Reviving a lead–acid battery

Like me, you may have a Lead-acid battery that’s lost its charge. You don’t have to throw it away, there is still hope!

In my case the battery was left in storage, without charge for some periods of time. My assumption was that it had also lost some of its water. In some cases you can revive it by charging it up at a slightly higher voltage, but if it is lacking sulfuric acid or water (De-ionised), charging it dry may just do further damage.

Buy some De-ionised water (£2 for 2.5L don’t pay more), buy a decent charger (link soon). Watch some of the videos below which begin by opening the battery ports, reloading the water and then using an advanced charger, charging it up.

revive lead acid battery – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=revive+lead+acid+battery

How to Revive a dead 12V Sealed Lead Acid Battery – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8l59knYW8rg

how to check amp on car battery – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=how+to+check+amp+on+car+battery

How to Use a Multimeter for Beginners – How to Measure Voltage, Resistance, Continuity and Amps – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdUK6RPdIrA

How to Test a Car Battery With a Multimeter ( Voltage + Cold Cranking Amps) – YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eqw1CF1nOt8

Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University
https://batteryuniversity.com/

Sulphuric Acid 1N From APC Pure | Volumetric Solutions | APC Pure
https://apcpure.com/product/Sulphuric_Acid_Solution_0_5M_1_0N?track=1

12V 15 Amp Lead Acid LED Digital Battery and Alternator Tester | eBay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-15-Amp-Lead-Acid-LED-Digital-Battery-and-Alternator-Tester/272769972578?hash=item3f825b7962:g:Pg4AAOSw2HNZcM2-

Battery Hydrometer Car Motorbike Van Tester Lead Acid Electrolyte Level Density 5055058174895 | eBay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Battery-Hydrometer-Car-Motorbike-Van-Tester-Lead-Acid-Electrolyte-Level-Density/233443536420?epid=20019928330&hash=item365a51ae24:g:RaAAAOSwH4ha~AKf

1x Laser Tools Battery Tester Work Mechanic | eBay
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1x-Laser-Tools-Battery-Tester-Work-Mechanic/123823931926?hash=item1cd47b4216:g:nnkAAOSwGeBdHa49

Android; Long press volume buttons to change tracks.

It’s very odd that Android does not have this simple feature installed on its OS. Nevertheless we can still do it ourselves until they come around by using a simple application someone (Cilenco) has kindly developed.

The Link

If you know what you’re doing then here’s the link.

If you’re not sure, continue reading. It’s not hard, but it’s not as simple as install and go. You’ll first need to do a few things.

Step 1

Download the application installer here. Once you install it will ask you to run a command line on adb (Android Debug Bridge). Before you can successfully execute the command, you’ll need to enable developer and debugging modes on your device. Your device needs to be connected to your USB for this entire process. You can transfer over the application installer this way anyway.

Step 2

On your computer, download Android Studio here. You can either download the whole package or simply download the platform-tools to use adb. You’ll only need adb, but I had trouble finding it so I downloaded the entire thing and via the configuration went to SDK Manager > SDK Tools installed the package.

Android Studio SKD Manager, SK Tools.

Step 3

If you managed to install platform-tools one way or another. Press start and type “cmd”, which should auto search for Command Prompt. Run it.

You will need to navigate to the folder, so type “cd <location of platform-tools folder>”. If like me you installed on a different drive, you will need to type “d:” or whatever drive letter your folder is at. Then the cd part above.

Next you’ll want to test the connection to your device. Type:

adb devices

If you see a device in the list then you’re good to go with executing the final command.

adb shell pm grant com.cilenco.skiptrack android.permission.SET_VOLUME_KEY_LONG_PRESS_LISTENER

Start the application on your phone and you’re done. Follow any necessary permission steps on the app.

If you did not see your device in the list, you’ll need to track back and make sure you’ve enabled developer mode, USB debugging mode and your computer sees your phone. Install USB/device drivers if necessary.

Links

https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/app-skip-track-volume-keys-t3914337/

https://developer.android.com/studio#downloads

https://github.com/Cilenco/skipTrackLongPressVolume/releases

https://www.howtogeek.com/125769/how-to-install-and-use-abd-the-android-debug-bridge-utility/

Cut Optimizers

If you have ever worked on anything that requires more than the basic amount of cut management, and you want to ensure you do not waste material while also saving on costs then you might want to use cut optimizers.

Essentially they do the math for you. You insert the lengths or sheets available in stock and also input the required pieces you need. You add the minor details like the size of your saw (so it also calculates the loss between the cuts) and then it provides you with the most optimal lengths/dimensions of sheets to purchase. Instead of buying 2 sheets, you may be able to fit it in 1, for example.

After looking around I found a few apps/programs that does this and of course I’ll share them here, but let me first state that this post is a work in progress as I am still not fully satisfied with regards to what I have found and used.

This is mostly due to my lack of experience (basically not enough tries yet) and a bit of knowledge in the area (what is the correct way of doing these things). So you’ll have to bare with me or feel free to correct me.

Cutter – Cutting Optimizer

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.embarcadero.OptimizaCorte&hl=en

In no specific order, the first one is this. I really like this one in terms of the UI, it’s newbie friendly, but it seems like there’s only one configuration and the results were quite simplistic and noticed unnecessary waste, no different to the calculations I did off the top of my head. I even decided I could do better in terms of wastage and less cuts and I actually did. Weird.

CutList Optimizer

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cutlistoptimizer&hl=en

Looks a lot more sophisticated than the above application, however this is a little more ideal for sheets rather than timber lengths. There’s a great visual result, but it’s not good for timber lengths. Still can use it on lengths though. Takes a little to process the result for you.

Another issue I find is that I would simply like to know how many pieces I need to buy, how many cuts and where I would need to cut after. Really long winded way so far.

Sheet Cutting

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.raskroy2

This one looks a lot more basic compared to the other two. It seems focused only on sheets. It assumes you have one sheet and want to produce your pieces from that one sheet.

The visual results are good, you can go full screen and rotate, but can’t seem to zoom in.

This is ideal if your project is based on one panel/sheet and you want save as much off the board/sheet/panel as possible. In my opinion this is simply just a helping had, rather than heavy calculations that you normally can’t do right away.

Cut Master

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.valanarllc.cutmaster

This one seems to be the most clear and all round tool. Sheets and also linear materials. Some of the others once you close the app you have to save/export it or it disappears. This one you can even create projects.

Clear with each tab, pieces, stock and results. If I had to recommend based on UI, it would be this.

Summary

They’re all so slightly different and have their benefits that I can’t decide which one is best, but if I had to choose right now, it would be Cut Master. There are more apps out there that do this job, I’ll be continuing to try them all. I’ve yet to decide which one actually does the best optimizations. My only thought here is it sucks that businesses don’t simply stock the longest size, you order to your specifications and you either pick up or they send out what you need, no wastage.

Creating a Symbolic Link (Windows 10) for Uplay screenshots

If like me you sometimes reformat your computer now and again and as a result end up forgetting to backup your in-game screenshots you’ve taken over time because they’re spread out all over the place, or maybe you just simply like to have all your screenshots together, then this solution should help out.

As of writing there is no option in your Uplay settings to change the directory of where your screenshots are saved. Odd really, but whatever. You can solve this by creating a Symbolic Link and thus pointing the default directory of where Uplay saves those screenshots to your drive or directory of choice.

Simply run Command Prompt (Run as administrator) and type the below command on the line and press enter

mklink /D “C:\Users[USERNAME]\Pictures\Uplay” “D:\Uplay”

Change [USERNAME] to your Windows User account name.

If you’re not sure how to run Command Prompt, simply press the Windows key on your keyboard or press the Windows icon on your task bar which should open your start menu. Type “cmd”, which should automatically search for it. Right click and “Run as administrator”.

You can even create a batch file to avoid all the above, obviously you’ll need to edit the user account name same as above. This is handy for also quickly running batch files that you’ve set up, ready to bring you back to your normal state after a reformat.

Create a text file, renaming the file from .txt to .bat – so you could name it to uplayscreenshotslocationchange.bat add to the file.

mklink /D “C:\Users[USERNAME]\Pictures\Uplay” “D:\Uplay”

Again, making sure to change [USERNAME] to your Windows User account name.

Looking for a cheap and reliable USB Type-C Cable?

I was on the hunt for a cheap, some-what long USB Type-C cable. Well, to be specific it’s standard USB to USB Type-C, end to end.

My criteria for this was pretty simple.

  • Long – long enough to reach my power source to my bed.
  • Able to do Fast Charge – My phone is able to do fast charge, it makes life easier, specially when you have a short time to fill as much as you can before you leave.
  • Cheap, I just need the two above because I’ll be using this while traveling as well and if it breaks or gets lost, I’m not too fussed.
  • Finally, this is something I’ve not confirmed, but I believe it should be enough, but reasonable data transfer speeds. I use wifi to move my data cross the phone (I got tired of plugging in every time I needed to move something), but for super large files, it would come in handy.

After looking around, going to eBay to Amazon to aliexpress and other chinese export websites, I found the cheapest on Amazon. Take a look below.

https://amzn.to/2THF8y7

Using Symbolic Link’s to connect to a shared Blu-Ray/DVD drive within your network

If you have a Blu-Ray drive on a device within your network and you’d like to be able to play your disks on say your other PC or laptop, you don’t necessarily need to go out and buy another Blu-Ray drive.

The very first thing that needs to be done is to share your Blu-Ray/DVD drive across your network. This step will obviously be different depending on your operating system.

On Windows 10 for example (on the device that has the drive), go to ‘This PC’, right click on the drive and go to “Give access to” then to “Advanced sharing…” Hit “Advanced Sharing…” button, tick the box “Share this folder”, give it a name. This essentially shares your drive to the network, without this the other devices won’t have access.

The next step is to map the drive or you can skip this and just go right to creating the Symbolic Link.

If you did map the drive, you might get a permission issue and instead of fiddling around with permissions I added a password to the Windows account (of the system with the drive) and used those credentials to gain access. If you already use a password, great, but if you don’t prefer to use one, you’ll need to configure the permissions to allow this.

Here’s the Symbolic Link I used. You will need to execute this in the Command Prompt (elevated or it will not allow you to create it):

mklink /D "C:\Blu-ray Drive" "\\NETWORKNAME\d"

To explain a little, the first quotes is the location to where I want to create the link, the second quote is where the link will point to. You can type “mlink” within the console to get a list and more understanding of Symbolic Links. The idea is that your media player believes it’s simply playing from a folder in C drive.

Read more about Symbolic Links here from Microsoft.

Another way that seemed to work was to use the VCL Media Player to play directly from the mapped drive. Run using \E:/ (Change the drive letter to yours).

You can use that to run it from VLC Media Player.

Pro’s and Con’s?

Pro’s and con’s are pretty basic so far, however the pro is you don’t need to splash out on a blu-ray drive just to watch something else-where, the con is that you’ll have to run the device in which the blu-ray is on even if you’re not using it. A restart or disruption to the network and you’re disconnected, of course.

Creating Symbolic Links

I’ve been meaning to create a post about symbolic links and how to set them up, the benefits of them, pros and cons, however I’ve not had the time and I might just come back to this post one day, however it’s been a while and I think it’s worth just starting and leaving it where it is.

I sometimes reformat my Windows drive or as you do, upgrade to say another drive. Backing up your files is one thing, but have you ever thought, what about just using scripts to run once you re-install everything to point to the files so it’s almost plug and play?

So for example, in this situation we have the Steam userdata folder that resides in the Program Files within the C drive. Setting up a symbolic link to then automatically have that folder divert to a location on say a Steam dedicated drive, would mean no need to ever do large copies, but to just run the script after a reformat and you’re good to go. Especially handy when you forget to make a back up and reformat your Windows anyway!

This also comes in handy when the times your drive fails, however that doesn’t mean the drive you’re creating the link to doesn’t fail, make sure you have a plan for that.

Anyway, here’s the way to do it:

Step 1, run command prompt)

Start Command Prompt. Press start, type “command prompt”, right click on it and run as the administrator.

Step 2, copy paste your symbolic link)

You can just type “mklink” to get a list of details on what each parameter does. In this case we’re going to link one folder to another.

mklink /J “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata” “D:\Steamuserdata”

And that’s it, we’re done.

I did a quick Google search to find more details on it, Microsoft have a page on symbolic links, you can find that here.

Uplay likes to save your screenshots to C:\Users\xxxxx\Pictures\Uplay another idea would be to divert those to your preferred location.

How to download the latest Windows 10 (any version) directly from Microsoft

It’s always best to make sure you’re downloading a legit and untampered version of your operating system you want to use. Here’s a simple three step guide to download a copy of Windows 10 directly from the Microsoft website.

(For a tried and tested method, I used Microsoft Edge web browser, but other browsers also can do the same, as long as yours has a way to simulate a phone).

Step 1) Go to: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10

Step 2) Press F12 and go to “Emulation”. Choose browser profile as “Windows Phone”

Step 3) Page should reload and you’ll want to select Windows 10, your preferred language, preferred architecture (32 or 64 bit) and start your download.

Now, you could just load that onto a USB and be on your way (using rufus to create a bootable USB drive), but maybe you want to actually verify what you’ve downloaded? Here’s how:

Download IgorWare Hasher, which basically verifies the files SHA-1, MD5 and CRC32 hashes. Using that you compare it to a known list of verified ISO’s.

You can do that by using heidoc.net/php/myvsdump.php which basically dumps all the hash codes, similar to how MSDN Subscriber Downloads area used to do, but now gets it from my.visualstudio.com – unless you have access, in which case, just go there.

Oh and for your information, “English International” is the British English, supposedly.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds: Red zones are shit. This is how I would change the red zones.

The red zones are clearly flawed in this game. They need to change. On one hand I completely agree the red zones should just be removed. It just seems bad. On the other hand, if it’s there to add a bit of a twist (for example playing the game for the first time and suddenly experiencing a bombardment, or being caught out to it) then it needs fixing.

The first thing for me is in terms of the world we are in, who is doing the bombing and why? We don’t seem to know and so it just breaks down the suspension of disbelief that there’s a round circle on the map, it’s red and in that zone, you get bombed randomly. Give it a story for one.

Games are all about storytelling and you (as in the developer of the game) never bothered to tell the viewer (the gamers/players) the story behind it. I can’t even be bothered to go dig a quote where someone from Bluehole tries to explain why it needs to stay. What I heard just did not sound right. Oh and calling players bad for dying to it is just plain stupid.

How would I change it while accepting to keep it in-game? Well, instead of a circle, change it to more like a line and have the bombs explode in a certain direction. Soon the mini-map, the red zone would look more like a thick line across the map in random directions. Ensure that it never spawns in the same exact area twice in a row.

Alternatively, if it’s going to be more like mortar fire, have the minimap reflect that and be a bit more random shaped. Have the bombardment come at an angle also. Again it all depends on the story behind this and how to then design it.

Out right hypocrisy – Why is it acceptable to say the N words in music videos, but be offended other times?

So last month a Twitch streamer made a public apology after supposedly accidentally saying the N-word. Here’s the tweet to that. I would provide you a link to the video in which he lets loose the word nigger or nigga (not sure), but to be fair I personally and honestly can’t hear it properly and so I’m not sure if I even managed to find the video! But that’s beside my point here.

What gained my attention was the hypocrisy of society to go into this guy is what I find very much hypocritical. Why is it that we are so shocked for people to use the nigger or nigga like this when we have mainstream music literally repeating the word over and over again… Is nobody else questioning the hypocrisy literally being played out here? Here’s an example:

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not here championing that we should all be free to use such words, but I think we need to not find it acceptable to use it in the examples in the video. What I am trying to say here is, we need to be equally angry at the use by the music artists like the above, why are we being selective? I understand the offence, so I want to know what gives Kanya West that free pass? What’s the difference?

I don’t mind outright banning the word, the offence caused in the past would be fitting to actually remove a word from our vocabulary to signify the regret that is felt. Or society can take the opposite and release this word and remove that meaning, to move on from such effects it had. Just not both.