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Long ago, the best tool for slapping two pieces of technology together was the mighty Roll of Duct Tape. It brought us such wonders as Flashlight Taped to Gun, Cardboard Taped to Broken Car Window, and even the ever-popular Command Module Carbon Dioxide Filter Taped to Lunar Module Receptor.
In these more enlightened days, the USB drive has risen as the primary mode of integrating two forms of disparate hardware. Unfortunately, Android devices come equipped with the far less-ubiquitous micro USB drive, so all that USB-ready technology lies just outside of reach. Except it’s not, really.
Even though it’s not being marketed or sold by any major phone manufacturers, a tiny little cable called the USB On-The-Go adapter can let you have a lot of USB-related fun with your Android device.
What is this thing?
USB On-The-Go is really just a micro USB cable that runs out to a female USB port. You plug it into your Android device, and it effectively gives your device a USB port. Now you can use a slew of different gadgets that weren’t necessarily designed with Android interface in mind.
So, does it work on just about everything?
No, unfortunately. Compatibility is actually extremely hit-and-miss, because not a lot of Android device designers were really working with USB functionality in mind. Figuring out whether devices work with USB OTG has been a matter of trial and error, with some devices only having partial functionality and others taking to it like ducks to water. It seems like Samsung has the most USB capability overall so far.
Although Android devices have been USB-host-mode ready since Android 3.1, the problem is that hardware manufacturers have to enable that feature. If they don’t, then your device will just be mystified if you try to plug a USB drive into it.
How do I make it… do things?
Time to break out the hyperactive, tinkering little kid inside you, because there aren’t really any established instructions or best practices for USB OTG. You might as well just grab one and see what works with your device, but so far we’ve discovered some pretty awesome uses.
It’s a little bit odd that even the most compatible devices would have this functionality, but it seems like you can connect a mouse on most of them and have a pointer materialize on your screen. Use it just like you would on your computer. Doesn’t seem terribly practical, but it’s definitely interesting. Maybe you could use it to play old-school first-person shooters like Wolfenstein 3D or DOOM.
Speaking of games…
With emulators and roms becoming increasingly popular, one of the only downsides to playing them on your phone has been the inherent clumsiness of using a touch screen to mimick something as complex and alien as the N64 controller. I mean, who designed that thing?
Although your Android device’s power output isn’t stout enough to keep an unpowered hard drive operational, you can use a plug-in-the-wall powered hard drive to move some files around. Great if you’ve maxed out your phone’s hard drive and want to make some more room.
Because your Android powers whatever device it’s connected to, a portable (not powered) hard drive won’t work. However, a powered hard drive will, since it relies on energy from an external source. With the hard drive connected, you can read, write, and transfer any stored files.
Although this won’t work for some devices, you can plug a thumb drive in and most compatible Android devices treat a USB thumbdrive just like your computer does. Check some files on the go or tuck others away for safekeeping.
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However, in reality, this is a necessary step in many situations. If you’re reinstalling Windows 11 or 10, or using software to clone a hard drive, it’s the easiest way.
Before you begin, there are three things you’ll need for the process to work:
a bootable USB stick.
a laptop or PC set up to boot from USB devices
Software that will run from a USB driveHow to make a USB device bootable
A PC or laptop won’t be able to start from a USB drive unless it’s formatted correctly and has the appropriate files and software which enable it to boot.
A common mistake is to copy an ISO file (containing an operating system) to a USB drive and assume this is all that’s needed for it to boot and install Windows or any other operating system. First, you need to use software which can write the files to the drive and make it bootable.
Several utilities can do this, including Rufus (which supports many operating systems) and Microsoft’s own Media Creation Tool, which you can use to legally download Windows 10 or Windows 11 and put it on a USB stick.
These tools will warn you that they’ll delete everything off your USB drive, so make sure you’ve copied off any files you don’t want to lose before starting. You’ll also need to have downloaded whatever software it is you’re planning to boot from, be it Windows, Linux or something else.How
do I boot from USB in the BIOS?
Many PCs and laptops are set to check for a USB drive first before trying to boot from a CD, DVD or the internal hard drive. But not all are configured this way. You might find that plugging in your flash drive before pressing your computer’s power button doesn’t work: it just boots into Windows as normal or does nothing if you’ve got no operating system installed yet.
In this case, you need to:
Turn on your computer and press
Delete, F2, F10 or F11
(this varies by device) to enter the BIOS
Use the cursor keys to find the ‘Boot’ menu or something similar
Change the order so USB is at the top of the list as the number one boot priority
If none of those keys work to enter the BIOS, look out for a message on your monitor after pressing the computer’s power button. The message is usually at the bottom of the screen and says something like ‘Press F11 for boot options’.
Some PCs and laptops don’t show this, so you’ll have to check your manufacturer’s website to find out which key to press or even your motherboard manual.
Once in the BIOS, look for a menu or an option that lets you see and change the boot devices or boot priority. This will vary from BIOS to BIOS, but it’s usually fairly obvious.
Make sure you change the first (#1) boot option, as whatever is set there will be the device that is tried first.
A small number of old PCs may lack the ability to boot from USB, but anything within the last decade or so should have the option. If you’re still having problems, check that USB ports haven’t been disabled in the BIOS. Different BIOSes work in different ways, but it should be simple enough to figure out how to make a USB drive the first boot device.
Bear in mind that the USB stick may need to be plugged into a USB port for it to appear in the list of boot options.
Once you’ve set everything correctly, use the ‘Save & Exit’ option in the BIOS to save your changes and reboot the system (often this is the F10 key). Then your PC or laptop should boot from the USB drive when it restarts.Related articles
5 Dos and Don’ts to Make the Most of Your Smart Home Experience
Let’s enlighten the future by following these useful smart home tips and tricks.Best Smart Home Tips List of Dos Review the Surroundings Group Your Devices
Your home cannot become smart enough by just installing a few smart home bulbs and a smart TV, right? You have to act a little smarter here! When you have a bunch of smart home appliances, then the best way is to group your devices to have better control over them. For example, if you have a couple of smart home bulbs equipped in our house, so then the right approach is to club these lights into a group per se for each room like “Living Room lights” or “Kitchen Lights” so that you can manage them easily. So, if you want to control your smart home lights then you just have to use a universal command like “Turn off the living room lights” so that all the smart home bulbs clubbed in that group turn off automatically.Buy Multiple Smart Speakers
To have better voice control over your smart home, we would recommend you buy multiple smart speakers like Google Home or Echo Dots and install them in every corner of your house. One of the most common mistakes that we do is when we try to control almost all of our smart home appliances with just one smart speaker that is just restricted to a little space. Suppose, if you’ve installed a smart speaker in your living room and then the moment you move towards the kitchen or bedroom, your voice command won’t be that effective.List of Don’ts Don’t Buy Without Researching the Market
Must Read: How to Make Your Smart Home More SecureDon’t Go for Poor Naming Conventions
Your smart home gadgets are not mere devices, in fact they are much more than that! So, we would recommend you treat your smart home appliances like family and assign easy names to address the voice commands. Be a bit thoughtful and name your devices in a way that is easy to interpret and speaks for itself.
So, folks, there were a few smart home tips and tricks, more like do’s and don’ts that can allow you to make the most of your smart home experience. We hope we helped in making your smart home environment a little less complicated and way more comforting!Quick Reaction:
About the author
A tech blogger and part-time explorer of “Everything cool and trendy”. Slipped into the writing career a couple of years back, for the love of technology. Rimzhim’s blogs solely focus on problem-solving troubleshooting guides for Windows, macOS, Android, and iPhone. She curates tech-related content, tips, DIY hacks that resolve common errors and bugs. Born and raised in the pink city.
Podcast on Your Blog: Your blog is another location where you should have your podcast first and foremost. You can also embed the audio very easily into a blog, login through the interface to your blog and post it, along with sending it to iTunes. Your blogs are an imperative location, because here you can not only post your blog but also let people sign up for your notifications.
This will let your visitors know when you have new podcasts up. Also, have a subscribe button on your site so people can always have the latest and greatest content available to them when it’s first live!
One other important tip to getting the most out of your podcast is summarizing. To help search engines find you, it is also so important to add important points of you podcast underneath the audio. It also should have links with in the content proving your point. Individuals tend to just add the podcast or audio with a brief title. Using text tell your audience what the audio is about, using good keywords, links and images that beef up your SEO.
Syndicate Your Content : If you have a podcast, not only must it just be on your site, but also on other sites. iTunes, for example is one place you can start to begin expanding your brand awareness, as it’s a huge search engine for content. iTunes lets you create a channel where you can place your podcasts.
When adding content to iTunes, make sure you are using the keyword research you have done in the past for your site, as it would be best to name your podcasts with keywords rich titles. You should write a synopsis and also add good keywords in this area to get the maximum benefit out of it. Another thing you can do in iTunes is submit it to podcast directories, so you make sure you get a larger audience, but putting your content in several places. There are several podcast directories you can look out to find out where else you can add you content.
Another site that is a great way place to get the most out of your podcast, is a site called Hipcast. Hipcast is a site that helps you create all sorts of content. Here you can create audio, video, podcasts and blogs. Here you can even call a number using your phone to create an audio file. There is a small fee to use Hipcast, but its ease of usability is worth the $5/month price.
How to add a USB-C port to your laptop and keep your desk tidy
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Wondering how to add a USB-C port to your laptop? We’ll explain you how a computer networking hub can give you an extra USB-C port for your laptop, and ease connectivity for multiple devices.How to add a USB-C port to your laptop
Laptops, today, are more than just portable PCs. They are both power sources and data transmitters.
Most laptop owners almost always have two or more devices such as a tablet or smartphone, and these gadgets also rely on USB ports to perform common tasks such as data transfer or charging.
For such users, a laptop may not offer much in terms of connectivity owing to the limited number of ports it comes with. There is need for something extra that ensures everything is in one place, without the hassle of carrying extra cables, adapters, and finding extra power sources.
Unlike the usual USB-A and USB-B ports found on most PCs and laptops, the USB-C port is gaining more popularity because it enables faster data transmission, and quick charge for different devices.
If you’re looking to add a USB-C port to your laptop, don’t fret. Computer networking hubs, or simply USB hubs, are designed with users like you in mind.
A USB hub is a gadget with multiple USB ports on it, which you can plug into your laptop’s USB port, then use it with up to eight devices connected to the hub.
These hubs come with anywhere between three to eight ports, so you have the freedom and convenience of moving around with your laptop and other devices as you so wish.
When it comes to a USB hub, most users look for the following:
Ports that work whenever anything is plugged into them (and an indicator that shows they’re working)
Well-arranged ports that keep the desk organized and do not suck up much space
Minimum of three data ports
Speeds that do not drop off
A good price
READ ALSO: This new USB-C multi-port hub acts as a docking station for your Windows 10 laptop
There are two types of USB hubs: powered hubs, and non-powered hubs.
What you need if you have multiple devices, is the powered hub, which must be plugged into the computer to get power, then supply power to your other USB devices.
It is important to note that not all devices can run from USB hubs, so you’ll have to plug it directly to your laptop’s ports. However, your laptop will give you a warning message prompt in such a case, and recommend what to do when this happens.
If you have a small laptop case or bag, don’t worry. There are many small USB hubs available in the market that can comfortably meet your needs.
Like a Swiss Army knife, a multi-port hub has several extended ports that offer a variety of functions.
Some of the tasks you can fulfill while using this hub include:
Charging your phone
Fast data transfer
Charging your laptop (if you have a type-C connector)
Connect your keyboard, mouse, flash drive or hard disk
Stream HDTV, as the hub also has a HDMI port
SD and Micro SD memory card readers
The compact design of multi-port USB hubs effectively take up little desk space, and support high power devices, when connected to an external power source.
If you’re looking for a USB-C port hub that matches your connectivity needs, remember to check out our list of the best USB hubs for your laptop.
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Beijing is the site of the 7th Annual International Strawberry Symposium, in a district called Changping that’s apparently known for its strawberries. Here’s the thing: none of us will ever be as happy as that adorable child about to do a no-hands chompdown on those strawberries. For more great news images (strawberry-related or otherwise), check out American Photo for a full roundup of this week’s best photojournalism,.
It’s rainy/snowy/gross outside the PopSci headquarters in New York. But through the grey gloom, one little boy has given us the will to make it through the week. We call him Chomp Boy. Chomp away, Chomp Boy. You enjoy that berry. Enjoy it for all of us. As tribute, we’ve given him the prime spot in a particularly excellent roundup of the week’s most amazing images–exploding stars, x-rayed eels, and rockets screaming through the northern lights are all to come.
Sock-Sneakers. Snockners. Sneakocks?
Nike’s new running sneakers are designed like knit socks with soles, kind of. The line is called Flyknit, poised to capitalize on the hottest trend (of 2005), knitting, with a bunch of space-age reinforcement design. Read more over at FastCoDesign.
I <3 Foxconn
Foxconn employees attend a rally at the Foxconn campus in Shenzhen.
This shot of a viper moray, a saltwater eel in the moray family, comes from a new exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History in D.C. called X-Ray Vision: Fish Inside Out. Read more about it here, or, better yet, just head to the museum. The exhibit’ll be there until August.
Beijing is the site of the 7th Annual International Strawberry Symposium, in a district called Changping that’s apparently known for its strawberries. Here’s the thing: none of us will ever be as happy as that adorable child about to do a no-hands chompdown on those strawberries. For more great news images (strawberry-related or otherwise), check out American Photo for a full roundup of this week’s best photojournalism,
Windows, Meet iPad. iPad, Windows
OnLive, known mostly for their tech wizardry that allows you to play full, intensive videogames on any computer (or mobile device), has a new service called OnLive Desktop Plus. Desktop Plus turns your iPad into a Windows desktop, with gestures and multitouch intact, by hosting the actual OS on its beefy servers. Read more here.
Not a Lung
This might look like those photos of blackened, tar-encrusted lungs you find on foreign cigarette packs, but it’s actually a Hubble image showing the Eta Carinae system just prior to its supernova. It explodes in a dumbbell shape rather than a consistent sphere, interestingly enough. Read more here.
Encased in Itself
This isn’t frozen, and it’s not a candy shell. It’s an edible plastics-based container of yogurt, lightly crusted in oatmeal, and it’s part of a nutritious breakfast (in the future). Read more about how it was done here.
Interior Design Climb
Rocks are outside, not inside. If you want to climb up an indoor wall, why not make hand- and foot-holds out of something a little more…interior? Like picture frames? This Japanese climbing wall looks so, so fun. Read more at io9.
A two-stage suborbital rocket, screaming through the Northern Lights over Alaska. Read more here.
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