Questions tagged [technology]

Hacks related to using technology -- such as computers, phones, televisions, etc. -- safely and effectively.

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213 votes
13 answers
39k views

How can I keep my cat off my keyboard?

This is a common scenario when typing: When the family assembled for Sunday dinner, With their minds made up that they wouldn't get thinner On Argentine joint, potato^DR&FTGYB`...
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  • 7,440
130 votes
30 answers
20k views

Best (law-abiding) ways to inconvenience cold callers?

Like many people, I don't wish to receive unsolicited phone calls/texts/emails from people who are trying to sell me something or scam me. I am aware of passive ways of dealing with the problem but I ...
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48 votes
10 answers
233k views

How can I remove ants from my laptop keyboard?

There are ants in my laptop keyboard again. It's happened before and ended up killing my productivity occasionally as the little critters suddenly show up from within the gaps of the keyboard. I had ...
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  • 1,050
45 votes
11 answers
51k views

How can I boost my wifi range?

I want to be able to connect to my wifi network from downstairs in the garage. My apartment is three floors up, and, while the signal is detectable there, it's very weak. I have tried lifting the ...
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40 votes
10 answers
7k views

How to keep your hands warm in winter while working on a laptop?

It's really cold here nowadays so I usually have a quilt over me. My problem is that I can't get my laptop under the quilt because I won't be able to see what I'm doing. Because of this, I have to ...
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  • 511
33 votes
10 answers
26k views

How can I clean my sticky keyboard?

My keyboard is sticky. Obviously, since it is electronic, I can't use an abundance of soap and water. I've tried a damp cloth, but it is not effective. How can I clean it, without ruining it?
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32 votes
8 answers
13k views

Cleaning a dirty computer screen

Sometimes my computer screen gets dirty and dusty, and this grime doesn't come off by just wiping it. (Besides the fact that wiping it by hand will just make more problems) What can I use to clean a ...
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  • 4,267
26 votes
11 answers
38k views

How to avoid background reflection Computer display

At work I am sitting in front of a conference room which has lots of glass wall. It is always very bright and it makes my computer display look like a mirror. I tried playing with my display setting ...
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  • 363
24 votes
5 answers
31k views

Hiding or covering annoying LED lights on computer and accessories

As many of you know, computers cases and their accessories come with all flavors of LED lights these days. When I was in high school, they were all the rave. Now, they very specifically annoy me, ...
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  • 503
23 votes
13 answers
33k views

How to clean crevices of electronics without compressed air?

For cleaning keyboards and other computer components not reachable with a cloth, I generally use a can of compressed air. However, the can is empty. What else can I use that would be a general ...
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  • 11.4k
20 votes
15 answers
9k views

Stop keyboard wobble due to uneven desk

I've just acquired and finished setting up a new wooden plank computer desk. Upon finishing the new setup I naturally went to use my keyboard and noticed that the wooden planks aren't exactly flush ...
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19 votes
9 answers
11k views

How to keep a laptop cooled down

Sometimes my laptop heats up too much and it will shut down my computer (it also burns my legs if it's on my lap). Nothing permanent has happened yet, but I'm afraid that it will sometime. I use it in ...
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  • 11.2k
19 votes
3 answers
27k views

Remove and restore stickers from back of laptop

I have a dozen stickers from hackathons on my laptop that I want to save. I am switching laptops and want to save them and put them on my new laptop. Anyone know a way I can do this? Even removing ...
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18 votes
12 answers
10k views

Can I shut off my laptop's keyboard without turning off my computer?

My feral kitty (isn't feral anymore), Shorty, loves to sit in front of my gigantic old beast of a laptop for the heat and to keep an eye on my cursor. But when I'm not looking or want to hear music ...
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18 votes
9 answers
24k views

How can I charge my smartphone faster?

Sometimes I get home and need to go out again soon and only have a short while to charge up my phone before I leave. Any tips or tricks on how to charge my phone any quicker? I don't want to have ...
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  • 6,454
18 votes
10 answers
7k views

How can I make sure I get the USB plug in the right way up?

In short, how can I avoid this problem depicted below?
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  • 7,440
18 votes
8 answers
13k views

How to dry out a wet phone?

I unfortunately dropped my aunt's phone in water. I didn't tried anything yet (I'm afraid of a short circuit). Is there a quick and cheap way to completely dry out the internals of this mobile phone ...
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  • 1,077
16 votes
14 answers
15k views

How can I organize Micro SD Cards?

I have several Micro SD Cards for my Raspberry Pi. However, they often get mixed up because they are so small: image source Unlike regular SD Cards and Flash Drives, I cannot label them. How can I ...
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  • 11.4k
16 votes
9 answers
13k views

How to prevent accidentally pressing the power button on a computer?

I have a PC with an Antec 902 computer case and the power button is on top, and is pressed accidentally when in slight contact with hands or legs. I know you can configure the action of the power ...
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  • 4,472
16 votes
4 answers
3k views

4m² Room for Gaming PC - Temperature issue

I've got a little room in which I use my Gaming-PC. In Summer, i've got a little temperature issue. Not seldom, temperature of the room goes to 45°C (<30°C outside). This is my little hot gaming ...
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  • 671
16 votes
6 answers
23k views

Cleaning MicroUSB socket on mobile phone

I have a Motorola Nexus 6, and recently I noticed the charging cable wasn't staying in place as well as it did when the phone was bought - my phone is charging, but if I picked it up whilst plugged in,...
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  • 262
15 votes
6 answers
7k views

How do I put protective screens on, without getting air bubbles?

I am going to put a protective cover on my iPad. What I need to know, is how to put on the cover without air bubbles. I do not own this photo. Credit- galaugadget Things I have already tried: ...
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14 votes
7 answers
25k views

My monitor turns off when fridge starts. How can I stop this?

I just moved to a new flat and I brought my monitor with me. My problem is that whenever the fridge starts, my monitor turns off. This is not only annoying, but I'm concerned that it could cause long-...
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13 votes
4 answers
68k views

How can I reduce the sound of clicking my mouse

I have a wonderful mouse except... I'd like it to click more silently (left and right buttons). Probably it was that loud, probably it is the work of Time, but the current sound doesn't suit me now, ...
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  • 3,388
12 votes
11 answers
5k views

How can I safely destroy a hard disk?

When a computer need to be replaced, I remove the hard disk. However it seems a hell of a job to physically destroy the hard disk without heavy tools, which i don't have. What is a safe way to ...
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12 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to clean the inside of a desktop computer without a vacuum

Say I open a desktop computer case and it's very dusty -- not an uncommon situation. However, Oh no! I forgot my vacuum! What else can I use to thoroughly clean the inside of the computer? I ...
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  • 11.4k
12 votes
5 answers
23k views

How to fix a keyboard with a missing leg?

Sometimes I come across a keyboard where one of the legs on the bottom have come off leaving it wobbly and somewhat irritating to use. Are there any simple fixes for this avoiding a new keyboard?
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  • 6,454
12 votes
11 answers
40k views

How can I remove sticky residue left by a vinyl sticker from the back of my iPad?

The Stack Exchange sticker on the back of my iPad had been there for over a year and a half, and it was time to retire it (for a new one, of course). I carefully peeled it up, and put it in a sticker ...
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  • 380
12 votes
3 answers
848 views

How do I safely clean a laptop using scuba gear?

I have a laptop that keeps getting dust in it and I have a complete diving equipment (tank regulator BCD ext.). Now normally you would blow out a laptop using a compressed air can and I was wondering ...
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  • 255
12 votes
5 answers
42k views

How to listen to music in the shower?

How can I bring my little portable Bluetooth speaker into the shower without ruining it? To ensure it is loud enough to hear over the shower on full blast while not noise polluting too much, the ...
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12 votes
8 answers
9k views

Measuring my altitude above sea level accurately

I live in a building which sits very high near the top of a hill. I estimate the ground level of the building to be around 700 feet, I live on the 13th floor, so my altitude is approximately 800 ~ 850 ...
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  • 538
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

How to avoid butt-dials on phones where the keypad is always exposed?

My phone just loves to butt-dial. In the ~6 months I have owned it, I've made about 10 butt-dials, 2 of which were emergency phone calls. Naturally, I don't want to clog their services. How can I get ...
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  • 1,441
11 votes
9 answers
7k views

How do I prop up a laptop screen with a broken hinge?

I have a laptop with a broken hinge. The broken hinge is cracked and exhibits no friction whatsoever when opening/closing the lid. For now, the remaining hinge holds the screen in place. My concern ...
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  • 11.4k
11 votes
15 answers
2k views

How to reduce eye strain caused by constant exposure to computer screen?

When I am using my laptop for more than an hour or two, I get some eye strain. Is this a common problem for computer users? What should I do to prevent being affected?
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

Homemade car CD holder

My MP3 player just broke :/ But that's not what I'm asking about. Tomorrow I'm going back home from college. I have a good many CDs that I can listen to on the way home, but they are in a case similar ...
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  • 2,772
11 votes
3 answers
12k views

How to remove large quantity of dust from electronic/mechanical equipment?

Say for example, I have a computer with many many fans, and which that computer sits on the carpet floor. What is the best way to get dust, hair, bits of trash, maybe even bugs, out of a moving piece ...
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10 votes
4 answers
102k views

Substitute for a tablet stylus

I do a lot of sketching and drawing on my iPad. I usually use a stylus, but I recently lost mine. I can draw with my fingers, but I would prefer to use a stylus because it's just easier and I can do ...
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  • 11.2k
10 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there any way to restore faded receipts?

Many stores are using receipts that, intentionally or not, fade over time. I bought something about a year ago that I never used and I want to return it. But the receipt is faded to the point of ...
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10 votes
1 answer
36k views

How to straighten out an electrical cord without damaging it? [closed]

Brand new cords straight out of the package are quite annoying, because they usually come folded up with a twist tie holding it all together. My setup kind of depends on a straight cord so that the ...
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  • 209
10 votes
1 answer
13k views

How do I make a wobbly keyboard key stable again? [closed]

I have a wobbly keyboard key on my old D610, and while the computer is still usable, an arrow key is loose. You have to press it multiple times for it to register. Short of replacing the key, is there ...
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10 votes
0 answers
2k views

Correctly inserting a USB connector on the first try [duplicate]

I don't want to force my USB port (which is rather easy to do, and may set fire to your computer[1]), so I'm rather careful when inserting a USB connector. The procedure often goes something like this:...
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9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Physical Text To Digital Text

Let me first prefix this question with, I have no idea which StackExchange site would be most appropriate for this question, but I thought LifeHacks might work... In 1998 my Mom's side of the family ...
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9 votes
8 answers
3k views

I lost my equals key. now what?

The equals key is missing from my keyboard. If I need to press it I am currently using a pencil to stick in the hole and push the little internal button. Any ideas how to continue using my keyboard ...
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9 votes
4 answers
1k views

How to prevent cables getting intertwined

I have a problem that hopefully one of you wizards could address. When I pack up my work laptop at work everyday I pack the laptop first, then the power cable, then the mouse (with a cable). I do not ...
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  • 333
9 votes
3 answers
493 views

How to keep dust-free when digitizing photos

I recently purchased a photo digitizer which looks like this: Under the cover there was a clear plastic surface upon which the photos are placed so that they can be digitized. (Unit takes a picture ...
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9 votes
2 answers
5k views

Hacking a proximity card (Oyster card) for legal use

I have the equivalent of an Oyster card (proximity based public transport card). I'm interested in having the information stored in another way so I don't have to carry around yet another card, ...
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  • 367
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

How I prevent my computer from collecting dust?

Every time I open the casing (tower type) of my computer, I can see a lot of dust inside. The dust is often all over the blades of the fans. As we all know, it is not a good practice to cover the ...
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9 votes
11 answers
84k views

How to clean dirty white earphones

I've found a good-condition earphones in an old bag, and I've managed to clean the earphone cords with a rag and alcohol, I've also found this video which suggests to clean them with Window Cleaner ...
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  • 201
9 votes
4 answers
16k views

How to stabilize a loose/failing USB connection?

I always end up having a 'USB device not recognised' error while I fix my external harddisk to my laptop. Even a slight disturbance causes this error due to the weight of the disk, and I find it ...
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8 votes
4 answers
17k views

How to keep laptop on your lap and still be safe?

I have been reading a lot of about how using laptop on one's lap is not safe for health (skin disease, fertility etc.) I am in a situation where I need to be working from a living room sofa, and I ...
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