Friday, September 25, 2015

Chocolatey - Windows style apt-get package manager

Just discovered a nifty package manager for Windows - Chocolatey. Do not get fooled by the silly name - choco has 3k packages to choose from and give the Windows power user plenty of opportunities to automate stuff.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Git for Windows

Due to new workplace I had to adapt myself into using Windows (who would have thought after more than 15 years as a Linux power user!!). It took me long to discover a great tool to use for Git - called Git for Windows.

Not only it comes with a handy GUI to visualise commit history, branches and version control, but it comes with a 'Git Bash', which is a console loaded with Linux tools!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Histograms in Mac Excel

In this quick post I will demonstrate how to create a histogram in Mac Excel including the Bin Labels as x-axis.

STEP 1: Start with your data formatted as bin and individual frequency (that is derived from the cumulative frequency).

STEP 2: Highlight the entire table, click on Charts, and select Column. You will end up with an incorrect histogram which we'll fix in the next step.

STEP 3: Fix the histogram y-axis values by keeping the correct series (IQ bin).

STEP 4: Fix the histogram x-axis values by copying the IQ bin raw data and then Paste Special inside the Chart (by selecting it before pasting). The data needs to be pasted as a new series with Values Y as Columns, and X Labels as Categories. Make sure you check the box to replace existing categories otherwise it will not work.

STEP 5: You will now end up with the correct histogram.

STEP 6: If you want to widen the bars, right click on one bar, and select "Format Data Series..". In the "Options" tab adjust the "Gap width" to 15%.

STEP 7: Final result.

Friday, June 12, 2015

WiFi Cascaded Home network

I had some free time to design and build a cascaded WiFi network for my home. I have recently bought a TPLink router (TL-WR841HP) to replace an older MSI WiFi router because I needed to cover all the house with WiFi. 

The TL-WR841HP is great, and to be honest I did not actually need to cascade the network because it's Signal Power is rated x4 the conventional routers - so that covered almost the entire house! Having said that, I wanted to dedicate a router just for first floor where I have my Android box streaming HD movies, so I wanted to squeeze all the juice through a singular router (MSI). 

The setup is shown below and quite self explanatory. If anyone wants more details, just drop me a comment.

Friday, June 05, 2015

RT5370 USB WiFi adapter on Yosemite 10.10.x

Got myself one of these cheap RT5370 chipset based USB WiFi Adapters (C1288) for my old Macbook Pro whose airport card died. Naively I thought that it was just a matter of plug 'n play... But Yosemite made it difficult for me and I have literally spent 7 hours to find a solution.

So I am going to explain what needs to be done in a few steps and of course in a way that even non-hackers can understand. Note that this solution will work on a number of Ralink and Realtek chipsets. 

(Hint: Do you want to do a quick business? Click here to order x10 of these WiFi dongles and follow the instructions to install on to your clients. Thank me later!).

Download and install this package. This will install the KExt for Yosemite. Do not Reboot yet.

Edit Info.plist (/System/Library/Extensions/RT2870USBWirelessDriver.kext/Contents) and add the following code:

Note for the hackers: I added a new key for the Product ID and Vendor ID of this particular dongle (Get this from the system profiler). Make sure you translate Hex value to Decimal. For example in my case Product Id is 0x7601 (decimal: 30209) and Vendor Id is 5263 (decimal: 5263).

Fix Permissions and Refresh Kext by running the following code in terminal:

Download and copy the DWA-140 utility to the System Preferences pane:


If you go to the System Preferences -> DWA-140 (at the bottom), you should be able to see the nearby WiFi networks (or far ones if you connected an external antenna!).

Since I have a hidden SSID WiFi router (security through obscurity!) I had to manually enter its details by clicking on the "Create Profile Drawer" and add a new profile for my connection.

The reliability and performance is excellent to say the least:

EDIT: Some people experience difficulties with the DWA-140 utility. As a recommendation you can try the MediaTek tool. Download and copy to your applications folder.

Monday, February 23, 2015

My Malta Marathon 2015 experience

My first marathon, therefore my personal best. The ‪Malta Marathon‬ was a test of mental fortitude. My legs are shattered but my spirits are high!