May 29 2013

48 Hour Computer Deals From Tiger Direct (DaddyDeals)

TigerDirect always has cheap prices on computer stuff. This particular pile of computer components is only on sale for 48 hours. Here’s the link to the DaddyDeal:

48-HOUR COMPONENTS CLEARANCE! (TigerDirect)

There’s a lot to choose from, including (as of this writing) a refurbished 27 inch LCD monitor for under 200 bucks. So go forth and shop! ‘Tis a wise human who saveth money on purchases.


Mar 08 2013

Another Macbook Pro No Sound Problem Tip

Macbook Pro sound problem solvedBack in July of 2012, I had a computer problem — no sound on my Macbook Pro. After I fixed the issue, I posted a tip titled Fixing Sound on Macbook Pro.

Guess what? The no sound problem just happened to me again. (I hope you were sitting down when you read that. If not, we apologize but accept no responsibility.)

Because I’m getting older (again, hope you were sitting down) I didn’t remember what I did to fix the sound problem on my Macbook the last time. However, I still came up with almost the exact same solution.

Googling “mac no sound” got me to a page at Apple.com that essentially treats you like a moron. It doesn’t say “are you sure you turned your computer on?” But it comes pretty darn close.

A couple of links down I found another page on Apple.com filled with suggestions such as “resetting the PRAM”, which I’ve done before and is not physically painful despite the phrasing. Further down in the same discussion thread was a much simpler solution:

Hi.  I had the same problem this morning, and guessed that it might have something to do with the mechanical switch that’s built into the headphone socket.  I just gently plugged and unplugged a pair of headphones into the socket a couple of time and voila, it worked again.

I did this. It worked immediately.

I refer to Internet/World Wide Web comments as “The Hive”. In this case, The Hive was very helpful. Thank you. Live long and prosper.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

via No sound from MacBook Pro: Apple Support Communities.


Jan 09 2013

Tiny Raspberry Pi Computer Could Create Generation of Tinkerers

The Raspberry Pi is a tiny Linux-based computer that can be customized to do a lot of things. (That is an oversimplification for the sake of blog-posting brevity.) Wired.com reports that the Element 14, the company that makes the adorably named doo-hickey, has now made 500,000 of them.

Since we’re always on the lookout for news about kids and computers, we were intrigued by this quote from Eben Upton, co-founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation:

“The younger generation has demonstrated significant intrigue in learning how to build and program their own computer device. And what has been great to see is the enormous growth in the hobbyist market. I have seen projects from Twittering chickens to home beer-brewing kits being created using the Raspberry Pi and its accessories.”

Now, by “younger generation” Upton probably isn’t referring to little kids, although maybe there are really really really smart little kids who could turn the Raspberry Pi into something nifty. Still, we’re fans of any product that is designed to be futzed with.

When I was a lad, Read more »


Jul 07 2012

Fixing Sound on MacBook Pro

Macbook Pro Sound Greyed Out

The sound on my Macbook Pro wasn’t working. Specifically the built-in speakers. I couldn’t figure out why. Headphones worked, as did a USB speaker. Eventually I figured out how to fix my sound problem, so I thought I’d share it with you. Here’s a Tech Tip from me, but really from the Internet.

Initial attempts to Google the problem didn’t help. Read more »


Jul 27 2011

Save $100 On Lenovo G570 Notebook [DaddyDeals]

Lenovo G570

Here’s a DaddyDeal for you — save $100 on a Lenovo G570 Notebook. Read on.

When IBM sold their laptop business to Lenovo, I cried. Well, I didn’t cry. But I was concerned. Would the great Thinkpad still be great? Read more »


Jun 24 2011

Game Changing Gadgets That Aren’t [Opinions] – UPDATED

DaddyTips Rant

This list of “10 game-changing gadgets” from a panel of tech journalists (via ZDNet) is amusingly stupid. Let’s go through them one by one. (Note: this is more of an opinion piece than a rant. But I like my DaddyTips Rant graphic. And I do rant a little bit.)

UPDATED 6/27/11: see below for an update on the OnLive Game System, which can be used on an iPad and may include a controller. That could actually be a significant product if anybody notices enough to use it.

Read more »


Aug 01 2009

Geek Porn Circa 1987

This clip is from the Computer Chronicles. It features columnist and Cranky Geek John C. Dvorak taking apart an old IBM PS/2. It wasn’t old then, of course.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

As a commenter says, “Dvorak looks so young. I love how? he geeks out on the computer.” He really seems like he can’t keep his hands off the thing. Everyone else keeps talking, and he just keeps poking, prodding and futzing away. Say what you will about Dvorak, but he’s the real thing.