Saturday, December 31, 2011

Typing Over Previously Typed Text?

I hear these kinds of questions/statements so often:

- "Why am I erasing my work while typing!? I didn't do anything!"
- "When I type I rewrite my documents content!"
- "The computer is erasing my work! What is happening!?"

LUCKILY, the solution to your headache is a 10 second fix for even those unfamiliar to computers. The issue is that you have the insert setting turned on (you must have pressed 'Insert' button by accident or something). By pressing the 'Insert' button you have switched into the "Overwrite" typing setting.

The Ten Second Solution

1. Locate the button 'Insert' or 'Ins' on your keyboard. Usually, it is above the 'Backspace' button.

2. Hit the 'Insert' button on your keyboard and you should be able to type without rewriting.

3. Give it a test type!
Next to Backspace
Above Backspace

If you would like to disable your 'Ins' key: How To Disable The Insert Key In Windows

If your problem is not solved you may have a more serious keyboard or computer problem, but please take another 10 seconds to re-hit the 'Insert'  key on your keyboard. Overwrite is not something that can be fixed through the Undo Command in Word Documents, because the command was received from an external source (keyboard) that controls the state in which you type text.

Hope this helps! -Brian (

Friday, December 30, 2011

Over Two Thousand Free MIT Courses!

I cannot hold a resource so valuable! That would be indecent on my part. So, cheers to free education all around the world!

This site is amazing for a lot of reasons: it's free; it has amazing teachers; it has free lecture notes in PDF format to go along with each lecture; it has all the information and materials listed for you to complete any lab on your own; there are thousands of courses to choose from; the students are present and participate in the lectures; the courses are not all introductory (many continuation classes that stem from each other).

The only downside would have to be that the videos are not the highest quality, but that is an insignificant detail that is patched up by the detailed notes (PDF) (which have diagrams and pictures) that are provided with each lecture video.

2,000 Free College Classes (Lectures, Notes, Labs, Quizes) From MIT

For more free online college courses go to my "Links For You" tab and look for where it says "Free Online College".

Thursday, December 29, 2011

How To Organize Resistors

A 4-band resistor
The common 4-band resistor has roughly 10x10x10x4 = 4000 resistance values. When given an assortment of resistors (unsorted) one might feel sluggish to organize them all. Sadly, organizing them is going to be a little on the difficult side, but a few projects later it will have payed off tremendously. Let me present to you the simplest and most effective way to sort your resistors.


Reason: the 3rd band is the multiplier, which is far more significant than any other band on the 4-band resistor.



The true values of the following resistors are...

A. 22,000 ohms (+-10%)
B. 6,700 ohms (+-5%)
C. 62,000 ohms (+-10%)
D. 9,800 ohms (+-10%)

C is proportionally closer to the value of A than C is to B. So, I should put A and C into a baggie and label it in sharpie
"ORANGE 3rd band [*1000]."
Then I would place B and D in a different baggie labeled, "RED 3rd band [*100]."

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

An Abnormal Analogy: Computer Science and Literature

Computer science is a field that involves programming computers to complete tasks that need to be executed numerous times with high precision. For a human many of these tasks would be impossible.

1. Computer programming : Writing a book

2. Keyboard and mouse : Pen, pencil, eraser

3. Programming Environment : paper (blank pages)

4. Code : books content/story

5. Method/Function : verb

6. Class/Object/instance : noun

7.File : chapter

8. Main menu : table of contents

9. A parameter : a noun (idea) that must be put through a certain situation

10. class variables/ fields : character traits

11. main method : where a person opens the book

12. abstract class : structure for a part of a book not yet written

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Tech Similarities: The Toilet And The Computer

Everything is related to everything in some way. 

The Toilet And The Computer

I found this image on this website,, which must be added to the  "Links For You" page ASAP. From time to time, a laugh will keep your chin up.

Java's Main Method in a Nutshell

In Java (a programming language) a main method is a location where a Java starts. By start I mean that everything that occurs during the program is in some way started due to the content (code) of your main method. I will refer to the main as a method but it is also called "main function." functions are equivalent to methods when talking about computer science.

The main method looks complicated, but really shouldn't be:

class YourClass{
  public static void main(string[] args){
     /*where the start of your code belongs*/

If you exclude a main method from your Java program, it will not run what-so-ever. This is because your computer is looking for a start location, which by means of the Java programming environment was assigned to be the static method main.

Broken Apart For Better Understanding
Basic Dissection of the main method code
1. public = open to everyone 
2. static = non moving (I'll explain)
3. void = nothing 
4. main = base
5. String[] = A series of values
6. args = arguments

Taking this dissection an inch deeper

1. public = accessible to any programmer
2. static = content (code) inside will be instantaneous and still.
3. void = return nothing
4. main = the name of the base level method
5. String = Any text like "hello" or "I should favorite this site" or "haha 2+2 doesn't equal 4"
6. String[] = A series of text elements (really called Strings) such as "wow","thats it?" or "hey","merry","christmas"
7. args = A name that points at the data, String[]

Finally: Packed into A Box
public static void main(String[] args){ /*content or code*/ }
An open-to-all non-movable basic method that returns nothing and is passed (it receives) a series of Text that is where every Java program start.

For more information about the main method in java programs:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How to Remember the Resistor Color Code

The resistor color code is used to distinguish resistors with different amount of resistance (Ohms). There are some alternatives to interpreting the value of a resistor with the color code, but they involve money, and a lot of time. I will present to you a strong strategy for quick memorization of the whole table (color code table).

How To Memorize The Color Code

1. The Color of DIGITS Of The Resistor (the 1st two bands)

If this is new to "roy"-"G"-"biv" than maybe this will be more helpful:


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Underneath the Plastic - The Flash Drive (USB)

Underneath the Plastic: The Flash Drive

under the plastic
How many gigabytes can your flash drive store? 

Most people today use 1, 2 and 4GB flash drives.

1,2 and 4GB flash drives are popular because those sizes are all a realistic balance of price to the amount of space you will really need. For example, I have a 16GB flash drive, but since I bought it (4 months ago) I never exceeded even 4GB of the 16GB. [GB: Gigabyte]

64 GB for $70 

The average flash drive is about 2 times the size of the average human thumb and can hold 64 GB. That's an extremely high amount relative to the size of the device, so I wanted to see how compact, complex, and small the parts on the inside would be.

A MicroSD USB drive

SSD is what all flash drives use to store information (pictures, videos, files, programs, music). They use Solid State Drivers to minimize the size of the USB in addition to improved qualities when compared to the HDD (Hard Disk Drive).

A USB. This style of information storage is called a SSD (Solid State Drive). 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

How to Change the Resolution of Your Computer Screen

Decreasing the resolution of your computer screen saves a lot of energy. Also, people may want to decrease their resolution because part of their computer screen is not functioning properly.

How to change the resolution (amount of pixels on screen) of a computer screen in Windows:
1. Close or minimize all windows.
2. Right click desktop
3. Select "Screen Resolution"
4. Use the Drop down menu to select what dimensions of pixels you would like to be active.

W7R Demo Video of Changing Screen Resolution!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Save Hundreds By Downloading Free And Legal Software

Have you heard of freeware?

If you have not, now would be a great time to become familiar with it. Freeware is free software. Freeware is a way for computer users to save a lot of money. For example, the best video capturing software I have used on a computer (for filming stuff on the computer screen) is CamStudio. CamStudio is %100 free and %100 legal to download.

Here is a link to download CamStudio:

The idea behind freeware is too put it in big companies (Microsoft, Apple, Google...) faces. Freeware programmers are like charity workers. They create programs similar to the mainstream programs and upload them to the web to allow anyone to download and use it. I love freeware programmers!

Freeware programs include any and all programs that you would ever need: Anti-virus, Accessories, Games, Analysis tools, Programming Environments, Recording software, Email software, ....

I am going to end this post with a pot of gold (some of the best freeware sites today)


Thursday, December 15, 2011

15 Not-So-Obvious Ways to Saver Labtop Battery

Bright keyboard light (wastes power like no other)

1. Turn off the keyboard light!
If you are typing in the dark use a flashlight, lamp, or headlight, or at the least change to the most dimmed setting for your keyboard light.

2. Reduce the number of pixels in your screen resolution 
(size of screen displaying content other than black pixels)

3. Save and close any programs you are not using.

Take Fast Action! 
4. Turn off sound!

5.  Unplug any external devices that are connected to your laptop!

6. Dim your screen to its "darkest" setting 
(it isn't half bad)

7. Turn on any power saving modes

8. Buy a back up battery.
 (Batteries do not last forever.)
Buying a second battery is always the best prevention for running out of laptop battery.

9. If not needed at the time turn off your wireless connection (WLAN, wifi)

10. Remove any CD's from your computers CD/DVD drive.

11. Turn off any desktop slideshow.

12. Disable or remove any gadgets from your desktop.

13. Buy a portable laptop charger

14. Update your computer's software 
(It is likely the new software is more energy efficient).

15. Clean your laptops connection with the battery very carefully with rubbing alcohol.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Techmas 2011 - Video Games Rule

Holidays are to be enjoyed. A video game can be the perfect entertainment for your holiday get togethers in addition to be excellent gifts!

  * *   * *   * * *  * 
* *   * *  *   *   *  *
*  * *   *  *     * *  *
 *  *  *   *    * *   *

1. Just Dance 3
2. Call Of Duty (COD)
Assassins Creed: Revelations on Amazon 
Modern Warfare 3
3. Batman: Arkham City (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
4. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
5. Addaddin's Creed Revelations (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
6. Uncharted 3: Drakes Deception (PS3)
7. Battlefield 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
8. Guitar Hero
9. Dance Dance Revolution
10. Mario Party (1-8) (8 being the newest*)
11. Donkey Kongo
12 Dance Central (Xbox 360)
13. Disney Epic Mickey

Techmas 2011 - That Music Tech

1. Beats headphones by Dr. Dre
2. Skull Candy (inexpensive) headphones
3. An electric guitar (perhaps a Fender Stratocaster)
4. A metronome
5. A drum machine

Sunday, December 11, 2011

How To Email Messages, Videos, Images With Any Cell Phone

Emailing by phone is quite easy. Let me explain the process:

Basic Steps:
Your phone number is a lot like a email address, except that your phone number does not include letters.  Typically, when you are sending a message to a friend, you navigate to your Contacts followed by selecting Options and finally opening New Text Message
Keep in mind that not all cell phones are the same: different names, different selection menus, features.
Instead of using a phone number stored in a contact you need to enter in the email manually. It is possible to save an email into a contact, which I will explain further down this post. So, I would go to where it says (the box labeled..) "Recipients" or "To" and type in instead of the usual 11 digit code 123-321-5555. 

How To Type With A Cell Phone:
Incase you are not savvy with technology, to type into a cell phone is traditionally done by hitting any button a certain number of times. As you press 2 three whole times, it would display "A," then "B" then "C" individually from each other. The letter you desire to choose must be visible for a certain amount of time to be accepted. This allows for the use of all 26 letters of the English Alphabet to be represented by only a few amount of keys.

The letters should be displayed in smaller text on the same key as their corresponding number. If you still need help, try asking a teenager or any other tech adapted person.

Picture Messages To Email:
This can be used to save room on your phone, or to simply show photos to someone who doesn't have or use a cell phone. The email is typed into the "Recipient" or "To" box to tell the phone where to send it (like a phone number would). The only difference is that the picture must be added to the text message. Your text typed into the body of the text message will be the body of the email. The Image will be recieved as an attachment to the email. 

Video Messages To Email: 
First, some cell phones do not support video recording or playing, but most cell phones can store them if you really needed to (like a flash Drive you would plug into a USB on your computer). Locate "Create New Video Message" and be sure to enter a valid email address into the prompt for the recipient content. Videos send just like images, because they are just a large series of images. 

Other Info:
It is possible to send your email/text message to more than one person at the same time and some phones limit the quality of the image you send due to data space.

If you like my blog, add me to your internet browsers favorites!
If you have trouble or do not understand my directions I would love to fix up the misunderstanding via blog comment or email (

Techmas 2011 - The Gadgets and Luxuries

Here are some gadget gift ideas for the holidays!

1. Windows PC Tablet
2. Ipad 2.0
The Ipad 2.0

3. Iphone 4S
4. Massage Chair
An impressive massage chair

5. Headphones (such as the "Beats" by Dr. Dre)
6. XBox 360
7. 3D LCD television
8. Bose surround sound system
Bose surround sound system

9. MacBook Air
MacBook Air
10. An Intense Gaming Labtop
New Speed Record Breaking Labtop of 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Techmas 2011 - Electronics and DIY Hobbyist

1. The Arduino chip

2. Electronics Learning kits
3. Soldering iron and solder
4. Batteries (a great topping for anything that requires batteries)
5. An Accelerometer
6. LED 8x8x8 materials (LED's, Resistors, Programmable chip, Wires)
7. Multimeter (for measuring current, voltage, resistance, and more).
8. Switches, DIP sockets, and relays (spare parts in general)
9. A DIY Electronics book
10. Gift Card to Nearby Radio Shack or Other Electronics Store
11. Wire Strippers
12. Speakers and buzzers
13. Solar Cells and Solar Panels (Eco Friendly)
14. Electronics Magazine Subscription
15. Accessories for his/her favorite electronic devices
16. Hot Glue Gun / Nail Gun / Duct Tape
17. Pin Sockets (All easy removal of old or defective chips in his/her projects)
18. Neodymium Magnets
19. Breadboards and Perfboards
20. Controllable Power Sources
21. Logic chips and transistors
22. Hot Air Gun and Wires to use with it

23. Digital Electronics Software
24. Current Sensing Resistors

The "Too-Many-Wires" Headache Solution

GOOD. The circuit is organized and parts are wires are colored and  appropriate in length

The following steps can be used in any order, but if done in the order provided, the steps may be more helpful. 

1. Take a quick break ( 10 minutes ) maybe a coffee and a shower.

2. Look at your project with the mindset, "Which wires can be shortened to clean up this mess." Then, shorten them! If you are new to electronics then invest in a pair of wire strippers or "strippers". Wire Strippers cut and strip wires of various guages (sizes). 
Any wire that is about two times as long as it should be to make its connection flat and out of the way, you should remove (mark the locations if you will forget its placement) and then cut the wire into two and strip the ends as needed. You get an extra wire AND a cleaner project.

3. Use colors to represent different and significant parts of your circuits. Red could be all of your power (PWR) lines; blue your ground (GND). Make your color decisions definite and write them down into a journal that you can use specifically for your projects.

4. Call a friend for help organizing your ciruit. He may be able to see problems that you do not see. Two people are twice as efficient as one. Plus, it may spark more joy into your project.

5. Label wires with tape (weak tape would be preferred if you plan to reuse the wires). Get a sharpie to ensure an absence of those troublesome smudges.

6. Re-think the layout of your circuit. If your project has many long wires, you should move the components closer together and decrease the size of your wires.

7. Replace loose wires that would fall out upon a simple shake. When shortening and simplifying your wires the last thing you want is for your wires to fall out of their placement.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

What In The World Is A Boolean? Common Computer Data Types

The word looks extremely weird and abstract, but the funny thing is that "boolean" is simply a YES or NO variable. It is a variable based on the simplest logic known to man: True or False.
Boolean variables are just that! TRUE or FALSE. 

(Java) Example #1:
boolean pass = false;

In example #1 (above): "boolean" is a keyword that tells the computer what the variable will be. "pass" is the name I chose to name this variable. " = false;" sets the value of "pass" to false.

The name "Boolean" came from the last name of George Boole, an English mathematician from the 1800's. In binary, a number system based on 2, often times, a numerical value of 1 is referred to as true, and a value of 0 is false. Boolean variables are extremely important in computer science, engineering, and electronics because it can simulate logic by use of electric current.