View Full Version : Tech Tips

Jolie Rouge
07-17-2013, 08:09 PM
Making your smartphone battery last longer
by Dave Johnson | CBS MoneyWatch 5 hours ago

We're a smartphone society now -- people do everything on their phones, from checking e-mail and Facebook posts to watching video and surfing the Web. All that comes at a price, though: bear attacks and woefully short battery life.

While there's little I can do about the bears, I can offer a near-dozen practical tips for extending the battery life of your phone, which reduces the frequency of charges (and hopefully let's you make it home at the end of the day before the juice runs dry).

Adjust the screen brightness. The default setting for your screen is probably brighter than it needs to be, and the display is the single largest consumer of battery power on your phone. Turn it down to the lowest level that still comfortable to see.

Sleep sooner. Your phone lets you specify how quickly to turn off the display and put the phone to sleep. You can extend the life of your phone significantly by ensuring the phone turns itself off quickly rather than staying on for several minutes every time you check the time.

Turn off notifications. Many apps enable display notifications. Most of the time, these are pointless and a waste of battery power since they force your screen to light up briefly many times throughout the day. Disable apps' notifications to extend battery power.

Disable any antennas not in use. Never (or only rarely) use Bluetooth? Make sure it's turned off in your settings. The same is true of Wi-Fi, though if you're like most people, you probably use that quite a bit. If your battery is near death, though, and you need to keep it alive as long as possible, you can enter Airplane Mode (which turns off all the radios, including voice).

Minimize the gadgets your phone syncs with. The new Pebble smartwatch is great, but it imposes a battery penalty on your phone to the tune of about 10 percent of battery life per day. There are also Bluetooth headsets, your car and other high-tech conveniences that consume power. If you want to maximize battery life, minimize the number of gadgets you connect to.

Say no to location requests. Many apps ask permission to detect your location so they can provide more targeted information. That might be useful, but every time an app has to ping your GPS chip, it uses power. Unless you really need that location function, just say no.

Sync less frequently. Most smartphones are designed to check for e-mail and apps data every 15 or 30 minutes. If you can live with less frequent updates, extend those minutes to a full hour. This will have a noticeable effect on battery life.

Lower the volume. Turn down your phone's overall volume, including the ringer.

Turn off vibrate. You might need this feature -- especially if you leave your phone in your pocket all the time -- but making a mechanical vibrator jiggle takes a lot of juice. Turn it off for more runtime.

Keep it cool. A hot battery drains faster than a cool one -- so if your phone is hot to the touch, it's running inefficiently. That can happen when you leave it in your car, in your pocket or on top of another hot gadget, like a laptop. Running the phone continuously can also make it heat up.

Turn it off completely. If you know you won't use your phone for a while -- like in a meeting or at the movie theater -- shut it off rather than just quieting the ringer.


Jolie Rouge
07-24-2013, 09:33 AM
Dishwasher Tune Up DIY

If your dishwasher has stopped preforming well check out this tutorial from The quick and the hungry on how to give your dishwasher a tune up. This just might save your sanity and a service call from the repair man.


Steps to giving your dishwasher a tune up and possibly even stopping a leak:


1: Clean out the filter on the bottum of the dishwasher. I wore gloves for this. *gag* The cover should come off pretty easily with the removal of a screw or just a little leverage of a butter knife. *Caution: Don't force it. It will be pretty easy if it's meant to come off .Clean everything out well and replace cover.

2: Check all of the holes where water sprays out. Water is usually recycled from the bottom so food and even soap granuals can clog the holes. I even found a shard of glass from a cup that broke a few months back. I used a skewer to clear the holes out.


3: Clean out the steam vent on the door. Once again, gloves. *gag* I was SHOCKED how dirty this was and I am fairly certain that this is what was causing the leak. It was full of gunk and wasn't allowing water to drain off properly. Thus, the leak. The cover on the inside of the door should be easy to remove with a butter knife. *Caution: Don't force it. It will be pretty easy if it's meant to come off. Clean it out. Replace cover.


4: Last step. This one is easy. Run the EMPTY dishwasher with a 1/2 cup of CLR cleaner. (found with the cleaning supplies) This helps to remove anything you missed in steps 1-3. And just to be safe, run again to be sure all the cleaner is gone.

That's it! Easy, takes about 15 minutes, and you will be amazed at the difference. No more leaking! :)

Jolie Rouge
10-25-2013, 07:04 PM
How to make a Solar USB charger! (simple!)


Dabomb1022 shares a tutorial for making your own solar usb charger. It would be pretty cool to make your own solar cell phone charger. A neat thing to teach the kids too.


Step 1: Parts

You need the following:
1x USB extension a/a cable http://www.monoprice.com (That's where I got mine.)
1x Any Diode (RadioShack #: 276-563)
1x 6v Solar panel (RadioShack #: 277-1205 )
Soldering iron(RadioShack #: 64-2051)
1x Project box (Radioshack #: 270-1803) I would maybe chose a smaller on, I had a bigger one laying around.
Electrical Tape
Glue Gun or tape to hold the peices in place.

Thats it!