Some of my bad tech "hacks"

Home Page - Computers

I usually think of things like "if its stupid but it works, it's not stupid", and I seem to have applied this to my technology as well.
These may not look great, but they work (for the most part).

Adding more soon, last updated June 2 2020


Memory card reader add-on for my secondary
A secondary OS / hdd on my secondary
Awful power supply replacement on my secondary
CD Drive add-on on my secondary
Various front panel things on my Dell E520
Extended iPad charging cable
More USB ports for my main
Physically disabling caps lock
Terrible coat hanger tv antenna
Reusing those gimmicky usb drives
Power button safety cap < new!


Memory card reader add-on on my secondary pc



This is one board off of a memory card reader that I scavenged from a 2009 Acer desktop that was being recycled.

For various reasons, the side panel is never going back on this case, so I figured I might as well securely attatch it in the best place I can find.
Beleive it or not, tying it to the side with string and tape was very effective, and you can use it no problem without it moving around.

It has ports for USB, SD, and CF. What else do you need?
It works flawlessly on Windows XP, though Windows 98 has some issues with the SD card reader.



Secondary OS/HDD on my secondary pc



When I was looking for stuff on spring cleaning, I found a late 2000s era DVR that seemed to have never been used. It's of no use to me, so I wanted to steal whatever was inside of it.

These DVRs use special screws, and I dont have the screwdriver, so I forcefully bent the cover off, and I took a hard drive and a fan.

The hard drive is a 160GB SATA drive from WD. I had it sitting around as a spare, and decided to install it in my secondary computer (windows 98) to run Windows XP. I used everyone's favourite SATA to IDE adapter to make this possible.

Yes, it's in the secondary floppy drive cage, I don't see a problem here.
All the metal stuff on the top is, peices of the case, blanking plates and the frame of the card reader mentioned in the post above.



Awful power supply replacment on my secondary pc



In early 2019, the power supply failed on this computer. Not spectacuarly, it just kinda hissed and then died.
The only problem is that the power supply is a propriatary size, and no other power supply fits in this case.

While getting a new case is something that will happen someday, I still need to use this computer, so I stole the power supply from my Dell DM3000 to use in this computer. I did eventually find another to replace the one in my DM3000 as well.

I've been using the computer like this for over a year, and i'm sorta getting comfortable with having it like this. An open air case is great!



CD Drive add-on for my secondary pc



This computer didn't have a CD drive when I got it, probably because there is no mounting hardware in this case.
I had been using a USB DVD drive with this computer for the past 3 years, but I sort of wanted the full functionality of a real drive, also while saving me an extra USB port.

I took a spare internal drive from my closet, and taped it to the top of the case with scotch tape. I also got a spare IDE cable and set it up in the secondary IDE port. The molex power just barley reached the drive while also connected to the hard drive, but I made it work.



Various front panel things on my Dell E520.



So um... yeah.
So this is the front panel of my Dell E520, my Windows XP machine. I don't have any blank plates for this front panel (this was once a dual drive setup), so I cut out a peice of paper, filled it in with sharpie and taped it to the front panel. There's actually a memory card reader behind it, but I don't use it that often.

What I prefer over having that there is a floppy drive. I don't have any black drives, let alone one that has a front panel on it, but this one should do. For some reason, I had to break off a cable holder to get the drive in, because it was in the way. I suppose they don't want me having a floppy drive.

Yes, while working on these older computers, floppy disks are of regular usage to me. I keep a lot of utilities on floppy disk (but also on my flash drive)


edit: since the creation of these photos, an attempt was made to integrate the memory card reader into the blank plate, which failed miserably.



Extended iPad charging cable



I always thought that iPad charging cables were too short, because they are.
If you've ever taken the plug part off of an apple charging block, it looks like a normal 2 prong connector used by many chargers. I found one of those cables and replaced the plug part with it, and it works!

I have extended my iPad charger at least more than 2 times. (do I look like i'm going to measure it)



More USB ports for my main



This one is barley a hack, but it's still convenient. I have this tiny USB hub, and I taped it to the side of my monitor, and it's been there for 4 months without falling off! The black tape is to cover the useless blue LED that every device has to have these days.

I could hack it more and really cover, or completely remove the useless LED, but I can't find any way to open it. (like all modern tech)



Terrible coat hanger tv antenna



I'm sure any antenna people reading this page are having a nightmare right now.

Don't get me wrong, I love OTA television, and I would love to have a good roof-top antenna someday, but for the time being, this is all we have.

On top my telly is an old pair of rabbit ear antennas that I found in an attic box. On top of my desk thing/lego holder is my coattena!
It was made by ruining a coaxial cable and tying the cut off ends onto a cut-in-half coat hanger.


I hate to say it, but it picks up every single station that various antenna locator websites say that I sould be able to pick up for an indoor antenna.


I marked off all stations that I could pick up, and I even have some that aren't on this list.
This website is local to Vancouver, BC, Canada.



Reusing those gimmicky usb drives

I'm sure everyone here reading this has at least ONE of those usb drives of a fictional character, where you rip its legs off and plug it into your computer. I'm pretty sure nobody actually uses those kinds of usb drives. At least I don't, and wouldn't trust them with ANY important data.

When I was helping clean up around the house, I found some of those crappy usb drives. I took out the metal usb part of them, and threw the rubber in the garbage.



I taped the metal part to a lego brick, and wrote down the contents of the drive. I don't use these for important data, but I do use these for the occasional time when I need a bootable usb.



Power button safety cap

I have an all in one computer, and the power button is on the right side. You know what else is on the right side? My hand when I'm trying to open the CD drive. Almost every time I go near the power button I accidentally click it, and Windows 10 gives me no time to "CANCEL SHUTDOWN" and it just fricken turns off.



I decided to make a power button cap to prevent accidental shutdowns. Its designed so that you can only turn off the computer if you're really trying, and not accidentally bumping it.

I cut out this odd shape and folded it into a box. I used masking tape to attatch it to the monitor, and it works just fine.







Those were some pretty dumb hacks, eh? I'm always messing around with my computer stuff, so check back in a few months and I might have added a few more things. Thanks for reading.

all images on this page were taken by me, please do not repost these on social media reddit, that's all i'm asking from you.