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Hacking My Brother 

Little Net

Like your house, ours has a WIFI backbone. There are hands (sensors), mouths (computers), and nifty things everyone would like to use (printers, scanners, flux-capacitors, etc.)

Heck, even the new thermostats have a browser interface ever-crying for your registration & email addresses.

Imagine: Getting spammed by ... your house?

Surely someday soon!


When it came to sharing a wireless printer, getting a device like the MFC-J435W working on Windows is usually pretty easy.

Things can get a 'tad more complicated on Linux.

When it came time for me to use the wireless MFCJ435W from Ubuntu, all I had to do was to use the Brother Install Tool.

After installing the same, note that the browser-interface into CUPS printing 'Nerdvanna on Linux is most often found on port 631.

Hack Attack

When we purchased the MFCJ435W a few years back, the device was on sale. Sadly, since day one the piglet has had a problem with the infamous "Close Ink Cover!" message. -Surely the defect was the primary reason why I was able to get a $350.oo printer for a mere $50 at Walmart? (i.e. Caveat Cheapskate!)

The problem is that nothing will print when the ink-cover sensor is open.

Unfortunately, lately that open-door problem became rather chronic. Since my google-effort indicated that lots of printers have similar problems, I decided to dissect the locus so as to be be able to demonstratively show everyone what the problem was. -Such a "sensory-gap" just might be the problem on a similar printer.

Despite the pictures I do not suggest that you chop your printer open. Not only can covers be removed, but once you know that it is a 45 degree angle that needs to be toggled, one should be able to get by with simply gluing and / or taping a "little something" to the door's own, complementary, 45-degree angle-when-closed.

In the above case, gluing a small snippet of plastic or a clipping from a match stick to the door's strut (below) should do the job just fine.

In fact, if you have been able to manually solve the problem simply by pressing upon the closed ink-panel door itself, then adding the mere height of a plastic piece of electrical tape (or two!) will usually keep one from pulling out the glue.

Sharing is Caring,


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BeagleBone Black 
REVIEW: Beagleboard (Beaglebone Rev C) Starter Kit--includes Clear Case--Power Supply--Micro USB Cable (Electronics)


We recently (and grudgingly) acquired a BeagleBone Black single-board microcontroller. After exploring the device on the behalf of a client, I decided to post a review on Amazon:

"Let me begin by saying that I have allot of experience & advocacy for the Raspberry PI, Arduino, & other single-board devices. So as an accomplished developer in embeddable C/C++, LAMP, and Java (etc.), I was a bit put off by the idea of having a browser-based / JavaScript / BoneScript (?!) front end to any platform. --What the heck is wrong with the more efficient & machine-language-oriented traditions, anyway?

Well, please allow me to say that after a few hours playing with the BeagleBone Black that not only am I very happy with deciding to take the plunge (`gonna purpose another one to host The Quote For Today's processing!), but that this puppy (pun intended) is rapidly becoming my favorite device.

Indeed, after testing the quite-capable 'specs for the `Black, in as much as my primary client is looking to instantly deploy a MORE RUGGED platform, the `Bone is a natural choice. -With 3 x 128 addressable points (3 x SPI) and a range of -40 to 90 degrees `charley, this platform is a natural choice to support near-field telemetry aggregation, as well as visualization. --Indeed, having an ability to rapidly cobble-together a CGI in C/C++ (or just about anything else!) so as to allow Apache to spew-forth a WIFIed HTML5 / CSS3 interface is making everyone's day. -Even the Java GWT guys!

So sure: Putting a JavaScript interface over the hosting of a discreet set of data-collection devices sounds mega-queer. Yet keep in mind that underneath the `Black Bone's web-presence there beats a standards-based heart of a true-blue, POSIX-Complyant, promise-keeping, set of forever-coolness."

In as much as I use allot of automated devices around the home office (many for temperature logging, roll-up, and visualization) what was most refreshing about the board was precisely what I did not think I would like: The BoneScript in the browser interface. Indeed, within a few moments we were able to attach a USB WIFI to the device, and start the "what if" process.

Of course many will like to know that the 'Bone is a few dollars more than the 'Pi. Yet after comparing the 'specs side-by-side, most will surely come to the conclusion that - as usual - in our extremely competitive world - that you always get what your pay for?

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AboutTime: Maintenance Release 
-Just a quick note to let everyone know that we updated AboutTime.

Lots of minor updates - consider it a "maintenance release?"

The most notable change is in that export-file verbiage: We who are used to exporting our weekly status reports will be happy to note that the "start week" typo has finally been updated to ask us to select the "week ending."

What is it?

For those who have not heard about our free hourly-reporting tool, note that the mission of AboutTime is to allow the technically-inclined to blog and / or create status reports. While not required, lots of us 'geeks like the fact that we also have the option to do so using HTML.

Once any arbitrary list of stop / start logging entries have been created, we can quickly generate a weekly time card for all timed intervals:

While I could 'natter on over the features we have built-into into AboutTime, perhaps the best description about our little tool comes from the project page, itself:

"Having trouble remembering what you did last week? Do you need to create a status report? Surely consultants need to assure clients that they have been earning their pay.

It is amazing how many tasks one can do, yet omit: AboutTime allows us to create meaningful, task-based status reports.

AboutTime also supports troubleshooting & problem detection. By allowing us prioritize, filter, and share log entries, AboutTime can also support "tiger team" troublshooting operations.

No time to write things down? Relax: AboutTime also has a simple voice-note recording feature. Now we can keep track of what we saw and did, as well as when we first noticed. All real-time data-captured for thoughtful review / annotation later-on.

After awhile, using AboutTime encourages us to do more each day, By encouraging us to do more, AboutTime also allows us to become allot more productive. Over time, most discover that using AboutTime will help us stand head-and-shoulders above the competition."

Enjoy the journey,


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