How to add HP SFF SAS Drives to your desktop pc

I recently acquired some HP Small Form Factor (SFF) Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) hot swap hard drives from work. We use them for data storage on high end servers because they are lightening fast and the hot swap capability allows you to pull a bad drive and replace it without turning off the server.

These drives tend to be very expensive because of their speed and capabilities. Having a couple at home would be very cool indeed except for one problem: I don’t have a server to plug them into and they don’t easily connect to anything in a desktop computer… Or so I thought!

After tons of googling and trolling the online shopping sites, I finally found a solution that is not only fairly inexpensive but also allows you to connect the HP SFF SAS drives to your desktop computer in a RAID setup!

To do it, you’ll first need to Continue reading ‘How to add HP SFF SAS Drives to your desktop pc’

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iPhone – How to delete one thing at a time

When I got my first iPhone, one annoyance to me was that in order to delete a single email or voicemail, etc. I had to tap the Edit button then select the item then tap Delete.

Why on Earth should it take three steps to delete a single email from my iPhone?

Well, it doesn’t!

Next time you want to delete something, just swipe your finger across it from left to right, picking your finger up at the end.

A single delete button will appear over the item, allowing you to hit it and send that email straight to the trash bin!

Make sure you try it on anything presented in list form as well! I have found it works on the iPhone email, voicemail, and notes apps. I’m sure it works on others as well.

Let me know if you’ve found more by leaving a comment below!

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How to easily add space to your DVR

My cable company provides a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD dvr cable box that comes with a 160gb hard drive. This allows the dvr to record about 110 hours of standard definition (SD) TV or about 22 hours of high definition (HD) TV.

The cable company rolled out HD channels on a separate bank of channels from the SD channels. This meant that I had two if every channel. I could watch CBS in SD or HD.

This has always been more than adequate as I would record general shows like news programs and my wife’s soaps on the SD channel and hi def shows like Discovery Channel on the HD channels.

Recently I got a low disk space warning from my DVR. I was confused as I didn’t have many shows recorded. Upon investigation, I found out that Cablevision had changed how the cable box worked. In an effort to consolidate the HD and SD channels, they made it so that if you had an HD cable box, it would automatically show the channel in HD regardless of which channel you turned to (SD or HD).

This is nice in theory but caused a problem. I was now forced to record my wife’s soaps in HD. The problem is that HD recordings use about eight times more space than SD recordings.

So now that I solved the mystery of the missing disk space, I wanted to find out what I could do about it. I hit Cablevision’s website hoping Continue reading ‘How to easily add space to your DVR’

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Gigabit connection not working on Dell Dimension 9200 (XPS 410)

I’ve had my Dell Dimension 9200 (also known as the XPS 410) for a few years now and have been connected to a Netgear WGR614 router which has a maximum wired speed of 100mb. As I have been acquiring a lot of wireless N equipped devices, I decided to upgrade my router to the Netgear WNDR3700 wireless N router with Gigabit wired network ports.

I have a Windows Home Server and my main machine running Windows 7 (Dimension 9200) which both have gigabit network cards in them. I thought it would be awesome to have a gigabit router which would allow me to copy very large files between machines at super fast speeds. This is where all of my trouble began.

My shiny new WNDR3700 gigabit router is delivered and I am psyched to get it online. I power it up and start connecting my machines. First, my Windows Home Server which is running on a Dell Optiplex GX620 slimline. I connect it and watch the router port light turn green which means it’s connected at gigabit speed. Sweet!

Next I connect my Dimension 9200 and watch as it blinks green a few times then promptly switches to an amber light which means it’s connected at 10/100mb. What the hell?

I check my router settings and make sure I’m running the latest router firmware just to rule out a router issue. I even pulled out a gigabit switch I have to see if the machine would connect to that at 1000mb. It would not. That rules out my new router.

So my troubleshooting begins. Continue reading ‘Gigabit connection not working on Dell Dimension 9200 (XPS 410)’

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iPhone 3g Home Button Fixed – Kudos to Apple

open iphoneAbout a month ago I noticed that the Home button was getting less and less responsive. The problem was intermittent, but it was getting more and more frequent.

I would sometimes have to hit the Home button two or three times before it would register. A friend told me that he thought that the issue may not be the home button, but the iPhone software itself. He explained that since he upgraded to the iPhone 3.0 OS that he had experienced some lag and slowness and had also noticed that when he hits the Home button that it may take an extra second to respond.

I performed my own trials to test this possibility and found that the phone didn’t respond at all. I also later updated to 3.1 which fixes most of the lagging issues, but it didn’t resolve my problem.

I decided to head over to the Apple Store to let them have a look. As usual, the place was a complete zoo with people falling all over themselves in there. I find it weird that the store is always so full of people since I never actually see anyone buying anything.

mac geniusI headed over to the tech support line to talk to a “mac genius” (are they really that full of themselves to come up with that title?). There are lots of people on line and nobody in sight tending to any of them. I finally see a woman in an apple tshirt over by a table with a computer on it. I walk over and briefly explain the problem with my iPhone. She looks at me with pity in her eyes and explains that “there are no more reservations available to see a mac genius today” then then motioned to the Continue reading ‘iPhone 3g Home Button Fixed – Kudos to Apple’

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How do I take a screen shot or picture of my iPhone screen?

While trying to explain to distant friends how to do something on their iPhones or to show them what an application looks like, I always wished there was a way to take a picture or screen capture of my iPhone screen and send it to them.

screenshotNormally if I was on a computer I would just hit the Prt Scr button and paste it into an email.

Well, lo and behold, the iPhone doesn’t come with an instruction manual and there are many things it doesn’t do that it should, but there IS a way to take screen shots.

When you’re on the screen you want to take a picture of, just press the round main button and the power button (top right) at the same time and let go of them together.

The screen will quickly flash white and the iPhone will make a camera sound. Now go into the “Photos” app and look in “Camera Roll” There you’ll see the screenshot. From there you can forward it by email, or hook up your sync cable and copy it to your computer.

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How to beat Tap Defense on the iPhone

tapdefenseWhile there are different strategies for different maps, the one strategy that I’ve found to work regardless is you must manage your gold early in the game and raise your interest rates so that you’ll have enough gold in the later levels to buy upgraded towers.

  • – My Tap Defense strategy is pretty simple. Use Arrow Towers with no upgrades as much as possible early in the game. Do not spend gold on more expensive towers like canons and water in the early levels.
  • – One Cannon Tower costs about the same as two Arrow Towers. For about the first half of the game, having more arrow towers is just as effective and in many cases more effective than having only a few Cannon or more expensive towers.
  • – Do not build more towers than you realistically think you’ll need to beat the level. It’s very easy to want to throw in an extra tower for good measure, but every gold piece you can save in the early Tap Defense levels
  • – Upgrade your interest rate! It may be more fun to research new towers, but they won’t help you beat the game if you can’t afford to upgrade them later. I use all of my Halos except the last two on level 43 to upgrade interest.
  • – Don’t spend a lot of gold building fancy towers just trying to beat the bosses. You won’t lose much by letting a Devil or Hellbat get through, but you will completely mess up your chances of beating the game if you spend ¾ of your money trying to build expensive towers to stop them. The bosses are usually two to three times more powerful than the creatures in the levels before and immediately after them. Save your gold!
  • – Place your towers strategically. Anywhere there is a corner on the path or a U shaped turn, should be the first place you put your towers. Those should also be the places that get upgraded towers later in the game as they can shoot at the enemy for the longest amount of time.

Below are screenshots and brief descriptions of each level as I went through a game to show you how to beat it. It’s not a perfect game on my part, but I just wanted Continue reading ‘How to beat Tap Defense on the iPhone’

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You Really Can Do Anything You Want To

Yes, I know that you really can do anything that you decide you truly want to.

I can honestly say that I have been able to achieve everything I ever truly wanted to. That’s not to say that I don’t have regrets or things that I wish I had done that I didn’t. But I know that the only reason that I didn’t is because I wasn’t ready to commit the necessary time, dedication, energy and get over my fears.I believe that there are two primary reasons that people don’t accomplish what they want to in life and often don’t even try: Fear and Laziness. That’s it in a nutshell.

successNow, please don’t interpret this as the rantings of an arrogant, pompous ass. I am quite aware that I am not perfect. I am just realistic about life.

To give you a bit of background on my life, I came from a “broken home”. The term itself sounds like a ready made excuse for all the failings of my life. I grew up with my mother and sister in a less than perfect childhood. We never had enough money to pay all the bills. We moved often, I was never able to have enduring relationships and as a result, found myself by default, an outsider. Never quite fitting in, but always trying.

This had the beneficial side effect of making me very self reliant as I had no family to coddle me nor sources of easy money or help. I learned that if I wanted to get things and get places (literally and figuratively), I had to find a way to do it myself.

My First Real Job

Probably one of the best things that ever happened to me was deciding that I wanted to make money. When I was very young, I’d mow the neighbor’s lawns for some extra money. Later I worked handing out flyers and other “kid” jobs. When my family moved to the suburbs, I got a high school job at McDonald’s. This is the greatest experience I could have ever gotten and taught me an immense amount of life skills and experience. Continue reading ‘You Really Can Do Anything You Want To’

Change Vista’s Power Button To Shutdown, Not Sleep

If you’re here, it is most likely because you are like I used to be, annoyed that Windows Vista’s Start menu power button puts the computer to sleep instead of turning it off.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll change it so in two clicks you can power off your computer.

First off, you’ll notice that the power button currently is brown and when you hover your mouse over it, it tells you that it will put your PC to sleep.

Vista\'s Power Button set to Sleep Mode


Now, let’s change it:

Click Start and then click in the Search/Run box. Now type POWER OPTIONS like in the picture below and hit ENTER:

Continue reading ‘Change Vista’s Power Button To Shutdown, Not Sleep’

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Freemasonry: Second Degree Passed (finally)

2nd Degree of Fellow CraftWe finally got passed to the Masonic degree of Fellow Craft. I Say finally since it’s taken us six months when most of the Brothers in the lodge completed all three degrees in three to four months.

The degree ceremony itself went well. It was very similar to the Entered Apprentice ceremony but was overall much shorter.

Having gotten to take a look at the proficiency work we’ll need in order to pass to the third degree of Master Mason, It is also very similar to the Entered Apprentice work. Probably about 40% of it is almost identical wording, so memorizing it should go much faster, especially now that I know how to read the cipher on my own.

Ultimately, there was no proficiency testing – open or otherwise and everyone was passed without question. There seems to have developed an ego contest between the Worshipful Master and my Masonic mentor, to the point that the W.M. has declared that we will no longer be holding study groups outside of the lodge.

From this point forward, we are to study on our own and if we need help or want to do anything as a group, we can get together at a table in the coalation room after the meetings twice per month.

I have concerns that this won’t work out well considering that Continue reading ‘Freemasonry: Second Degree Passed (finally)’

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