Most people have a spare set of speakers kicking around somewhere. If you have, then this is for you. If you haven't, well, bleh. What this quick five-minute tutorial does is tell you how to wire those spare speakers to your laptop, so you can have good sounding and remarkably loud output from speakers nearly a billion times less tinny and crap than the ones already built into your laptop. You'll need some scissors and some tape (preferably PVC electrical tape or duck tape, but sellotape will do too)
1. Go to your local Maplin, buy yourself a Stereo Phono to Stereo 3.5mm cable. eBay item number 220357373631 is what you're looking for.
2. Fetch your scissors. Cut the two phono connectors off. Feed them to seagulls or something. You don't need them anymore, and it's funny when they fall for it.
3. Strip the outermost layer of plastic off the top inch of the freshly beheaded end of the cable. Be gentle doing this, you don't want to cut away any of wire.
4. You should see two wires inside the cable. You may see a third aluminium mesh around the two wires. If you see that outer mesh, cut it away. Strip any plastic insulation away from the two wires and pull them seperate from each other. If they connect, they will short-circuit, and you'll not get any sound.
5. Fetch your speakers. If you can connect the wires you've just bared directly to input terminals of the speakers, do that. If not, just twist them together with the speaker's wire. If your speaker connects to the system it used to be attached by with a phono connector, just cut it off as you did before, and connect the wires. Use a little tape to encase your connection.
6. Plug the 3.5mm jack into your laptop. You should now hear sound at some remarkably impressive volume and clairty. Repeat all for other speaker, and enjoy.
7. Last step, once you're happy with your work, is to use the tape again to secure your work so that it won't be pulled apart or whatever.
All in all, it shouldn't take more than five minutes, and you can plug your little wire creation into any device with a headphone output and get far better and louder sound than you can ever get with built-in speakers. And it's all with none of the powersocket nonsence that you get with those tatty 2.1 speaker systems.