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Gadgets

Custom Playstation DualShock 4 Thumb Sticks

I stumbled across this video the other day and thought this was a neat idea.

In the face of the first gen plastic peeling and tearing issues finding an alternative stick seemed like a great idea. Plus different colors would look cool. So I decided to go out and give this a shot myself. Below you’ll find instructions and photos to help you do this yourself as this video leaves out a little bit of information. (more…)


I Sur-Vive-ed VR

htc_vive_demoLet me cut to the chase. VR is real and it’s amazing. If you’re one of those people who can’t see it, or who despite the fixes in place still get sick from it, I’m so sorry but you’re missing out. I honestly hope if you’re in that small subset of people that the geniuses who make these things figure out how to fix it for you.

I first had my eyes opened to VR way back at some age I can’t even specifically remember with the Virtual Boy by Nintendo.  It was SUPER basic and low power but it was stereoscopic 3D when the only other option to do that was in the pages of Popular Mechanics or happened to have access to some MIT or Silicon Valley lab. This amazing technology disappeared(not entirely but at least in popular culture) until recently when it was announced that it was finally time and that a kid out in California figured out that modern technology is ready for that. The Occulus Rift was born and I got to try a pre-DK1 unit at Quakecon 4 years ago. Let me expound on that experience for a moments to give some better context.

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Access the New Nintendo 3DS’s SD Card Without Removing It

I don’t give much credit to Nintendo for a lot of things outside of making entertaining games. Frankly they’re terrible about keeping up with the modern state of gaming, by in large, and they’re especially bad at dealing with networking and the Internet. So it seems weird that I’m about to write about Nintendo doing something, arguably, right on just such a subject.

Many a games journalism website has seen fit to highlight the New 3DS’s microSD card slot and the fact that it’s kind of oddly locked away under a bottom cover that requires a tool to get in to. Knowing only this as I’m sure many people will might lead one to believe that this is just Nintendo up to their old tricks. And at first glance you’d be right. If you have a need to physically swap sd cards then perhaps you’re out of luck.3DS SD Card Share

Fortunately if you’re just looking to make a backup Nintendo got smart and tucked away a little trick that makes that microSD card accessible through a network share on your home network.

Under “Data Management” you will find an option for “microSD Management”. This wizard will walk you through creating a network name for your 3DS and a username and password and then connect you to your homes wifi network so you can access the storage on the card.

On your windows PC open a file explorer window and in the quick access icons in the left window pane scroll down to network and click the icon. You should see the name of your 3DS listed. Click on that to access it. If for some reason you don’t see your 3DS listed click on any blank space in the address bar on the file explorer window and type \\MY3DSNAME where MY3DSNAME is the name you picked for your 3DS. This should find and open your 3DS files for you.

Enjoy this tiny slice of Nintendo finally getting with the new(I use the word loosely) networked world. There isn’t much of it to be had.


Week 1 With The Netgear Nighthawk R7000

IMG_20140701_140315Last week my router was fried by my lovely cable company who can’t be bothered to ground their cables. The power surge came in not on the power line but on the network line. This also took down my PCs NIC as well. The NIC is inconsequential really. This forced me in to a tough decision. Do I go with another Asus router like the two prior? I LOVE Asus routers. Not only does their stock firmware come with virtually any option a moderately well seasoned IT vet could want but they also feature a wealth of tools that make one click jobs out of otherwise complicated time consuming tasks like trying to setup QOS. The catch is that the competition has been working on upping their game with routers like the Nighthawk and the WRT1900AC.

If you’re not interested in the review and just want to get to the instructions for flashing DD-WRT go HERE.

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How To Flash DD-WRT to the Netgear Nighthawk R7000

IMG_20140701_173913Honestly the process of flashing the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 to DD-WRT is a really easy, straight forward process. Unfortunately it was difficult to find some place that states it plainly. So here it is. The firmware’s can be found here. http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/ First you need to get a .chk file from the Initial folder found here http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/Initial/. Make sure you’ve grabbed the correct firmware for your model of router. In this case you want the file dd-wrt.K3_R7000.chk That .chk file is an old version of the router firmware. You don’t want to be stuck with that. So you also need to grab the update file. The latest is  24500M but at the time of writing it was exhibiting some issues with the 5Ghz channels being visible/accessible. So far now you want to grab 24345M from here http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/24345M/ You have two choices of firmware in this folder with bittorrent and without bittorrent client. Pick your poison. Flashing to the new firmware will wipe all of your settings! There is also always a slim risk you might void your warranty or brick your router. Not my problem. (more…)


HP Chromebook 14 The Way A Chromebook Should Be

White Hp Chromebook 14Chromebooks are neat devices. I don’t call them laptops because they really aren’t. They can’t do a lot of the things you expect of a real laptop like playing the largest selection of video games out there or serious video production, though wevideo gets close. Of course Linux is always an option but then you might as well just buy a more capable laptop and this is a Chromebook review. Not everything about Chromebooks is bad. Most models do Internet very well and get great battery life which makes them an easy Internet on demand type of device. For many that’s all they need.

I previously owned a Samsung Chromebook 303c which is the cheap, small, ARM based model. The initial  neat factor wore off pretty fast as soon as anything “real” had to be done. Open more than 3 tabs and the 2GB of RAM and no swap file makes the device crushingly slow. The size while convenient for transport gets pretty uncomfortable pretty quickly. That means they’re only good for a very shot period of use. What Chromebooks needed was to prove they could really be useful as a serious laptop. What that means is that they needed to strike the balance between more laptop like features and the truly low price point that has made them so popular. I truly feel the HP Chromebook 14 has succeeded at this.

The first thing you notice when you pull the HP Chromebook 14 out of the box is it’s weight and size. It’s significantly larger than the 11″ models but not nearly as large as a 15.6″ laptop. (more…)


Leap Motion Day 1

First let me apologize for the vertical video above. I know that’s a travesty to the Internet. I was really darn excited for the Leap and my attempt at re-recording it turned out blurry and not nearly as good.

Day one with Leap Motion has been mostly a day of joy at interacting with my computer in a new way. Not just tapping and touching and scrolling but pushing and pulling and flying around as if my hand were out the car window. It’s been very refreshing. Lets see what setup was like.

Leap Motion Airspace Market (more…)