prevent viruses

Computer Virus – 5 basic tips to prevent them

computer virusBekijk in het NederlandsYou know that a computer virus can be a huge problem . It can affect your desktop’s performance. And sometimes, it eats up your important files. But as a user, do you know how you can prevent these viruses from disturbing you? I have collated some great tips from different experts. You better try those. That way, you won’t face future problems regarding viruses that your computer can get.

As always, “prevention is better than cure”. There are 5 prevention tactics that I have in mind.

1)      Scan the site first. As much as you want to check out different sites, you need to be very careful. A lot of websites contain different worms and viruses. Once you go there, your computer will automatically be affected by unwanted ‘elements’. If you are in doubt it may be a wise idea to enter the site into Google first. If Google says it is unsafe, it is probably right.

2)      Don’t open suspicious email messages. You received an email that says, “You won 1 Million Dollars”. I suggest that you put it in your spam folder. If you really want to know what is in it, you can scan it first with your virus scanner. These email messages usually contain a computer virus. You will be sending the same message without your consent. Don’t let that happen. It can be very embarrassing to your clients and colleagues.

3)      Be careful when downloading files. You want to watch your favorite sitcom and those controversial movies. But don’t get too excited. A lot of computer users became victims of viruses which can be obtained from downloaded files. It is recommended that you get your videos and other downloadable files from well known sources.

Apart from that, stay away from ‘free download sites’. Although sometimes the files are legit, there is a huge possibility that they carry viruses.

4)      Install programs that can block these viruses. This is very important if you want to stay away from those irritating viruses. It works like a ‘vaccine’. That means, it can prevent worms and other types of viruses from affecting your computer system. Get an anti – computer virus program that is widely used. Otherwise, it won’t be able to detect and cure all these viruses.

5)      Update your anti – virus application. Most people don’t update their anti – virus programs thinking that it doesn’t have any bearing. But that is a misconception. Just so you know, computer viruses evolve day by day. They form really fast. And if you will not update your application, it won’t have the capacity to fix the problem.

It’s fine if you pay a little amount for the updates. It will help you in the long run. If you really want to get a free computer virus scanner, you may want to check out AVG’s scanner.

Fighting computer viruses should be easy. You just need to be smart and cautious. Again, don’t think that updating your anti – virus programs is a waste of money. It will lessen your worries about these worms that might irritate the whole system of your device.

 

mini projector

Aaxa P4 Review – Bright Image Mini Projector But Poor Battery

AAXA P4 Pico ProjectorBekijk in het NederlandsWith pocket size mini projectors, the Aaxa P4 is not the most mobile version of the latest collection, yet it performs extremely well in delivering bright images.  However, the P4 experiences average battery life, and the audio does not comply to the image quality standards.

The Aaxa P4 mini projector

With double the size of iPhone and weighing around 8 oz, Aaxa P4’s DLP technology delivers 80 ANSI lumens of image brightness. The competitor products can deliver the image brightness of only 30 to 50 ANSI lumens. The good thing about the bright picture is that the mini projector works well without having to dim the lights in the room. In my personal experience, I saw that the P4 images in the projector were clearly visible in an open room space.

You can even increase the size of these images. The P4 manual states that the product can deliver images up to 50.5 inches from as far as 8 feet distance. The aspect ratio is 16:9.

Features


mini projectorThe local resolution of 858×480 is quite normal for a high-end mini projector and it supports input resolutions of 1280×800. It supports VGA through an integrated VGA-to-mini-USB cord, and composite video. The negative side is its limitation to iPads or iPhones accessibility.
You may separately buy a cable connector for just $20 provided it has a video-out support. This enables you to use a microSD card for your source material, for example. You can also use a USB port to connect to  devices such as a mouse or a keyboard. You can get a mobile size keyboard and a USB dongle for an additional $50.

Aaxa P4 also offers an built-in 1-watt speaker and a pair of headphones. Unfortunately, there is no Wi-Fi feature to connect to internet and the batter life is too low – less than 75 minutes for a full four-hour charge.

A cute little tripod also accompanies the unit that can slide or bend with gooseneck legs but the legs are not too strong, and may cause trembling from time to time. This can be frustrating sometimes since adjusting the tripod is the only way to deal with this issue.

stand-alone pico projectorThere is a read-write facility for the file formats such as word, excel and PowerPoint through SoftMaker, a windows CE app, that is included in the product. The Aaxa supports all video types including AVI, MP4, FLV, RM, RMVB and MPG. Support for MP3 and JPG is also present. You can also play music files or stills from micro SD or USB drive connected to it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the ability to show clear, perfect images in a bright room is the biggest selling point of Aaxa P4 that may be attractive to business travellers who need projectors almost all the time. However, if long battery with a decent audio is a concern, then look elsewhere. Luckily, this is probably not one of the main concerns you have when looking for a portable mini projector.

social media

Adapt Or Die – Use Social Networking To Increase Business

Use social media for your businessBekijk in het NederlandsEvery day, millions of computer users log on to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They update their own statuses, catch up on what their friends and relatives have been up to, post opinions and photographs and get involved with groups of like-minded individuals. These sites have become the modern equivalent of the local meeting places such as the market, the pub and the office water cooler.

However, even though so many people use social networking sites, very few companies have investigated the commercial possibilities of using them as well. Those that have done so have been pleasantly surprised by just how much response they can gain from a strong presence on Facebook, Twitter and the various localised sites around the world.

Immediate returns for all

A web-based marketing campaign can produce highly impressive results, and the most successful of all will generate interest from existing and potential customers in a matter of hours. The effect on revenue streams will be almost immediate, so any company owner or director who underestimates the power of the social networking scene is taking a huge risk.

Needless to say, if a company ignores the potential that its rivals have already embraced, it could soon get left behind. And with the constantly changing face of online marketing, it may even be impossible to play catch-up. On the Internet, fortunes are made and lost at a speed which would have been unimaginable two decades ago.

And the winner is ….

One of the most effective ways to garner interest on the various social networks is to hold a competition. It brings plenty of traffic to the company’s site in the process, and will appeal to people from all walks of life. The prize doesn’t necessarily have to be an expensive one, either. A free weekend break for two, perhaps, will be ideal, or maybe train tickets to a specific destination.

As is always the case, the company that invests the most money in social media initiatives will reap the most impressive rewards. Choosing to ignore the possibilities really shouldn’t be an option, however. Whether it’s a huge financial conglomerate with offices all over the world or a local enterprise with one shop or office, Facebook, Twitter and the rest should be utilized as soon as possible. For a small outlay, any business in any sector of industry could be enjoying a brighter future in no time at all. It really is that simple.

extend your smartphone battery

Mugen power extended battery for smartphones review

Extended battery smartphoneBekijk in het NederlandsSmartphones are becoming increasingly popular. People have to be connected 24/7 and the closest the phones get to shutting down is the silent mode. There is however one big drawback to all this. The battery life of your smartphone cannot keep up with your social life. You phone has be plugged in every 6 hours and you can’t go anywhere without your charger. After I pretty much destroyed my previous battery, I decided not to go back to this sad excuse for a battery, but upgraded my stock battery to a custom extended battery. Read how it holds up in this post.

Extended battery life with Mugen Power

I decided to order the Mugen Power 1550mAh Extended Replacement Battery for my HTC Hero. I somehow shipped this extended battery to a wrong address, but I ended up with this battery after about 12 days. It cost me only $30,- which is about €23,- and this includes shipping from the other side of the world. Peanuts! I received the extended battery in a bit of plastic with a very short manual. It looked rather cheap, but heck, it was cheap. I read that you should charge it first for about 5-6 hours and repeat that for about five times. When I charge my phone I usually keep it charging overnight which is plenty of time.

I plugged it in and found out it was already half charged. I decided to go with it and find out how long my phone would last on half a battery. A few hours later it was almost completely drained, which was quite a disappointment. I charged it overnight and the next day my phone stayed up for the entire day. At the end of the day however the phone warned me that it was about to shut down. No harm done, the day was done anyways, but still it was a bit disappointing yet again.

After another night of charging I let it run for another day. This time the bar was still green by the time I was home again! A big improvement! The next day went even better and now the phone is still half charged when it is time to go to bed. Even when I use it extensively listening to music while surfing the internet for longer periods of time a day the extended battery doesn’t budge.

This extended battery didn’t come with a custom cover for my phone because it was just as big as the normal stock battery, but there is even a bigger version out there which would last even longer. You will end up with a thicker phone, but if you use it a lot and travel for many hours without the possibility to charge it, this might be a solution for you.

All in all this was a very good investment. I hardly have to worry about the battery life of my phone now, where I previously had the hook it up to a socket every time I traveled for more than an hour. I tested the battery for the HTC Hero, but I would recon this would go for many other smartphones with replaceable batteries as well.

Buy extended smartphone batteries

create a blog

Blog – How to create collapsible posts

Setting up your blogBekijk in het NederlandsSince you have managed to create your blog from scratch, you probably went ahead and made your very first post. If this was done right it appears in its full length on your main page. Congratulations! However, this may be annoying if the post is very long. Learn how to create collapsible posts with a button to ‘Read More’ right here.

Make those posts look smaller!

Once you start adding big posts with multiple pictures you might notice that your main page gets flooded and is not readable any longer. The easiest way to counter this is to make it so that your main page only shows the top paragraph of your post, and readers have to click a read more link in order to read the full post. This also adds to your page views since people will be viewing two pages now instead of one. This is the first post in the series that is going to cover something a bit harder, so we will be diving into the raw HTML code of the blog. Don’t worry, it is really easy.

blogger html templateThe first thing you want to do is backup your current template in case anything goes wrong. Log in to blogger.com, go to the template tab and click on back-up/restore template. Save it somewhere safe. Personally I have a blogbackup folder, which is used every time I make a major change to the HTML of the blog. Once you have done this, we are going to tell blogger how to handle its posts from now on in its template HTML. You need to click edit-HTML on the template page to access this. Always check the ‘expand widget’ button on top so you never miss any code.

You will be looking for a </head> tag. Use CTRL-F to find it quickly.

Once found check if there is a]]></b:skin>  tag. If there is, make sure you copy the following in between the /head and /b skin tag.

If not, you can simply go ahead and copy the following right above the </head> tag:

<style> <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>  span.fullpost {display:inline;} <b:else/> span.fullpost {display:none;}  </b:if> </style>

It is now time to save your template. Check if your blog still shows correctly. On the main page you should not see any difference.

Go back to edit HTML in the template, and click the expand widget button on top of your edit screen. Find the following code: <data:post.body/
Add the following code immediately after the previous line:

 <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'> <a expr:href='data:post.url' target='_blank'>Read more!</a> </b:if>

You can of course type whatever you want instead of Read more! It is now time to save your template once again. You are almost done.

The final step is to add a line of code to your posts in order to tell blogger where the post for the main page should stop. You can enter this code into your post template so that it shows up automatically every time you create a new post, but I have found that this usually does not work properly when you create a complex post. Therefore, I decided to just store the following lines on a blank text-page on my desktop or wherever you prefer.

It is time to get back on topic. When you have created your post you will need to go to the edit HTML tab in your post. You must locate the last of the text you want to show on your main page and add <span class=”fullpost”> behind or below that. Make sure you allow the ending tags for the text to finish. For example

<span lang="EN-US">Once you have come up with a good topic to start a blog about, it is time to set up a basic blog. Now you may think you need to create a website from scratch or that you will need to rent server space or something, but luckily there are lots of website who accommodate starting blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in this post.<o:p></o:p></span></div>
<div class="MsoNormal">

If this is the first part of your post in HTML, you want to add the fullpost tag somewhere under that. You will want to post it as close as the last text for the paragraph as possible, but you don’t want to separate the text from its closing tags. In this case you want to post somewhere after this sentence:

Learn how to set up your free blog in this post. There are some tags behind that however.

<o:p></o:p></span></div>
<div class="MsoNormal">

Every <tag> that starts with a / is considered a closing tag. Therefore, your fullpost tag should come after </div> since that is the last closing tag before the next opening tag. <div class….> is a new opening tag. Your final code should resemble this:

blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in

this post.<o:p></o:p></span></div>

<span>

<div> 

Now you are really almost there. The only thing that remains is to tell blogger where the fullpost ends. Scroll all the way down to the end of the post in HTML, and add the last line. This line is </span>. That’s it, you are finished.

TIP: Make sure you add the fullpost tags as the last text edit. So first you get to make your text look the way you want it to, then you add the fullpost tag, and lastly you add any pictures etc. You do this to prevent the code from scrambling.

Good luck!

create a blog

Blog – Setting up your blog easily in blogger

Setting up your blogBekijk in het NederlandsIn a previous post we discussed how to find a proper topic for your blog. Once you have come up with a good topic to start a blog about, it is time to set up a basic blog. Now you may think you need to create a website from scratch or that you will need to rent server space or something, but luckily there are lots of website who accommodate starting blogger. Learn how to set up your free blog in this post.

Setting up your blog

For every starting blogger I would definitely advice blogger.com. This is a free website that enables you to start blogs with a powerful editing tool, but also a very clear and easy to use user interface. The first thing you need to do is either log in to your Google account on blogger.com, or create a new account. When done, you simply log in and click the create new blog button. You get to choose the name for the blog, and the web address. In addition you can choose from various templates to customize the looks of your blog. Are the templates not your thing? No worries, you can fully adjust whatever template you chose later on.

blogger dashboardOnce a blog has been created you will get to see the main page for editing your blog. In the overview you will see a graph of page views with some extra information surrounding it. You will find all the sections needed to customize your blog here.

On the messages section, you will get to write, edit and publish your actual blog posts. This is probably the most important part of your blog.

On pages you can add extra pages to your blog, but these pages are purely static. You may add some information about the author of the blog, or some contact information, but that’s about it.

In the reactions tab you can review reactions on your blog. You can also filter spam and moderate reactions here.

The statistics page is a powerful tool to view who has been viewing your blog from time to time.

The income page enables you to easily post AdSense ads on your blog. The only thing you need to do is to link your AdSense account to your blog by login in or creating an account. After that you can choose what types of ads you want your blog to show. This is a very important part of your blog if you want to make money. You will receive a certain amount of money for every 1000 page views and for every click on an ad. Make sure the ads don’t scare away any viewers, but keep them subtle instead.

The layout page is where you can drag all your modules of the blog around. You can set where you want your sidebar, what should be in it, and in what order. Especially placing your AdSense campaign on the right position can be crucial, so make sure you check this page out.

blogger html templateThe template page is probably the most important for the actual look and feel of your blog. Here you can adjust every detail of your blog through the very easy to use template-editor. Just click edit and you can edit all aspects of your blog really easily. Underneath you can choose from a wide variety of templates. More interesting perhaps is the edit HTML button. This will allow you to edit your blog underneath the hood. Here you get to add lines of code to enable anything you want basically. For example, this is the place where you edit code to add a ‘read more’ link to your blog posts instead of posting the entire thing on the main page. You can read more on that later.

This page also enables you to set options for mobile use of the blog.

The last page is the settings section. This page lets you edit the basic settings, like the name of the blog and the address, all the way down to who can see it and how it sends out a feed. Make sure you run through all these settings at least once. It takes about two minutes.

Once you have set up your blog, it is time to start blogging. Congratulations on creating your very own blog! You may consider tweaking it just a little bit more. Creating collapsible posts for example. For now, why not start of your blog with its very first blog post?

create a blog

Blog – Finding a proper topic

start a blogBekijk in het NederlandsWhat do you need to start a successful blog you ask? Well, obviously, the first thing you need is a topic to write about. What topic you choose is completely up to you, but there are some tools out there that can help you make a choice.

Blog topic

One of the most important things for writing a successful blog is to have a solid topic. Another thing that really helps is to have as little competition as possible. This is one of the first steps in Search Engine Optimization, or SEO. Now you may think: how can I know if there are a lot of people out there writing about the same topic, or how should I find out if my topic is hot or not. Well, Google has an amazing tool for that. It is the keyword tool for Google adwords.

google adwordsWhat Google’s adwords does, is tell you how much people use a specific search term, and provide you with detailed information about whether there is a lot of competition or not. You can rephrase your search words however you like to find the optimal conditions, and once found you can keep those terms in mind for setting up your blog.

You can find the adwords tool right here and begin optimizing your blog for search engines.

Just type in the topic you would like to start a blog about and see whether it has any chance of succeeding. Do note though that finding a positive surrounding for your blog does not mean you will get loads of traffic straight away, you will have to work for that. More on that on my coming posts. In the meantime, start finding a good topic to write about. The more you like the topic your blog yourself, the better, because in the end, you will have to write all the information yourself!

Computer tips and tricks

Five common computer problems – A guide to easy fixes

Computer tips and tricksBekijk in het NederlandsIf you use a computer as much as I do, you have probably had your fair share of computer problems. If you haven’t, maybe your friends or family have. Although I know my way around a computer, I usually end up fixing the errors of said family and friends on their computer. Especially family tends to crash a computer every now and then, and get about a virus a week. In this post I will try to cover some common computer problems and try to give you a simple solutionOptimize your PC quick and simple with these tips!

Common computer problems

After a year or two, or for some people a week or two, computers tend to lose the edge they once had when they were new. They tend to lose a little bit of speed here and there, and become sluggish in everyday tasks. They may have some annoying pop-ups, or you get some reports of viruses but just don’t know what to do with those. Some people decide to throw away the pc and buy a new one, but with some simple tweaks and solutions, you can get your ‘old’ PC up and running again in a second. Computers usually become slower than they used to because of malicious use. The installation and un-installation of various programs leave its marks on the computers registry. The bigger this gets, the longer it takes for your PC to find what it needs. A lot of free programs come with some added ‘extra free’ programs as well, also known as adware, spam and pop-ups. These programs slow your system down as well. Anyways, let’s get to business.

1: Your computer has become slow and sluggish

The main reason for this is already explained partly above. You tend to install and uninstall things every day. This results in a corrupted or bloated registry. In turn, it takes more time for your PC to locate the files it needs. The same goes for your hard drive. This gets filled with fragmented data which needs to be defragmented from time to time. Spyware and unnecessary computer programs have its fair share in these matters too. Getting rid of these programs as soon as possible can speed up your system a lot.

To defragment your HDD, go to the control panel, then to system and security and you will find it under Administrative tools. Note that newer versions of windows tend to defragment automatically. You can also clean up some disc space here while you’re at it.

To get rid of unwanted programs click on default programs under the start button. Once there you will see Programs and Features in the bottom left corner, and when clicked you will see a complete list of every application installed on your computer. It is wise to run through this list every now and then, and remove any unknown or unused programs.

To get rid of spyware and viruses it is a good idea to run your virus scanner. If you do not have one, get one as soon as possible. In the meantime you can use Windows defender, which is free for windows users. Another powerful and free tool is malwarebytes. More on anti-virus programs in a later post.

In addition, you can try cleaning your registry, but this is a risky business. Do not attempt to mess with this unless you know what you are doing, or unless you make a proper back-up of basically everything.

2: Computer system freezes and shows a blue screen

In order to find out why you computer is freezing you will need to do some proper research. Try to find out if you can trigger the freezes, and what you are doing at that time. Then narrow your search for the problem around that piece of software or hardware. I can however list some basic tips for dealing with this problem.

As with the previous problem, viruses may cause problems like these. Do a complete scan of your computer with a proper anti-virus program and windows defender. Make sure your computer is clean before continuing.

The next step is to update drivers to your hardware. Windows uses drivers to make sure hardware is able to communicate with each other. If there is a driver problem and your hardware is unable to properly communicate this can result in freezes and blue screens.

To update drivers you must first find out what hardware is in your computer. Go to the control panel and open up the Hardware and Sound section. Here you can open the Device Manager. In the Device Manager you will find all the hardware that is currently recognised by windows. If you see any errors, try to download drivers for those devices. In addition you can automatically update the drivers on all the devices by clicking ‘update drivers’ for each device. This is sometimes rather buggy, so I would advice to search for driver updates manually by going to the manufacturer’s website and look for updated drivers there. Do this for the most important devices. Your sound drivers for example usually do not generate blue screens, so this is a somewhat less important driver to focus on.

Another possibility is that your RAM is not sufficient. Try to stick some more RAM memory in your PC and see if the problem persists. Some more RAM never hurts.

3: Your computer keeps on rebooting

computer problem helpWhen your computer keeps on rebooting without reason you can probably say this is hardware related. When your computer suddenly powers down or reboots it could well be overheating of a certain part. It is therefore very important to check if all your fans are still working. Also, if your case is filled with dust, and your fans are stuck because of this dust, your computer cannot lose its heat. Make sure you get rid of all excess dust, and make sure your computer is sitting in a rather clean environment. If you want to get rid of this issue for once and for all maybe you should buying a case with dust filters all around and excellent cooling capacity.

Do not open your case if it voids your warranty!

Another major issue can be the power supply. When you buy a power supply, it generates a certain amount of power and delivers that to your PC. Over time, this amount degrades and when it comes under a certain threshold, your computer is not able to run properly anymore and shuts down whenever too much power is required. This is especially true for the cheaper power supplies. You can find more about power supplies is a later post.

In the meantime, try to hook up another power supply to your computer and see if the problem persists. If you do not have one of those lying around, your local computer shop will probably be able to assist you for a small amount of money.

4: Noise, strange sounds and vibrations

This can only be your hardware. The only way to figure out what is causing the noise or vibrations is by opening your case. Note that this may sometimes void your warranty. Do NOT open your case when you still have warranty! When you don’t, you can safely open your case and see the inner workings of your computer. You can safely boot up your computer with the lid of your case, and when you do so you should be able to identify what is making the sound or vibrations. If this is just a loose wire, tuck it away somewhere safe. If it is a fan of some sort you may need to clean it, oil it up or just replace it. Fans are inexpensive so do not worry about that. If you are unable to do it yourself, let a professional do it for you.

If it is something else try to locate the problem, for example to one of your hard drives. Take out the part if possible or replace it and see if the problem persists. If you are unable to safely do so, make sure you contact a professional.

5: Your internet homepage keeps changing by itself

This is either because you forget to uncheck an option box during an installation and let a program change your home page, or because of some virus or spyware. These programs are sometimes able to run hidden code every time you run your internet browser and change your home page whenever it does. Get rid of these viruses by scanning and cleaning your computer with a proper virus scanner and windows defender.

All of the problems stated in this article can be avoided easily by simply keeping your computer in proper shape. Take your time every month or so to review how your PC is doing and cleaning up the hard drive. Make sure you are virus free and don’t have a lot of unused programs running in the background. Make sure you do not panic whenever you are having computer troubles, but keep your head cool and do a little bit of research on the internet. Most of the time, these problems can be solved easily, even by someone who is new to computers with just the help of a search engine.

Overclocking for android

Overclocking Android – A beginner’s guide

Overclocking AndroidBekijk in het NederlandsI am a proud owner of the HTC Hero and have been for several years. It originally came out with android 1.5 using the well-known sense skin by HTC. It got a quick update to android 1.6, and later even to android 2.1. The updates stopped coming and my phone’s speed degraded over time. I tried wiping to factory default but still my phone felt sluggish. I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands and dived into the world of custom roms and overclocking android.

Overclocking Android – The basics

First I will explain the basics. A ROM is a custom made version of the android software that you can run on your phone. It can be very different from what you are used to. Custom roms can include software that isn’t meant to run on your phone, or can be copied entirely from other phones, even from other brands. It may also include custom made programs or apps that are not available in the market. All custom roms feature built-in root access, unlocking features of your phone that are locked when you use a normal android rom.

Overclocking is something else. This involves making your phone’s processing unit go faster than intended. This usually makes your phone (a lot) faster but also drains the battery more quickly and generates a lot of heat. Sometimes, this can result in your phone going to waste. I actually made one of my batteries useless. It would only charge to about 50% and would drain within an hour or two. To prevent this I am going to share my experiences on overclocking my HTC Hero, or any android device in general for that matter. To counter this I bought a new and bigger battery for my HTC Hero which increased my battery life a lot!

Step 1

To start it is probably a good idea to get root access to your phone. This enables you to install apps that aren’t meant to be installed. Root access is not always needed, but it can’t hurt to just enable it. You can simply do this by downloading androot from the market and click on enable root access.

Step 2

The second step is probably the hardest: Finding the proper rom for you. Since there is such a vast variety of roms online, it can take a lot of time to find a proper one. Most roms have their faults as well. For example, some roms disable your Bluetooth or camera, some can’t handle GPS and some run on a core of android 1.5, making it a lot harder to find up to date or new apps in the market.

Step 3

To actually install a rom you need to download clockworkmod from the Android market. This app enables you to load and backup roms. It will prompt you with a message saying you need to download another program for it to work. When it does, please do so, it is an automated process. Once all that is finished you are ready to go on flashing roms and whatnot. First, you may want to backup all the data you possibly can and download the official Rom should anything happen to your phone. I found the official HTC rom for GSM (Europe) Hero’s here. Once you are all set, select ‘load a rom from SD-card’ in clockwork mod and select the rom you want to load. Tick erase all data boxes and make a backup of your current build. Once you click ok it should reboot and start doing its magic. Note that you should have copied the rom you wanted to use to your SD card before you start this process. Do not put the rom into any folder, just on the root of the SD card.

The results?

If everything went alright you should be booted up now in your new custom rom Android environment. If it keeps booting up and shutting down, you are in a bootloop and are screwed. I had this a couple of times. One time it fixed itself by just shutting power on and off a couple of times. Other times I had to go into the bootmenu manually by holding the volume-down button while pressing the power-on button and select another rom or backup manually, and the third time I had to put my SD-card straight into my computer to load an update.zip file into that to run through the manual boot menu. Anyways, you should be running your custom rom now. Well that was easy enough.

Overclocking Android

Overclocking with SetcpuNow a bit more about overclocking android. You need to have a rom installed with a custom kernel for the HTC Hero in order to overclock it. This might be possible on other phones with stock software, but for the HTC Hero you need a custom kernel which set the limit of your CPU to a higher number than its stock speed. Almost all custom roms feature an overclockable kernel. Once this is installed, you will simply need to install either OC widget or SetCPU from the Android market and install those. When prompted to give these apps root access you say yes and you are ready to go. Fire up the app and set your max and min speed for your CPU.

Warning: When you set your CPU too high it might burn up the battery, or otherwise severely damage your phone. Overclocking android can result in an unstable system. When your system is unstable try to clock it lower. Always overclock android in little steps, starting with just a small overclock and increasing it after it turned out to be stable. The highest stable speed for a Hero recorded is 710Mhz. This does not mean every HTC Hero phone can run these speeds. Find out your speeds yourself or use the auto clock feature in SetCPU.

Warning: Setting the minimum clock speed too slow can make your phone unable to wake up from sleep mode. This means that when your screen is turned off and the phone hasn’t been used in a few minutes, it will not come back up, or it might take a very long time. To counter this you need to keep the minimum speed in the safe zone around the 250Mhz.

Once done correctly, overclocking can greatly increase the responsiveness of your phone. In order to properly do this you need to take your time, do research on the capabilities of your phone and on what custom rom to take, and have proper backup possibilities at hand.

Roms I used

My personal journey started with Kimera 1.8. This rom was lightning-fast but was based on android 1.5. Somehow I missed that information, and found out only after seeing that the market was lacking a lot of apps I used to download. I quickly erased this rom again and changed it for something newer.

This led me to the wildhero rom. This is a custom rom based on the HTC Wildfire S phone, and brings most of those features to the HTC Hero. At first I was enlightened by the amount of extra possibilities this new version of Android brought me, as it runs on Android 2.3.3 instead of the stock 2.1. It doesn’t support Bluetooth, but what the heck, I never use that anyways. Once I booted up the rom however, I found it to be too slow to run properly on the Hero. I decided to start overclocking but I ended up with a very unstable system and a fried battery. The maximum clock speed that I got stable was somewhere around 610Mhz, which is way slower than most people who run their HTC Hero at 710Mhz.

I also tried the Villainrom, but it did not feature HTC Sense, which didn’t appeal to me at all.

Overclocking for Android – The Conclusion

Basically I was stuck with the wildhero rom for quite a while and decided to roll back to HTC’s own rom. It runs at Android 2.1 now again, and is somehow faster than ever. I am not sure how that happened. The only downside is that I am unable to overclock this firmware, so I am continuing my search for a proper rom for my HTC Hero.

I hope this very basic tutorial is of any help to you. If you have any questions please ask them in the comments. Also stay tuned for my further attempts of unlocking the true potential of my HTC Hero.

Cooler Master 690 II

Cooler Master CM 690 II Case Review

Cooler Master CM 690 IIBekijk in het NederlandsI am the sort of person that replaces the components of his computer from time to time, just to keep everything working smooth, up to date, or tweaked a little just to perform a little bit better. Therefore I had to open the case a lot of times. Now you would expect me to have some high-tech computer case to help me with that, but no, my case was some old crappy thing that I got for free when buying my first PC years back. Until now…Introducing the Cooler Master 690 II!

Cooler Master CM 690 II


I finally decided to go ahead and invest a little bit of money in a new case. Mainly because my old one wasn’t able to close anymore, and because my CPU and graphics card were getting dangerously hot. This was mainly because of my Bitcoin mining operation, but still, it shouldn’t be able to shut down my PC. I decided to do some research about cases and finally my eyes rested on the Cooler Master CM 690 II. The first version of this case is a well known case by tweakers, and now they finally released the mark II.

Cooler Master cm 690 II frontSo let’s look at the case a little bit closer. The front and top of the case are almost completely made of a steel mesh which does not only look great, but is also very important for your airflow. The open nature of the mesh allows air to travel through it, creating better passageway for air entering and exiting the case. On the left side of the CM 690 II there are several ventilation slots where you can mount two more case fans. These fan slots can house 80, 92, 120 or 140mm fans. The panel at the side of the motherboard tray has a much smaller fan opening which will fit a single 80mm case fan. The rear panel on the 690 II features a 7+1 expansion area and two holes with rubbers to allow for water cooling that support 5/8″ ID tubing. At the back of the case you will also notice that this case features a bottom mounted power supply. This is also done to create a better airflow within the case. You will also find a rear 120mm exhaust next to the motherboard I/O area just above the expansion area.

Cooler Master cm 690 II topThe control panel on the CM 690 II is located on top of the case in the front. The panel includes a fan LED-light on/off switch, a power button, a reset button, one e-SATA port, audio jacks and two USB 2.0 ports. Behind the control panel is a small area where the advanced version of the case has a hot swappable bay for a hard drive disk. The normal version just has a place to rest your USB sticks. The whole top panel can be easily removed to allow access to the chassis below it. Here you can choose to install either dual exhaust fans or a water cooling set-up. The top of the case can support either a 280mm or 240mm radiator and has enough room for the fans on a 240mm radiator to be installed on the top of the chassis. You can also fit two normal fans here if you so desire. An exhaust fan or two would do great here.

Cooler Master cm 690 II front removedThe front panel is removed with great ease as well. Here you see that there are four removable parts of the steel mesh to allow for DVD-players and what not. You will also see that behind each mesh part is a dust filter in place. This is true for the entire case. Every opening you find, especially for the fans features a dust filter. You will also find the front fan here, featuring icy blue LED-lights. These can be turned off by a touch of the button on top of the case. The fan takes in air and forces it right over your hard disks. You can even adjust the fan up or down, or even replace it with two smaller fans if you wish.

Cooler Master cm 690 II bottom

The bottom of the case is well ventilated and, as you can see, Cooler Master has kept the large rubber feet design introduced with the CM 690. The rubber feet not only look very nice, but also elevate the case from the floor to allow for a better intake of air, reduction of dust intake and for less vibration.

The inside of the case

Cooler Master CM 690 II InsideWhen you strip the case of its side panels you can see that the interior is painted black just like the exterior. You will also notices big holes to allow for great cable management. Not only is there a lot of room between the motherboard tray and the side panel, but there are also a lot of anchors in place to secure zip-ties to in order to keep those pesky cables in place. You will also notice that this case has lots of room.  You will not be able to fit the largest cards, for example the HD5970, but most of the high end cards should be just fine.

Inside the case you will also find that the CM 690 II supports up to four 5.25″ optical bays. There is a tool-less system in place to easily install Cooler Master cm 690 II drivebaythese. You just have to slide you bay into the tray, align the screw holes with the system and flip a switch. Easy as that.

Cooler Master cm 690 II HDD CageHard drives are also extremely easy to install. The CM 690 II supports up to six internally and these are located just behind the front intake fan. Again, you just have to slide your HDD into the tray, and close it. Your HDD is now in place and secured. It just that simple. You will have to insert some pins onto the disk’s screw holes, but that is also done within seconds. There is also the option to remove the bottom half of the drive-cage to allow for better airflow, a bottom radiator or extra case fans.

Cooler Master CM 690 II inside backIn the back of the case you will find the expansion slots. Seven of them are fitted horizontally with black thumb-screws for easy installation. One of the slots is fitted vertically. You can use this one for a fan controller or just for extra USB slots.

The motherboard tray features a wide variety of holes for screws, to fit as many motherboards as possible. My motherboard was installed very easily. There is also a big hole in the plate to install CPU coolers with back plates with ease.

Cooler Master included two fans. One is installed in the front as an intake and features the blue LEDs; the other is installed in the back as an exhaust. If you get the CM 690 II advanced you will get an additional case fan.

Conclusion

Cooler Master CM 690 II inside 2During the installation of my hardware into this case, it was surprising how easy everything was. I was used to some cheap old case that featured nothing like tool-less designs or cable management. When I was finished it was shocking to see how many screws I had left. Also the case was extremely clean with all the cables running through the cable management system. I also had a lot of room left over for a bigger graphics card, which is always good to know.

The airflow increased tremendously. My system dropped a solid 20 degrees in temperature. I am now running my setup on a slight overclock, something I wouldn’t dare to dream of in my previous case. I also have the option to add EIGHT more case fans, which could work wonders as well. I am considering buying at least two more.

The case looks great, and even the LEDs do not annoy me when they are turned on. The CM 690 II is also very silent. Even though I have two more fans then my old case, it is actually a lot quieter.

I would certainly recommend this case. If you are missing an external drive bay, or an SSD bracket, or an extra fan, you can always buy the advanced version.

All in all, this case made my setup much better with just a little investment.

Cooler Master CM 690 II specifications case