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Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work. Read more.

We’ve finally reached the 1 year mark here at How-To Geek, and so it’s time to take a long, slightly boring look back at what we’ve accomplished. I’m sure only about three of you will read all the way to the bottom, so I just used lorem ipsum to fill in the last couple of paragraphs.

In the Beginning was the Geek

I registered the domain name in September 2006 but we didn’t officially launch until October. I started off by writing some articles about Linux because I figured that nothing is more confusing to non-geeks than linux, until…

…a few months later I got my hands on a copy of Windows Vista and realized: “This is confusing, I bet people are going to need help with this”.

And so began the year of the Geek.

Our Accomplishments

We’ve managed to turn this site into one of the most popular how-to sites within a year, with 1.1 million pageviews / month and

25,000 subscribers. There have been 658 total posts and around 4,000 comments.

Our goal here is to write articles that are easy enough for non-geeks to understand, but also interesting enough to keep the geeks interested. It’s an extremely tough thing to do, but I think I’ve finally gotten to the point where I only bore half of you half of the time.

How Did We Manage 25,000 Subscribers?

I’ve received emails recently from dozens of site owners asking me what I’m doing right, and here’s my conclusion:

I’m sure there are a number of factors that have contributed to the subscriber count, but I’ve come to believe it’s nothing more than the friendly, smiling Geek face. Just look at it and tell me you can resist subscribing.

I’ve tried to come up with a better explanation: maybe people just like the articles, maybe it’s the clean design, or maybe they just subscribed by accident… but I keep coming back to the smile.

Traffic Jams

It always comes down to the numbers… exactly how well have we done?

Since January 1st of this year we’ve had 3,011,790 visits and 5,711,710 pageviews, although the bulk of the pageviews were just in the last half of that.

For comparison of how well we’re doing now, this is the total picture for the last 30 days:

Couple of details:

  • Top Page – The most viewed page in the entire site was the Vista Category page, with 464,285 pageviews for the year… that’s just an immense amount of visits to a single page.
  • Traffic Sources – Google sent 1,917,210 visitors to the site, there were 260,678 direct visits, and the rest were split up between a lot of other sources.
  • Browsers – 48% of our visitors are using Firefox, with 46% using Internet Explorer. The numbers have actually trended in IE’s direction now, so more recently it’s 51% Internet explorer.

Forum Stats

I only brought up the forum just two months ago, and while it’s not doing as well as I’d like, it’s an important part of the site that will grow over time.

  • New Topics – 551
  • Total Posts – 2259
  • Pageviews

We Must Give Thanks

One of the greatest accomplishments of starting this website is the great friends that I’ve made along the way. The site simply wouldn’t be where it is today without these people.

  • MysticGeek started helping write guest articles a few months back, and I couldn’t possibly thank him more. Every single morning I get an instant message from him about how excited he is that the subscriber counts jumped again. It’s hard to be friends with him and not feel positive!
  • Daniel is a good friend of mine who’s been unbelievably helpful with his honest critiquing of the projects that I work on. I pretty much run everything by him before I release it, because I know I’ll get his (often harsh) honest opinion. He’s also an extremely good programmer, so I exploit his skills by asking him programming questions all the time.
  • Scott started here by posting a bounty for Active Desktop for Vista, but he’s such a great guy that I ended up making him the official moderator for our Forums, and I’m happy that I can now call him a friend. He’s also the one person that’s bought me something off my wishlist…
  • Gina Trapani & Adam Pash @ Lifehacker have featured our articles every other week or so for the last few months. While I don’t personally know either of them, I’m a huge fan of Lifehacker and it’s an honor to be featured there.

Editor Favorites

There are a ton of articles that we’re really proud of, but I’ve selected some of my favorites, some of which were popular and others that weren’t.

Our Geek Pirate Bounties

The Bounty Program is something that I’m quite proud of… and while it’s on hold at the moment, you can expect huge things from this in the next couple of months as we reorganize.

Software & Scripts I Threw Together

Being a programmer in my regular day job, I tend to simply write the software that I want, so I started releasing a couple of items for everybody else to enjoy. I plan to release quite a bit more software in the future… hopefully something more useful next time.

The Future?

So what’s in store for the How-To Geek in the coming year?

  • We’re going to change things up, and let you, our great readers, contribute your tips, tricks, and how-tos. More on this in a couple of weeks.
  • I will drink approximately 182 cases of Mountain Dew.
  • I will spend 1000 more hours working on this site.
  • 50,000 subscribers!
  • The return of the Geek Comic. Oh yes.

It’s been a blast… but we must prepare for tomorrow night, pinky.

Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers. Read more.

Plex is one of the best services for hosting your own media collection and streaming it to all your other devices, and now Plex’s developers are working on a way to stream your music to a Raspberry Pi.

Plex allows you to store a collection of music files for streaming on any other device with the Plex app, but the Plex team also has a dedicated music player called Plexamp with a cleaner interface. You can already install Plexamp on mobile devices, as well as macOS, Windows, and Linux, but there has been work in the past on a “headless” version of Plexamp as a streaming target. The idea is that you could install the headless version on a low-end PC, which could output audio based on controls from another device. It’s like the now-discontinued Chromecast Audio or Amazon Echo Input, except just for Plex (and uses existing hardware).

Elan Feingold, CTO and Co-Founder at Plex, shared an early build of a Plexamp server for the Raspberry Pi on Tuesday. Once it’s downloaded to a Pi and opened, you can play music through a web interface on any web browser on the same local network, or choose the Pi as an output in the Plexamp app on other devices. You can also install the Plexamp server as a system service that starts at boot, for a more Chromecast Audio-like experience. There’s even support for the PiFi Digi+ board, which attaches to the top of a Raspberry Pi and adds an enhanced audio chip and optical output.

This isn’t the first time Plex has experimented with a remotely-accessible version of Plexamp for the Raspberry Pi. There were a few beta builds back in 2019, but that version required an authentication token extracted from earlier versions of Plexamp and an old (now insecure) version of Node. This new build is still in the early stages, but the setup is much less complicated than earlier attempts.

It’s not clear at this point when (or if) the Raspberry Pi headless builds will be supported on the same level as Plexamp on other platforms. With the Chromecast Audio and Echo Input now discontinued, there are far fewer options for streaming your own music collection to speakers in your home. Google doesn’t currently sell any Chromecasts or smart displays/speakers with a dedicated audio output, and even though there are some Alexa smart speakers with that feature, Plex’s integration with Alexa isn’t great.

Head on down to the source link below for the installation instructions. The only hard requirement is a Raspberry Pi capable of running 64-bit software. The forum post didn’t mention if you also need 64-bit Raspberry Pi OS or not.

If this doesn’t work, you probably need glasses

Unless you are a professional photographer, there are many times when a great picture is ruined because it’s blurry! Whether it’s because something was moving really fast or because of camera shaking, a blurry picture is pretty useless.

However, there are many times when you simply cannot recreate the moment caught in that blurry picture and making it clearer or sharpening the image is worth a shot. Luckily, there are a ton of tools that can be used to fix this problem.

Picture enhancement software programs like Adobe Photoshop have excellent tools to help make blurry pictures sharp, but aren’t free. In this post, I am going to talk about a couple of methods in Photoshop that can help you unblur a photograph. If the picture is really important to you, then Photoshop will give you the best results.

In addition, I’ll also mention a couple of other programs you can use in case you don’t have Adobe Photoshop installed on your machine. Skip down to past method 1 and 2 if you are interested in the other programs. The other programs I mention are also not free because I found that all free photo editing programs basically have a single sharpen option, which almost always perform terribly.

The programs below are specifically designed with custom algorithms to create sharper images with the least amount of degradation.

Photoshop Method 1 – Using an Extra Layer

This method is fairly simple and works very well for sharpening images. For example, take a look at this photo with one side blurred and the other sharpened.

Take a look at the right side (sharpened) and the left side. Can you see the difference in the trees and in the person walking down? Here’s how to do it.

First, open the image in Photoshop and press CTRL + J to duplicate the background layer. Make sure to click on Layer 1 in the Layers panel.

Next, go to Filter, then Other, and choose High Pass. The higher the value you set it to, the sharper your image will become. However, if you set it really high, the image will become grainy. I set mine to 10 pixels.

Don’t worry if your image looks like dark charcoal has been thrown all over it, we haven’t finished yet! With the new layer still selected, set the blending mode to Hard Light and adjust the Opacity to whatever you think makes the image look best. It’s set to 100% by default, but you may get better results at 50% or something else, so just play around with that value.

That’s it! Your image should now be much sharper looking! Unfortunately, if your image is very blurry or the blurriness is caused by really fast motion, you probably won’t see any major difference.

The best results are when the image is simply out of focus because the camera focused on the wrong object or something similar. Here is the before and after image that I tested using this method:

Photoshop Method 2 – Shake Reduction Filter

The above method was the simple way to sharpen a photo in Photoshop. The advanced method is to use the new Shake Reduction Filter. To start using this filter, go ahead and click on Filter, then Sharpen and then Shake Reduction.

A window will pop up with the image on the left with a few options on the right. Photoshop will automatically try to figure out which part of the image to look at in order to correct the blur. You’ll see this section on the image as dotted lines.

This is called a blur trace and there is only one by default. The blur trace should ideally be part of the image that has the most edge contrast. So if one part of the image is bright and another part is dark, the blur trace should include the edge. In the above example, the default box is around her face, which is OK, but not ideal.

You can adjust the box by dragging the corners and changing the size. You can also click on the circle in the middle to move it around. If your image is really large, you can also create multiple blur traces in the case the blurring effect is different in different parts of the image. To create another blur trace, just click and drag to start drawing another box. I created two blur traces to see if the results would be better.

In my tests, I found that sometimes the default options resulted in better results than when I changed the blur traces. In other instances, I felt adjusting the blur traces made the images better, so you’ll have to really play around with all the options to get the best results.

Here is the final image from method 2, which I think looks a little better than the results from method 1. It’s obviously far from ideal, but blurry images can rarely be turned into crystal clear shots again.

Blurity

Blurity is a Windows or Mac program that is designed only for de-blurring photos. In my tests, it did an excellent job and I can see why they charge $79! It’s definitely only worth spending that much if the image really means a lot to you or if you have a lot of blurry photos you want to fix.

I also ran the program through VirusTotal and it came out clean, so you don’t have to worry about any spyware, etc. The only annoying thing about this program is that after you install it, it forces you to go through this tutorial that you MUST complete before you can actually start using the program.

Anyway, once you get past that, just click the Open Image button and then click anywhere on the image where there is a good instance of blur on a subject.

Once you select the region, just click on the Process button and it will generate a preview of the fixed blurred image. Here is the result on my test image with the watermark still on the image.

Discounting the watermark, the program actually does a very good job of correcting the blur in the image and it better since it costs a quite a bit. For good results and a slightly cheaper price, check out the program below.

SmartDeblur

Another good program designed only for blurry photos is SmartDeblur. This one will set you back $49, but again, it does a very good job. Once you download and install the program, you have to click the Open button at the bottom to choose your image.

You can then adjust a couple of settings like Blur Size or the type of blue (Out of Focus blur or Gaussian blur), but I recommend just going with the defaults first to see what the program does. You can also select a region if you like or you can just click Analyze Blur and it will analyze the entire image.

You might have to increase the smoothness option afterwards because I found the default settings make the image pretty grainy. Here is my result for the same test image using 100×100 for blur size and analyzing the whole image:

So there you have a couple of methods to correct blurry images using software. As I mentioned, all the free tools I tried performed terribly and that’s why I didn’t even bother mentioning them. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment. Enjoy!

Founder of Online Tech Tips and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time. He has over 15 years of industry experience in IT and holds several technical certifications. Read Aseem’s Full Bio

ScanWritr is an online editor and converter allowing you to clean up scanned image, which is stored on your computer, Dropbox or Google Drive. Use your PC, Mac or other device to open a scanned image and clean it up using image enhancement features, eraser tool, and cropping. Furthermore, you don’t have to install any app. Simply visit ScanWritr web.

Clean up scanned image online with ScanWritr

After uploading your scanned image you can improve its quality and retouch it. Image is improved by using our comprehensive image enhancement features. The contrast and greyscale tools will make the digital copy of your image as high quality as possible. Use the Contrast tool to let ScanWritr automatically improve the contrast of your image.

Clean up unwanted elements from your scanned image

To further clean up your scanned image, use the ScanWritr’s eraser tool. Eraser tool allows you to remove unwanted text, shadows or background. Zoom in or zoom out the image and select thickness of the eraser to make deletion as accurate as possible. You can also revert your changes in case of any mistakes done while erasing.

Crop your scanned image to a perfect format

ScanWritr allows you to cover the exactly right area of the scanned image. If you are unhappy with borders of taken picture or scan, use the Crop tool to select the right borders. ScanWritr will try to find page’s borders automatically. But you can also crop image manually by moving circles to desired positions.

All you need to perfectly prepare your scanned images

ScanWritr recognizes all most common document formats. Open MS Office documents, Apple iWork documents, Adobe Acrobat PDF, OpenOffice and many others with just a click. So, you don’t have to convert documents manually. ScanWritr also supports uploading JPEG, GIF, PNG, HEIC and BMP picture formats, therefore you can easily take a photo of your physical document using your smartphone. You can also scan a document using your home or office scanner. ScanWritr will automatically convert and optimize it for editing.

If you need to open a scanned image, clean it up and fill it, there is no quicker and better option as using ScanWritr. So, visit the ScanWritr page, upload the image, clean it up, insert text, ticks, marks, signatures, and save it to PDF. Image is ready for sending, sharing or faxing!

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  • how to clean foam polishing pads

    hello there
    i just ordered a porter cable and ccs pads kit
    and im just wondering if ran out of pads cleaner
    what can i use as an alternative (especially in my country we dont have that pads cleaner !)

    and one more question
    do i have to clean the pad using the polisher (turned on) against a terry cloth after every section of the car ??

    Re: how to clean foam polishing pads

    For years I just used warm water and dishwashing soap. A couple of squirts of soap in a couple of inches of water than soak the pads and keep squeezing the soapy water through them.
    You may have to change the soapy water several times.
    Then rinse all the soap out my repeatedly squeezing the pads while in fresh water until no more soap come out.
    Squeeze as much water out as you can them press the pads while in a towel. The set them out to dry.

    Because this is so much trouble that is why I bought a pad washer.

    Re: how to clean foam polishing pads

    I do not even buy foam pad cleaners because they are not needed. Also, you can save some major cash.
    Go to your local superstore or wherever and pick up so all purpose cleaner( preferably citrus based) and after your done polishing follow these steps.
    1. Rinse in sink
    2. Spray liberal amount of cleaner
    3.Allow to soak for a minute or so
    4. Spray more and agitate with your thumbs
    5. Rinse clean
    6. Wrap a drying towel around the pad and “squish” it to dry it
    7. Go buy something else off autogeek instead of more cleaner

    Secondly, if you can see some build up of product or anything else on the pad you should. Its not going to hurt anything if you do and it only takes like 10 seconds.

    Last edited by SheldonH; 04-23-2012 at 02:47 PM . Reason: Forgot something

    Re: how to clean foam polishing pads

    I use CG pad wash detergent mixed with 16oz lukewarm water. I have an old electric toothbrush that I agitate the with, rinse thoroughly, then dry. It’s a pain, yes, but it’s also cheaper than a $100+ pad washer.

    A geeky trick that will speed up your read/write

    When my father told me that he was running his computer in Raid 0, I was confused as to why he would want such a configuration. To my knowledge, running a Raid configuration was outdated and complicated to set up. Then I did my research.

    There are significant advantages to running your computer in a raid configuration. The most common raid configurations for home use are Raid 0 and Raid 1.

    Raid 0 gives you better performance, as it focuses on distributing data evenly on multiple drives (instead of using one drive as a backup), significantly increasing read/write speeds of your machine.

    Raid 1 gives you better data insurance, as it creates an exact copy of data from one hard drive to another, constructing full redundancy through backups. Setting up your hard drives to run in a Raid configuration is a personal decision based on your setup and you should decide which iteration is best for you. I personally prefer Raid 0, because I prioritize computer speed and performance over data security and redundancy.

    Before starting

    If you’re planning on implementing a raid setup on your current machine, make sure you create a backup of all of your data, as it will be erased in the process. You will also need Two separate flash drives with enough space for their respective files.

    On the first flash drive you will need to download the Raid drivers. You can find those here after you select your machine and model. On the second flash drive you will need to download the windows ISO. You can find that download link here.

    It’s possible to install both files to a single flash drive but there have been reports of system instability during startup, so I wouldn’t risk it. Let’s begin.

    Setting up Raid 0 or Raid 1

    I briefly mentioned the benefits of each iteration of Raid, but with all advantages in life, come their respective disadvantages. Since Raid 0 distributes your data to multiple drives, if a single drive fails, all of the data on the other drives will be gone as well. The disadvantage of Raid 1 is that it’s significantly slower than Raid 0.

    That being said, Raid 0 and Raid 1 are both super easy to set up and require basically the exact same setup process. The first thing you’re going to want to do is figure out if your motherboard has a built in Raid controller (most modern motherboards do).

    From here you should:

    • Connect the drives you want to use
    • Boot up the machine into the BIOs

    Once you’re there your screen will look like the one in the picture below. From here you should navigate to your BIOS equivalent of the chipset. This screen will look something like this:

    After navigating to your chipset your screen will look like this:

    From the chipset screen, you should navigate to SATA Mode and select RAID instead of AHCI.

    You have now successfully initialized Raid on your motherboard; simply hit Save & Exit. The computer will restart at this point and will attempt to launch a copy of windows that isn’t there anymore.

    Simply press and hold Ctrl + R to launch the Raid controller user interface (Ctrl +R for AMD, this combo may vary for your setup). At this point your screen should look something like this:

    After reaching this point you should select Create Array then select the drives you want to use for the raid configuration. The drives available will be listed on the right-hand side under Disks. Use the A or Ins key to select the drives and hit enter when you’re finished configuring the disks.

    After you’ve done this your screen will look like this:

    From here you can decide which configuration you want to select. I personally selected Raid 0 but the choice is yours. After this you will choose the size of the array you want to build.

    I just kept the default setting of using All Available Space for my raid drives. After this you will select the caching mode, I have kept the default caching system Read/Write. This will look something like this:

    After configuring it to your liking simply press C to create your array. Press Esc and Y to restart your system with your new Raid configuration.

    After rebooting, navigate back to your BIOS and select your new raid configuration for the boot disk. Before hitting Save & Exit Your screen should look something like this:

    After doing this your machine will restart again. Allow it to go through the normal startup process. It will prompt you of a driver error at which point your screen should look like this:

    If you haven’t done so already, plug in the flash drive that contains your Raid Drivers and the flash drive that contains your Windows ISO, navigate to the drive and folder where the driver is stored and hit OK. Your screen should look like this:

    Select the drivers you need for the installation then click on Next. After doing this your screen will prompt you to select the drive you want to install your new Windows 10 Operating system on then click on Next again. Your screen will look like this:

    Your operating system will now begin installing. From here, you should be completely set up in whichever raid configuration (0 or 1) you chose. If you have any questions or if you need further elaboration on a specific part of the process let me know and I will get back to you immediately!

    Enjoy the world of redundant arrays of independent disks (RAID).

    Writer for Switching to Mac, Online Tech Tips, and Help Desk Geek blogs. With a background in IT and Physics, Christian has experience with computers, music, photography, and augmented reality technologies. Read Christian’s Full Bio

    moriartydave

    Commendable

    USAFRet

    Illustrious

    Maybe.
    Either it works, or it doesn’t. Try it, see what happens.

    Math Geek

    Estimable

    you mean by copying the installation folder?

    depending on the program that may or may not work very well. you can’t get an installer online anywhere?

    what program is it, maybe we can help locate some set-up files. even old stuff is still possible to find, people archive all kinds of odd stuff

    moriartydave

    Commendable

    USAFRet

    Illustrious

    Maybe.
    Either it works, or it doesn’t. Try it, see what happens.

    Math Geek

    Estimable

    i see multiple versions of this. what version are you looking for? i notice a free, pro and couple other types. plus various version numbers. amazon has a 4.0 version of form tool express for sale http /www.amazon.com/IMSI-FORM-TOOL-EXPRESS-4-0/dp/B0002BQO0M

    i’m pretty good at this (i like some older stuff as well and seek it out at times) and may be able to track down an installer if you can give me the version you need slow rainy day for me so i got time to do some looking around

    Distinguished

    moriartydave

    Commendable

    i see multiple versions of this. what version are you looking for? i notice a free, pro and couple other types. plus various version numbers. amazon has a 4.0 version of form tool express for sale http /www.amazon.com/IMSI-FORM-TOOL-EXPRESS-4-0/dp/B0002BQO0M

    i’m pretty good at this (i like some older stuff as well and seek it out at times) and may be able to track down an installer if you can give me the version you need slow rainy day for me so i got time to do some looking around

    Cleanup.pictures is a free online service that you may use to remove objects from photos and images that you upload to the service. While there are plenty of tools out there that support object removals in photos and images, most require you to download a program or application, and many are not easy to use.

    Objects and people may be on photos when you take them, especially if you photograph something that is popular. The photo may not be ruined, but it may look prettier if people and objects do get removed.

    Cleanup.pictures makes it as easy as possible. Drag & drop the image to the site, hold down the left mouse button over the part of the image that you want to be cleared of objects, and let go of the button once you are done. The online app does the rest.

    The only options that you have are to change the brush size and to undo changes. The brush size defines the area that is marked for object removal. Unfortunately, there is no option to zoom in to improve the accuracy of the selection. Processed images can be downloaded to the local system.

    An option to view the original directly on the screen is provided as well; this works by selecting the original button on the website, which activates a slider that displays the original image on the processed image.

    The results are good, especially if you consider that it takes a few seconds to remove any object from the uploaded image. One downside to using Cleanup.pictures is that the processed images may have a smaller resolution than the original that has been uploaded. All downloaded images had a resolution of just 1024 pixels in tests.

    Cleanup.pictures uses LaMa: Resolution-robust Large Mask Inpainting with Fourier Convolutions, a Samsung Research open source project that is available on GitHub.

    Cleanup.pictures itself is also open source, available on GitHub. It has been created by the ClipDrop engineering team.

    Closing Words

    Cleanup.pictures is a handy online service to remove objects from images that you upload to it. It is simple to use and results are usually very good. The only downside to using the service is that the output images may have a reduced resolution. Then again, the online application is free to use.

    Now You: do you use apps or software to remove objects from images?

    Regeneration

    NGOHQ.COM
    • Apr 18, 2020
  • #1
  • Almost every day there are new threads regarding bricked graphics cards due to wrong BIOS flashing, and since eidairaman1 is no longer around to help, here is a guide how to deal with a bad VGA BIOS flash.

    Find the correct BIOS
    First off, you’ll have to find a copy of the original BIOS. In case you don’t have a backup, remove the graphics card, take off the cooler, check which memory chip is used (Samsung/Hynix/Micron/Elpida) including exact model (e.g. H5GQ8H24MJR). Inspect the card from both sides, look for model number (on the stickers and card itself), serial numbers, board revision, clock frequency (e.g. 1386M) and write it all down. In the same opportunity, remove dust from the fans with a toothbrush, clean the card with alcohol & cotton swabs and then reapply thermal paste.

    Navigate to the TPU VGA Database and begin looking for your card in both official and unverified uploads. Use the information you just gathered: Google the model number, SKU, look for its official GPU and memory clocks. Most BIOSes on the TPU database list board model, GPU and memory clocks, supported memory brand and model, number of DP/DVI/HDMI outputs, and sometimes the uploader provides additional information at the bottom of the page. Compare the data you gathered against the database and download all potential matches.

    You can also contact the vendor and ask for a copy of the BIOS. In fact, some vendors publish BIOS updates on the product’s website.

    Is there a BIOS switch?
    Many of the modern graphic cards come with dual BIOS chips (silent and performance) and a small switch designed to toggle between them. Usually, it’s above the monitor outputs or near the PCIe power connector. If your card is equipped with one, all you have to do is just press the switch. If you wish to re-flash the chip with the wrong ROM, just press the switch again before flashing (while the system is still on).

    Cannot POST/BOOT
    There are several methods to deal with a graphics card that is unable to POST and giving a black screen when system is powered on.

    1. If your card has dual BIOS, just press the BIOS switch.
    2. Use the integrated graphics (onboard graphics) if available. Just plug to the monitor to the motherboard’s I/O.
    ***If you get an add-in graphics card error message, just enable “Intel Multi-Display / iGPU Multi-Monitor” from the motherboard’s BIOS***
    3. Get an old PCI graphics card.
    4. Another PCIe graphics card and motherboard with TWO x16 PCI express slots.
    5. SPI flash programmer like FlashcatUSB or CH341A.

    Still cannot POST.
    Even after you used one of the methods above and still cannot POST, your bricked card is probably preventing the system from working. In this case, you’ll have to locate the video BIOS chip and short 1-5 pins with a paperclip, or small wire, or by soldering until flashing is complete. The BIOS chip is usually 8-pin and located on the rear, bottom side, tagged as U1-12 on the PCB, but be sure to verify first by searching online the text written on the chip (e.g. A25L0100). Search engine results should be related to “flash memory chip”, not a regulator or anything else.

    What about laptops?
    Dealing with a bad flash on a laptop is more complicated and can be very tricky. Mostly because some laptops have the video BIOS integrated with the motherboard BIOS on a single chip. Before you crack it open, try using external monitor and external graphics card. These might work for you, but if you’re less fortunate, the video BIOS is usually located near the GPU, but can be anywhere, even integrated with the motherboard. If you can spot it, try the same methods listed above. If it’s integrated, use SPI flash programmer and be sure to take a dump before making any changes.

    Flashing AMD cards
    Download AMD’s flashing utility and extract it to the some folder. Copy the BIOS file(s) to the same folder.

    First try the GUI version (AMDVBFlashWin), if it doesn’t work, use the command prompt version (search for cmd.exe and run it with administrator privileges).

    Navigate to the folder where you put the files:

    ***If the folder is C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder use “CD C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder\”***

    Type: “amdvbflash -i” to see which adapter id is the bricked card.

    amdvbflash -unlockrom 0
    amdvbflash -f -p 0 filename.rom

    ***Change 0 to the correct adapter id, and filename.rom to the video BIOS file***

    ERROR: 0FL01
    Unfortunately, this is a general error with no specific information. This can be anything! From bad drivers, wrong ROM, not enough privileges, broken transistor, and even damaged BIOS chip. In this case, you can try flashing from DOS mode, UEFI Shell, Linux, or with SPI flash programmer.

    Adapter not found
    Try to short the video BIOS 1-5 pins as seen above, or use SPI flash programmer.

    Flashing Nvidia cards
    Download modded NVIDIA NVFlash and extract it to the some folder. Copy the BIOS file(s) to the same folder.

    Run cmd.exe with administrator privileges and navigate to the folder where you put the files:

    ***If the folder is C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder use “CD C:\Users\David\Downloads\New folder\”***

    Type: “nvflash64_patched_5.590.0 -a” to see which adapter id is the bricked card.

    nvflash64_patched_5.590.0 –index=0 –protectoff
    nvflash64_patched_5.590.0 –index=0 -6 filename.rom

    ***Change 0 to the correct adapter id, and filename.rom to the video BIOS file***

    Errors with NvFlash
    Older versions of NvFlash work better with older hardware. For instance: v5.287 and Maxwell GPUs, or v5.105 and Fermi GPUs.
    Sometimes NvFlash just like to “act up” for no good reason, if this happens, just reboot and try flashing again.

    ERROR: No NVIDIA display adapters found
    Try to short the video BIOS 1-5 pins as seen above, or use SPI flash programmer.

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  • How do I clean a White Aluminum Cargo Trailer?

    I own a white Haulmark Passport Cargo trailer similar to (but larger than) this:

    It is 2 – 3 years old and has never been washed or waxed. It has grayish streaks from the roof down, and the finish is starting to look a little chalky. Is there something I should use to wash it with before using an all-in-one / cleaner wax to finish it?

    Re: How do I clean a White Aluminum Cargo Trailer?

    I would use a good degreaser over the entire trailer. Dry it. Tap off metal. Then go at it with 3D HD Speed and an orange cutting pad

    Re: How do I clean a White Aluminum Cargo Trailer?

    Try using a NanoSkin clay pad before you polish.

    Re: How do I clean a White Aluminum Cargo Trailer?

    Speed should do well on an orange pad. McKees also has an RV line that I used on a white trailer that I cleaned. I couldnt get the black streaks off with anything other than the polish step. I used the McKees one step fyi

    Re: How do I clean a White Aluminum Cargo Trailer?

    I detail trailers and also own one like this. McKee’s products. They have everything you need.

    Re: How do I clean a White Aluminum Cargo Trailer?

    Thank you, everyone. Can you recommend a good degreaser? I am a complete neophyte!

    Re: How do I clean a White Aluminum Cargo Trailer?

    Thank you, everyone. Can you recommend a good degreaser? I am a complete neophyte!

    I bought a pair of conceptually fascinating pair of headphones recently – the top of the line of Pioneer’s piezoelectric film headphones. These are fairly unique, if anybody else attempted to use this technology in headphones I haven’t heard about it.

    This thread is not about the amazing technology (No magnets! No electrostatic fields!) – this thread is about taking a 30+ year old pair of headphones that look like hell and turning them into something presentable.

    The thing is, I got them cheaply. I paid about $30 shipped for three pairs of old headphones, including this one pair i really wanted. Other members of head-fi have paid as much as $100 for a pristine pair of SE-700’s.

    This first post covers my rebuild of the headband. I peeled the wretched vinyl off of the frame and cleaned off some of the dried out contact cement that Pioneer apparently assembled the entire headphone system with.

    I prefer double-sided tape for this sort of thing, and i have a few hundred yards of two-inch-wide double-sided adhesive nonwoven fabric tape, with impressive bonding characteristics. This is Tesa(r) tape, manufactured by Bergdorf in Germany. It’s the european version of the stuff that half of japan is held together with.

    The entire rebuild procedure took about an hour and a half, with me stopping frequently to take pictures. I had previously disassembled the headphones to bare components and cleaned everything – including the piezo film.

    Here’s what I started with tonight:

    That headband fabric won’t lay flat, so, i laminated it with painter’s tape.

    Much better. Here it is overlaying the meat side of the deerskin suede I’m replacing it with.

    I’ve stuck it to the suede with some lousy 3M double-sided cellotape so it doesn’t move around while i cut with the x-acto blade.

    And here’s the cut out piece:

    Looks great, no? This is really nice suede. It’s very thin and supple. I’ve considered making earpads out of it.

    Here’s one of the internal pieces of the headband with mounting tape applied but not yet trimmed:

    Here’s the same piece, trimmed and peeled, along with one of the internal pieces of vinyl from the headband, with the backing still on it’s mounting tape. You’ll notice one edge is thinner than the other – that’s where the cable runs.

    I’ve cut the backing around the middle of the plastic piece because this will be the last part i stretch the suede over.

    I forgot to take a picture of these stuck together. So here’s a picture of the suede piece with mounting tape applied to the tabs on the ends.

    The tabs get stretched over the ends of the top inner piece of the headband. I didn’t separate the vinyl from the plastic here because the bond was good and clean.

    The suede is NOT adhered to the top of the headband on the outside. This is very important for the fit and feel.

    Here the suede is stretched over one side of the inner headband piece. See the channel for the cable? Holding the cable in place while stretching over the other side was kind of a pain in the butt.

    Almost done. So here’s the struts. fwiw these are significantly larger than Beyer struts. I’ll post a side-by-side with my DT-880 Studio later so you can see what i mean.

    And here’s the completed headband:

    There is another piece of suede that needs to go in the channel in the middle on the inside, to cover the seam. I’ll stick that on later.

    Stay tuned for the rest of the assembly – I’m gonna take off for a while and do that.

    All pics are clickable, the big versions average half a megabyte (at 85% quality, no less) so they are pretty much for broadband users only. Me, I have multi-gigabit fiber run into my basement.

    Duggeh

    Indeed

    ericj

    Headphoneus Supremus

    Thanks, Duggeh. It’s an honor to be complemented on this rebuild by such an accomplished Jecklin refoamer.

    I’d actually realized how late it was and how long it’d been since i’d eaten, so i had dinner instead. Now I have to find the right diameter heatshrink to keep the cloth-jacketed cable from fraying when i shorten it. It’s broken on both ends.

    wualta

    Orthodynamic Supremus

    Duggeh, let me step in whilst Eric refreshes himself and give you a quick rundown of things piezo. By all means, take a look at Wikipedia and look up piezoelectricity and PVDF/Kynar. Learn how to pole and when not to. Consider the bravity of the company Eric calls Pine Ear taking this wonder material which had only recently been characterized and turning it into a consumer product in the “turn it up to eleven” Seventies.

    A piezo driver is simplicity itself: Hook your audio signal up to a chip of it and sit back and enjoy the music. That’s basically all there is. It’s like having an electrostat module chemically built into a sheet of plastic. Slap on some aluminization for the wires, and your audio signal reacts against charges embedded in the plastic and the stuff jumps. Coddle it between big soft foamy mitts for structure and a bit of damping and voyla!. The stuff has a very low mechanical impedance, unlike the piezo discs used in the Motorola tweeters, so full range isn’t a problem.

    No magnets, no electrostatic fields, no coils, no precision manufacturing except the making of the film/diaphragm itself, full range response inherent.

    You can perhaps see why Pioneer found the prospects irresistible. They used the same PVDF in their HPM line of loudspeakers, and people on certain other forums still coil in ecstasy around their 30-year-old examples, even though most of them only use the PVDF driver above 12kHz.

    The only fly in the ointment is bass, because the PVDF available back then was too stretchy to do really good bass– the material kinda goes all wet-noodly. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t live up to expectations. These days, a company might try laminating the PVDF to a thin film of Mylar or tensioning the driver to make a dome, or reformulating the polymer, or any number of other strategies to get better bass out of the stuff.

    Meanwhile, we have this tantalizing glimpse. I have the SE-500, and it sounds kinda.. well, Seventiesish. Midrangey, but decent. We’ll see if Eric can coax something more out of the SE-700.

    PS for Duggeh: If you’ve ever suspected you could make a Heil driver from PVDF film and do away with the cool-looking but heavy and expensive magnet structure, the answer is, as you know, yes.

    By the way, just to put these ‘phones into the timeline, the AES paper describing the transducer (microphone, headphone, tweeter) dates to 1974. That’s a year before Stax introduced the SR-X Mk 3.

    EDIT: Here’s the main page of the 2-page owner’s leaflet:

    A couple of interesting things to note on this first page: In the specifications, the line that originally read Impedance. 8 ohms has been crossed out completely and the one that now reads Maximum input power. 30 V originally read more than 30 V. On the back the instructions shed some light on this by saying The SE-700 has a high input impedance. Which is what we’d expect with a small capacitor across the amp’s outputs.

    Oddly, some old German brochures for the line of HPM headphones give different diaphragm thicknesses for each model, with the middle of the line SE-500 having the thinnest (6.5 µm), the SE-700 having an intermediate 7.0 µm and the cheapie SE-300 having the thickest (8.5 µm). These discrepancies are reminiscent of the German brochures for the Yamaha Orthodynamic line. Which is true? We don’t know, of course.

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  • How to clean fender wells the lazy way!

    Okay, the best way to REALLY get your car’s fenderwells clean is to jack-up the car and remove the wheels and tires. This way you can easily get to the entire fenderwell area.

    The problem with this is,

    • It takes a lot of time

    • You need to know the torque settings for the lug nuts and it helps to have a little experience in removing and then replacing and correctly re-torquing the lug nuts so as not to warp your rotors.

    • Did I mention it takes a lot of time?

    So here’s what I call the lazy guys way to clean fenderwells and that’s to simply lift the body of the car. Don’t remove the wheels, just lift the body as far as possible to create more space between the wheel and tire and the surrounding fenderwell.

    Not a perfect fix to the problem but in most cases you can get enough extra space to make it a lot easier to get a brush into the fenderwell area and scrub, scrub scrub.

    Here’s what you need.

    A good all purpose cleaner.

    A good fenderwell brush.

    A reliable hydraulic floor jack and at least two quality jack stands for safety reasons.

    Lift the car
    Choose either the front or rear of the car to start with and lift the car as high as the body will go without raising the tires off the ground and then place the jack stands at approved points where they are able to support the weight of the car and then carefully lower the jack so that the weight of the car is predominantly on the jackstands.

    More Working Space
    This is the working space you create by lifting the body of the car up using a hydraulic floor jack without having to remove the wheels.

    Saturate fenderwell with all purpose cleaner
    Next, spray your all purpose cleaner thoroughly over the inside of the fenderwell, cover everything you want to clean and later dress.

    Agitate all purpose cleaner
    Scrub and agitate inner fenderwell, frame and any other area or component you want cleaned.

    Yeah. it can get kind of filthy in the fenderwells.

    Blast with water
    Next spray a strong blast of water over the entire fenderwell area.

    You’re probably looking at road grime that’s accumulated in the fenderwells since this car was new.

    And there you go. a clean fenderwell. Now do the other side.

    After you finish with one end of the car, raise the car body, remove the jack stands, lower the car body and move to the opposite end of the car and repeat the process.

    Have all your tools ready to go.

    Using the lazy man’s method you can do a pretty good job of cleaning your fenderwells fast and easy.

    crgirl

    Chelsea FC

    Full Member
    • Oct 3, 2016
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    Full Member
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    • Oct 3, 2016
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    Full Member
    • Oct 3, 2016
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  • At my first interview they had a big poster board with all of our pics we sent. It seemed like most people were pretty casual with theirs (a lot of them looked like they just downloaded a random selfie from Facebook or something)

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

    rolliespring

    Gin no Samurai
    • Oct 3, 2016
  • #8
  • crgirl

    • Oct 3, 2016
  • #9
  • At my first interview they had a big poster board with all of our pics we sent. It seemed like most people were pretty casual with theirs (a lot of them looked like they just downloaded a random selfie from Facebook or something)

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

    WedgeDawg

    not actually a dog
    • Oct 3, 2016
  • #10
  • Doggo

    Full Member
    • Oct 3, 2016
  • #11
  • I think as long as you don’t give any serial killer or “will likely be actively drunk while performing surgery” vibes you should be fine.

    Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile

    doc.gif

    Full Member
    • Oct 3, 2016
  • #12
  • *A spotlight appears center stage and reveals Doc.gif, poised and sullen*

    Doc.gif: They blew it. Can you imagine that? Just a picture, that was all, and they blew it.

    *A crescent moon comes down from the flyspace. It holds the rest of the SDN members, who make up the chorus. They sing*

    Chorus: They blew it! Just a picture oh my! They blew it. Will be an acupuncturist oh my!

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    Post by FixItkid » Thu Jan 13, 2022 11:56 am

    Re: Does anyone know where or have a picture of a clean one?

    Post by FixItkid » Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:00 pm

    Re: Does anyone know where or have a picture of a clean one?

    Post by macgiver » Thu Jan 13, 2022 5:36 pm

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