Archive for the ‘Tips and tricks’ Category

Gmail classic view revert

May 3rd, 2012 No comments

Over the last month Google has decided to ignore popular opinion and institute an awful user interface.  Luckily this is easy enough to f

All you need to do is make a bookmark to this location: Gmail Revert  (drag link into favorites or right click copy link location and then save as a bookmark)

Then log into Gmail.  Hit the bookmark from Gmail and you will see a notification stating that “Settings are being updated.”  Now click on the gear in the upper/left and select revert to old theme.

Very easy and affective.  It is likely that this will stop working at some point, hopefully by then they will have instituted an official classic theme.

Editing Droid Verizon Banner

September 26th, 2010 2 comments

Wow it has been a very long time since my last post.  Ophthalmology residency  has kept me be quite busy.

Anyways to the matter at hand, when people take a peak at my Droid one of the first things that everyone notices and asks me is how I replaced the Verizon Banner on the lock out screen and the drop down menu with my name.  It’s not very difficult, so after repeated badgering, I finally agreed to post it online.

– This works on Motorola Droid.  I see no reason it should not work on any other Verizon Android devise, but it is untested.
Sprint users: Follow the same directions, but edit res\values\strings.xml and look for ‘zz_roamingText1’
You can do this before flashing a ROM, I do this between Pete’s Bugless Beauty builds
1) You will need root access.  Here is a link to one of the numerous methods of obtaining root.
2) Perform a Nandroid backup (just incase anything goes wrong)
3) Find and copy system/framework/framework-res.apk
– You can use Astro, Root Explorer, or pull from your nandroid backup
4) Associate the .apk extension with WinRar
5) Open the apk and navigate to res/xml/eri.xml
– Remove this file from the apk
6) Open eri.xml with a hex editor
– I recommend  HxD (freeware)
7) Find “64…Verizon Wireless…” (Gnex user it appears as …Verizon Wireless…64)
– You can edit ‘Verizon Wireless’ to any 16 characters.  If you do not need all 16, use spaces.  For example ‘             DHO’  (13 spaces 3 characters)
– I recommend against shortening/lengthening the string as it will change the size of the file, and may result in unexpected errors.
– HxD will warn you if you are changing the file size.
8 ) Take your modified eri.xml and place it back into your framework-res.apk  res/xml/eri.xml
– No need for re-signing the apk (remember no change in file size)
9) Place on SD card
10) Open your preferred terminal, during this step one or two programs may force close, it’s okay
sys -rw
busybox cp /sdcard/framework-res.apk /system/framework
sys -r0
11) On reboot you will notice your accounts and wallpaper were lost.  I have tried some clever work arounds, but this seems an inevitable consequence of editing the framework.  So log back into your google/facebook/whatever account, fix your wallpaper, and done.
– You can use Titanium Backup to restore your system preferences

If anything goes wrong, use Nandroid to restore.

RCA D52W20 Hidden Menu and Overscan

June 14th, 2010 No comments

This post is more for me, so in the future I can follow these steps again to fix my TV.

It seems the RCA D52W20 has a poor track record when using the DVI port for HD programing; there is sometimes a vertical or horizontal shift.  In my case, there was a significant left shift from my SagveTV box.  That I was able to correct with SageTV’s overscan, but that only worked in the program.  I was so sure it was the computer’s fault, I never thought it might be the TV’s.  Yesterday for some random reason, I realized it’s much more likely to tbe the TV’s problem and an engineer would like hide a menu for overscan to prevent people from messing with it.  So after googling, I was able find access to the hidden menus and fix.

RCA D52W20 and hidden menus
– With TV off pressed volume – and channel –
– – After about 10 seconds you will enter service mode
– I recommend first calibrating the overlay
– – This will not fix the overscan, but there is a known big that after changing geometery values that auto-overlay may stop working
– Go to geometery and adjust the properties with ‘v-‘ and ‘h-‘
– – It is a good idea to write down the default first
– – It maybe be useful to adjust the overlay as you change the position, I found the portion of the screen that had been previously off screen suffered from a large overlay deficit.
– Hit “Store” before pressing “return” and your done

HP 1022n Woes

June 2nd, 2010 No comments

**UPDATED 6/9/10** – previous work around worked for most but not all programs.  New fix works with everything.

I love having a networked laser printer, but the 1022 series seems to have been orphaned by HP.  Despite being a network printer, the Windows 7/Vista drivers only support USB connection.  The XP driver will scan your network and install the printer, but on XP only.  Luckily with minimal hair pulling I found an acceptable work around for Windows7/Vista.

To simply add a 1022n as a network printer:
1) Plug the printer into the router
2) In windows, go to “Devises and Printers”
3) Right click in the folder and hit “Add Printer”
4) Select “Add Networked/Wireless Printer”
5) After Windows searches, it will find the printer, but not have a driver
– If it does not find it, you can get the printer’s IP by opening your router’s administration page
6) Double click on  the printer and then select the HP driver for 1015
Don’t use this step, it worked for most Microsoft programs, but not Openoffice
6) Select “Have Disk”
7) Download HP 1022n drivers
– HP only offers them in an exe file.  I have extracted the driver and they can be found here: 1022n_W7_driver.rar
– If you want to extract them yourself, download the exe file from HP’s website, then change the extension to .zip.  You can now open it with winrar and take out the driver file.
8. From the “Have Disk” menu, point computer to the 1022n.ini file
9) Print a test page to ensure it’s working

The HP 1015 driver seems to work fine and This takes about 1 minute to set up.  If I find any more issues, I will update this post.

BTW: If you have a Mac, the computer will  automatically find and configure the printer as soon as its placed on the network, and it just works.

Playstation 3 controller blinking/not connecting

December 23rd, 2009 1 comment

I finally got around to dusting off my playstation and I found I had a horrible problem with my controllers.  The controllers would blink and not connect.  The controllers would blink for about an hour before turning off.  I tried googling this and could not come up a solution, it seems some people have even exchanged controllers to fix this issue.

Stumped, I decided to plug the controllers into the PS3 via mini-USB and this fixed the problem immediately!  After discovering this everything fell into place.  I often charge my controllers from my computer, since it is much more convenient, and it seems  if you plug the controller into a computer with bluetooth capability (such as a Macbook) that the controller will bond with your computer and forget the PS3.

Solution: plug the controller into the PS3 via mini-USB

Make Firefox/Minefield compatible with any extension

December 20th, 2009 No comments

As one of Firefox’s legions of alpha and beta testers, one of the most frustrating aspects of helping Mozilla develop Firefox is waiting for authors to make their favorite plugins compatible with the new release.  This usually does not occur until there is a final release and sometimes an author stops maintaining a plugin and it never happens.

Most plugins have no compatibility issues with new releases and be simply modified to run on Minefield or one of Mozilla’s future releases.  There are two simple ways to force install extensions
1) Install Nightly Tester Tools, and then go to Tools\Addons\Override compatibility Issues.
2) Find your plugin’s install file install.rdf  This can be easily done on Mac or Windows
– On a OS 10.6, you can use spotlight to find it or look in library/application support/Firefox/Profiles/%profile name%/Extensions
– Open install.rdf with TextEdit and find this line <em:maxVersion>3.1b2</em:maxVersion>
– Change the version to reflect a your release, such as 3.7a1pre for minefield

Warning: Doing this allows you to use the plugin, but robs the developer of taking a first chance to look for problems and fix them.  It is possible to cause a fatal errors and to freeze Firefox by using a plugin with untested compatibility.  I have never had any problems, but it could happen.

How to send txt messages via email

June 8th, 2009 No comments

Okay, one more off topic topic post today.

Occasionally, I want to send a txt message to a friend’s cell phone, and this is easily accomplished via email.

1) You need to know the cell provider
2) Send an email to the 10 digit number @ the provider’s domain (

The catch is knowing all the domains.  I am tired of looking this up every time, so I am recording the common ones here:

Verizon –>
ATT –>
Sprint –>
T Mobile –>
Alltel –>
Nextel –>
Virgin –>
Boost Mobile –>

If you would to add/correct any of these please feel free to post them below

How to Mod an XM Inno

June 8th, 2009 No comments

Normally, I would not look into something like this, but the FCC rules that govern FM modulation are beyond inane and dictated by private interest groups.

So if own an XM Inno there is a great firmware mod that allows you to use the FM modulator in your home cradle.

0) to avoid bricking your Inno you need to update the firmware to v2.11 (currently it is the latest firmware)

1) Download: firmware
2) Plug your Inno into it’s home cradle with the AC on
3) Connect the the USB cable to your computer
4) Place the file into your Inno’s root directory
5) Safely remove hardware
6) Disconnect the USB (leaving the Inno in the home cradle)
7) It will scan/reboot/done

-It will now have a Samsung logo and FM modulate in the home cradle
– You will need to turn on FM modulation every time it restarts.

Categories: Computers, Random, Tips and tricks Tags: , , , , ,

A great tip for FireFox

April 15th, 2009 No comments

This post is more for me, so I wont have to look it up everytime:

I live firefox, but it fails to speall check so many fields
So to always enable spellcheck
Type: about:config into the browser
Find ‘layout.spellcheckDefault’
Change the layout.spellcheckDefault to 2

Now everything is checked

Categories: Tips and tricks Tags: ,