Category Archives: How To

Neon Light Tube Mod

Product: Glow 10″ purple neon light rod
Product Link: Purchased at Target
MFR Link: N/A
Reviewer: Jim Adkins
Date: 10/22/2001

Standard disclaimer here: I can accept no responsibility for any mishap that arises from this article. If you are not comfortable replacing a pigtail, find someone to help you who is. Always take precautions when working with electricity. A while back, I wrote a DIY article on installing an acrylic side panel. I still have that panel, and I have grown attached to it. What better way to show off all my hard work, blue motherboard, blue video card, blue rounded cables, big polished copper heat sink? All I needed now was a neon light.

I started to look for a neon light. What better way to show off my tricked-out rig? What I discovered was much the same as when I wrote the article about acrylic side panels. The neon lighting kits were not cheap. Commonly ranging from thirty to forty dollars, throw in ten or fifteen bucks for shipping, and things are quickly becoming expensive. So I started wondering why I couldn’t put together one of my own? Not only would it save me some money, but also, equally important, it would give me an excuse to tinker around some. Keep on reading!

Cheap Case Window Mods

Article Name: Cheap case window mods
Author: Jim Adkins
Date: 8/26/2001

AMD Gigahertz CPU, Geforce2, 512 MB PC133, 30 GB 7200 RPM hard drive. PC dream machine?

Hardly. This is my father-in-law’s machine, and he’s not even a gamer. You heard me correctly. The old rules simply don’t apply anymore. Several years ago, it used to be enough to have the fastest rig on the block, but not now–not when performance has gone mainstream. So what’s a hardcore gamer to do? Case mods. Because being fast isn’t enough anymore; it has to look good, too. Keep on reading!

How To Clean Your Computer

Article Name: How to clean your computer
Author: Jim Adkins
Date: 11/19/2001

It amazes me day in and day out how many computers come to me for repair because their owners didn’t clean them out. It’s no exaggeration to say that one system in ten sent to me for repair has a hardware failure of some sort caused by an excessive accumulation of dust. It’s not just the novice or the office worker who is guilty of this, either. It’s even the DIY and enthusiast crowd. Last week, I saw an HSF review on a hardware website that will remain nameless, and I could barely even see the motherboard. It was so covered in dust.

If you run your computer in a dusty area, or if you smoke in front of your computer. If you don’t regularly clean out your system, you are playing Russian roulette with a single-chambered gun. Here’s why: Dust and nicotine coat the inside surfaces of your computer and act as insulation, thereby reducing the ability of the electronic components therein to radiate heat. This, in turn, leads to higher system temperatures. Keep on reading!

Basic Case Cooling

Article Name: Basic Case Cooling
Author: Jim Adkins
Date: 1/19/2002

To make this a reasonably sized article that doesn’t occupy the entire website by itself. I will have to limit the scope of this article considerably and focus on basic case cooling concepts.

That means you won’t find any information here in this article on peltiers, water cooling, refrigeration units, or submersible cooling. At a minimum, each of these subjects deserves their very own separate article. Keep on reading!

CMOS Battery Replacement

Article Name: CMOS battery replacement
Author: Jim Adkins
Date: 12/23/2001 (Originally Published)

I am almost embarrassed to write this how-to on replacing your CMOS battery. As a matter of fact, if you are a gamer or a power user, you can stop reading right now if you want because you aren’t likely to learn anything. If, however, you have stumbled across this article as a newbie or casual user, read on because this information will come in handy one day.

As with most things to do with computers, there are two schools of thought about when you should change your CMOS battery. The most popular opinion is you replace your battery only when the current one is completely dead. My personal opinion is that you should replace your battery at a pre-determined interval of time. Keep on reading!