Turn off Bluetooth discoverability on Android devices

Some folks responsible for design and development of different Android versions or different UIs for this system must have some problems with their mental sanity, because they think that it is very funny to have your device discoverable to all surrounding devices whenever you only enable Bluetooth.

I don’t find it funny. Even more, I find it weird, bad and evil.

I had an issue with Xiaomi Redmi 6 phone, having MIUI 11 launcher installed. I find the regular way of turning off Bluetooth discoverability on this phone impossible and ended up with the need for installing some app.

This is a generic solution that may work in your case, even if you have some other Android gear, so I decided to share my experience here.

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Transfer private MP3 files from PC to iPhone SE 2020

It is not possible to simply copy files from PC to iPhone, over a cable. If you connect your iPhone (or probably any other Apple mobile device) to your PC, you will be only able to access “DCIM” folder and your photos or maybe videos. No way to copy MP3 music or audiobooks.

Using iTunes to achieve above was the simplest and preferred way in my case though this wasn’t as easy process as I expected. And that’s why I decided to wrote this article to let you avoid some bottlenecks.

If you’re looking for some other options or ways, like some non-iTunes way, this is also briefly discussed here.

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Listen to YouTube’s audio with screen turned off

It is impossible to use YouTube like an audiobook or audio source because a moment after your turn off your screen or after it is dimmed off due to timeout the playback is stopped and audio is cut-off.

To workaround this problem you can either consider or another YouTube client app:

or you can consider some other browser (namely Firefox).

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Get rid of Redirect Notice from Google Calendar

Google wants to know everything about you. One of the way of achieving it is to put every link, you paste or write into any of their services (i.e. Gmail, Calendar etc.) through their own sniffing tool. In other words, anything like http://www.example.com, it will be turned into https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.example.com or something similar.

For most Google services this being done nearly silently. You’re still sniffed at all paces, but your user experience isn’t affected. Sniffing and redirects are nearly invisible. All you can notice is a difference between URL you’re looking in browser and the one that you see in browser’s status bar.

However, there’s a on exception. It was proven many times that Google Calendar developers are a complete morons. And yes, they wasted up even their very own sniffing tool. Thus, whenever you click any link in Google Calendar, you see a supremely annoying “Redirect Notice” middle page.

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System interrupts kills PC / eats up to 100% of CPU

If your computer is suddenly slowing down noticeable and you have just:

  • installed a new driver or added new piece of hardware,
  • installed or started using some new hardware-related service (i.e. Internet phone, conference software)

then check Task Manager to see, if System interrupts isn’t consuming most of / all of CPU power of your PC.

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Removing some lines from .srt subtitle files

The .srt format seems to be most popular for storing subtitles for corresponding video files. It is very flexible (allowing you to define begin and end of displaying each phrase to the level of single frame).

One big disadvantage of this format is that it is indexed. Meaning that each following line has a consequential numbering. You cannot simply delete let’s say line number 511 (as you would do in case of .txt or other subtitle file formats), because you’d have to renumber manually all following lines. Which, in case of modern movies, can have up to 1000-2000 lines.

Thus, if you wish to get rid of some line or lines (i.e. sound-like sentence) you must either use some designated software that will do the auto-renumbering of the following lines (not covered in this article) or do this manually, keeping some tips in your mind.

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The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid

At some point in your struggle with Office 365 off-line applications (Word 365, Excel 365, PowerPoint 365 etc.), when trying to save any changes to Options dialog, you may run into following error:

The server drafts location you entered for offline editing is not valid or you do not have permission to access that location. Specify a location on your local computer.

In short, this has nothing to do with Office and most likely, you (or someone / something else) deleted your c:\Users\[username]\Documents folder. Closing Office 365, re-creating this folder should fix this problem.

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Blaupunkt VCH601 for the seniors

I had to pick a handheld-hoover for my oldies. Due to their age, the actual weight of the device was an absolute priority. I decided to get Blaupunkt VCH601 — which seems to be unbeatable in this category (only 2.2 kilograms) — even though it turned out that it surprised me in some other areas.

If you think that a handheld-hoover description is far from IT and shouldn’t be published here then you may be wrong. Even IT geeks must clean up their rooms from time to time, sorry! :>

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QNAP TS-210: Support, reset and configuration

One of my disk in two-disk stripping array of my ol’ good QNAP TS-210 has failed. I had to do some reasearch to update my knowledge and decided to share it here, to have it handy and hopefully help others.

Here you’ll find some quick details on resetting and configuring your QNAP TS-210 (may also apply to some other models?) and on getting some support, if all else fails.

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Paste not formatted text to Word

In many programs, applications and web services you can use the Ctrl+Shift+V keyboard shortcut when pasting to override source formatting and paste copied text “as is”, thus using destination document’s formatting. Google services are especially promoting this shortcut, which you can use to paste not formatted text i.e. to Gmail message.

In Word this isn’t that easy. You must:

  • bring up Paste Special window (I use another keyboard shortcut for this — Ctrl+Shift+Insert for example),
  • navigate through list of available options (using Up or Down keys) to locate Unformatted Text option,
  • confirm selection with Enter or by clicking OK.

I wanted to make it simpler and working the same way as in other services. Fortunately, it was an easy keyboard shortcut assignment in Word.

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Rules for pasting large text to Gutenberg / WordPress

Here’s the rule of thumb:

  1. Gutenberg changes pasted large text into separate blocks, if you have two line separation between paragraphs,
  2. If you have single line paragraph separation then Gutenberg will paste whole text into single block.

If you’re pasting from Word or other rich editor then everything should be OK. But, if you’re pasting from some non-rich text editor (I am using Notepad++) and you have a single line paragraph separation then a short trick must be done prior pasting text to Gutenberg.

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“Unprotect” a sheet or a workbook in Excel

Microsoft developers’ ignorance has hit jackpot one more time. If you “protect” a sheet or workbook, Excel only places a special tag inside .xlsx file. Changing it and thus “unprotecting” such file is a piece of cake.

You can remove it in a matter of two minutes using software like Total Commander or 7-Zip. By doing so, you can gain access to “protected” sheet or workbook without knowing a password. Something that in theory should never happen.

In previous versions of Excel (Office) that were using old .xls file you had to work with some nasty, multi-level macro to unprotect a protected file. Now they have made even easier. Instead of using some dully macros all you need is a text editor and a file to unpack and repack archive.

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Correct steps order for getting rid of unfinished print jobs

If you have some documents hanging in your printer’s jobs list that I cannot get rid off, then remember about correct order of steps that you must undertake in order to resolve this issue.

These are:

  • reset printer’s spooler:
    • open Start Menu and type Services,
    • hit Enter to confirm running this app,
    • scroll down list to find Print Spooler item,
    • right-click it and select Restart from its context menu.
  • and clear the queue:
    • open Start Menu and type Printers,
    • hit Enter to confirm running this app,
    • find your printer and click Open queue,
    • use Printer > Cancel All Documents menu item.

That’s all folks!

HP LaserJet Pro M426fdn and printing A4 document on A5 paper

I have ended up with a huge pile of A5-sized pieces of paper and wanted to print some of my largest A4 documents using this paper size. Solving the problem was quite easy (after some serious digging) and narrowed to one of three options:

  • use native printer’s driver functionality, if it supports it,
  • convert document to A4 and print it to A5 paper in any PDF viewer,
  • change paper size to A5 directly in Word and do all the adjustments manually.

Even though I could use first and second option (nearly fully automatic) which saved me a lot of time using third option (nearly fully manual), but I still had a problem with my HP LaserJet Pro M426fdn breaking print on A5 in about 75% and reporting an error.

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Quickly find shortcut-related commands in Word

The Ctrl+Alt+D keyboard shortcut in Word 2010, for inserting endnote, was pissing me off quite much. I wanted to un-assign or re-assign it. But I had a real trouble finding it among all keyboard shortcuts. Mostly, because Word sometimes is using totally misleading codenames for corresponding operations.

By an accident I found a quick workaround to this problem.

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Dell Latitude 7290 keyboard backlight

Dell Latitude 7290’s keyboard’s backlight has a terribly short “on” period. It is set to 10 seconds only by default. Even on AC power. While industry standard is somewhere around 30 seconds or so.

This article shows how to resolve this issue in Dell Latitude 7290, but most other laptops and notebooks will most likely have a very similar solution — find in somewhere in BIOS.

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Can’t install any font. Windows claims that file is invalid

I just wanted to add my docs a little bit a feel of an old typewrite. I found some cool fonts for that, but — to my extreme surprise — I couldn’t install any of them on one of my Windows 10-based PCs (I did it successfully on two others). With Windows claiming that file is invalid whereas I was 100% sure that files are a correct.

Solutions as weird as enabling Windows firewall or installing a copy of file instead of original one didn’t work for me, so I had to figure out another one.

I managed to do so, but the answer was as weird and scary as Microsoft is — try to get yourself an administrator privileges and for all users instead of current one. Worked for me!

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Certain fields are not auto-populated in Word 2010 document

Nearly every version of Microsoft Word offers a cool feature of inserting fields into various parts of your document. These fields are auto-populated on various occasions and contains always up-to-date value with no need for you to manually update or write that particular value.

Most likely you’ve already seen that in action. Naming page numer or total pages count as first two out of a long row of examples.

You can have virtually every value in such field. The same functionality that counts pages of your document automatically can insert (and always refresh automatically) some document property, like author name, document title etc. You don’t need to write your title manually in many places. You just add a field that corresponds to this particular document property, everywhere you need, and that’s it. Anytime you hit Ctrl+A to select entire document and then F9 to manually refresh all fields (or anytime Word does this refresh for you), you always get most up-to-date value taken from your doc’s properties.

Problems starts when you try to insert some specific field, like Company Address or Company E-mail.

There’s either some bug or some weird logic in Microsoft Word 2010 which causes that you must insert this field in a very specific way. Otherwise you get a field which value is not being auto-updated.

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Restore not working Windows Spotlight

Windows Spotlight is a Windows 10 feature that displays you a beautiful images on your lock screen along with some location’s information and from time to time, some tips. On contrary to some users, I really like this feature and prefer to have different lock-screen image each day instead of the same dully picture.

When Windows Spotlight stops working there are several solutions in order to restore it.

If you’re lucky, the simplest one will give you expected results and you’re done in a matter of seconds. If you’re unlucky, you’ll end up messing up with Windows PowerShell, for which you need administrator privileges.

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Disable Bluetooth discovery in Windows 10

By default, when you enable Bluetooth in Settings app in Windows 10, your PC will become discoverable by all the nearby devices. But there’s a small (old good) Control Panel checkbox to control / disable this behavior. It is reported to be working in Windows 10 as well.

If you are 100% sure (see details in the following parts of this article) that your PC with Windows 10 is discoverable via Bluetooth even though you have turned such possibility off, then truly disabling Bluetooth discovery will require you to:

  • Tweak in Windows Registry or
  • Mess up with Windows API (through PowerShell console) or
  • Use some designated 3rd party Windows app that will do the trick for you

But, first let’s make ourselves sure that you really need to do anything.

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My first Zoom.us experience

Current situation forces us to switch from face-to-face meetings into on-line experience. I was forced to lead my courses this way. Today I had first attempt and wanted to share some info on how it went.

I decided to use Zoom.us, because I had some previous a bit less positive experience with Microsoft Teams and quite very bad experience with Cisco Webex. And thus I wanted to try something else or different. Zoom.us was first that came on my list after removing Teams and Webex from this list. It was also very important to me that free version offers quite a lot and paid version isn’t that expensive at all.

If you’re new to on-line meetings topic then this article might be useful to you. If you have been using this kind of services previously or have otherwise experience in this area then you may not find much value here.

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Remove phone from “Your Phone” in Windows 10

I just wanted to get rid of my current phone in “Your Phone” app in Windows 10. But, since this is Microsoft and 25+ years of experience in making users lives as hard as possible, you cannot expect a simple “Remove” button. And there is no easy way to do this.

I’ve went through two different guides of removing phone from “My Phone”. None of them worked. I’ve ended up uninstalling “Your Phone” app (which itself wasn’t too easy task).

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This operation has been cancelled… after clicking a link in Word 2010

I had the issue of seeing this nasty error message each time when I clicked any link in my Microsoft Word:

I was struggling with this issue in both Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Word 2013.

I have correctly identified that this problem is related to me removing Internet Explorer 11 from my Windows 10 (an optional feature in this version of Windows). However, while bringing it back resolved this problem for my office computer with Office 2013, I was forced to do a little bit more to resolve this issue on my home computer with Office 2013.

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