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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.

629 Articles
3954 Comments
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 03-08-2012
5 Things To Do Once You Have Installed Mountain Lion
Programming Your Arduino 4x4x4 LED Cube To Do Some More Awesome Stuff

DIY Programming

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 01-08-2012
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 29-07-2012
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 27-07-2012
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 26-07-2012
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 25-07-2012
How To Make a Pulsating Arduino LED Cube That Looks Like It Came From The Future
Create An Awesome Content Slider In WordPress With SlideDeck 2

Wordpress & Web Development

Create An Awesome Content Slider In WordPress With SlideDeck 2

Nearly every client I’ve worked with on a WordPress site has wanted a slider widget for the homepage – some nice bit of Javascript that features a rotating set of pictures. There are lots of ways to achieve this but none of them are particular user friendly, easily customizable, or robust. SlideDeck 2 is here to change all that

James Bruce July 22, 2012 22-07-2012
Create An Awesome Content Slider In WordPress With SlideDeck 2
Making A Legendary Movie Trailer With iMovie On The iPad

iPhone and iPad

Making A Legendary Movie Trailer With iMovie On The iPad

Movie Trailers are a great little creative project that makes putting together a professional looking video really easy. Today I’ll be using my iPad to make a trailer featuring myself and the mischievous little ferret that wandered into my house last week and decided to stay. You’ll need an iPad 2 or the newest generation one; an iPhone 4, or later can also be used,

James Bruce July 20, 2012 20-07-2012
Making A Legendary Movie Trailer With iMovie On The iPad
Every Computer Dies In The End: Learn What Parts Can Fail, & What To Do About It

Technology Explained

Every Computer Dies In The End: Learn What Parts Can Fail, & What To Do About It

Most computers develop problems over time. Learning what they are and how you can deal with them is important if you don’t want to be paying through the teeth for professional repairs. Don’t worry though – that’s exactly why we’re here. Today I will present you with a list of things most likely to fail in a computer, how you might identify and fix the problem, and anything you can do to prevent it.

James Bruce July 18, 2012 18-07-2012
Every Computer Dies In The End: Learn What Parts Can Fail, & What To Do About It
Why I’m Done With Windows [Opinion]

Windows

Why I’m Done With Windows [Opinion]

Microsoft made an announcement this week that has really just tipped me over the edge. It’s the last in a string of moves actually; but that’s it. I’m done. I’ll switching all my Windows machines to Linux or a Hackintosh; I’ll be replacing my Home Server with a Time Machine or Linux-based NAS, and Windows will relegated to a virtual machine. Here’s why.

James Bruce July 15, 2012 15-07-2012
Why I’m Done With Windows [Opinion]
5 Things I Couldn’t Do Without My iPhone

iPhone and iPad

5 Things I Couldn’t Do Without My iPhone

My iPhone makes things so much easier, leaving me time to enjoy the finer things in life. My iPhone makes things so much easier, leaving me time to enjoy the finer things in life. I don’t pull over at the roadside to check a map and I don’t forget things anymore. Here are 5 of the most essential iPhones bits and pieces I couldn’t do without – not just apps, but accessories too.

James Bruce July 13, 2012 13-07-2012
5 Things I Couldn’t Do Without My iPhone
Bypass Regional Locks with UnoDNS from UnoTelly [Giveaway]

Internet

Bypass Regional Locks with UnoDNS from UnoTelly [Giveaway]

>Are you frustrated by the international blocks that stop you from watching Hulu? Are you a UK Netflix user, annoyed that the American selection of movies and TV shows is orders of magnitude larger than what’s available to you? Well, I have the perfect solution for you: a premium DNS service called UnoDNS which bypasses all those regional locks. We’ve got 25 one-year Gold subscriptions for UnoDNS to give away, worth a total of $1500!

James Bruce July 12, 2012 12-07-2012
Bypass Regional Locks with UnoDNS from UnoTelly [Giveaway]
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