James Bruce

Joined November 2010

James is a keen gamer, and records Technophilia - an awesome but somewhat NSFW technology podcast - weekly with Justin and Dave.

Feel free to contact at jamesbruce@makeuseof.com

548 Posts Published
4657 Comments Posted
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James's Latest Posts

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Fritzing – The Ultimate Tool For Sketching Out Electronics Projects [Cross Platform]

7th October, 2011

Despite sounding like an alcopop, Fritzing is actually an incredible bit of free software you can use to create circuit and component diagrams for use with rapid-prototyping electronics boards such as the fantastic open-source Arduino. As such, it’s open source, entirely cross platform and well supported – you can almost guarantee that it can be used on any Arduino project to show you how to wire things together using it.

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How To Set Up Your FreeNAS Server To Access Your Files From Anywhere

5th October, 2011

FreeNAS is a free, open source BSD-based operating system that can turn any PC into a rock-solid file server. Today I’m going to walk you through a basic installation, setting up a simple file share, and setting things up so you can access your files from anywhere over the Internet using the encrypted secure FTP over SSH option.

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4 Fantastic Hardware Projects You Can Fund On Kickstarter

2nd October, 2011

Having recently had my first taste of Arduino electronics, I must admit the idea of open hardware and the maker ethos has really made a mark on me. Today I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of the most promising, exciting, or downright cool hardware projects on KickStarter – most of which you can fund in return for one of the prototypes or finished projects.

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What Is RAID Storage & Can I Use It On My Home PC? [Technology Explained]

30th September, 2011

RAID is an acronym for Redundant Array of Independent Disks, and it’s a core feature of server hardware that ensures data integrity. It’s also just a fancy word for two or more hard disks connected together to add some additional functionality. Why would you want to do this? Read on.

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3 Ways To Encourage Comments On Your WordPress Blog

28th September, 2011

Getting comments on your blog is a great motivator to keep you going on with the long haul that is blogging. Just knowing that someone is out there, appreciating your work feels great, but not everyone is willing to comment or even has something to say. Let’s take a look today at 3 ways to encourage users to comment through the clever use of plugins.

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What Is Arduino & What Can You Do With It? [Technology Explained]

25th September, 2011

If you’re like me, tinkering with electronics is something you’d really like to be able to do – in theory at least – but the realities of time constraints, lack of knowledge and few rewards inevitably prevent you from making a start. The Arduino is the answer to all that, and frankly anything that can be considered fun while learning is a truly revolutionary device in my opinion.

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10 YouTube Mash-Ups Guaranteed To Make You ROFL

23rd September, 2011

I have a tough job sometimes, and when the orders come from above to sit there and troll YouTube looking for funnies, I am only too happy to oblige. I offer my services to you so that a days worth of searching can be condensed into 30 minutes of visual stomach-rumbling ecstasy. So without further ado, here are 10 YouTube mash-up and remix videos that are guarantee to give you hysterics.

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Is The Wii All It’s Cracked Up To Be Or Has Nintendo Lost The Plot? [Opinion]

21st September, 2011

The Wii was a ground-breaking device when it was released in 2006, and there is no doubt that it paved the way for motion gaming and indeed bringing together every generation of a family for console gaming antics – but 5 years down the line and with the successor Wii U announced, is it all it cracked up to be? Has Nintendo finally lost the plot?

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3 iPad Apps For Growing a Vegetable Garden

18th September, 2011

As a gardener, I wanted to explore some iPad apps for growing vegetables and the self-sufficient lifestyle I strive for. Specifically, I wanted something that would help me figure out exactly what I could grow, and when. I have 3 apps to show you today, but sadly none of them are free. The truth is that finding decent free apps in this quite niche topic area is difficult, and none had anywhere near the functionality I wanted. So, here the are the top 3 paid apps.

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3 Ways To Go Viral By Offering Free Stuff With A Tweet To Download System

16th September, 2011

If you’re a creative type or have any kind of expert knowledge to share, one very effective way to bring traffic to your site is to offer a free download of your work – be it an eBook, art, video or music – in exchange for a little promotion on Twitter. Today let’s take a look at 3 possible systems for doing this: a Wordpress plugin, a free web service, and a DIY jQuery method.

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Is Windows Home Server The Most Reliable Backup & File Server?

14th September, 2011

Windows Home Server is one of those obscure Microsoft products that you never knew you needed. It’s rock solid reliable, simple to manage with a familiar Windows interface, and my personal choice for a home file server and backup solution. Let me explain what it is and what it can do for you.

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The Best PVR: Windows Media Center!

11th September, 2011

Despite the perceived image of Microsoft as a lumbering beast with bloated software that ships full of bugs, they have actually produced some fine software over the years. Today I’d like to highlight Windows Media Center, and specifically it’s functionality as a Personal Video Recorder (like a TiVo) and media player.

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Add A Social Sign-In To Your WordPress Blog With The Free Janrain Engage Plugin

9th September, 2011

Social sign-in is a wonderful technology that allows users to connect to a site using their social network credentials. It completely avoids the tedious process of having to re-enter your email address, choose a username, click on a confirmation link… and it also means users are far more likely to make constructive comments, because they’re no longer anonymous.

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Where Did “Object Oriented” Programming Get Its Name From?

7th September, 2011

Object Oriented isn’t just a random buzzword you hear in programming circles. There’s a reason behind the name – but what? Join me as I explore some of the fundamentals of programming concepts and explain just why object oriented programming drives the technology behind any modern software and contrast it to Procedural and Logic Based Programming.

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5 Free iPad Games To Amuse You This Weekend

4th September, 2011

Weekends are for rest and recreation. Though the wise among us would recommend a day out in the country, you really can’t do much if the weather refuses to be sunny and bright. The TV isn’t such a good idea. If you have an iPad, let these cool iPad games take the bad weather out of the equation.