How to Fix or Repair a Wet or Liquid Damaged Smartphone

It happens to everyone at some point in their lives: their wonderful and precious phone slips out of their hand and into a toilet, sink or some other unforgiving liquid!

One time I dropped my phone into a swimming pool and tried to dry it by shaking it hard and then using a hair dryer. It didn’t work and the phone died! Some tips that I mention in this post you think would be common sense, but I didn’t think of it at the time.

Luckily, if your phone has not been submerged underwater for a long time, there are some things you can do to fix it and possibly save yourself the cost of having to replace it.

Obviously, if you have any of the most recent iPhones or Samsung devices, they are all either waterproof or water-resistant. So if you’ve been holding back with an older phone for a long time, it might be worth an upgrade.

First Things First

Before we get into how to go about drying your phone, there are a couple of things you should do immediately after removing the phone from the liquid.

  1. Make sure to turn off the phone. We want to prevent the phone from short circuiting.
  2. If you can, go ahead and remove the battery. This isn’t possible on a lot of phones, like the iPhone, but if you can, remove it immediately.
  3. Remove the SIM card if you can. It’s not a big deal, but if you have important data stored on there, especially for Android users, you might be able to save all that data by removing the card.

iphone slot

Now, let’s talk about drying your phone. First, make sure to keep it off for at least two days and remove any cases or covers from the device.

Initial Drying

One mistake I made originally was shaking my phone a lot. I thought that it would help remove the water, but later on I found out it simply help the water get to other parts of the phone.

In addition to not shaking the phone, go ahead and wipe off any visible water off the surface of the device. If you can open the phone, dry any internal parts gently.

Drying Techniques

Hair Dryer

There are a bunch of different things you can at this point. Another big mistake that I had made was using a hair dryer incorrectly. It seems like the perfect choice for drying something out right? Wrong! You can use a hair dryer, but only use the fan or cool setting. Do not use any heat setting on the hair dryer.

Hair dryer

 

Vacuums

You should also avoid using vacuums as they can cause more damage than help. If you have a small computer vacuum and there is an attachment that creates a good seal with the phone, then give it a shot.

Otherwise, I don’t recommend trying to use your home vacuum as static electricity can damage the circurity in the device.

Uncooked Rice

The best option is to put your phone into a plastic bag, fill it with rice or quinoa, seal the bag and let it is sit for several days.

The downside is that you have to wait a long time, but it’s definitely worth the wait. This method works well and many people swear by it.

rice phone

The other thing to note about rice that you should try to use rice from a sealed packet. Open rice will not be able to absorb as much water and you’ll be wasting your time.

Desiccants

What are desiccants? I didn’t know exactly either, but we see them all the time. Apparently, it’s those small little packets of silica that you find in shoes, clothing, and even food all the time.

desiccants

You can buy these from Amazon on the cheap and basically stuff your phone and a bunch of these into a tightly sealed bag. You can also buy other desiccants like drierite and use it in the same way. This method is way faster than rice because these things can really absorb moisture.

The main thing here is that you need to create a tight seal. Once you do that, leave it for as long as you can. Again, the longer the time, the more dry your phone will become. It takes a really long time for water to dry up, so be ready for a 2 to 3 day wait.

Other Methods

There are other methods of drying that you should avoid like placing your phone in the sun, using a microwave or using an oven. All bad ideas. The sun might be OK, but you have to do it properly. For example, place it on a towel to avoid excessive heat from the ground and leave it out for no more than 15 to 20 mins.

Vacuum chambers are another great way to dry out phones, but you won’t have one at home. Luckily, there is a company call Redux that partners with cell phone repair shops all around the country so that you can use one.

Lastly, if you dropped your phone into a liquid that is not water, you may have to try “washing” the phone first. For example, if it fell into the sea or was soaked in soda, then the residue left over after the liquid dries will damage the phone.

In these cases, your only option is an alcohol bath, but using alcohol can cause damage to your screen. It’s not an ideal case, but at least you might end up with a phone that turns on. Hopefully, some of these tips can get your phone dry and working again. Enjoy!

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Best Methods to Improve Your Typing Speed

In this day and age, typing has become a large part of everybody’s work and school life. You can make yourself more productive by learning how to improve your typing speed.

Ultimately, your typing speed will improve over time as you type more often. However, if you’d like to speed up the learning process, there are many tips you can use. Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Start By Learning Touch Typing

This is by far the most important step you can take to improve your typing speed. Touch typing is the ability to type without looking at your keyboard. Touch typists know their way around their keyboard so well that they don’t even have to look.

This is beneficial for your typing speed because your fingers will already know exactly where to go as you continue to type. It’s less about not looking and more about building a fast, fluid typing speed because you know your keyboard like the back of your hand.

So, how do you go about learning how to touch type? It’s all about practice and building a familiarity with your keyboard. To build this familiarity, you can play typing games from websites like Typing Club. Websites like Typing Club will give you fun exercises to help you learn the position of each key.

With these games, you are taken through practical lessons that help you to build a stronger familiarity with your keyboard.

Type First, Correct Mistakes Later

One of the biggest obstacles to fast typing is typing accuracy. When some people try to type fast, they end up missing keys or pressing the wrong keys by accident. People sometimes end up in this fumble between the backspace keys and the keys they are trying to press.

To solve this, one optional tip is to type out everything first and don’t even use your backspace key. Afterward, you can go back and read through to correct any mistakes you have made.

This tip is great for two reasons. First, each time you stop to use the backspace key or correct a mistake, you are stopping your typing – it breaks the flow. Secondly, by not using the backspace key, you are forced to carefully read through your writing afterward.

It can be tempting to just publish your work as is without proof reading, but this tip forces you to read through because chances are you’ve made at least one or two mistakes.

It’s not always about typing at a lightning fast speed. Instead, focus on the flow of your writing. Building a steady, consistent flow is the key to being able to write consistently for a long time.

Play the Right Kind of Music

Once you get really good at typing, there will be one major bottleneck in your typing speed – your ability to think. If you practice enough, it will get to the point where you cannot think fast enough – your hands will type faster than you can think about what to type in the first place.

I’ve personally found that one of the best ways to improve my thinking ability whilst typing is to choose the right kind of music.

Music that has a lot of words may distract you from being able to process your own thoughts clearly. Many people prefer to listen to music that’s calming and not too complex. Such genres include classical music, Lo-Fi, jazz, or even movie soundtracks.

Obviously, everybody is different and this is just more of a general consensus. You should try to type with different music genres and see how your typing ability changes.

You may even strangely find that something against the norm like a fast flowing rap song may help you process your thinking it may help you type faster.

Alternatively, you may find that music doesn’t help at all. In this case, a good white noise app could be an excellent solution. Or, even just a background track from YouTube for ambient noise like a river or a thunderstorm. Many people have reported that they personally find white noise and ambient noise to be the best way to help them concentrate.

Experiment with different sounds and music until you find what works best for you.

Purchase a More Suitable Keyboard

The first thing many people would suggest is for you to go out and purchase a fancy mechanical keyboard. It’s well known that mechanical keys have fast response times – you really feel when each key is pressed, meaning you can move onto the next key faster.

I do agree that a mechanical keyboard can help, but this should be something you should consider once you’ve mastered the basics of touch typing. I would argue that familiarity with your own keyboard outweighs the benefits of a hardware change. I would recommend sticking to one keyboard first so that you can familiarize yourself with its layout before moving onto something else.

Once you feel confident enough, you can consider moving to a new mechanical keyboard. Just remember that it may take some time to get used to, so in the initial few days or weeks you may even have a slower typing speed than normal.

Conclusion

So that wraps up our look on some quick tips for how to improve your typing speed. I hope that the information I’ve provided is useful to you. As a final passing note, just remember that like with everything else, improving your typing speed will take time and practice.

Do you have any questions about typing? I’ve been writing online professionally since 2011 so if you have any other questions, write a comment below and I’ll be happy to help.

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Should You Buy a Gaming PC or a Console or Neither?

Gaming PC or console – which one should you pick? If you want to get into gaming, it can be a difficult decision.

In this article, we’ll lay down the key differences so that you can find out which option is more suitable for you. If you choose a console, you’ll also need to think about which console to get. We’ll help with that, too.

You may have also noticed we wrote “neither” in the title of this article too. So how can you game without either of these devices? Well, it’s almost 2019 and both Microsoft and Nvidia are either now offering or will soon be offering gaming over the Internet, or game streaming.

If you have a fast Internet connection, a regular PC will allow you to game at high-resolution for a low price. It’s worth checking out before spending any money at all. Nvidia’s gaming anywhere product is Nvidia Geforce Now and Microsoft’s is called Project xCloud.

Even Google is getting into the game. You can actually play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on your PC using just Google Chrome. It’s called Project Stream and works quite well.

Hopefully, once you have finished reading this article, you’ll know whether you should buy a gaming PC or a console or just stream games.

Price

Perhaps the easiest place to start is the price. If you simply can’t afford to spend any money, your best option would be to try and get the most out of your current rig. If you have a modest budget, a console may be the immediate easy choice.

Getting set up with a gaming PC that can handle most modern games reliably can easily cost you $800-$1000. You can build cheaper PCs, but you are compromising on what makes a gaming PC so great – high quality graphics and great frame rate.

You also have to factor in a gaming mouse, keyboard, and a good monitor if you haven’t got one already.

For a console, it’s easy to get set up by buying one of the many console bundles out there. With a bundle, you can pay $300 to $400 to get a new console, a game, and a controller. Pay just a little more and you can get the more powerful Xbox One X or PS4 Pro variants.

As you can see, the difference in price is quite large. Paying more for the PC has its benefits, and we’ll talk more about this below, but if you just want to play some video games without extra hassle or money, a console is the best choice.

Also, going back to high quality graphics and great frame rate, the One X and PS4 Pro can output at 4K up to 60 fps, which even a lot of high-end PCs struggle to do.

In addition to these options, Microsoft has also announced Xbox All Access, a monthly subscription that gives you access to a Xbox console, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold. So, if you don’t want to pay everything upfront, this is a good option.

Finally, if you decide to go the streaming route, you’ll end up paying a monthly fee. At this point, no one really knows what it is since all of these services are in beta, but we’re guessing it’ll be in the range of $10 to $30 a month.

Exclusives

This is one that most often goes in the favor of the console. Both Microsoft and Sony pay a lot of money to get the rights to exclusive titles and this often means you’ll be missing out if you only have a gaming PC.

Some of the best triple A titles only get launched on consoles, and many other games get pushed to console far before PC players get the chance to play them. But it’s not as straightforward as one would first assume.

First party exclusives are more abundant on the PS4. Sony has put in a lot of effort to build a strong collection of first party developers.

You have an incredible range of highly rated exclusives on the PS4 like God of War, Uncharted, The Last of Us, Spider-Man, Bloodborne, and Horizon Zero Dawn.

For Xbox, it’s not as much of a concern. Because Microsoft owns Windows, you’ll see them push most of their exclusives to both PC and Xbox One. You won’t be able to play older classics like the earlier Halo games or Gears of War but future releases in these franchises will be available on the PC.

The PC does get some games that the consoles don’t, too, but usually they are titles from indie developers that are still in development. Some great examples include open world survival game SCUM, survival game Rust, strategy game Divinity: Original Sin II, and many more.

In summary, a console, especially a PS4, is almost crucial for great exclusive single player games. But on the other hand, the PC has some excellent strategy and multiplayer focused exclusives. It all depends on what types of games you like to play.

If you’re new to gaming, though, the offering from consoles, particularly the PS4, is a better choice. The developers of these games are backed by multi-million dollar publishers so you’ll know you’ll be playing a quality, bug free experience.

Performance and Graphics

This is where the PC really sets itself apart from the consoles. Once you play a video game on a PC with a crisp frame rate and ultra graphics, you’ll never want to go back.

The trouble is, to get a high frame rate and the highest graphics, you’ll often need to fork out over $1,000. You’ll need a high end graphics card, a high end processor, SSD storage, and a good amount of RAM.

The sentiment ‘you get what you pay for’ is very true here. You can pay $300-$400 for a PC, but the performance and graphics may even be worse than a PS4 or Xbox One X.

Pay $700-$1000 and you’ll have a decent PC that can play most games at a reasonable frame rate – better than what a console can offer.

You are looking at roughly $1,500-$2,000 for a top of the range gaming PC. In addition, you’ll need to spend extra for a high frame rate monitor, high-resolution HDR monitor, which can easily add another $500 to $1000 to the price tag.

For hardcore gamers, this investment is reasonable, and the experience if well worth it. If you’re new to gaming, investing so much may seem daunting.

In regards to the streaming services, it’s going to be hard to match the graphics of a gaming PC or a console, but for those that don’t care so much about the absolute best graphics, it’s worth trying. I was impressed with the quality of Project Stream on my 1440p monitor, considering it’s free right now.

Other Features

Thankfully, gaming consoles now double up as media streaming platforms. You can use apps like Netflix, HBO, and YouTube to watch content straight from your console.

PCs will always be a step up from what a gaming console can offer, however. In fact, gaming PCs in particular are powerful enough to do many tasks.

You can use a gaming PC for work, web browsing, video and photo editing, and pretty much anything else you could ever need a PC for. If you need a PC for work anyway, you could consider killing two birds with one stone by purchasing a gaming PC.

Whilst a gaming console is most often used to play games, a gaming PC is just a standard PC equipped with the hardware needed to play games.

PC gaming is also more ‘open source’ than console gaming. This means that many PC games have support for modding. Some modding communities are so large that you can essentially get hundreds of hours of extra community-made content for free from platforms like Steam Workshop or Nexus Mods.

Consider Your Friends

Gaming can be one of the best social experiences in the world, so if you have friends that play games, it might make sense to ask them what platform they play on first.

For many people, this can be the main deciding factor on what platform to buy, so make sure to consider it before making your decision.

Sitting Preference and Play Style

This may seem like an odd one, but it should be considered. Consoles are designed to be played from the comfort of your couch. They are easy to play in a relaxed position. Whilst it’s possible to get accessories that let you play your PC from the couch, typically, playing PC games requires you to be sitting up at a desk.

Another thing to consider is the difference between using a controller and a mouse/keyboard. The former is a great starting point for any gamer, and it’s far easier to get to grips with.

Using a mouse and keyboard takes time to learn, but overall it’s common knowledge that it’s easier to aim and control your character with a mouse and keyboard. The mouse allows more precise movement and the keyboard features many more buttons.

Would you prefer a casual, laid back experience, or a more engaging, competitive style experience? A console works best for casual gaming, whilst a PC is better for those more serious about gaming.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our guide to picking a PC or gaming console or streaming. In summary, we’d suggest a console or streaming for those new to gaming or those on a budget. PC gaming is a great step up from that if you want to get more seriously involved with your video game hobby.

We hope the information we have provided has helped. After reading this, what platform will you choose?

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How to Create a Multi-Page PDF in Photoshop

Whether you’re creating an infographic, an informative online help file, or any other type of PDF document, it’s useful to know how to create a multi-page PDF if you’re using Photoshop.

Thankfully, the process is very straightforward. There are some requirements that must be met to ensure the presentation appears clearly, but we’ll go over these and the steps necessary to make a proper PDF in Photoshop below.

Creating a Multi-Page PDF in Photoshop

To begin with, you’ll need to create each page of your PDF file individually. Every page should be a separate Photoshop .PSD file.

You can save each file as a .PSD so that you can edit each page separately in the future if needed.

The resolution you choose is very important. The typical A4 print size is a good dimension to use for PDF, so we’ll opt for that in this guide.

If you want to print the PDF, you can use 300 DPI (dots/pixels per inch). The resolution for this would be 2480 pixels x 3508 pixels.

If you want to upload the PDF online, it is advised that you choose a lower resolution to keep the overall file size of the PDF more manageable.

72 DPI is a common choice. For this, the resolution would need to be 595 pixels x 842 pixels.

If you want to add more content to a page, you can increase the pixel height. (Use Alt+Ctrl+C.)

Just make sure you do not increase the width. It’s important the width stays the same on every page, otherwise the layout of your PDF will be impacted.

Once you have created each page at the right resolution, you can follow the steps below to create a multi-page PDF.

  • Step 1: Save each .PSD file in the same folder.
  • Step 2: For easy management, save each page as Page_1, Page_2, etc
  • Step 3: Next, go to File, then Automate, then PDF Presentation
  • Step 4: Click Browse on the new pop-up
  • Step 5: Hold Ctrl and click on each .PSD file you’d like to add
  • Step 6: Click Open

When you are ready, click Save to create the PDF file. You can drag each file up and down in the list to change their position if needed.

Make sure to choose Multi-Page Document under the output options section before clicking save.

You can now choose where to save your PDF file. Finally, you’ll have a number of options for customizing the output of the PDF file. For example, you can use the compression tab to minimize the PDF file size by sacrificing image quality. For now, you can click Save PDF.

Your PDF file will now be created! You can double click the file to open it in your web browser or PDF reader application.

Here is a look at our test file:

Notice how all pages are displayed with the same zoom and layout, despite one page being taller. If you have an issue with some pages not displaying correctly, you must ensure the pixel width of each PSD page file is exactly the same.

If you ever need to edit your PDF, you must edit the PSD for the page you’d like to make changes to. After that, you’ll need to follow the steps listed above once more to re-create the PDF presentation with the newly edited page.

Conclusion

You should now know how to create a multi-page PDF in Photoshop. We hope that this guide has proven to be useful. Have any questions about the process? Lets us know and we’ll be happy to help. Enjoy!

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SATA 3 vs M.2 vs NVMe – Overview and Comparison

There are a variety of different terms for solid state drives these days, the three most popular being SATA 3, M.2, and NVMe.

If you’ve recently looked at purchasing an SSD, chances are you’ve come across these terms, but you may not completely understand the technical differences.

In this article, we’ll be laying out the differences, explaining which is better/worse, and providing details on how the technology for each SSD type works.

The Evolution Of the Solid State Drive

Firstly, let’s talk about the origin of the solid state drive, and why it has been such a popular hardware item for PC builders and laptop manufacturers in recent years.

A typical storage drive used in laptops and PCs is known as a traditional hard drive. These types of drives have moving parts. A hard drive works similarly to an old record player.

There is a moving disk (platter) and a large header that can read data and write off of them as the disk spins.

Typically, the faster the hard drive spins (7200 RPM, 10,000 RPM, etc.), the faster the storage drive can be read. Unfortunately, there is a limit to how fast a hard drive can read the data. There’s also a latency that comes with waiting for the head to physically move. This is where SSDs come in.

SSD stands for solid state drive and it’s a type of storage that does not have moving parts. SSDs instead use semiconductor chips to store and access memory.

An, SSD in particular, has a huge array of these semiconductors that can be charged or uncharged, which the computer will read as a ‘1’ or ‘0’ in binary and convert that to actual files or data viewable on your machine.

What’s interesting about the type of memory used in an SSD is that the cells retain their charged or uncharged state even after shutting down and this is how memory is stored and not forgotten.

A PC or laptop is able to read data many times faster off of an SSD because the flash technology just works that much faster than old mechanical hard drives with moving parts.

More recently, we’ve had a variety of different types of solid state drives, namely SATA 3 and NVMe. These drives use the same semiconductor arrays explained above, but they have different potentials for different reasons.

Let’s take a look at how each solid state storage type differs below.

SATA 3 vs M.2 vs NVMe – What’s the Difference?

As it turns out, the technology used to read and write data off of an SSD is so fast that the limiting factor actually comes down to the method the drive shares data to the PC.

There are two different methods a PC uses to read an SSD: SATA 3 and NVMe.

SATA 3 connections are made by connecting a data cable and a power cable directly into the motherboard and the solid state drive itself.

An NVMe connection, on the other hand, allows a solid state drive to have its data read straight from a PCI-E slot right on the motherboard. The drive draws power directly through the motherboard. More importantly, the NVMe drive will also draw data through the motherboard at a faster rate than SATA 3.

Why, you ask? Simply put, an NVMe can queue more data at once due to having access to more PCI-E lanes.

PCI-E lanes are essentially data lanes on a motherboard. There’s a limited amount, and the different ports and slots on a motherboard are given certain lanes. On a typical newer motherboard, you’ll see slots of various sizes corresponding to the number of PCI-E lanes available (x1, x2, x4, x16, etc).

The end result is that with more PCI-E lanes, and direct PCI-E read/write potential, NVMe drives are typically far faster than SATA SSDs.

However, the performance boost is only really seen for sequential read/write speeds. Or, in simpler terms, for moving large files.

With the true read/write speed potential of NVMe only being reached with larger files, differences may not be that noticeable for gaming and everyday tasks.

So, for boot up time and gaming, NVMe won’t offer much difference. For video editing and photo editing, NVMe drives can offer much better results.

Here is a look at the typical read/write speeds of a hard drive, a SATA 3 SSD and an NVMe SSD for large files.

  • 7200 RPM Hard Drive – average read/write speed of 80-160MB/second
  • SATA 3 SSD – read/write speed up to 550MB/second
  • NVME SSD – read/write speed up to 3500MB/second

What About M.2? Where Does That Come In?

So far, we’ve explained SATA and NVMe. These are two methods, or protocols, used to read and write data. One uses PCI-E (NVMe) and the other doesn’t (SATA).

An M.2 drive is simply a term to describe the physical form factor of a drive. M.2 drives are the slim ones shown below. M.2 drives are not another protocol like NVMe and SATA. In fact, you can get an M.2 drive that uses either SATA or NVMe.

Here is an M.2 drive with a SATA connection:

And here is an M.2 drive with an NVMe connection:

An M.2 drive is not faster just because of its form factor. It’s just usually the case that M.2 drives use the NVMe protocol because they already connect via PCI-E anyway.

If you’re in the market for an NVMe drive, just make sure that the M.2 drive you look at clearly has NVMe in its description or title and not SATA.

Summary – Should You Get SATA 3 or NVMe?

If you’re upgrading from a traditional hard drive, both SATA 3 and NVMe will offer you spectacular improvements. NVMe is typically more expensive than SATA 3, which is a problem considering standard SATA 3 SSDs are already expensive enough.

NVMes really are only useful for those larger file transfers, too, so unless you regularly move large files for photo and video editing, or find a great deal on an NVMe drive, you may as well stick to a standard SATA 3 SSD because you can get a much bigger size for the same price. 

Also, for gaming, both NVMe and SATA 3 will offer very similar boot speeds. They are both so fast that other hardware, such as RAM and CPU performance, ends up being the bottleneck.

Hopefully, this summarizes the difference between SATA 3 and NVMe and makes it clear how M.2 fits into the equation as well.

Below is a quick summary of everything we’ve covered so far.

  • M.2 – A slimmer form factor for storage drives
  • NVMe – A protocol that lets data be read and written via PCI-E
  • SATA 3 – An older protocol that is typically not as fast as NVMe

What are your thoughts on this topic?

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