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On this episode of Know-How, Titanfall tips, Windows 8.1, and freaking lasers!
Father Robert Ballecer: Welcome to know how it is the twit show where we build, bend, break and upgrade. I’m Father Robert Ballecer.
Bryan Burnett: And I’m Bryan Burnett.
Fr. Robert: For the next 30 minutes or so we are going to show you some of the projects that we’ve been tooling around with. To see if maybe it gives you the knowledge to geek out in your own geek world.
Bryan: That’s right, and today we have an article to talk about. Which I’m pretty excited about.
Fr. Robert: You know what? I just realized we are both kind of motor heads. For different reasons. You are really big into motorcycles, you love the two wills you like that freedom.
Bryan: Yeah, that freedom. The wind in your hair. That straight out speed.
Fr. Robert: I can't do that because I am not so aerodynamic. But, what I do love is I love supercars.
Bryan: Even though we can’t afford them, we love them.
Fr. Robert: If Audi wanted to send us one to test, we could totally do that. Specifically we are talking about a specific part of one of the new Audi R8 supercars. You may remember back in the A8 if you have paid attention to automotive technology, Audi introduced the idea of smart lights. Brian, do you know what smart lights are?
Bryan: Smart lights. Well, this is technology of high intensity LED lights?
Fr. Robert: Yeah, yeah. Which by the way…
Bryan: Can be very annoying?
Fr. Robert: Can be annoying. Right. We've all had that experience of cresting the hill, or being in one of those two lanes and you get blinded. And it is only because someone has retrofitted their super cool street racer with some high-intensity lights.
Bryan: The 1998 Ford Explorer looks awesome with LED lights.
Fr. Robert: Dude! The 1995 Civic is kickin’ with LED highlights. They can be kind of annoying. But what Audi did was they combined a couple of technologies. A GPS, car sensing, pedestrian sensing technology inside the A8. In order to make sure anytime you were cresting a hill, or approaching an oncoming car it would turn the LEDs down so that you didn’t blind oncoming driver or pedestrian.
Bryan: That is very thoughtful of them. I like that a lot!
Fr. Robert: It is thoughtful tech, and it is something they have integrated into all their high-end luxury cars.
Bryan: I’m sure it will trickle down sooner or later to some of the other ones, hopefully. Fingers crossed. No? If not, then can we just test the R8? It doesn’t have to be at nighttime either.
Fr. Robert: Now the R8, everyone has seen the Audi R8, it is a beautiful car. They have created a limited edition of the R8 as did their supercars. And now they have decided to up their headlight game with freaking lasers! now you can’t see the beam, and fortunately but I can do this. This actually is a diffuser so it shows up as a big great light. This is very close to the technology that Audi is going to be integrating in that limited addition of our eight.
Bryan: Wait a minute. So LED is blinding people, but lasers are not?
Fr. Robert: This is exactly the response I had the first time I read the article. I was like wait a minute!
Bryan: We've just substituted something that was bad with something that will really blind you.
Fr. Robert: So now it doesn’t just temporarily blind you, now it actually brings out my corneas.
Bryan: So how does it work?
Fr. Robert: Alright so. This is what Audi has decided to do. They have decided to create a standard LED headlight. So it has the LED array which gives decent brightness and you combine now with the smart light monitor so that you make sure it’s not blinding people. But they are also putting out an array of four high intensity blue light laser elements inside each headlight. And what it will do is it will actually shine that light at a phosphorescent converter which will convert the blue laser light into 5500 Kelvin white light. Which is very very close to daylight mounts. That is the light you want. The cool thing about that is that it doesn’t engage until the car hits 38 mph.
Bryan: Because then it projects it a little further ahead?
Fr. Robert: Exactly, because what they want to do is they want to create something like a laser spot. if you look at this it shows you where typical LED lights go. Then it shows you where the LED high beams would go. Then it shows you where the laser spot is going to go. Which is 2 to 4 times further than what you can see. So you only need it when you are traveling at speed.
Bryan: So you’ll see that deer before you hit it.
Fr. Robert: Exactly. And because it is projecting so far ahead of you it is combining that daylight balanced light which is what our eyes are trained to see with the light from the LED, the high intensity LED. So it creates that laser spot further out, which is good.
Bryan: Yeah. Safety first.
Safety first. But I was thinking that as long as we are talking about this, we should probably talk about the technology that lets this work.
Bryan: Right. So, how does it work then?
Fr. Robert: We’ve all played with these things right? Don’t shine that into anybody’s eyes.
Bryan: Or into the cameras, like I’ve seen someone do just couple of seconds ago. I’m not going to do it. I don’t want the Engineers to yell at me.
Fr. Robert: Don’t do it, Brian.
Bryan: Sorry. I would’ve totally done it but Alex said no.
Fr. Robert: Alright. When we are talking about lasers, we are talking about… it actually stands for something. It is light amplification to the stimulated emission of radiation. That is what laser stands for.
Bryan: I thought it was just a cool name.
Father Robert. So the way that a laser functions is to compare it to what a regular light would function. So when we are talking about an incandescent light we are talking about a coil of wire that gets heated by an electrical charge that passes through it. Then it releases light in all directions, in all spectrums.
Bryan: This is laser super focus.
Fr. Robert: It is super focus and it is super limited in the spectrum of light that it emits. Now let’s get into Physics for just a little bit. Let’s talk about atoms. Specifically atoms have electrons that circle the nucleus. Now those electrons will always seek out the lowest possible orbit. The empty orbit. That is the stable orbit. They want to be at that almost ground state, that stable state. What happens is that if you pass an electrical charge through an atom, either by heating it up or actually passing electricity through it by striking it with light it excites the electron and it moves to a higher orbit.
Bryan: Is that like a higher frequency?
Fr. Robert: It just means that there is more energy inside that orbit. The problem is that electron at that higher orbit will want to go back down to that lower orbit.
Bryan: So you have to keep it energized?
Fr. Robert: It you want to keep it at that higher state you want to keep it energized. But what is actually going to happen is it will drop back down and in dropping back down it will emit a photon. Now that photon in typical incandescent light is called unstimulated radiation. Which means it is kind of a hodge lodge of what you are going to get. You can get a bunch of different spectrums, a bunch of different light colors.
Bryan: So that is why there is the green lasers and like…
Fr. Robert: That operates under a different principle. So that unstimulated release of energy just gives us anything. If I want to do a laser, what I can do is I can actually control the decay of that orbit. I applied an electromagnetic field around that atom and now when the excited electron wants to go back down to the ground state it has to jump specifically to a frequency that emits a specific photon at a specific wave length which gives me red, green, or blue.
Robert: Have I
Bryan: A little bit. So Audi is using this to manipulate it to look like daylight?
Fr. Robert: Exactly. Because they can control that laser and because lasers are stimulated emissions I can control which direction they are going in and I can control what wavelength they run at means I can have a beam, a very tight cone of light rather than…
Bryan: Light everywhere. Can you explain
to me why green lasers seems to be more powerful than
the red ones?
Fr. Robert: It all depends on the type of material that you use and the type of field that you are using to create that stimulated emission of radiation. So whatever is my resonate frequency that is the wavelength of photon that is going to get thrown off. So I use different materials for blue, for green, for red.
Bryan: Cool. Which one is going to burn
your eyes out first?
Fr. Robert: Blue.
Bryan: Wait. Isn’t that what Audi is using?
Fr. Robert: Yes. But see blue is also one of the highest energy wavelengths so you can get further. Remember the reason why they are doing this is because they are combining it with that smart light technology.
Bryan: Maybe it is a pedestrian, maybe it’s not. So let’s just not turn off the lights.
Fr. Robert: I’m actually looking forward to the day where all of our lights are lasers.
Bryan: Yeah. And then we have to wear some sort of eye protection.
Fr. Robert: Well actually, anytime you are using this high-powered laser you really should have…
Bryan: Just the one pair?
Fr. Robert: This laser is bright enough where if I would hold it on dark material…
Bryan: That is very powerful! I’m really glad you brought one pair of those supercool looking glasses.
Fr. Robert: And actually Burke wants to showoff… oh you can actually see that! And ladies and gentlemen that is the next generation of headlight technology.
Bryan: And Burke’s off-camera blowing smoke for us.
Fr. Robert: Right before the show started Brian was asking if we had a fog machine.
Bryan: And its Burke!
Fr. Robert: Now I should mention that right now there is a live audience of thousands in the brick house.
Bryan: I didn’t think they could all fit in here.
Fr. Robert: Now you guys are all here for Make or Fit, right? Welcome to the Twit Brick House. The thousands are off in the back.
Bryan: They are just slightly off-camera.
Fr. Robert: Have you ever tried to have VIP access to a website?
Bryan: Yes I have.
Fr. Robert: Have you ever tried to create a website for a VIP?
Bryan: I’ve tried.
Fr. Robert: Have you ever tried to create a website for a VIP with special VIP access using just some of the off-the-shelf tools?
Fr. Robert: It’s because it is a pain in the ass. It takes too much time. It takes too much effort. I think this is the worst thing for me. Whatever I am trying to create a nice clean site, especially if I’m trying to create it for people who maybe don’t have all the technical expertise.
Bryan: I had a great image in my mind of what I would like to do but the reality of it is not what I want.
Fr. Robert: What we really want is we want some sort of package that we can purchase that combines all the things we need for a dynamic website in one place.
Bryan: Do such a thing exist Padre? Is it possible?
Fr. Robert: It is. It is called Square Space. Now right now people around the world are using Square Space because it is your one stop shop for a profession design website. It combines all the things that you need from hosting to domain registration to the backend. Two wonderful templates that help you create a professional looking website without even trying. Now if you ever use a Square Space page you know, like I have, that it is incredibly easy to get started. You literally click the get started button and you choose your template, and you start inputting in your content. This is a great way to share your weekend project blog, or provide reliability to jumpstart the site startup project with professional looking site and the ability to quickly and easily take orders and sell creations. Now, Square Space isn’t just going to sit back on their laurels and say yes we created something nice but they are always improving their service. That is one of the things we really like about them. They are always offering new features, new designs, and even better support. And yes, for DIY areas there are a set of tools to create your own website without code from those design tools, like the layout engine, and the logo Creator. A platform for customization. Especially if you know enough code to get under the hood since the development platform is also super robust. Now Square Space has 25 beautiful templates for you to start with. But you can tinker with them so your site doesn’t have to look like any other site in existence. They also recently added the Logo Creator which is a basic tool for individuals and small businesses with limited resources to create a simple identity for themselves online. It is also easy to use. Square Space has live chat and email support 24 hours a day, seven days a week but really you are not going to need that. Because it is intuitive. If you have ever put together a document or a presentation, well you know how Square Space works. Square Space also offers e-commerce, available for all subscription plan levels. Which means you get the ability to accept donations or payments. It is great for nonprofits, cash, wedding registries, and school fund drives. It is also inexpensive which doesn’t seem to go with all the features I been naming off. It starts at just eight dollars a month and includes a free domain name if you sign up for a year. Square Space is also mobile ready. Brian, have you ever gone to a website where you can tell that it was designed for a laptop or a desktop and everything is just kind of weird for…
Bryan: And so you pull it up on your phone and you have to scroll and scroll and scroll and zoom and Zoom and Zoom to be able to look at the text.
Fr. Robert: It is more than just a pain for the user, there is always that thought in the back of your mind these people aren’t ready for prime time. If they don’t realize that I’m going to check this on my phone then why would I want to deal with them?
Bryan: Or if I just want to read it quickly and the font is so small on my phone.
Fr. Robert: If you are using Square Space you don’t get that. What they give you our tools to dynamically resize your page, to move the con tent around so that you don’t have to know how to code it. It just automatically happens. Desktop, laptop, or phones, Square Space looks right for the people who are visiting. Now even their code is beautiful. I am a coder and I always look behind the scenes to see if maybe they have created a horrible wizard editor. But Square Space code looks beautiful on the inside as much as it does on the outside.
Bryan: Just like you, Padre.
Fr. Robert: Just like me. I am so beautiful. In every single way. Now as I mentioned before, Square Space also includes hosting which means it is a one-stop shop. You are not going to have to buy your backend from one place in your domain from another. Really, you pay your subscription and your good to go. So here is what we want you to do. We want you to try Square Space. Start a free two-week trial, with no credit card and start building your website today. When you decide to Stein of first Square Space make sure to use the offer code know how to get 10% off, and to show your support for know-how. We think Square Space for their support of know-how, a better web awaits and it starts with your new Square Space website.
Bryan: All right.
Fr. Robert: Now, a few weeks back we promise the folks that we would give them Windows 8.1 tips.
Bryan: We teased them. We teased them for three weeks.
Fr. Robert: For about three weeks. And unfortunately our TD decided that we had run out of time. Actually, let's ask Alex. So we have enough time?
Bryan: You know what we can save the audience some time. I elected your notes and your first step was to uninstall Windows 8. Was that it? No?
Fr. Robert: No, I hate iMac.
Fr. Robert: If you are an old-fashioned PC person you are probably used to hitting print screen or a shift print screen to get a full screenshot of whatever was on your desktop. Nowadays you can do that by bringing up a snipping tool. But there is actually a shortcut that could save you a lot of time. When you want to make a screenshot simply press the Windows key and print screen. A screenshot will automatically be saved to your pictures folder. The second tip is for those of you who hate the modern UI pictures viewer as much as I do. If you have ever clicked on an image and been annoyed when you were brought to the new and improved Windows pictures library and photo viewer, then don’t bother with all the steps. First, right-click on an image, then select open with, now select choose default program, and select Windows photo viewer. Now be clear. With this method you are going to have to choose each and every type of image file in GIS and JPEG in order to make that default choice. Now, if you feel like putting a little bit more effort into it you can actually change the default program for all images at the same time. First, go into settings, then select Control Panel, select default programs, now set your default programs, then scroll to Windows photo viewer, select set this program as default, and now click okay. Now any time you click any image you should be modern UI free. Those first two tips are time-saving and preference steps. But if you actually want to get back some of the functionality in Windows 8.1 that seems to have been stripped away from Windows 7, then follow the following tip in order to get your desktop apps. The first thing you want to do is go ahead and right-click on the desktop. Now select new, and add shortcut. Now you want to enter the command explorer shell:AppsFolder. Now going ahead and name it All Apps. You have just created a folder on your desktop that contains all your programs. Not just the ones that Windows 8.1 has deemed suitable for the desktop. Now what about power? If you don’t have a touchscreen, Windows 8.1 is a little picky on how to shut it down. You have to hover your cursor over the top right corner of the screen click settings, click power and select your power option. Well, if you want a down and dirty shortcut to shut down your windows 8 computer, follow the following tip. First go to the desktop, right-click on any empty area of the desktop, and create a new shortcut. Now type in the following command. Shutdown.exe s .t 00. you want to name your command shutdown and pin it to the task bar. Now clicking the shortcut will bypass all the Windows 8.1 goodness and instantly pull the plug on your PC. Follow these tips and you are well on your way to taking back control of your Windows 8.1 desktop. I am father Robert Ballecer and that is a quick tip.
Fr. Robert: Over the next couple of weeks I’m quick to be bringing you more Windows 8.1 tips. I know a lot of people, including myself, have been a little upset with Windows. They don’t really like what they have been seeing. They don’t like the fact that Microsoft has changed so many of the things that they have gotten used to with windows XP and Windows 7. But, I am going to show you some of the ways that you can take your power back.
Bryan: I was busy working on something while you were doing a video. I’m fixing something.
Fr. Robert: That doesn’t look like you’re fixing.
Bryan: Well I’m not fixing it very well. But I took it up part great. Putting it back together is another story.
Fr. Robert: While you know, even if you can’t get it together what I do like is that you are using the iFixit toolkit and the magnetic pad.
Bryan: With this took me no time at all to take it apart.
Fr. Robert: Now we, at the show here at know-how, we love these tools. I fix it really knows what people need. In order to be makers. And they created that technology, they built it into their toolkit and they built it into their pad, which by their way up I really like this pad. This is a dry you raise pad and it stores your screws so you can put them in the right order and keep them all organized.
Bryan: Say if you were going to take apart your go pro, you might organize your screws a little bit better than me and in order that you took them out. But as I am a madman…
Fr. Robert: My favorite part is when I am creating a little project and I accidentally tip the table and the screws all fall off. That is why this is magnetic. So that when you have your screws on the pad and you have labeled them you never have to worry about them being freed.
Bryan: You can draw on it too. With a dry erase marker. If I had one.
Fr. Robert: Now we’ve been using these tools forever but there are people out there who don’t know what iFixit is. ifixit.com is the free online repair manual for everything. they have more than 10,000 repair guides from everything from electronics like your smart phone tablet and game console to your home appliances, clothing and even your bike. They also have foolproof instructions to fix all your staff. If you have shattered your iPhone screen, if you have disassembled your go pro, if you need to repair the the red ring of death on your Xbox or swap the batteries on your galaxy S3, iFixit has got you covered with parts, tools, and repair guides. Now today we are introducing these two new iFixit tools. A ProTech screwdriver kit and the magnetic project map. Now this ProTech screw driver kit has one screwdriver for everything really. It is the kit that rules them all. There are 15 screwdrivers, specifically chosen by the iFixit teardown team. These drivers are going to have 90% of all electronic repairs. I remember this was chosen by the people who do repairs, they do tear down for a living. So when they vented to AND they decide what drivers you should have, they said these are the ones we use most often. These are designed for heavy use and for delicate jobs. They are very precise. They have a black oxide tips for increasing corrosion resistance as well as a fixed blade swivel top design for precision. Now this custom tool roll makes this a handy portable toolkit for amateurs and professional users alike. It comes with a lifetime warranty so that if anything breaks they’re going to replace it for you. It is only $59.95. Now this magnetic project matt is something I have been really enamored by and have been using quite a bit. This is an original iFixit invention. It organizes all your parts while you work on a repair and that magnetic service holds all those tiny screws, springs in place. The dry erase surface lets you take notes to prevent mistakes when you are reassembling it. So Brian probably should’ve…
Bryan: Yeah I probably should’ve tried that out.
Fr. Robert: If you are using this you will never lose a screw again. It’s a great companion for any iFixit toolkit and it is only $19.95. Here is what we want you to do. We want you to try iFixit. We want you to see if it is going to be as good for you as it is for us. With iFixit, you can fix it yourself. Visit for more than 10,000 free step-by-step guides. I fix it also sells every part, every tool that you will need. Into the code know-how at checkout and you will save $10 off any purchase of $50 or more. That is . And we thank iFixit for their support of Know-How.
Fr. Robert: Are you done breaking that?
Bryan: Yeah, I think I have taken it apart as much as I can. So, that’s the end of that project.
Fr. Robert: If you are done destroying my Go Pro I am thinking maybe you could show the good folks at home some Titanfall?
Bryan: That’s right. Yeah. So we had a gaming PC for a while. And to stress test it I’ve been playing Titanfall on it. We introduced that a few episodes back. And maybe if you have been playing it and getting frustrated like Burke, you could watch a few of these tips and it will help you out.
Bryan: Titanfall. The game where you get to control a Mic and blow stuff up. What is not to like? Well, getting pone for one thing. It is not always fun but it may be it is not your skills that need to be brought up to snuff but your Titan load up. So what I have found is this load up is particularly good for taking out other Titans. We are going to start with that Atlas chassis. This is the most balanced of the three available titans and it has an equal mix of speed and armor. Your main weapon for a obliterating Max should be the 40 mm cannon. The cons of this weapon are that it is a little slow between firing. It doesn’t have a lot of splash damage. But when you do hit something, it packs a wallop. If you have leveled up enough I would also recommend using the extended Mac and so you are not left without ammo in a dire situation. The next load up option you want to use is electric smoke. It is not so great for taking down Titans, but it is good for defending yourself against hijackers. You could also take a lesson from nature’s squishy underwater menace, the octopus. And use it to ink away from your enemies. To use this smoke effectively you should hold still, deploy, and wait for the pilots to either fall off like a dead flea or if they are smart they will jump off and keep your eyes peeled and skate around in hopes of running them over. As for ordinance, I prefer the slave warheads. What these allow you to do is target a Titan, lock on, and if you hit them with full salvo it will take down their shields. Allowing to mop them up with a 40 mm. Now the kit is really up to personal preference. But I like to make a dramatic exit. So I have opted for the nuclear ejection. Not only does this shoot way up into the air, giving you a clear view of the battle below it makes a powerful explosion obliterating anything nearby. It is definitely satisfying to know that at least if you are going to go down, you are probably going to take someone with you. Finally, I like to use a survivor pack. This gives you extra time to exact your revenge before your titan goes critical. But a word of warning, a doomed Titan is vulnerable to getting punched and having you ripped up viciously from the cockpit. Not fun. If you are able to use this low down in conjunction with some of the other tips you will be destroying Titans left and right. And one last thing. If you truly want to decimate your foes, drop satchels near the evac and – there hopes right before their very eyes by, well blowing them up. So this has been a quick Titanfall tip and hopefully that helps you out in the battlefield. And maybe more to come.
Fr. Robert: All right, thank you so much for those Titanfall tips. I understand that you are actually really good. I’ve watched you play a lot and I am horrible.
Bryan: Well you know, practice, practice, practice, Padre. If you put as many hours into it as I have… that I regrettably can’t get back.
Fr. Robert: Now we did have someone in the chat room, while that little tidbit was playing, was saying, “well if I can’t run Crisis I don’t care”. Crisis has sort of been the thing about gaming machines the last decade. It is an inside joke. Well, super computers still can’t run Crisis. This is the machine that we have been using. It is an Acer Predator G3. Decent machines that are a very good gaming machines, low-budget type box. But we have been playing all our video games on this. In fact, this is running Crisis right now. We are even running in a window which is going to slow down the performance. And it has been fantastic. This is all the settings pumped up, this is good to go. Now something that you noticed about Crisis
and Titanfall is that even though the video card and the CPO in this is plenty fast, we still do get slowdowns. Right?
Bryan: Yes, we do get some slowdown. But I think that is from running Shadow Play in the background where we are recording at the same time.
Fr. Robert: Right. And not only that, one of the biggest problems of this box is that it doesn’t have an SSD. That was one of the things I pointed out in my review on Before you Buy, this is a great box but it only has 8 GB of memory and it has a rotating 1 TB hard drive which is not… it really slows down your loads.
Bryan: It boots pretty quick. But, I think we can make it faster.
Fr. Robert: Yeah. So what we are going to do is that we want to tease something. We had our friends over at Kingston send us just a little care package so we've got their fastest ever, their hyper X SSD. We are going to drop this in the box. We are also going to drop 32 GB of their DDR three SRAM into the box. Just to show you what kind of performance gains you are going to get from it. Another reason we are going to do this is because there are people in the audience that have reached out to us and said something along the fact of, I want to upgrade my computer what should I upgrade? And there is always a battle royal of should you get a faster processor or a better video card? I’ve always said an SSD and memory is the thing that is going to show you an increase of speed instantly.
Fr. Robert: It has the biggest impact for the least amount of money. So what we are going to do, is we are going to upgrade each one of these individually after benchmarking this PC and show you what each one of these can give you an performance gains and show you to gather what they give you in aggregate.
Bryan: And as far as RAM goes, I don't know if you can see this in the overhead shot Alex but the more bad ass looking the heat sink, the better the Rams.
Fr. Robert: That is actually a scientific fact. If the RAM looks bad ass, it is.
Bryan: They go faster that way. I am looking forward to testing this out.
Fr. Robert: We will look forward to that in a future episode of Know-How. Until then, I think we have given you a lot of information and you are probably going to want to look at our show notes. Brian where can we find our show notes?
Fr. Robert: We are working on that.
Bryan: We are making the machine for that. And that is where our show notes live so if we go over anything that you want to look into in more detail, or there are some steps that you missed, Padre does a great job of his show notes. We’ll see how they come out today.
Fr. Robert: We should probably remind you that next week is a feedback episode. We do that once a month, where we go to our G plus page and we start pulling in your projects, your questions, your queries and we explain them on the show. So, be sure to jump into our Google plus page to play around. Where do they find our G plus page? I think it is gplus.to/twitkh?
Bryan: I think that it is. If you are on Google Plus and you search for Know How, Padre’s face will pop up.
Bryan: And I am @cranky_hippo.
Fr. Robert: Until next time, now that you know…
Bryan: Go do it!