tech

Plug frustrations

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sat, 07/18/2020 - 08:27

Micro USB is often frustrating because you have to look at the cable and the device carefully to plug it in the correct way.  Optionally you can just try and flip if it doesn't work...pretty quick.  USB C is a reversible port so resolves that issue.

My phone's USB C port has apparently become damaged, probably from a little rain exposure.  Now it only charges with any given cable inserted one way, and not the other.  This is even more annoying than micro USB because it takes longer to see if the phone is charging or not (C) than to feel whether the plug inserts (micro).  So I have about a year of that to look forward to.

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Anchor watch in Beaufort, NC

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sat, 11/16/2019 - 11:30

This is our "anchor watch" situation in an app called Aqua Map Marine. These tracks are since yesterday afternoon when the wind started blowing hard.

I positioned the anchor icon after anchoring so it is kind of a guess, but as we swing in arcs I can move it to the center of the arcs to be more accurate.

It goes off a couple times per night saying "BAD GPS ALERT, BAD GPS ALERT" which just means it has lost GPS signal. Usually it has figured it out by the time I wake up and pick up the phone, so that is annoying.  Out bedroom is under the cockpit so it doesn't have great exposure to the sky.  Fiberglass is pretty transparent to RF but there are some storage lockers with a lot of stuff in them and I bet the solar panels are good at blocking it.

The long straight lines are from when it gets an inaccurate reading, then a line is drawn back to our actual location as correct readings are put into what appears to be an averaging model.  There is a time delay on the out-of-bounds alarm so I think only once has it actually alarmed when it is doing this behavior.

It runs in the background using the GPS continuously which uses up maybe 50% of the phone battery (Pixel 3A) in 8 hours.

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Script to pin item to taskbar (or Start menu) in Windows 7

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Thu, 02/19/2009 - 03:00

After pounding my head at this off-and-on over the last five weeks (previously thwarted), I have mashed enough VBScript skills into it (my head) that I figured out how to script the pinning of items to the taskbar.

 

Set objShell = CreateObject("Shell.Application")
Set objFolder = objShell.Namespace("C:\")
Set objApp = objFolder.ParseName("Notepad.lnk")
For Each verb in objApp.Verbs()
If verb.Name = "Pin to Tas&kbar" Then verb.DoIt
Next

For this to work, you need to have a valid shortcut Notepad.lnk in C:\.  To do a pin to the start menu, replace “Pin to Tas&kbar” with “Pin to Start Men&u”.  Yes, you need the ampersands, they are there as keyboard shortcuts.  Right-click on a shortcut and push K and it will pin that to the taskbar.

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Vista "Add Gadget" panel goes blank

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 03:00

I encountered an issue at work when we wanted to add some gadgets to the Vista Sidebar.  Upon opening the Add Gadget panel, all of the available gadgets briefly appeared and then faded out, leaving a blank window.

This can be resolved by resetting the user’s Settings.ini file for the Sidebar.  This is located at %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar.  Just rename Settings.ini to something else after you close Sidebar (must be closed from system tray too), and then re-launch Sidebar.  A new Settings.ini will be created.  All of the user’s Sidebar settings will be reset, but at least they are now able to add gadgets.

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Windows 7 location of pinned taskbar icons

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 03:00

I have been annoyed by needing to setup my taskbar pinned items every time I set up a new Windows 7 install, so really wanted to find out where they are stored.  They are buried pretty deep: C:\Users\**Username**\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar

So now I will be able to keep a copy of a bunch of shortcuts handy and just copy them in there.  I'm thinking cmd, Notepad, Calculator, several Office apps, Irfanview, and Paint will be priorities for now.

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Windows 7 performance

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Mon, 01/12/2009 - 03:00

Windows 7 is shaping up to be a pretty perfomant operating system.  I've been ripping CDs in the background, which easily maxes out the processor on my 1.83GHz Pentium M.  All the while I've been playing songs and browsing websites with no performance problems.  Only just now when I added installing Acrobat Reader on to the top of all that did I notice some slow-downs (slight glitches in music playback).

Now you might say that this is no big deal, an OS should be able to do all of those things.  But this is with 512MB of RAM, the afore-mentioned processor, and a crappy laptop HDD.  So far I would say the performance is way closer to XP than Vista was on this machine.  But the features are way better than XP.  I'll try not to get too optimistic, but from what I've seen in the last few hours Windows 7 is going to be a hot item.

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Switch to RSS Bandit

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Sun, 12/28/2008 - 03:00

2019-10-26 - Using TT-RSS on my server now.

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I used to use Outlook for my RSS feed reading, and before that IE7.  Outlook was definitely a step up from IE7 as I could group feeds into folders (Microsoft, Tech News, Other, etc.) and then just read all the articles in that folder one-by-one.  However, it was annoying to have to change the location it saved the feed every time that I added a new feed; it would otherwise create a separate folder for every feed.

I re-did my Outlook setup a couple weeks ago due to losing Exchange connectivity, and figured out an easier way to set that up.  I just let each feed create its own folder, and then set up a rule to move all RSS articles into a new "RSS" folder outside of the "RSS Feeds" folder that Outlook uses by default.

However, I just re-installed Windows Vista and found myself setting up Outlook again, but this time the Rules menu is not there.  I think this is because I have no mail account setup.  I can't get Outlook Anywhere to connect through 95% of the NAT routers that I connect from behind, including the one here at home.  Outlook won't connect over Hamachi, and I didn't want to fiddle around with OpenVPN for the seemingly endless hours which that will eat up.  So no Exchange setup in Outlook for now (believe me, I want to get this working so badly but can't figure out anything simple to do it).

Windows Photo Gallery Facebook integration complete

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Tue, 11/18/2008 - 03:00

A while back I posted an idea of mine.  Specifically, I suggested that it would be nice to have an easy way to upload photos to Facebook from Windows Photo Gallery.

Well I just found out that there has been a plug-in developed for Windows Live Photo Gallery for exactly this.  It even covers the most important of the features I had laid out.  Nice to see.

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My new affair with Drupal

Submitted by aaron.axvig on Thu, 11/06/2008 - 03:00

2019-10-26 - This new blog is set up on Drupal!

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I started playing around with Drupal at work this morning, and this particular package just has me bouncing off the walls with joy.  It's the most excited I've been about a piece of software for quite a while.  Some of this elation is no doubt due to the fact that I've been able to set it up to do almost exactly what I want to do, which is something I had not expected to find a product capable of.  (Sorry for the vagueness of this post, with all the non-specific module mentioning and such, but I don't want to be responsible for damage from leaked business plans.)

The interface is clean, and the administration is smart.  I've added a couple modules, and the installation is really easy.  One of the things that I hadn't seen before in a system of this type was the quite well done system of dependencies.  When you want to turn on a module, it tells you which other modules are required.  You can check the boxes for those, and then you will be able to check the box for the module you wanted to turn on.  Easy.

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