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How to guides

  • 6 apps that have proven themselves awesome for streaming film and TV

    Streaming movies and TV are the future when it comes to entertainment, no doubt. People love the ability to watch their favourite films and series while they’re on the go, waiting in line, lying in bed, or traveling. Recognising this, many developers now have free and paid apps that allow streaming. Whatever your device and wherever you are, you too can use these apps to get your favourite flick fix or binge-watch House of Cards, Game of Thrones or True Detective (or just stick with True Detective, it’s for the best). Get Multimedia on Google Play Movies (click for list...

  • 11 gadget lifehacks you can’t do without

    Love gadgets, but hate it when complications arise? So do I, so does everyone. But that’s what this article is for, to help you manage frustrations and to possibly make that special gadget in your life even happier. Boost a router’s WiFi Antenna signal with a parabolic trough antenna   Boosting a routers WiFi signal is a fuss-free affair. By fitting a homemade antenna on top of the router’s aerial, signal range is dramatically increased. This is my homemade one, but there’s an excellent DIY recipe over at Instructables. It took ten minutes to construct, if that, and greatly boosted...

  • Old Mac, new Mac: refurbishing an older Apple for a brighter future

    There’s both a sad and exciting cycle of life between modern computers. While we’re able to hold on to our intrepid digital companions for at least five good years of use, sooner or later we’re forced to overcome the limits of present day technology and embrace the future. While Apple’s line of MacBooks, iMacs as well as Mac Pros and Minis do offer great mileage for the money, recent advancements in Mac OS X have drawn a noticeable border between future-proof Macs and those less fortunate. A noticeable example is the aluminium Macbook of 2008’s ability to run OS X...

  • 6 (almost) wireless solutions for your home theater PC

    If your home theatre setup was a human body, the cables would surely be the veins. Silent and without question, constantly working to transport electricity, content, signal and broadband between the various vital organs of your custom and complex entertainment ecosystem. Cords of varying thickness, colour and type, all collected and connected, to make sure everything works as it should. The only problem with equating a home theatre system to a human body is that with the body, the veins are for the most part out of sight and not going to trip you or start a small fire...

  • 6 easy ways to move from Apple to Android

    Let’s say you own an iPhone. A 3GS, a 5, a 4S or maybe you’re even lucky enough to own the 5S. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you’re bored with your iPhone, and possibly even tired of being tied down to a phone that locks you into a certain way of behaving. It’s not open, per se. Everything is on Apple’s terms. The looks of the OS, the way you store your data, everything. So the time has come to move to Android. Well done to you. Android’s a great choice for a number of reasons. First,...

  • The ultimate Android rooting guide

    Rooting: maybe you’ve thought about it already, because your device is getting a little slower and you want all the shiny new features you read about on Gearburn. Unfortunately for you, this is Android, and sadly *insert manufacturer here* either hasn’t, or isn’t going to upgrade your current version. I will admit, this is a bummer, however OEMs are getting much better, so people are generally only a version or two behind, often without any real drawbacks. This “guide” is probably more aimed towards Nexus owners, because it’s what I have, but the basic principles will be the same in...

  • 15 tips and tricks for becoming a Windows 8.1 pro

    Windows 8.1 officially launches as a download, retail copy and on new Windows PCs or laptops on 18 October 2013. Microsoft’s added in loads of tweaks and updates to Windows 8, and has seemingly focused on restoring the power of the desktop back to the OS. The tips and tricks below will help you to gain control over this free update (naturally, only free if you already own Windows 8). Download Windows 8.1 Preview here. 1. Shutdown, restart or sign out quickly: Press Windows Key + X. The Start button menu pops, just move the mouse to the “shut down” dialog from...

  • 20 classic keyboard shortcuts for PC that everyone should know

    I was born in the eighties, eighty-five to be exact (yes, I am very aware of the fact that thirty is not very far away). This means that alongside the five years I spent being subconsciously influenced by awesome music and questionable fashion choices, I am a child of the nineties. I spent my afternoons watching Ninja Turtles, combing my hair into a middle-path style and cursing under my breath every time I stepped on an upturned piece of Lego. The nineties was also a time when we were all introduced to the home PC. I remember it well, the...

  • 3 top remote control options for XBMC

    Let me start off by saying that since I discovered XBMC, my life has changed. I spend nearly every free minute I have reading up on new plugins that have launched and watching video tutorials on how to hack it to do almost anything I want it to. I also find that I spend more time thinking about how to further streamline my budding home HPTC setup. You know, from things like wireless HDMI systems to minimize the clutter around my TV, to building custom housings for any new external storage units that I might buy in the next...

  • Google Chromecast hacked: here’s how

    People will hack anything, especially if it’s a US$35 media streamer called Chromecast. No-one’s ever happy with what they’ve got, which partly explains the success of the iPhone, still — what to with a hacked Chromecast? Before we explain, there’s something you should know: most of you will get very little joy out of the Google Chromecast hack: it’s aimed at developers looking to create and run custom software on the HDMI wunder-dongle. But this is step one as hack creators GTV say. With this tool, the smartest of us will be able to get inside the inner workings...