Friday, November 5, 2010

Fun with After Effects

Lately I have been playing around with Adobe After Effects, making movies with my brother.  I have been learning how to use After Effects watching the great tutorials on and freddiew's youtube videos.  All the muzzle flashes and blood splatters are from VideoCopilots Action Essentials.  The guns we used are Nerf guns some of which have been painted.  The quality of the video capture is bad because we have to use our 5 megapixel digital camera which is our only camera.

Monday, November 1, 2010

LED Light Fan Case Mod

So you've seen those LED fans for desktop computers, well I decided to put an LED in my MSI Winds fan as a cool looking mod. I used a RGB LED so that I could make it different colours. Basically I took +5V from the back of one of the USB ports (It doesn't affect it I can still plug devices into it and it runs). Then each colour had its own switch on a DIP switch so that I can turn each one on and off to mix the colours. I mounted the DIP switch underneath the case by cutting a hole in the bottom and gluing the switch in place. The LED is glued in the fan housing where it doesn't get in the way of the actual blades.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

MSI Wind Keyboard Mod

I did this mod because on my MSI Wind keyboard the keys are quite small and very close together so accidentally pressing two buttons at once is a bit of a problem. Doing this keyboard mod is basically taking each key off and sanding it down so that it is smaller. This means that there are gaps between the keys so that you are less likely to press two keys at once.

You will need:
Sand Paper
A File
Machine Opener (Or something else that can be used to wedge under the keys to get them off)
Lots of time

Step 1: Take off the keys. See this short video I made if you are unsure how to do this. Take them off one by one is easiest as you don't get the keys mixed up as to where they go when you are putting them back on.

Step 2: Sanding/Filing each key on 3 sides. The top doesn't need any because its already flat. Its up to you how much you take off but don't take off too much otherwise the key mechanism will be visible.

It takes a long time to do every key. The bigger keys have wire underneath that help it stay on. Those keys you have to be very careful taking them off. They are Space, Left Shift, Caps Lock, Right Ctrl, Right Shift, Enter and Backspace.
This is how mine looks.

Carbon Fibre your Laptop

This guide is how to cover the back of your laptop in Carbon Fiber. It hides any scratches that you already had and protects against more. It also doesn't show up every single finger print like many glossy top do. And also it just looks really cool.

You Will Need:
3M Carbon Fiber Vinyl (Basically Carbon Contact, Its not real carbon fiber just looks and feels like it. I bought mine on Ebay)
A Ruler or something hardFlat Fine Scissors or a sharp Knife
Heat Gun or a Hair Dryer

Step 1: Once you have your 3M Carbon Fiber you need to cut it roughly to size to cover the top of your laptop. Leave a bit of extra around the edges.
Step 2: Peel some of the back off the carbon revealing the sticky side. Starting at the hinge end of your laptop place it down as close as possible to the edge. Then using the ruler slide it along the carbon slowly so that there are no bubbles.
Step 3: The Corners are the first bit to mold the carbon around. Because of the angle you have to grab the sides near the corner and stretch it over it using a bit of heat from the hair dryer helps a lot. If you do it well there will be no bubbles in the corner. Do this on all the corners.
Step 4: Once the corners are done push the carbon down the edges. It doesn't stick very well right at the end but by using the Hair dryer it will stick better.
Step 5: Once the whole top is stuck down you will need to trim off the excess. I found theeasiest way to do this was with a sharp pocket knife angling the blade so that it would cut very close to the edge but not scratch the bezel on the inside. In some parts I used some small fine scissors to trim bits that the knife was unable tocut.
Step 6: Fix up any little bits that are coming away with the hair dryer and any overhang with the scissors. Admire your new beautiful carbon fiber covered laptop.
After notes: After a while my edges started to peel back so I decided to recover it, this time I pulled my netbook apart and folded the edges into the bezel, then put it back together so that it was wedged in there. This has worked much better and hasn't been able to peel away at all, but is a lot more work.