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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict

Fatal error: the system has become unstable or is busy," it says. "Enter to return to Windows or press Control-Alt-Delete to restart your computer. If you do this you will lose any unsaved information in all open applications."

You have just been struck by the Blue Screen of Death. Anyone who uses Mcft Windows will be familiar with this. What can you do? More importantly, how can you prevent it happening?

1 Hardware conflict

The number one reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel (IRQ). These are supposed to be unique for each device.

For example, a printer usually connects internally on IRQ 7. The keyboard usually uses IRQ 1 and the floppy disk drive IRQ 6. Each device will try to hog a single IRQ for itself.

If there are a lot of devices, or if they are not installed properly, two of them may end up sharing the same IRQ number. When the user tries to use both devices at the same time, a crash can happen. The way to check if your computer has a hardware conflict is through the following route:

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager.

Often if a device has a problem a yellow '!' appears next to its description in the Device Manager. Highlight Computer (in the Device Manager) and press Properties to see the IRQ numbers used by your computer. If the IRQ number appears twice, two devices may be using it.

Sometimes a device might share an IRQ with something described as 'IRQ holder for PCI steering'. This can be ignored. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and reinstall it.

Sometimes you may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. A good resource is

. If the device is a soundcard, or a modem, it can often be fixed by moving it to a different slot on the motherboard (be careful about opening your computer, as you may void the warranty).

When working inside a computer you should switch it off, unplug the mains lead and touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge any static electricity.

To be fair to Mcft, the problem with IRQ numbers is not of its making. It is a legacy problem going back to the first PC designs using the IBM 8086 chip. Initially there were only eight IRQs. Today there are 16 IRQs in a PC. It is easy to run out of them. There are plans to increase the number of IRQs in future designs.

2 Bad Ram

Ram (random-access memory) problems might bring on the blue screen of death with a message saying Fatal Exception Error. A fatal error indicates a serious hardware problem. Sometimes it may mean a part is damaged and will need replacing.

But a fatal error caused by Ram might be caused by a mismatch of chips. For example, mixing 70-nanosecond (70ns) Ram with 60ns Ram will usually force the computer to run all the Ram at the slower speed. This will often crash the machine if the Ram is overworked.

One way around this problem is to enter the BIOS settings and increase the wait state of the Ram. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot a suspected Ram problem is to rearrange the Ram chips on the motherboard, or take some of them out. Then try to repeat the circumstances that caused the crash. When handling Ram try not to touch the gold connections, as they can be easily damaged.

Parity error messages also refer to Ram. Modern Ram chips are either parity (ECC) or non parity (non-ECC). It is best not to mix the two types, as this can be a cause of trouble.

EMM386 error messages refer to memory problems but may not be connected to bad Ram. This may be due to free memory problems often linked to old Dos-based programmes.

3 BIOS settings

Every motherboard is supplied with a range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press the F2 or delete button during the first few seconds of a boot-up.

Once inside the BIOS, great care should be taken. It is a good idea to write down on a piece of paper all the settings that appear on the screen. That way, if you change something and the computer becomes more unstable, you will know what settings to revert to.

A common BIOS error concerns the CAS latency. This refers to the Ram. Older EDO (extended data out) Ram has a CAS latency of 3. Newer SDRam has a CAS latency of 2. Setting the wrong figure can cause the Ram to lock up and freeze the computer's display.

Mcft Windows is better at allocating IRQ numbers than any BIOS. If possible set the IRQ numbers to Auto in the BIOS. This will allow Windows to allocate the IRQ numbers (make sure the BIOS setting for Plug and Play OS is switched to 'yes' to allow Windows to do this.).

4 Hard disk drives

After a few weeks, the information on a hard disk drive starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is a good idea to defragment the hard disk every week or so, to prevent the disk from causing a screen freeze. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Defragmenter

This will start the procedure. You will be unable to write data to the hard drive (to save it) while the disk is defragmenting, so it is a good idea to schedule the procedure for a period of inactivity using the Task Scheduler.

The Task Scheduler should be one of the small icons on the bottom right of the Windows opening page (the desktop).

Some lockups and screen freezes caused by hard disk problems can be solved by reducing the read-ahead optimisation. This can be adjusted by going to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System Icon-Performance-File System-Hard Disk.

Hard disks will slow down and crash if they are too full. Do some housekeeping on your hard drive every few months and free some space on it. Open the Windows folder on the C drive and find the Temporary Internet Files folder. Deleting the contents (not the folder) can free a lot of space.

Empty the Recycle Bin every week to free more space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-ScanDisk

Otherwise assign the Task Scheduler to perform this operation at night when the computer is not in use.

5 Fatal OE exceptions and VXD errors

Fatal OE exception errors and VXD errors are often caused by video card problems.

These can often be resolved easily by reducing the resolution of the video display. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Display-Settings

Here you should slide the screen area bar to the left. Take a look at the colour settings on the left of that window. For most desktops, high colour 16-bit depth is adequate.

If the screen freezes or you experience system lockups it might be due to the video card. Make sure it does not have a hardware conflict. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager

Here, select the + beside Display Adapter. A line of text describing your video card should appear. Select it (make it blue) and press properties. Then select Resources and select each line in the window. Look for a message that says No Conflicts.

If you have video card hardware conflict, you will see it here. Be careful at this point and make a note of everything you do in case you make things worse.

The way to resolve a hardware conflict is to uncheck the Use Automatic Settings box and hit the Change Settings button. You are searching for a setting that will display a No Conflicts message.

Another useful way to resolve video problems is to go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Performance-Graphics

Here you should move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. As ever, the most common cause of problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers (a driver is a small piece of software used by a computer to communicate with a device).

Look up your video card's manufacturer on the internet and search for the most recent drivers for it.

6 Viruses

Often the first sign of a virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive, making it impossible to start. This is why it is a good idea to create a Windows start-up disk. Go to

Start-Settings-Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs

Here, look for the Start Up Disk tab. Virus protection requires constant vigilance.

A virus scanner requires a list of virus signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. These signatures are stored in a DAT file. DAT files should be updated weekly from the website of your antivirus software manufacturer.

7 Printers

The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file, often called a postscript file.

Printers have only a small amount of memory, called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power. This will also slow down the computer's performance.

If the printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognised, and can crash the computer. Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash because of confusion in the buffer. A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for ten seconds. Booting up from a powerless state, also called a cold boot, will restore the printer's default settings and you may be able to carry on.

8 Software

A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly-installed software. Often the problem can be cured by uninstalling the software and then reinstalling it. Use Norton Uninstall or Uninstall Shield to remove an application from your system properly. This will also remove references to the programme in the System Registry and leaves the way clear for a completely fresh copy.

The System Registry can be corrupted by old references to obsolete software that you thought was uninstalled. Use Reg Cleaner by Jouni Vuorio to clean up the System Registry and remove obsolete entries. It works on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE (Second Edition), Windows Millennium Edition (ME), NT4 and Windows 2000.

Read the instructions and use it carefully so you don't do permanent damage to the Registry. If the Registry is damaged you will have to reinstall your operating system. Reg Cleaner can be obtained from

Often a Windows problem can be resolved by entering Safe Mode. This can be done during start-up. When you see the message "Starting Windows" press F4. This should take you into Safe Mode.

Safe Mode loads a minimum of drivers. It allows you to find and fix problems that prevent Windows from loading properly.

Sometimes installing Windows is difficult because of unsuitable BIOS settings. If you keep getting SUWIN error messages (Windows setup) during the Windows installation, then try entering the BIOS and disabling the CPU internal cache. Try to disable the Level 2 (L2) cache if that doesn't work.

Remember to restore all the BIOS settings back to their former settings following installation.

9 Overheating

Central processing units (CPUs) are usually equipped with fans to keep them cool. If the fan fails or if the CPU gets old it may start to overheat and generate a particular kind of error called a kernel error. This is a common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate at higher speeds than they are supposed to.

One remedy is to get a bigger better fan and install it on top of the CPU.

CPU problems can often be fixed by disabling the CPU internal cache in the BIOS. This will make the machine run more slowly, but it should also be more stable.

10 Power supply problems

With all the new construction going on around the country the steady supply of electricity has become disrupted. A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.

If this has become a nuisance for you then consider buying a uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This will give you a clean power supply when there is electricity, and it will give you a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut.

It is a good investment if your data are critical, because a power cut will cause any unsaved data to be lost.

Friday, October 3, 2008

White LED Flashlight Conversions

Many flashlights can be easily converted to use white LEDs instead of regular incandescent bulbs. The flashlight can quickly be returned to its original bulb and battery configuration later if you wish. Of course this procedure will void the warranty on your flashlight, but the only permanent modification made is increasing the size of the hole in the reflector assembly. Since I live in a remote area with no streetlights and am a volunteer firefighter, flashlights are very important and are used daily by everyone in the family. I normally use Maglite® flashlights in different sizes for reliability reasons, but have been frustrated with short battery and bulb life. I normally get only 5 hours on 2xAA batteries, and have to change bulbs every 2 sets of batteries or so. Converted white LED MiniMaglites® have become my favorite flashlights! Though the LED conversions are not as bright as normal bulbs, the batteries last over 6 times as long, and I have not replaced an LED bulb yet despite running them at over their maximum current. sells super-bright white LEDs that are perfect for flashlight conversions, plus LED clusters that fit normal automotive taillight bulb sockets, available at any auto parts store. We made various attempts at figuring out how to mass-produce the spacer with resistor -- and we've decided not to offer them for sale because we can't manufacture them cheaply. Much better to make your own anyway! You can check out our line of efficient lighting products in the Renewable Energy section of our web shopping cart. MiniMaglite® LED ConversionsAlkaline batteries are often the best choice for flashlights, since they retain more power when sitting unused for long periods of time. And you can expect over 6 times longer battery life when using a white LED bulb! This is important when a flashlight must sit in your truck for weeks or months without use. In this situation, NiCad or NiMh rechargables would most likely have little power left in them after sitting for months. Alkaline N-cells are inexpensive and usually locally .

 Take off the flashlight head and remove the incandescent bulb. Save the bulb for future use if you ever decide to return your flashlight to its original condition.  Trim the tabs off of the LED leads using nippers. A flat needle file or sandpaper can help smooth the lead.  Trim the LED leads off to 1/4 inch in length.  Insert the LED into the bulb socket. If does not light up, reverse the LED and it will. If not, check your batteries, and also make sure the LED leads are not touching each other.  Remove the reflector, and using a 1/4 inch drill bit carefully widen the hole for the bulb to 1/4 inch. Our LED bulbs do not need reflectors since they emit light at a set 20° angle, but the reflector assembly is needed in a MiniMaglite® for the switch to function properly. Now try your flashlight with the original AA batteries. It should light up, but somewhat dimmly. If you run it like this, the batteries will last for weeks of continous on-time. It's not very bright, but it is enough light to find the keyhole or make your way to the bathroom. To run the LED at full brightness you'll need to use 3 N cells. Next,  Install the 3 N-cell batteries.  Install a spacer (containing an internal current-limiting resistor) You'll need to build a spacer to hold the resistor and make the whole battery pack come out to the right length. Our prototype used a 3/8 inch length of 1/2 inch diameter wooden dowel (see photos below). We drilled short holes at the ends of the dowel for battery contacts made of small machine screws. We then drilled an off-center hole all the way through the spacer for the resistor, and wrapped each resistor lead around the contacts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Emergency Light

Emergency Light
The circuit of automatic emergency light presented here has the following features: 1. When the mains supply (230V AC) is available, it charges a 12V battery up to 13.5V and then the battery is disconnected from the charging section. 2. When the battery discharges up to 10.2V, it is disconnected from the load and the charging process is resumed. 3. If the mains voltage is available and there is darkness in the room, load (bulb or tube) is turned on by taking power from the mains; otherwise the battery is connected to the load. 4. When the battery discharges up to 10.2V and if the mains is not yet available, the battery is completely disconnected from the circuit to avoid its further discharge. The mains supply of 230V AC is stepped down to 18V AC (RMS) using a 230V AC primary to 0-18V AC, 2A secondary transformer (X1), generally used in 36cm B&W TVs. Diodes D1 through D4 form bridge rectifier and capacitor C5 filters the voltage, providing about 25V DC at the output. Charging section includes 33-ohm, 10-watt resistor R2 which limits the charging current to about 425 mA when battery voltage is about 10.2V, or to 325 mA when battery voltage is about 13.5V. When the battery charges to 13.5V (as set by VR2), zener diode D17 goes into breakdown region, thereby triggering triac TR1. Now, since DC is passing through the triac, it remains continuously ‘on’ even if the gate current is reduced to zero (by disconnecting the gate terminal). Once the battery is fully charged, charging section is cut-off from the battery due to energisation of relay RL2. This relay remains ‘on’ even if the power fails because of connection to the battery via diode D10. S4, a normally closed switch, is included to manually restart the charging process if required. Battery disconnect and charging restart section comprises an NE555 timer (IC2) wired in monostable mode. When the battery voltage is above 10.2V (as indicated by red LED D15), zener diode (D16) remains in the breakdown region, making the trigger pin 2 of IC2 high, thereby maintaining output pin 3 in low voltage state. Thus, relay RL3 is ‘on’ and relay RL4 is ‘off.’ But as soon as the battery voltage falls to about 10.2V (as set by preset VR1), zener diode D16 comes out of conduction, making pin 2 low and pin 3 high to turn ‘on’ relay RL4 and orange LED D13. This also switches off relay RL3 and LED D15. Now, if the mains is available, charging restarts due to de-energisation of relay RL2 because when relay RL4 is ‘on,’ it breaks the circuit of relay RL2 and triac TR1. But if the mains supply is not present, both relays RL3 and RL1 de-energise, disconnecting the battery from the remaining circuit. Thus when battery voltage falls to 10.2 volts, its further discharge is eliminated. But as soon as the mains supply resumes, it energises relay RL1, thereby connecting the battery again to the circuit. Light sensor section also makes use of a 555 timer IC in the monostable mode. As long as normal light is falling on LDR1, its resistance is comparatively low. As a result pin 2 of IC3 is held near Vcc and its output at pin 3 is at low level. In darkness, LDR resistance is very high, which causes pin 2 of IC3 to fall to near ground potential and thus trigger it. As a consequence, output pin 3 goes high during the monostable pulse period, forward biasing transistor T3 which goes into saturation, energising relay RL5. With auto/bypass switch S2 off (in auto mode), the load gets connected to supply via switch S3. If desired, the load may be switched during the day-time by flipping switch S2 to ‘on’ position (manual). Preset VR3 is the sensitivity control used for setting threshold light level at which the load is to be automatically switched on/off. Capacitors with the relays ensure that there is no chattering of the relays. When the mains is present, diode D8 couples the input voltage to regulator IC1 whereas diode D10 feeds the input voltage to it (from battery) in absense of mains supply. Diode D5 connects the load to the power supply section via resistor R5 when mains is available (diode D18 does not conduct). However, when mains power fails, the situation reverses and diode D18 conducts while diode D5 does not conduct. . The load can be any bulb of 12 volts with a maximum current rating of 2 amperes (24 watts). Resistor R5 is supposed to drop approximately 12 volts when the load current flows through it during mains availability . Hence power dissipated in it would almost be equal to the load power. It is therefore desirable to replace R5 with a bulb of similar voltage and wattage as the load so that during mains availability we have more (double) light than when the load is fed from the battery. For setting presets VR1 and VR2, just take out (desolder one end) diodes D7, D10 and D18. Connect a variable source of power supply in place of battery. Set preset VR1 so that battery-high LED D15 is just off at 10.2V of the variable source. Increase the potential of the variable source and observe the shift from LO BAT LED D13 to D15. Now make the voltage of the source 13.5V and set preset VR2 so that relay RL2 just energises. Then decrease the voltage slowly and observe that relay RL2 does not de-energise above 10.2V. At 10.2V, LED D15 should be off and relay RL2 should de-energise while LED D13 should light up. Preset VR3 can be adjusted during evening hours so that the load is ‘on’ during the desired light conditions

Download Circuit Diagram :

Car anti theft wireless alarm

Car anti theft wireless alarm.
This FM radio-controlled anti- theft alarm can be used with any vehicle having 6- to 12-volt DC supply system. The mini VHF, FM transmitter is fitted in the vehicle at night when it is parked in the car porch or car park. The receiver unit with CXA1019, a single IC-based FM radio module, which is freely available in the market at reasonable rate, is kept inside. Receiver is tuned to the transmitter's frequency. When the transmitter is on and the signals are being received by FM radio receiver, no hissing noise is available at the output of receiver. Thus transistor T2 (BC548) does not conduct. This results in the relay driver transistor T3 getting its forward base bias via 10k resistor R5 and the relay gets energised. When an intruder tries to drive the car and takes it a few metres away from the car porch, the radio link between the car (transmitter) and alarm (receiver) is broken. As a result FM radio module gene-rates hissing noise. Hissing AC signals are coupled to relay switching circ- uit via audio transformer. These AC signals are rectified and filtered by diode D1 and capacitor C8, and the resulting positive DC voltage provides a forward bias to transistor T2. Thus transistor T2 conducts, and it pulls the base of relay driver transistor T3 to ground level. The relay thus gets de-activated and the alarm connected via N/C contacts of relay is switched on. If, by chance, the intruder finds out about the wireless alarm and disconnects the transmitter from battery, still remote alarm remains activated because in the absence of signal, the receiver continues to produce hissing noise at its output. So the burglar alarm is fool-proof and highly reliable

Download Circuit Diagram :

Monday, September 15, 2008

PBS Switch Debouncing Circuit

The 555 circuit can be re-triggered if the input is held low longer than the output pulse. To prevent this happening, I have included a further timing circuit comprised of the 1Meg resistor and 47n capacitor. Normally, the 47n capacitor is discharged via the 1 Meg resistor. When the switch is pressed the capacitor quickly charges and provides a brief negative pulse to the 555 input. When the capacitor is fully charged, the potential across the voltage divider formed by the 10k and 1Meg resistors is insufficient to retrigger the monostable. Releasing the switch quickly discharges the capacitor. The output of a 555 monostable is suitable for connecting to TTL and CMOS logic circuits.

Download Schematic Diagram and Part List :

Nicad Battery Charger

This simple charger uses a single transistor as a constant current source. The voltage across the pair of 1N4148 diodes biases the base of the BD140 medium power transistor. The base - emitter voltage of the transistor and the forward voltage drop across the diodes are relatively stable. The charging current is approximately 15mA or 45mA with the switch closed. This suits most 1.5V and 9V rechargeable batteries. The transformer should have a secondary rating of 12V ac at 0.5amp, the primary should be 220/240volts for Europe or 120volts ac for North America.

Download Schematic Diagram and Part List :

Video Amplifier

Download Schematic Diagram and PartList of Video Amplfier

Traffic Light Project

Traffic Light Project
This project operates red, amber and green LEDs in the
correct sequence for a single UK traffic light. The time
taken for the complete red - red & amber - green - amber
sequence can be varied from about 7s to about 2½
minutes by adjusting the 1M preset. Some amber LEDs
emit light that is almost red so you may prefer to use a
yellow LED. The 555 astable circuit provides clock
pulses for the 4017 counter which has ten outputs (Q0 to
Q9). Each output becomes high in turn as the clock
pulses are received. Appropriate outputs are combined
with diodes to supply the amber and green LEDs. The
red LED is connected to the ÷10 output which is high for
the first 5 counts (Q0-Q4 high), this saves using 5 diodes
for red and simplifies the circuit.

Download Schematic Diagram and Part List :

Temperature Switch Project

Temperature Switch Project
This project will provide you an understanding of the use of germanium diode and how it works compared to the more common silicon diode. It works on the principle that as the temperature surrounding the germanium diode increases, the back resistance decreases sharply.
At room temperature, the germanium diode D1 has a typical back resistance of 10K ohm. At this value, the base of transistor Q1 is turned ON, causing transistor Q2 to turn ON as well. When this happens, the base of transistor Q3 is kept to ground causing it to turn OFF hence the buzzer is OFF.
When the temperature of the surrounding increases, the back resistance of the germanium diode D1 decreases sharply causing the base of transistor Q1 to pull down to near ground potential. This cause the transistors Q1 and Q2 to turn OFF. Transistor Q3 is now forward bias through resistor R2 and diode D2. This caused the buzzer to turn ON indicating that the ambient temperature has risen. The sensitivity of the circuit can be adjusted by adjusting variable resistor VR1 and subjecting diode D1 to a temperature that will trigger the buzzer.

Download Schematic Diagram and Partlist :

Simple Home Security Monitorin Project

Simple Home Security Monitoring Project
This project is a standalone simple home security monitoring project that will trigger a buzzer when the magnetic contact is opened. Magnetic contacts are usually NC (Normally Closed) and are used on doors and windows. They consists of two parts namely a magnet and a reed switch. When the reed switch is in close proximity to the magnet, the switch will close and vice versa. Usually the magnet is fitted to the door and the reed switch is fitted to the door frame in close proximity to one another such that when the door is closed, the two parts are in close contact and hence the switch is closed. When the door is opened, the magnet will be a distance away from the reed switch and hence the switch will open.

Download Schematic Diagram and part list :

Simple but reliable car battery tester

This circuit uses the popular and easy to find LM3914 IC. This IC is very simple to drive, needs no voltage regulators (it has a built in voltage regulator) and can be powered from almost every source. This circuit is very easy to explain: When the test button is pressed, the Car battery voltage is feed into a high impedance voltage divider. His purpose is to divide 12V to 1,25V (or lower values to lower values). This solution is better than letting the internal voltage regulator set the 12V sample voltage to be feed into the internal voltage divider simply because it cannot regulate 12V when the voltage drops lower (linear regulators only step down). Simply wiring with no adjust, the regulator provides stable 1,25V which is fed into the precision internal resistor cascade to generate sample voltages for the internal comparators. Anyway the default setting let you to measure voltages
between 8 and 12V but you can measure even from 0V to 12V setting the offset trimmer to 0 (but i think that under 9 volt your car would not start). There is a smoothing capacitor (4700uF 16V) it is used to adsorb EMF noise produced from the ignition coil if you are measuring the battery during the engine working. Diesel engines would not need it, but i'm not sure. If you like more a point graph rather than a bar graph simply disconnect pin 9 on the IC (MODE) from power. The calculations are simple (default) For the first comparator the voltage is : 0,833 V corresponding to 8 V * * * * * voltage is : 0,875 V corresponding to 8,4 V ... .. for the last comparator the voltage is : 1,25 V corresponding to 12 V Have fun, learn and don't let you car battery discharge... ;-)

Download Schematic Diagram

Power Failure Alarm Project

Power Failure Alarm Project
This project is a power supply monitoring device that will trigger a buzzer when the mains supply cuts off. At the same time, the light emitting diode will be turned ON. This device is helpful to inform the loss of power supply to some critical installation such as a pump in a fish tank. Once the buzzer sound, one will know that there is a loss of power supply and actions need to be taken to rectify the situation by providing alternative power supply or relocating the installation.
Circuit Description
The circuit shown below consists of a AC relay. If the mains input is 120V AC, use a 120V AC relay. If the mains input is 240V AC, use a 240V AC relay. The relay is a Single Pole Double Throw (SPDT) type where the COM will be connected to NC terminal if it is not energised. Once energised, the COM terminal will be connected to the NO terminal.

Download Schematic Diagram

LED Torch

LED Torch.
A common problem with small torches is the short life-span both of the batteries and the bulb. The average incandescent torch, for instance, consumes around 2 Watts. The LED Torch in Fig. 1 consumes just 24 mW, giving it more than 80 times longer service from 4 AA alkaline batteries (that is, up to one month's continuous service). Although the torchs light output is modest, it is nonetheless quite sufficient to illuminate a pathway for walking.
The LED Torch is based on a 7555 timer running in astable mode (do not use an ordinary 555). A white LED (Maplin order code NR73) produces 400 mcd light output, which, when focussed, can illuminate objects at 30 metres. Try Conrad Electronic for what appears to be a stronger white LED (order code 15 37 45-11).
A convex lens with short focal length is placed in front of the LED to focus the beam. If banding occurs at the beams perimeter, use another very short focal length lens directly in front of the LED to smooth the beam.

Download Schematic Diagram :

Free Hidden Electricity

FREE Hidden Electricity!
This Instructable will show you how to tap into a FREE source of electricity! All you need is a phone line! All phone lines have a constant flow of voltage, around 40-70 volts (up to 100 volts when it rings!), but you can't just plug stuff into it and expect it to work. You can really mess with your phone system by doing that. I discovered how to do it the right way
What You Need...
1. Small project enclosure 2. (1) 240ohm resistor 3. (1) 510ohm resistor 4. (1) LM317L Regulator 5. (1) KBP210 Bridge Rectifier 6. (2) Phone line cables

Download Schematic Diagram :

Sunday, September 14, 2008

activate and unlock iPhone with 1.1.1

This tutorial assumes that your iPhone has firmware version 1.1.1. If you are unsure, here is how to check: On the emergency dial screen dial *3001#12345#* and tap Versions. Firware version should be 04.01.13_G. If it's 03.14.08_G you have v1.0.2 and need to update it to 1.1.1 first.

Bypass activation and prepare phone for software installation

  1. Make sure you have a SIM-card with PIN turned off, and power on your phone (the supplied AT&T card works fine).
  2. On the activation screen, slide for emergency and dial: *#301# to make the phone call itself. (If the incoming call dialog quickly disappears but it keeps ringing, just dial 0 (remove *#301# first), and it will call itself)
  3. Answer the call, and tap on Hold
  4. Phone will call it self again, tap Decline. You will now be returned to the normal dialer.
  5. Tap on contacts, and tap the + icon to add a new. The only info you are going to add to this contact are two URL's. To add a URL, tap Add new URL. The first URL is prefs followed by a colon: prefs: and the second is Tap Save.
  6. Your contact now has two "web pages" - tap on the first one (prefs:). This will take you to the settings dialog. The reason you want this, is because you need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, so tap on Wi-Fi, and get connected to a network, and make sure the icon on top of the screen is indicating that you are connected. While you are in the settings dialog, you should also set: General → Auto-Lock → Never.
  7. Now, press the home button, and again, slide for emergency dial 0, Answer the call, Hold and Decline the new call so that you get to the contacts. Tap on your contact (No Name), and this time tap on the other home page,
  8. Safari will launch and show you a webpage. Tap on Tap here to jailbreak your iPhone
  9. Phone will return to activation screen and after a few seconds the phone should restart.
  10. If the phone does not restart after waiting a full minute, please make sure that you have your phone connected to the computer and try again.
  11. When the phone starts again, it should no longer say slide for emergency, but rather Slide to unlock It means it was successfull! Activation is now bypassed, and phone prepared for software installation! (If you are going to use an AT&T SIM, you won't need to do the next step.)

Unlock the SIM-lock on jailbroken 1.1.1

  1. Open installer, and install the update if prompted.
  2. Go to sources and tap Edit and Add
  3. Add this URL:
  4. Tap Done and then Refresh
  5. Go to Install (at bottom) and scroll down to the Unlocking Tools category and install AnySIM
  6. When installed you can press the home button, and you will find a new AnySIM icon on your home screen. Launch it and follow the instructions.
  7. The unlocking process will take about 5-10 minutes, in the end it should say it was successful!
  8. To clean up your phone, launch Installer and uninstall AnySIM. Then go to Settings → General → Auto-Lock and set it to a prefered value.
Congratulations, you are done!

How to jailbreak 1.1.2 or 1.1.3.

Regardless of whether you want to use 1.1.2 or 1.1.3 firmware, you must start with a jailbroken 1.1.1. Downgrade instructions are available here and Jailbreak for 1.1.1 here. When done continue reading here. Note: even if you want to use 1.1.3, you need to upgrade to and jailbreak 1.1.2 first. You should also unlock your 1.1.2 before upgrading.

Upgrading to 1.1.2

  1. On a 1.1.1 phone, open Installer and install OktoPrep located in the Tweaks 1.1.1 category.
  2. Download the 1.1.2 firmware file from Apple: iPhone1,1_1.1.2_3B48b_Restore.ipsw (right click link and save target)
  3. Connect your phone to your computer and open iTunes on the "summary" page.
  4. Hold down the SHIFT key (Windows) or Option/ALT-key (Mac) on your keyboard while clicking on the Upgrade button (not the restore button!). A file browsing dialog should appear, and you must select the firmware file you downloaded in the previous step.
  5. While the phone is upgrading, download the 1.1.2 jailbreak archive and extract the files to your computer.
  6. If you don't already have Java on your computer, you need to download and install Java runtime first. If you are unsure, check the jailbreak.jar file in the archive you extracted previously - it should have an icon with a coffee cup
  7. When your phone is done upgrading, and shows the Slide for emergency screen, you need to launch the jailbreak java application on your computer. Windows users double click on the windows.bat file, while Mac users can double click on jailbreak.jar file.
  8. An application should appear, with a "Jailbreak" button - click on it and wait while it's jailbreaking. This will take a few minutes, and your phone will restart a few times at the end.
  9. Your phone should now show "Slide to unlock" instead of emergency. If it does, everything was successfull.

If are going to use TurboSIM or a similar SIM-adapter you don't need to unlock - it should work right away. If your phone did not have 1.1.2 when you bought it (old bootloader), you can unlock it to work with any sim-card. To do so, install anySIM 1.2.1u located in Utilities category. Open Settings enable Airplane Mode (very important!) (and set Auto lock to never if you haven't already) and then you can launch anySIM and follow the instructions shown.

Important: 1.1.2 has a bug that causes phone/SMS to crash when used in foreign countries. To fix this, you must Install and run iWorld found in the Tweaks (1.1.2) in Installer. Run the application and select your country. When phone has rebooted you can uninstall iWorld.

Upgrading to 1.1.3

This requires that you already have jailbroken 1.1.2. Open Installer, and Install Official 1.1.3 Upgrader found in the System category. This will download the entire 165MB firmware over Wi-Fi, patch it, and upgrade your phone automaticly. So it may take some time - normally 10-30 minutes. When done your phone should reboot directly to a jailbroken 1.1.3 firmware.

A few tweaks

  • [1.1.1] If you want to enable the International menu, install Enable International menu which is found in the Unlocking Tools category. This will let you choose keyboards, and set your phone to use your prefered regional settings, like date and phone number formatting. Be alerted though - it looks like Apple haven't finished this feature completely yet (which is probably why it's deactivated) so there may be some issues. In my case Fahrenheit and Celsius is mixed up in the Weather application for instance!
  • [1.1.1] By default, the EDGE settings found in Settings → General → Network → EDGE are not saved when phone is restarted. To fix this, install EDGE Settings fix which is found in the Unlocking Tools category..
  • If YouTube does not work ("You must first connect to iTunes..."), try to install YouTube activation which is found in the Unlocking Tools category. Also make sure that the phone has correct date.
  • If you for some reason need to deliver your phone to Apple (service etc.), i recommend that you revert the unlock first so that they (hopefully) can't see it's been unlocked. Install OneSIM which is found in the Unlocking Tools category, and tap on the new icon it creates to run it. After you are done, do a restore in iTunes.

Fix iPhone Application crashing issue

If you are having trouble with an iPhone application downloaded from the App Store where it opens up and immediately exits (crashes) every time you try to launch it then here are some solutions that you might want to try out to resolve the problem

It appears that the reason for the application crashes that many iPhone users have reported is due to a problem with Digital Rights Management (DRM) that is embedded in each iPhone app installed via the App Store.

There are some solutions that you can try to fix the problem:

Reboot iPhone

Perform a hard reboot of your iPhone, i.e turn your iPhone off completely, by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button (on top ) for a few seconds then slide the red slider. Turn it back on by holding the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears. This can clear potentially problematic data, preventing some type of crashes.

Delete the iPhone Application:

If the above solution does not help, try deleting the application from your iPhone and then re-sync it back to your iPhone.

To delete an application from your iPhone, simply press and hold on the application icon on your iPhone's home screen until it begins to wiggle along with other application icons (just as you would to rearrange them). A small black circle with an "x" on it should appear on the top-left corner of the icon. Tap on the "x" of the iPhone app that is giving you trouble to uninstall it.

When thats done, sync your iPhone with iTunes which should result in the application you just deleted to get synced to your iPhone again.

Few iPhone users have observed that re-downloading the deleted application directly from iPhone's App Store (rather than using iTunes on your computer) also helps in resolving the crashing problem.

Restore iPhone:

If deleting the application or full reboot does not resolve the crashing issue, try performing a restore of your iPhone. Connect it to your Mac or PC and, in iTunes, click the Restore button under the Summary tab. Please do remember restoring the phone will erase contacts, calendars, photos and other data on the phone, but will restore automatically backed-up information including text messages, notes, call history, contact favorites, sound settings, widget settings, etc.

Boost Your iPhone 3G's Signal Strength

We were assuming that Apple's iPhone 3G will automatically fall back to 2G in case there is no 3G coverage for voice and data connections.

But based on complaints from many iPhone 3G users, it appears that iPhone 3G is not quick enough in switching from 3G to 2G which could result in low or no signal. So if you are observing low signal strength on your iPhone, then there is a simple but manual trick to solve the problem.

This comment over at iPhone Atlas reader, w4rmk confirms that iPhone 3G is not quick enough in switching from 3G to 2G.

W4rmk wrote "Yesterday I tried to make a phone call (new iPhone 3G). I was standing outside in the Denver, Colorado area (which has 3G) and the display said “No Signal”. I walked around waiting for a signal to come in for about 5min with no luck. I went into settings and turned off 3G and immediately got 4 bars on the edge network. So the iPhone is failing to switch to edge when there is no 3G connection."

I am a little surprised that iPhone 3G did not switch to 2G automatically.

So in case you observe low or no signal strength on your new iPhone 3G, try turning off 3G manually, this will force iPhone to switch to 2G. It might take few seconds but you could see a boost in your iPhone's signal strength as w4rmk observed. (The assumption here is that you are in an area with good 2G coverage).

iPhone 3G - Turn 3G off

iPhone 3G not switching between 3G and 2G quickly could be some technical issue as I have observed similar behavior with other 3G phones as well, lets hope Apple finds a solution, as turning 3G off manually is quite painful.

Battery Life Tips of your iPhone

The iPhone 3G’s battery life is either terrific or terrible, depending on your
point of view. When accessing the 3G network, it gets longer battery life than
any other phone—and yet that’s only 5 hours of talk time, compared with 8
on the original iPhone.
But never mind all that; the point is that if you’re not careful, the iPhone 3G’s
battery might not even make it through a single day without needing a
recharge. So knowing how to scale back its power appetite could come in
extremely handy.
The biggest wolfers of electricity on your iPhone are its screen and its wireless
features. Therefore, you can get longer life from each charge by:
• Dimming the screen. In bright light, the screen brightens (but uses
more battery power). In dim light, it darkens.
You can use this information to your advantage. By covering up the sensor
as you unlock the phone, you force it into a low-power, dim-screen
setting (because the phone believes that it’s in a dark room). Or by holding
it up to a light as you wake it, you get full brightness. In both cases,
you’ve saved all the taps and navigation it would have taken you to find
the manual brightness slider in Settings.
• Turning off 3G. If you don’t see a 3 icon on your iPhone 3G’s status bar,
then you’re not in a 3G hot spot , and you’re not getting any
benefit from the phone’s battery-hungry 3G radio. By turning it off, you’ll
double the length of your iPhone 3G’s battery power, from 5 hours of talk
time to 10.
To do so, from the Home screen, tap SettingsÆGeneralÆNetworkÆ
Enable 3G Off. Yes, this is sort of a hassle, but if you’re anticipating a long
day and you can’t risk the battery dying halfway through, it might be
worth doing. After all, most 3G phones don’t even let you turn off their
3G circuitry.
• Turning off Wi-Fi. From the Home screen, tap SettingsÆWi-FiÆOn/Off.
If you’re not in a wireless hot spot anyway, you may as well stop the thing
from using its radio. Or, at the very least, tell the iPhone to stop searching
for Wi-Fi networks it can connect to..
• Turning off the phone, too. In Airplane mode, you shut off both Wi-Fi
and the cellular radios, saving the most power of all.
• Turning off Bluetooth. If you’re not using a Bluetooth headset, then for
heaven’s sake shut down that Bluetooth radio. In Settings, tap General,
and turn off Bluetooth.
• Turning off GPS. If you won’t be needing the iPhone to track your location,
save it the power required to operate the GPS chip and the other
location circuits. In Settings, tap General, and turn off Location Services.
• Turning off “push” data. If your email, calendar, and address book are
kept constantly synced with your Macs or PCs, then you’ve probably gotten
yourself involved with Yahoo Mail, Microsoft Exchange
or MobileMe . It’s pretty amazing to know that your iPhone is
constantly kept current with the mothership—but all that continual sniffing
of the airwaves, looking for updates, costs you battery power. If you
can do without the immediacy, visit SettingsÆFetch New Data; consider
turning off Push and letting your iPhone check for new information, say,
every 15, 30, or 60 minutes.

iPhone’s existencei

In the first year of the iPhone’s existence, Apple sold 6 million of them;
brought the thing to 70 countries; and inspired an industry of misbegotten
iPhone lookalikes from other companies. By the end of Year
One, you could type iPhone into Google and get 229 million hits.
Now there’s a new iPhone, the iPhone 3G. More importantly, there’s a new
version of the iPhone’s software, called iPhone 2.0. And then there’s the
iPhone App Store, which offers thousands of add-on programs written by
individuals, software companies, and everything in between.
This is huge. Remember how mystified everyone was when Apple called
its music player the iPod—instead of, say, iMusic or iSongs or something?
The reason was that Apple had much bigger plans for the iPod—photos,
videos, documents, and so on. Maybe they should have saved that name
for the iPhone.
Yes, the iPhone is still an iPod. And it’s still the best Internet phone you’ve
ever seen. It shows fully formatted email (with attachments, thank you)
and displays entire Web pages with fonts and design intact. It’s still tricked
out with a tilt sensor, proximity sensor, light sensor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and
that amazing multitouch screen.
Therefore, it’s still a calendar, address book, calculator, alarm clock, stopwatch,
stock tracker, traffic reporter, RSS reader, and weather forecaster. It
even stands in for a flashlight and, with the screen off, a pocket mirror.
But now, thanks to the App Store, the iPhone is a fast, wicked fun pocket
computer. All those free or cheap programs can turn it into a medical reference,
musical keyboard, time tracker, remote control, voice recorder, tip
calculator, e-book reader, and so on. And whoa, those games! Hundreds of
them, with smooth 3-D graphics and tilt control.
All of this sends the iPhone’s utility and power through the roof. Calling it
a phone is practically an insul

Friday, September 12, 2008


This might be useful for home, small business, or shop owners here that use their webcam for surveillance purposes.

What is Yawcam?
Yawcam is a shortening for Yet Another WebCAM software, and that's exactly what it is ;-)
More precise Yawcam is a webcam software for windows written in java. The main ideas for Yawcam are to keep it simple and easy to use but to include all the usual features.

Yawcam is completely free to use!

Yawcam features:
.: Video streaming
.: Image snapshots
.: Built-in webserver
.: Motion detection
.: Ftp-upload
.: Text and image overlays
.: Password protection
.: Online announcements for communities
.: Scheduler for online time
.: Multi languange

Download Link :

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Replacing the Logic Board of your iPod

When your iPod was young, did life seem so wonderful? A
miracle? Was it beautiful? Magical? That’s because the logic
board was working perfectly. But logic boards are components
like any other, and they go bad from time to time. If yours is
making you clinical, cynical, or fanatical because it’s not so
logical or dependable (in fact, it’s a vegetable), replacing the
logic board is the cure, as we show in this chapter. The cure
to Supertramp, however, we have not yet discovered.

Check the Signs of a Bad Logic Board
The logic board is the brain of your iPod. No joke—your iPod is a miniature
computer. The logic board contains the microprocessor as well as the connections
to the various other components and systems: the battery, the hard drive or flash
memory, the display, the audio, the data ports, and so on. If something goes
wrong with your logic board, it’s not unlike massive head trauma in a human.
A bad logic board reveals itself in different ways. Your iPod might not turn on,
even when you plug it into a charger. If the iPod does turn on, it might show the
sad face or the folder icon, or it might freeze on the Apple logo.
It’s hard to diagnose a bad logic board from the symptoms alone, because
they’re the same symptoms that you get from other problems. Before you
decide that the logic board is bad, be sure to rule out other possible causes.
For instance, if the iPod doesn’t turn on, check out the battery, or if you get
the folder icon, you might want to look into the hard drive or the software.
Restoring your iPod in iTunes might do the trick.
When you’re reasonably convinced that the other components are in good
working order, the logic board looks more and more like the culprit.

To replace the logic board in a first-generation iPod:
1. Open the iPod according to the instructions .
2. Pull the battery from the back of the hard drive. There is adhesive
holding it down.
3. Unplug the battery from the logic board

4. Carefully slide the hard drive from the orange hard drive connector.
5. Pull the hard drive from the iPod .
6. Find the four T6 Torx screws in the logic board. A large piece of rubber covers one of
them. Remove this piece of rubber to expose the fourth screw .
7. With your T6 Torx screwdriver, remove all four screws

4. Carefully slide the hard drive from the orange hard drive connector.
5. Pull the hard drive from the iPod .
6. Find the four T6 Torx screws in the logic board. A large piece of rubber covers one of
them. Remove this piece of rubber to expose the fourth screw .
7. With your T6 Torx screwdriver, remove all four screws

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My Ferrari 4000 Series Laptop

Acer goes from the brilliant red design of the Acer Ferrari 3000 to a more conservative—but just as sleek—black checkered design. It retains some of the cool-looking red streaks along the side and front edge of the notebook, and yes, the yellow prancing horse emblem still graces the center of the notebook. The cover is made from carbon fiber, which is stronger and lighter than aluminum. (Acer uses it only in its Ferrari line.) The interior of the Ferrari 4000 has a rubberized coating, perhaps emulating the look of Formula One tires. The keyboard has an ergonomic smile contour to it, which is okay for typing but takes a few minutes to get used to. The only real design complaint we have is that the mouse buttons are a bit noisy when pressed.

Though not as eye-popping as many of today's specially treated screens, such as the Editors' Choice-winning HP Pavilion dv4000's ($1429) BrightView screen, the Ferrari's 15.4-inch LCD is vivid enough for movie watching, even with the matte finish, thanks to its high resolution (1,680-by-1,050).

The 6.6-pound Ferrari 4000 comes with a good feature set, including four USB ports, a FireWire port, and a 5-in-1 card reader (MMC, MS, MS Pro, SD, XD). Video connections include both VGA and DVI-D ports. Built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi 802.11g are included, as is a dual-layer DVD±RW drive. The Toshiba Qosmio F25 ($1, 999) has a greater range of AV ports, including a TV tuner. The Ferrari 4000 also comes with an impressively large and fast 100GB hard drive (5,400 rpm). Many of today's notebook hard drives, like the 80GB drive (4,200 rpm) found in the HP dv4000, are smaller and slower.

With hardware like the 1.8-GHz Turion 64 ML-34 processor, double the memory (1GB DDR RAM), and a faster hard drive, the Ferrari 4000 edged out the HP dv4000 on our SYSmark 2004 tests. The Ferrari 4000's terrific graphics chipset trounced the dv4000's integrated Intel chipset and helped the system achieve impressive gaming results. Battery life reached 3 hours 43 minutes, thanks mostly to the 71-Wh battery.

The Acer Ferrari 4000 has a great new look, and new hardware under the hood makes it purr. It's only a matter of time before Jeff Gordon and Danica Patrick get their hands on one.

Acer Inc.

Type: Gaming, General Purpose, Media
Operating System: MS Windows XP Professional
Processor Name: Mobile AMD Turion 64 ML-34
Processor Speed: 1.8 GHz
Weight: 6.6 lb
Screen Size: 15.4 inches
Screen Size Type: widescreen
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon x700
Storage Capacity: 100 GB
Networking Options: 802.11g
Primary Optical Drive: Dual-Layer DVD+/-RW

Keyboard shortcuts for Windows

Windows system key combinations
• F1: Help
• CTRL+ESC: Open Start menu
• ALT+TAB: Switch between open programs
• ALT+F4: Quit program
• SHIFT+DELETE: Delete item permanently

Windows program key combinations
• CTRL+C: Copy
• CTRL+X: Cut
• CTRL+V: Paste
• CTRL+Z: Undo
• CTRL+B: Bold
• CTRL+U: Underline
• CTRL+I: Italic

Mouse click/keyboard modifier combinations for shell objects
• SHIFT+right click: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands
• SHIFT+double click: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)
• ALT+double click: Displays properties
• SHIFT+DELETE: Deletes an item immediately without placing it in the Recycle Bin

General keyboard-only commands
• F1: Starts Windows Help
• F10: Activates menu bar options
• SHIFT+F10 Opens a shortcut menu for the selected item (this is the same as right-clicking an object
• CTRL+ESC: Opens the Start menu (use the ARROW keys to select an item)
• CTRL+ESC or ESC: Selects the Start button (press TAB to select the taskbar, or press SHIFT+F10 for a context menu)
• ALT+DOWN ARROW: Opens a drop-down list box
• ALT+TAB: Switch to another running program (hold down the ALT key and then press the TAB key to view the task-switching window)
• SHIFT: Press and hold down the SHIFT key while you insert a CD-ROM to bypass the automatic-run feature
• ALT+SPACE: Displays the main window's System menu (from the System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the window)
• ALT+- (ALT+hyphen): Displays the Multiple Document Interface (MDI) child window's System menu (from the MDI child window's System menu, you can restore, move, resize, minimize, maximize, or close the child window)
• CTRL+TAB: Switch to the next child window of a Multiple Document Interface (MDI) program
• ALT+underlined letter in menu: Opens the menu
• ALT+F4: Closes the current window
• CTRL+F4: Closes the current Multiple Document Interface (MDI) window
• ALT+F6: Switch between multiple windows in the same program (for example, when the Notepad Find dialog box is displayed, ALT+F6 switches between the Find dialog box and the main Notepad window)

Shell objects and general folder/Windows Explorer shortcuts
For a selected object: • F2: Rename object
• F3: Find all files
• CTRL+X: Cut
• CTRL+C: Copy
• CTRL+V: Paste
• SHIFT+DELETE: Delete selection immediately, without moving the item to the Recycle Bin
• ALT+ENTER: Open the properties for the selected object

To copy a file
Press and hold down the CTRL key while you drag the file to another folder.
To create a shortcut
Press and hold down CTRL+SHIFT while you drag a file to the desktop or a folder.
Back to the top

General folder/shortcut control
• F4: Selects the Go To A Different Folder box and moves down the entries in the box (if the toolbar is active in Windows Explorer)
• F5: Refreshes the current window.
• F6: Moves among panes in Windows Explorer
• CTRL+G: Opens the Go To Folder tool (in Windows 95 Windows Explorer only)
• CTRL+Z: Undo the last command
• CTRL+A: Select all the items in the current window
• BACKSPACE: Switch to the parent folder
• SHIFT+click+Close button: For folders, close the current folder plus all parent folders

Windows Explorer tree control
• Numeric Keypad *: Expands everything under the current selection
• Numeric Keypad +: Expands the current selection
• Numeric Keypad -: Collapses the current selection.
• RIGHT ARROW: Expands the current selection if it is not expanded, otherwise goes to the first child
• LEFT ARROW: Collapses the current selection if it is expanded, otherwise goes to the parent

Properties control
• CTRL+TAB/CTRL+SHIFT+TAB: Move through the property tabs

Accessibility shortcuts
• Press SHIFT five times: Toggles StickyKeys on and off
• Press down and hold the right SHIFT key for eight seconds: Toggles FilterKeys on and off
• Press down and hold the NUM LOCK key for five seconds: Toggles ToggleKeys on and off
• Left ALT+left SHIFT+NUM LOCK: Toggles MouseKeys on and off
• Left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN: Toggles high contrast on and off

Microsoft Natural Keyboard keys
• Windows Logo: Start menu
• Windows Logo+R: Run dialog box
• Windows Logo+M: Minimize all
• SHIFT+Windows Logo+M: Undo minimize all
• Windows Logo+F1: Help
• Windows Logo+E: Windows Explorer
• Windows Logo+F: Find files or folders
• Windows Logo+D: Minimizes all open windows and displays the desktop
• CTRL+Windows Logo+F: Find computer
• CTRL+Windows Logo+TAB: Moves focus from Start, to the Quick Launch toolbar, to the system tray (use RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW to move focus to items on the Quick Launch toolbar and the system tray)
• Windows Logo+TAB: Cycle through taskbar buttons
• Windows Logo+Break: System Properties dialog box
• Application key: Displays a shortcut menu for the selected item

Microsoft Natural Keyboard with IntelliType software installed
• Windows Logo+L: Log off Windows
• Windows Logo+P: Starts Print Manager
• Windows Logo+C: Opens Control Panel
• Windows Logo+V: Starts Clipboard
• Windows Logo+K: Opens Keyboard Properties dialog box
• Windows Logo+I: Opens Mouse Properties dialog box
• Windows Logo+A: Starts Accessibility Options (if installed)
• Windows Logo+SPACEBAR: Displays the list of Microsoft IntelliType shortcut keys
• Windows Logo+S: Toggles CAPS LOCK on and off

Dialog box keyboard commands
• TAB: Move to the next control in the dialog box
• SHIFT+TAB: Move to the previous control in the dialog box
• SPACEBAR: If the current control is a button, this clicks the button. If the current control is a check box, this toggles the check box. If the current control is an option, this selects the option.
• ENTER: Equivalent to clicking the selected button (the button with the outline)
• ESC: Equivalent to clicking the Cancel button
• ALT+underlined letter in dialog box item: Move to the corresponding item

How to use multiple iPods with one computer i

How to use multiple iPods with one computer

Do you want to use more than one iPod with the same computer? You can! In fact there are a couple of different ways you can do it.

Products Affected
iPod, iTunes 7 for Windows, iTunes 7 for Mac, Windows

Method One
If you share your computer with other people, one solution is to maintain separate user accounts on the computer for each person. This is useful especially if each user has different tastes in music; users can maintain separate, personalized iTunes music libraries and can customize their iPods accordingly.

Mac OS X users:
See "Mac OS X: How to Share a Computer with Other Users" to learn how to set up additional user accounts.

Windows users:
Look in your computer's Help documentation to learn how to set up additional user accounts. To locate this information, do the following:

Click the Start Menu, and then click Help or Help and Support.
Enter new user in the Search field.
Press Return.
If you create multiple user accounts on one computer but want the same music to be available in iTunes for all users, see "iTunes: How to share music between different accounts on a single computer."

Method Two
You may use multiple iPods on a computer without the need to create multiple user accounts. To do this, you can set iTunes to update each iPod with only certain playlists. This method allows you to put all your music on, say, your iPod and keep your iPod shuffle updated with only your workout music. Here's how to do this with iTunes 7:

Create a new iTunes playlist for each iPod that contains all the music that you want to send to that particular iPod. Learn more about how to create playlists here.
Learn how to Sync your iPod, read the iPod Tutorial Steps section.
Note: iTunes for Windows does not support having multiple iPods connected simultaneously.

Method Three
Create a separate iTunes library for each iPod Note: It is important that you make a new iTunes Library file. Do not just make a copy of your existing iTunes Library file. If iTunes is open, quit it.

Mac users: Hold down the Option key while you open iTunes.
Windows users: Hold down the Shift key while you open iTunes.
In the dialog that appears, do the following:
Click Create Library.
Name and save the alternate library file. iTunes opens with your brand new library file.
Open iTunes Preferences.
Click the Advanced tab and then click the General tab.
De-select Copy files to iTunes Music folder when adding to library checkbox if it is selected and click OK. This will prevent iTunes from creating duplicate copies of your existing media files in the new library folder.
Add the specific media files you want on your iPod to iTunes either by dragging them into iTunes or using the Add to Library option in the File menu.
Once you have the iTunes LIbrary just how you want it, connect and sync iPod.
Once the sync is complete, quit iTunes.
Mac users: Hold down the Option key while you open iTunes.
Windows users: Hold down the Shift key while you open iTunes.
Click Choose library.
Choose your original iTunes Library and click Choose (Mac Users) or Open (Windows Users). You can now switch back and forth between the different libraries for different iPods.

source :

Check for Drive Compatibility

Of all the many hard drives on the market today, only a few models are iPodcompatible,
while those that work in certain kind of iPods don’t work in others.
You can divide iPod-compatible hard drives into two categories: OEM and
non-OEM drives. OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. An OEM
hard drive, then, is one of the actual hard drives that Apple buys wholesale
and installs in the iPod at the factory. If you’re going to replace your iPod’s
hard drive, you might as well use the same components that Apple does,
maximizing compatibility and minimizing your headache. As you review your options, keep in mind
that you don’t have to put in the exact same hard drive that you take out. Any
OEM hard drive is as good as any other, just as long as it’s compatible with your
generation of iPod.
Non-OEM hard drives don’t come with any factory-made iPod, but they’re
compatible with the iPod nevertheless. What makes non-OEM hard drives

4-gigabyte (GB) Microdrive Hitachi HMS360404D5CF00 First- and second-generation iPod mini
Seagate ST640211CF
6-GB Microdrive Hitachi HMS360606D5CF00 Released for the second-generation iPod mini, but also
Seagate ST660211CF works in the first-generation iPod mini
5-GB hard drive Toshiba MK5002MAL First- and second-generation iPods
10-GB hard drive Toshiba MK1003GAL First-, second-, and third-generation iPods
15-GB hard drive Toshiba MK1504GAL Released for the third-generation iPods, but also works in
the fourth-generation monochrome iPod
20-GB hard drive Toshiba MK2003GAH Second-generation iPod
Toshiba MK2004GAL Third- and fourth-generation monochrome iPods, iPod
photo (fourth-generation color iPod)
Toshiba MK2006GAL Fourth-generation monochrome iPod, iPod photo
(fourth-generation color iPod)
30-GB hard drive Toshiba MK3006GAL Released for the iPod photo (fourth-generation
color iPod), but also works in the fourth-generation
monochrome iPod
Toshiba MK3008GAL iPod video (fifth-generation iPod)
40-GB hard drive Toshiba MK4004GAH Third- and fourth-generation monochrome iPods, iPod
photo (fourth-generation color iPod)
Toshiba MK4006GAH Fourth-generation monochrome iPod, iPod photo
(fourth-generation color iPod)
60-GB hard drive Toshiba MK6006GAH Released for the iPod photo, but also works with the
fourth-generation monochrome iPod
Toshiba MK6008GAH iPod video (fifth-generation iPod)
80-GB hard drive Toshiba MK8010GAH iPod video (fifth-generation iPod)

desirable is their greater storage capacity. For instance, you can get 8 GB of
storage in an iPod mini by using a non-OEM hard drive, while you can bump
up your fifth-generation iPod to 100 GB. (The highest from-the-factory ratings
are 6 GB and 80 GB, respectively.) Some non-OEM hard drives are technically
iPod-compatible, but they require hacks before they’re usable.

Scan Your Hard Drive

Scanning your hard drive is, by far, the best way to tell if your iPod is
experiencing hard drive issues. The scan should always be step one when
you suspect that the hard drive is bad. Don’t go out and buy a replacement
drive until you’ve completed the scan. It does you no good to pop in a new
hard drive when the old one wasn’t the problem; imagine your surprise when
the iPod has the same stupid issue after you go to the trouble of replacing the
hard drive.
To scan your hard drive:
1. Put the iPod into diagnostic mode. See Chapter 2 for complete instructions.
2. Use the Forward and Reverse buttons to navigate the menu choices until you get
to HDD Scan.
3. Press the Select button to start the scan.
Make yourself comfortable, because this could take a while. A hard drive
scan sets you back 15 minutes to an hour for most models. Occasionally, it
takes longer.
When the scan finishes, your iPod returns HDD Scan Pass or HDD Scan Fail.
Failure indicates a bad hard drive, so go ahead and replace her. If the hard drive
passes, you need to look elsewhere for the source of your problems. Your iPod’s
logic board is the primary suspect now;

Check the Sign ofof a bad Hardrive of your iPod

Hard drives go bad from wear and tear. The disks, or platters, inside a hard
drive physically spin at an insane rate of speed, which is 3,600 times per minute
on the slow side. Before you’ve used your iPod for five hours, the platters might
have spun a million times. After about a year of regular use, they’ve spun a
billion times. And that’s just with the slowpokes. Faster iPod hard drives spin
4,200 times per minute, while computer hard drives can spin as fast as 7,200,
10,000, or 15,000 times per minute.
How do you know if your iPod’s hard drive is shot? If your iPod shows the sad
iPod face, there’s a good chance that a bad hard drive is the cause. You should
scan the hard drive to make sure.
Occasionally, when you’re loading music to your iPod, it slows down or stops
loading altogether. This might also indicate that your hard drive is bad, but scan
the hard drive before you arrive at that conclusion.
A less subjective way to tell if your hard drive is shot is to put your iPod up
to your ear and listen to it. A bad hard drive often makes a lot of noise, from
a rapid clicking to a kind of grinding. Sometimes this noise is really loud. If
you’ve ever heard it, you know exactly what it sounds like. Marc will never
forget that sound for as long as he lives, because it was the sound of his data
going bye-bye. You know, the data that he didn’t adequately back up.