Do-it-yourself websites that save you money: Instructables, eHow, more
From building your own laptop stand to adding Bluetooth to your GPS, Instructables offers a never-ending list of DIY projects. Each article is annotated with pictures and instructions that walk you through every step. In addition, some articles — like this MacBook Pro RAM removal guide — use video to aid viewers with their projects. Plus, fans of DIY magazine Make can follow the Make Group to see what Make readers and editors are building.
The Audio Video Science Forum (AVS) is a high-def junkie's dream come true. The site consists of various forums populated by home theater buffs, audiophiles, and HD aficionados. Here they offer advice on everything from HDTV calibration to setting up your home theater system. Thinking of buying a new HDTV? The site also has threads dedicated to popular gear, such as Vizio's XVT series of HDTVs.
Swapping your PS3's hard drive, installing liquid cooling, and fixing Vista's problems is all in a day's work for the DIY crowd at ExtremeTech. The site mixes component reviews with a wide array of DIY articles written by the site's editors. Like AVS, ExtremeTech has a forums section with plenty of how-to advice from the site's readers.
Hack A Day
Although the site requires a slightly higher skill level, Hack A Day's DIY posts offer an abundance of information on everything from soldering to repairing damaged cell phones. The blog frequently posts hacks on popular gadgets like Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PS3, and Apple's iPod, with an emphasis on home entertainment hacks.
If Hack A Day is the site for the experienced, eHow is the site for novices who require extra hand-holding. The site's excellent do-it-yourself instructions offer tips and suggestions for common and not so common computer problems. Some of the site's how-to articles are accompanied by videos, which further illustrate how to accomplish certain tasks. In addition to computers, the site can help you troubleshoot problems with other electronics such as the Apple iPhone 3G or even your digital camera.
The sites above are by no means a complete collection of DIY sites. Instead, they're a small sample of what you'll find online and a reminder that expert advice doesn't always come with a surchage.
Louis Ramirez is dealnews' Features Editor.