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
I went to install Linux (Debian) on an old Asus socket 775 motherboard (a P5LD2) and had a litany of problems getting my installation media to boot. Here’s how I finally got it installed.
Continue reading When Linux won’t boot off DVD or USB
My son told me one morning that he’d let his tablet charge overnight, but the battery level was at 60%. I messed around with it, and indeed, it seemed that the battery had lost its ability to charge with the wall charger. Here’s how I fixed it.
Continue reading Fixing an Asus Memopad that will turn on but the battery won’t charge
If your router has a USB port and is running DD-WRT, you can turn it into a DD-WRT USB print server. It can still do wireless duty while it allows your computers to print to your wired USB printer over your wired or wireless network. It’s not very intuitive or user friendly, but it works. Here’s how to set it up with Windows 7. Other Windows versions will be about the same.
Continue reading A DD-WRT USB print server
I picked up a couple of refurbished Linksys EA6200 routers this past weekend. For whatever reason, DD-WRT isn’t officially supported on them, though it does seem to be a popular DD-WRT router. A lot of people make the upgrade far more difficult than they need to. With some simple hacks, Linksys EA6200 DD-WRT installation is pretty straightforward.
I came up with an 18-step process that I simplified just as much as I could. Unlike some methods I’ve seen, I don’t have you editing any binary files or creating custom startup scripts.
Continue reading Linksys EA6200 DD-WRT installation
If you need an inexpensive DD-WRT compatible router, TP-Link is probably your best choice. But there are some big differences when you compare the TL-WR840n vs the TL-WR841n.
I’ve been running the TL-WR841n for more than two years, so I’m familiar with it. I’ve considered supplementing it with a secondary router, and the TL-WR840n was one I looked at.
Continue reading TP-Link TL-WR840n vs TL-WR841n
I spent some time exploring HP Compaq 6910p upgrades because used HP Compaq 6910p laptops are dirt cheap these days. I picked one up for $75 as an alternative to a Black Friday cheapie.
If you look for one yourself, either look for one with a valid Windows 7 or Windows 10 license on it, or get one at a deep enough discount to make it worth your while.
Here’s what I did to turn an outmoded laptop from 2008 into something better than what I could have bought on Black Friday.
Continue reading HP Compaq 6910p upgrades
Cheap laptops are nothing new this time of year–they’ve been practically a holiday tradition since 2002 when Sotec released a decent laptop for $900, which was jaw-droppingly low for the time–but this year, Best Buy is selling a Lenovo Ideapad 100s for $149.99, which, while not jaw-droppingly low given the number of $199 laptops that were available last year, is still the cheapest name-brand laptop I’ve seen. Note: Best Buy has since raised the price to $199, but Ebay has limited stock of the same item for $129.
I’ve seen some reviews, but there is one thing I haven’t seen anyone bring up yet: This is a netbook in every way, except I think we’re supposed to call them cloudbooks now. So keep that in mind. The machine is probably worth $149.99, but it made some compromises to reach that price point.
Continue reading Lenovo and Best Buy team up for a $149 laptop this year
Last week the New York Times, of all places, wrote a nice article about routers. If your wi-fi at home is bad, they say, think about picking up a TP-Link Archer C7 router.
A longtime friend asked me a week or two ago about routers, and I recommended a TP-Link Archer. Last week, it arrived, and he told me his wi-fi is much better now–so much so his wired network was suddenly struggling to keep up with it.
Continue reading You might need a new router
I had trouble installing Windows 7 from USB on an Asrock Q1900M motherboard. It was the most difficult time I’ve had in years. Creating a bootable USB stick from my Win7 DVD went flawlessly, and the Asrock booted off it just fine by hitting F11 to pull up the boot menu, but then Windows prompted me for a driver, and when I navigated to the drivers directory that Asrock provided, none of the drivers would load. The mouse didn’t work either, and the only reason the keyboard worked was because I still use PS/2 keyboards.
The solution was to go into the UEFI, dive into the USB configuration, and disable USB 3.0. After I did that, Windows could see the USB drive and other USB devices just fine. This issue is likely to get more common as time goes on.
Continue reading Having trouble installing Windows 7 from USB? Disable USB 3.0.