Introduction: A Few Tips to Make Your Tech Life Easy!

About: My name is Kevin Palivec. I'm a network engineer who lives in Texas. I love building useful stuff from scavenged parts.

In today's tech world there are many little "Secrets" about your digital products that aren't common knowledge.

Working in the Information Technology world. I've picked up these little common procedures that most people don't realize are out there and designed into their devices to make them easier to use but that have somehow never been published in a way that's easy to find.

What follows are some easy to remember items that may help you next time you run into difficulty with your friendly electronic devices.

Step 1: Those @#!%^$# USB Plugs!

How many times have you poked a USB plug into a socket only to find it just doesn't seem to fit no matter which

way you turn it?

well there's actually an easy way to know which side is up!

Look at the USB device plug. The "UP" side will have the Little USB symbol on it. In a few rare instances instead of the USB symbol there might be a company logo instead. (The GoPro camera usb cable for instance)

If you see the USB symbol, It should plug right in!

Step 2: Frozen or Locked Up PC or MAC...

Occasionally your Mac or PC will freeze on you! I'm talking about those times everything just stops moving!

No amount of mouse jigglin' or Ctrl-Alt-Del'in will make the thing respond and all that's left if to crawl under and yank the cord out!

Actually it's simpler than that!. Just press and hold the power button in!. I'm talking about the Power button ON the Computer itself. It's the one with the Circle with a line through it. Just press and hold it in until you hear the machine turn off. Then Press it again and Vala! 99% of the time. It'll boot right back up.

Another little tip here....

If you have a power flicker and your PC turns off and wont come back on.

The power supply sometimes locks up and the press and hold trick will work here too! only this time you just press and hold for 30 seconds...... let go and count to 10 then turn it back on. Zing! (most of the time!)

BTW.. the power button "Press and hold" trick works on many digital devices... DVR's, Cable Boxes, Kindles. Most anything digital that has a press on and press off power button.

Step 3: The Stuck CD Door!!!!

Ever had a CD drive that just won't open?

Powered down the machine only to find you forgot to remove your favorite disk?

Well here's how to save the day!

Along the Edge of the CD door you'll find a tiny hole. It's just big enough for a paperclip, thumb tack or a little screwdriver.

Gently insert one of these in and give it a slow firm push. you'll feel the door gear move and Presto! the CD door will

slide out enough for you to pull it open!

Step 4: My Iphone Is Stuck!!

Every now and then an Iphone will get stuck. It'll be in some app and just wont respond.

If you find yourself in this situation it can be pretty frustrating!

Well there's a simple solution. Just press and hold both the Home button and the power button at the top

at the same time. Press and hold them for more than 10 seconds and your phone will reboot.

Step 5: I Want to Force My Router,ip Camera,wireless Access Point Back to Factory Settings

Routers and cameras and other network devices are handy but need to have passwords and settings to secure them.

However, every now and then we forget our passwords to them. After all we set them up and then generally forget about them. UNTIL they stop working. which may be years later! In the meantime "where the heck did that paper go? I know I wrote the password down here somewhere!?!?!

Well fortunately on most devices there's a way to force it to go back to it's "just got it" settings!

On the device "usually on the back or under a little door" will be a reset button.

The Button will usually be labeled "Reset" or "Factory Reset".

There are two ways some of these buttons work.

If it's labeled with only "Reset" it serves two functions.

1. A simple press will "reboot" the device but maintain whatever settings you've configured into it.

2. A Press and hold for more than 10-20 seconds will cause it to dump whatever settings are configured and cause it to return to it's factory "new" settings. OR... some devices require the power to be removed from the device. Then while pressing and holding the "Reset" button, reconnect power to wipe the settings and restore it to Factory freshness!

Step 6: Transformer "Wall WART" Info

I include this tip because occasionally I get asked. "What power block goes to this?" or "How do I know what voltage this thing puts out?"

Wall transformers are very simple to decode!

Just look at the label on the back or front. I'll have the Input Voltage (how much comes from the socket) and how much it transforms it down to. (what comes out) in addition there will be a diagram showing whether it's a "Center Positive" or a "Center Negative" plug. It's VERY important to know what voltages and polarity (the center thing) a transformer is before you plug it into a device. for the device in question it too will usually have a diagram right next to the power plug input showing the polarity and voltage required.

Step 7: CD and DVD Disk Secrets "they" Don't Want You to Know!

Did you know data on a dvd or cd is stored on the top and not on the bottom?

when data is written to a cd or dvd. it's actually written up "through" the bottom of the disk to the side under the label.

Therefore it's actually MORE important to protect the top of the disk from scratches than the bottom.

If a scratch occurs on the bottom side it can likely be polished out while a scratch on the label side actually will destroy the data layer.

Now this isnt saying that it's ok to get the bottom scratched up. but if you have a cd or dvd and have to set it down un proteced. it's safer to lay it "Label" up!

Step 8: Reset a Cisco IP Phone

If you use A Cisco IP Phone. Sometimes you need to reset or wipe it's settings.

The process is very simple.

Just disconnect power and then reconnect. As soon as you reconnect power press and hold down the "#" button.

Continue to hold the "#" button until the line button lights on the side of the display begin to cycle down.

When this happens release the "#" button and type the following on the keypad

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 * 0 #

it's just all the keys in sequence from top left to bottom right. row by row.

The screen should blank, go black and then start reinstalling the default firmware.

Step 9: These Tips and Variations Will Get You Through Most Simple Tech Issues

Most tech problems are not as serious as they may first appear. These tips will help you solve most simple issues.

Variation will help with almost any problem with a tech device.. for example. the CD Door trick will also work on most DVD and CD players. the press and hold trick will work on almost any device that has a power button you press quickly to power on or off a device. And the simplest rule of all is... When in doubt. REBOOT!

Many I.T guys get called down for asking "have you rebooted it?" But the simple fact is, This one simple thing will fix most computer related issues! No it wont save that 200 page document you were typing! Only frequent saving while editing will do that. And on that note I have to add.... BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!!! then BACKUP again!

I'll add more as I think of them!

I hope this instructable will help you out of a tight place sometime. If so please VOTE!! (it's up at the top left! =)

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