How to Make a CD or DVD Case from a Sheet of Paper

Many people just stack their CDs or DVDs and leave them laying out, exposed to many hazards. While these optical disc formats do have a certain amount of redundancy so that a disc player can recover lost information, leaving them exposed without some protection will put your videos, music, or data at greater risk that is necessary. Protection as simple as a paper cover can prevent contamination, nicks, or scratches in the disc surface. Preservation of discs is important and not at all difficult. In addition to, protecting the discs, the appearance of your storage location can be greatly improved if you do not have stacks of unprotected DVDs and CDs in multiple piles. A simple, basic sleeve or cover for these discs will also make them easier to clearly label and organize. You can make a simple case or sleeve for CDs or DVDs out of an regular sheet of paper. This is an easy and inexpensive way to protect and organize your precious video, music, or data discs. The instructions to do this are below. Instructions for Making a CD-DVD Sleeve or Case from a Sheet of Paper Step 1 – Start with a standard 8-1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. Step 2 – Fold the left and right side toward the center as shown. Step 3 – Form a pocket by folding the top down and creasing it. Step 4 – Now lift the pocket flap from step 3 back up half way. Then fold the left and right inside corners under that top flap at 45 degrees, as shown in this photo. Step 5 – Spread the sides of the pocket to the sides to make the “wings” shown here on the left and right sides. Step 6 – While folding that top flap of the pocket back down, tuck the wings in between the the front and back parts of the so they are not sticking out. Slip the disc into the pocket. Flatten the pocket so the disc will stay in the pocket. Now dog-ear the bottom corners as shown. Step 7 – Tuck the dog-eared flap into the pocket. Step 8 – You’re done with your simple protective cover for a CD or DVD. You can also write on the sleeve to indicate what it contains. Of course, if homemade paper cases aren’t your style, you can find great deals on cases and covers...

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How to Quickly Fix DVD Drive Problems

It is so frustrating when you’re ready to watch a movie, play a game, or install a program, but you can’t because the DVD drive isn’t working. Here is a quick run down of how to get the drive working again. Find the category below that applies to the issue you having with the DVD drive, and follow the suggestions for determining the problem. Hopefully, you will be back on track and leave the frustration behind. Even installing a new DVD drive isn’t that hard. Of course, if you have trouble with a DVD drive, the first thing to try is another DVD. If the problem seems to be with a particular DVD disk, try cleaning it with a soft cloth or a DVD cleaning solution. If the drive doesn’t work for any DVD, then connections for external drives should be checked. For internal drives, check computer cooling fans, filters, and ventilation. DVD drives can sometimes be the most susceptible to heat problems. 1) The DVD Drive Has No Power The most common cause of this DVD problem is an issue with the power connection or power protection. This is particularly true with external drives. In other words, something is unplugged or there is an issue with something like a surge protector. Double check all the power connections. Plug other things into the outlet or outlet strip and see if they work. For internal DVD drives on desktop systems, the adventurous could remove the cover and try connecting a different power plug from the power tray. If the DVD drive starts to work, then there is a problem with the PC’s power supply to the DVD drive. If it doesn’t, then the DVD drive is not powering up. If the DVD drive remains dead and you know it is getting power, then it is probably time to buy a new DVD drive or schedule a repair. 2) The DVD Drive Does not Open – Has Power If the DVD seems to have power, but the DVD drive door does not open, press the button firmly a few times. If it still doesn’t work, try restarting the computer then opening the DVD drive. If the drive still doesn’t open then right click the DVD drive in the My Computer and select Eject. If that doesn’t work, it is time to resort to the DVD emergency eject. Poke the end of a paper clip into the tiny hole next to the DVD drive eject button. Be prepared to deal with an unseated disk that may be jamming things up or to keep the drive from immediately closing again. Using the emergency eject will also open the DVD drive when the computer power is off. 3) Windows Does not Recognize the DVD Drive If you loaded a DVD into the drive and it doesn’t seem to reading or loading the DVD, again the first thing to try is restarting the computer. If that doesn’t work, verify the status of the DVD drive. To check the status of the DVD drive, open My Computer, right click the drive and select Properties. The Properties Window will say if the device is working properly. If Windows recognizes a problem with the DVD drive’s hardware or drivers, it will be noted here. Properties can also checked by right clicking the device in the Windows Device Manager (Control Panel – System). The Device Manager will put exclamation marks next to device that are not working properly. Software and configuration issues can usually be solved with proper settings or reinstalling drivers. Drive settings can be added or altered...

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Complete Guide to External Hard Drive Enclosures

What Is an External Hard Drive Enclosure? External Hard Drive Enclosures are used to make an internal hard drive external by enclosing it in a case. Hard drive enclosures can provide many benefits; one such benefit is giving traditional internal hard drives portability. It is easy to transfer data to an external hard drive on most computers and operating systems. Using an external hard drive will also reduce the probability of data loss or data corruption. In addition, data can be backed up and archived on an external hard drive so that it doesn’t take up any additional space on your primary hard drive. What Are the Benefits of External Hard Drive Enclosure? Here are the top ten benefits of using a hard drive enclosure: Adding additional storage space and media types to small form factor and laptop computers, as well as sealed embedded systems, such as digital video recorders. Adding more drives to any given server or workstation than their chassis can hold. Transferring data between non-networked computers, jokingly known as sneakernet. Adding a backup source with a separate power supply from the connected computer. Sharing the data on a drive in a network-aware enclosure. Preventing the heat from a disk drive from increasing the heat inside an operating computer case. Simple and cheap approach to hot swapping. Recovering the data from a broken or damaged computer. Lower the cost of removable storage by reusing hardware designed for internal use. Protecting sensitive data when virus attacks computers. What Are the Types of External Hard Drive Enclosures? Materials – External hard drive enclosures are constructed from a variety of materials. These materials include plastic, metal, aluminum, or even a combination of the three. Connection Type – Most external hard drives connect to your computer through USB (Universal Serial Bus) 2.0 and USB 1.1, or FireWire. Your choice will probably be predetermined by the type of ports you have available and the type of system (Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh) you’re running. However, if you have both types of ports, you’ll need to decide which type of connectivity to use. While the theoretical bandwidth for USB 2.0 is higher than that of FireWire 1394a, actual transfer speed is comparable. Some new Mac Pro computers include the slightly faster FireWire 800 interface, and a few external hard drives have this connector. Interface – When you are purchasing an internal hard drive, they come in two interfaces: IDE and SATA. Of the two interfaces, SATA hard drives are much more common now than IDE based hard drives. This is because SATA based hard drives usually offer greater performance in terms of offering large memory cache, RPMs (Rotations Per Minute), and overall transfer rates. SATA based internal hard drives can use SATA hard drive enclosures. In additional to offering USB and FireWire connection types, SATA has also been added to the list. Size – It means the physical size rather than capacity of the hard drive, so it depends on what kind of internal hard drive you use. There are two available sizes: 3.5 inch hard drives which are used in desktop computers and 2.5 inch hard drives which are used in notebooks. The former is bigger, faster, and cheaper; but the latter is necessary for those upgrading their lap tops. Number of Bays – Single and dual bay enclosures are available. The dual layer enclosure can take two internal hard drives as opposed to one. This is a very useful feature for power computer users that require a large amount of portable hard drive space. However, for most users it isn’t necessary...

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The History of the USB Flash Drive

Computer users have come to rely on USB flash drives. Whether they call them jump drives, thumb drives, or pen drives, they have become an invaluable tool for storing and transporting data. No more clumsy floppy disks prone to failure. USB flash drives have made them obsolete. USB flash drives are NAND-type flash memory data storage devices that connect to a computer through a USB interface. Flash drives are small and light, plus they plug and unplug from the computer easily. Most importantly, they can be written to thousands, if not millions, of times. Early USB Flash Drives NAND flash memory was developed in the mid 80’s by Toshiba, and USB flash drives were developed in the late 90’s. There is still some dispute about who created the first version, but most credit M-Systems Company, which was eventually bought by Sandisk. The break-though was the ability to connect flash memory to a computer without the need for drivers or special software. In the United States, IBM sold the earliest 8 Mbyte version in 2001 under the product name Memory Key, and it quickly followed with a 16 Mbyte version. By 2003, IBM sold a 64 Mbyte version manufactured by M-Systems. Other versions from various manufacturers were soon available as well. By the time USB flash drives began to really catch on with computer users, the 128 Mbyte version was the most common. Current USB Flash Drives The companies that claim to have originated the USB flash drive have been unable to protect their intellectual property. Currently, there are numerous producers of USB flash drives from all over the world. Their storage capacity continues to increase. While the early versions could hold 8-128 Mbytes, now 32 and 64 Gbytes flash drives are common and 128 Gbyte drives are available. Prices have fallen rapidly as well. When introduced, a 128 Mbyte flash drive would cost around $30. Now you can buy an 8 Gbyte USB Flash Drive for around $10. Now not only are flash drives available in all colors and styles, they are frequently customized with company logos, or they appear as novelty items like troll dolls and animal shapes. In any shape or size, USB flash drives have become as much a part of computing as the...

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Seven Practical 3D Printing Objects You Can Use

With the emergence of desktop 3D printers for the consumer market, we have seen some pretty amazing and interesting 3D objects you can print with a 3D printer. Here’s a list of practical 3D objects you can use at home for everyday use. 1) Roll Top Box Work Found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:33296 gabrielfp   This is one type of 3D printed furniture you can make – roll top box. This 3d printed roll top box is a great way to store and organize your knickknacks, toys or anything else you can think of. 2) Archimedean Pencil Holders Work Found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:98976 pmoews   Here’s another 3D printed furniture you can create. This Archimedean pencil holder is a great addition to your home or office. This is an eye catching way to showcase your pencils, pens, or even utensils, such as chopsticks. 3) Phone Case Work Found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:99661 Imminentfate   Instead of buying a phone case that everyone else seems to have, you can accessorize your iPhone, Android or Blackberry phones with a customized 3D printed phone case. Now you can have a 3D printed phone case for every day of the week. 4) Kitchen Counter Spoon Holder Work Found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:22000 makinit   With this 3D printed spoon holder, you can keep your dirty spoons, forks or even chopsticks from touching the surface of your clean kitchen countertops. This 3D printed spoon holder can also be used as table settings for your dinner parties. 5) Chicken Egg Cup Work Found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:67110 CreativeTools   Which came first the chicken or the egg? This 3D printed chicken egg cup will not only make your breakfast more entertaining but help you answer this age old question. 6) Battle Axe Hair Sticks Work Found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:26864 zheng3   With these 3D printed battle axe hair sticks, you can style your hair as you watch your favorite television series, Game of Thrones. 7) Coin Trays Work Found at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:12410 SuperAmi   Is your coin jar collecting dust? It’s time to turn your unwanted coins into cash by organizing your coin collection with these 3D printed coin trays. You might be surprised how many coins you have collected over the years. No Banner to...

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Types of 3D Printing Materials

There is a wide range of 3D printing materials that are currently available in the industrial market and that is being developed for the consumer market. Here is an overview of 3D printing materials that are available across all 3D printing technologies, which include plastics, metals, ceramics and various other 3D materials. Plastics / Polymers 3D Materials Plastics or polymers are the most common type of 3D material used, especially for desktop 3D printers. Plastics are used by both industrial and consumer markets. In the consumer market, a desktop 3D printer heats the plastic filament to a temperature range of 320-482°F. The heated plastic is then extruded onto a print bed layer by layer until the 3D object is completed. Here is a image of plastic 3d material below. PROFI3DMaker 3D printer For industrial users, plastics can be heated by UV lasers and then used to form the printed object in a similar manner, layer by layer. Types of plastic filaments include ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PLA (Polylactic Acid), PVA (Polyvinyl Alcohol), PC (Polycarbonate) and HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene). The two most common types of plastics that are currently being used for desktop 3D printers are ABS and PLA. ABS and PLA have unique properties that provide advantages and disadvantages. ABS, petroleum based plastic, is known to be a more durable and heat resistant plastic but gives off strong fumes when heated. On the contrary, PLA, plant based plastic, gives off less irritable fumes but has a lower melting and breaking point. Metal 3D Materials Other type of 3D materials is metal. Using metal for 3D printing is relatively new and is gaining traction in many industries, including automotive and aerospace. To fabricate a metal 3D printed object, metal is typically heated by a laser and placed layer by layer. Here is an image of a 3D printed metal part below. Army Researchers Use 3D Printers for Rapid Prototypes / Types of metals available include steel, aluminum and titanium. Precious metals are also being used as 3D materials, such as gold and silver. Ceramic 3D Materials Ceramics is another type of 3D material. Ceramic 3D printed objects are using droplets of liquid binder on top of a thin layer of ceramic powder, followed by another layer of ceramic powder. To finish a ceramic 3D printed object, series of heat treatments are required to dry, fire, and glaze the 3D printed object. Other 3D Materials As 3D printing technology continues to expand and mature, more 3D materials will be available, including composites, paper, plaster, wood, organic (tissue/cells), nylon, food, and concrete. This list is sure to grow to include many more materials that can contribute to useful 3D printed objects. No Banner to...

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