Tag Archives: hardware

Cheap Microphone Stand for Podcasting…

Yeah, I realise there is probably a million things wrong with this, but hey… We’re poor and can’t afford a proper stand at the minute. So this will have to do. We’re going to record episode 3 of our podcast this week, which you can find and subscribe over at www.theunnamedpodcast.co.uk!


And yes, I should probably tidy my desk.


How to get Vodafone UK to unlock a contract 3G iPad.

If you look on Vodafone’s eForum you might find conflicting advice on whether the company can unlock 3G iPad’s bought from them on either PAYG or on a contract. The answer is a definite yes, as I have managed to get mine unlocked with relative ease.

Don’t bother phoning customer services they won’t be much help. Instead, head over to this web form. If your account is Pay as you go, then apparently you’ll need to top up £20 to cover the service (but don’t quote me on that, I’m not on PAYG. Try phoning customer services… I guess).

Type in your iPad’s  phone number (which should be on your contract paperwork, if it isn’t like mine you can try another number on the same account (which worked fine for me!) otherwise again you might have to try calling customer services)

Complete the form, wait about 3 working days (you can leave your computer and go about your life during this time) and you should get an email back from Vodafone telling you it’s been completed. Enjoy swapping sim cards in your freshly unlocked iPad.

3DS Circle Pad Pro Review

I have pretty big hands, because I’m a pretty big guy. I love my DSi XL for this reason: it’s the most comfortable handheld console I’ve ever owned. I played three hours straight of Dragon Quest on it the other evening.  The 3DS is completely different: it makes my hands cramp within half an hour of playing. This is more prevalent in games that use the shoulder buttons such as Mario Kart 7, than it simpler controlled games such as Pushmo.

At the beginning of January I was going to order a Nyko Power Grip for around £30 from the US, but I saw Zavvi selling the Circle Pad Pro and RE: Revelations for £30 delivered so I ordered that instead thinking I’d get a free game and something to solve my hand cramping issues.

I was wrong.

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Apple Airport Express and the case of the wrong region

My Airport Express has been used for about six months via ethernet to stream audio, but recently I moved stuff around and had a tidy up and now my wireless signal in my room is (now, was) rubbish.

Initally I tried reconfiguring it to be a wireless access point, but nothing I could do would make it work. There was apparently no wireless signal being transmitted. Digging around the configuration pages in Airport Utility it seemed my Airport Express thought it was a US unit, those being the only countries available to select in wireless settings. I was informed this shouldn’t really cause an issue (it would only cause two extra channels to be missing) but it was bugging me.

Downgrading and upgrading the firmware didn’t help. You can’t even manually download recent firmware anymore, it all has to be managed completely (downloading and installation) through the utility manager.

Just about to give up, I stumbled across this article on MacBook which details how to fully reset the Airport Express. It worked! Basically, unplug the device hold down the reset button (near the connections for speakers and ethernet) and plug it back in whilst continuing to hold down the reset button.

I held the button for around twenty seconds whilst the notification LED flashed orange really quickly. A quick trip back to Airport Utility and I have a functional wireless network again! Yay!

Lenovo Ideapad Z575: Initial Thoughts

My new laptop has the new AMD Llano platform chips buried within; both the 1.5Ghz AMD A8 CPU and a 6620M (the lower powered graphics card) as well as a 6650M. The model code of my particular model is M75D7UK. Other than that, it has a blu-ray reader, a 15” 1366×768 display and weighs about 2.5kg.

I’ve had the machine for just under a week and already I love it. Yes it’s bulkier than my MacBook Air which I sold to get this Lenovo; but it plays Skyrim! No, really, it does! See these screenshots!



Not shabby for a £600 laptop, is it? I’ll do some more tweaking tomorrow whilst I have some free time. Other games I’ve tried so far include Cities in Motion, and Roller Coaster Tycoon (but that last one doesn’t really count!)

Slingbox Pro Power Supply Issues

Recently acquired a Slingbox Pro (known to be functioning fine). Plugged it in, it didn’t want to see the network. Wasn’t the cable, the same one worked fine on the PS3. Didn’t want to reset itself.

Turns out the power supplies burn out quickly; and thankfully I also acquired a Slingcatcher which uses a similar power supply (5A instead of 4.5A). It however has a sticker saying ‘DO NOT USE WITH SLINGBOX PRO’

I figured I’d try it since it was only 0.5A difference, and my Slingbox sprang to life after one more reset.

It’s happening to a lot of people.