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Sleeptalking USB Stick

Here is a tricked out USB stick that does the downloading work while your PC is in standby mode.  The sleeptalking USB stick is aptly named, Somniloquy [medical term for talking in your sleep] and provides a great service when you take a closer look.

sleeptalking usb

A team effort between University of California and Microsoft Research came up with the Somniloquy concept to reduce a computers carbin footprint into todays “going green” world.  Many users keep their PCs on for late night syncs, virus software updates, computer hard drive backups, or large data downloads.  The sleeptalking USB stick is designed to allow all of these things to happen while the computer remains in standby mode…meaning reduced power consumption for those critical updates or juice torrent downloads. The Somniloquy is a prototype device that packs an entire low-power PC and embedded operating system onto the USB thumb drive.  It needs only 1/10 the power of a typical PC or laptop. Somniloquy essentially takes over as the computer’s presence on the network while the actual PC is Continue Reading

How To: TV Spy Remote To Wreak Havoc

So lets clarify exactly what I’m talking about here…a TV spy remote is a device that allows you to control someone else’s TV without being around, thus wreak havoc in their life.  After all, what could be more upsetting then turning off the TV at your neighbors house during American Idol or watching Jack Bower kick a$$ in 24?  I don’t think there is a greater pleasure. Since you can’t buy a TV spy remote at buy.com or Amazon, or anywhere else, check out this TV Spy Remote tutorial I found at Instructables.

tv spy remote

The tools and materials you need could be found anywhere, as this hack was done at a college dorm room and you know those kids have not $$ or resources. Required materials include: Continue Reading

How To: Make USB Volume Name Longer Than 11 Characters

By default the Windows operating system assigns the Volume name of a USB stick as “Removable Disk.”  However, there are times when you need a different Volume name…and many times the USB Volume name needs to be longer than 11 characters. Using the standard Windows “Rename” function, limits you to only 11 characters.  You can’t always get what you want with just 11 characters…so how do you make the Volume name of USB stick longer than 11 characters? It’s easy, with the help of an inf file.  An INF file (or Setup Information file) is a plain text file used by Microsoft Windows for installation of software and/or drivers. Today we are going to use the .INF file to increase the length of our USB Volume name past 11 characters. For those of you who are familiar with .INF files here is the meat of the answer:
[autorun] Label=type whatever you want here
For those of you less familiar with .INF files they are extremely easy to make and use.  For the USB Volume name this is what you do: Continue Reading

USB Hack: Turn a USB Stick Into a Hard Drive or Local Disk

USB Tutorial:  Turn a USB stick into a Hard Drive or Local Disk

usb hack

This is a very valuable tutorial, especially if you are looking to partition a USB stick.  Another application for turning a removable drive into a local disk, is that now many software programs can be loaded directly to a USB drive.  The first program which comes to mind is iTunes.  I know you need My Documents and a Local Disk to install it, so after this tutorial, I’ll try installing iTunes and share the results.

The process of turning a USB stick into a hard drive is fairly easy.  However, there are limitations.  For example, this works best with Windows XP operating systems.  You also need to update the drivers for the device for any computer you are going to use.  Typically, this isn’t a big deal as you can easily do this for your work and home computers.  However, this isn’t a great solution if you are trying to create a partitions USB stick for distribution to many possible users [say trade show give-away].

Couple of items you’ll need:

  • USB_LocalDisk.zip files [download here]
  • Windows XP
  • USB stick

What we will do, is connected the USB stick, find the driver code, update the driver code and re-connect the device.  Simple.

Here are the details:

Continue Reading

Best USB Joke – USB Keystroker Will Drive Anyone Crazy

Who’s up for a little bit of fun.  Who’s up for driving your co-worker totally crazy.  We are.  Here is a great USB joke device that when connected to your PC will randomly lock your CAPS button, make keystrokes or jiggle your mouse around on the screen.

usb keystrocker

What is particularly nice about this useless USB gadget is the ability to select one, two or all three options and control the speed in which the phantom activities take place.  It’s also a complete and finished product…much better then our USB hack we mentioned for creating a Continue Reading

Avoid Sleep Mode With USB Shake Stick

avoid sleep mode usbThere are a large number of computer users out there which need to eliminate the function of their computer going into sleep mode.  I was talking to a friend of mine last night who had this exact problem. The problem was at the corporate level the IT guys started a function that once your computer went idle for 30 minutes the screen saver would pop up requiring a password login.  The reason behind such a decision was unclear, but it’s probably related to measuring productivity. Well, as any good employee would do, you  search Google for a work around.  Today we found one.  The USB shake stick, which doesn’t actually shake, but is a device that keeps your mouse moving in the screen so that sleep mode never turns on. You can avoid sleep mode through this USB stick by simply connecting it to your computer and setting up the preferences [shake speed of mouse icon]. Although the above example is a great way to circumvent a corporate policy, there are a couple legitimate reasons.  For example, Continue Reading

Floppy Drive Looks Old, Acts Young

The floppy diskette was an icon of portable storage.  For years, this was the de facto standard for moving information from one location to another.  Heck, an entire industry was made for duplicating floppy diskettes.  Today things are a bit different.  We still have the specialized duplicator equipment, but the media has changed.  Now, the de facto standard are USB flash drives. Well, this commercialized floppy has the look and feel of the old days, but all the flare and space of modern USB sticks.  Check out this USB floppy drive.

usb floppy drive

Granted, the size is a bit much for today’s UberGeek, but clearly a great conversation piece. If this has your wheels spinning then check out our USB tutorial on modifying a true floppy diskette into a USB drive. Source:  UberGizmo. Continue Reading

Wii Aids in USB Missile Launcher Accuracy

An Instructables member took an extra Wiimote and turned it into the eye-site gauge for the famous USB missile launcher.  Now you can have all the fun with the added pin-point accuracy for a deadly shot with your missile launcher.

usb missile launcher wii

With a spare remote, USB cable, USB missile launcher and some code they guys at Instructables provided, you too can have this USB hack.  The only concern you should have is the foam missiles really aren’t all that accurate, at least not the sample we tested.  But hey, forget about the logistics of it all, it’s the cool factor we’re chasing after. Source:  Engadget. Continue Reading

USB Tutorial: Wiki On A Stick

wiki on stickToday LifeHacker syndicated a short description on how to place a Wiki on a USB stick…and I thought…hmm interesting idea. So digging into things a little deeper it seems no more complicated than putting WordPress on a stick. But I think most of you would ask, why? The reason would be for off-line edits, organizing or remote access where there is no internet connectivity or you are in a facility which limits your access (schools & gov’t agencies). Here is the web page from the MediaWiki website which gives you all the juicy details on placing a wiki on a stick. Continue Reading

USB Soft Air Gun Mod

Jared Bouck from InventGeek come up with a great mod for those USB Missile Launchers from Dream Cheeky. Rather than toy around with a foam missile, Jared up’d the anti with a soft air gun able to shoot plastic BBs up to 250 FPS. This is an ideal mod for rabbit control or pidgin control with a high level of fun involved. The other benefit from swapping out the foam missile launcher head, is the higher accuracy rate you’ll get from the soft air gun. When I reviewed the USB circus cannon [basically same product] that was a big down fall is lack of accuracy.

usb soft air gun

The full USB hack isn’t listed here, but visit the InventGeek site for the 7 step process.Start your modContinue Reading

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