New Quieter Fan for My HTPC

quiet fan HTPC vs old louder fanFor the last five years or so, I haven’t had cable, and instead use a computer (AKA HTPC) to stream everything off of the internet. I use a graphics card with no fan, which has generally worked well for me, but some streaming services* seem to cause the CPU to heat up, causing my main cooling fan to go crazy.

I’m not sure if it’s because it was getting old, but the fan that I had sounded like a jet engine. After doing a little research, I found out that I needed an 80mm fan. This is apparently normally measured by what the height and width of the square fan box is, but my fan was round for whatever reason. You can also infer this width by the distance between the holes. There is a handy chart here, so I made my best guess after taking the measurements.

After looking at reviews, I finally settled on this “ARCTIC F8 PWM PST” fan (Amazon) for under $8 as of this writing. It is seriously the most Read more »

A New Vehicle Code Reader


Code reader – I should have discovered this a long time ago!

A few days ago my “Check Engine” light came on on my 2006 Toyota Tacoma. Given it’s age and mileage (nearly 130k), maybe this will start happening occasionally. Despite all of the crazy stuff that write about here, I’m not a terribly experienced auto mechanic, but I decided I would at least try to diagnose the problem myself.

I ordered a Buke U581 CAN OBDII EOBDII Memo Scanner from Amazon for around $50 (although there were some available for much cheaper) and paid for one day shipping.* Once it came in, the biggest challenge was figuring out where the port was. After some Internet searching, Read more »

The DIY Fabnik Wallet Kit


After a short interview for a article, they guys at Fabnik offered to send me one of their wallets to try out. Not being one to turn down free stuff, and realizing that my wallet was somewhat worn, I accepted their offer*, choosing their thin wallet kit.

It was fun to make, and turned out nicely, as seen in the picture above. The orange stitching looks nice (for a Clemson grad), although the holes for it were a little tight. I had to use pliers to get the needles through. The Fabnik crew says that they are working on this, and I would suspect that as this design evolves, it will get even better!

I documented my build in the time lapse and have a few more comments on it after the “read more” link, so be sure to read on for more! Read more »