads) didn’t want near as many as anticipated and they are stuck with a surplus on their hands. If you’re willing to wait a month or so, this soft demand might mean an excellent deal if you were on the fence about a purchase.
One man’s junk…can still be that dude’s junk. But oh, it can be repurposed into something functional and amazing!
-As of June 2008, there have been more than 1 billion personal computers distributed worldwide.
-The average American goes through a cell phone every 12 to 18 months, leaving 700 million sitting in desk drawers for a rainy day.
Those are just the appliances you’ve used recently. How about your rotary phone, external modem, parallel port scanner, etc?
Enter the new book 62 Projects to Make with a Dead Computer (and Other Discarded Electronics) by Randy Sarafan and you can construct an iMac terrarium, RAM money clip, and a scanner compost bin among many useful inventions. I mean, what else were you planning to do with that stuff?
“Could someone just tell me what I need to know without trying to convince me that I need the latest gadget, assuming I have all the time in the world to trudge through geek speak, and wasting my time with a lengthy explanation of how it all works?” Christina Tynan-Wood, a female geek, could hear these subliminal pleas for help whenever a friend asked her a question about technology–a question they usually chased with a “I’m sorry to be so clueless (page xviii).” GIRLS! YOU ARE NOT CLUELESS! You had the brains to ask the question, right? Well now Christina has made it easy to find the answer–Ta da! How to be a Geek Goddess: Practical Advice for Using Computers with Smarts and Style.
Finally everything a girl needs to know to feel technologically confident in ONE BOOK! Christina explains what you should know before buying a computer, how to set up wireless, how to organize your desktop, what security software you might need, how to shop online, and so much more! Her writing is fun, conversational, and full of illustrations and screenshots. Only downfall is that the book is very PC-heavy (which she admits up front), so some of the very useful topics, such as installing software, will not apply to Macs. Despite that, How to be a Geek Goddess is must-read for all women who want (or need) to be in control of their technological life. You may also want to check out Christina’s website at www.geekgirlfriends.com.
Okay, lets get our geek on!
No, nothing changing on this library’s end. But maybe the box you’re viewing the DPL Info Cafe on has seen better days, particularly if it is a PC.
The brain trust in Redmond, WA has all but outright said that Windows Vista was an flop. This is evidenced by their record-breaking rollout of Windows 7 in about half the time. Some could argue that they had no choice, as Windows Vista was terrible and no one was buying it.
There does, however, seem to be a lot of consensus by computer columnists and the thousands of beta-testing regular folks about Windows 7 as more than just attonement for that sin…it may be that rationalization that you need to buy a new system to take advantage of it.
Here’s what we know so far:
-It’s not the resource hog that Vista was. Some people have been testing it on ancient systems and find its demands are strikingly similar to Windows XP.
-A lot of people have been tolerating their old 6-7 year old boxes in anticipation of this release. There is a significant uptick in demand for parts right now, a month before Windows 7 hits shelves.
-Windows 7 hits shelves on October 22nd. College students will get it at the insanely low price of $30 dollars. You will not.
-We’ve purchased a number of books in anticipation of Windows 7 rollout. If you think you’re going to get it anyways, might not hurt to bone up ahead of time.
Windows 7: The Missing Manual
Windows 7 100 Most Asked Questions
Windows 7 Plain and Simple
Windows 7 Inside Out
While the Frugal Librarian, or as we affectionately call him, “Froogs”, is psyched about the release of Window’s Vista’s successor, Windows 7, later this year, there is a very good and super-affordable alternative called Ubuntu to tide you over. You may have heard words like “open-source” and “Linux” get tossed about by your bespectacled acquaintances. The benevolent nerds of the world in the spirit of competition put together very sophisticated quality pieces of software that benefit you for absolutely no cost. Sometimes they rival packages that cost hundreds. Though the 2010 census may prove me wrong, there are more Homo Sapien Nerdicuses in the world than there are Microsoft employees. Ubuntu is such an innovation.
Ubuntu is an operating system that you can install on your computer instead of a release of Windows. ESPECIALLY Windows Vista. You’ll find it outperforms its competitors, is user friendly, and most hacker attacks are pretty much jokes, since they’re designed to affect everyone except you. There are dozens of such Linux operating systems, but Ubuntu is considered the easiest to adopt.
If you’ve got a computer lying around, install it on there just for kicks. If you use the internet, check email, and print like the vast majority of people, you are going to be fine, save a hundred bucks, and not wrestle with license keys.
We’ve got several books at the library on how to navigate this transition. They’re circulating more than they used to. If you can’t download the install disc, some of these books at the library have an install CD in the back flap. Ideally you’ll want to download this week’s latest release of Version 9.04 “Jaunty Jackalope” to compare notes at the water cooler with your newfound friends. If you do, don’t be surprised if you’re invited to join their Warcraft guild.
A lot of people buy new computers at the moment of need. See, that’s what “the man” wants you to do…purchase from an uninformed and vulnerable position. You’ll deal with their markup because you’re brokedown.
It’s not enough to visit more than one brick and mortar store or check out two major chains’ weekly specials. Look into refurbs and save a ridiculous amount of money.
Refurbs are returned goods that have supposedly been restored to good-as-new condition. According to technology consulting firm Accenture, more than 2/3rds of electronics returned to retailers meet manufacturer’s specifications, but simply not the consumer’s expectations. Just because someone else gave up after turning the item on or didn’t like a scuff mark on front, why be picky in the face of huge savings?
Refurbs come in all varieties of electronics, even the highly-touted IPod, and even have refund and return guarantees. Stick with a well-known company, however.
Target – pre-owned electronics
Geeks.com – computers (I got a great computer this fall for $229, shipping included)
Dell Factory outlet
Sony retail outlet
Amazon Warehouse Deals