2017-12-07

No more ads!

As of 7.Dec.2017 there will be no more ads on my blog.

For all these 7 years I earned ~75 Euro. Probably I have to pay taxes if I ever get them.
Actually the idea of my blog is to help others and share interesting things I have in mind.
It was never about the money, AdSense was just an experiment.

I personally use AdBlocker so I totally forgot there are ads on my blog :) :)

2017-10-23

How to discover a website IP address, if public DNS cannot resolve it

Problem

I wanted to download some stuff from a web site, but the links were like u.to/xxxxxx .
u.to is an URL shortener which was available several months ago, and now I get:
ERR_NAME_NOT_RESOLVED (Google Chrome)

I thought that the website u.to is still up, only DNS servers do not resolve it, because it has to be down for some reason. I also tried "Looking glass" websites to resolve the address, but they were of no use. The problem was not in my DNS, but global.

So the problem was - I had to find the IP address.


1 Step

Gather some more information for u.to using a whois service like www.whois.com
Here is what I got:

Obviously not much information. However you can see both primary DNS servers which were obliged to resolve u.to to its IP address.
ns2.uid.me & ns1.uid.me


2 Step

So I decided to ask them for the IP address using a website like http://www.kloth.net/services/nslookup.php
Here is the result:

The IP address was 195.216.243.155.


3 Step

So lets hope the site is still working on this IP address.
I added it to my hosts file in "C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts"
(you need Administrator rights to do that!)



4 Step

Magic: the u.to/xxxxxx links work!!!


2017-05-25

The Golden Apple fundraising

Some time ago I posted about an interesting project in my country - click here.

Since then a lot has been done. They made a short video with professional music and voices - Legend of the First Kuker Warrior. George Strezov is a master composer working also for Hollywood.


A lot of fans and positive feedback followed. They participated in several animation festivals and contests. After that big studios and televisions contacted them for future development, but the people from studio Zmei want to keep this an independant production.

Unfortunately they did not get any funding in Bulgaria, and they ask for your help in Indiegogo:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-golden-apple-animated-series-pilot-episode-fantasy-animation/x/5047817#/

You can find even more info on their website:
http://goldenappleseries.com/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/goldenappleseries/
Shop: https://goldenappleseries.com/shop/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClgc91Wf16Xdzc7wFli3_bQ



Cheers!

2017-05-02

My Lenovo A1000 review/impressions


This blog is about my Lenovo A1000. I was using a simple Nokia X1-01 phone for several years, although I am an IT guy, I don't like smartphones. They are tablets with a phone function.
Anyway I was forced to have one, and decided to go for a cheap model like A1000.
Here are my observations:

Bad sides:

1. No Android updates for this phone, only security updates, the last one being - July 2016 - looks like Lenovo abandoned this model.

2. The phone deletes my speed dial buttons every 2 days - that is really annoying, I don't restart it, I don't do anything unusual.....

3. The phone application hangs sometimes

4. The phone app often shows "Unknown" in the Recents list, for well known numbers

5. GPS does not work at all - gives bad location, and looses signal every few seconds. As I could see others have this problem too.

6. 8GB Rom is not so much, but sometimes when I have ~2GB free, I get error that I don't have enough space. Putting 16GB sd card fixed this issue. I moved some stuff there.

7. This model is NOT available on the Lenovo mobile support web site. Stunning!

8. Sometimes shuts down with no reason

9. Very often does not turn on when you click the button, but when you click for the second time - blinks

10. When you put some icons in a group, it extracts some of them from the group after restart

11. Often if you use timer, when the time is up, you cannot remove its' icon from the top. There is a permenent message that the time is up.

12. Today the alarm for 6:00 AM rang at 7:30 AM for no reason.


Good sides:

1. For this money the CPU is quite responsive.


All in all - really bad choice!

2017-04-15

Squeeze the most of my HP 530



CASE

Back in 2007 my father gave me a brand new HP 530 for my BD, with the following specs:
CPU: T2300
RAM: 1GB
HDD: 80GB

It had Windows Vista, which was running quite bad. After that I used Ubuntu for a lot of time, and then Windows 7 still runs pretty well. After that I bought quite an expensive HP laptop, but one major difference remained. The HP 530 touchpad is very very comfortable for me. I don't know why they don't manufacture it anymore. So I decided to leave this old machine in my kitchen, and use to browse, movies, and recipes. I used a program to reduce the CPU speed so that the fan is not making so much noise (click here for it), but even on high speed it was pretty slow for some things.
And I decided it is time for an Upgrade


SOLUTION

RAM
According to the HP530 specs, the max RAM is 2GB, so I bought 1 more. One day I had several memory sticks for other machines, so I decided to give it a try.

With 3GB RAM (1+2) - it runs without any issues - I can publish the brands and models if someone is interested

With 4GB RAM - however - it does not start at all. Even if I was able to start it, the 32bit Windows 7 would detect only 3GB without a hack, and 64bit Windows was not an option, because T2300 is a 32bit CPU. So I decided to leave it with 3GB.


HDD
One of the major bottlenecks of the performance was the HDD. I upgraded it to a newer 320GB HDD, but still it was slow.
To resolve this I bought a second hand Samsung 750 SSD, 128GB. It was ~40 euro. It made quite a difference!! You can use the Samsung migration tool to migrate your system, it is as easy as one click.

CPU
I searched the i-net for the best CPU for my HP530. It appears that it is Intel T7200 and T7600. I decided to buy the faster one - T7600 @2.3Ghz (compared to 1.6Ghz for T2300) from e-bay (~19GBP).
I recommend giving your laptop to a specialist, changing the CPU of this model is not an easy task.
With this final change the whole computer is performing really well. It is capable of playing 720p even on low CPU speeds.
Few more notes about the CPU - I used the same program to reduce the CPU speed, this one has 5 or more steps (compared to T2300). Even on 1.3Ghz it is faster and good for me. Bear in mind that T7600 is a bit hotter - 34W (31W for T2300), so you don't want your fan to run like hell. But if you need, you can use MAX speed. Soon I will publish my program for reducing the CPU speed, with explanation.


Others
I also changed the power supply - it developed a very strange problem - it was not able to charge the battery while the computer is running, but only when it is off. Something was gone bad, without any signs, and it reduced its maximum output power. At first I thought it is a battery problem, and I bought a new battery as well. Silly me!




All in all
The price of all these manipulations was quite high, I'd better bought a second hand laptop, but I just love this one so much. Mainly because of the touchpad (one of the buttons broke :( ).
Hope somebody will find it helpful.
Cheers!

2017-01-06

Installing HP LaserJet 1000 & HP Scanjet 3500c on Windows 10

Problem

An old computer in a company with Windows XP, using HP LaserJet 1000 & HP Scanjet 3500c and people used to working with HP Director. I had to install a new machine with Windows 10, but somehow keeping the old stuff working.....



Solution

Well I searched the internet quite a lot, and found people fighting with the same issues. That is why I will explain briefly about every part:



HP LaserJet 1000




I start with this device, because it is very important to state : It CANNOT run without Virtual Systems on 64bit Windows 10 ! So you have to install 32bit Windows! In my case - very bad idea, because I had 8GB RAM, and was able to use only 3.17 of them (perhaps I can try PAE patch)!!!
If somebody is able to make it work on Windows 10 64bit - leave a comment, please.

Actually if you do that - miracle - the 32bit Drivers for Windows XP work!

You can download them from the official site: CLICK HERE
Or from me (ZIP): HERE

*In some cases you have to disable driver signature enforcement - explained HERE







HP ScanJet 3500c

It appears this scanner works with all Windows 7, 8, 10 both 32 and 64 bit versions. You just have to search for appropriate drivers online, because Windows does not have any.

These worked fine with me (both 32bit and 64bit): ScanJet3500_x86_x64.zip

I have one more file with 64bit only, which is also tested, if this is not OK on 64bit systems, I will publish the other one too. You can also find it yourself online by the unique name ef8565e9a42aac8cdf29cfdeefdec096.zip .

In my case, Windows 10 removed the driver after the first update, but I put it back, and it works again.

The problem is all buttons do the same - open a simple scan dialog, not very user friendly, which tries to put scanned files everywhere.....




HP Director


I spent some time trying different programs, to replace HP Director, which was user friendly, and my friends used to work with. I could not make it work.


Very cute freeware program, that is able to scan and send mails. Also works in many different languages. Yes You can't use the buttons on the scanner, but it just does the trick!

Some more info about HP Scanning:
HERE , but HP Scan Extended works only with new scanners



Cheers!