Sunday, November 10, 2013

Custom ringtones on Nexus 5

I just got my new Nexus 5 through the Google Play Store.  In general it's a great phone!  My only complaint is that it has crashed on me twice -- once during the initial Google Play apps-sync, and again while using the USB 'Media' link to copy several GB  of MP3s onto the phone.

Some of those MP3s are custom ringtones that I'm accustomed to using for particular contacts, i.e., so that I can tell who is calling by the ringtone.  Unfortunately, I could not find any way to select a custom ringtone using any of the built-in menus or apps.  (In the past I've been able to use the built-in music player to set an MP3 as a ringtone but Google Play Music doesn't seem to have that.)

Ultimately what I did was install another file explorer (in this case "ES File Explorer" but I suspect any would work).  Now, when I go into the ringtone selector -- in either Settings > Sound or in the individual Contacts' ringtone -- there is a prompt to choose which file explorer.  If I use ES File Explorer I can then choose any MP3.

Monday, June 17, 2013

fix for Windows Update error 8024402F

I've just reinstalled my main home-office workstation and Windows Update started to fail after I installed Microsoft Office.  The specific error-code is 8024402F.

I tried all sorts of suggested fixes online:
- reboot (MANY times!)
- ran WindowsUpdateDiagnostics tool
- ran System File Checker (SFC)
- Reset the content of the Catroot2 folder
There were other more-involved fixes, too, but I wanted to avoid them if at all possible.  I mean- this was a brand-new install so how could any system files have gotten corrupted?  I hadn't had crashes or other errors before this point.


The key was that Windows Update was configured for both Windows and Microsoft app updates.  I went into 'Change Settings' and unchecked the option to update Microsoft apps -- i.e., Office -- and the problem went away.  Honestly, the only Microsoft app I have installed is Outlook 2003 so I'm not expecting any updates.  And, apparently, there's something about how Office 2003 registered itself that confused/broke that Microsoft Update feature.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Comparing Schlage vs Kwikset lockset handedness

I have a side door on my garage with a matched set of Kwikset handle and deadbolt but they lock/unlock in different directions.  This is a right-handed door and opens inward, i.e., from the outside the hinges are on the right, and from the inside the handles/bolts are on the right.  The deadbolt works the way I expect, as the top of the key (from the outside) and/or the top of the handle (on the inside) moves the same direction as the bolt.  The key to the handle, however, works the opposite direction.

Handedness of door locks

This is the 'handedness' of the lock.  Rather than left or right, it's defined as clockwise or counter-clockwise.  The seemingly-correct 'handedness' for my locks -- from the inside -- is clockwise to lock, counter-clockwise to unlock.  But the handle's twist-latch turns counter-clockwise to lock.  I set out to reverse this.  And failed.

What I learned about lock handedness

I found some locksmith discussion web-sites where other people had asked about this.  There was a lot of confused replies as most people thought the original poster was an idiot who couldn't figure-out how to remove and reverse the inside/outside orientation.  Eventually I learned the following:

  1. Some commercial locks are designed to have their handedness reversed but most residential locks are not.
  2. When you flip a deadbolt from left-open to right-open, the handedness reverses too since the door-open action is the lock.  But when you reverse the direction on a handle the door-open mechanism reverses but not the internal locking mechanism.
  3. Kwikset handles are all designed with a clockwise unlock. So in order for their handles and deadbolts to have the same handedness you need to use them on left-handed doors.
  4. Schlage handles are the opposite, they're designed with a counter-clockwise unlock.  So their handles and deadbolts only match when used on right-handed doors.


I went to Home Depot and inspected the lockset displays.  I also asked the employees in that department but they were unaware of this issue.  They said people usually just accepted the mismatched handedness.  Maybe now they'll ask customers which way their doors open and use that as a means of recommending one brand over another:

left-handed doors = Kwikset
right-handed doors = Schlage

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Translation of IKEA frukt soppa instructions

This is silly, I know, but I bought a packet of the Swedish fruit soup from IKEA then realized I couldn't read the directions.  So I tried googling it but without success.  Finally, I used Google Translate (which includes a virtual Swedish keyboard for the extra symbols) and the translation is as follows:


gör så här, vispa ner påsarnas innehåll i 1 liter kallt vatten, en påse till 0,5 liter. Tillaga på spis eller i mikrovågsugn. På spis, Koka upp under omrörning. Låt svalna, gärna i vattenbad och under lock. I mikrovågsugn, Värm på hogsta effekt (600W) i 6 minuter. Rör om efter ca halva tiden.


Do this: whisk the bag's contents in 1 liter of cold water, (a bag to 0.5 liters). Cook on stove or in the microwave. On the stove, bring to boil, stirring. Allow to cool, preferably in water and under cover. In microwave, heat at maximum power (600W) for 6 minutes. Stir in about half the time.