James Bruce

Joined November 2010

Proud new Dad, James is obsessive about his Arduino and Oculus Rift.

DIY Projects Editor, Product Reviews Editor and Lead Developer

Feel free to contact at jamesbruce@makeuseof.com

569 Posts Published
4802 Comments Posted
1666 Answers

James's Latest Posts


Getting Started With Your Arduino Starter Kit – Installing Drivers & Setting Up The Board & Port

25th November, 2011

So, you’ve bought yourself an Arduino starter kit, and possibly some other random cool components – now what? How do you actually get started with programming this Arduino thing? How do you set it up and upload some code? Read on and I’ll explain all. I’m going to assume you have an Arduino Uno board.


5 Alternative Options To Satiate Black Friday Consumer Desires

23rd November, 2011

It’s always struck me as rather odd that immediately after a day of giving thanks for the richness we have in our lives (a holiday that even a Brit like I can appreciate), why do we need to go out and buy more? Unlike most holidays, Black Friday doesn’t have a rich history – it was invented by retailers to take advantage of consumers.


8 More Cool Components For Your Arduino Projects

20th November, 2011

So, you’re thinking about getting an Arduino starter kit, but wondering if some basic LEDs and resistors is going to be enough to keep you busy for the weekend? Probably not. Here are another 8 cool electronic components you might want to just add to your basket, along with some great ideas for what you could do with them.


Can My Laptop, Monitor, Or TV Do 3D? [Frequently Asked Questions]

18th November, 2011

This gets asked about once a week on our questions and answers section, so I’m writing this in the hopes that maybe it’ll clear things up for some readers. The short answers is: no, there’s a 99% chance you can’t watch 3D movies or play games in 3D on your computer. No piece of software is going to change that, and here’s why.


What’s Included In An Arduino Starter Kit? [MakeUseOf Explains]

16th November, 2011

I have previously introduced the Arduino open-source hardware here on MakeUseOf, but you’re going need more than just the actual Arduino to build something out of it and actually get started. Arduino “starter kits” are bundles of common but useful electronic components you can use to make a good number of beginner projects, but what exactly does a starter kit usually consist of?


Plex Media Center Updates, Comes To Windows & Introduces myPlex Movie Sharing

13th November, 2011

I first introduced the Plex media center app to you a few months ago as my Media Center app of choice, mainly because of it’s superb meta-data handling. The one major drawback was that the client software was not available for Windows which had just the server software. Plex have finally got around to releasing a Windows client, as well as streamlining their server offerings. Let’s take a look at at it all.


5 More Free iPad Games To Fill The Rainy Weekends

11th November, 2011

It’s been a while since the last free iPad games roundup, but in my defence it’s been rather quiet on the iPad games front, free or otherwise. Must just be that time of the year. Anyway, I’ve found a few gems that should keep you busy this weekend (or shut the kids up at least), so check them out!


Which Programming Language to Learn – Web Programming

9th November, 2011

Today we’re going to take a look at the various web programming languages that power the Internet. This is the fourth part in a beginners programming series. In part 1, we learnt the basic of variables and datatypes. In part 2, we moved onto functions and control structures. In part 3, we had a look at some of the numerous software programming languages.


How To Use Find My iPhone To Get Your Stolen iPhone Back

6th November, 2011

Long story short: my wife had her iPhone stolen when she misplaced it at work the other day. I was instantly able to log into her iCloud account and follow the device all the way back to a residential address. This story has a happy ending of course, but Apple’s free Find My iPhone service is also able to deal with the less happy outcomes in a way that minimizes your risk for greater losses. Let’s look into the app here.


Which Programming Language Should You Learn For Software Development?

4th November, 2011

When starting on the path of programming, it’s important you invest your time wisely in choosing to learn something that will both benefit you in the immediate future with visible results on your platform of choice, as well as getting you set up for any future languages. Your choice will depend upon a number of factors, so let’s take a look at their characteristics, ease of learning, and likelihood of earning you a living.


4 Technologies That Could Change The World

30th October, 2011

Right now is such an exciting time to be alive, as science and technology hurtles humanity forward at such incredible rates. Who would’ve thought ten years ago that we’d have one touch access to all the information in the world, on our phones!? At this rate, what are we going to see in another ten years? With any luck, it’ll be one or more of these four incredible technologies.


The Absolute Basics Of Programming For Beginners (Part 2)

28th October, 2011

In part 2 of our absolute beginners guide to programming, I’ll be covering the basics of functions, return values, loops and conditionals. Make sure you’ve read part 1 before tackling this, where I explained the concepts of variables and datatypes. You won’t need to do any actual programming yet – this is all still theoretical and language-independent.


Windows 8 Branded PCs Could Prevent Other Operating Systems From Being Installed

27th October, 2011

“Secure Boot” is a new Windows 8 technology that’s required of OEM computers if they are to feature the Windows 8 Compatibility Logo. It’s designed to protect against malware at the boot level by preventing ‘unauthorised’ code from launching during system boot. However it’s been revealed that it may also prevent non Windows 8 operating systems – such as Linux – from being able to install or run.


10 Essential First Steps When Starting A WordPress Blog

26th October, 2011

Having created quite a few blogs, I’d like to think that I have a good system down for those essential first steps, and I hope it can be of use to you too. By following these you’ll get a good head start in the world of blogging and hopefully an influx of traffic to give you the motivation to carry on. If you’ve already started, think of this as a checklist as I’m sure there’s a few you haven’t done yet.


The Basics Of Computer Programming 101 – Variables And DataTypes

23rd October, 2011

Having introduced and talked a little about Object Oriented Programming before and where its namesake comes from, I thought it’s time we go through the absolute basics of programming in a non-language specific way. This is the kind of stuff computer science majors learn in the first term, and I’m aiming this at people with absolutely zero experience in programming.