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James's Latest Posts
Pong was the first ever videogame that reached the mass market. For the first time in history, the concept of a “video game” was brought into the family home, thanks to the Atari 2600 – so it’s only right that we pay a little homage to this historical gem. Now, you can re-live that (admittedly somewhat boring gameplay) using an Arduino and some common components.
Your living room is chaos – admit it. You’re forgiven for wondering which remote controls which device. What with the TV, amplifier, TiVO, BluRay player, maybe even the lighting – switching activities becomes a long and delicately manoeuvred dance called the “remote shuffle”. No longer. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate universal remote is here to bring, well – harmony – to your living room. The Logitech Harmony Ultimate can control up to 15 devices, which should be more than enough for even the most avid AV enthusiast’s living room. We’ll be giving this review unit away, so read on and join the contest.
If you though the Arduino was cool, just wait till you get your hands on a Raspberry Pi – these things are amazing. As well as being a fully functional computer, they also have a selection of General Purpose Input/Output pins. Just like an Arduino, we can use these to create electronics projects – and it’s surprisingly easy to get started.
A new generation of iOS is nearly upon us, revealed at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last week. Guided strongly by (Sir) Jony Ive, iOS 7 marks a clear departure from the skeumorphic UI elements of the past decade as 3D shadows and leather stitching have been replaced with clean lines and flat layers. In terms of features, there’s certainly nothing groundbreaking – but more than enough to bring iOS inline with the competition. Read on for a sneak preview of what’s to come in iOS7, arriving in the autumn.
Now that the Oculus Rift is in the hands of developers and enthusiasts (read my extensive review of the Oculus Rift), work on the consumer version is well underway. New games are being developed, existing games are being ported, and every day more people get to experience just how incredible the world of immersive VR can be when done right. So we have the visual element of virtual reality gaming basically sorted, but what about controllers?
You can never have enough controllers, right? These wonderful little devices can be used with more than just an actual Playstation 3 of course – so today I’d like to show you how you can play all those awesome Android games with a PS3 controller. The process is easier than I thought, and you don’t need a special OTG USB cable – we’ll be using Bluetooth.
Epic adventures. Loot. Hordes of kobolds and even the occasional owlbear. If those mean something to you, then we’re kindred spirits. I understand what it is you seek friend, and I offer thee temporary shelter in the MakeUseOf Inn. Tell tales of fair-haired maidens as you order your poison of choice, and let me admire your war-battered full plate armour +1. Remind me about the time you took an arrow to the knee as we check out these three iPad adventure board games.
Bad things happen. Devices got stolen. Maybe you leave your phone on the table in the pub after you’ve had a few. Maybe a sneaky trickster like the one on the right there manages to delicately extract it from your purse. Maybe a stray horse eats it. These things happen. But it’s up to you to prepare for them. You can’t trace your stolen phone after the fact, not easily.
To call the Synology DiskStation DS413j a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a degrading understatement – but yes, it serves files over the network. To say it has RAID functionality is also somewhat unfair – the Synology hybrid-RAID is superior technology. To say it comes with a few additional features is just plain wrong – this thing is packed full of features and even has an app store. Today, we’ll be taking a look at Synology’s DiskStation DS413j and tell you what it’s all about. Then we’ll give one away (diskless).
If you own a Harmony Remote, you’re probably aware that they can now control the Phillips Hue “connected bulb” – a wifi enabled but extortionately priced $200 LED lightbulb set. But did you know your Harmony Remote can also power the far more reasonably priced RGB LED striplights? Indeed they can – so there’s no need to break the bank just for a nicely integrated lighting system in your ultimate home entertainment system.
One box to rule them all – the ultimate entertainment system. A single device to control all your living room entertainments needs – instant on, voice and gesture control, and no more remote controls. That’s the premise of the Xbox One. Read on to find out everything we know so far.
Given time, the performance of any computer will tend to degrade – even Macs (gasp!). Years of improperly un-installing applications can leave your drive littered with preference files and resources that are no longer needed. A small drive can quickly fill up with photos or music, causing everything else to come crashing to a halt. Or perhaps your Mac is just old and can’t quite handle the latest software or OS updates – but with a little performance boost, it’d be good to go for another year at least!
People argue that training costs money – but for technical skills that just isn’t true. You can improve your technical skills without paying – assuming you already have internet access that is, which is a pretty safe assumption to make if you’re reading this. So read on: here are 5 ways you can improve your technical skills today.
You’re looking for a small computer to power a laser turret that can shoot multi-coloured balloons – it’s a common situation we all find ourselves in at one point or another – and you’ve heard good things about both Arduino and Raspberry Pi. But you can’t decide – which the best mini-computer for your project? Which is going to prevail as the most useful once you’ve disassembled the turret thanks to that incident with the neighbour’s cat?
Productivity pros swear by multiple monitors, but we don’t all have the luxury of carrying around huge screens and endless wallets. On the other hand, the iPad has become pretty ubiquitous, and it can really help you be more productive. What if I told you there was a way you could use your iPad as a second monitor, extending your desktop with precious extra inches? That would be pretty amazing right? Well here are three apps that let you do just that.