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HP Laptop launches MS-Excel

Filed under: Tech Tech — @ 10:34 UTC

My HP HDX18 laptop launches Microsoft Excel every time I press the “soft touch” buttons across the top of the laptop (mute, volume, etc.).  I’m not the only one with this problem.  The problem is with Microsoft’s IntelliType Pro keyboard driver, itype.exe.  I can kill this executable and the problem goes away, but then the fancy keyboard buttons no longer function.

To solve the problem for good, I edited the \Program Files\Microsoft IntelliType Pro\mscmdkey.xml file (make a copy first, fool) and searched for “excel” and found the XML Command node name=“OFFICE_EXCEL_COMMAND”.  I removed this node (Everything from <Command name=  … </Command>) then stopped itype.exe and then restarted itype.exe (command line: cd "C:\Program Files\Microsoft IntelliType Pro, then “start itype.exe).  This works a treat.


Google AdNonSense

Filed under: Tech Tech,Travaillez — @ 21:40 UTC

I was playing with Google AdSense for a project at work, so of course I set it up on Valence Band first (because this is my sandbox). What we can’t figure out is how AdSense decides what kind of Ad to place on a particular site. Does it rely on the META data? Content obtained via the Google crawler? It’s all a big mystery and fun to watch. I’m not expecting anyone to actually click on the AdSense ads; I’m just finding it interesting that Google believes people who visit Valence Band are looking for stock market advice (!) and free music downloads.


Disabling the WordPress 2.02 Cache

Filed under: Tech Tech — @ 19:24 UTC

This site was recently hijacked by some Script Kiddies from Vietnam who made use of the “‘cache’ shell injection exploit” that is well-documented and easy to find all over the web (The poor lads are going to be really surprised when some friends of mine give them a good ass-kicking. I hope to have some video soon). The issue has been discussed at the WordPress support site here and here, but some of the discussions are technical and may be difficult for the average WordPress user to follow. The attacks are centered around the WordPress 2.02 internal caching mechanism, which I didn’t even know about, that appears to be automatically configured when setting up a WordPress v2 site. Who knew? This exploit will obviously be addressed in the next version of WordPress (as well as the simple md5 “encryption” of the user passwords in the database), but until then it might be a good idea to disable the WordPress cache by editing the wp-config.php module and adding this bit of code:

define('DISABLE_CACHE', true);

The wp-content/cache folder should be removed using an ftp tool and, with some luck, won’t be recreated.

Thank you to Rok for the cache disabling code.


ODEO WordPress Filter Test

Filed under: General,Listening,Tech Tech — @ 2:06 UTC


powered by ODEO


hoverSmack Context Menu

Filed under: Tech Tech — @ 20:59 UTC

I’ve been fooling around with the hoverSmack technology developed for the forgetFoo.com web site.  I wanted to combine it with the context menu developed for the AlphaFilter site with the goal of adding the capability of selecting any text on the web site and popping up a context menu that allows you to search for images, video, news and general webbiness.  I had to glue a lot of things together and it certainly isn’t perfect, but it actually works.  Select some text on this site and use your right mouse button (if you have one) to pop up the menu.  Here’s some things to search for:

Monica Bellucci

kate moss

SI Swimsuit Edition



Filed under: Tech Tech — @ 3:35 UTC

I was searching through the basement again (I find the damndest things down there) and came across a collection of electronic tubes that I have acquired over the years. I have some tube equipment and I’m a big proponent of the technology, but, realistically, I’m never going to get around to using these old components and they really need a home. Most of these tubes are basically useless. How many people are going to find a use for Amperite 3-15 Automatic Regulator Ballest Tubes or GCDBGA TV sweep tubes? Someone will correct me if I’m wrong, but audio amplification is currently the only use for tube technology. That said, I have to mention that in this collection of tubes is a set of 4 Telefunken 12au7′s (Know as ECC82′s in Western Europe). They appear to be perfect, and possibly matched. Hard to say when it comes to tubes … it’s not like the old days where you could bicycle down to the Radio Shack and plug them into the tube tester. I have a GE 6L6GA still in the box, too, but these are normally used in pairs so having one isn’t such a big deal. 12au7′s, however, are used in all sorts of pre-amps and I think I have about 12 of these, with the 4 Telefunkens being the most valuable. Here’s some possibly useful tubes I found:

Raytheon CK5814A Twin Triode Amplifier/Oscillator (4)
GE 6087/5Y3WGT (2)
GE 6J6A (ECC91′s) (4)

Some rectifier tubes:
GE 3A3
GE 5U4GB/5AS4A (2)
Raytheon 5U4QB
Dumont 6DA4A

Does anyone want them?


Color Blind Image Filtering

Filed under: Pater Familias,Tech Tech — @ 18:38 UTC

I have a son, Éamon, who is red-green color blind (deuteranopia). This is a fairly common condition, but we have always asked ourselves “what does Éamo see?”. With help from the Vischeck image filter plug-in, we get to see just that.

As far as we can tell this is very accurate; Éamo can not tell these images apart.

Composite Image Before and After Vischeck Color Blind Filter

Larger Size:


Ampeg M-12A Guitar Amp – Saved!

Filed under: Noise,Tech Tech — @ 2:29 UTC

Sometimes I forget I’m an electrical engineer. I was working in the basement, trying to clean the place up a bit, when I took a long look at the old Ampeg M-12A Mercury (7591 tubes, not the older version — probably an early 1964 model) guitar amp. That damn thing always shocked the Hell out of me every time I used it, but it sounds really good with the Rickenbacker model 1997 reissue. I have a copy of the schematics, so I took a look and came to the conclusion that I’m lucky to be alive…. (more…)


Britney’s Guide to Semiconductor Physics

Filed under: Tech Tech,Votio — @ 20:03 UTC

At first I thought this was going to be a spoof and a joke, but it appears to be legit:

Britney Spears guide to Semiconductor Physics

I have a sister in law, Stacy, that is studying physics at UCD (University College, Dublin) and this site couldn’t have been better if it was written by her.


Windows Media Player Blogging Plugin Test

Filed under: Listening,Tech Tech — @ 15:19 UTC

So. Windows Media Player has this blogging plugin. All it does, really, is update a registry entry. Then it’s up to other software programs (in this case I’m testing w.bloggar) to read the metadata from the registry and format it. So far, it looks like w.bloggar is doing a good job. It’ll be a LOT more difficult to do this from a web client. What I really want is a plugin for a music player that can automatically make a post without having to use any fourth party software. I shall dig deeper.

[Listening to: Never Stop - Echo & the Bunnymen - Songs to Learn & Sing (04:48)]
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