My favorite electronic gadget hacks.

By Paul Michael on 7 August 2007 (Updated 18 August 2007) 7 comments

As many of you may have guessed, I'm a Metacafe junkie. I love that place. It's a great resource for those "how to" videos that make life easier, cheaper and quite often, more fun. I thought I'd share some of my favorite gadget hacks from the past few months. I've used them all, they all work 100% and they're quick and easy. No real skills required.

1: Make your own professional Noise Cancelling headphones for $20.
I work in a cubicle farm. Not that I mind, most of the time it's got a good vibe. But when I want to get down to some serious writing, I need to do it with no distractions. My boss got me a pair of $200 noise cancelling headphones. They're ok, but not great. So I searched the web for a recipe to find a DIY pair, and Metacafe had the solution - all for less than $20. Best of all, they work much better than the expensive pair.

2: The homemade USB cell phone charger.
Once again, my office was the reason for my internet search. I was tired of bringing the charger to and from work, often I would leave it at my desk and be left without it at the weekend. I had a spare charger but it was on the fritz. Then I wondered if I could use it to make a USB charger. I was right and it was Kipkay (the man who made all of these videos) who came to the rescue. This is a very cool way to charge a phone and I get comments on it all the time

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

3: Boost your car remote key by 50 feet.
They say necessity is the mother of invention. Well, my mind is sometimes a little forgetful and I work far enough from the car park to see my car but not lock/unlock it without walking out of the building. And this became a pain if I hadn't remembered to lock the car. Metacafe gave me a simple way to boost my car remote range by around 50 feet. Now I can lock it from my desk. Sweet.

4: An underwater video camera housing for $10.
Just like Kipkay, the producer of this gem, I needed to do some underwater filming but didn't want to fork out the big cash for the equipment. My setup cost a little more than $10, coming in closer to $15, but it's still a steal for great underwater shots. A sweet idea.

5:Get your PC to boot up much faster.
I really hate sitting in the chair watching my home computer take it's time to load everything before I can access my mail. I wanted a fast, easy way to make my PC start up at super speed, just like the day we first bought it. Here, Kipkay takes you through a simple step that stops a bunch of programs from slowing you down. An effective tip.

There you have it. On a personal note I'd like to thank Kipkay, wherever you are, for your cool videos. They have really helped me out, they're concise and well made, and they're the reason you're one of the top earners on Metacafe. Nice one.

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Andrea Karim's picture

Oh, man. Paul, you just made my day with that last video. You'd think that I'd know how to shut these things down, but I was using a totally differnet method that didn't give me access to all of the different processes that run at start-up. Thanks!

Paul Michael's picture

then the whole post was worthwhile :-)

Lynn Truong's picture

just yesterday i had installed a program that showed up on the startup task bar and i was searching forever before i finally found the option to get rid of it. usually it's something like "run program at startup" but this one was a totally non-relevant option like "allow queue." anyway, that was a long way of saying: Dammit if only I'd seen this earlier.

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Douglas Leslie

Thank you, Paul! And, thank you Kipkay!

At the moment, I am only using that bottom one. I have taken away some programs, which I usually close manually each time on start-up, and i'm about to restart. I hope it all go's well!

Thanks again.
Douglas.

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AngryMonkeySalad

Genius. Start up hack for the win.

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A stumbler

paul,
good work, keep it up
thank stumbler jamesb333
bob

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Guest

Is there anyway to do the computer thing on macs?