The Digiland DL718M tablet is an inexpensive (sub-$40) tablet sold at consumer electronics stores like Best Buy. Make no mistake, it’s a basic tablet for basic needs. But given reasonable expectations you can buy one of these and be happy with it.
This isn’t a new market by any stretch. But it seems like tablets in this price range are usually Black Friday specials, or only available on online marketplaces far abroad. The Digiland DL718M is one you can get today if you want.
Continue reading Digiland DL718M tablet: a review
New computer, old monitor: I see questions fairly frequently about using a new computer and older monitor together. More often than not, it’s possible to do, but you may need to know where to look for the cables and adapters you’ll need.
Here’s some help.
Continue reading New computer, old monitor
One of the most frequent questions I see or receive directly about Marx trains is what a Marx train is worth, or the value of a Marx train. Of course without seeing the train, it’s nearly impossible to give a good estimate, but there are some general rules that you can follow, either to protect yourself as a buyer, or to keep your expectations realistic as a seller.
Continue reading Estimating the value of a Marx train
I set up a DD-WRT router on Charter’s Spectrum broadband, and had a hard time getting it to work. It wouldn’t pull an IP address on the WAN side, or it would pull a 192.168 address rather than a Charter public address.
Here’s what I had to do to fix it.
Continue reading When DD-WRT doesn’t work with Charter
Connecting old computers and consoles to not-as-old televisions is frequently a challenge. Sadly, the VIC-20, Commodore’s runaway bestseller from 1982, is no exception to that. Here’s how to connect a Commodore VIC-20 to a TV.
Unfortunately, there are fewer options for connecting a VIC than there are the slightly newer and more common C-64, but I’ll walk you through the options you do have.
Continue reading How to connect a Commodore VIC-20 to a TV
When I replace garbage disposals, I prefer to use a power cord rather than hardwire them straight into the wall. The thing is, I don’t like paying $12 for the official power cord, which is chintzy looking and, frankly, looks under spec’ed. Instead, I prefer to use a computer power cord on a garbage disposal.
The label on a 1/3 HP Insinkerator Badger says it’s rated for 5.8 amps at 125 volts. I found a computer power cord in my stash that was rated for 10 amps at 125 volts. It’s overkill, but when it comes to electricity, overkill is good. Best of all, it let me repurpose something I’d already paid for and was probably never going to use.
Continue reading Using a computer power cord on a garbage disposal
One of my coworkers needed to make a null modem cable last week, and most of the sites he found made it far, far too difficult.
Most of the time, you only need three pins. In fact, I never needed more than three pins, no matter what I was connecting.
Continue reading Make a null modem cable
Do you need a new router? If your Internet is slow after upgrading to a faster service, and if your wifi range and reception is poor, or your Internet connection just generally misbehaves a lot, you might need a new router.
Even the New York Times, of all places, has published articles extolling the virtues of new routers. If your wi-fi at home is bad, they say, think about picking up a TP-Link Archer C7 router. I like the Asus RT-AC66U myself, but in my experience, and the experience of my colleagues, a new router makes a huge difference.
When one longtime friend upgraded to a TP-Link Archer, he told me his wi-fi improved so much his wired network was suddenly struggling to keep up with it.
Continue reading You might need a new router
A friend asked me a good question: Does a POTS phone use the same wiring as U-Verse VOIP? The answer is, it depends. Outside your house, no it doesn’t. But that’s not your problem. Outside, that’s AT&T’s problem.
Inside is where it matters to you. And inside the house, a POTS phone–the old-fashioned landline phone we’ve been using for well over a century–uses the same wiring as U-Verse VOIP. I’ve probably answered your question but I can elaborate if you’d like.
The residential gateway does the job of translating the signal between old-school POTS phones and the VOIP system. When I got U-Verse, my installer simply spliced a new cable from the gateway into my existing wiring so all of my jacks continued working.
So even though U-Verse is VOIP, there’s no need for VOIP phones. The same common and inexpensive phones that work with traditional home landline service work with U-Verse too. The only caveat is that if you have any rotary phones left over from the 1950s, 60s or 70s–I have a couple because they’re indestructible–they won’t be able to dial out.
Friday night, I took my wife out to get some coffee to get her a few minutes away from the house. There’s a corner in the front of the store next to the window that we always sit in, and it seems like some huckster is always huckstering something there.
And did we ever find a doozie on this Friday night.
Continue reading How long do you think it takes to have a conversation you don’t wanna have?