2012-02-07

Disable Quick-Find in Firefox 10.0

docs.google.com meow_omni.zip for Firefox 10.0's omni.ja(r) (found in the application's installation directory)

Copying the files meow_omni.zip over those in omni.ja(r) will permanantly disable Fast-Find/Quick-Find/FAYT.

I could make this fully about:config controllable, by only inserting the following into the beginning of findbar.xml's "_shouldFastFind" method.


    var meow_pref = Components.classes["@mozilla.org/preferences-service;1"].
        getService(Components.interfaces.nsIPrefBranch);
    return prefs.getBoolPref("accessibility.typeaheadfind.shouldFastFind");
      if (!meow_pref)
        return false;


However, I want nothing to do with that interrupting cow, Quick-Find, so I instead made the following changes:
It contains the following changes:
  • findbar.xml
    • method "_shouldFastFind" now always returns false.
    • method "_onBrowserKeypress" assigns null instead of "'" and "/" for TAF keys
    • method "_onBrowserKeypress" now has manualstartFAYT and other logihttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifc checks for TAF keys forced to false
  • platformHTMLBindings.xml
    • binding "browser" now has "shift,control" ("VF_23" and "VF_24") instead of "shift any" ("'" and "/") handl[ing] ("cmd_findTypeText" and "cmd_findTypeLinks")
  • tabbrowser.xml
    • method "_handleKeyEvent" nolonger has "FAYT watching" hardcoded into it.


I used 7Zip.org to open my omni.ja file, though any jar/zip archiver should work, but your miliage may vary.

2011-07-05

Minecraft

I've not been particularly active lately.

Visited some servers but didn't find the people that asked me to join them online.

minecraft.dtrtech.com - 1.5_01
Whitelist- email to join.
Became a ghost town soon as 1.6_01 rolled around. Relatively new map. Friendly people (when they are around).
This server replaces newcanada.dtrtech.com . Few of the players returned to this and an update to 1.7.2 seems unlikely.

Kfperin's SMP Server [KSMP]
Whitelist- in game chat to join.
Incremental backups every half-hour. Good moderators. Large, active and friendly player base. Forums. Steam group. While waiting for modifications to be updated a temporary map is used. mc1.xegup.com
This was one of the first servers I visited when I got Minecraft, and I have maintained a presence here, though the terrible performance of my machine limits how much I can enjoy the built up areas.
I point to this as an example of Minecraft hosting/administration done right.

minelife.tk
Blacklist.
Seems to suffer from under moderation. Tried joining their forums, but didn't even get a rejection mail. Player base appears to be very active and growing.

Others
Been asked to join many other servers. Will visit occasionally, but I do not have the time to be active on more than two.

2011-02-25

Laptop Hard Drive Crash

Another hard drive has crashed in my laptop.

While I am unable to recover my data, and will have to scrounge for replacement parts, I did come across a website with an interesting variety of Datacent.comFailing hard drive sounds.

2011-01-28

Back log

I have over the last few months accumuliated quite a back log of projects and articles:
  • Rubrix cube keyboard
    1. Design log (needs editing)
    2. Theory of operation (to do)
    3. construction (to do)
  • ZX80 PCB etching (needs editing)
  • Solid State Drive ROM
    1. disassembly of ROM (needs editing)
    2. rewriting from scratch (to do)
    3. redesign (to do)
  • Sega SMS/GameGear development
    1. Library research summary (incomplete, 'new' information keeps surfacing)
    2. Papercraft components (to do)
    3. 1M dev cart clone (incomplete)
    4. 4M dev cart (to do)
  • Keyboard decoding (needs editing)
  • Trash documentary series (to do)
  • Minecraft (to do)

I'll see about clearing these up.

2011-01-26

New Canada Server

I have recieved comments and emails asking about the Status of the NewCanada.dtrtech.com Minecraft server.

Due to a combination of real-world demands on our host's time and the stunning gap in support for the server modifications this server went off line unexpectedly for a prolonged period of time. And then after some debate whether to risk another firestorm and go without protection or have lag eat the server alive, the forum and all other web accessible content also disappeared.

I will not go over the details, except to say these two things.
  1. I do not know when, or even if the server will return to online status.
    It has come back from worse, and even with a total restart I am certain that many players will return should it happen.

  2. Great as the time we have invested in moving virtual blocks around has been, none of us expected to be able to show our grandkids our castles. What we have taken from New Canada is the experiences that we have shared;
    • The 200+ block wide crater that was old spawn, and the incorporation of moderators and modifications to stop this happening again
    • regular players banding together to build new spawn
    • the drama of the first mods going crazy from being thrust into a policing role
    • players banding together and building new territories beyond the far flung reaches of the map
    • the massive firefight that burned an area some 100K2 blocks
    • How quickly we recovered from that and the incorporation of a dozen mods, whose advarsarial personalities kept us in check
    • the bug in GriefAlert that allowed any player to bypass protection the way only a moderator should be able to, and the drama from that
    • our learning from that and codifying rules to keep things working
    • The huge influx of players during a time of relative stability tor wards the end of Alpha
    These and the many other times we have come together and built something incredible that alone we could not have are what we have taken away from this.

Yes, as a moderator and an operator I was irate that the administrative and forensic tools could not be counted upon; however the strength of the community and that the server would be open to players is something I should not have taken for granted.
I guess that was three things; two general, and one specific. meow.

2011-01-22

HP driver patches, denied?

During the time I've been neglecting this blog Fixya deleted all of my uploads (manuals and drivers) and the links I posted to where I obtained these.

My appologies to those who have left comments on this blog requesting assistance with this particular problem.

When I attempted to upload a PDF (containing instructions, the webpage that references it and authour's credit with the patch attached) to Google docs today they flagged the file, my account, and required me to do verify my identity by phone before I could continue.

I have requested a review of this file; as it is innoculous compared to the multitude of other files I have uploaded, save for the fact that it makes reference to HP's secret PCL language.

I expect that in two days I get either a "we had to make certain" -or- "your copies of properitary yet publically availble elsewhere documents and files have been removed" and I will have to find alternate hosting.

Expecting that I could direct users to do a Google search for authour's name but much to my surprise Google is refusing to search for it, substituting 'does' instead!

Well, here is a link to hardwarefetish.com's HP Ink Cartridge Expiration Patch.

Also, stash the file "HPFIX.exe" (5,632 bytes) or "HPFIX.zip" somewhere safe for us.

2010-09-10

Reducing a relay's control voltage on

Skip to modification
A relay is an electrically activated switch commonly used to control a higher auxilary voltage (like AC mains) with a smaller one (DC VCC).



The type I most commonly encounter are the general purpose 12VDC/5A 250VAC DPST found in PC power supplies and home electronics. These typically have control on/off voltages of 9.6VDC and 1.2VDC. However, it is possible to modify these to have a much lower DC on voltage.



This is an unsealed relay from either a 'broken' PSU or an old monitor; I'm not certain which but it doesn't matter. On the left you see the coil. The coil has a yoke wrapped around it. On top of the yoke is an armature that is held in one position by a spring. on the other end of the armature are contacts that form the switches.



When voltage is applied to the coil it forms a magnetic field that travels through the yoke and traps the armature to the coil. When the armature is drawn to the coil the contacts are closed together and a circuit is formed. When voltage is remove from the coil the spring brings the armature back to it's initial position, and the contacts are split open.

The control voltages of a relay can be changed by modifying the forces involved.
  1. {Von,Voff}*Fn/Fo
    Reducing the strength of the spring would reduce the amount of magnetic force required to move the armature.
  2. {Von,Voff}+Un-Uo
    Changing the deflection of the spring would reduce the amount of magnetic force required to move the armature.
  3. {Von,Voff}*originalpermability/newpermability
    Increasing the magnetic permeability of the yoke (mu) would reduce the reluctance of the magnetic circuit increasing the amount of magnetic force focused on the armature.
  4. {Von,Voff}-magnet
    Adding a magnet would preload the armature to connect with the coil.
  5. {Von,Voff}-battery
    Adding a battery in series would offset the voltages required.

The problems with these are:
  • Except for number 3 there is a risk that of going too far and having the arm stick in the closed position.
  • Numbers 4 and 5 has introduce a polarity sensitivity and complicates the circuitry required to compensate, and could lead to a latched mode of operation where a VCD less than 0V is required to switch off. Though this could have some applications...
  • Numbers 4 and 5 also introduce an element that will degrade over time and are not compatible with AC.
  • All of these risk reducing the control off voltage too far to be practical (ie: cope with a 'low' of 1VDC).

To only reduce the control on voltage a more thorough look at how the relay operates is needed.

{video: DMM 0,2,6,10(on),12,10,6,1(off)...}
The relay will remain 'off' until it has sufficient voltage to 'click' on (9VDC) and will remain on until it has insufficient voltage to stay on (1.2VDC).


This indicates that from the initial open condition anything less than 9VDC is insuficient to 'turn on', but once it has closed anything more than 1.2VDC is enough to stay on. It can then be inferred that at some point after initial condition a voltage less than 9VDC is sufficient to hold on.

This stick is a precision instrument. Thanks Dustin.
This can be demonstrated by applying 2VDC and poking the armature with a stick. Repeated pokings will reveal that at a particular point of travel the arm will be caught by the coil and close the contacts. this is because as the arm travels the reluctance of the magnetic circuit is reduced as more lines of magnetic force are being caught by the armature and directed into the yoke.

{video: the stick in action}
Therefore if we were to pre-poke the armature we could reduce the control on voltage, and retain the same control off voltage since the other forces are not being changed.
Note: this will also reduce the effectiveness of the contacts in breaking the circuit since the 'open' position will be that much closer to closed.

Relay Modification
This is the a variation on the modification I did with the workshop, however with the abolishment of mandatory shop class so has too the ability to use a knife gone. I can no longer reccomend the use of a knife. If a knife is used, please be careful not to cut yourself, the coil inside the relay, the work surface, other tools, and other people. And if a knife is dropped, please don't catch it with your foot - adrenaline tends to turn a block into a punt- with predictible results.


Take an unsealed relay (identifiable by the plastic tab/notch at the bottom of the cover) and release the tabs holding the cover in place. A shim of plastic or paper may be used to prevent a tab from engag-ge?-g?-ee?-ing.


The cover has a finger that separates the two sets of contacts, and a void for the coil. Drill a small hole through the cover in the void directly over the armature, this will allow us to poke it through the cover.

Test fit the cover to make certain that the hole is over the armature and no other part. Adjust/widen if necessary.


Glue a nut to the hole. Make certain that the screw for the nut passes through the hole. This can be accomplished by puting the screw and the nut to the hole when you glue it. Be careful not to glue the screw yet.

While a screw could be put directly into the plastic cover it would be less secure and to be tapped out of its hole by the armature long after this has been forgotten about.

In this example I've used a 'nut' from a spare switch and duct tape to affix it to the relay. This is a bit of foil tape left over from my garage door repair, that has held through two winters without leaking or coming loose.

Replace the cover on the relay, and thread the screw into the nut.



Adjusting the relay can happen in one of two ways.
  1. Apply desired 'new' control voltage on to the coil and slowly tighten the screw until the relay closes (and make certain that it opens again at the desired control voltage off.)
  2. with out power to the coil tighten the screw until the contacts close then back off the screw until they open


The first method has the advantage of maximizing the contact separation when open, while the second minimizes the control voltage on.

In this example a minimum control voltage on of 2.7 VDC was achieved; lower values are not possible without modifying the contacts. The ability to extinguish sparks/arcing at this level is likely inadequate for practical application.

Glue the screw to keep this re-calibration.

Applications:
Reducing the VCC required for the control circuit allowing basic TTL control of an otherwise unsuitable relay.

Decreasing the response time of a relay for communications.

Running relays in series to reduce current draw from a control circuit in a kludge/fix.

Manually actuated relay as part of a power-return-control kludge.


Also, The parts for the SSD and cube have finally arived, but I am too busy to play with them. I won't be fixing the awful formatting in this post until I have the video from the workshop.