Dan White's blog

Internet Explorer 7 print preview is blank and being unable to print

Internet Exploder Quick Fix time...

Well this "Print preview is blank and you cannot print pages from Internet Explorer" problem was evident on a clients machine, however I couldn't actually open the Page Setup page either to resolve it.

The solution I found was this very handy IEFix - General purpose fix for Internet Explorer utility and seems to do what it says on the tin. So nice one Ramesh Srinivasan and thank you!

Laptop Battery use and storage guidelines.

laptop batteries One of my laptop's batteries had died a little while ago and couldn't figure out why, so I've been reading around the subject to try to find out what can be done about it and what I can do to prevent it in future.

First of all, I've learnt that it is possible (for the more technologically ept of us) to replace the Lithium Ion batteries inside of laptop batteries. However I wouldn't recommend this unless you are an expert at wielding a soldering iron.

To avoid this and an expensive new battery I decided to simply buy one cheaply second hand from Ebay, this was not necessarily the best approach however as laptop batteries (which I will refer to as Li-ion batteries from now on) have a definite shelf life which affects the storage capacity of the battery (and therefore how long it keeps your laptop powered). This shelf-life can be be prolonged by various means.

The best guidelines I found was at the excellent Wikipedia , in an article on Li-ion batteries which I found extremely informative and I am now citing here. 

Guidelines for prolonging Li-ion battery life

  • Unlike Ni-Cd batteries, lithium-ion batteries should be charged early and often. However, if they are not used for a longer time, they should be brought to a charge level of around 40%. Lithium-ion batteries should never be "deep-cycled" like Ni-Cd batteries.
  • Li-ion batteries should be kept cool. Ideally they are stored in a refrigerator. Aging will take its toll much faster at high temperatures. The high temperatures found in cars cause lithium-ion batteries to degrade rapidly.
  • Lithium-ion batteries should never be depleted to empty (0%) and then stored.
  • Li-ion batteries should be bought only when needed, because the aging process begins as soon as the battery is manufactured.
  • When using a notebook computer running from fixed line power over extended periods, the battery can be removed and stored in a cool place so that it is not affected by the heat produced by the computer.
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How to make a CAT 5 cable and presentation point

cat5

We rarely have to make our own CAT5 cables, as the amount we use it's cheaper to buy them. However there is the odd occasion, and by then we've forgotten the wiring diagram. So here is a few useful resources for when it has to be done:-

 
 

Some of the Free and Open source software I've discovered recently.

open source

  • Scribus - Scribus is an open-source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout.
  • Banshee - Import, organize, play, and share your music using Banshee's simple, powerful interface. Rip CDs, play and sync your iPod, create playlists, and burn audio and MP3 CDs. Most portable music devices are supported. Banshee also has support for podcasting, smart playlists, music recommendations, and much more.
  • BRL-CAD -  The BRL-CAD package is a powerful Constructive Solid Geometry (CSG) solid modeling system with over 20 years development and production use by the U.S. military. BRL-CAD includes an interactive geometry editor, parallel ray-tracing support for rendering and geometric analysis, path-tracing for realistic image synthesis, network distributed framebuffer support, image-processing and signal-processing tools.
  • Seamonkey - Web-browser, advanced e-mail and newsgroup client, IRC chat client, and HTML editing made simple -- all your Internet needs in one application.
  • Sci-craft -  SciCraft is a powerful open source data analysis software with an easy-to-use graphical user interface.
  • KompoZer -   KompoZer is a wysiwyg HTML editor (an Nvu/Composer fork) aimed towards advanced users.
  • GIMPshop - The GIMP (a photoshop-like image manipulation package) reworked to look and feel like Photoshop.
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