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Aug 11, 2017

How to Stop That Annoying First Song from Playing Every Time You Plug Your Phone Into Your Car

It might not happen with every smartphone and car stereo combo, but if you know what we're talking about, this tip is for you. You get in, you fasten your seat belt, you turn the car on, you plug in your phone, and.... 

THE. SAME. &*$%. SONG. COMES. ON. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

Of course, you've figured out why this devilish contrivance occurs. It's the song who's title comes first alphabetically in your library. On my phone, it's A.M. 180 by Grandaddy; on my wife's, it's Vampire Weekend's A-Punk. And I actually And it just... starts playing, at whatever volume your stereo is set to.

Here's how to stop that first song from playing when your plug your phone into your car:   

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Jul 26, 2017

How to Make a Rustic Phone Charging Stand from a Slab of Hardwood

DIY Wood slab phone charger dock
Sponsored by the DIYZ® app

I love the idea of combining modern technology with natural textures. I keep my tablet in a case made from an old linen-covered notebook, and my sleek and shiny DSLR in a worn brown leather bag. So, I wanted to make a simple place to house my smartphone, while warming it up a bit. I went with the most natural thing I could think of: a big slab of forest tree. 

I like this design for a DIY wooden smartphone charging station because it fits the charging cable nicely, but it isn't stuck in place, so you can remove and use it elsewhere without the stand.

Enough talk! Let's make one!      

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May 01, 2017

Make This: Protect Your Computer with an Easy DIY Leather Laptop Sleeve

Trace & Cut Out

If you getting a ton of use out of the cord taco you made with the last blog post, my guess is that your probably going to get even more use out of this DIY leatherworking project.

As always, if you don't feel skilled enough to pull off any of the steps below, you can check out this beginners guide to get you going

Story Time: 

I — admittedly — was in the habit of just grabbing my computer and carrying it around. Its home was wherever I left it...unprotected. Stupid, I know. I’m pretty careful with my stuff, especially when it costs as much as a laptop, but even if you can control you're behavior, you can’t always predict what

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Jan 26, 2017

Make This: Stylish Leather Headphone + Cable Organizer

DIY Leather Earbud Organizer

For those of you who have already made the switch to wireless earbuds (thanks Apple), tangled cords aren’t really an issue you have to deal with any more.

But, if your like me and carry around "old school" wired earbuds in your pocket, you understand the wad of knots you pull out every time you go digging. And, though some may appreciate the eternal struggle (and contemporary art sculpture?) it really doesn’t have to be that way.

This simple DIY earbud/headphone/cord organizer keeps your cables knot free and still fits sleekly in your pocket. Using it is easy: all you have to do is wrap your earbuds around the organizer and snap it

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Nov 19, 2015

You Can Make This: Modern DIY Internet Radio Player

Finished Internet RadioI'm a big fan of internet radio. It's customizable, high quality, and increasingly easy to use. Here's a project for those with a bit of tech savvy mixed in with your DIY prowess.  

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Apr 20, 2015

You Don't Have To Give Up Style To Have A Smart Watch

LG UrbaneIt's still possible to be a man and have a Smart Watch. Here are 3 ways to embrace your inner geek while staying true to your dapper style.  

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Jan 05, 2015

DIY Inspiration: Handmade Wooden Tech Accessories

Oree Keyboard and TouchpadIt's not everyday you see something ordinary revisited so well. The Oree Wooden Keyboard is a piece of excellence that immediately inspires the maker in me. This custom wood keyboard and touchpad are incredible.  

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Feb 14, 2013

How to: Make a DIY Leather eReader or Tablet Cover

 

My friend Ryan had a problem; a problem with stealing his wife Chelsea's Nook eReader so as to gorge on the entire Game of Thrones series. So, he snagged his own Nook Simple Touch, and figured out a way to make a custom leather case and cover with no special sewing or leatherworking skills, and he didn't even have to pay for materials.

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Oct 30, 2012

PUMPKTRIS: A DIY Playable Game of Tetris Inside a Pumpkin

Vancouver, WA-based designer and programmer Nathan Pryor asks, "What do you get when you combine a pumpkin with the classic video game Tetris? Pumpktris! Fully playable, embedded in a pumpkin."

Oh, and get this: the pumpkin's stem acts as the joystick.  

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Dec 07, 2011

The 7 Worst Tech Gifts to Give This Holiday

created at: 12/07/2011

While there are plenty of cool, affordable tech gifts to give your friends and family this season, there are a few you should avoid. Cause they're bad. Like, worse than coal.  

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Sep 23, 2011

3-D Printers, Explained

created at: 09/20/2011

The DIY scene has certainly changed in the last ten years, and a big component of that shift is the availability of small-scale manufacturing tools like CNC routers, laser cutters, and most recently, 3-D printers. Now, loyal readers know that ManMade is not a hacker/maker/tech site, but rather, a craftier companion to those. But, anyone in the scene can attest that these things are popping up everywhere, so I figure it might be good to learn about 'em a bit.

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May 10, 2011

Death to All Humans! Robots Violating their Orders (Video)

created at: 05/10/2011

Popular culture is filled with killer robots, most famously The Terminator. Unpopular culture, science fiction novels, are filled with all sorts of robots.

Isaac Asimov, in his years of writing science fiction, wrote a lot about robots. He wrote so much about robots he ended up having a series of laws about how robots should and would function. They go a little something like this:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Not too bad. I would have put in a fourth law about robots needing to look super cool, and always have guns for arms, but what do I know? I will say this. So far, deep into the future years of the 2000s, i have not seen one frightening robot... until today.  

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Apr 27, 2011

The Differences Between Mac and PC Users: An Infographic

created at: 04/27/2011

The folks at Hunch have been researching the different ways the Mac OS and Windows users understand themselves and the computer products they use everyday. They've presented their findings in a fascinating infographic that's definitely worth checking out. 

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Apr 26, 2011

In Case You Haven't Heard, Sitting Is, Like, Really, Really Bad for You

Of course, exercise is good for you. Movement is best. Being sedentary all day is, of course, the opposite. Duh, right?

But it's not just non-activity that's harmful. The actual position of sitting, like in a chair, is, basically, the worse thing you can do to your body. Even if you engage in regular exercise, even daily, it might not be enough to counteract the damage from resting on your rump all the livelong day.  

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Apr 19, 2011

A Guide to 21 Awesome DIY Projects

created at: 04/19/2011

One awesome DIY, unique, guy-leaning project? Certainly worthy of a mention. But a roundup of a solid twenty-one by the inimitable Wired mag?

Well, I dunno, but it's way cool and you should check it out.  

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Apr 19, 2011

Soldering is Easy: A Comic Book (Free Download)

I'ma go out on a limb here, and say that knowing how to solder is an essential skill for any creative person. Make no mistake: I know nothing about capacitors and breadboards, nor programming or arduinos. In fact, part of the reason I founded ManMade was to complement that version of the maker/hacker website by bringing in less tech-heavy approaches to creativity.

But, regardless of whether or not I'm ever gonna build a robot (I'm not), I think knowing how to solder is super important for DIY projects. Making a lamp from plumbing pipes really benefits from knowing your wires are gonna stay together inside the thing; just this weekend, I retrieved my first "grownup" instrument - a Peavey Fury bass guitar in all its 1994 red/white glory - from a family member who'd borrowed it years ago, thinking it broken, and I fixed it just by soldering some ground wires that had come loose.

It is, as this free downloable comic book from Andie's Log states, easy.  

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Mar 01, 2011

Top 20 Tech Accessories for Health and Fitness

created at: 03/01/2011

Today's is the first sunny, snow-free day we've had since November. Don't get me wrong, it's only 34° F out there, but I don't care. I can see the grass, albeit khaki, and the sun. On the same day. Hallelujah.

So, I'm already scheming about how I can get outside. Anyone that knows me can attest that I'm not much of an athlete, and I'm a total wreck with a basketball, but I'm a pretty active cyclist, and certainly have been jonesing for the roads to clear so I can ride. 

And, in 2011, even the most natural of tasks like using our muscles to move around can take a technological spin. On a bike ride, I have a digital, wireless bike computer that tells me how fast I'm going and keeps track of other stats. And when I'm not riding on the trail, I use GPS on my phone to track my route, elevation, speed, etc. So, while sometimes technology can hinder your desire to get exercise (looking at you, Netflix), it also has the potential to improve it greatly.  

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Feb 16, 2011

How To: Make an HDTV Antenna and Get Free Channels

created at: 02/16/2011

John wanted to watch Watson take on the Jeopardy champs this week, but wasn't a cable subscriber. With only 30 minutes til the IBM behemoth was set to swamp Ken and Brad, he got creative...and watched the show, for free!

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May 17, 2010

Where Do Cursors Come From? Why, the Cursor Forest, Of Course.

created at: 05/17/2010

There are millions of computers produced each year...let's hope the cursors are harvested with sustainable practices.

And don't even get me started on the emissions of the spinning beach ball of death factory.

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