Cnet Do-It-Yourself Laptop Projects


Trick out your laptop

Take your laptop to the limit with the fun and practical projects packed inside this easy-to-use guide. Produced in conjunction with, the place you go for the latest in tech and consumer electronics, this book shows you how to do all sorts of resourceful things with your laptop, like use it as a car stereo, broadcast a podcast, navigate a road trip, and more.

Inside, you'll find 24 self-contained projects, ...

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Trick out your laptop

Take your laptop to the limit with the fun and practical projects packed inside this easy-to-use guide. Produced in conjunction with, the place you go for the latest in tech and consumer electronics, this book shows you how to do all sorts of resourceful things with your laptop, like use it as a car stereo, broadcast a podcast, navigate a road trip, and more.

Inside, you'll find 24 self-contained projects, step-by-step instructions, a list of tools needed at the beginning of each project, and hundreds of clear photos and screenshots. With CNET Do-It-Yourself Laptop Projects, you'll discover that you can get more out of your laptop than ever before.

  • Build a wireless network
  • Transfer vinyl or cassette tapes to CD
  • Make free phone calls at home and on the road
  • Watch TV on your laptop and record your favorite shows
  • Set up a centralized home security system
  • Squeeze more life out of your battery
  • Upgrade your memory, hard drive, and processor
  • And much more
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072264692
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media
  • Publication date: 12/20/2006
  • Series: Cnet Do-It-Yourself Ser.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 0.57 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Justin Jaffe is a former senior editor at CNET where he managed the laptop reviews program.

Brian Nadel is the former editor-in-chief of Mobile Computing & Communications magazine.

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Table of Contents

Foreword     xvii
Acknowledgments     xix
Introduction     xxi
Make a Killer Car Stereo     3
Find a Good Seat for Your Laptop     3
Get Set to Transmit     5
Load Up Some Tunes     6
Set the Vibe     6
Build a Wireless Network     9
Insert the CD     10
Connect the Modem     10
Take It Easy     11
Silver or Blue?     11
Connect the Router     11
Find That Router     13
Secure Your Network     13
Wep It Up     14
Get Checked     15
Find Your Router a Home     15
Connect Another Laptop     16
Set Up a Wireless Connection     17
Check Out the Wireless Wonder     17
Locate Your Settings     17
Play Digital Music on Your Home Stereo     21
The Wired Way     21
Check Out Your Connections     21
Get Connected     23
Load Up Some Tunes     24
The Wireless Way     25
Install the Bridge     25
Configure the Bridge     25
Connect theBridge to the Stereo     25
Find That Confounded Bridge     26
Load Up Some Tunes     26
Print Wirelessly     27
Set Up the Printer Server     27
Make the Connection     28
Address Your Server     29
Seek and Ye Shall Find     29
Add Your New Printer     30
Go Ahead, Be Selfish     30
Give It a Whirl     30
Congratulate Yourself     31
Print from Anywhere     33
Cut to the Chase     33
Choose Options in the Print Server     33
Save Yourself     33
Surf the Web on Your TV     35
Identify Your Connections     35
Wire for Audio and Video     37
Hook Up to Your TV     37
Bring Your TV Online     38
Fine-Tune Your Laptop     38
Talk to Your TV     39
Send Video to the TV     40
Make Free Phone Calls     43
Download the Software     44
Install and Configure Skype     44
Set Off to See the Wizard     45
Add Family and Friends     46
Get Ready to Dial     48
Set Up Voicemail and Call Forwarding     50
Add Video to Your Phone Calls     50
Transfer an LP or Cassette Tape to CD     53
Call the Wizard     54
Get Connected     54
Get Set to Record     55
Set Your Parameters     56
Track the Music     57
Test Drive the System     57
Thread the Needle     58
Burn, Baby Burn     58
Create a Cover     58
Star in Your Own Internet TV Show     61
Install the Software     62
Set Your Password     62
Try Uploading a Photo     62
Browse Your Cam     63
Go to the Video     64
Open Your Webcam Page     65
Customize Your Webcam     65
Adjust the Resolution     66
Allowing Access     67
Secure the Perimeter     68
Hit the Road     69
Broadcast a Podcast     71
Get Activated     72
Pick a Task, Any Task     72
Choose Quantity or Quality     73
Find Your Music     74
Button Down, and Up     74
Make Yourself at Home     75
Plug in the Microphone     76
Create Your First Podcast     76
Play That Funky Music     77
Wrap It Up     78
Save Yourself     79
Get Set to Upload     79
DJ a Party     81
Choose Your Name     81
Download Your Turntables     81
Dig Through the Crates     82
Let the Record Play     82
Get Faded     82
Catch the Pitch     83
Get On Beat     83
Find or Make Samples     84
Create FX Effects     84
Step It Up     86
Get Oriented     86
Build a Playlist     87
Clean It Up     87
Say Ho!     88
Use Karaoke     88
Watch and Record TV     93
Install the Software     94
Plug In     95
Follow the TV Wizard     96
Beware of Children     96
Set Some More Settings     97
Store Your TV Shows     98
Try Out Your New Tube     99
Surf Channels     99
Set Even More Settings     100
Throw Out Your TV Guide      101
Get the Details     101
Record It, Now or Later     103
Get Back On the Couch     104
Transfer Home Video to DVD     105
Shake Your Movie Maker     105
Get Connected     106
Hit Record     107
Choose Your Weapon     107
Add Your Name and Address     107
Choose Quality vs. Quantity     107
Take Only What You Need     108
Capture the Clips     108
Put Your Clips in Order     109
Add Special Effects     109
Add Titles and Credits     110
Preview and Save     110
Cut! Print!     113
Use Your Fingerprints Instead of Passwords     115
Get Software First     116
Secure This     116
Set Your Last Password     117
Store Your House Keys     117
Make Some Decisions (And More Decisions)     119
Select Security Levels     119
Connect the Scanner     120
Swipe It     122
Swipe Your Prints     122
Scramble Your Files     124
Consolidate Your Passwords     125
Protect Your Laptop from a Data Disaster      127
Find Some Storage Space     127
Open Your Windows     128
Back Up or Restore?     128
Decide How Much Is Enough     129
Choose Your Destination     130
Make Sure It Fits     130
Create Your Restore Media     131
Continue to Back Up     132
Go Back to See the Wizard     133
Give Your Backup a Checkup     133
Append or Replace     134
Back Up While You Sleep     134
Make Your Laptop Safe for Surfing     137
Vaccinate Your Laptop     138
Update the Virus Database     138
Give Your Hard Drive a Checkup     139
Activate Security     140
Scan While You Sleep     140
Declare War on Malware     142
Find a Good Cybernarmy     144
Clean House: Setting Limits     145
Keep It Simple, Keep It Safe     146
Navigate a Road Trip     149
Choose the Setup: S, M, or L     149
Load the Mapping Data     150
Get Hooked Up     150
Find Yourself     151
Get Oriented     153
Find a Location      154
Let's Get Going     156
Speak to Me     156
Build a Home Security System     159
Set Up the Software First     160
Connect That Camera     160
Find the Address     161
Enter Today's Date     161
Hand Over the Keys     162
Find More Software     163
Leap into Action!     163
Cut the Cord     165
Try Out SoloLink     165
Give Up the Codes     165
License and Registration     167
Set Your Ports     167
Locate the Camera     168
Start the Spying     168
Let's Go to the Videotape     168
Set a Virtual Tripwire     170
Set Up Emergency Notification     172
Sync Your Laptop and Your Desktop PC     173
Round Up the Software     174
Set Up to Sync     174
Get Ready to Network     175
Create a Folder Pair     175
Synchronize Everything But the Kitchen Sync     175
Preview Your Setup     176
Get Ready to Run     176
Clean Up Your Notebook     181
Keep Your Cool      181
Kick Out the Dust Bunnies     182
Air It All Out     184
Shake, Rattle, and Roll     184
Clean Up the Crumb Highway     185
Tighten Up     186
Clean Your Screen     186
Get a Bag for Safety     188
Squeeze More Life out of Your Battery     191
Manage Your Power     191
Know Your Battery     193
Be Alarmed...Very Alarmed     193
Give Your Laptop Some Rest     194
Dim the Lights     195
Cut the Peripherals     195
Maximize Your Battery's Effectiveness     196
Wait, There's More!     199
Upgrade Your Operating System     201
Get Ubuntu     202
Load It Up     203
Start the Installation     203
Configure Your Hardware     204
Set Up Wireless Networking     204
Name That Host     204
Reformat Your Hard Drive     205
Take a Break     205
The Finishing Touches     205
Welcome to Linux     205
Make Yourself at Home     207
Upgrade Your Memory     209
Give Your Memory a Checkup      210
Make the First Incision     210
Diagnose Any Problems     211
Out with the Old     212
...In with the New     214
Close Up Shop     214
Fire it Up     214
Tune Up the Memory     214
Upgrade Your Hard Drive     217
Identify Your Drive     219
Remove the Drive from the Cage     219
Find the Right Hard Drive     220
Install the New Drive     221
Get Your Windows Back     222
Check Your Space     223
In with the Old     224
Bring Back Those Apps     224
Check for Errors     224
Upgrade Your Processor     225
Find Your CPU     225
Seek the Sink     227
Extract the Sink     227
Separate the CPU and Heat Sink     227
Out with the Old Brain...     228
Cleanup Time     229
...In with The New Brain     229
Spread It on Thick     229
Socket to Me     230
Attach the Heat Sink     230
Put It All Back Together     231
Turn It On!     232
Index     233
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