Randomize background of a webpage

Suppose that you have a landing page (or just a cool background) and you have some many versions of it, and all so beautiful, that you can’t decide which one to show. Some kind of weird solution is to show them all in a random manner.

If you wish to achieve something similar to this then all you need is a really short piece of HTML, JavaScript and CSS. All can be put to a single file.

Since I like a clean and easy solution, this one use pure-JavaScript. No jQuery stuff etc. included.

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Sending executable file through Gmail in Windows

For obvious security reasons, Google will do anything that is in their power to stop you from sending .exe, .apk and other executable files as email messages’ attachments. But, sometimes it is very needed to send such file (in a completely legitimate scenarios). And doing so in Gmail becomes a serious task.

This is, because simple encrypting (password-protecting) such files isn’t enough right now. Since password-protected files encrypts their content only and thus list of attached files is available. Gmail can scan such file and learn that you’re trying to send an executable file even without knowing the password.

Simple extension rename: .exe –> .nothing also doesn’t work today. Google is somehow able to check mime-type of files attached in encrypted archives and doesn’t rely on file extensions anymore.

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Start Office 365 apps with a document

Office 365 off-line apps brings new start-up behavior of showing a summary screen instead of starting with an empty document open. If you like the “old” behavior then there’s a very easy way to achieve this:

  1. Open Word / Excel / Power Point
  2. Go to OptionsGeneralStart up options
  3. Uncheck the Show the Start screen when this application starts item
  4. Click OK to confirm

Restart app to see the effect.

Full-screen vertically and horizontally centered text in CSS

This is as easily as adding one single div:

<div class="css-vh-center">
    Hello World <br />
    Hello World <br />
    Hello World <br />
</div>

and styling it properly:

.css-vh-center {
    position: fixed; /* or absolute */
    top: 50%;
    left: 50%;
    /* bring your own prefixes */
    transform: translate(-50%, -50%);
}

All the glory goes to this Stack Overflow answer.

Note that this is not using flex-box solution (see the above linked answer for details), so should work even in older pre-IE8 browsers.

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Disable “Pick up where you left off” in Word

The “Pick up where you left off” is one of the worst features that Microsoft added to Word, because it prevents you from quickly opening and searching the document. With this feature enabled, now you have to wait approx. 3-5 seconds after you open any document and before you can hit Ctrl+F.

Disabling this feature is fairly easy, but — because this is Microsoft — again involves messing up with the Windows Registry, so you need administrator account in order to perform these steps.

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Remove one-letter word (orphans) from the end of line

In English an orphan is:

A paragraph-opening line that appears by itself at the bottom of a page or column, thus separated from the rest of the text

Thus, in English typography it is understood in the context of the whole paragraph. Single line of a new paragraph, left alone on the preceding page (before page break) is not allowed.

Polish language is more strict by that and “explores” an alternative (less known) definition of “orphan”. In Polish typography this term is understood in the context of single line and regarded as a:

Single word (single letter in most cases) left along at the end of line (next to right paragraph).

And similarly this is prohibited in Polish typesetting.

In this article you can find a Word macro for removing such orphans from your text.

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From Google Maps to Strava…

…or any other service, software or device that supports .gpx files. In one… two… six… steps! :)

  1. Plot any track in Google Maps
  2. If there are alternative routes found by Google, make sure that you’ve picked just one
  3. Copy entire URL and paste it into Maps to GPX service
  4. Download resulting .gpx file
  5. Create a new route in Strava
  6. Click Upload GPX button and upload downloaded .gpx file

And… you’re done.

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Update Origin when it claims a missing DLL

Because Electronic Arts hires a complete morons as developers of their Origin software, you will often find yourself in a situation where:

  • Automatic update of Origin for PC fails asking you to download offline installer
  • Running offline installer fails with missing DLLs error

Leaving you with virtually no options for updating Origin client.

“Virtually”, because by a complete accident I found a solution for EA stupidity.

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The “start here” point in Ultibo

Ultibo is the very new / completely different way of programming for Raspberry Pi. You are no longer installing any kind of Linux on your RPi and writing some app or script for it.

Instead:

  • You create your own kernel image, in which you can do virtually anything
  • For very simple solutions your entire RPi “system” can be as small as 1 MB
  • You’re programming everything that you need using Free Pascal in a modified Lazarus IDE

Developing anything from scratch sounds like a extremely huge and overwhelming task. More like inventing the wheel again. Well… not necessary.

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Enable FTP support in Chrome / Edge (August 2021)

There’s an answer at Super User that explains how to enable FTP protocol support in Chrome. It is dated May 29th and right now (Chrome 92 / Edge 92) it is already out-dated / no longer valid. It took only two months to make enable-ftp flag completely gone from Chrome and Edge browsers:

Right now (August 2021) you still have a chance too access FTP address in Chrome / Edge (details below), but I expect that my answer will become outdated in next couple of months just as in the above mentioned case.

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Rename an Amazon Lightsail instance

Amazon Lightsail is a perfect solution for a newbies to cloud computing like me. It offers a very simplified interface and overall approach into creation and management of fully featured VPSes (Virtual Private Servers) without the overhead and hassle of using more complex and more professional solutions like Amazon EC2.

The most important part of its greatness, next to simplicity, is pricing. The smallest possible option (just a virtual server with:

  • 512 MB memory and 1 core processor
  • 20 GB SSD disk and 1 TB of outbound traffic per month

which is far enough to host a simple-to-middle WordPress site will cost you 3.5 USD per month only. One static IP (with the possibility of using your own domain thus) is added free of charge.

You will be billed more only if your site has enough interest to go beyond that 1 TB outgoing traffic or if you decide that you need more computing power. Other than that — just a plain three and a half buck per month.

However, there’s a little glitch when you create your instance with an incorrect or misleading name, because the process of renaming Amazon Lightsail instance includes a few steps and some downtime on your website.

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Fix incorrect mp3 duration with mp3val

I’ve found a few files for which:

  • Video LAN for Windows was playing them without any problems (after a 1 second glitch),
  • Winamp for Windows was playing them also without problems, but showing 00:00 as each file’s duration
  • mobile player for Android failed to play them showing Cannot play content error.

A quick look-around the Internet showed that a tiny mp3val program can validate any .mp3 file and fix most errors, it finds.

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Batch remove silence from many MP3 files

I’ve downloaded over fifty one hour long recordings of my church-related celebrations. As with most of such recordings, every file contains about 5-6 minutes of:

  • silence or
  • non-related sounds

in the beginning during priest’s processing, people gathering etc. Plus it concludes some silence during various moments of celebrations. I wanted to get rid of it.

I found this eleven years old question at Super User. It’s not only very old, but also off-topic (no software recommendation-like questions allowed at SU) so I decided to put my own update here.

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Print two A5 pages on singe A4 paper sheet

Suppose you have a Microsoft Word document that is formatted to be printed on A5 pages. For any reason (you don’t have A5 page, you want to save paper etc.) you want to print it so that two A5 pages will appear next to each other on single A4 page.

On contrary to common beliefs this is not as easy as selecting 2 Pages Per Sheet because, without additional settings, your printer will be still asking you to feed it with A5 paper.

It’s not that easy, but the solution is still surprisingly simple.

This article is specific to (ISO 216 standard) paper size standard and for printing two A5 pages on one A4 sheet. But the very same steps should theoretically work in every scenario where you want to print two half-sized pages on single page format that is twice as big. Thus, printing (plotting?) two B3 pages on one huge B2 poster should work. Or printing two Letter-sized pages (216 × 279 mm) on one Ledger page (432 × 279 mm).

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Reverse dates in filenames using Total Commander’s multi-rename tool

Multi-rename tool in Total Commander is fantastic (when you know how to use it) and it saved my ass (before manually renaming many files) in many scenarios, including some very specific or even weird ones.

This scenario is one of such.

I had dates written directly as a part of filename, i.e.: Document name (DD-MM-YYYY).jpg, but (as shown) starting with day and ending with year. I had to reverse them, but only dates, keeping the rest of file untouched — i.e. Document name (YYYY-MM-DD).jpg.

At first, I thought that this time I will be forced to do this manually. But, I recalled multi-rename tool’s documentation and its small part about backward characters counting (i.e. from end of filename).

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A very quick introduction to QEMU

If you’re developing your own applications for Raspberry Pi:

There’s a never-ending question on testing your results.

Copying:

  • New version of your app into Linux on your RPi and running it or
  • New disk image to microSD and booting entire device

Doesn’t seems to be a huge problem.

But, when you have to do this dozens of times each day than an emulator-like questions appears.

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Get some base Linux info in QNAP TS-210 using console

QNAPs runs on (sometimes heavily modified) Debian distributions. But, what about kernel version etc.?

There several ways of getting this information from console. Out of them following works on TS-210:

  • uname -a
  • cat /etc/issue
  • cat /proc/version

If you ever need more information on this then… LMGIFY.

In this article I’ll show you the very basic commands that can be used on QNAP TS-210 (modified Debian Linux) to obtain system release, version, hardware info etc.

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Border-less full-screen console app in Ultibo

I made my first project in Ultibo and compiled some example one. Everything was just fine (actually — perfect), if not for that green border with Ultibo name and release version.

Don’t get me wrong. I already love UItibo and will spread the word. But, for security reasons, I’d like to get rid of any info that clearly communicates what was used to build particular piece of software.

Fortunately, with a small research (here and here), it turned out that the solution is very easy.

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Error code 6009 when deleting folder from OneDrive

If you’re getting “Error Code 6009” during attempting to delete any folder from OneDrive:

Then look carefully for all open browser windows and tabs. Because this error means that you are trying to delete a folder which contains any file that is already opened in some window or tab.

If you cannot find any tab or windows of such kind then restart browser and try to delete folder again (alternatively, restart the whole computer). As there maybe some background task, not visible to you, that is holding a file lock and preventing you from deleting a parent folder.