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Jason Fitzpatrick

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

Bluetooth speakers are everywhere these days and it’s, frankly, rather hard to tell one from the other. Rather than hold one speaker above all as the end-all solution to your wireless music needs, let’s instead take a look at the entire gadget category and highlight which features you want for the best experience.

about 3 months ago - by  |  16 Replies

One of the strongest selling points of the XBMC media center software is the way it beautifully displays your television shows and movies. If your library isn’t up to date, however, you won’t see your entire media collection in one glorious spread. Read on as we show you how to automate the library update process so your media is always current and ready to watch.

about 3 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

If you’ve configured a server on your home network (like a media streaming server) so you can access your files away from home, you may have noticed a curious conundrum: when you want to use the server at home your traffic gets routed out to your ISPs servers and then back to your house because your network hardware doesn’t recognize that the server isn’t really out there on the Internet, it’s right at home. Let’s take a look at how a fellow reader can fix this slow and bandwidth-wasting operation and keep things tight and speedy.

about 4 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

If you’ve gotten a wee bit addicted to your Chromecast (and we hardly blame you, it’s a fantastic little device) you might want to take it on the road with you. If you’re headed to a friend’s house, you shouldn’t have any issues. If you’re headed to a hotel, however, there are plenty of pitfalls. Read on as we show you how to use the Chromecast in a hotel room.

about 4 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

It’s all too easy to stuff your Android phone or tablet to the gills with data and find yourself without room to install new apps or download new media. Today we’re taking a look at how to quickly assess what’s eating up all your disk space.

about 4 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Running a home media server is pretty awesome: beautiful cover art, playlists, and all your media right at your finger tips. One thing media centers fall short on, however, is recreating that feeling of aimlessly channel surfing just to scratch that TV watching itch. Read on as we show you how to recreate the channel surfing experience on XBMC with the use of a very clever add-on.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

If you’ve noticed hotspots in your digital photos, areas where a stuck pixel in the camera’s sensor has rendered very bright spots of color that don’t belong in the image, you’re not alone. It’s an incredibly common phenomenon, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. Read on as we discuss what distinguishes stuck pixels from other sensor defects and problems, how to identify it, and how to fix it both in-camera and out.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Anyone with a power hungry gadget, let alone a bag bursting with them, can tell you how much energy it takes to keep a modern arsenal of gadgets up and running. Read on as we review the Waka Waka, a combination battery pack and solar charger that ensures you’ll have ample and free power wherever you roam.

about 4 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

It’s one thing to install an application you want, it’s another thing when an application not only ends up on your computer but continually pops up and irritates you. Read on as we help a fellow reader get to the bottom of his popup mystery and banish it in the process.

about 4 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

LAN games are a time honored tradition wherein you can connect to people directly on your local network and enjoy low ping times and multiplayer fun, but what if the computers refuse to communication with each other? Read on as we solve a fellow reader’s LAN woes and get him back in the game.

about 4 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Multi-monitor setups on desktop machines are pretty straight forward: if you have the ports and the appropriate cables you’re in business. Adding extra screen space to your laptop, however, can be quite a bit trickier. Read on as we show you how to enjoy extra screen real estate on your laptop no matter what your port situation and with a variety of secondary screen possibilities including repurposing old monitors, tablets, or even buying a portable USB-driven display.

about 4 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

When it comes to internet-enabled radios, it takes a lot to stand out from the crowd. Today we’re taking a look at the Grace Digital Encore, a beefy little Wi-Fi radio with huge sound, dead simple setup, and even smartphone support. Read on as we take a tour and put it through the paces.

about 5 months ago - by  |  4 Replies

Today we’re taking a look at the home networking hardware: what the individual pieces do, when you need them, and how best to deploy them. Read on to get a clearer picture of what you need to optimize your home network.

about 5 months ago - by  |  19 Replies

Today’s Ask How-To Geek is a bit of a role reversal: most people want an easy way to get their photos from their phone to their Facebook account but we’re solving a problem for a reader who wants to get his Facebook photos from his account to his phone. Read on as we show him how.

about 5 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

If you’re using multiple Google accounts simultaneously there’s a good chance that one of them is the one you want to default. When it isn’t the default it’s rather frustrating; read on as we show a reader how to ensure the account they want is the default one.

about 5 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Facebook might be updating menus and interfaces left and right, but that sure doesn’t mean they make them easier to use in the process. The poor menu design and vague terminology makes it pretty difficult to make changes (or to undo those changes), in many cases. Read on as we help a reader liven up their news feed by returning previously hidden friends to the forefront.

about 5 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Over-the-ear headphones (or, for the terminology-loving, circumaural headphones) come in two primary flavors: open-back and closed-back. Before you sink some serious cash into a nice pair of headphones it pays to know the difference.

about 6 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

The FileHub is a little digital Swiss Army knife of useful tools; you can recharge your devices, link them together via mobile hotspot, stream files to them, and in turn back files up from your devices to the FileHub. Read on as we put it through the paces and see if a device smaller than a deck of cards can really shine in all those categories.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

If you want the latest Kindle features right this second (or you missed a past update) the best way to get an immediate update for your Kindle is to do it manually. Read on as we show you how to easily update your Kindle.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Bluetooth mice are conveniently cordless but it’s very frustrating when they lose their connection; read on as we troubleshoot a reader’s Windows laptop and help them keep their mouse awake and in communication with their computer.

about 6 months ago - by  |  1 Reply

Sometimes you just want to pop the browser open for a quick web search without reloading all your saved tabs; read on as we show a fellow reader how to make a quick private-browsing shortcut.

about 7 months ago - by  |  5 Replies

Sometimes it’s the big changes in a new OS that really grind your gears and, other times, it’s something as simple as finding the background color to be an eyesore. Let’s take a look at how you can easily change the background/accent color in Windows 8.

about 7 months ago - by  |  6 Replies

Putting your computer to sleep overnight to save energy and resume your work first thing in the morning is a handy trick, but what if your computer wakes itself up early like an energetic toddler? Read on as we help a fellow reader figure out what exactly is waking his PC up.

about 8 months ago - by  |  3 Replies

Running applications as a standard user without elevated privileges is good security practice, but what about those times where an application will only work if it is run as an administrator? Read on as we highlight how to easily and permanently set an application to run with administrative privileges.

about 8 months ago - by  |  2 Replies

Most of the time we go to great pains to preserve formatting in our text and ensure it looks just the way we want it to. What if you’re frequently pasting text and you want to strip the formatting away in the process? Read on as we help a reader tweak his workflow to be faster and more streamlined.

about 8 months ago - by  |  10 Replies