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TGIMBOEJ Received
hardware : by Tommy - November 18th 2009, 09:54PM
hardware
Well, today I received my first box from The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronics Junk. As predicted, there was a lot of random stuff inside. Several bags of discrete components (capacitors, LEDs, etc), some DC motors of varying sizes and ratings, some copper-clad PCBs for homemade etching (with transfer film - very tempting), a couple of pagers, some random gears and knobs, a nice pack of 7 segment LEDs, some project enclosures, some random PCBs, wire wrap supplies, a DIY 9-pin serial cable and connector, and a nice looking character LCD that was unfortunately cracked right in the center.

Quite a bit of stuff to choose from. I chose to take out a 9V battery clip, some 7-segment LEDs, and the 2 project enclosures. I plan to use the parts for a solar-powered arduino project I read about and have been wanting to try out.

I'll probably pick some unsuspecting geek and mail the box out to him in a couple days. That is, after I dig up some worthy additions to the box. Interested in joining the ranks? Sign up!

tags: electronics, kits, junk

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 
Multiple profiles in Firefox.
meat : by Corey - November 11th 2009, 04:55PM
meat
A large part of my job involves testing websites for various things. Most often, I use a series of Firefox add-ons and some other external tools (proxy server, for example) to perform the tasks I need to do.

Regularly, this involves clearing all cookies and personal data from my Firefox profile. I need to ensure cookies are set correctly and it's tough to do that when all of my regular browsing cookies are there too. Moreover, clearing them all when I need to perform testing requires that I then log into each site I go to regularly again. This makes me a sad panda.

I began browsing the Firefox Add-ons site to try and find an extension or other tool that would allow me to switch profiles on the fly so that I could keep my regular Firefox profile, and all the sites thereunto visited, safely tucked away and ready for my usage at my command all the while maintaining a profile that I could mercilessly abuse in the name of testing.

Of course, such a thing does not exist. However, all is not lost. The Mozillazine has an article on profile management that essentially outlines the method by which the built-in profile manager can be accessed.

As noted above, I am a whiny Firefox user. I do not want to be prompted by the profile manager each time I start Firefox. The solution to this is to have a separate Firefox shortcut with the -profilemanager flag set. I store this in with my regular application shortcuts so that it is easily accessible when I need it. Your profile selection is persistent across sessions, meaning that normal Firefox shortcut will open Firefox with the last profile you selected in the profile manager.

This allows for completely separate add-ons, themes, home pages, connection settings, security settings, and toolbar setups.

Continue reading...

tags: Firefox profile switching beef

( Comments : 2 | Full article )

 
TGIMBOEJ
hardware : by Tommy - November 10th 2009, 11:11PM
hardware
What a fun idea! The Great Internet Migratory Box Of Electronic Junk, TGIMBOEJ for "short", looks a like a neat prizefest for geeks all over. I know I'm all for it, I may even start a box of my own simply because I have so many extra electronic parts laying around! As the name implies it doesn't have to be just computer parts or just consumer electronics, it can be any electronic parts you happen to have. I have some leftover discrete components as well as PC parts I'm going to include should I receive a box soon. I've signed up on the wiki to put me in the pool of recipients. I'll, of course, let you know when/if I receive a box and what all I find useful in it. Sign up and send your old electronic parts to some random geek!

tags: electronics, kits, junk

( Comments : 1 | Full article )

 
New PC build
hardware : by Greg - November 9th 2009, 04:36AM
hardware
I'm looking at the quickly changing landscape of PC components in anticipation of building a new machine after the holidays. And yes I know I'm missing the MW2 launch, sigh. Ok so there's a couple issues I wanted to get advice on: 1. Processor - I'm thinking i7-920, but the i5 cores that came out are close in performance. So I'm looking for opinions on i7-920 vs i5-750 vs Phenom II X4 2. Graphics card- GeForce GTX 275 or Radeon 5850? OR get 2 Radeon 5750 cards in Crossfire? 3. HDs : get a fast SATA or SSD for OS drive? for mass storage I like WD at 1 or 1.5TB but whats the diff betwenn their black and green models, noticable?

( Comments : 3 | Full article )

 
Modifying WLAN adapter status.
windows : by Corey - November 2nd 2009, 08:58PM
windows
Today I started a new job after being out of work for nearly five months. As a part of this job, I've been given a laptop and, like most companies these days, there are both wired and wireless access methods available for the company LAN.

While the access points are secured, the laptops issued to everyone utilize the Windows Wireless Zero Configuration Tool in Windows XP to manage access to the access points in the building. Because I am a task bar minimalist, the ever present icon and information dialogues that appear as a result of connection and disconnection to the access points drive me nuts.

Many current laptops have mechanical switches to enable or disable the WiFi adapter, but the model used by my company is considerably older and predates the widespread deployment of this feature. As such, heretofore, I've always gone into the adapter properties and disabled the WiFi adapter and then followed the same method to enable it the next time I needed it. This process takes two or three clicks and while not difficult, can become cumbersome if you find yourself doing it multiple times during the day.

While taking a break from reading the reams of documentation I've been given, I pondered the question of controlling the adapter hardware via batch script. Lo and behold, Microsoft has created a tool for this very purpose.

The tool is called Devcon and is free to use. It is a command line utility that essentially replaces the GUI Device Manager offered in Windows. There is extensive documentation on it but the important information is thus:

To affect change on a hardware device, you must know its device ID. Devcon provides a function for this called hwids:

c:\>devcon hwids "*" > c:\hardware.txt

This will create a list of all hardware devices currently recognized by Windows along with all pertinent details.

Continue reading...

tags: windows batch WLAN WiFi devcon

( Comments : 0 | Full article )

 
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