Lost Wedding Ring

I lost my wedding ring. It’s heartbreaking.

It’s a plain, platinum silver band, quite thin (maybe 4mm?), a Cartier with ‘Home 10th September 2016’ engraved on the inside. I can provide the serial number as proof it is mine.

Lost at some point on Monday 13th February 2017, in between Hoe Street, Walthamstow and Tileyard Road, Kings Cross, London.

This is a long shot but if it ever gets found please contact me.


Problems connecting iPhone 6 iOS9 to Underground Tube Wifi

I hope this helps anyone who has difficulty connecting their iPhone to London Underground Wifi. I recently updated to iOS9.3 beta (but was unaware that this was actually the cause of the problem).

The issue I experienced was that whenever I connected to ‘VirginMedia Wifi’ the connection would drop straight off. No login screen, nothing.

I tried the usual things like hard reset, ‘forgetting’ the network, deleting cookies in Safari and finally resetting the network. I did NOT want to wipe my iPhone.

The fix was this – navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Cellular’ then scroll to the bottom of the list and toggle Wifi Assist off.

I also have ‘Settings’ – ‘Privacy’ – ‘Location Services’ – ‘(Scroll to bottom) ‘System Services’ – ‘Wi-Fi Networking’ turned OFF.

Hope this helps. Took me forever to fix.

Stop Windows 7 Updates from Automatically Restarting Computer

Windows 7 (in my case, Ultimate Edition), restarts automatically when it’s finished installing scheduled updates. I had around 10 tabs open in Chrome I wanted to read in the morning and as the computer had restarted, they had gone. It also ungracefully forced the Windows SharePoint 2007 server VM I was playing with to shut down. I don’t like this behaviour at all and would much rather it restarted at my convenience, not its own.

So how do you stop Windows 7 from automatically starting after it’s updated?

I’ve seen some people rooting around in the registry but it’s best to avoid that if that kind of thing makes you nervous. A much better way is to use the Group Policy editor, so here’s how to stop those inconvenient restarts:

  1. Go to ‘Start’ type ‘gpedit.msc’ to open the group policy editor
  2. Once opened navigate to ‘Local Computer Policy’ – ‘Administrative Templates’ – ‘Windows Components’ – ‘Windows Update’
  3. Change the ‘No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations’ to ‘Enabled’
Stop Windows 7 Updates from starting your computer

Navigate to ‘Local Computer Policy’ – ‘Administrative Templates’ – ‘Windows Components’ – ‘Windows Update’ in Group Policy Editor

This should stop those pesky reboots.

Cheap, decent in-ear headphones (with mic) for the iPhone

First, let me begin by stating that I have no affiliation or prior history with either company that supplied the headphones I bought below. Also, I’m no audiophile but I DO use the handsfree headsets for my phones all the time. Recently, work gave me an iPhone 3GS and the headphones were unbelievably poor, probably through no fault of their own, in that they simply just fell out of my big dumbo ears.

The Blackberry headset I got with my old 8210 Curve  are compatible, but I’ve always been a bit funny about the sponge covering on the buds. I have mental images of the sponge membrane caked with earwax and getting beads of moisture forming on the soft, cake-like surface. And anyway, I wanted to keep this old set as a spare, so I decided to look on eBay for some new ones.

I ended up buying 2 pairs, both different. I thought I’d lost a set but someone mistakenly took them off my desk at work, which I got back. By this time I’d ordered a new set. Now, although they look pretty similar, one set was tinny and shit and the other was good (in that they were totally unremarkable). So I decided I’d post about which pair were shit and which pair were good, but like I said, I’m no audiophile, so here goes.

Crap headphones from eBay for iPhone

Tinny, wiring was poor, really bad.

This pair, sold by e_cell were so bad. Sounded awful and tinny and the left one broke up if you flexed the wire near the jack. Like those crappy headphones you used to have at school.


Non-audiophile rating: 1/10. It gets a one as they started to deteriorate almost immediately and only avoid getting a zero as they still barely work.

Oh, by the way, this isn’t a slur on e-cell, they delivered quick (REALLY quick – next day, just as promised).

Unremarkable (good, I suppose) headphones

These are pretty good.

These ones, sold by kgm_accessory, were the original ones I bought. They’re good, in the sense that they’re totally unremarkable and do the job ok. Bassier than the ones from e_cell, there’s no problems with the wire and the little button/mic controller works ok, but sometimes doesn’t have as precise an action as the original Apple headset. You can pull the rubber buds off and clean the slime out as well!

Non-audiophile rating: 7/10

So there you go – a quick non-audiophile’s review on two cheap-as-chips headsets from eBay.

Resuming from suspend with remote control on XBMC and Ubuntu 9.10

I’m so fucking lazy. I don’t want to have to get up, walk the 3 paces across my living room, open the cupboard door and press the power button on my HTPC to resume it from suspend (sleep). So I must be able to do it with the remote control, right? Well, you can with a little bit of work:

I completed all the steps in this excellent xbmc wiki article about enabling wake-on-device.

When I tested it by sleeping my computer, I had to press the ‘power’ button on my MCE remote to get it to resume, but all worked fine. However, it badgered me for a password. I didn’t want this as I wanted to be able to use it via the MCE remote ONLY. To disable the password nagging screen do this by starting terminal and type the following to bring up the configuration editor:

Navigate to ‘Apps’ – ‘gnome-power-manager’ – ‘lock’ and untick ‘suspend’, as below:

Untick the 'suspend' box in the configuration manager

So there you go, resume your HTPC with the remote and no troublesome nagging password screen.

Fixing Blank Screen if Ubuntu 9.10 Started with HDTV or Monitor Turned Off

Lord knows this was painful to fix as I’m a relative Linux newbie.


My HTPC, when started up with my HDTV turned off does not detect the TV and results in a blank screen. I can VNC into the Ubuntu OS but the resolution is very low (800×600). I suspect this is due to the television as I’ve read in some forums that this is just ‘one of those things’ on certain models. The graphics card is an Nvidia MSI 8400GS, connected to a Toshiba 37AV505D HDTV via an HDMI cable with a DVI adapter into the card.

After some research it appears the graphics card is waiting for monitor information to come down the connected cable via EDID. As the monitor is off, the card defaults to ‘failsafe’ settings and switches output to the VGA port at 800×600.


Force the graphics to ignore missing EDID information, force output to DVI and also force the resolution.

Brief Solution Explanation:

Export EDID settings for connected and correctly configured flatscreen/HDTV. Point xorg.conf to use the exported settings and to ignore all else.

This is what I did to fix it:

Warning: This is, apparently, dangerous and can spanner your TV/monitor if done incorrectly. Proceed at your own risk etc etc

  1. Ensure ssh is installed
    This is so you can restore your xorg.conf file if everything goes tits up.
  2. Backup the xorg.conf file
    This file is, apparently, somewhat old and rarely used. When I totally spannered this setup (which I did a couple of times), I was be able to SSH back into the box and return the file to the original.
    First, open terminal and change permissions:
    cd /etc/X11
    sudo chmod 777 xorg.conf

    then make a new copy:
    sudo mv xorg.conf xorg.conf.original
  3. Make a new xorg.conf file
    At the moment no xorg.conf file exists. As I am using the Nvidia driver, I created a new xorg.conf file by starting the Nvidia settings in terminal:
    sudo nvidia-xconfig
  4. Start up the NVIDIA settings manager
    sudo nvidia-settings
    (You can also get to it by going to ‘System’ – ‘Preferences’ – ‘Display’. It should be present if your system is fully up-to-date) . Looks something like this:
  5. NVIDIA X Server Settings in Ubuntu 9.10Ensure the monitor/screen/LCD/HDTV or whatever is the ONLY monitor connected and save the settings
    Go to the ‘X Server Display Configuration’ option and ensure you select the correct resolution, frequency.
    Click on the ‘Advanced…’ button.
    Take a note of the ‘Model’ (in my case ‘TSB TOSHIBA (DFP-0 on GPU-0)’) and the ‘Mode Name’ (in my case ‘1920x1080_60i’).
    Click ‘Save to X Configuration File’ and save to ‘/etc/X11/xorg.conf’.
    If you have problems saving you will probably have to reset the permissions, as per step 2 (‘sudo chmod 777 xorg.conf’).

    Screenshot-NVIDIA X Server Settings

    Don't forget to save your settings

  6. Quit and restart Ubuntu.
  7. Export your EDID settings
    In terminal, start the Nvidia Settings GUI again with:
    sudo nvidia-settings
    Now go to the settings for your flat panel (in my case it was ‘DFP-0 – (TSB TOSHIBA-TV)’
    Click the ‘Acquire EDID…’ button and note where you saved it (in my case I chose ‘/home/mark/Desktop/edid.bin)
    Acquire EDID...
  8. Modify the xorg.conf file to use exported EDID file
    Open terminal and ensure you have write permissions for xorg.conf:
    cd /etc/X11
    sudo chmod 777 xorg.conf
    sudo gedit xorg.conf

    This should open your xorg.conf file.
    Under the ‘Section “Device”‘ I added:
    Option “CustomEDID” “DFP-0:/home/mark/Desktop/edid.bin”
    ‘DFP-0’ is ‘Digital Flat Panel – 0’, we noted this in step 5. Yours may well be different.
    The section ended up looking like this:
    Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 8400 GS"
    Option         "CustomEDID" "DFP-0:/home/mark/Desktop/edid.bin"

    It’s probably worth restarting just to see that everything’s still ok. Still with the monitor on, it should boot up ‘normally’.
  9. Force the screen to use DVI and ignore other modes
    I added these two lines under the ‘Section “Screen”‘:
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP-0"
    (This forces the graphics card to assume the above monitor is connected)
    Option         "ExactModeTimingsDVI" "TRUE"
    (This gets the graphics card to ignore any other possible modes available)
    I then removed all but the mode I wished to use and locked it to the monitor I wished to use:
    Option         "metamodes" "DFP-0: 1920x1080_60i +0+0"
    (This line had lots more modes specified, separated by commas and semicolons).
    The section ended up looking like this:
    Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "TwinView" "0"
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP-0"
    Option         "ExactModeTimingsDVI" "TRUE"
    Option         "metamodes" "DFP-0: 1920x1080_60i +0+0"
    SubSection     "Display"
    Depth       24
  10. Reboot and check it boots up with monitor turned on
    The display should look totally normal.
  11. Reboot with monitor turned off to test
    Turn display on after it’s booted into the OS.

Problems? Troubleshooting? Try opening up ‘/var/log/xorg.0.log’ and looking through to see what’s not working.

If your display was hosed, you can see the log from the time BEFORE you just booted by checking out ‘/var/log/xorg.0.log.old’.

This post and this post really helped me out.

Mac OSX Screenshot/Screengrab Shortcut Keys

I can never seem to remember these, so this is really for my reference:

  • Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard

Originally posted at MacRumors.