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Headshot of MakeUseOf Writer, James Bruce

James Bruce

Chief Technology Officer, DIY and Hardware Reviews Editor / Joined 12 November, 2010

James lives in the middle of nowhere with his wife, son, and chickens. He spends an absurd amount of time in the VR room and tinkering with DIY home automation systems.

623 Articles
3985 Comments
Why Wait For The Wii U? Go From Mobile To Big Screen Gaming Now With The Free Brass Monkey Gaming Platform

Gaming

Why Wait For The Wii U? Go From Mobile To Big Screen Gaming Now With The Free Brass Monkey Gaming Platform

If you have a mobile or tablet, and can connect your computer to your big screen TV (or even if you just have a really big monitor), you can enjoy big screen gaming with your mobile or tablet functioning as the controller, right now. Brass Monkey is the magical software that ties it together, and currently it’s in beta with tons of free games. Compatible with both Android and iOS, this could be the cross-device party game platform you’ve been looking for.

James Bruce August 17, 2012
Why Wait For The Wii U? Go From Mobile To Big Screen Gaming Now With The Free Brass Monkey Gaming Platform
5 Uniquely Creative Photo Apps For The iPhone

iPhone and iPad

5 Uniquely Creative Photo Apps For The iPhone

A recent study suggests 1/3 of all photos are taken using an iPhone. That’s an astonishing number, but simply posting those photos as is to Flickr or Facebook usually isn’t exactly going to rock the world. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the more uniquely creative ways you can enhance your photos on the iPhone, such as adding text, making a one panel cartoon, taking a 3D photo, or making your scene look like it’s just a model diorama.

James Bruce August 15, 2012
5 Uniquely Creative Photo Apps For The iPhone
Old-Time Fun: How To Make 3D Images For Viewing With No Glasses

Web Culture

Old-Time Fun: How To Make 3D Images For Viewing With No Glasses

Believe it or not, you don’t actually need 3D glasses to experience convincingly realistic 3D images (or movies). You just need to make yourself go “crosseyed”. Essentially, you look at two images, and by intentionally crossing your eyes to defocus your normal vision, the two images will converge into one central image that the brain will interpret as a 3-dimensional scene.

James Bruce August 12, 2012
Old-Time Fun: How To Make 3D Images For Viewing With No Glasses
Oculus Rift Will Change Gaming Forever

Product Reviews

Oculus Rift Will Change Gaming Forever

The StarTrek Holodeck – the epitome of a virtual immersive environment – has been a sci-fi dream for far too long now. A week ago, Oculus launched a Kickstarter project for a $300 consumer VR headset, complete with head tracking and 3D visuals. It’s very rare that I get this excited for a bit of new hardware, but this is a game changer. This may shape the future of gaming forever.

James Bruce August 10, 2012
Oculus Rift Will Change Gaming Forever
4 Reasons I’ll Be Switching To Safari 6 [OSX Mountain Lion]

Mac

4 Reasons I’ll Be Switching To Safari 6 [OSX Mountain Lion]

Until now I’ve put Safari firmly in the same box of horrible things as Internet Explorer – a sluggish, default browser that’s only purpose in life is to download other shinier and faster browsers. Safari 6 – which comes with Mountain Lion – may have just changed all that. Here’s 4 reasons I’ll be switching my primary browser to Safari, and ditching Chrome.

James Bruce August 8, 2012
4 Reasons I’ll Be Switching To Safari 6 [OSX Mountain Lion]
How To Install Mountain Lion On A PC [Hackintosh]

Mac

How To Install Mountain Lion On A PC [Hackintosh]

Are you not looking forward to Windows 8? Perhaps you’re jaded by Microsoft’s decision to kill of Windows Home Server? Are you maybe tired of Windows Media Center being treated like a second class citizen? Have you got some extra PCs lying around and wish they were as awesome as your Mac? Welcome to the world of Hackintosh. Now let’s turn your PCs into Macs – Mountain Lion roaring Macs, no less.

James Bruce August 5, 2012
How To Install Mountain Lion On A PC [Hackintosh]
5 Things To Do Once You Have Installed Mountain Lion

Mac

5 Things To Do Once You Have Installed Mountain Lion

So you’ve huddled around a glaring blue download bar of the App Store for nearly 4 hours, taken a full bootable backup of your Lion setup, diligently sat through the install process and now basking in the glorious roar of Mountain Lion. Now what? Here’s 5 things you might want to check out or fix straight away.

James Bruce August 3, 2012
5 Things To Do Once You Have Installed Mountain Lion
Programming Your Arduino 4x4x4 LED Cube To Do Some More Awesome Stuff

DIY

Programming Your Arduino 4x4x4 LED Cube To Do Some More Awesome Stuff

Last week, I built an LED cube – 64 LEDs that you can program to make fantastic futuristic light shows – and I hope you did too, because it’s a great project to motivate you and expand your Arduino skillset. I left you with a few basic apps to get you thinking, but today I’ll be presenting a few more bits of software that I made for the cube, along with code explanations.

James Bruce August 1, 2012
Programming Your Arduino 4x4x4 LED Cube To Do Some More Awesome Stuff
How To Swap Out Your Macbook’s DVD Drive For An SSD

DIY

How To Swap Out Your Macbook’s DVD Drive For An SSD

Is your old Apple laptop starting to struggle? Is the boot time so long that you can actually go out and buy a coffee? If so, perhaps it’s time to think about upgrading your main system drive to a low cost SSD and getting rid of that useless old DVD drive. If it’s an older Macbook, fret not. This tutorial will be perfect for you.

James Bruce July 29, 2012
How To Swap Out Your Macbook’s DVD Drive For An SSD
Make A Complete Community Site With Buddypress (& WordPress)

Wordpress & Web Development

Make A Complete Community Site With Buddypress (& WordPress)

BuddyPress gives you complete user profiles, activity streams, and groups. If you’re considering a community site, this needs to be the first free project you check out. BuddyPress is completely free and open source. Just like WordPress, BuddyPress has a thriving community with themes and plugins.

James Bruce July 27, 2012
Make A Complete Community Site With Buddypress (& WordPress)
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review and Giveaway

Product Reviews

Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review and Giveaway

The Parrot AR Drone 2.0 is the most expensive remote control toy money can buy; it’s a smartphone controlled quadrocopter with a 720p HD camera, and it’s ridiculously fun, but quite temperamental. What follows is a review of the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 untainted. We purchased the review unit ourselves and will be giving it away to the MakeUseOf community. Read on to find out more about this $300 toy and how to be in the running to win it!

James Bruce July 26, 2012
Parrot AR Drone 2.0 Review and Giveaway
How To Make a Pulsating Arduino LED Cube That Looks Like It Came From The Future

DIY

How To Make a Pulsating Arduino LED Cube That Looks Like It Came From The Future

If you’ve dabbled with some beginner Arduino projects, but are looking for something a little permanent and on a whole other level of awesome, then the humble 4 x 4 x 4 LED cube is a natural choice. Construction is far easier than you might think, and using a multiplexing we can control all the LEDs directly from just a single Arduino Uno board. It’s great soldering practice, and the total cost of components shouldn’t come to more than about $40.

James Bruce July 25, 2012
How To Make a Pulsating Arduino LED Cube That Looks Like It Came From The Future
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