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HARDWARE ARTICLES / RASPBERRY PI, DIY, GADGETS, AND MORE

Do you have an old desktop PC sitting in a closet somewhere? Put it to use by installing FreeNAS. FreeNAS is a free, open-source operating system that will convert old PCs into network-attached storage devices.

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Chromebooks locally sync some data, so you’ll want to wipe that personal data when selling or passing on your Chromebook. You can also reinstall Chrome OS — particularly useful if you’ve messed around in developer mode.

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Are you looking for a cheap and easy way to beat the heat? Then this portable air conditioner DIY project just might be what you are looking for! See how easy it is to make in today’s video from YouTube channel HouseholdHacker.

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Linux isn’t the only alternative PC operating system out there. Some alternative operating systems are developed by large corporations, while others are small projects worked on by hobbyists.

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Smartphones are expensive — you wouldn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on one and end up with a scratched screen. Many people still buy screen protectors to protect those screens, but they’ve become less necessary.

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You’ve probably seen references to TCP and UDP when setting up port-forwarding on a router or when configuring firewall software. These two protocols are used for different types of data.

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RFID is a technology that surrounds us every day. It’s in our credit cards, passports, and some of the products we buy. Even many of our pets have RFID chips in them!

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Memory cards are used in digital cameras, music players, smartphones, tablets, and even laptops. But not all SD cards are created equal — there are different speed classes, physical sizes, and capacities to consider.

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No need to wait for Valve’s Steam Machines — connect your Windows gaming PC to your TV and use powerful PC graphics in the living room today. It’s easy — you don’t need any unusual hardware or special software.

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Backups on Windows can be confusing. Whether you’re using Windows 7 or 8, you have quite a few integrated backup tools to think about. Windows 8 made quite a few changes, too.

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Are you tired of ‘chasing’ your garage door opener all over the interior of your car, or perhaps you have a need to keep it out of sight so it is not stolen? Today’s DIY video provides some nice inspiration for a ‘tied down’, hidden set up that is easy to manage and use!

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Netbooks — small, cheap, slow laptops — were once very popular. They fell out of favor — people bought them because they seemed cheap and portable, but the actual experience was lackluster. Most netbooks now sit unused.

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QWERTY — so-called because the letters at the top-left corner of the keyboard begin with QWERTY — is the most common keyboard layout. But some people think alternative keyboard layouts like Dvorak and Colemak are faster and more efficient.

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Taking apart the occasional piece of old hardware can be fun and educational at the same time, but should you be worried that the hardware in question may contain hazardous materials? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answers to a worried reader’s question.

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Routers are basically little computers. By default, they run a manufacture-provided operating system, or firmware, to route network traffic and provide you with various settings and features. But you can often replace this firmware.

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Ubuntu 14.04 LTS is the latest release of Ubuntu. Like other recent releases, there are no flashy big new features. Canonical has made some important changes, but they’re very easy to miss.

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Available USB ports on laptops are at a premium even if you have few things to actually plug in, but what do you do if you are using wireless accessories and need those precious USB ports for other uses as well? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post looks for answers to one reader’s USB port dilemma.

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Although monitors are largely a plug and play device, there’s more to setting up a new monitor than simply plugging it in and turning it on. Read on as we show a fellow reader how to quality check his new monitor and help it put the best face forward.

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Portable applications allow you to move between computers, taking your applications and their settings with you on a USB stick. Portable VirtualBox allows you to create portable operating systems and run them on any PC.

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Some Windows tablets have as little as 32 GB of internal storage, and future ones may only have 16 GB! This is extremely cramped for a large Windows system, so you’ll want to make the most of the little space available to you.

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Building your own computer is actually pretty simple. Don’t be afraid to dive right in — all you’ll need is a screwdriver, patience, and the ability to follow simple instructions.

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VirtualBox can boot virtual machines from USB flash drives, allowing you to boot a live Linux system or install an operating system from a bootable USB device. This option is well-hidden.

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Have you ever wondered why laptop screens seem to come in such odd sizes? Then you are not alone! Today’s SuperUser Q&A post looks at the reasons for the odd screen sizes you see when comparing laptops.

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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.

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Many Internet service providers are now giving their customers combined devices that function as both a modem and a wireless router. With these devices, you don’t have to buy a router — but you can, if you like.

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