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Tyler's wiki

This is the site where I, Tyler Bletsch, write stuff that I want to refer to later. You can refer to it, as well, I guess. Unless it's in the Secret Stage.

Quick links: Win11 - Win 10 - Win 7 - Stuff to install - WSL - Cygwin - MacOS

General stuff

Stolen wisdom

Computer crap

Arduino crap

Linux crap

Windows crap

Old crap I'll never look at again

Misc info

You want a good Italian place in Bostom? LoConte's on Salem St. in the North End.

ubuntu: have firefox use thunderbird for mail: goto about:config, new string key "" → "/usr/bin/mozilla-thunderbird" ("/usr/bin/thunderbird" for Ubuntu 7.10)

if ubuntu's packages get busted, "dpkg –configure -a"

to auto-switch between wireless and wired connection on Windows, this thing seems to work well enough:

Turn off 'linked files' in Windows 7

example From here. The dude summarizes the problem: "If I save this web page now it would be saved in two parts a HTML file: blah.htm and a folder with associated content blah_files. If I decide to just keep the HTM file and DELETE the entire image folder I have to break this link between the two otherwise when I delete the image folder the HTML file also gets deleted automatically. Windows treats them as one file. "

In Windows XP, in the folder options there was a setting called Managing pairs of Web pages and folders. Windows 7 hides this option by default.

To bring it back, install this registry patch. The options that control this will now appear in the View tab of the Folder Options dialog (See example on right).

Delayed Windows shutdown

From a command prompt:

shutdown /t XXXXX /s

Where XXXXX is the number of seconds to wait. For more detail on this command, try shutdown /?.

Thunderbird 11+: Tabs under menu bar

Those chuckleheads are Mozilla seem really determined to completely run their software into the ground. The latest "rapid release" of Thunderbird moves tabs above menus and provides no option to override this behavior…in fact, they gloat about it on the "what's new" page as basically the only visible improvement to the email client in this update! If you want security and feature updates, you need to beat back their UI retardedness. To put the tabs back under the menu bar:

  1. Open Help → Troubleshooting Information and click on the "Open Containing Folder" next to "Profile Directory" in the first block.
  2. Make a directory "chrome" and create "chrome\userChrome.css" with the following content to force the menu bar to be located above the tab box:
#tabs-toolbar {
  -moz-box-ordinal-group: 20 !important;
#mail-toolbar-menubar2 {
  -moz-box-ordinal-group: 10 !important;

From here.

Firefox and Thunderbird skin

Firefox 5 and now Thunderbird 5 like to have their menu and toolbars be the Windows titlebar color for some goddamn reason, and it looks like crap. To fix, you want the "just grey" persona – It should work for both Firefox and Thunderbird.

Makefile stuff

To write suffix-based rules in Makefiles:


If the suffixes in question aren't in the set of built in ones (as given by "make -p -f /dev/null | grep SUFFIXES"), you can add them with rules of the form:

.SUFFIXES : .a .b

Using awk

Basic syntax:

awk <search pattern> {<program actions>}


svn st | awk '/^\?/ {print $2}'          # print names of unknown svn files
ps -A | awk '{print $1}'                 # print all pids

Have explorer open to "My Computer" instead of dumb crap

Change shortcut to:

explorer.exe /e,::{20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-A2D8-08002B30309D}

From here.

Service management in Debian/Ubuntu

update-rc.d sucks. Use rcconf instead:

$ sudo apt-get install rcconf
$ sudo rcconf

Show 'Sender' in Thunderbird

In certain environments (including MS Exchange), when a message is forwarded, the special "Sender" field indicates the actual person who clicked "send", while the "From" field shows the originator of the message. This is confusing in Thunderbird, which doesn't show "Sender" by default, so forwarded email looks like it came from the originator of the message. To show the "Sender", set the following custom settings:

mailnews.customHeaders = Sender
mailnews.headers.extraExpandedHeaders = Sender

'clear' for cygwin

There's probably a package that provides this, but I just use:

echo -ne '\e[H\e[2J'

SATA Security Erase on Linux

To obliterate all data on a disk (and for an SSD, reset internal state):

hdparm --user-master u --security-set-pass test $1 && \
hdparm --user-master u --security-erase test $1

Fix the gif bug in Chrome

Go to chrome://plugins/
You will see two flash players listed there, one in AppData that leads to a chrome folder, and one that is in SysWOW64. Disable the one that leads to the chrome folder, and restart chrome.

Instant SSH/PPP VPN tunnel

Basically, do the following after doing the setup directions noted here:

/usr/sbin/pppd pty "ssh -t -e none -o 'Batchmode yes' /usr/sbin/pppd" local nodetach silent

For the above, to make it a default gateway, on the client, I did:

sudo route add -host [server-internet-address] gw [normal-default-gateway]
sudo route add -net [my-lan]/8 gw [normal-default-gateway]
sudo route add default gw [server-ppp-address]
sudo route del default gw [normal-default-gateway]

You can get a setup intro and nice script to run it from this HOWTO.

(I may do a full writeup of this eventually)


simple, small, effective FAT/NTFS file recovery: "Restoration" -

Everything you need to know about cryptography in 1 hour

ZFS and DTrace running on Ubuntu Linux

Dropbox to your own PHP enabled web server:

start.txt · Last modified: 2023/11/19 20:03 by tkbletsc

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