The Ultimate DIY Tech Upgrades Guide: Build Your Own Laser + 74 Other Way-Cool Gadget Hacks

The Ultimate DIY Tech Upgrades Guide: Build Your Own Laser + 74 Other Way-Cool Gadget Hacks

by Popular Science


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Tech Upgrades is for anyone who’s ever wished they could build their own touchscreen, brew up and use conductive ink, rig a mouse that you can operate with your feet, or make a rad engraved computer tower that glows in the dark—essentially, it’s for fun-loving nerds everywhere.

Used to be, whenever you had a computer problem or techie glitch, you went and found the nearest geek to help fix it. But now, there’s a new movement afoot—a band of inventive and self-reliant geeks who hack computer and software to solve problems (and, in some cases, just to have fun). From building your own computer out of a cereal box to modifying safety goggles to see infrared rays, from skinning your laptop with steampunk trimmings to divising a foxhole radio, and from setting up a projector for your iPhone to working out with a dumbbell of old CDs, this book makes being a nerd, well. Cool.

Activities include:
Rig a DIY Polygraph
Listen in on a Foxhole Radio
Tack Up a Dipole Antenna
Craft a Cell-phone Cantenna
Hang HDTV-Antenna Art
Mod an Xbox Controller into an iPhone Case
Make Your Smartphone “Bounceable”
Set Up an Electric Home Secretary
Rig a Smartphone Projector
Charge a Phone with Solar Rays
Make a Tennis Ball Smartphone Tripod
Turn Your Old Netbook into a Touchscreen Tablet
Fashion a DIY Stylus for Your Touchscreen Device
Protect Your Touchscreen with Thin Vinyl
Stash a Flash Drive in a Cassette
Make a Pink-Eraser Flash Driver
Fake It with a Sawed-Off Flash Drive
House a Flash Drive in a LEGO
Hack a Foot-Operated Mouse
Trick Out Your Computer Tower with Engraving
Turn Your Laptop into a White Board
Dye Your Laptop
Make a Steampunk-Inspired Laptop Case
Turn on Your Computer with a Magnet
Shield Your Screen from Prying Eyes
Print in Invisible Ink
Keep Your Laptop Cool with Copper Coils
Connect a Junked Out Typewriter to Your Computer
Make Keyboard Thumbtacks
Rig a Superportable Keyboard
Create a Glowing Mousepad
Put an Old Circuit Board to New Use
Make a Laptop Stand froma Three-Ring Binder
Build a USB Hub into Your Desk
Stash Your Printer in a Drawer
Mount Office Supplies Behind Your Monitor
Organize Loose Cables
Make a Floppy-Disk Box
Get Pumped with a CD Dumbbell
Assemble a Cereal-Box Spectrometer
Make an External Hard Drive
Build a Computer out of a Cereal Box
Transform an Everyday Lightbulb into a Plasma Globe
Light Up Sketches with Home-Made Conductive Ink
Hack Infrared Goggles
Decimate with a DIY Laser Cutter
Create Glass Objects out of Sand
Shine a Mini Flash Light
Brighten Up a Standard-Issue Flashlight
Beam a Batman-Inspired Spotlight
Get Techie with Aluminum Foil
Improvise a Tripod
Mount a Camera on Your Bike
Build a Time-Lapse Camera Stand
Rig a Plastic-Bottle Diffuser
Make Your Camera Waterproof
Create a Peephole Fisheye Lens
Adapt a Manual Ring to Your DLSR
Snap a Self-Portrait with a DIY Remote Shutter Release
Set Up a High-Speed Flash
Build a Ginormous Camera

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781616285319
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Publication date: 05/21/2013
Edition description: Original
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 5.84(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Founded in 1872, Popular Science is the world’s largest science and technology magazine, with 6.7 million readers. Each month, Popular Science reports on the intersection of science and everyday life, delivering a new look at the future now. It’s the ultimate guide to what’s new and what’s next. Popular Science is one of the oldest continuously published magazines in the United States, and is published in five languages and nine countries. Its web site,, has been readers’ first stop for up-to-the-minute science news since the site first went live in 1999.

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