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MacOS – Create a “Sleep” Keyboard Shortcut on a Windows Keyboard

MacOS – Create a “Sleep” Keyboard Shortcut on a Windows Keyboard
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Some of you may be familiar with the problem … no sleep button on your keyboard.

You have a really nice Mac, but you’re using a Windows keyboard since there is no MacOS keyboard that you really like.
I’m using a keyboard from Havit (you can find it here).

One of the things I hate about this setup is that I have no key or key-shortcut to put my computer to sleep.
When you look at the Apple reference, you’ll only find keys that cannot be found on your Windows keyboard, like the Eject key, or the Power key.

So in this article, I’ll show you, without the use of special software, how I have created a keyboard shortcut to put my Mac Pro to sleep, using a Windows keyboard.

Bash Script – Press Any Key To Continue

Bash Script – Press Any Key To Continue
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In this article I’ll describe what I have used to create a “Press Any Key to Continue” in a Bash script (Linux/MacOS X).

Working with scripts in Bash (Terminal or Shell) isn’t what I do daily. The day I had to create a script to help me do an SVN update followed by a massive recompile. I wanted to see the SVN result first before proceeding with recompile, so I had to add a “Press Any Key To Continue” option in the script.

Since it took me a little effort, I figured; let’s describe this in an article. After all, it may be good reference for myself and for others.
These methods work for Linux and MacOS.

miniWOL v2 – Quick and Easy Wake On LAN Utility

miniWOL v2 – Quick and Easy Wake On LAN Utility
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Waking up devices that are network connected, can be done with the so called “Wake On LAN” feature provided by certain devices (like for example a NAS, FileServer, or even a PC). A while back I created a simple application for this – miniWOL – keeping in mind that the user may not be too familiar with all the configuration details (see: previous miniWOL versions).

I wanted just a simple menu in the System Tray (Windows: next to the clock, usually the lower-right corner of your screen) or Menubar (MacOS X – top of your screen, Linux often at the bottom of your screen). Well, after a bit of searching I could not find anything suitable or to my liking and I decided to just write something myself.

The old miniWOL been good so far, and plenty folks seem to have a good use for it privately and professionally. However, Apple had to change a few things (moving to 64 bit, using Cocoa instead of Carbon, and the need to sign applications – unfortunately Microsoft will probably follow soon) so while revamping the Mac version, I revamped the Windows version as well, and added a 64-bit Linux version as well (by request).

Rename My TV Series 2

Rename My TV Series 2
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Rename My TV Series, a tool to rename tv series episodes, has been around for a while now, and it’s time for an update (the “old one” can still be found here). So I proudly present: Rename My TV Series 2.

Two of the main reasons for this new version are the needed update of the user interface and support for the new API of TheTVDB.com. But there is more; macOS users wanted a 64 bit version to avoid the 32 bit complaining and having the application signed was on the wishlist for them as well. Support for SSL (since theTVDB.com API requires this), the use of notifications and the support for a dark theme, the merging of 2 episodes, caching results, are a few of other desired or needed items.

I’m still striving to do as much cross-platform development as possible, so macOS, Windows and Linux users can use my tools, which means that this new version will be available for all these 3 platforms.

How to create empty dummy files

How to create empty dummy files
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Sometimes we need one, a few, or a lot of empty dummy files – just for testing our application, or to hold a space.

Now you could open a text editor and save an empty file, but there are easier ways to make empty dummy files.

In this article I’ll show you how it can be done under Windows (incl. DOS and PowerShell), Linux and macOS.

pfSense 2.x – How to fix Strict NAT for XBox One

pfSense 2.x – How to fix Strict NAT for XBox One
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I’m always up for playing with new toys, and this time I did build a firewall using pfSense. I wanted to play with OpenVPN and my NetGear R7000 Nighthawk (running Asus xWRT) capped out at 5Mbps. So I migrated to pfSense.

However, doing so, my XBox One decided to not like this and detected STRICT NAT – which results in limitations with online gaming.

In this article I’ll show you how I fixed this with pfSense so NAT now shows as OPEN (keep in mind that I’m NOT an expert).

Note: This may apply to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, XBox 360 and other consoles as well.

Lazarus Pascal – Custom Fonts for MacOS Applications

Lazarus Pascal – Custom Fonts for MacOS Applications
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I’m not sure about other developers, but I occasionally like to use my own custom font for my Lazarus Pascal applications. Typically I do this so I have access to better icons and symbols available in my application, instead of semi blurry bitmap icons. If you use this the right way, your icons and symbols will look much better and will scale really great.

Usually, I use a TTF font for this which I generate at IcoMoon.
IcoMoon is an awesome website where you can compile your own TTF font (or SVG or PNG images of symbols) for use with your website (Tweaking4All uses it as well) or … in your applications.

Since there are plenty examples out there how to do this in Lazarus Pascal for Windows, here an article that shows you how to do this in Lazarus Pascal under macOS.

QNAP – How to set the VNC Password for Linux Station

QNAP – How to set the VNC Password for Linux Station
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For modern and more powerful QNAP devices, you can now run a complete Linux environment on your NAS. In this case by using Linux Station which basically runs a Ubuntu variant.

Since Linux Station is not really running as a virtual machine, it runs pretty fast. You can even hookup a HDMI monitor and a USB mouse and Keyboard to your QNAP and use it as a workstation. But most of us do not use their QNAP that way. Instead you can access Linux Station through their webbrowser, or … VNC.

VNC access comes with a challenge though. What the heck is the password? No matter what you do in the remote desktop settings, the password is fully ignored.

In this short article I’ll show you how to set a password – albeit in a not so conventional way.

Arduino – All LEDStrip effects in one (NeoPixel and FastLED)

Arduino – All LEDStrip effects in one (NeoPixel and FastLED)
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If you’ve read the article I wrote a while ago “LEDStrip effects for NeoPixel and FastLED“, then you might have noticed quite a few requests to combine all these effects in one single sketch.

I have seen some users come up with some nice examples, but the challenge remained (for me): how do I instantly toggle from effect to another?

Well, today I’ll have such a sketch available for you; it allows you toggle between effects with a simple switch.

Windows 10 Quick Assist – Troubleshoot a Friend’s PC Without Any Extra Software

Windows 10 Quick Assist – Troubleshoot a Friend’s PC Without Any Extra Software
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Ever needed to help a friend or family with their computer issues with remote access? Quick Assist is the way to go for Windows 10 users for remote assistance!

If you’re reading this, then there is a good chance that you’re looking at the same challenge I have every now and then; a friend or family member is having issue with their PC and if you can please help them … like right now! In that case (or when you live on a different continent) remote access is the way to go, unless you’re pretty close by.

In the past I used LogMeIn, it was probably the best tool I’ve every used for remote access, but unfortunately it’s no longer free or affordable.

For a while I’ve used TeamViewer, but in all honesty – I really dislike how the tool works even though it is free. The fact that both parties need to install software and those funny codes, weird screens, and sometimes confusing settings – well, it’s just not for me.

This weekend I had to assist my nephews, both of them using Windows 10. And again I was stuck with the same question: what tool to use?
Well not entirely … seems Windows 10 is equipped with everything we need and in this article I’ll show you how it’s done.

Working with Cookies in JavaScript

Working with Cookies in JavaScript
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For those of you working with JavaScript, and the ability to store some data on the client side (browser) with the help of Cookies; here a short description what cookies are, what kinds there are, and how to work with them.

Since I rarely use it, I keep forgetting the details, so I figured; well, put it on my website so I can find it again when I need it in the future and maybe others will benefit from this as well.

It really is an easy process, and I’m honestly surprised that JavaScript and jQuery do not offer some simple functions for this right out of the box. For jQuery several cookie plugins can be found – just too bad it’s not right away included.

Tweaking4All more secure with SSL …

Tweaking4All more secure with SSL …
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Outfits like Google, Let’s EncryptcPanel and Comodo are pushing for a more secure Internet.
Obviously there is nothing wrong with that, and I commend them (and others) for pushing and supporting for this.

In this case we are talking about adding a so called SSL certificate to websites, allowing encryption, which can be identified by the url starting with “https”. In other words making the good old and regular “http” protocol secure.

In the past one would have to pay yearly to keep the SSL certificate valid, for every single domain, or pay even more for so called wildcard certificates. But, for basic purposes, this is no longer the case (for commercial use one still will have to pay for a certificate) – thank you Let’s Encrypt and Comodo for providing those free certificates.

Now keep in mind though that we have nothing critical here at Tweaking4All that would need encryption. However, in the push for website owners to start using encryption, Google has seemed to have gone the route where their browser will display messages that may look misleading to the end-user, for those website that do not support encryption. Not even mentioning the possible negative Google ranking impact for websites that are not encrypted.

So I’ve spend the better part of this weekend to implement SSL/HTTPS on Tweaking4All as well – it has caused some problems, and possible downtime and odd behavior of the website in the past 2 days. My apologies for that … you should now see a green “Secure” message near the address-bar of your browser.

Please feel free to report issues, or moments where this does not show a green “Secure” indicator – it’s not impossible that I overlooked one or the other small piece. 

miniWOL v1.2 available!

miniWOL v1.2 available!
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Previous miniWOL versions proved that just reading the specifications of Wake on LAN and testing with your own equipment is not going to result in a 100% perfect application, as it seems that certain machines prefer to see a broadcast over the network instead of a specific IP address.

In this new version, you can still retrieve the Mac Address based on IP address, and use a broadcast mask (255.255.255.255 is the default). This should help with certain setups like Synology devices.

This update applies to Windows and MacOS versions of miniWOL.

Note: I have just uploaded a revised v1.2 (Friday Dec. 9 2016) which fixes sending a WOL when miniWOL starts for those servers that have been tagged as such.

Read the original MiniWOL article. Comments, bugs, question etc, can be posted there as well.
You can also download it from our Downloads page.

Lazarus Pascal – Retrieve Yahoo Weather Forecast

Lazarus Pascal – Retrieve Yahoo Weather Forecast
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I like dabbling with Lazarus Pascal, a free IDE for developing Pascal programs for Windows, MacOS X and Linux, quite similar to Delphi.

One of my projects, would look great with a weather forecast, so I went an figured out how this works by accessing the Yahoo Weather API. This took me a little bit to figure out, but I’ve got it running now, even using https.
This week I decided to put it all in a small unit, so others can use it as well.

This unit only needs Synapse, which is free as well, and uses fcl-json, which comes with Lazarus.

ApplePi-Baker v1.9.4 update for MacOS Sierra (beta 2)

ApplePi-Baker v1.9.4 update for MacOS Sierra (beta 2)
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ApplePi-Baker has been updated again – this time fixing a small bug for macOS Sierra users (beta 2 tested).

The disk/SD card size was not displaying. This has been fixed in 1.9.4.

Please report any issues you might run into when running MacOS Sierra, at the original ApplePi-Baker article where you can also download the latest version.

Special thanks to Barry for reporting .

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