Archive for the ‘tech’ Category

Led down the garden path

I want to Airplay a YouTube video to an Apple TV. According to this official support document from Google/YouTube:

As a reminder, if you’re casting from a mobile device, make sure to download the YouTube app. Casting from youtube.com in a mobile web browser is not currently supported.

https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/7640706?hl=en

So, downloaded the YouTube app, can’t find an Airplay icon anywhere. Some users claim its now subsumed under the Cast icon – no luck there for me either.

Turns out, playing the YouTube video directly from Safari shows up the Airplay icon.

*Sigh.

motorola razr

I must say, the form factor of the new Motorola Razr has me tempted to go back to Android. I love the pocketable design and with retro cool to boot! I do hope it was the ThinkPad team that Lenovo deployed to consult on the hinge design.

But its not even in the realm of possibility with that $1500 price tag …

WordPress stack

My new found favourite (free) stack for WordPress frontend work – and a little bit of backend tinkering are:

What is interesting is that Elementor and Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg is aiming to do the same thing – provide ready made widgets to drag and drop into the layout. However, I think its best to keep each page/post using one or the other; and both have widgets that are useful and not found in the other.

For the backend, I’ve been using Code Snippets for a long time. But recent discovery of PODS has revolutionised how I create, extend and change Custom Post Types and Custom Fields. It was simple to extend the Post type to have a Custom Field of Date, and easily display it in an Ultimate Addons Post Grid using a Hook in Code Snippets.

Integromat

Shout out to Integromat, an online service that connects other web services together, using a visual paradigm. Great customer service, even for the free tier.

After working out a few kinks, I’m now able to pipe custom fields from a Woocommerce order into a Airtable base, with relative ease.

partitioning a usb drive for mac and windows

Bought a 3TB Seagate usb portable harddrive, and wanted to partition it for both Macs (to have Time Machines on their own dedicated partition) and Windows (for general storage of files).

Can’t be done using Windows, at least not the free software I tried. Had to be done on Mac, but not without some strange phenomenon that required a few tries. Basically, Mac’s Disk Utility won’t partition the Seagate as-is, from what I can find its most likely due to a EFI that is smaller than 200MB (in fact, the Seagate doesn’t have a EFI partition), and also the Seagate has a Microsoft reserved partition that seems to serve no purpose.

Whatever the reason, I didn’t bother to figure it out. I decided to forgo Seagate’s default setup and start from a blank disk. So, in the Mac’s Terminal:

diskutil list
diskutil unmountDisk force disk2 //or whatever disk# the usb drive is]
sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1024 count=1024 //this will erase the entire usb disk
diskutil partitionDisk disk2 GPT JHFS+ "KnockDrive" 0g // this will partition the drive with a EFI and the remaining space as a partition of Apple's HFS format

Now open up Mac’s Disk Utility. Use the Partition function to segment the desired number of partitions; for the partition that will be used by a Mac, set it as Journal HFS, and for the partition that will be used by Windows, set it as exFAT.

Voila!

Credit:

  • https://mycyberuniverse.com/how-fix-mediakit-reports-not-enough-space-on-device.html
  • https://appuals.com/fix-mediakit-reports-not-enough-space-on-device-for-requested-operation/

X-Mouse Button Control

X-Mouse Button Control is the follow up to discovering Dual Monitor Tools. The usage scenario is as follows:

  1. The middle button on the scroll wheel for scrolling is never used.
  2. DMT is setup to move cursor between the two screens using ‘Win-Z’ hotkeys.

With XMBC, I can map the middle button to fire ‘Win-Z’, which in turn tells DMT to ‘teleport’ the cursor to the other screen. I now can switch between screens one handed!

XMBC even has a portable version. Gold!

worse thing about windows 10

Windows 10 is by in large quite nice to use. Its polished and responsive enough for basic tasks even on a low power processor like the Atom X5.

Except when Windows have to do an update. Oh the amount of time it takes to calculate and download!

I guess that’s always been the case with any of the Window versions. I think that’s also an often not-considered reason to go for a Mac: the update process is much more straightforward. I take it its because MacOS supports a gazillion less hardware combinations than Windows.

Fullpage Screenshot in Firefox

Firefox has a powerhouse suite of Developer tools that comes standard. Among them is the ability to take a screenshot of the whole page!

First, enable the feature. Press ‘Ctr+Shift I‘ to display the Developer Tools. Click on the Gears icon, scroll down to tick ‘Take a screenshot of the entire page’

Then, whilst on any page, press ‘Shift+F2‘ to call up the command line interface, and type ‘screenshot –fullpage‘ then Enter.

A fullpage screenshot of the page will now appear in your Download directory!

Dual Monitor Tool

Shout out to this free, open source project Dual Monitor Tools.

I often have my ThinkPad connected to an external monitor, and recently I’ve needed to move the mouse cursor across the two screens back and forth regularly – that is a lot of traversing!

So a search on whether I can ‘teleport’ the cursor from one screen to another using a keyboard shortcut resulted in Dual Monitor Tools. And it works brilliantly!

Don’t get scared by the amount of features; just use the DMT Cursor tool to add shortcut keys for how cursors operate. I use ‘Win + z’ as the shortcut key to ‘Move cursor to next screen’ – which is the ‘teleport’ feature I was looking for – and I also have ‘Cursor movement between screen is sticky’ as default so there’s a bit of resistance when manually traversing between screens (and hence precision at the monitor edges).

character level diff merge in Windows

And in Chinese – which is different to word level differences since doesn’t have Chinese identifiable spaces like other European/all? languages.

WinMerge, Meld Merge and Kdiff3 can all identify character level differences, but are all unable to merge individual instances found in the same line (or even in adjacent lines for some weird reason).

Beyond Compare seems to be the only one that can, although its user interface requires a bit of getting used to, perhaps because its so feature-rich.

Cost money though.

Update: I was too quick to claim Beyond Compare has this ability. It works for the “adjacent lines” case, and I jumped the gun; multiple differences within the same line cannot be merged individually 🙁