Tag: tech

A simple browser notepad

notepadLast year I stumbled across this post about a one line browser notepad.

The post was interesting, but the comments were fascinating, each one building functionality on the next.

Being a tinkerer myself, I added my own changes.

My requirements

  1. Ability to save & open (if neccessary, I never do)
  2. Simple formatting (allow bolding)
  3. Pleasing look

I tinkered, explored, pulled apart code and pasted it back together with my own tweaks and came up with the snip below.

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How to remove copy/paste and print restrictions from a PDF file

Unlock a PDF fileI recently downloaded a huge PDF and wanted to copy and paste a couple sentences of text from it to email to a friend.

Unfortunately, the author had enabled copy/paste and print restrictions which prevented me from copying the two sentences that I wanted to send.

Too lazy to retype the text, I searched for a fast and easy technical solution.

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LPT: Apply installed changes without restarting Windows

restart windows without restart meansofmineRestarting Windows after a minor software install is a major pain. I have many windows and apps open all day long, so restarting feels like tearing down my virtual office, rebuilding it again and only then getting back to work.

I recently discovered this handy trick to prevent some of these “required” Windows restarts. After installing your application try the following:

  1. Open “Windows Task Manager”
  2. Select the “Processes” tab
  3. Select “explorer.exe”
  4. Click the “End Process” button (this will kill explorer which manages your desktop icons and task bar)
  5. From the Task Manger menu select “File > New Task (Run…)”
  6. In the “Create New Task” window type “explorer” and hit “OK”

Your icons and task bar will return and hopefully, if your installed changes were not too fundamental, you will have avoided that required Windows restart. Just worked for me when I installed Nikon’s NEF codec. It likely will not work for large changes like Windows security updates.


A simple jQuery Mobile page for organizing weekly workouts

dumbbellMy weekly fitness regimen is pretty simple. I do a little bit of resistance training every day with a couple days of high intensity interval training (HIIT) thrown in.

To complement my training, I fast (Leangains-style) five days a week from 9 pm to 1 pm the next day and I fast (Eat-Stop-Eat-style) from 9 pm to 9 pm on the other two. I’m a huge fan of intermittent fasting for both its health benefits and for long-term weight management.

Although mine is a dead simple program, I still need reminders of which exercise to do, with which weights and on which days. I always have my iPhone with me, so I chose to use the excellent jQuery Mobile framework to create a simple touch-enabled mobile page to act as my personal fitness reference.

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Edit your remote HTML files directly with WinSCP

WinSCPI have a handful of small, mostly-static, mostly for me, utility websites running on a Dreamhost shared server. There is no application framework or complex server environment to mess with, little user traffic besides what I send and no need for a heavy deploy process.

For these sites, I often want to edit HTML, JS and CSS files directly on the server instead of editing them locally and pushing them live. One step is better than two, I say.

Sure, I could SSH in and edit my files directly with vi, and I often do that. Call me crazy, but sometimes I like using a mouse and GUI to edit my files. For those times, I use a program called WinSCP. 

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Install a command-line Spotify client on a headless Raspberry Pi

spotify-on-raspberry-piMy Raspberry Pi Model B Revision 2.0 (512MB) came this week, and like many people I opened it up, plugged it in, got it networked, configured it, got to a command prompt and said “hmmmm, now what?”

I love music and decided that getting Spotify running on my headless RasPi would be a fun first project. There are decent nuggets of information out there, but below is a simple, aggregated step-by-step guide to getting Spotify running on your headless Raspberry Pi’s command line.

NB: I believe that you will need to be a Premium Spotify subscriber for this to work. Just get it, it’s so worth it.

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How to download the jQuery Mobile documentation for offline viewing

Download the jQuery Mobile documentation for offline use.

Download the jQuery Mobile documentation for offline use.

Recently I was heading off on a long airplane trip and, because SeatGuru said I would have power at my seat, I was planning to do some tinkering with jQuery Mobile.

Having power at your seat is one thing, but having a WiFi connection is another. In anticipation of having no connectivity, I sought ways to download the full jQuery Mobile documentation.

In the past, I’ve successfully used a Windows program called HTTrack for spidering and downloading any webpage. Not finding or liking any of the Mac alternatives, I Googled further and found this simple solution.

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A Bash Script for Quick Whois Queries

How many whois searches do you do in a year? A dozen? A dozen dozen? More? For me, it’s probably in the neighborhood of a few dozen dozen.

It seems like there is always a fun new project to work on and, sadly, it’s becoming nearly impossible to find good domain names.

Recently I was looking for a suitable LLC name for a company to hold all my projects. As my wife shouted out name candidates, I found myself repeating paired whois plural/singular queries like:

whois hilltoplab.com
whois hilltoplabs.com
whois hilltopstudio.com
whois hilltopstudios.com

Etc for .org, .biz (haha, not really) and .net…

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Error saving an HTML file in Windows 7 with Notepad++?

Recently, I was editing an HTML file for a little site I put together called school photo frames. I was using Notepad++ and kept receiving an error when trying to save it.

The file was reported as being in use by another program or process. I search all over and found many posts about tweaking folder permissions, messing with DLL settings and running things as administrator.

None of that worked, of course, but what did work was even easier.

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iPhone Home Button Not Working? Try This Fix (requires Jailbreak and Activator app)

Like most owners, I love my iPhone like a favorite child. It’s my portable connection to the web, my newspaper, my camera, my preferred gaming device, my grocery list, my alarm clock, my calculator…and once in a while, my phone.

A couple of months ago I lost my iPhone while on the Manta roller coaster at Seaworld in Orlando, Florida. When I realized it was gone, I was crushed. I felt lonely and confused.

In a still-unbelievable stroke of luck, a fellow park visitor happened to see it fly out of my pocket on the first loop, watched it fall 50 feet into the brush (miraculously missing all of the buildings, rocks, pools, pavement and people it could have hit) and retrieved it.  As we left the ride, my daughter happened to walk by her and notice the decal on the back of my phone, which is how my precious returned to me, with nary a scratch or a scuff.

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