Hello there! I can’t believe that my last entry on this blog was 2 years ago! If you’ve been wondering why I disappeared, then here is a brief update. In 2013, I was in my final year of medical school and preparing for the horror known to many in the Caribbean (and elsewhere) as the M.B.B.S. final exams. Preparation was brutal and the exam itself was even more brutal, especially the practical component. By July of 2014 I was smiling with many of my other classmates, however, as we graduated successfully. We naively thought that we had made it. Anyway, that was the start of the “real work”, as internship proved to be another arduous journey in itself.
But this story isn’t all about the struggles of becoming a physician in this day and age. What I left out is probably the most important bit: While in medical school I met my best friend and now wife. We got married just 2 months ago on the beautiful island of Jamaica where her family is from and went on a wonderful honeymoon via cruise to Mexico. Since we returned to The Bahamas we have taken up positions as senior house officers at the local hospital.
The reason I mentioned all of this is to show you that my offline life has been quite busy, but I’m still a tech enthusiast at heart. Hopefully now that things have settled down a little, I will make time to update this blog more often. Sorry about not responding to comments; that should change going forward.
With Black Friday sales last week and Cyber Monday sales a few days ago, businesses are still offering deals online for a lot of tech gadgets. Here are a few that made it to my inbox. It’s not too late to get discounts on some great stuff! Check out the links below. Will post others as I get them.
ZAGG.com (from the folks that brought you the invisibleSHIELD) – Save 20-50% off site-wide
SitePoint – get $5000 worth of eBooks and course material for only $99!
Raxco.com (from the creators of PerfectDisk) – get 35% off select software using code 35HOME13
Hostgator.com – get 25% off the package price at new signups using code 25OFFCYBER2013
MDDHosting.com – not really a Cyber Week deal, but you can get 25% off one of the best and most reliable web hosting providers around by using the coupon code uc33b at signup.
Domain.com – save 15% off domain names and hosting using coupon code DECEMBER15
eBay Daily Deals – Tons of stuff every day to look out for. And don’t be afraid to go refurbished.
Motorola.com – If you’re looking for a new Android phone then check this out! The Moto X was on sale today and will be on sale again next Monday, 9-Dec-13. While there, check out the Moto G.
Newegg.com Cyber Week deals – discounts on a host of computer hardware.
Dell.com – final days of Cyber Week deals on laptops, desktops and other electronics.
Some time ago, my aunt asked me if I could recover some photos stored on her old laptop and forward them along to her. I could have sent them by Dropbox, but that would take some time to set up remotely on her new laptop. Since there were hundreds of images, I needed a way of compressing multiple folders containing several files for upload to the cloud. The simple but difficult method was going through each folder and manually executing archive creation with 7Zip, but that would take too long. I then discovered this neat little batch script that does the job with a simple double-click.
In the folder containing the subfolders that you want compressed, create a batch file, paste this in the contents and save:
for /d %%X in (*) do "c:\Program Files\7-Zip\7z.exe" a "%%X.zip" "%%X\"
The script uses the folder names as the file names and places the ZIPs at the same level as the folder. Execute by double-clicking on the batch file. Simple!
I recently re-flashed my Linksys WRT54G and Motorola WR850G routers with updated DD-WRT firmware after running into some stability issues. So far they have both been stable since the re-flash and have not required manual restarting (I still put them on a scheduled reboot at 3AM). However, when I attempted to run my BitTorrent client, qBitTorrent, after all the appropriate ports were forwarded in the router’s firewall and settings applied in the client itself, no connection could be made. I did some digging around the internet and finally stumbled across this little firewall command for DD-WRT. The problem was fixed after entering the command and rebooting the router.
To apply the command, log into your router’s DD-WRT web interface and navigate to Administration > Commands. Paste the following within the command box and press ‘Save Firewall’. Afterward, you can either ‘Run Command’ or reboot the router to execute.
iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -j MASQUERADE
By the way, I’m using DD-WRT v24-sp2 mini build 14929 on the Linksys WRT54G v2 router and build 14896 on the Motorola WR850G v2. The WRT54G operates as the main wireless router; the WR850G is wired to the WRT54G and only operates in AP mode.
I know I am not the only person who experiences this from time to time. As a Windows user this might be a familiar irritation to you: A document is sent to print and all the printer does is choke up and refuse to print anything. Or maybe the document you sent is too large and is just taking too long to execute in the queue. Whatever your reason, you either end up having to restart the computer or power-cycling the the printer. Here, I will show you a simple way of clearing the printer queue using a batch script.
The batch script takes the manual effort out of purging the print queue. It turns off the Print Spooler, deletes the temporary files created from your print request, and restarts the Print Spooler. That’s all! You can do this manually, but why bother when double-clicking on a single file will do all of that for you?
Using a simple text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++, paste the following into a new file and, when ready to save, do so with quotes and a .bat file extension. For example, “force-print-purge.bat”.
@echo off echo Stopping Spooler echo. net stop spooler echo Deleting jobs in print queue... echo. del “%systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.shd” del “%systemroot%\system32\spool\printers\*.spl” echo Restarting Spooler. echo. net start spooler
The next time your printer is being stubborn, locate this file and execute it. You’re welcome.
Late last year, I moved into a new students’ residence on my university’s campus. The residence is set up like an apartment complex with rooms on 6 levels. However, because the place was still new, it was not wired for easy internet access. The closest wireless access points that my laptop could detect proved to be unreliable so I decided to purchase a Digicel 4G wireless modem (Green Packet DX250). I paid for a month’s service and was successful at setting up the device. However, after about the first week, I noticed that the performance started to dwindle. Here is what I did to improve the wireless performance on this device.
With the latest version of Mozilla Firefox, opening a new tab brings you to a page that displays your most frequently visited websites. However, have you ever wanted to change this activity? Maybe you prefer to see your favourite search engine’s page when opening a new tab. It will definitely speed up your browsing by saving you a few mouse clicks. Whatever page you want to load, there is an easy tweak that you can apply without the need for a plugin which is always great! However, you will need to be running the latest version of Firefox in order to utilize it. I was able to execute this on Firefox 17.0.1 and cannot say whether or not it will work on older versions.
- Open Firefox and type about:config in the address bar. Press ENTER.
- Confirm that you know what you’re doing and proceed.
- Do a search for browser.newtab.url and edit the string to reflect the website URL you wish to load. For example, http://www.google.com.
- Click OK and the change takes immediate effect.
That’s it! Reversing this change is as simple as finding the browser.newtab.url string again, right-clicking on it and choosing RESET.