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Cleaning the keyboard and using special oils should lessen the noise from the keyboard. However, we have also listed other solutions to make the keyboard quieter.
You can use a lubricant or oils to reduce the noise level from the switches. However, you cannot use any lubricant on your keyboard switch. These oils reduce friction on the switches and help reduce the overall noise from the Keyboard. Make sure to use special greasing agents labeled safe to use for the keyboard.
These oils can be used on both switches and stabilizers.
Having a hot-swappable keyboard will definitely make your job a lot easier. Since a hot-swappable keyboard will have a removable switch, you can remove it, disassemble and use the oil inside the switch.
If your keyboard switches are not hot-swappable, you may not be able to completely oil the switches. This will work, but it will not be as effective as disassembling the switch.
Follow the steps mentioned below to remove the switch for the keyboard with a hot-swappable switch.
Using the Keycap puller, remove the switch from the keyboard.
Once you open the switch casing, you will find four components, bottom housing, top housing, spring, and a stem. The bottom housing sits on the surface of the keyboard. Top housing sits on top of bottom housing. The spring goes inside the top and bottom housing. And finally, the stem sits on top of the spring.
Oil all these parts and reassemble them. You can also lubricate the stabilizers on the longer keys, such as the spacebar or shift key.
Disassembling the entire switch, lubricating them, and reassembling them just to make it a little quieter does seem like a lot of work. This is where an O-rings comes in.
The rubber O-ring sits inside the keycap, reducing any noise from the keycap when you press on it. This is a pretty simple solution. However, it does not lessen the sound from the actual switch. So you may not hear much of a difference.
Follow these steps to use the rubber O-rings.
Invert the keycap, place the rubber O-ring over the + sign, and press on it.
Repeat these steps for all the keys on your keyboard.
Another reason your keyboard sounds noisier is due to the hollow space inside the keyboard. The gaps between the keyboard’s circuit board and the keyboard case and the gap between the keys will reflect sound waves. This will result in the keyboard making more sound when you press a button.
However, you can fix this using keyboard foam. A keyboard foam stays between the keyboard backplate and the circuit board.
Below we have mentioned the steps briefly.
First, remove the keyboard backplate.
Cut the foam in a shape so it fits under the keyboard circuit board.
When you insert the foam, make sure you cut all the screw holes and USB port opening in the foam.
Insert the foam under the keyboard circuit board and reassemble.
Note: If you have trouble taking the keyboard apart, please refer to the internet to disassemble and reassemble your keyboard.
Keyboard switches also play a vital role when it comes to keyboard sound. A premium keyboard will have better key switches and higher quality components inside the switch. This makes the keyboard sound silent without compromising the mechanical feel of a mechanical keyboard.
If your keyboard switches make a lot of noise, you can replace them with a silent one. However, you can only replace keyboard switches if they are hot-swappable. Hot-swappable keys are removable and replaceable.
If the switches are soldered onto the board, please refer to other methods to make the keyboard quieter.
A desk mat or a large mouse pad under your keyboard will restrict the sound from traveling to the desk. Without a desk mat, the noise from the keyboard will sound a lot louder as the desk will absorb that noise and amplify it by a certain amount.
Although the sound difference might seem insignificant, it will reduce the keyboard sound when you use a desk mat or a large mouse pad.
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The O-Ring Mod seems to be a popular modification on the Geek Hack forums. Basically, you get a bunch of o-rings at the hardware store and put it under your key caps. The idea is that the rubber o-rings muffles the *Clacking* sound when you bottom out the keys. The plastic caps hitting the plastic base creates a harsh and loud clacking sound. Personally, I like the sound but for the sake of a good sleep, I decided to go through with this mod.
I went to my local hardware store and headed down to the plumbing section. The forum said? to look for size -008 standard o-rings but I could not find them anywhere. The o-rings I found used OD (Outer Diameter) and ID (Inner Diameter) measurements. I settle for 4 little boxed of #36 O-Rings which were 5/16 OD, 3/16 ID, and 1/16 in thickness. These o-rings were rather expensive at $2 per box and it only came with 10 o-rings each. If you can get it cheaper online, I would suggest you do that if you dont mind the wait.
Installation was easy. First, remove your key caps. Either use a special tool or improvise. I used the wire from a pair of cheap headphones and a nail clipper. I pushed the wire under the key cap with the help of the nail clipper. Then I spaced the wires evenly and carefully pulled upwards until the key caps popped out. Pay special care when doing wide keys like the spacebar, shift, enter, and backspace. I then placed one o-ring for each Cherry MX switch. Wider keys have stabilizers which need more o-rings for even distribution. For example, the spacebar has the Cherry MX switch in the center and two stabilizer pylons so I used 3 o-rings. Same goes for the backspace and shift keys. Refer to the picture for an idea of how I do this. Then, repeat. I only had 40 o-rings so I wasnt able to do my complete keyboard. I will probably finish that up in the weekend. For now, I have o-rings under my most used keys omitting the numbers, F-keys, arrow keys, and right-side keys.
Step 1: Get string or wire under key cap Step 2: Center string and pull up carefully Step 3: Get O-Ring Step 4: Slide o-ring deep into key cap Step 5: Firmly reinstall key cap
At first, the results were underwhelming. They only appeared to muffle the sound slightly. Almost as if it was still the same volume, just at another pitch. It was a lower sound. After a few day, I did notice it was noticeably quieter. I suppose, during the daytime, there was a lot white noise in the background which distracted from the performance. At night, the slightest sounds are amplified. At first, I wasnt too sure if the mod was worth the effort and cost. Now, I can say for sure that they’re worth it. The keys bottom out sooner. About 1/16th of an inch sooner but it is barely noticeable. This mod does not change the switch activation point, just the bottoming point. The keys do feel slightly different. The unmodded keys feel lighter while the silenced keys feels a bit mushy. Its not bad. I think the audible *clack* had a psychological impact on the feeling. Overall, I think this was a good mod. If you dont want to wake up a college roommate or want to be more discreet while typing, then this mod is worth the time and effort. If you can, order or buy in bulk. It should save you more money. I also noticed that I typed a bit faster. Maybe I was getting used to the keyboard but when taking a typing test, I scored higher than average. This mod is fairly easy to do. If you want to make your mechanical keyboard quieter, give this mod a chance. You will like the results.
Microwave Cheese “Danish”
Buy the book here
Though often maligned, the microwave is a great piece of equipment that most of us have in our kitchens. Microwaves work by emitting radio waves that enter the food and interact with water, fats, and sugars, causing them to vibrate and creating heat in the food. Thicker, denser foods cook more unevenly because it’s harder for the microwaves to penetrate their interiors. Microwaves still cook more evenly than conventional ovens because the heat can be generated throughout the food instead of having to work its way from the outside in. We aerate the batter for these “Danishes” using an iSi whipped cream dispenser, and the batter expands easily in the microwave, creating a spongelike appearance and incredibly light texture while still retaining the creamy cheese flavor of an actual Danish. We like to pair them with fresh berries because the contrast of their sweet tart flavor and firmer texture helps bring out the ethereal qualities of these wonderful little cakes.Microwave Cheese “Danish”
Makes about 12 cakes
1⁄4 cup / 10 grams finely ground freeze-dried strawberries, for dusting the cakes (optional)Instructions
Put the milk in a blender and turn it on low speed. Sprinkle in the egg white powder and increase the speed to medium. Puree the mixture for 15 seconds. Turn off the blender and add the cream cheese, syrup, flour, and salt. Turn the speed to high and puree until smooth, at least 30 seconds.
Pour the batter into the 1-liter canister of an iSi whipped cream dispenser and put the lid on. Charge with one N2O charger and then shake to distribute the gas and allow it to be absorbed into the batter. Repeat with a second charger. The batter should feel and sound fluid in the canister. Take twelve 8-ounce (225-gram) paper cups and use the tip of a paring knife to make a slit in the bottom of each cup and 3 slits around the sides to let steam vent as the danishes cook. The batter will be thick enough to not leak through. Dispense the batter into the paper cups, filling each halfway. Working with one at a time, microwave on high for 30 seconds. Immediately remove the cup from the microwave and invert it (with the cake still in it) and set it on a plate or tray to keep the cakes from falling as they cool.
Once all the cakes are cooked, refrigerate the cups (still inverted) for at least 1 hour, until they are fully chilled and set. Use a paring knife to loosen the edges of each cold “Danish” from its cup and shake it free. Use a small fine-mesh sieve to dust them with freeze-dried strawberry powder, if desired, and serve immediately.
This article was excerpted from Aki Kamozawa and H. Alexander Talbot’s new book Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change The Way You Cook. The pair are the creators of the Kitchen Alchemy series on chúng tôi and blog at Ideas In Food.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an online service that creates a secure connection over a less-secure network, such as the internet. It encrypts your online activity from your computer to the VPN server as you browse the internet. This can keep your information much safer and provides an array of benefits, such as hiding your IP address and private data.
When you first set up your VPN, you might wonder if it’s turned on and working to protect your privacy. Unfortunately, sometimes things can go wrong with a VPN, causing your information to leak. Thankfully, there’s a way to test if this so you can remedy the problem. In this article, we’ll show you how to test your VPN and make sure it continues to protect your data.
Table of Contents
How to Check For IP Address Leaks
See whether your VPN connection is working. Turn your VPN on; it should hide your IP address. It does this by changing the IP address to one in another location. So, to see if your VPN is working, you can check your IP address online.
If your VPN is already on, turn it off.
Go to Google and search “What is my IP address.” Note down the IP address you see, as this is your true IP address.
Turn your VPN on.
Go to Google and search for your IP address again. It should be different from the one you saw before. If not, that means your IP address is not being hidden.
If you find that your VPN isn’t hiding your IP address, there may be a few reasons. The first thing you can do is switch the server location in your VPN. This will give you a new VPN IP address which may fix the issue.
Secondly, it’s possible that your VPN isn’t hiding your IPv6 address but does hide your IPv4 address. Your computer uses these different connection types to access the internet. If you have IPv6 enabled and are accessing a website with it enabled, yet your VPN doesn’t hide this, it can cause your IP address to leak.
The fix is finding a VPN that hides IPv6 traffic and IPv4. You could also alternatively disable IPv6 on your device. However, finding a secure VPN provider covering all these bases is crucial to get your money’s worth and adequately protecting your privacy.
How to Check For DNS Leaks
Another aspect of your privacy you’ll want to ensure your VPN is protecting is the DNS, or domain name system, you’re using to access websites. The DNS server or servers you use can reveal the general geographic area where you’re located, similar to your IP address when your computer sends DNS requests. Your internet service provider can also see the websites you visit through this information. However, not all VPNs cover up DNS information, which could be a potential security risk.
Follow these steps to check if your VPN keeps this information safe.
Head to DNSLeakTest with your VPN on.
Check to see if your IP address is your real one. If so, your VPN is leaking this info. If not, continue and select
After the test is finished, see if the DNS server information matches up with your ISP. If it does, then your VPN is not protecting DNS information.
You will know if your VPN is protecting DNS information if the server information matches what you are using on your VPN. If not, it’s likely that your VPN doesn’t cover up this data.
How to Do a WebRTC Leak Test
The last thing you’ll want to check for in your VPN is potential WebRTC, or Web Real-Time Communication, leaks. When you connect to a website that provides features such as live streaming or file sharing, WebRTC allows this to happen. If a leak happens here, your IP address will be revealed when WebRTC requests occur in your chosen web browser.
To complete a WebRTC leak test, follow this process.
Go to BrowserLeaks with your VPN on.
Public IP Address
, check to see if it’s your real IP address or not.
If the IP address provided by the site is different from your real one, that means your VPN is working to protect from WebRTC leaks.
If you still see your real IP address here, your VPN isn’t securing this WebRTC info. There are many different ways to remedy this issue, depending on your browser.
On Chrome, you can download a browser extension that limits WebRTC, such as WebRTC Network Limiter.
Make Sure Your Privacy Is Protected With Your VPN
If you’re using a VPN to keep your information secure, you’ll want to confirm that your service can do so. Besides changing your IP address, there are a few other areas where your information could get leaked if your VPN isn’t covering it up. Thankfully it’s easy to check if the VPN you’re using provides these protections.
When choosing a VPN, make sure you read up on potential choices as much as possible to ensure you’re getting true protection of your privacy. Especially if you’re paying good money for your VPN service, it’s important to ensure that it’s delivering on all fronts.
There are myriad reasons why you may want to configure your keyboard to use as a mouse. Maybe you use a battery-powered wireless mouse, and it’s run out of charge, or your mouse has stopped working, and you need to make changes within Windows 10 to fix it … but you can’t because your mouse doesn’t work!
Perhaps more importantly, controlling the mouse with a keyboard can be helpful for people with mobility issues in their hands, as pressing keyboard keys is easier than zipping your hand across a desk.
Whatever your needs, we’re here to show you how to control your mouse with a keyboard in Windows 10.
Note: Linux users can check out this article to use Mouse keys in Ubuntu.Control Your Mouse with a Keyboard
The keyboard mouse control feature is actually built into the “Ease of Access” settings in Windows 10. Go to the Window Settings app. (You can just type “settings” into the Start menu to find it quickly.)
You’ve now switched on “Mouse Keys.” By default, you need to have Num Lock active for this to work, at which point you can use the Num Pad at the right side of your keyboard to use Mouse Keys.
We recommend increasing the Pointer speed slider to maximum – otherwise the pointer is very slow. Ticking the “Hold the Ctrl key” box is also a good idea, as this lets you speed up and slow down the pointer speed using the Ctrl and Shift keys as modifiers.
Here are the numpad keys and their corresponding functions:
To move the mouse pointerPress
Up and to the left7
Up and to the right9
Down and to the left1
Down and to the right3
Speed up pointer movementHold Ctrl
Slow down pointer movementHold ShiftWhat If You Don’t Have a Numpad?
Not everyone’s lucky enough to have a numpad. The fact is that they’re not that frequently used, so many laptops and some standalone keyboards don’t include them.
Fear not, though, because you can get a third-party MouseKeys-type app that lets you set your own keys, and it’s overall much more robust than Windows Mouse Keys.
Enter NeatMouse. Using this lightweight app you can set whatever keys you want to act as mouse directions.
You can also change the key that activates the keyboard-as-mouse functionality, while the “Emulate only with” drop-down lets you set a button to hold in order for it to work.
You can even set multiple profiles using the green “+” icon, having different setups depending on what software you’re using and so on.Conclusion
Some people don’t like installing third-party apps when they don’t have to, but if you want a more customizable and smooth way of emulating your mouse functionality to your keyboard, then we’d pick NeatMouse over Windows Mouse Keys. Other than giving you more control, the mouse pointer runs much more smoothly as well, where the Windows option can be a bit choppy.
It’s your call, though, and at least now you know you have options!
Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.
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Making music on the Mac is easier than it ever has been with many open source apps which allow you to multitrack. They layer up tracks of samples and virtual instruments and turn them into MP3s ready for listening or uploading to iTunes.
But can just anyone on any computer do this? It depends on how elaborate the music is. Music takes memory, and this goes doubly when the instruments you use eat memory like samplers.
In this article we look at what you need to make your music flow and not stop or judder because your machine is fast but just not fast enough.I/O, I/O, It’s Off to Work You Go
Most computers are fast today, and the new Macs are the fastest the Mac has ever been. That goes without saying, but what also goes unsaid often is that in order to function perfectly, professional apps need a lot of system resources.
This means although you can buy a new Mac Mini and make some kind of music on it, you might find that when you start trying to layer up 24 voices to make a choir that everything comes down to a crashing halt.
Even with a top-of-the-line iMac or Mac Pro, you would be hard-pressed to have seamless playback of that many tracks simultaneously one-hundred percent of the time.
So how is it that professional musicians make amazing and complicated music on computers if it can’t be done? The answer is that it can be done, but you need a bit of hardware – a special sound card and I/O box to take the load off the CPU. Latency is the problem, and this fixes it.First Find Your Box
I/O boxes range in price from cheap to expensive, depending on your level. If you are a beginner you can use M-Audio audio interfaces and some of the low-end Edirol boxes by Roland. Higher-end boxes are made by AKAI and Protools. (The name of the AKAI box is a joke. by the way. It’s called EIE I/O. Old McDonald clearly had an audio interface as well as a farm.)
The sky is the limit when buying an audio box, and the rule is as usual with pro kit; get the best one you can afford. A good thing to bear in mind is that whatever you need, good secondhand ones are always available on eBay. A good cheap secondhand box which is quite common is the Edirol UA-25. Although a little noisy, some say it’s good for hobbyists although perhaps not as good for professional sound work.ASIO
Usually these I/O boxes use a type of hardwired ASIO protocol and some nice sound card hardware to take the sound processing load off the CPU and let it get on with running your digital audio workstation (DAW) software, such as Audacity or Reaper.
ASIO (or Audio Stream Input Output) is a protocol for the fast driving of sound cards designed by German music software company Steinberg to provide high fidelity and “low latency.” In normal human language that means it makes them sound good, and it drastically reduces the processing time of sounds so they play without a noticeable delay.
Most I/O boxes additionally provide useful music business inputs not usually available on computers like dual function XLR plugs which are also ¼” phono jacks, both common on high-end microphones.
They often also feature MIDI out ports to control actual hardware synthesisers synchronized with the virtual instruments.
PC users can use ASIO4All to reduce latency on non-ASIO peripherals, but Mac users can rely on the Core audio driver to take care of any low-end (software-based) music production processing.Fitting an I/O Box
Usually I/O boxes are USB devices. Back in the day they were also Firewire-based, but as USB has gotten so much faster, Firewire has fallen out of style and is no longer used.
Most of the time, you can just plug the I/O box into the USB, and it will be detected by the DAW software so you can select it for output. Sometimes you may need to install a driver for the box and reboot. Either way, installation is usually trouble-free and quick.
Most DAWs have a Preferences setting to direct the audio from the software to a specific device. This means you can set the system audio to the speakers and set the audio from the DAW to go through your I/O box and into headphones.
In our example, the old Roland Edirol UA-25 I/O box needs no drivers to work with Yosemite. Just plug and play. If you want to make the system sound come out through the box, open your System Preferences and choose Sound.
Select the UA-25 on both the input and output tabs.
Similarly with applications like Audacity, choose the UA-25 from the input output drop-down menus to the right of the toolbar.Sounds like Perfection
But by and large, having an I/O box dealing with your sound makes everything a LOT smoother and more professional. With an I/O box installed you can load more tracks, have more sample data sloshing around and run many more tracks stacked up at once than you could before.
Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He’s designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.
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