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!

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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

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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
or here:
C:\Users\User-Name\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

How To: Fix missing “At a glance” widget not showing the weather.

Problem: Androids “at a glance” widget doesn’t show the weather

Solution: Uninstall and reinstall updates to the “Google” app

  • Go to:
  • Settings
  • Apps & Notifications
  • “See All __Apps”
  • Find the “Google” app
  • Click on the 3 dots (top right corner)
  • Click on Uninstall updates (as soon as I did this the weather app came back)
  • Reboot phone
  • Update Google app

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/GooglePixel/comments/afmqo4/solved_missing_weather_in_at_a_glance_widget/

Review: My Experience with Paypal’s Buyer Protection

On June 2nd 2019 I purchased a 2015 Macbook Pro A1398 from ebay as a new present to myself as my first large purchase after getting a new job for a few months $835 was my winning bid and I thought it was a good price. My previous macbook was a A1502 2013 2.4Ghz dual core macbook pro 13″ with 16gb. It was a good computer still but not enough processing power for my needs so I got a new computer and my dad got a new (used) computer as well πŸ™‚

After a few weeks of owning the laptop it found it in my backpack with the fans on high and black screen, I quickly shut it down and it started up again fine. I brushed it off as a weird bug. A couple of weeks later went by and it happened again, this is when I reinstalled the operating system and hoped it was just a faulty OS install.

It happened again a couple of weeks after that. I would have returned it but it was past the ebay 30 day return days. I decided to take it to a certified apple repair store to see if it was a simple to fix .

Diagnostics without repair are $105 which I had to pay. They diagnosed a bad logic board, something to do with the hard drive. They purposely didn’t give me specifics on errors or codes found. They suggested flat fee tier 2 repair of $650 dollars ($$@#*&) I was not happy about this.

I contacted ebay to try to get a return and explaining to them the intermittent nature of this problem, but because of the 30 day return policy it was denied. They suggested going through Paypal who (supposedly) had a 60 day return policy I contacted them and started a case.

Below is the timeline of what happened.

I really thought I had a good chance since by taking it to the apple store they had found that the laptop, originally listed as used, had a different serial number on the outside than the internal hardware, signifying that it had previously been opened and fasely listed as Used when it was really Refurbished. In addition, the diagnostics had come from a reputable certified apple repair store, I did not attempt to open the macbook myself or diagnose it.

In the end, they closed it the first time stating that

We understand the item associated with this case has been altered while in your possession. Because of this, we are unable to determine whether the item is significantly different than originally described, and we are unable to grant your claim.

Calling them and explaining to them that no repairs were done re-opened the case, I was able to send them the original receipts from the apple certified store stating that no repairs were done. The case was closed the next day stating that

This decision was made because the merchant sent the item that was ordered.

What is the point of having a 60 day warranty if even after providing proof that the item was defective by a third party certified apple store, they were still siding with the seller….

At this point after a month of fighting this case. closed both times and seeing it was going nowhere I knew paypal was not going to be of any help.

I took it back to the apple repair store and was ready to pay the $650 to have a working computer, not much else I could do. For this type of repair they have to send it to apple and they do the repairs.

A few days later I got a call from them stating that apple had escalated the type of repair and it was now considered tier 4, a cost of $1500 dollars. (@#%*)!$%) I straight up told them, I’m not paying for that, that’s basically a new computer. I picked up the laptop the next day and thought about what I would do with it.

While looking for possibly a new logic board on ebay, something I did not want to risk be defective and me mess up installation, I came across a service for diagnostics and repair for macbook pro logic board. It was listed for $145 +$10 tax. I sent a message and the seller quickly replied stating that if they can’t fix it I get my money back. Cosidering the $650 I was ready to pay for and the ridiculous $1500 estimate from apple I decided to give it a try.

The seller I first contacted and was very responsive was J&M Industries It took them about 10-14 days from the time I sent it to them to get my laptop back. I got it back Monday, Sep 30, 2019 and so far the problem hasn’t resurfaced. They told me that the sleep sensor on the logic board had corrosion, so they cleaned it and replaced it. They offer a 90 day warranty with their service which I thought was awesome πŸ™‚

I will provide an update if I experience any problems with the laptop

  • June 2nd 2019 – Purchased Laptop
  • June 6th – Laptop arrived and started using it
  • August 1st 2019 – Requested a return through ebay. Seller declined the next day
  • August 6th – Took in to an apple certified repair store for diagnostics
  • August 9th – Reported to paypal
  • August 20th – Claim closed in sellers favor
  • August 29th – Messaged paypal with documents from apple certified store that no repairs were done, the case was re-opened.
  • August 31st — Claim closed again in sellers favor