How to keep and HP Envy Laptop Cool (or any other crazy hot laptop)

This will be short. But, if you’re in my position and find this post, it will make your day (I hope!).

I have an HP Envy with an Intel Core i7 processor. It is big. It is fast. I have been very pleased over the past two years. There is one drawback – it is SO VERY HOT when using programs like Photoshop or Premiere, etc. I thought it might be a problem with video drivers, the fan, whatever. I had heard of cracking open the case and resetting the processor – not for me (on a laptop at least!). So, then I found it . . . and, this mostly works well for use at a desk, I realize.

USB Desk Fan

Yep, it was there all along. It’s pretty quiet and sits right out of the way. The one above was on clearance, so if it’s not there, there are MANY to choose from here.

Hope that helps – my computer runs as cool as ever now . . . even under a high load. Wow, it really is the simple things . . .

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Google Chrome & Remote Desktop

OK, so it’s been over 8 months since my last post. Well, you’re gonna love me for this one and it’ll all be ok once you realize how great this new service from Google is!

I have been a lover of the Chrome browser pretty much ever since it was released. It’s fast, simply laid out, not full of extra features . . . oh, and did I mention BLISTERINGLY fast?! Not to mention that I can login to my Google account and see all of my bookmarks on any browser I sign in to (including my iPad). Yeah, it’s great living in the Google universe for now, at least.

Enter Google remote desktop
I have fooled around with LogMeIn and other programs that allow you access to your computer from another location. They’re ok and do the job fine, I guess, but I never really liked the logging in time constraints. It just seemed . . . well, not too smooth or enticing. With that said, I am typing this entire post via my desktop computer . . . from my laptop. And, there is absolutely NO lagging mouse or keyboard at this point. I realize I am on my wired network, so this post may change later on as I practice over the internet.

The bottom line is, I no longer have to switch my monitor over to another input and grab my other mouse and keyboard for things I need to do on my desktop. I already feel a huge relief there. What I REALLY am looking forward to is the fact that ALL of my computers can be seen from my Google remote desktop connection. Say I’m at a relative’s house and don’t want to take my laptop, desktop, etc. They’re all right there within the chrome browser to jump on any time I want. AAAAAND, there’s just a pin number to use once it’s all set . . . no search-to-find-login-page-and-enter-username-and-password-and-wait-to-connect-etc. I just click connect, enter the pin and viola, I’m seeing my other computer . . . thank you, Google . . . again.

Try it out below:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/chrome-remote-desktop/gbchcmhmhahfdphkhkmpfmihenigjmpp

You’ll need http://www.google.com/chrome browser to access the plugin above.

iPhone Won’t Sync Properly with iTunes

OK, here’s a quick tip for you iPhoners out there. Recently, I’ve been running into the trouble of the phone (iPhone 4) hanging when it syncs with iTunes. Many times, there’ll be a 583iurw984r.m4v type notation and the system freezes. I searched far and wide to no avail and finally did the last-but-shout-be-first-resort option of a hard reset on the phone. Viola! All is well.

So, if you’re having similar trouble, hold your power button and home button for about 5-10 seconds until you see the shiny Apple logo (do this while your phone is NOT connected to your computer). To be safe, restart iTunes (if not your whole computer), then re-sync. Hopefully, you’ll be good to go.

Is it just me, or has this iPhone been a bigger pain than the rest? Oh well, I still love it.

On to the next rant of how criminal it should be to charge $30 for that bumper case (before it was a freebie) . . . what a piece of junk . . .

WeTransfer.com

So, I’ve been recommending Yousendit.com for a while to transfer large files without using FTP. Enter http://www.wetransfer.com – it’s the most bare bones, easy to use system I’ve seen to date. There’s one thing on the screen and it’s as simple as adding files, then entering 2 emails (to and from) and comments.

They fund the system through advertising, but use large, full screen imagery (quite good looking) to promote the advertisers.

Bonus: You can send up to 2 Gigabytes and keep them available for 2 weeks.

Send a Fax Online

So, I’ve been a fan of efax.com to have a fax number that sends to your email. Now, that’s the receiving end. And, while you get 2 free outgoing faxes, once those are out, you have to sign up for the monthly fee to send more. And, how many of us send lots of faxes (other than you law folks out there)?

So, I had to send a fax today. Rather than heading to someone’s office to bum from them or pay the first month’s fee for efax, I knew someone had to have thought of an a-la-carte option. Enter www.faxzero.com. You can send a free fax (with ads for the receiver) or pay $1.99 for one fax without ads. And, the fax can be up to 15 pages.

The site is dead simple and my fax was sent within 2 minutes . . . gotta love that.

iPhone 4.0.1 Update Glitch (crime)

Why don’t I trust my better judgement? Here I am, trying to follow Apple’s rules by updating firmware on the iPhone 4 and, yep, have a useless piece of glass on my desk. I’m trying the following fix at this moment . . . I’ll post to let you know how it goes. If you’re having the same trouble, try at your own risk.

http://chrisgrannell.co.uk/2010/07/16/iphone-4-0-1-brick-solution/

Funny thing is, I thought “better wait a few days, Lance” . . . riiiight.

Update: Ok, the link above did nothing. I did, however upgrade iTunes to the latest version, then synced and all is well . . .whew.

Update #2:  So, how does it feel to get a shiny new iPhone and use the great video feature and camera on your beach vacation only to sync to get the recommended firmware upgrade, then have your phone bricked and your backup file corrupted only to find your images and videos are forevermore lost? You take a guess . . . but, hey, the Apple rep said he was sorry, so I’m sure I’ll keep that memory instead . . . good job, Apple.

Update #3: A Little joy . . . well, looks like I can rename the files from that corrupted backup. Now, I have to guess which ones are video files and which are photos, but size will help there. So, if you run into the same situation, look at your backup files. On a Windows machine, head to C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\AppleComputer\MobileSync\Backup to see a list of older backup file folders. You can sort by date to find the most recent one (or the one that corrupted). Copy this folder to another directory (so you can always go back and retry). Then, rename the larger files as “filename.mov”, then double click to test it out . . . hope this helps!

DVD Fast Play

OK, this could be another record post, but I had to share it. Thanks to a caller to Buzz Out Loud, I learned the secret to starting a DVD quickly (skipping the trailers and warnings at the beginning). I know, you’re excited already! I tried it on my HD-DVD Toshiba player and it worked like a champ (I know, I lost the Blu-Ray battle).

Anyway, to keep those ancy children at bay when starting a disc, all you do is press (once the disc starts playing):

STOP/STOP/PLAY

Yep, that’s all there is to it. Enjoy your sanity . . . you don’t even have to hear the Disney Fast Play message . . . aaaaah.

Oh, and if it doesn’t work for you, please come back here and post a comment. Thanks!