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Use your old iPhone as an IP Cam monitor …

Use your old iPhone as an IP Cam monitor …
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With the average “life-span” of a cellphone (the time we actually use the phone) of 1 to 2 years, a lot of folks should have one or two “old” smartphones laying around collecting dust. Quite a few of those most certainly outperform my first PC’s with ease. So wouldn’t there be good ways to repurpose our “old” smartphones?

Without realizing, I kind-a already did this when I started using my 1st generation iPhone as a monitor for my Foscam IP camera’s.

In this article I’ll show you how I’m using my old iPhone (1st generation) as a monitor for my IP camera’s, and hopefully this will be the first of many articles in which we repurpose our old cellphones.

Home network basics

Home network basics
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If you have Internet at home, then you’re probably having a so called “home” network, maybe without even knowing.

In this longer than expected article, I’ll explain some of the basics of a home network – the key elements in it, what their purpose is, and some of the lingo.

For non-experts: this is a good place to start to get a reasonable understanding of your network at home, which you’ll benefit from when trouble shooting network/Internet problems.

Windows – How to copy your Audio CD to MP3s …

Windows – How to copy your Audio CD to MP3s …
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I’m pretty sure most of us have at least one laying around that we might like to convert MP3’s so we can listen to the songs on our Smartphone, MP3 Player or Media Center appliance,…

We will be converting our Audio CD with the use of iTunes – it is free and actually does a great job when it comes to ripping and collecting meta data (thumbnail image, proper titles, etc.). I will also show you how to do this with Windows Media Player that comes with your Windows.

Note for XBMC users: XBMC has Audio CD Ripping functionality build in.

Get the heated bed of your 3D printer to heat up much faster …

Get the heated bed of your 3D printer to heat up much faster …
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Most 3D printer use a heated bed to make sure printed objects stay in place (amongst others).

The principle is based on keeping the object at a certain temperature, so that temperature differences between printed layers will not cause “warping” and even pop your object loose from the bed … and as a result of that screw up your print, and in bad situations even start dragging your object all over the place. (reference)

The time it takes to heat a bed however can take a long time, and frankly, I’m not that patient. So I use a super simple and cheap trick to speed up the heating process of the heated bed. It’s pretty much free and easy to use. I assume this will work for all 3D printers that print with plastics like ABS, but I have only used it with a LeapFrog Creatr so far.

MacOS X – How to copy your Audio CD to MP3’s …

MacOS X – How to copy your Audio CD to MP3’s …
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I’m not sure if folks still buy Audio CD’s, but I’m pretty sure most of us have at least one laying around that we might like to convert MP3’s so we can listen to the songs on our MP3 Player or Media Center appliance,…

We will be converting our Audio CD with the use of iTunes – it comes with your Mac and actually does a great job when it comes to ripping and collecting meta data (thumbnail image, proper titles, etc.). I will also show two alternatives: XLD and QuickTime.

Note for XBMC users: XBMC has Audio CD Ripping functionality build in.

Where can I get music for free? (MP3)

Where can I get music for free? (MP3)
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I’m not much of a music buff but it is a question that I hear very frequently: “Where can I get those MP3’s?”, “Where can I download that song?”, etc.

Since there are lots of options, anywhere from legal, maybe-legal, to very unlikely legal, that a simple and straight forward is really not that easy.

In this article I’ll explain where, what and how you can get your hands on those MP3’s you’re looking for.

How to get movies on your Android Phone or Tablet …

How to get movies on your Android Phone or Tablet …
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As an Android user, wether it’s a phone or a tablet, you’d like to be able to copy your movies or videos as well – so you can watch videos when on the move as well. Nothing beats your own selection, and you can watch your movie while traveling, commuting, or during a work break, … when you want it and how you want it.

In this article I’ll describe how you can copy your movie(s) to an Android device under MacOS X, Windows and Linux, without having to spend money on tools.

Apple users should follow these guides: with or without iTunes, or with additional hardware.

Android – Transfer file to or from an Android Device

Android – Transfer file to or from an Android Device
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After trying to copy screenshots of several Android devices to my computer, it became obvious to me how complicate copying files to or from your Android device can be. It seems that Android is going in the same direction as Apple – locking users out of the file system of their devices. Personally I think this might be based on a good idea, but it’s definitely turning into something bad.

The method to copy files to and from an Android devices depends on quite a few factors, including but not limited to the Android version, the Operating System of your computer, the Android customizations by the device manufacturer, the [lack of] available tools, etc.

In this rather extensive article I’ll try to cover numerous methods and provide some troubleshooting tips.

Android – How to determine the Android version of your device

Android – How to determine the Android version of your device
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How do you determine what version of Android your Phone or Tablet is running?

Having worked with a few Android devices running different Android versions, it has become obvious to me that it’s not always as obvious how to determine the exact Android version your device is running.  Unfortunately, for some of our guides you might need to know what version your device is running, as certain methods rely on particular versions.

So in this article I’ll guide you through a few methods on how to determine what Android version you’re looking at.

Browser and OS information, and your Geo-Location now available …

Browser and OS information, and your Geo-Location now available …
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We have updated our website – a page with additional browser information has been made available, including information about your browser, operating system, browser engine, IP address, your location based on browser information, and your location based on your IP address.

For this we didn’t just use the average “user agent” information, but we’ve added an some of the newer browser features (geo-location) and IP tracing methods for you to determine your location (we don’t store this information).

Go take a look

Android – How to take a screenshot

Android – How to take a screenshot
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The process of taking a screenshot on your Android device is most certainly confusing as it works differently with different Android devices and different Android versions.

For newer (Android 4.0 and newer) it’s supposed to be uniform, but for older devices it’s a wild guess what it might be.

In this article I’ll try to show you how to take a screenshot with most Android based devices.

Apple iOS users should read this article instead.

MakeMKV – Copy a Blu-Ray movie to MP4 or MKV

MakeMKV – Copy a Blu-Ray movie to MP4 or MKV
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Copying a Blu-Ray disc could be much more complicate, but with a tool like MakeMKV it becomes a piece of cake.

Why would you want to do this?

Besides the fact that you’d maybe want a copy of the movie on one of your mobile devices, playing a Blu-Ray movie on a computer can be a real pain in general. Software is either expensive, hard to get or pretty much non-existent (Linux). A MP4 or M4V copy on the other hand, plays just fine with readily available media players that come with your computer, most portable devices or great programs like VLC.

The method we use will work for Windows, MacOS X and Linux and can be used to rip DVD and Blu-Ray discs.

The difference between Blu-Ray and DVD

The difference between Blu-Ray and DVD
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Back in the day, DVD was quite a thing. Excellent picture quality, very good sound. Light years ahead of the good old (and analog) VHS, Video 2000 and BetaMax tapes that had been around for years.

It seemed though that DVD wasn’t “good enough” and other formats like HD-DVD and Blu-Ray emerged (2009). HD-DVD lost the battle and Blu-Ray and regular DVD’s are the current “standards” (with an upcoming Ultra Blu-Ray format for even higher resolutions: Ultra HD or 4K video).

So what is the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD?
Besides the fact that anything Blu-Ray will not play in your loyal DVD player, and more expensive videos of course …

iTools – Copy video to iPad or iPhone WITHOUT iTunes

iTools – Copy video to iPad or iPhone WITHOUT iTunes
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You probably already know by now that you can copy a movie to your iPad, iPod, or iPhone with iTunes or the Camera Connection Kit.

But what about copying a movie from your DVD or Blu-Ray onto my iPod, iPad or iPhone without iTunes or Camera Connection Kit?

In this article, I’ll show you in a few simple steps how to do this under Windows or MacOS X – it also allows you to copy files from your iPad/iPod/iPhone back to your computer! Unfortunately I have not been able to find a similar trick or application for Linux (suggestions are most welcome) …

Copy a movie to your iPad or iPhone with iTunes

Copy a movie to your iPad or iPhone with iTunes
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For those of us who have an modern iPod, iPad or iPhone: These devices are very capable of video playback, which is practical when you’re traveling … independently watch your movie selection, on the go, on your own device!

The question now is how do I get a movie from my DVD or Blu-Ray for example onto my iPod, iPad or iPhone (or other iOS device like the AppleTV).

In this article, I’ll show you in a few simple steps how to do this under Windows or MacOS X.
Unfortunately, there is no iTunes for Linux …