Why I disabled Google ads on my site and my apologies to all who saw them!

The minimal income earned through ads had helped me support this site and keep it going over the years. It’s not super expensive to keep this site going but it’s still an extra yearly cost and what makes it worth are the comments and people who stop by, leave a comment, say how any of my posts helped them. Recently I accessed this site through my phone that does not have any ad blocking and was shocked at the type of ads google was plastering all over my site. I would rather pay directly to host the site than expose people to all these disturbing ads, so I apologize to those who had to see the ads. I’ve disabled them all and hopefully google will remove them all. I hope you all enjoy the site, have fun and learn something!

How To: Fix Asus router disconnecting Spectrum/Charter

Frequently my Asus router disconnects and loses signal and it takes a while to actually regain signal and sometimes I have to power cycle the modem. I had no idea why until recently I accessed the router admin page and saw that the internet section said: Your ISP’s DHCP does not function properly so I google around and realized that Asus routers have a DHCP Query Frequency setting and the default is “Aggressive“. Spectrum being the POS that it is sounds like it blocks the device from getting an IP address from too frequent polling. So I switched that setting to “Normal” as the suggestion on the links below and it appears to have fixed the problem!

Sources:
https://www.snbforums.com/threads/so-what-is-the-point-of-aggressive-dhcp-query-frequency.11738/
https://www.geekyramblings.net/2019/01/21/your-isps-dhcp-does-not-function-properly/

How to: Select a replacement power adapter for your electronics (e.g. for an Asus router)

Every once in a while I find a nice cheap ASUS router without a power adapter, hunting for the specific adapter that came with the router can be a pain and often times power supply prices are unreasonable. But it’s not necessary to buy the exact same one so you can find a much cheaper power supply. Here I will describe how to find a matching power supply for your router

Take a look below for a list of power supplies for ASUS routers, and if there is one missing send a comment and I’ll update it!

Read more

How to: Fix Microsoft Sculpt Mouse left button

I was sold a faulty mouse where the left button registers some of the clicks but not all. The seller refunded me my money but didn’t want me to return the keyboard to save on expenses. I disassembled the mouse and two screws were loose, so I suspect that the seller knew the mouse was faulty and tried disassembling it and sold it instead hoping the buyer wouldn’t catch it… tsk tsk…..

Upon disassembling the house further I saw that the type of switch that it needed. I was able to find it only on aliexpress. I measured it to be roughly 6x6x2.5mm so that is the part I ordered. It is advertised for a different microsoft mouse but probably was also used on the sculpt.

I’ll to put together a video of this repair when it arrives.


https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001949056219.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.729e4c4dyx3i16

Tech Review: Netgear has started to put ads on their firmware

Take a look at the router GUI Below, notice anything different? AN AD ON THE LEFT SIDE!!!! I wasn’t a huge fan of netgear before but this will definitely prevent me from buying any future products. Shame…

This is the initial book screen to your router after firmware reset, you have to scroll down to the bottom and then below will be a link to enter normal router functions. So they basically try to confuse you into using their app…

Note: I ended up sending these two R6120 routers for electronics recycling, I could not consciously sell these to anybody knowing how horrible they are. I will not buy netgear products anymore

Read more

DOSS Soundbox Firmware

I bought this speaker for a couple dollars at Goodwills, sound is great but some of the features are annoying, I realized that you could disable some with a firmware update. It took me a bit to find the firmware downloads so here is a link to them! If they go down I’ll have a copy if anybody needs. As of 2/15/2021 I won’t automatically pair to the last device so I would not recommend buying it, but if you already have it, firmware below!

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/3dgeV6s

https://dossav12345.wixsite.com/doss/support

Direct Link to Dropbox
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/p5k48elxss3amn6/AADvCGOsTppLBePya7oU41qXa?dl=0

How To: Host Virtually Jackbox Games using Google Meet (with audio!)

Since the pandemic started, I’ve hosted virtual board games like jackbox game nights every Tuesday through google meet. After the first night hosting, I realized that google meet does NOT share pc audio for others to hear. People missed out on the goofiness of the jackbox games. By the next night, I was able to figure out a way to share the audio, which although a bit clunky it’s worked well.

You will need:

  • A laptop/desktop with the game
  • A phone

Setup overview

  • Laptop/Desktop
    • Jackbox Game Instance
    • Google Meet –> Video feed
  • Phone
    • Jackbox Game Controller
    • Google Meet –> Microphone feed

PC Setup

Step 1) Setup PC to share audio (using Stereo Mix) and Jackbox game

  • At the bottom right of your taskbar, right click on the speaker icon and select sounds

  • Click on the Recordings tab
  • Right click a blank area and press Show Disabled Devices

  • Look for the one that says Stereo Mix and enable it

  • Now Right click on Stereo Mix and make sure Listen to this device is checked off (not sure what this does exactly but that’s how I have it)

Step 2) Change Google Meet Call inputs to use Stereo Mix

  • Launch a new google meet call by going to https://meet.google.com/
  • Click on the three dots at the bottom right and select Settings

  • Now under AUDIO you should see Stereo Mix as an option, select it.
  • Whenever you want to share your pc audio change the Audio setting to Stereo mix and when you want to use your mic change it to your microphone.
  • Note: You can’t share both at the same time, and people won’t be able to hear you when sharing audio through Stereo Mix

You can now Share Window and select the window with the jackbox game.

You should now be:

  • 1) Sharing the audio from your computer
  • 2) The jackbox game window
  • 3) Your webcam from your pc if you chose to

Phone Setup

  1. Join the Google meet call on your phone
    1. Turn your video off
    2. Turn your mic on
    3. Keep the call in the background. In Android: press the back button or fling your finger upwards from the bottom
  2. Join the jackbox game
    1. Open a browser and go to jackbox.tv and join the game by inputting the code

Note: Having the call and the game going will drain your phone battery rapidly so make sure you keep your phone powered!

You should now:

  • 1) Be sharing your voice to the google meet call through your phone
  • 2) Able to play the game through your phone

If you’ve made it this far you are ready to have an awesome time with friends! I hope you found this helpful and stay safe!!

How To: Share PC Using Google Meet (Win 10)

I regularly host jackbox game nights using google meet and after the first night trying it out I realized that there was no easy way to share pc audio with others. Doing some research led me to the steps below which although a little clunky worked well. Some people have had luck using “Share window” and it also shares the window audio but that was not my case. I’ve listed below links to sources where people discuss this same issue. Some people have had luck using VB-Cable but this guide doesn’t show you how to use that.

Step 1) Enable “stereo mix” on your windows pc

  • At the bottom right of your taskbar, right click on the speaker icon and select sounds

  • Click on the Recordings tab
  • Right click a blank area and press Show Disabled Devices

  • Look for the one that says Stereo Mix and enable it

  • Now Right click on Stereo Mix and make sure Listen to this device is checked off (not sure what this does exactly but that’s how I have it)

Step 2) Change mic input on Google Meet Call

  • Launch a new google meet call by going to https://meet.google.com/
  • Click on the three dots at the bottom right and select Settings
  • Now under AUDIO you should see Stereo Mix as an option.
  • Whenever you want to share your pc audio change the Audio to Stereo mix and when you want to use your mic change it to your mic.
  • Note: You can’t share both at the same time, and people won’t be able to hear you when sharing audio through Stereo Mix

Sources:

  • https://www.reddit.com/r/jackboxgames/comments/flutlz/google_hangouts_plus_quiplash_quarantined_fun/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share
  • https://support.google.com/meet/thread/23407453
  • https://support.google.com/meet/thread/36010293?hl=en
  • https://www.reddit.com/r/jackboxgames/comments/fl6tsn/screen_sharing_with_audio_via_google_hangouts_or/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

Review: What to expect switching from a flat monitor –> to curved –> back to flat

Flat to Curved

About half a year ago I purchased a Samsung curved monitor (https://amzn.to/2YopwUj) thinking I’d see what it’s like to use a curved monitor. After setting it up and using it for 5 minutes I regretted getting it, everything looked curved, lines were curved, the taskbar was curved. How am I supposed to tell a straight line on here if everything looks curved?! Especially looking at designs and measurements.

Having already bought it, I kept using it having set it up and bought it thinking “maybe I’ll get used to it”. I kept on using it and the curves gradually faded into the background and I stopped noticing that it was curved monitor, lines looked “straight” and not curved like I used to. I’d say it took about 2 weeks to get used to it, but it’s hard to say since it was a gradual transition.

Curved to Flat

Fast forward to a few days ago 1/25/2021, I setup my new 4k monitor a Dell U2720Q (https://amzn.to/39wXlsR) and the first thing I noticed was that it felt like the monitor was bulging out, convex, as If the monitor screen had been wrapped around a ball, like a CRT monitor. It’s been a couple of days and it’s starting to feel more normal, I will update the post with an estimate of when it felt “normal” to look at a flat monitor again.

Conclusion:

If you are switching from a flat to a curved monitor or a curved to a flat monitor realize that it will take getting used to, give it a couple weeks. I think the curved monitor does reduce the travel your eyes have to do to scan the screen but because the majority of monitors aren’t curved monitors, it means that your brain will interpret flat monitors as convex. This will only be a problem if you use the opposite monitor of what you use mostly to any large extent.

  • This guy on youtube does a good job of also explaining this phenomena.
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK06qjVTJzs
  • And I also found this reddit post of others having the same experience
    • https://www.reddit.com/r/Monitors/comments/hawb4j/switching_from_curved_to_flat_monitor_screen_now/

How To: Fix Spyder gui terrible scaling with high dpi monitor (Windows 10)

I recently upgraded my monitor to 4k and the first thing I realized was that spyder scaled horribly, tiny text along large icons etc. This appears to be a problem with qt as me and others have managed to fix this by modifying the qt.conf file as below. There is a closed issue on github with a recent post.

https://github.com/spyder-ide/spyder/issues/4316

Sources:
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/35854289/spyder-interface-icons-very-small-on-high-resolution-screen-in-windows-10

1) Locate the qt.conf file

Where is the qt.conf file?

If you installed as admin ( and meant for all users )
C:\ProgramData\Anaconda3\
If you install as a normal user
C:\Users\User-Name\AppData\Local\Continuum\Anaconda3

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/37117571/where-does-anaconda-python-install-on-windows

2) Modify the qt.conf file

In order to modify this file I had to first copy it to the desktop, modify it then replace it on the C: drive. Add the following lines to the file. Change to 0 or 1 depending on your display

[Platforms]
WindowsArguments = dpiawareness=0

3) Restart Spyder

In order for changes to take effect you will need to close and restart spyder. If that didn’t work for you change the value to a 0 or 1