How to Do It Yourself!



Turn Off iMessage Before Switching Away from iOS

I ordered a new Lumia 928 yesterday, and am anxiously awaiting a shipping notification from Verizon. In the meantime, I am beginning to research this huge leap into a whole new platform. Microsoft has a very helpful website that gives you an idea of how to transfer your calendar, contacts, and email, as well as answers some frequently asked questions….




How To Start a Simple Heirloom Vegetable Garden from Scratch

How many of us have been at a grocery store and been disappointed with the variety and quality of produce? How many sandwiches or other dishes have been befouled with limp lettuce or a feeble yellow-green-pink tomato? It‚Äôs no wonder kids (and some adults) aren‚Äôt too keen on vegetables. What to do? One solution is to start your own garden,…


Tiny Tiny RSS: DIY Android Google Reader Replacement

I am still lamenting the decision Google made to kill off Google Reader. ¬†While I am generally ok with Feedly, I am actually in the same boat I was with Google Reader when I use another service like Feedly. ¬†If Feedly goes away, then I am stuck yet again. ¬†So I began searching for other alternatives and had a friend…


The Aftermarket Smart Home – a Gear Diary Journey

While we were attending CES 2013, friends in the congregation emailed me and said, “Dan, as you know we are building a new home. We know you are at CES and would appreciate it if you would keep an eye out for any home automation that looks cool. We really want to build some “smarts” into the house.” I did…


How to Shop for a Realtor

Sarah and I recently sold our house and bought a new one … ¬†or to be accurate, the house is new to us and was built in the 1920’s, which is part of what drew us to it. I’ve received numerous questions from friends about the criteria we used to find our realtor. Since a home can be the biggest,…


How to Remove Gum from a Smartphone Screen

I am the go-to person among my friends and family with smartphone troubleshooting questions. Last night was definitely a first, though, as someone (who has requested to remain anonymous) managed to stick their iPhone in a pocket with a piece of used chewing gum. The result was a sticky mess all over the iPhone screen, but with some quick searching…


How to Maximize Do Not Disturb on iOS

I admit, I did not make much use of the “Do Not Disturb” setting on my iPhone when it first appeared. But Apple’s commercials for the Do Not Disturb on iOS¬†feature with the Williams sisters playing ping pong caught Sarah’s attention, and she insisted I learn how to maximize the setting. Apparently my iPad and iPhone echoing each other with…



How to Listen to Text on Your iOS Device

Remember the commercial that went something like “Reading is fundamental”? It is but there are some times when it is far better to listen to an email or a document than read it. I had done this via an iOS app but then I learned that iPhones, iPads and iPod touches have the capability built right into the operating system…


How to Maximize iOS Notes App

I have a confession to make. Despite an Evernote account, and a Catch.com account, being a dedicated Todo and Pocket Informant user … I use Apple’s Notes App more than almost any other piece of software on my devices. Sometimes, when you’re taking notes, you don’t want lots of bells and whistles, you just want to take notes. There’s a…


Create Shortcuts in iOS, Your Gear 101

One terrific (but often unused) tool baked right into iOS is the ability to create keyboard shortcuts. With them, you can type in just a few brief letters and have a much longer piece of text appear in the body of whichever document you are working on. They are particularly useful when you have a block of text that is…


How to Get Your Google Contacts onto Your iPhone

In the past week, we’ve heard results from AT&T and Verizon, and in the particular case of Verizon which had iPhones account for TWO THIRDS of its smartphone sales, 20% of those sales went to former Android users. I have detailed my years long Android exclusivity, which just ended in late December with the purchase of an iPhone 5. I…



Building a Budget-Friendly Home Theater PC

Hello again, friends and tech-lovers.¬† Today we are going to talk about building a Home Theater PC or HTPC for short.¬† More importantly, building a budget-friendly HTPC.¬† In one of my previous posts, I talked about the Ceton inifiniTV 4 tuner, a great way to turn your PC into a set-top box for your cable TV.¬† But, what if you…


Got an Old PowerPC Mac? Resuscitate It with Linux.

Apple has long left the PowerPC based Macs of old behind; however, any G4 or G5 based Mac is still a very capable machine. ¬†Most of the G5 Power Macs I have come across are dual-core G5 machines and some of the iMacs are as well. ¬†Apple isn’t releasing updates for the last supported version of Mac OS X that…


D-Star Breathes New Life into Amateur Radio

D-Star is the newest mode I have recently added to my Amateur Radio arsenal. ¬†I bought an Icom ID-31A D-star, radio which I will be reviewing here soon, but I wanted to share a little about D-star and why it’s a cool mode before I did the review. The History of D-Star D-star is a mode that was created by…