HARDWARE ARTICLES / RASPBERRY PI, DIY, GADGETS, AND MORE
In the age of smartphones, we keep everything stored on our little pocket computers: pictures, spreadsheets, documents, videos, music, and everything in between. If you want to share this content with other people, though, why huddle around a tiny screen when you have that nice, big TV just sitting there?
Windows 10’s Creators Update adds Dynamic Lock, which tries to automatically lock your PC when you step away. Dynamic Lock uses Bluetooth to check the signal strength of your smartphone. If the signal drops to a certain level, Windows assumes you’ve walked away with your smartphone and locks your PC.
The Wink Hub is a great all-around smarthome hub that allows you to connect hundreds of different devices to it from handfuls of manufacturers. Not only that, but it lets you automate devices so they can work together to make your day-to-day life easier.
More and more laptops these days are coming with super high resolution screens, which means Windows needs to “scale” the interface to make things readable. If you don’t like the default scale level, you can change it yourself. This is essentially a “zoom” of sorts—scaling icons and text so that the display is still running at native resolution, but all the on-screen content is larger without getting distorted.
The Windows 10 Creators Update—codenamed Redstone 2—will begin rolling out on April 11, 2017. Like other updates to Windows 10, it’s free, and includes a host of new features. It will be rolled out slowly like the Anniversary Update, so it will be a few months before Microsoft offers it to everyone.
If you have smart lights like Philips Hue, you can turn them off automatically when you leave to save power. However, if you also have a Nest thermostat, it’s handier (and more effective) to turn off your lights whenever your thermostat enters Away mode.
PC gaming is experiencing something of a renaissance at the moment, but most people still use their machines as utilitarian web and email access points rather than a platform for video games. But even if your computer has all the graphical power of a sedated hamster, there are plenty of great options for gaming.
Tile is a handy tracker that you can use to find your keys, wallet, or anything else you might lose often. If you misplace your stuff while you’re away from home, Tile can send you a notification as soon as it locates your stuff. You’ll need to ask for it, though. Here’s how.
Windows is great at a lot of things. Handling its sound devices is not one of them. Despite the fact that most desktop PCs come with multiple sound output options (standard stereo, surround, front and rear, and so on), it’s still a pain to actually switch between them. Let’s see if we can change that.
The PlayStation 4 Pro has a lot of benefits over its predecessor, like a significantly faster GPU—an update that was basically required in order for the console to push 4K content. But what about older games—shouldn’t they be able to take advantage of this increased performance, too?
Valve’s self-branded Steam Controller might just be the most exciting thing to emerge in video game inputs in a decade…but that doesn’t mean it’s intuitive to set up. Just as the double-touchpad design takes some getting used to, its software needs some serious tweaking by the end user.
At one time or another, all of us have had to force our computers to shut down by pushing and holding the power button down until they powered off. Is this mechanism hardware-based, firmware-based, or both? Today’s SuperUser Q&A post has the answer to a curious reader’s question.