Column: Everyday Tech Myths

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  • arthur92710
    your doing it wrong...
  • I have found that NU Finish car polish is much better than plain toothpaste...I have had countless dvd's and cd's over the years returned to operating condition using that stuff.
  • michaelahess
    Simple physics will tell you why the cd, key fob, and wireless work, or don't work as the case may be.

    The cd thing, you need a substance with the same (or nearly) diffraction index, toothpaste ain't it. Kinda like shining light through oil on water, you see it bend at two different angles.

    The key fob thing, right on the money sound waves and radio waves are two very different things.

    The Wireless thing, all you did is up the sensitivity as more of your signal is getting reflected to the original antenna, and that's not even quite right, you have the things turned around, it just happens that since they are metal, they transmit the signal that hits the edges to the original antenna, that phenomena's name eludes me. If you turned them around so the computer was looking at the antennae like this ) not ( you might do a bit better as the radio waves would collect in the trough and reflect directly to the original antennae.

    That's how yagi (cantena's) work, the little bit of radio waves that make it to the opening get a break, they don't have to continue expanding to nothingness, the energy simply reflects back and forth until it hits the receiver in a much smaller area than free air. Less energy goes further when more constrained.
  • michaelahess
    Evilferret87I have found that NU Finish car polish is much better than plain toothpaste...I have had countless dvd's and cd's over the years returned to operating condition using that stuff.


    I've had decent luck with digital innovations resurfacing fluid as well as Meguiar's #25 I think, the pure caranuba wax.
  • mrmez
    Page 10:
    CD's, unlike DVD/BD's have a kind of data redundancy built in. Thats why the music industry loves them, and why if you havent got gigs to back up, they are a much better media. They last far longer than other media and can (as you see above) cop a far greater beating and still work fine.
  • Actually, only music CDs don't have data redundancy built in.
  • amdfangirl
    Dance Dance Revolution discs don't die properly, its a known interwibble fact...
  • 21 pages of single paragraphs for what could have been a simple 2-3 page article? Bad web editing.
  • squatchman
    That's what adblock is for!
  • I tried once to use a lighter to get a CD working again.
    Bring the flame in the scratches for they need to melt, but don't let the lighter damage the metal layer.
    You need to do it quickly,as the longer you allow the flame to touch the CD,the deeper the heat of the flame will go.

    Best is to bring the scratches in the middle of the flame for about a second.
    Then flush away the black stains (ash).
    Voila, the scratch should be gone!
  • nerdherd
    I've actually had some success with regular toothpaste before. I used two different kinds of toothpaste though, one that was rougher/grittier first and then one that was smoother second and it made my disc work again! I did have to rinse it off in the sink before getting it to work though. Maybe it was just luck? I don't know...
  • andyviant
    Well, maybe he is trying to aim the signal through that wall! If not, they're wrong -- simply, you can think of those parabolas as cheap satellite dishes, the concave surface needs to point to destination/source so that the signals reflecting off the metal are concentrated to focal point of the parabola: the antenna. If working correctly, you should see both increased range and quality...

    These do work, i had to get a signal from a router in a basement (stupid place for a router) to a detached garage 45 feet away. Put one of these on an antenna on the router (left the other one omnidirecitonal for standard coverage) and another on the antenna for the PC's wireless PCI card (pointing to the basement, through walls/ ~3 feet of soil) and increased the signal from barely picking up SSID to medium/low...couldn't quite game on it, but internet e-mail was fine. Anyway, point: if BOTH ends are stationary, you can put a direcitonal antenna on both....this obviously doesn't work for mobile devices.
  • believe it or not- Brasso works great as a polish for plastic- try that. Parabolic refectors for the wireless work GREAT for boosting the signal strength- provided they are correctly pointed, and aligned. This is a cheaper-faster method that works- print out the template on decent thick paper- get some foil tape from the hardware store- and cut it out- works great!
    http://www.freeantennas.com/Templates/windsurfer.jpg
  • Tomsguiderachel
    ajt21 pages of single paragraphs for what could have been a simple 2-3 page article? Bad web editing.

    Hi Ajt,

    I'm sorry you don't like our format. However, I for one prefer one or two pictures per page, and especially in a how-to/DIY article like this one, I like to see each step illustrated one at a time.

    I appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback, however.

    Rachel Rosmarin
    Editor, Tom's Guide
  • williamvw
    LOL! Yes, I was aiming the parabolas out the window and down the street for my testing -- the direction in which the test notebook would be running and taking measurements. Obviously, you'd point them in the direction of your target wireless device(s) for improved performance. They were not on "backwards."
  • regular toothpaste does not dry clear. it is a mild abrasive and is meant to remove scratches along with a portion of the layer of polycarbonate, like a buffing compound.

    now, when you've heard about using turtle wax on scratches, that is the approach meant to fill the scratches
  • Dear Jesus,
    Can we please get more than one paragraph on a page.
  • Tomsguiderachel
    ForealdoDear Jesus,Can we please get more than one paragraph on a page.

    Thanks Forealdo,
    I hear you.
    Rachel Rosmarin
    Editor of Tom's Guide
  • kittle
    ForealdoDear Jesus,Can we please get more than one paragraph on a page.

    ditto on > 1 pp per page.

    right now its:
    read for 15seconds, click.... wait.... read for 15-30 sec, click.. wait...

    as opposed to click one.
    read top of page while the rest of it loads.
    read and scroll down at will.

    Less traffic on your website too, especially if i want to back and look at something.
  • Tomsguiderachel
    kittleditto on > 1 pp per page.right now its:read for 15seconds, click.... wait.... read for 15-30 sec, click.. wait...as opposed to click one.read top of page while the rest of it loads.read and scroll down at will.Less traffic on your website too, especially if i want to back and look at something.

    Kittle, I have notified the proper authorities about your concerns.
    Thanks again,
    Rachel Rosmarin
    Editor, Tom's Guide
  • michaelahess
    williamvwLOL! Yes, I was aiming the parabolas out the window and down the street for my testing -- the direction in which the test notebook would be running and taking measurements. Obviously, you'd point them in the direction of your target wireless device(s) for improved performance. They were not on "backwards."


    Good, I was worried for a minute :)
  • |ajt :
    |21 pages of single paragraphs for what could have been a simple 2-3 |page article? Bad web editing.
    |
    |
    |Hi Ajt,
    |
    |I'm sorry you don't like our format. However, I for one prefer one |or two pictures per page, and especially in a how-to/DIY article |like this one, I like to see each step illustrated one at a time.
    |
    |I appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback, however.
    |
    |Rachel Rosmarin
    |Editor, Tom's Guide

    Rachael,

    If the 1-paragraph-per-page is somewhat required (web-ads and whatnot), how about adding a 'view on 1 page link' or something similar. That way, those who like the multi-page format can continue reading as normal, and those that prefer a 1-page format can read that way, to. The layout would be the same, but the article portion would then be longer.

    Cheers
    AJT
  • igorcm
    The CD and toothpaste idea is about the later being abrasive, and that you need to rub it on the CD until the scratchs are gone. Thats why its a good idea to use a more rougher/grittier toothpaste first and then a smoother one to finish.
  • igorcm
    The CD and toothpaste idea is about the later being abrasive, and that you need to rub it on the CD until the scratchs are gone. Thats why its a good idea to use a more rougher/grittier toothpaste first and then a smoother one to finish.