Category Archives: Hacking

dell inspiron not powering up

Demontage Dell Inspiron 1720

I was recently asked to look a a Dell Inspiron 6000 which refused to power up.  If the battery was charged in another system it ran fine from the battery.  After a quick check on the internet it appears that the DC power jack is a common fault with these laptops.  I purchased a replacement jack and set about replacing it.  Dell provide a service manual for all their systems including the 6000 and it has details on how to strip down the laptop and rebuild it.

Continue reading

Wave Shield and Arduino Mega 2650

I received a gift of a Adafruit Wave shield and after assembling it using the excellent instructions on the Adafruit site I could not get it too work.  The problem was the SD card would not initialize.  After trying two different SD cards, checking the forums, and re-checking all my solder joints I could not get it too work.  I decided to test the SD cards with an ethernet shield I also have for the Arduino.  The SD cards refused to work in this shield as well.  After a bit more reading I discovered that the issue was the SPI ports on my Arduino Mega are in different locations.  The following fix also works for the Mega 1280.

Continue reading

Arduino and Kinect Controlled Car

Un Arduino Diecimila

Image via Wikipedia

Gaurav Manek has put together a great project mixing several technologies. He has a radio controlled car interfaced with an Arduino and this can be controlled from an iPad or using a Kinect. He has given some details on how he achieved this including some source code for anybody that wants to have a go. Go to to see it in action. The first half of the clip is for the iPad the second is for the Kinect.

Arduino and seven segment display

I found some seven segment displays and decided to connect one of them to the Arduino. This was easily done by tracing the pins using a multi-meter and then placing a 220 ohm resistor to ground. A very simple piece of code then counts from one to three. You can see from the code that it is simply setting pins high or low. Continue reading

Arduino first project

I finally got to plug in my Arduino Mega 2560 micro controller.  Everything worked after I ran the sample application.  I extended this slightly to blink three leds on a breadboard.  Simple beginning I know but we all have to start somewhere.  The IDE which is downloaded from the Arduino website will run on a variety of operating systems, I am using 64 bit Ubuntu Linux but it ran equally well on Windows.

security breach at Gawker Media

Following a security breach at Gawker Media, computer users who have left comments on websites such as Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Gawker, Jezebel, io9, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Deadspin, and Fleshbot are being advised to change their passwords as a matter of priority.

In a statement published on their websites, the media group said:

We understand how important trust is on the internet, and we’re deeply sorry for and embarrassed about this breach of security – and of trust. We’re working around the clock to ensure our security (and our commenters’ account security) moving forward.

If you’ve registered an account on any Gawker Media web site (that includes Gawker, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Deadspin, io9, or Fleshbot), and you didn’t log in using Facebook Connect, then it’s best to assume that your username and password were included among the leaked data.

Up to 1.3 million passwords are said to have been stolen from the websites by a hacking group calling itself Gnosis. The grabbed credentials were then posted up on Pirate Bay, allowing others – potentially – to compromise accounts.