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Showing posts from January, 2011

How to get on twitter/facebook in Egypt during protests

Since the #jan25 demonstrations in Egypt started yesterday thousands of Egyptians were unable to access their Twitter/Facebook accounts. The government will most likely be blocking access to these websites for some time ahead, and these activists will need to find a way around them.

There are solutions of course, this blogpost (http://christopherkullenberg.se/?p=2057) points some of them out. I personally recommend downloading a Tor browser package (http://www.torproject.org/download/download.html.en). This is a browser that has been set up to connect to the Tor network (your data will take random routes within this worldwide secured network before making an unsecured request to the website you want to visit). Download it for Windows, Mac or Linux now!

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Update January 28th 2011

This will of course not work when your government disconnects the entire country ;)

[Solved] Reduced performance Thinkpad W510 on 90W power adapter

My dad's W510 had been acting painstakingly slow for some time. We found out that this was because of the 90W ultra-slim adapter (the W510 thinks it needs more power and slows down the processor and gpu). A quick fix is to pull out the power plug and to put it back in, this resets the power manager software. 
However, this gets frustrating when you have to do it every couple of minutes. Someone at the lenovo forums  suggested a more permanent fix: shorting some pins under the keyboard (read the forums for more details). You should only do this on your own risk, and you need some technical skills, but in our case it does work!

HP Laserjet 1018 (or equivalent) printing to Netgear router with Tomato USB firmware

Yesterday I got a new router (Netgear N3000 WNR3500L with USB) to which I wanted to connect a printer. Unfortunately the firmware only supported USB hard drives, and no printers. Following the terrific blogpost on http://mwolske.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/setting-up-the-netgear-rangemax-wnr3500l-router-to-share-printers/ I managed to install the Tomato firmware. It is a delight. The guide mentioned the following steps:

2) Go to the “USB and NAS” -> “USB Support” page and enable at a minimum Core USB support, including both 2.0 and 1.1 support (some documentation I saw found that occasionally printers would not work if 1.1 support was not enabled even if they were using USB 2.0).  Also enable printer support, including Bi-directional printer support. [my emphasis]  Optionally enable File Storage support if you will also be connecting a mass storage device.   Save settings and reboot router.

After setting up USB printing (it recognized the printer straight away) I wanted to add the HP …

LaTeX documents with utf-8 foreign accents, Word quotation marks etc.

And then, all of a sudden, this post got a lot easier...

I was having some trouble with latex documents. Many of the documents I make have different writers, who hand in their articles in Word documents. They use foreign characters, accents and quotation marks that LaTeX does not understand. When you paste such a content in a .tex file, (encoded as utf-8), the source looks alright. However, they do not appear in the generated pdf, div or ps. Latex does not give an error, it simply skips over the unrecognized characters. To overcome this problem I set out to make a preprocessor (which would simply scan the latex document and replace all the accents with \'{} and graves with \`{} etc.) and started looking for a list of all foreign characters in latex.

Then I found that latex has an option for utf-8 encoding. It was here that this post got easy. Simply put
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
in your document and you're done.

Complete list of NS stations

UPDATE 2011

This is outdated, as the list can now be downloaded using the NS api.


I'll post this in Dutch as this is of most use to people in the Netherlands.

Voor een android applicatie waar ik in de avonduren aan werk had ik een lijst van stations nodig. Ik heb dit met een scriptje van de m.ns.nl website gehaald.

Het resultaat: Een complete lijst van de stations van de Nederlandse Spoorwegen, inclusief id.
Kopieer het van hieronder, of download ze in xml.

ahbf: Aachen Hbf
asch: Aachen Schanz
aw: Aachen West
atn: Aalten
ac: Abcoude
ahau: Ahaus
aime: Aime-la-Plagne
akm: Akkrum
albert: Albertville
amr: Alkmaar
amrn: Alkmaar Noord
aml: Almelo
amri: Almelo de Riet
alm: Almere
almb: Almere Buiten
alm: Almere Centrum
almm: Almere Muziekwijk
almo: Almere Oostvaarders
almp: Almere Parkwijk
apn: Alphen a/d Rijn
apn: Alphen aan den Rijn
alt: Altenberge
amf: Amersfoort
amfs: Amersfoort Schothorst
avat: Amersfoort Vathorst
asd: Amsterdam
shl: Amsterdam Airport
asa: Amsterdam Amstel
asb: Amst…

Is there a definitive guide to making Facebook applications?

Last month I've made a Facebook application and I was appalled by almost every step in the process. Apparently there have been tons of changes in the way application developing worked. The developers documentation is like spaghetti, it is simply horrible. There are remnants of old, unsupported code everywhere. (Just take a look at http://developers.facebook.com/docs/.) But maybe I just don't get it, so please tell me if you think I'm wrong.

Now that I know how it should be done (I'm still not happy with the way it works), I could write a clear introduction to developing apps for Facebook. The thing is: I don't like to do work that's already been done. So: could you please let me know whether there is a good introduction to Facebook application development? Could you also let me know if you think such a guide is necessary? Please comment.

FYI my application is called My Library (http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=177804432233782)

The simplest Drupal / Twitter integration possible!

Drupal is extremely frustrating at times. The organisation of which I manage the Drupal site got on Twitter. We only wanted a a simple block with just our latest posts. I tried three solutions before finding the perfect one:

The Twitter module for DrupalAnother Drupal module called JUItter (http://juitter.com/)The official Twitter widgetTweet by seaofclouds (http://tweet.seaofclouds.com/)The last was definitely not least, I can tell you that.
The Twitter modulewasterrible, much too complicated for this simple task. Besides there is virtually no documentation. A shame for a module of this size! Furthermore the recommended beta didn't really work. After uninstalling (and removing the created views!) I got a long way with the previous stable version, but it seems that twitter stopped allowing old API calls and now only accepts calls made using OAuth.
JUItter seems nice and it is client based (a pro for social media). Above all, it has a ready to use Drupal module, or so they claim. Afte…

Windows software on mac

Someone asked me whether Bibleworks 8 would work on Mac. It is a Windows application.

A virtual machine is a rather drastic solution (windows license, gigantic overhead). A solution like Wine for Mac would be much better. Wine however is not developed for Mac OS. Fortunately BibleWorks 8 works with WineBottler 1.1.44 (http://winebottler.kronenberg.org/).

Why this blog?

Whenever I come across a problem I look on google for answers. Every now and then the answer is not straightforward and I have to do some ingenious thinking. This blog allows me to share my finding with other developers.