Category: hardware

  • Upgrading the Options (GlobeTrotter) GI515m

    Recently I needed to install an Options (GlobeTrotter) GI515m 3G USB modem on a machine which previously used an older version of the modem (the iCON 225). This seems a pretty common scenario (an existing user getting an update), however the process seems less-than-straight forward: Get a second computer with the same operating system version […]

  • Fixing a dead Asus WL-500g

    A short story with a happy ending: my Asus WL-500g locked up and it wasn’t starting, even after I hard-reset it (removed the power and plugged it back in). All the LEDs were constantly on (normally, when you plug in the power, they should light up for a second or so and the turn off). […]

  • Taking apart the Dell Inspiron 9400

    A word of caution: taking apart your laptop will void your warranty. Do this operation at your own risk. If you are not comfortable doing this operation, I would recommend against it. Disassembling a laptop is harder than taking apart a desktop computer (mostly because of the confined space), so you shouldn’t do it if […]

  • Geek pr0n – time lapse video of building racks


  • Secure erase

    Fun (curious) fact: all recent (newer than 2006)  have ATA commands in them specifically for wiping the data off of them. There are at least two advantages to this method: It wipes all sectors (including sectors marked as bad by the internal tables) It is faster You can get the program which initiates such a […]

  • Enabling / disabling the SD card reader on laptops

    Just a quick note: it seems that on some laptops (the Dell Inspiron 9200 for example) the SD card reader is enabled / disabled together with the Firewire port. I found this it because I always disable firewire ports on laptop, given that it can be used to dump the contents of the memory and […]

  • Fixing a hibernation problem with Intel network cards

    I had a problem with hibernating a Windows XP system containing an on-board Intel(R) 82566DC Gigabit NIC. The hibernation was ok, but it would wake up in a couple of seconds after shutting down. Today I looked around a little more and found the following setting: “Wake On Directed Packet”. Unchecking it solved the problem. […]

  • Hardware hacks are cool but dangereous

    Via H_I_R’s bookmarks I found the following post: Make use of your old PS/2 ports. The blog is currently down. Coincidence? 😛 The idea of the post was to take your unused PS/2 ports and use them as a power source to charge your mobile phone, which would otherwise support charging through USB. The idea […]

  • Note to self

    A Dell Optiplex (755 if I recall correctly) is refusing to start from time to time. Unplugging it and replugging it after ~10 seconds helps, but I would like to get to the bottom of the problem. I made sure that all the extension cards and memory modules are properly seated. Now it actually gave […]

  • “Remote” turn-off switch

    And now for something completely different: a hardware hack. Warning! Don’t attempt this at home unless you have at least some experience with electricity! Also, applying this hack directly on consumer electronics will most probably void the warranty! The problem: having a 2.1 (yes, I know, lame, real people use at least 5.1 :-)) speaker […]