Tag Archives: charge

Charge your iPad from any PC USB port & fix “Not Charging” error

Just a very quick Christmas post. If you’ve got an iPad and you’re wondering why it won’t charge over your desktop or laptop’s USB ports – it’s because by default desktop USB ports only provide 1A of current to connected devices. Any iPad actually needs more than this to charge, hence why Apple give you a special charging plug to charge it.

However, hope is not lost. You can actually get an app for your PC which manually increases the amount of current that your PC’s USB ports provide. It’s called AI Charger and it’s by Asus. Don’t be  fooled though – it will actually work with any computer and not just computers with Asus motherboards.

All you need to do is download the app from the page, install it and give your computer a reboot. When you turn it back on, you should notice that your computer will now charge your iPad (albeit slowly).

This should actually work on any desktop or laptop. Bear in mind, though, that use of this app while using your laptop’s battery may cause excessive wear to your battery. A useful app though, nonetheless.

Fix USB devices not charging on laptops/netbooks (Windows 7)

Last night, I came across a minor issue on my netbook. I want to be able to charge some of my many USB devices (such as my phone, iPod, mifi) while on the go, but I couldn’t get them to charge properly.

For example, I tried to plug in my mifi to charge it up on my long trip home – the computer recognised it fine and it charged for a few seconds – but after a little while the device reported it wasn’t charging.

I’ve discovered the problem is caused by a little power saving feature in Windows 7. It has a feature built-in that automatically reduces the power supplied to a USB device if it is not in use. Whilst this is a handy idea, it’s pretty annoying when I want to charge gadgets.

If you’re having the same issue, here’s the fix.

Go to Control Panel (make sure you’re viewing all options – by selecting Large/Small Icons in the “View by” menu), click Power Options and then choose the power plan that you’re using most (in time you might want to go through all of them). For the power plan you’ve selected click “Change Plan Settings” and then “Change advanced power settings”.

Now you’ll need to navigate to the “USB settings” plus button. Click it, then the plus button of “USB selective suspend setting” and you should see the following.


They’re probably set to Enabled. If they are, here’s your problem. Set it to Disabled for both On Battery and Plugged In, click Apply, and that should solve your problem.

If you can’t modify the settings because the options are all greyed out, it’s because your computer’s manufacturer is using some form of power management software that doesn’t want you to change the settings. In the case of my Samsung netbook, it was “Fast Start”. Disable whatever crud it is that’s greying out the options and you’ll be able to modify the settings. 

Review: Budget iPod dock

With my new iPod Touch going fine, I needed a budget dock for it. I really don’t like spending a fortune on gadgets if I don’t have to, so I tried to aim for something cheap but reliable.

After a lot of browsing round various sites, I found this. It’s a real entry level iPod dock, but it does the job I want it to do fine.

It doesn’t have speakers so it won’t play your music aloud (and frankly for something this cheap I wouldn’t want it to – the sound quality would be relatively poor) but it does have a 3.5mm line out socket so you could hook it up to some external speakers or a hifi. It also has a sync plug so you could either hook it up to your computer and iTunes will sync and charge it, or you could just plug into a mains USB charger which would then charge the iPod when it’s docked (which is what I do).

It also comes with a remote control so you can change the track remotely. Seems to work fine. It has the usual controls you’d expect (change track, volume, play/pause), plus controls for mute, repeat and shuffle. It also has controls so that you can browse for a track and play it, but I think this is relatively unnecessary as when I sit 2 meters away from my iPod I can’t read the screen to see what track I’m choosing – and that’s on an iPod Touch with large text, so it will be useless on something like a Nano.

Overall, I’m very happy with it. It works fine and it’s really good value at £12.99. It comes with a range of dock adapters for the different types of iPod, but personally I don’t use any of them since my iPod has a case on it. Works just as well without them. A good budget buy.

Executive of iPlayer suggests ISPs charge for high quality iPlayer

The executive in charge of the BBC iPlayer service has suggested that ISPs charge an extra flat rate charge of £10 per month to watch high quality streams of the iPlayer service. (Source)

In my opinion, I think that this isn’t particularly fair. If we are paying for bandwidth and speeds to watch this, why the hell are we being expected to pay for downloading (or streaming) content which we are allowed to in the terms of our ISP’s fair use policy.

Why should we pay even more? ISPs shouldnt charge us for bandwidth we already get in the terms of the contract. If you have 8MB per second broadband (or pay for this in the terms of your contract, even if you don’t physically get it) with say 40GB bandwidth usage per month (most “unlimited” ISPs allow that amount) then you shouldnt have to pay for any more, I think. A couple of high quality streams from iPlayer in a month won’t even get you vaguely close to 40GB. Perhaps, if you are on a more limited contract with perhaps 5GB usage, ISPs may well have to charge you, but most people have more usage than that.

iPlayer claim that currently the streams they run at the moment are 700kbps, but in 3 months time they may be up to 1.5mbps. Why? Do we really need that? iPlayer streams are perfectly good now, even on a large TV. It seems utterly pointless.

Besides, if you want high quality, just download the video. They tend to be very good quality at still a relatively low file size.

It just doesn’t make sense. ISPs are saying that the internet is slowing down because people use iPlayer too much and that hogs all the bandwidth. But it shouldnt. If we pay for a deal that theoretically should cope with the bandwidth that iPlayer uses, why are they complaining? Who’s to blame?

We already pay TV liscenses (well you do if you have a TV – or should be – but you don’t have to if you don’t have a TV in the house and don’t watch live TV), broadband costs, and equipement costs. The last thing people want is for ISPs to be charging us rediculous amounts of money for bandwidth usage we should already have.

It doesn’t make any sense at all to me. What are your thoughts?