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Sunday, October 28, 2012

How To: Install 2006-2008 radio into 2003-2005 Mazda 6

  My main goal was to replace my LCD info screen ($380 from dealer) that was slowly dying, but they have been hard to find at junkyards and online, so I decided to swap it out with the newer model in the 2006-2008 Mazda 6 cars which are easier to find.  However, if you do this, you'll also need to swap out the stereo with the newer 2006-2008 as well.

Installing a 12v Cigarette Lighter Socket

  While I had my 2004 Mazda 6 apart, I wanted to added another 12v source so that a passenger could easily charge their phone or tablet as well as keep my console clean of wires and also charge my phone while in it's ProClip holder.



Installing a Homelink Rearview Mirror with Compass & AutoDim

   Below are instructions for installing a Gentex Homelink Rearview Mirror with AutoDim and Compass into a 2004 Mazda 6.  This model of rearview mirror (GENK45A) has 3 programmable buttons for a garage door, security gate, or any other remote control device which works nicely to replace my big bulky clicker that was hanging from my visor.

  The AutoDim feature was something I honestly thought was more of a gimmick that wouldn't be needed before I bought it.  However, after using it, it really is nice not being blinded at night when someone's headlights come up behind you.  It smoothly transitions from different levels of dimming based on how bright the light is behind you.



Monday, June 25, 2012

How To: Install PCV Oil Catch Can for Mazda 6s (1st Gen)

   I recently had a problem with my 2004 Mazda 6s 3.0L V6 burning oil and blowing large amounts of blue/white smoke out my tailpipe every time I accelerated.  After finding a pool of oil in my intake box, I then traced it back up to the throttle body and coming from the PCV inlet on the intake manifold.

  I replaced the faulty PCV valve which solved the smoking, but didn't want my intake to get dirty again, so I decided to install an oil catch can to collect any oil that got pass the PCV valve before it made it into the intake manifold.

750ml Oil Catch Can from eBay

Sunday, February 12, 2012

iOS 5 - Blue Circular Loading Gears

   If you have a jailbroken iPhone you can change the loading logo to something different.  Attached are the files updated for iOS 5.01 for blue circular loading gears as found here:  http://macthemes.net/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16810253


Sunday, January 1, 2012

How To: Wirelessly Stream Music from iPhone to your PC

   There is a free program out there that allows you to wirelessly play your Music, Pandora or any other music app that supports Apple's Airplay feature from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch thru your computer's speakers or your living room's surround sound system via an HTPC.

Download Free "Shairport 4 Windows" Program
Version 1.0.7.3 (673kb - 12/08/2013)

How To: Create an HTPC - (Part 1 - Intro)

   What is an HTPC ?  HTPC stands for Home Theater Personal Computer.  It's just a fancy name for a computer or laptop that is used to view your movies, pictures, music, live TV, etc. on your TV.  Below I describe my setup and what problems I ran into.

I wanted an HTPC that would fit my needs:

•  Powerful enough to watch the latest movies at 1080p
•  Energy efficient - (since it'll be on almost 24/7)
•  Sleek Modern Interface
•  Quiet
•  Fast boot and resume
•  Wirelessly play media from my iPhone
•  And play a few games


XBMC 11.0 "Eden" w/ MQ3 Skin












How To: Set up XBMC

   This tutorial will help simplify the process of installing and setting up XBMC (Xbox Media Center), a free program that displays a slick user interface for your Movies, Pictures, Music, TV Shows, Games and other media.  You can also install different skins and customize them to get just the right look you want.

Official Site: xbmc.org
Latest version: 11.0 "Eden" Beta 3 (2/11/2012)
Favorite Skin: Aeon MQ3


I chose XBMC because of these nice features:

•  Plays just about any file out there (.mkv, .mp4, .wmv, .avi, .vob, .iso, CD, DVD, Blu-ray, etc.)
•  Fast, responsive, polished look
•  Automatically downloads all artwork, fanart, info for all your movies, games, etc.
•  Active community w/ regular updates
•  Includes AirPlay built-in (for playing videos, pictures, youtube, etc., from my iPhone)


How To: Set up Wake On Lan (WOL)

   If you're away and need to access files on your home PC that is turned off, you can remotely power it on and access those files.  Or, if you get tired of getting up to hit the power button to turn on your computer or HTPC, you can set up your router, PC and phone app so that you can power on your PC from the comfort of your couch.


WD ShareSpace NAS: Installing a New Hard Drive

   The WD ShareSpace NAS (Network Attached Storage) will only work with Western Digital SATA hard drives.  I recently installed a couple of 1TB Western Digital hard drives that were previously used on a Windows 7 machine and was a bit bummed that the NAS unit would not configure them properly.

   The lights on the unit were: Power = solid green, Hard Drives = solid orange, Network = randomly blinking green.  The power button would not work either, I had to unplug the power cable to turn the unit off.


Restore Hard Drive's Full Capacity

   When installing an 80GB hard drive from my NAS unit into a Windows 7 PC, it only showed it as a 32GB capacity hard drive.  If this happens to your hard drive, there is a program that will restore a hard drive's full capacity just like from the factory.

Download Free HDD Capacity Restore Tool (32-bit)
Version 1.2 (480kb - 1/1/2012)