This page consists of a selection of notes and ideas. They are not complete and I would not recommend that anyone reading this page base any work or ideas on them. I make no pretence about them being suitable for anything.
- Opera and Zurichbank. I could go off into a rant very easily here: I downloaded Opera to give it a whirl. Looked good so I carried on. Then I noticed the advert for Zurichbank.co.uk's online bank account which guaranteed 0.5% below the Bank of England rate indefinitely. That's worth a go, I thought. I followed the link, selected "Apply" and was told that the browser didn't support their high levels of security: rejected! (I have added a BASE tag to that page so that the CSS are loaded directly from zurichbank.co.uk).
I was not impressed - to sponsor a product through advertising rather indicates that one approves of the product and perhaps Zurichbank would like to comment. They indicated that Opera didn't do things which they required for the site. I asked what it didn't do and they replied that they were still testing it and would add support for it soon.
After a couple of months I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had tried to adjust the User-Agent: HTTP header but this apparently cannot be altered sufficiently to convince Zurichbank.co.uk over HTTPS. The solution is to cause an alternative User-Agent: header to be loaded from the translation file. Download a Language file and add a line which reads:
20097="Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 4.0) "
This will be given as the User-Agent string whenever "Identify as Mozilla *" is selected. Install the language file according to the instructions on opera's website.
I tried this on 27th June 2002 and successfully applied for a zurichbank account.
- TDSi barcode readers. Take your infra-red swipe card. Stand it so that the swiping edge is on an opaque object and look at a bright light source through it (if you use the sun be careful....). You will see the bar code quite easily. This can be drawn out in any computer graphics package and printed on acetate to create a 'backup' card.
- Bread maker dissassembly A small disaster with a bread recipe (dramatically more powerful yeast, it seems) converted the inside of the baking section of my bread maker (Hinari Homebaker) into a blackened mess. The instructions indicate that fully immersing the machine into water is a bad thing so I disassembled it as follows NB: I accept NO responsibility for any consequences of anybody attempting to reproduce what I did. Please understand: if your bread maker is destroyed or destroys you or your property it is no concern of mine.
Unit was disconnected from the mains. Lid was removed (open fully and pull to the front to disengage the hinges). Cover to right of baking section was removed by pressing in the lower metal case and lifting the cover with the display in. The plastic tray under the display was also removed (2 screws). The display panel is connected to the mains PCB by a ribbon cable which is soldered at both ends: care should be taken not to break it. The top section of the baking section was lifted out (6 screws) - there are tongues in this section which mate with slots in the lower section. The mains PCB is mounted via an aluminium bracket on the side of the baking section: the bolt and pair of screws were removed allowing this to become loose. The element was disconnected - two spade connectors are welded to the ends of the element and wires with crimp connectors push on to these. Care should be taken not to put too much force on these connectors - brace the element with something as the connectors are pulled off in case the ceramic in the element is damaged. The baking section is earthed through a wire which is screwed to the bottom of the breadmaker: this was released. Four screws in the bottom of the baking section were removed and the lower portions of the baking section were removed.
I found that cleaning up the baking section was easy: a long soak in hot water then once through the dishwasher. A little dishwasher powder dissolved in hot water was used to restore the inner lid to cleanliness (This powder is nasty - gloves should be worn).
Reassembly, once everything was dry and clean, progressed in the reverse of the assembly. There are two points of difficulty with this: remembering where all the bolts and screws go and re-attaching the earth wire. The former is just an organisation problem compounded by the manufacturers use of self-tapping screws which leave dirty threads so it is sometimes difficult to tell whether a bolt is cross threaded or not. The latter is just awkward but should not be omitted: in the event of a serious failure that wire could prevent electric shock.
I shall return to my usual brand of yeast for the next run.
- Crosswords without Java. Certain well-known UK newspapers produce fine crosswords which I tend to do after work. Their online version, however, uses Java to decode a data file and produce the crossword. Here is a perl script to extract the data and produce HTML output which does not require java. I use this to print out the day's crossword before the newspaper has been delivered.
- Notes on connecting a Sony Clie to Virgin Mobile's GPRS service via a Nokia 8130 mobile 'phone.
This should be easy. It must be easy. Well, it wasn't easy for some reason.
contains useful info for connecting a palm to Vodafone. I adapted these settings for Virgin (Thanks "Cream-T"!):
Note that the connection ATN is goto.virginmobile.uk and not goto.virginmobile.co.uk as I tried a few times! The blank password means that you get a prompt each time you connect, which means you have to click 'OK'.
If you get the message "Subscribe to GPRS first" on the phone, as I did quite a few times, it means that you've screwed up one of the settings: check and recheck the ATN ("goto.virginmobile.uk") the user ("user") and password ("blank"). I thought I'd got the user correct but it mysteriously worked when I deleted it and re-entered it.
Now it works.
- Service -> give it a name
- User name -> user
- Password -> [leave this blank]
- Connection -> IR to PC/Handheld (not IR to phone!)
- Connection type -> PPP
- Idle timeout -> Never
- Query DNS -> tick
- IP Adress -> Automatic
- Send -> at&f
- Send CR
- Send -> at+cgatt=1
- Send CR
- Wait for -> OK
- Send -> at+cgdcont=1,"IP","goto.virginmobile.uk"
- Send CR
- Wait for -> OK
- Send -> atd*99#
- Send CR
- Wait for -> CONNECT