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[DMWL] Re-Use Old Hard Drives


DMWL = Do more with less.  This is a random series where I help give insight where people can do more with less stuff in their lives.  To find future DMWL articles, look under Category DMWL, or search for the tag DMWL.


Let’s face it.  Personal computing is not what it used to be.  I remember when I was back in high school, an 8 gig hard drive was huge!  Playing only worms and half-life 1, this was a big deal at the time.  My friend had this 8 gig hard drive with a voodoo3 video card, and I thought it was awesome.

Fast forward to 2009, and now you got 1 gig video cards with 1 TB hard drives for a fraction of price of a personal computer in 1997.  Just amazing.  As our digital collection of movies, photos, and music grows, so much our hard drives.

Upgrading hard drives is easy, but what to do about your old hard drive?  Here are some ideas:

  • Use the hard drive as a second hard drive in the computer for personal data, or backup medium.
  • Use it as a separate drive to install linux.
  • Install it in a external usb hard drive.
  • Install it in a modded xbox.
  • Use the hard drive in a spare PC or media center.
  • Donate it to charity.
  • Use it in entertainment devices like popcorn hour or Western Digital WD TV.
  • Sell it on ebay, craigslist, or other.  Remember to wipe the personal data off of it!

In all honesty, if the hard drive is at least 20 gigs, then I would turn it into an external hard drive.  Buying an external enclosure is a good investment.  If the hard drive is ridiculously small like 4 gigs, then you may as well as use it as an internal backup system, or put it into a PC and give it to the children.

Any other ideas to use your old hard drives? Let us know!

Pabswikk’s Monotonous Speeches [PMS]


As any reader can probably notice I’m new here. I wish to contribute regularly to this blog. It will be updated from Wednesdays to Fridays and will hopefully manage to keep to my two topic schedule in each post I make.

My two topics will always be:

Topic A) Something I find interesting.

Topic B) Comics, or other media.

So without further ado, allow me to start my monotonous speech!

Consumer Stupidity!*

We all love consumers, or at least business men do. It’s all around us in our every day lives, no matter where we look, and one day most of us will fall prey to the pretty colors and forget to read the fine print:



This as some of you will know, is the Xbox Elite. I was at a London based gaming store, checking out the games when I came across the Xbox corner.

You can buy an Xbox for about £100-170 depending on whether it has a hard-drive and the size of that hard-drive, plus some nifty other features. So the cheapest is £100 and doesn’t have a hard drive. The most expensive has a 60 gig hard-drive.So you can either get a cheap xbox which lacks some features that are important, but not unavoidable. Or you could buy the more expensive version which comes with hard-drive etc. The difference in space costs you £70


‘Oh Premium edition! You only cost £200 pounds for your 20 gig hard-drive and metallic paint coat!’

Wait. What?!? You’re paying more for less memory and a new paint coat? Ok, you’d have to be an idiot to get this. At least if you’re gonna buy premium, you’re probably going to dish out the extra £30 needed for an Elite right?

So what is the Elite? Well it’s got a fancy black paint coat, and a green and black HDMI cable. So for the same price you pay to upgrade from no hard-drive to huge hard-drive you can also get a paint job.

For a minute I thought ‘Wow HDMI cables must be so expensive.’

So I went two shelves across and found a HDMI cable for £5.


I just saved myself £55 by moving partway down the aisle! It must be people either really like black stuff, or have a phobia of purchasing two items instead of one. No-one is this lazy.

Just to check, my friend and I posed a little test. We went up to a clerk to quiz him. We asked him if there was anything we were missing. According to this clerk, literally the only additional feature is the HDMI cable.

So my friend bought the cable by itself, went to the DIY store near his house, bought a thin black spray can and a tin of flourescent green paint. I warned him not to, but he went ahead with his plan. The next time I saw his Xbox, it looked exactly like the elite, except the little green bit on the cable was a little….less professional. But I would fall for the ruse any day of the week. So he ended up saving £40, and treated us all to a meal.

I’m kidding, he bought Fable II instead, the bastard.

Anyway the moral is, consumers are lazy idiots, and even a little research can save you a lot of money.

Companies love you and want your money and will do anything to convince you to give it to them.

ONnly an idiot would buy this shit. The white one looks better anyway! Go McCain!....Nah not really, I hate that guy

Only an idiot would buy this shit. The white one looks better anyway! Go McCain!....Nah not really, I hate that guy

For the less ecomomically inclined Americans who can’t figure out my references to sterling, take all the numbers, double them, and you’ll get a rough idea of the amount of money we’re talking!

Now hopefully I haven’t bored you too much, because I have my second topic now, which I hope is more interesting than my first one!


Who watches the Watchmen?

Who watches the Watchmen?

Now for all the comic book freaks out there, I’m positive you’ve heard of this, and for most people who use StumbleUpon/have access to the internet, I’m sure you have too. There is a major film being released about this seminar ‘Graphic Novel’ in 2009, and from what I’ve heard, it’s going to be the Dark Knight of the year. Perhaps it will be even better! (Oh no he didn’t!)

My next post will go into more detail about this, since my dear brother (An ex-blogger) told me to keep this short. So that was a little taster.

Goodbye, and good luck!

*All information not included in post was not included to make corporate companies look evil! Also, if you’re reading this, you’re reading the small print, which shows you’ve learned a little from my post. All information in this post is 100% accurate and all data was taken from

Save Money – Get Tankless Water Heater

After reading a user commentor on saving money by buying a tankless  water heater, I was intrigued.  Guess what happened?  A post about the technology of tankless water heaters!  I found a great site on it.  I have copied just the beginning portion of it below, and I take no credit for it whatsoever.  Bounce to the end of the post for the source link and learn more on how you can save lots of money by going tankless. 🙂

What is a Tankless Water Heater?

Tankless Water Heaters, also called Instantaneous or Demand Water Heaters, provide hot water only as it is needed. Traditional storage water heaters produce standby energy losses that cost you money. We do not leave our homes heated while vacationing. We only heat our homes when there is a demand for heat. In the same way, a Tankless Water Heater is used only when there is a demand for hot water.

How do Tankless Water Heaters work?

Electric Demand Water Heater Tankless Water Heaters heat water directly without the use of a storage tank. Therefore, they avoid the standby heat losses associated with storage water heaters. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. In an electric Tankless Water Heater an electric element heats the water. In a gas-fired Tankless Water Heater a gas burner heats the water. As a result, Tankless Water Heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water. You don’t need to wait for a storage tank to fill up with enough hot water. Typically, Tankless Water Heaters provide hot water at a rate of 2 – 5 gallons (7.6 – 15.2 liters) per minute. Typically, gas-fired Tankless Water Heaters will produce higher flow rates than electric Tankless Water Heaters. Some smaller Tankless Water Heaters, however, cannot supply enough hot water for simultaneous, multiple uses in large households. For example, taking a shower and running the dishwasher at the same time can stretch a Tankless Water Heater to its limit. To overcome this problem, you can install a “whole house” type Tankless Water Heater or install two or more Tankless Water Heaters, connected in parallel for simultaneous demands of hot water. You can also install separate Tankless Water Heaters for appliances—such as a clothes washer or dishwater—that use a lot of hot water in your home.

Other applications for Tankless Water Heaters include the following:

  • Remote BBQ or outdoor sink
  • Poolhouse or pool shower
  • Remote bathrooms or hot tubs
  • To serve as a booster, eliminating long pipe runs, for solar water heating systems, dishwashers and sanitation.

Tankless Water Heater Dishwasher Application Tankless Water Heater Bathroom and Kitchen Application

For homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, Tankless Water Heaters can be 24% – 34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. They can be 8% – 14% more energy efficient for homes that use a lot of hot water, around 86 gallons per day. You can achieve an even greater energy savings of 27% – 50% if you install a Tankless Water Heater at each hot water outlet.

Want more? Go to the source.

6 Ways to Save Money This Season

Excerpt from this source.

All Financial Matters offers six interesting ways to cut costs between now and the end of the year, and although we don’t completely agree with a couple of suggestions, we still think it’s worth a look.

1. Actually look at the price tag before you buy each and every thing for the rest of the year.

2. Avoid items marketed for the season. Their example: red and green candles work fine—you don’t need “Christmas” candles.

3. Don’t overspend on food. The concept of multi-day leftovers is as integral a part of Thanksgiving and Christmas as presents or family, but you’re not actually required to make so much food that more is left over than eaten.

4. Buy fewer gifts.

5. Buy cheaper gifts. We think the “buy cheap!” approach is smart, but the other half of this suggestion is “the gift wrapping is more important, so wrap them up beautifully,” but that only works if you make sure you don’t pay a fortune on gift wrap.

6. Make compromises with family and friends. “If you have a large family why not openly set limits on who buys gifts for whom or how many can be purchased?”

We don’t like this last one; this writer can speak from experience about the topic because his family follows a similar “compromise” strategy every year. The problem is that it takes a lot of the fun out of gift giving by layering a set of external rules on what should be a selfless, personal activity. We like “buy cheaper gifts” better.

There you have it.  Want to save money?  Try those tips above and leave a comment! – Versatile1

[How To] Save Money By Cutting Hair at Home

Haircut Kit

Everybody has to cut their hair right at some point or another right? Just so you know, I’m talking about the hair on your head. 😛

Ok, so if you go to the barber shop, depending on where it is and if you got any deals, hair cuts easily range from $7 up to $20. If the average haircut with taxes is a clean $15, and you cut your hair once a month, that is a grand total of $180 a year. Now if you have family members, and it costs more or less the same per person, and factor in driving to the barber shop and other misc items, cutting your family’s hair could easily go over $300 a year! This isn’t pocket change!

What can you do to alleviate the costs? Simple, buy a haircut kit, and learn how to cut each other’s hair if you have a family, or if you live by yourself, cut the hair yourself or get a friend to help you.

Tools needed:

1) Hair cuttery kit. You can find these at stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, any convenience store really.

2) A penny. On the electric razor, you may need to adjust the power of the blade. To do this, you need a penny or a flat head screw driver to adjust the power.

3) Hair cut tutorials: Find pictures of hair styles you like and try to cut it like that. Or stop by a local barber school, and see how they cut hair. Did you know if you go to a barber/cosmetology school, you can get your hair cut for low prices, or even for free? The only caveat is you may have to sit around longer as the students perfect their technique.

Google for hair cut tutorials and you shall find some. Here is one that has a link to a bunch of sites and tips for cutting hair. Source

4) A handheld mirror. This will prove to be of use when you cut someone else’s hair or your own hair as you can see what is happening in real time.

After some practice cutting each others hair, or your kids hair, you will turn that $10 haircut investment into a money saver. From time to time, don’t forget to clean out the hair and oil up the blade, and this will last you forever.

Tips for single male guys who want to save money on hair cuts

For single men, maybe you don’t want to go to the barber shop and waste your money. If you have a hair cut kit, this is what you can do.

1) If you shave your head, then thats the easiest thing to do. Put the razor on the smallest blade setting and have at it.

2) If you want to cut your hair in a particular style, I recommend going to a barber first. Afterwards, say every week or so, stand in front of the mirror and shave the sides of your head and whatever to keep it maintained. Remember, when hair is short it is easy to cut it and make it presentable. As hair gets longer, it will be easier to notice if you screw up cutting your own hair. 😛

3) As another tip, try getting a handheld mirror. When you stand in front of the bathroom mirror, use that to cut the hair you can see on the sides of your head and whatnot. To cut the hair on the back of your head and for trimming, this is where the handheld mirror is useful. You can hold the mirror in one hand, and look at that mirror to see the reflection of your head on the bigger mirror while the other hand cuts your hair. It takes awhile to get used to, but with patience, you can get a nice haircut done.

Practice makes perfect!