Summer road trips are in full swing. But before you set out for your vacation, you'll need to remember to keep yourCar services in good shape. If you're mechanically inclined, you might be able to do that yourself. If not, check out some of these services that can help you out.
2CarPros 2CarPros might look like a simple question-and-answer site at first glance, but with some digging, you'll find it to be one of the most informative sites in this roundup.
Once you get to 2CarPros, you can immediately start sifting through the site's huge database of car repair information. Everything from an oil change to refurbishing an engine is included in its database. If you want to ask the Pros questions, you'll need to sign up for the site. But if you want to the most value, 2CarPros has a videos section, providing several clips on how to repair your vehicle. It's a really informative site.
DriverSide If you're looking to find out when you should be performing routine repairs on your car, DriverSide is the place to go.
Once you get to the site, you'll need to input the kind of car you own. From there, the service will estimate its value, tell you when you'll need to get its oil changed, and list all the other service you need to have done at certain times throughout the car's lifespan. If you can't do the work yourself, DriverSide even tells you where to find a mechanic near you. It's a neat site.
FuelClinic FuelClinic determines how well your car is managing its fuel consumption. After you sign up for the site, you need only to input your car's information, tell the service how much you spent the last couple times you filled up, and the site will return calculations on your miles per gallon and how much you will be spending on gas going forward. It's not the most advanced fuel-monitoring service in this roundup, but it's simple, which might make it attractive to some.… Read more
If you're like me, then you probably have some chips in your wine glasses. I take this to be a good thing, because having chipped wine glasses means that I have friends over often enough to use them. But, outside of the communal environment chipped glasses imply, these jagged edges can be dangerous and unattractive. A simple fix is to toss the glass and buy another, but with the Crystal Saver Wine Glass Chip Remover, the toss and replace strategy may no longer be necessary.
The Chip Remover is a nickel file that's covered with diamond particles. To … Read more
Editor's note: CNET editor and Crave contributor Dong Ngo is spending several weeks in his homeland of Vietnam and will file occasional dispatches chronicling his adventures. To read stories from Dong's last visit, in December, click here.
HANOI, Vietnam--A word of advice for travelers: turn off your laptop when you leave the room.
This isn't the first time I've been back to Vietnam, but it's the first time since I left the country some 10 years ago that I've come back during summer. It's really hot in Hanoi during the day, often 100 degrees or more. And as it has always been the case with me when traveling, stuff happens.
After about 48 hours of traveling and coming to terms with the jetlag, I turned my laptop on for the first time. There were so many things to download: new episodes of podcasts, RSS feeds of different news sources, videos--and of course the 3.0 firmware for the iPhone.
As the Wi-Fi I got hooked up to was running at just around 60Kbps, these essential updates of my digital life (though most of them I can't find time to enjoy) would require hours to download. Like usual, I had a huge urge to download all of the data right away and decided to leave the computer running and go out for a jog. After all, it was almost midday and sunny outside.
I started the downloads, opened a pack of Orbit gum, took a piece, and left the rest on my new loaded Dell XPS M1530 (for this trip, I upgraded from the smaller XPS M1330, mostly because my eyes are worse now). Before leaving the room, being a good citizen of the world, I turned off the air conditioning.
The moment I opened the door of the room, a wave of stifling heat engulfed me. Outside, the sky was high and pure, and it was so sunny I felt I could hear how bright it was. Or maybe it was the sound of my sweat starting to ooze out.
Unlike the dry and lovely San Francisco Bay Area or somewhat humid New York City, it's so humid in Hanoi that once outside there's no way you can escape the heat during hot days. It's hot when it's calm, and it's hot when it's windy, and fans won't do anything. The breeze actually helps the heat traverse to every corner. Once in a while a quick and so-heavy-that-you-can't-see-anything downpour comes, only to accentuate the heat when the sky is clear again.
For a lot of local people, there's no way to stay away from the heat, as air conditioners are still considered a luxurious commodity that most can't afford. (Plus, they have survived many years without one.) The water in outdoor swimming pools gets so hot that by midday you can't swim in them. During some extremely hot days, you'll even find people staying inside air-conditioned ATM booths to enjoy some free cooling.
After just about a few minutes of jogging, my glasses started to get blurred by steam and sweat and I had to take them off. Four miles later, I looked and felt like I had never worked out so hard before: my T-shirt and baseball cap were completely soaked with sweat and my forehead was dripping.
As I slowly walked back, I stopped by a familiar beer stand to enjoy a few well-deserved glasses of "Bia Hoi," under a common makeshift cooling system: a net of copper pipes that spray water mist in the air. Bia Hoi is a kind of light draft beer that the Hanoi Brewery never produces enough of during summertime. It made all of my sweating and sun-hating activities worthwhile.
A couple of hours later, I returned to my room imagining a cool shower and getting my stuff synced to my iPhone. Instead, I was greeted with a sight of horror: the computer displayed a Blue Screen of Death and I heard the CPU fan roaring to life. The worst of all, the sweet mint chewing gum had melted into some mushy and sticky substance that spilled all over part of the keyboard and completely covered the biometric reader. Some even dripped onto the bedsheet. The laptop was so hot that I couldn't touch it for more than a few seconds. … Read more
The iPod Touch is one of the sleekest, most advanced portable media players on the planet. Unfortunately, it's also one of the most fragile. With one side covered entirely by a thin pane of glass, a single careless drop is enough to turn the iPod Touch into nothing more than an expensive paperweight.
To protect your investment, Apple offers a one-year, limited warranty on its iPods, with the option to buy an extended Apple Care warranty. But on the day CNET Associate Editor Antuan Goodwin dropped his first-generation iPod Touch face-down in a parking lot, he was out of … Read more
No word on how much it costs Amazon to build the DX (read full review here), but I'm sure we'll have that soon enough (anybody want to guess?). For those interested, here's a list of chips on the circuit board:MCIMX31LDVKN5D, M91E, CTAK0915B Samsung 916, K4X1G323PC-8GC3, EMA188A5 Samsung 907, KMBLG0000M-B998 MC13783VK5, AM86D, CTRE083B Samsung 840, K4M28323PH-HG75, AAH055BE Epson D135211B1, F09090125. E-INK I also like what the folks at RapidRepair say at the end of the operation:
"Simply follow these steps in reverse to put your Amazon Kindle DX back together! The Kindle DX has many replaceable parts inside. In many ways this product is user serviceable."
Good to know.
Check out another picture after the break.… Read more
Once the thing was completely ripped apart, the folks at RapidRepair tallied up the price for each component and determined that it costs Palm around $170 to build the Pre. How accurate that number truly is, we can't tell you. But what we do know is that the Pre will cost you $199 (with a $100 mail-in rebate and two-year service agreement).
Anybody think these teardowns are silly? Or … Read more
Free Window Registry Repair is a refreshingly simple tool for cleaning up your Windows Registry. It lacks the bells and whistles offered by some programs--such as special features for uninstalling programs or managing the Start menu--but thankfully so. This is a program that does something well and doesn't stray from that success.
The application's straightforward presentation and clear menu make this program appropriate for most users. The program opens to a window with very simple, step-by-step instructions. You can perform a full scan or select areas to examine. Scanning is quick, and the results list shows the data … Read more
Free Registry Cleaner has too many problems to be a good choice for anyone except those who prefer to clean their own registries key by key.
Visually, the interface is clean, if unexciting. The program offers a few other functions as well, but nothing that isn't already possible through the Control Panel, Task Manager, or other integrated Windows utilities. It defaults to a wizard interface that not easy to use. Initially, we thought the unpickable picklist was the worst it offered; when asked to select the areas to scan, we found that Ctrl-click did not work. Instead, we could … Read more
I get this one a lot, what should I do about my--fill-in-the-blank--broken headphones, buzzing speakers, static noises, intermittent sound, or when my subwoofer stops subbing?
Only rarely can I solve the problem with a quick fix; I always first advise contacting the dealer or Web site that sold you the product. Service is their responsibility and if they don't provide it, you shouldn't buy from them.
Of course, the best time to ask about service is before you buy any product. Will they replace a product if it fails within 90 days of purchase? Do they pay for return shipping? I'm talking about audio products here, but that advice works for any tech purchase. … Read more