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Showing posts from 2009

Quick Replacement of BP96-00826A(P) Bulb on Samsung 50" DLP TV

Just replaced the bulb on my Samsung 50" DLP TV this week. We were watching a movie, when we heard a large "pop" come from the DLP TV and the screen went black. Every few minutes we'd hear a "clicking" sound out of the TV, so I unplugged it and got online. My wife freaked out a bit.

We bought it in 2004, so it's almost exactly 5 years old at this point. I guess that's the life I would have expected out of the bulb. I was pleased to see that the replacement bulbs had come down in price significantly from when we bought the TV.

I bought the bulb from discount-merchant.com for $120 and normal shipping charges (also found a coupon code "fiveoff" for $5 off my order):

http://www.discount-merchant.com/Samsung-BP96-00826A-Lamp-Enclosure-p/samsung-bp96-00826a-lamp-enc.htm

The company sounded a bit like a shady internet business, but the more research I did -the more comfortable I got with them. I decided to buy the whole assembly for the extra $10…

Microsoft Exchange Account Disappears from Android Phone - Motorola Droid

At least I'm not alone in the fact that my Motorola Droid keeps loosing my Microsoft Exchange email account periodically. I have personally lost the exchange account 4 times (and the other IMAP accounts under the email application). Putting in the credentials again "fixes it". The frequency has gone up since the upgrade to Android 2.0.1. During the entire time the gmail mail accounts are fine. Here are a few of the posts that I'm tracking relating to the issue. No official word from Google, Motorola, or Verizon on the problem -or a pending fix.

Reports on Google's Android forum:
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4866
http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=4980

Reports on Verizon's droid forum:
http://forums.verizon.com/t5/Android-Devices/Email-accounts-being-deleted-from-Droid/td-p/117067;jsessionid=32c7704020432f772a7cfec1677f7fd52

Reports on Motorola's message forum:
http://supportforums.motorola.com/message/89501

I'm looking …

Motorola Droid USB tethering made easy with PDANet

Decided today was the day to set up USB tethering on my Motorla Droid running Android 2.0. I'm getting ready for a business trip and I'm always amazed at the places that you can't get a wireless connection. USB tethering allows me to always have a fallback cellular connection (usually 3G on Verizon's network) for those type of emergencies.

I love the products produced by June Fabrics. I used their product to intermittently tether my Windows Treo 700W -and it got me out of some odd jams. Essentially it was it's like using your cell phone as a 3G modem (without having to carry separate devices).  June Fabrics couldn't make the process any simplier:

Download the install application from http://www.junefabrics.com/android/Begin installing the application -the installer walks you through all the steps nicely. I did need to enable a setting to allow the application to be automatically pushed form the Windows XP PC to the Motorola Droid.Plug in you phone. I'm using…

LightKeeper Pro Christmas Light Tester - Easily fix miniature Christmas lights in one click

Image
I bought this at my local Walmart for twenty dollars -figuring I'd take it back since it probably wouldn't work. Got it home and watched the videos on the manufacturers website (long and short video from the manufacturer) . LightKeeper really works and just as easily as in the video. I had 10 strands of 300 count miniature icicle Christmas lights that I could no longer buy (white wire with green bulbs).
Here was the procedure.

1. Remove 1 miniature bulb (with the lights plugged in).
2. Plug the tester in where you removed the light bulb.
3. Pull the trigger a few times (In most cases the section lit on the first pull).
4. Replace the bulb.

This will be especially helpful on prelit Christmas trees or Christmas lights that go out once there on the tree. This product really is true genius. This was the best money I've spent in a long time. It literally saved me about 3 hours of playing with bulbs.

There are other functions on the tester -tool to easily pull bulbs, non-touch …

1st Week With the Droid as a Windows Smartphone Replacement

Overall I'm pretty happy with the Motorola Droid hardware. It powerful, well built device. The only rip would be that the slide out physical keyboard takes some getting used to. I never had any issues hitting the keys on my Treo 700 W, but often times I find myself having to hit the "DEL" key on the droid.

I'm very satisfied with the Android 2.0 operating system. In general it works well and seems pretty mature. Many of the default applications that came with the phone are well designed and work well. The navigation in Android 2.0 is really well done.

3rd party applications I really like:

Amazon (scan it and buy it from Amazon)
Astro (file manager for basic copying and moving files around on your device)
Barcode Scanner (scan pc screens for apps to download)
KeypassDroid (Password manager application for Android, Windows, and Linux -great!)
Locale (automatically change GPS, WIFI, Bluetooth settings based on where your at to conserve battery)
PhotoBurst (Nice photo br…

Motorola droid cell phone replaces my ancient Treo 700WX on Verizon

I finally found a phone that would modernize my mobile communication platform.

Things I like:
Beautiful large screen -Pictures look great on it
Internal GPS to take advantage of location aware applications
WIFI capabilities - Quick surfing on my home WI-FI and hotspots
Quick and responsive device, but pretty similar to my Treo 700WX
Lots of apps and easy to install -I can't seem to find any missing apps
Android App Market is easy to navigate
Open operating system -should be able to find something for whatever I need and don't have to wait
Runs on the Verizon network - good reliable and fast network

Things that annoy me:
3rd party app needed for:
Automatic file synchronization
Outlook/exchange task support
Outlook/exchange meeting requests
Battery life was pretty poor on the first day - (Motorola *228 option 2 technical support was GREAT)
Lot's of apps, but someone needs to sort through them - many seem to have stability issues
Car charger -from Amazon is a must have if y…

Simple command line grep usage to understand complex regular expressions

I was looking for a simple method to understand regular expressions. In this particular case it was to analyze an ignore rule used by logcheck log monitoring tool. I knew that the Linux environment offered some powerful tools to use regular expressions, but I was looking for a simple pass in this string and show me what matches via my regular expression.

After quite a bit of time looking at man pages for grep, I initially didn't find the simple solution that I was hoping to...

AMD-ubuntu /USR/SBIN/CRON[9999]: (root) CMD ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.hourly)

And it was ignored by the entry in /etc/logcheck/ignore.d.paranoid/cron

^\w{3} [ :0-9]{11} [._[:alnum:]-]+ /USR/CRON\[[0-9]+\]: \([_[:alnum:]-]+\) CMD \(.*\)$

The log entry I wanted to ignore was:

Nov 2 19:17:01 AMD-ubuntu CRON[6877]: (root) CMD ( cd / && run-parts --report /etc/cron.hourly)

The regular expression that I ended up using to ignore my routine CRON job log entries was:

^\w{3} [ :0-9]{11} [._…

Challenges in upgrading Kubuntu 9.10 from 9.04 with BackupPC

My upgrade to 9.10 Karmic Koala was less than smooth. Some of it may have to do with the machine being upgraded many times (starting with Hardy Heron -I think) and some of it may be due to running on PPA repositories during the last release to get the benefits of a of KDE 4.3.2 and upgrade Kopete and Digikam.

The initial instalation failed leaving the machine at a command prompt. I then ran

sudo dpkg --configure -a

The only complaint was about my Apache configuration file. I decided to merge it and move merrily on. I rebooted, and everything seemed fine. That is until I realized that BackupPC (a backup solution I really like), wasn't running and neither was Apache.

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 start

started Apache running. Apache started without any complaints, but BackupPC wasn't running.

sudo /etc/init.d/backuppc start

Everything was running as planned. Unfortunately on restart Apache started, but BackupPC didn't. I assumed it was something hosed in the init.d scripts. I tried …

Embedding document link to UNC server paths in Outlook tasks notes

In order to save space and be more efficient in creating tasks, I love to include a link to a network document or network folder that I have to do as part of the task. I tried a bunch of ways to get a link to a network resource in my outlook tasks note. I found a method that seems to work all the time including dealing with spaces in either the path or document name. Place brackets around the path.

To create a link to a network server named "bigserver":

\\bigserver\directory\this is the document.doc

just enter:

<\\bigserver\directory\this is the document.doc>


Outlook will then create a hyperlink to it and either open the file in the associated program or open Windows Explorer to the proper directory. Why this was so hard to find -I don't know.

Keyboard Shortcut for Strikethrough Font Microsoft Excel

I'm always annoyed that I can remember how to add strike through font to part of the text in a Microsoft excel spreadsheet cell. It's easy -select the text you want in strike-through and hit

"CTRL" and "5" key at the same time
or
CTRL-5

My Weekend BackupPC Linux Maintenance Activities

Over the weekend I decided to update the storage on my Kubuntu (9.04) 64 bit machine running running KDE 4.3.2. I was beginning to run out of space for backups using BackupPC. I've used it for over a year to keep versioned disk copies of all my machines (Windows 2000, Windows XP, kubuntu, and Ubuntu server). I added a 1TB Samsung energy efficient drive (SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD103SI 1TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive) from NewEgg for $80 with free shipping.

I then got a ton of useful information on redirecting where BackupPC stores it's backup file pool from this article (moving the BackupPC pool to a new hardrive). I installed, formatted, mounted the new drive as /media/1TB and created a directory called /media/1TB/backuppc. I used the process: stopping BackupPC (sudo /etc/init.d/backuppc stop)
copying the backup pool (sudo cp -dpR /var/lib/backuppc/. /media/1TB/backuppc/)renaming the current pool (sudo mv /var/lib/backuppc/ /var/lib/backuppc.orig…