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Archive for May, 2008

USB Tutorial: Turn VHS Tape Into Glowing USB Hub

VHS USB hub

Instructables posted a great little USB hack for turning an old VHS tape into a glowing USB hub.  I like this mod because it takes an old, out of date medium, puts some retro lighting in there which creates a modern day device I can use everyday. Instructables also brings up a good point with hubs getting smaller these days, it’s more likely you’ll lose it behind your desk.  Having a honk’in big VHS tape solves that problem. So what is this USB tutorial all about?  Well, in short, you will destroy an old VHS tape, cut out some through-holes for USB ports and power.  Secure some LEDs for effect and reassemble everything to impress your buddies.  Since this outline isn’t enough to start or finish the project, jump over to Instructables for the full low down. Continue Reading

Multiple Widescreen Bliss With EVGA UV Plus Display Ports

EVGA is lowering the bar for USB to VGA adapters and that’s a good thing.  Traditionally you would pay upwards of $200 dollars for a USB to VGA adapter but now the UV12 and UV16 adapter from EVGA are under $80!

usb vga adapter

The UV Plus family take an existing USB port and convert that bus into a VGA/DVI adapter for additional monitors.  This is ideal for those will lower video processing power (laptops) who want two or three widescreen monitors. I spoke with Jeff, a pre-sales rep at EVGA and he did caution me against using the UV Plus family for hard core video applications such as Continue Reading

Police Pluck Evidence With COFEE USB Stick

Microsoft developed a USB stick to pluck evidence out of computers at crime scenes.  The USB device is called COFEE (Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor) and has the power to blast through security settings to get the good stuff…and quick.

COFEE USB

The COFEE USB devices is ideal for on-site investigation where law-enforcement needs to extract data quickly and accurately.  The Microsoft COFEE contains 150 commands which dramatically cuts down time to gather digital evidence.  It can decrypt passwords and analyze a computer’s Continue Reading

USB Review: MagicJack Phone

REVIEW OF MAGICJACK PHONE The MagicJack phone is a simple device which is specifically designed to connect your regular [and current] land-line phone to the internet for Voice Over IP calling. I ran into one of the project managers of MagicJack from a different business deal and he sent a phone for review. I’ve mentioned the MagicJack phone before, but this is my first experience using the product.

magicjack phone

OVERVIEW The MagicJack is a small device [2.5″ x 1.5″] and works as a USB dongle which connects to your computer via USB port. The MagicJack phone does not require a Hi-Speed USB connection and thus will work on your front USB connection of a PC tower or the slower ports off your laptop docking station. The USB MagicJack costs about $35-$40 depending on where you get it. You then pay $19 [the year after you buy it] for unlimited calling in the United States, Canada and parts of central America. Calls outside this region are then chargeable, but very reasonable. I looked up rates to the UK at it was $0.02 per minute. Not bad at all. WHY IT’S UNIQUE The MagicJack phone is unique because it has a regular phone jack connected to the dongle. This means ANY phone can be plugged into the device and used for VoIP calling Continue Reading

USB Poker Chip Is Lucky At Cards

I’m not sure about the rest of the world, but Texas Hold’em in the US is a very popular past time right now.  In fact, I got 2nd place last night in my neighborhood poker tournament.  Well, Dane-Memory is a fan too.  Dane-Electronic made 1GB and 2GB USB poker chips.

usb poker chip

The size is official but I’m wondering if the chip has that clay feel to it?  The USB poker chip splits in half when being used.  Top half is the cap and the bottom half has the USB connection and memory.  Red is 1GB and blue is 2GB. For the Texas Hold’em enthusiast you might want to pick up several of these USB poker chips, as now you can go “all in” using your personal financial records as liquid cash. USB poker chip product page. Source:  UberGizmo. **Mike [Dane-Elec Irvina CA – send me a comment if you’ve seen/used this chip before] Continue Reading

Buffalo USB Phone for Skype

Buffalo introduces their VH-MU01 USB phone for Skype and MSN chat so you can drop those headsets if you have a complex.  The Buffalo USB phone looks like a slim design with easy button navigation.  Any asstute reader will quickly realize there is no LCD or display for the phone.  Well, if you’re looking to get into USB phones for home or work, don’t let the lack of display worry you.

usb phone

These phones are designed to work with software like Skype where the software on your computer provides the visual display you need.  So as you click the touch pad of the USB phone the action shows up on your Skype software. This type of USB phone makes using on-line VoIP more like the traditional phone.  However, if you just can’t part with the land-line setup than you should consider the MagicJack phone.  The MagicJack is a USB dongle which connects to your computer and on the other end of the dongle is a traditional phone connection.  Simply connect your good’ol phone to the dongle and you’re talking over VoIP. Continue Reading

Imation Disc Stakka Management Tool

The Imation Disc Stakka is a management tool for keeping those messy CDs organized and accessible.  Granted your music is probably on your iPod and if it isn’t then you should contact a CD Ripper Service…but even with all your music on that MP3 player you can still find a use for the Disc Stakka.

disc stakka

I’ve got at least 3 dozen installation CDs, software CDs, and utility CDs that I like to have in storage.  Problem is the over flow of putting those CDs into a leather case – now I’ve got two cases.  Rather then spending more mone on another bulky leather CD/DVD case, I’m looking at this Disc Stakka. The Stakka is an automated carousel that stores and protects your CDs and DVDs.  It does the painfully obvious as well, retrieves them.  The Stakka holds Continue Reading

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