Archive for the ‘Lifehacks’ category

Ditching Pay TV

January 9th, 2011

If you can live without all the channels, off-air Digital TV is just as great looking as HD Cable or Satellite service. For re-runs of TV series and movies, add a streaming Netflix account and you have a nice, and cheaper, substitute. Using Windows Media Center (which is included in Windows 7) and an Xbox360 on your TV will still give you a cable-like experience with TV listings, show recording, and more. Your digital music collection and DVDs (if ripped) can also be streamed throughout your home. Enough people have asked me about what it takes so I made a quick and dirty video about it.

Disc Boiling?

September 5th, 2010

I had a story about this about over 5 years ago but the problem apparently hasn’t gone away. The good news is that this solution hasn’t either.

Sometimes those Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) discs won’t play. I’m not sure why but it probably has something to do with a coating on the disc during manufacturing. When disc boiling was orginally proposed online, some people said all you have to do is wipe off the disc. Not so.

It happened again last week with OXM Disc #114 (the old article was with OXM #24 – as you’ll notice in a few of the images below). So I will repeat my old article but with a few fresh new images and some minor edits.

I tried a disc cleaner first. This thing works great for rented movies and dirty or slightly scratched CD, but didn’t do the trick with the brand new seemingly perfect game disc.

Note: The console is also a new XBOX 360 “Slim”.

Same problem

The following method has never failed me personally, but if you are in doubt or don’t trust me, then just don’t do it. Obviously, doing this is at your own risk so don’t do it to a disc you couldn’t replace just in case you do something wrong or have an accident and ruin a disc. Do it right and you will be really happy about how well it works. I hope this helps you!

1. Boil about 1″ of water in a pot larger than the diameter of a disc.

2. Turn off the heat then drop the disc in label side up. It will curl slightly for a second or so. Don’t Freak Out! It will flatten back out perfectly almost immediately. Let it sit for 45 seconds in the hot water.

3. Use a spoon handle or something to remove it from the water so you don’t burn yourself.

4. Lay it on a clean lint-free towel or cloth and pat it dry.

5. Sometimes there is also a tiny bit of water that gets between the clear plastic at the hole. I get it out by putting the towel through the hole and shaking it around a bit.

6. When it’s completely dry, put it in your Xbox and play.

You’re Welcome!