Today, 40Tech is pleased to present a guest post from Donal James.
An iPad without a functioning digitizer screen is pretty much worthless. Unfortunately the screen is a fragile component that is easily damaged. Even a fall of a few feet is usually enough to shatter the delicate glass.
Damaged or broken digitizer screens are one of the most common problems encountered by iPad users. According to warranty company SquareTrade, ten percent of iPad 2 owners reported damaging their iPads within the first 12 months of ownership, with the number increasing to 20% within the first two years of ownership. Many times when the touch screen becomes cracked or broken, the LCD screen beneath is unharmed. If that’s the case, you don’t need a new iPad – you just need to replace the digitizer screen.
What device do you think was the fastest-adopted gadget in the last fifty years? Go ahead, take a guess. The cellphone? The color television? The CD player? Nope. None of those gadgets take that distinction. In fact, the device that was adopted the fastest in the last fifty years might surprise you.
Today, 40Tech is pleased to present a guest post by Andris Piebalgs, a freelance writer from My Destination.
The answer to this question may seem like an obvious one. Many people feel that tablets are the clear superior gadgets for travelling since they are, after all, smaller and lighter than laptops and can service many of the basic needs that most traveling users desire. Who cares about the extra computing power that laptops provide since you rarely have use for them during your travels anyway? I, however, disagree with this viewpoint. With the electronic and technology industry booming in terms of innovation and creativity, laptops offer you the chance to truly realize the potential of travels by making use of the newest programs and technologies. Let me explain with an example.
My little girl is three. Three-and-a-half, to be exact — and before now, we never had to worry about her putting things in her mouth. I’m not sure what changed, really, but now we have to watch her like a hawk. And we do — but, unfortunately, it was already too late for my iPad stylus. For both of them…
The first one, she chewed on. It was pretty much a write-off. The second one, she decided it would be fun to see what the business end tasted like. Now I’m down two pens. They were the cheap kind, thank the tech gods, but that’s still about $40 down the drain! So I decided: the next stylus will be one of my own making. One that will cost me nothing to make, and that I can easily repair. And thanks to the wonders of the internet, making that happen was easy peasy.
There are several articles on the subject of the DIY touchscreen stylus. The ones that caught my eye were those talking about using a real pen. The basic touchscreen stylus isn’t exactly known for it’s ergonomic feel, so working one up from a real pen seemed like a good idea. I found a few iterations, but the basic concept can be traced back to a video on Make Magazine’s Makezine Blog. All you have to do is connect some light-gauge wire to some conductive foam — which can be found in the packaging of computer and electronic components such as microchips and CPUs — feed it through the empty body of a comfortable pen, and then wrap the wire around the outside, where your hand will come into contact with it. Trim the conductive foam tip to desired size and shape, and voila: instant iPad stylus.
The whole project can be done very quickly, and you can spruce it up a bit by drilling small holes to lock the wire inside the body of the pen, so that you don’t have to use tape. If you happen to have a pen with a metal body, even better. All you’ll need in that case is the conductive foam and you’re good to go! The wire method isn’t so bad, though. It’s not always pretty, but it works.
Here’s a (somewhat blurry) shot of my rough prototype:
I made this on a whim, entirely from things I had on hand. I was able to use the original stylus head for the conductive foam, which was nice — we caught her before she swallowed it. I also used some very light speaker wire (all I had, at the time), and the head of an old 1/4 audio jack to provide support for the tip. It fit snugly into the point of the pen, once the pen’s original head was taken off. Note that the wire is only on one side of the pen. I did that because speaker wire is ugly, and wrapping it all the way around would have been a total atrocity, potentially involving metal splinters. The way I hold a pen would have me almost always in contact with it, anyway, and the next round will be prettier.
Looks notwithstanding, due to the ergonomic grip of the pen, I’ve already found that the DIY iPad stylus is much more accurate than those that are up for sale. I’ll never go back.
Looking for a fun, easy project? Make your own stylus! Then tell us all about it. Post pictures, even!
Bye bye 2011. We hope everyone had a great and safe night last night, and we wish you all a fantastic and prosperous 2012 — filled with happiness, good times, and 366 (Leap Year) days of awesome geekery.
To start you off, look below for some sweet geekiness. They’re not tech… but they’re definitely tech-inspired and will get you close to your nerdy heart!
Star Wars Cookie Cutters, Sandwich Cutters, and Pancake Molds from Williams-Sonoma!