Programming Baofeng UV-9R through communication cable

I bought a couple of Baofeng UV-9R radios with a computer communication cable, but I could not find instructions on how to program the radios from a computer. It took me some time to figure it out, and here is a summary. There are two ways to connect to the radio. Continue reading Programming Baofeng UV-9R through communication cable

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Elm and stainless steel espresso tamper

My espresso machine came with a lovely plastic tamper, that looked like this:

I am not all that picky aesthetically speaking, but that tamper is absolutely ugly and does not fit the cup snugly enough. Its outer diameter is about 1/4″ smaller than the inner diameter of the espresso reservoir. I thought that making a new tamper would make an interesting turning project. Then I thought that the business end of the tamper had better be metal. Continue reading Elm and stainless steel espresso tamper

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Removing NIS plate to install SNS binding

My Salomon ski boots fit me much better than any NNN boot I tried. But these days half the skis on the market (if not more) are sold with NIS plates, which makes installing SNS bindings a bit cumbersome. Having tried some Atomic and Salomon skis, I decided that I like a particular model of Fischer skis better, but the NIS plate on them bugged the OCD part of me, which wanted to not have the stupid unnecessary plates. Contemplating this, I saw a Youtube video (in Russian language) of a guy removing the NIS plates from a pair of skis using a hand plane. Being a woodworker, I could not pass the opportunity to use my hand planes AND satisfy the OCD part of me at the same time, so I set out to remove the plate. Spoiler: I would probably not do it again. Continue reading Removing NIS plate to install SNS binding

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What is Salomon SNS to NIS interface adaptor

I was researching Salomon’s adaptor to mount SNS bindings on top of NIS plates, but very few web stores that carried it all had a low resolution images of something black and oblong. It was obvious from description that it was meant to be used to mount SNS bindings to an NIS plate, but I could not understand what benefits it offered. Recently I bought a pair of the adaptors, and hopefully this post would help someone who would like to know more about it. Continue reading What is Salomon SNS to NIS interface adaptor

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Restoring SMS messages using mmssms.db file

My Nexus 5x phone died from the “bootloop” syndrome.  I had unlocked bootloader on it and TWRP recovery image was installed, so I was trying hard to get at least some data off the phone.  Most of the time it would not boot at all, but I managed to boot into TWRP recovery after leaving the phone in the freezer for a few hours.

Once in TWRP, I was able to pull some data using “adb pull”.  This included a file that contains the SMS and MMS messages.  On my Nexus 5x the path to that file was /data/user_de/0/com.android.providers.telephony/databases/mmssms.db.  My plan was to restore that file onto my temporary phone running LineageOS (CyanogenMod 14). I was going to overwrite the file using “adb push” while booted into TWRP recovery. Continue reading Restoring SMS messages using mmssms.db file

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Installing Salomon Pilot SNS bindings

There is no shortage of articles and videos about installing SNS bindings onto skis. I watched a few such videos, and all of them were missing precision. Some said that the binding needs to be aligned at the ski’s balance point, others – 1 cm behind it. Most instructions don’t specify the drill bit diameter, and those that do, disagree with each other. It took me a while to locate the official word on installing the bindings. Continue reading Installing Salomon Pilot SNS bindings

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Atomic Pro Skintec skis review

I needed to replace my cross country skis, and decided to try the new technology with the mohair grip zone (skintec). Atomic skintec skis have really come down in price in the last couple of years, and there are now budget skintec models availabe, both under the Atomic and Salomon brands. I decided to get the Atomic Pro Skintec, but my local store did not have them in stock, and I ordered them online.

I felt pretty safe ordering these skis online because my weight (82kg) falls right in the middle of the weight range for the 202cm length (70-95 kg). Continue reading Atomic Pro Skintec skis review

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Cherry and Maple Hanukkah Menorah

I have designed and built a Hanukkah Menorah.  The materials are cherry for the bulk of it and maple for the base.  The design goal was to marry the traditional and the modern forms.  I wanted the design to look contemporary and fresh, for something as traditional as a menorah. Continue reading Cherry and Maple Hanukkah Menorah

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Making SafetyNet happy with Cyanogenmod 14

I bought a couple of second-hand Moto X (XT1096) phones and discovered that I cannot sign into the Play Store using the stock firmware.  Something must have become incompatible since the latest firmware was released, and I was left in a vicious circle when Google Play Store and services could not be updated because I am not signed in, and I could not add a Google account because Google Play services were crashing.

I figured that I would install Cyanogenmod 14 on the phones, which was pretty straight forward to do after unlocking the bootloader (and, from the first looks at it, seems to be pretty responsive on these older phones).  However, CM comes rooted by default, and applications using SafetyNet check refuse to run.  I don’t really need root on these phones, so here is a quick procedure I figured out to unroot CM to a condition that SafetyNet validation passes. Continue reading Making SafetyNet happy with Cyanogenmod 14

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Storing 3.5″ hard drives in a Pelican case

I was looking for a watertight case to store a bunch of 3.5″ hard drives.  The idea was to protect the off-line backups from water damge in case sprinklers get activated in the building.  It was decided that water or dust damage was a more likely threat than fire, so the solution did not have to be fire safe. Continue reading Storing 3.5″ hard drives in a Pelican case

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