The Gadgets Page

September 15, 2010

iSight Is Working Again

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:16 am

When I upgraded my iMac to Snow Leopard, my iSight camera mysteriously stopped working. It was kind of frustrating because I used that little camera a lot. Unwilling to lug my computer to the Apple Store to see a “Genius,” I just stopped using my iSight camera. I just figured it was a feature that got lost in the upgrade and I’ve lived without it ever since.

Today, I was cleaning out my dock by removing shortcuts to applications that I didn’t use anymore. I watched them poof with a puff of air as they went. I came to Photobooth and I hesitated. I LOVED that application when my camera worked. I decided to just load it up once more before deleting it off my dock.

iSight Is Working AgainTo my surprise, my iSight camera is working again!

With all the updates that I’ve downloaded, I have no idea which one fixed my camera, but I was so happy to see myself smiling. All the things that I used to love to do with the camera (video blogging, taking goofy pictures of myself and playing with the effects on Photobooth) were suddenly given back to me and it feels like I have a whole new computer again.

If your iSight camera mysteriously stopped working with the upgrade, try it again. Like mine, yours might be working again now that Apple has had a chance to fix what was broken in the new operating system.

January 15, 2010

CES 2010: Steve Ballmer Claims The Slate PC Name

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals,eBook Readers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Here is a quick clip from the CES 2010 keynote where Steve Ballmer of Microsoft shows off three “Slate PC” gadgets.

With all the rumors of an Apple device coming out soon, it looks like Microsoft is trying to get the jump on that market. One of the rumors suggested that this supposed Apple device might be called an iSlate, so it’s no coincidence that Steve rushed to claim the Slate PC name.

Wouldn’t it be funny if all of those rumors were just a misinformation feed from Apple to distract everyone from their upcoming secret? What if they were only trying to negotiate a publishing contract with magazines and book publishers and were merely announcing that this January instead of a slate/tablet/ebook reader/giant iPod Touch?

All I know is that those Slate PCs that Ballmer was so proud of look an awful lot like the Photoshopped mock ups that have been floating around with Apple logos on them.

Photoshopped mockups of the iTablet

Microsoft might think they have a jump on Apple, but I suspect Steve Jobs has far more in the hopper than they realize.

January 11, 2010

CES 2010: Logitech’s Colorful Mice

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

At CES Unveiled, I walked past the Logitech table and thought to myself, “Same Old, Same Old.” It’s not really fair to Logitech, actually. They have made perfectly cromulent computer mice for years. Without them, many of us would be lost.

CES 2010: Logitech's Colorful Mice

When I inched closer to their table, they had an array of colorful wireless mice on the table.

CES 2010: Logitech's Colorful Mice

I’ve seen these mice at the stores in Salt Lake City and I never once considered buying one, not even the blue one with the squiggles design. It’s my style and it matches the skin I have on my laptop.

I realized that I gave up on wireless mice over three years ago. I had a wireless mouse from Logitech that I loved. It used AA batteries and they lasted FOREVER. When that poor mouse finally died, I tried to replace it, but by then, Logitech had moved on to rechargeable mice and I had a world of hurt with them. I also switched to the Mac, and some of the features of that rechargeable mouse didn’t carry over to the new platform.

In the end, it was easier to use the Mighty Mouse that came with my Mac and I’ve never had to replace it. The short cord plugs into my keyboard and hasn’t ever gotten in my way.

Sorry, Logitech. I love that blue mouse. It’s adorable and would match my laptop perfectly, but I just can’t bring myself to buy it.

January 7, 2010

CES 2010: MSI Wind U135

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

MSI Wind at CES 2010The MSI Wind has long been a favorite for the netbook Hackintosh crowd. So much so, that it was rumored that MSI furtively released drivers to aid in the process. Installing Mac OSX on a netbook technically breaks your user agreement, so do so at your own risk. Here is a how-to for making a MSI Wind a Hackintosh.

Last month, they unveiled the MSI U135 and were showcasing it at CES this year. Here is a snapshot of it.

MSI Wind U135 at CES 2010

Here is a photo of the details for the MSI Wind U135:

MSI Wind U135 at CES 2010

Hopefully, the U135 will still be a great option for those people who prefer their portable computers to be a bit more portable.

Here is a video showing how to Hackintosh a MSI Wind U100:

January 5, 2010

The Hackintosh: You Can Do It!!

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Kudos to Travis Jensen for getting his Hackintosh up and running!

Travis Jensen's Hackintosh

A Hackintosh is PC Computer that has been made to work with the Apple operating system. Since Apple doesn’t guarantee its operating system works with any computers but their own, there can be problems when you are trying to make this work. Additionally, it’s technically not legal to do this. Here are some resources to help:

Each computer is different, but I really like is this How-To Tutorial, but it only gets you halfway there.

This one shows you everything, but they take a more difficult route to make sure everything is closer to legal.

It’s possible to really screw up your computer if you try this, so do so at your own risk. If you have wanted an Apple computer in a small size (like a netbook) or if you can’t afford the cost of an Apple laptop, this might be an option for you. Check it out!

Update 01-05-10 3:26pm: Refer to this forum when Hackintoshing your Acer Aspire One.

January 1, 2010

Mac Mini in an iMac Mod

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Note to self:

Next time a bunch of broken iMacs are donated to the ElectroRegeneration Society, buy them for myself.

Check out this Mac Mini in an iMac Mod:

Mac Mini in an iMac

Now, he did away with the screen and added a coffeemaker and subwoofer. I could add a LCD screen instead with a little tinkering.

Suddenly, thrift store trolling is sounding like an interesting adventure!

Via: Combination Mac mini, coffeemaker and subwoofer stuck in an iMac

November 30, 2009

Apple I Computer Ad

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I was shocked at this two-page advertisement for the original Apple Computer.

Click to see full size

Click to see full size

There is no mention of where this advertisement was found (i.e. what magazine). I can date it to 1976 based on this ad from MacMothership.

Click to see full size

In a little over thirty years, computers have changed SO much. I have seen so many companies disappear, so it’s comforting to see that Apple have thrived so much.

Two page ad via: vintageads: Apple I Computer Ad page 1 and vintageads: Apple I Computer Ad page 2

November 25, 2009

BYTE Magazine

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals,Retro Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 3:11 pm

Everything about this advertisement for BYTE Magazine reminds me of the Eighties.

Byte Magazine: click to see full size

It reads:

Expand your knowledge Subscribe to BYTE

The 1980’s are here! The decade of the personal computer has arrived, and BYTE has made it happen! BYTE – the small systems journal devoted to personal computers – has helped usher in the new era. Leading the personal computer revolution, which is already transforming home and personal life, are BYTE’s 160,000 enthusiastic readers. Their enthusiasm has made BYTE the largest computer magazine in the world!

To be knowledgeable in the 1980’s you need to know how to use personal computers. BYTE is your personal guide to the new era. BYTE tells you how to build, buy, and use computers for fun, practical purposes, and profit. With help from BYTE, you can experiment right in your own home with graphics, word processing, computer music, speech synthesizers, simulations, robotics, personal data base management, business computing – and hundreds of other fascinating hardware and software applications.

Resolve now to expand your computer knowledge. Subscribe to BYTE!

I remember when the idea of having my own computer sounded so wonderful that I felt it would never happen for me. I was so jealous of my friend, Mike Moncur, because his dad had bought an Atari 800, just like we programmed on in school.

That old computer lives on even today, stored in our basement with all of its floppy disks. The two of us are unwilling to let it go. I think it represents all that excitement and potential of the “new era” of the personal computer.

I wonder if I will feel the same about my iPhone in twenty years.

Advert via: vintage_ads: LiveJournal

November 3, 2009

Apple Magic Mouse

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals,Reviews — Matthew Strebe @ 10:00 am

Apple Magic Mouse at Amazon.comI’m quite a picky mouse user. While I bought a Mighty Mouse when they came out, it was relegated to my laptop bag as a spare. I replaced quickly with a Logitech VX Nano because to be frank, the Mighty Mouse sucked. It’s resolution and tracking was poor compared to modern laser mice. While it played nice with Macs, it simply wasn’t worth the bad tracking in my opinion, and I didn’t like the tiny roller ball. The heavy metal ballistic roller on the VX Nano was vastly superior for scrolling.

The Magic Mouse fixes all of that. It has a high-quality laser optics, high resolution, and is extremely responsive. It slides with noticeably more resistance on wood than the VX Nano, but not so much that it is problematic.

Apple Magic Mouse at Amazon.comThe entire surface of the mouse is a gesture track pad. Sliding your finger around scrolls smoothly and naturally in all directions. It’s so intuitive that you immediately get used to it, and once you start doing it, it’s difficult to go back to a regular mouse. Use two fingers to the right or left to go back or forward in your web browsing. Hold down the control key and the same up/down gestures zoom the screen in and back out.

The design is exceptionally sleek, with an aluminum base and a white polycarbonate top surface. There’s a tiny power switch and LED on the bottom to let you know when it’s off, and due to its thinness it travels very well. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a MacBook.

The VX Nano was by far the best laptop mouse I’d used, until the Magic Mouse, which I strongly recommend for all Mac users. The only problem with the mouse is the tape they use to stick it to it’s packaging, which leaves gummy residue on the bottom of the mouse when you open the package.

October 28, 2009

Burroughs Class 5 Adding Machine

Filed under: Computers and Peripherals,Retro Gadgets — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

I sometimes wonder what our lives would have been like if we had followed the adding machine path for computers instead of computing with tubes and microchips. I love this ad from 1948 for the Burroughs Class 5 Adding Machine.

Burroughs Adding Machine

My grandfather had an adding machine like this in the basement of his house. Stacey and I would play on it for hours pretending to be business people. We never quite learned how to use it. Here is a video showing how it works:

Whenever I start to feel like my computer is too slow or that I want something smaller or faster, all I need to do is look at these old machines and realize how very lucky I am to have a computer that is far more powerful in my pocket.

Advert Via: LiveJournal: vintage ads

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