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

Most of us don’t have self-driving cars yet, but we can still live in the future. With an Automatic Pro OBD-II adapter and an Amazon Echo, you can talk to your car from the comfort of your living room. Find out where your car is, whether you need gas, and how far you’ve driven all with your voice.

about 23 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

If you look on the back of your TV, you’ll likely see a few HDMI ports—but one of them may be labeled ARC, or something similar. This is no ordinary HDMI port. HDMI ARC can greatly simplify your audio cabling needs and setup if you know where to look for it and how to implement it.

about 24 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

There are a ton of generic OBD-II adapters you can use to make your car smarter. However, one stands out above the rest. Automatic Pro does more than just pair with your phone over Bluetooth. It has its own GPS, 3G radio with 5 years of free service, plus OnStar-like Crash Alert. Here’s how to set yours up.

about 24 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

There are few things that can compare with the sinking feeling you get when you go to turn your computer on and it quickly dies a moment later due to hardware problems. With that issue in mind, today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to a stressed-out reader’s question.

about 25 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Is making coffee slowing you down in the morning? Even in today’s drip-machine world, is pouring dust into a cup still just too darn hard during your 6AM haze? Here are several ways you can automate your coffee maker, so it’s ready for you in the morning with minimal interaction.

about 25 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

You’ve got a brand new Mac. Congratulations! But all of your files and applications are still on your old Mac. Here’s how to migrate them in just a few clicks.

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Your gas light comes on right after you pass your favorite gas station on the way home. That’s okay, you’ll fill up in the morning, right? Except you know you’re going to forget. If you’re using Dash with an OBD-II adapter, you can set a reminder so you know when you need to fill up.

about 25 days ago - by  |  7 Replies

Windows 10 S is “the soul of today’s Windows”, according to Microsoft. It’s a new version of Windows intended for school PCs, but available to everyone. It’s designed to be more simple and streamlined, so it only runs applications from the Windows Store—unless you spend another $50 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

about 25 days ago - by  |  31 Replies

Virtual machines are demanding beasts, providing virtual hardware and running multiple operating systems on your computer at once. As a result, they can sometimes be a little slow. Here are some tips to help you squeeze every last drop of performance out of your virtual machine, whether you’re using VirtualBox, VMware, Parallels, or something else.

about 25 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

While you’re still waiting on your refrigerator or your microwave to be as smart as your phone, the car in your garage is already ahead of the curve. If you own a vehicle made after 1996, you can connect to it with a simple device called an OBD-II adapter and find out your fuel efficiency, diagnose check engine lights, and gather a ton of other useful data.

about 26 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

PlayStation users have long wanted a way to plug in an external USB drive to their console and use it as local storage for games, apps, and the like. After years of waiting, Sony incorporated this feature in Software Update 4.50. Here’s how to do it.

about 26 days ago - by  |  1 Reply

Lots of Kindle eBooks aren’t perfect. Maybe they’re self-published and the author never hired a proofreader, or maybe the eBook was made from an optical character recognition (OCR) scan of the print copy. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of ways typos and other small errors can creep into an eBook.

about 26 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

In the race to create ever slimmer HDTVs, there’s a seldom discussed sacrifice being made: sound quality. Your TV’s built-in speakers are probably terrible, but if you want to fix their anemic sound, adding a sound bar is an easy, inexpensive, and space-saving way to do so.

about 26 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Three of the biggest names in the smarthome hub world are SmartThings, Wink, and Insteon, all of which offer a consumer-friendly hub that allows users to connect all sorts of smarthome devices together and manage them in one place. But which one should you buy? Here are some things to know about the two hubs and which one might be best for you.

about 27 days ago - by  |  6 Replies

You probably replace something when it breaks down and no longer works (or repair it if the costs aren’t too high). However, that’s usually not a good strategy for large, expensive appliances in your home that you rely on every single day. Here’s what you should know about the lifespan of most appliances and when they should be replaced.

about 28 days ago - by  |  7 Replies

Finding a keyboard that has all the features you want can be a bit of a task at times, but what do you do when your chosen keyboard does not have a particular, yet useful key built in? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the solution to a reader’s keyboard dilemma.

about 29 days ago - by  |  3 Replies

Without looking, can you recite your partner’s license plate number? What about your car’s VIN? There are a lot of important pieces of information about the cars in your family that you probably can’t recall off the top of your head. Here’s how to store and organize that information with Dash, plus a little help from an OBD-II adapter.

about 29 days ago - by  |  2 Replies

Windows doesn’t do the best job of scaling on high-resolution monitors. And if you have multiple monitors with different pixel densities, things can get even more confusing. Thankfully, Windows 10 has settings that can help.

about 29 days ago - by  |  12 Replies

Computer mice have been around in one form or another for the better part of 50 years (or longer, based on your definition of invention), and for most of that time they’ve been paired with mouse pads. But modern optical and laser mice can track on just about any surface, unless you’re somehow using your computer on a sand bed. So do those nerdy-looking pads even serve a purpose anymore?

about 30 days ago - by  |  9 Replies

So you’ve been thinking about dabbling in that water for a while now. You’re wondering, “what’s life like on the other side?” Switching from iPhone to Android can be daunting, though, because you have so much more choice—how could you possibly choose from so many phones? We’re here to help.

about 1 month ago - by  |  28 Replies

Just because you got rid of cable doesn’t mean that you don’t have to go without baseball for the entire season. Here are some ways that you can watch MLB games live without paying for cable.

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Just like music, surround sound platforms are available in multiple standards. The two big ones supported by most high-end home audio systems are Dolby Digital and DTS (short for the owner of the standard, Dedicated To Sound). But what’s the difference between the two?

about 1 month ago - by  |  Comments (0)

There are few things as frustrating as turning your computer on and having it take forever to fully load up, so how do you find out which programs are slowing everything down? With that goal in mind, today’s SuperUser Q&A post has an easy solution for a curious reader’s problem.

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Extension cords are one of the most common household items, but there are many different kinds of extension cords built for different purposes. Here’s what you should know about extension cords and when they can and can’t be used.

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There are plenty of reasons you might want to 3D print something, but few that justify owning one. You could print anything from a custom GPS mount for your bike to Dungeons & Dragons miniatures to wearable armor for your next Star Wars cosplay. Unless you’ll be printing a ton of stuff on the regular, though, none of them are worth the hundreds you’d need to spend for a 3D printer (or the thousands you’d spend on a really good one).

about 1 month ago - by  |  2 Replies