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Resume and bio of the author Couple of articles related to my hobby - robotics
My impressions about immigration to Australia. In Russian only. Recipes for everyday problems solving
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Software-related posts A lot of info about hardware
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Andrey Mikhalchuk’s Blog

Technoblog about life

Feb 10, 2011 How to submit your youtube videos to blinkx

Blinkx is a powerful audio and video search engine. It’s main competitive advantage is a speech recognition engine. What that means is if someone says “hot dog” in your video blinkx will hear this and show your video when someone will be searching for hot dogs on blinkx website. Cool, right?
YouTube is … well, you know what youtube is.
How to merry these two awesome technologies? Unfortunately not that simple. The only way you can submit your video to blinkx is using “media rss” feed. I’ve heard some time ago youtube was providing media rss feeds for all channels, but for some reason stopped doing that. So here is how you can do it despite this inconvenience …

Jun 11, 2010 How to Do Excellent Presentations. Part I.

funny-dog-pictures-beastie-boysHi!
I’m sitting here at the Rails conference (has nothing to do with trains) and watching at the presenter struggling with the equipment. This leaves me couple minutes to start this post about how to do great presentations and not to do bad ones.

Jun 29, 2009 “When I make a call on iPhone the screen goes black and never/randomly goes normal again”. Solution.

iPhone with all its user interface bells and whistles, great functionality and stylish design is a great device, I have very little doubt about that. Unfortunately for a few days I was experiencing a problem with it that made me think being the best organizer ever it is one of the worst phone ever. You see, on a regular phone you always have this little red button that would immediately hang up when you press it. In iPhone everything is done via touch screen and software and there is no guarantee this software won’t fail you. All my long experience with conventional phones only twice lead me to a situation when I was unable to hang up the tube. A few days with iPhone brought me a dozen of such accidents. The problem was simple: once I make a call the screen randomly goes black. Sometimes this was happening a few seconds after the start of the call, sometimes only when I move it to my ear. I checked my wife’s phone and it appeared it does the same and this is actually a battery-saving feature. But her phone was returning to normal state once you move the phone from ear and mine wasn’t. It just stayed in this strange state when you can hear and talk to someone, but can’t do anything that could only be done via the touchscreen including hanging up. Here is the solution …

Jan 19, 2009 Fixing Samsung SPF-83V left/right buttons

Samsung spf-83v buttons connectorI like this photo frame alot! Samsung SPF-83V not only does have excellent 800×600 resolution, but it also supports content retrieval from other computers and directly from the Internet RSS channels via WiFi. Of course it is not perfect, it is not the easiest photo frame to set up, all content retrieval technologies are Microsoft-oriented, but the most frustrating feature is that for some reason Left and Right buttons are reversed!! Why would anyone do that I have no clue. Here is how to fix the problem.

Oct 23, 2008 How to add serial interface to WRT54GL router

If you decided to mod your wrt54gl router and turn it into one of the most capable routers for soho network, probably the first mod you should start with is adding serial interface to it. Why? Because when you do the other mods (like adding SD reader, turning into robot, adding leds etc) you definitely send the router into the brick state. And the best way to unbrick it is to look at the router’s console output. The entire operation is very easy and should not take longer then 1 hour. Here is how to do this:

Oct 9, 2008 How to control Pleo wirelessly via bluetooth

Bluetooth Pleo HeadPleo is a wonderful dinosaur, way more charming then roboraptor and other sapiences. It is the most advanced toy robot currently available on the market in the < $700 price range (Pleo price is around $330 shipped). It has a huge potential which is limited by the fact it is completely standalone. I tried to fix this by adding bluetooth interface to it. This mod allows issuing commands to Pleo from virtually any bluetooth-enabled device, including many cell phones, communicators and generic computers. It also allows retrieving information from Pleo on-the-fly, like sounds it hears, pictures it sees etc.

Before you continue reading this post please acknowledge that this mod is not approved by Ugobe and most probably will void the warranty. Also there is always a chance that something will go wrong and you might damage your robopet. If you're going to implement this mod you are the only one responsible for damaging this very expensive toy. I'm providing the information below only as a personal experience for educational purposes.

And here is how to make it:

Oct 4, 2008 How to import video from Canon Vixia HF100 to your PC without PixelaMixer

At the moment Canon Vixia HF100 is the best consumer HD flash camera. It’s not perfect, I found plenty of glitches and inconveniences like

  1. Sometimes it takes up to 15 seconds to switch the mode (Play/Record)
  2. The navigation is not very intuitive
  3. The official video backup process via Pixela Mixer (i.e. you need to install a piece of commercial software before you will be able to get your video from camera to computer)

Despite all those and many other issues it is still the best. The video quality is just outstanding, it’s like having whole Hollywood in your pocket. While I can do nothing (so far) with #1 and #2 annoyances #3 is easily solvable. You don’t need to install this special piece of software called PixelaMixer. In fact I didn’t even try it after reading couple reviews saying it’s no good at all. You can just connect the camera to the PC or insert the SD card into the card reader and copy .mts files from <drive>\private\avchd\bdmv\stream to your backup device. Then you can process the files with whatever software you prefer.
If you also want to backup the images then get them at <drive>\DCIM, as usually.

Oct 4, 2008 How to make Delphi TFrame background transparent

I actually think this method will work for Visual Basic and other similar languages too. Here is the code for a sample frame called TfrKnob:

Sep 11, 2008 “Setup cannot continue because some system files are out of date on your system.”

“Setup cannot continue because some system files are out of date on your system. Click OK if you would like setup to update these files for you now. You will need to restart Windows before you can run setup again. Click cancel to exit setup without updating system files.”

First time I was struggling with the problem when I tried to install Dino-MITE – an excellent program for monitoring ancd controlling home dinosaurs manufactured by Ugobe. Later it appeared that the problem is more common and frequently occures with during the installation of various products written in Visual Basic.

Sep 10, 2008 Problems downloading drivers from hp.com?

I don’t know exactly what causes the problem, but I’m unable to download anything from HP (Hewlett-Packard) website. I tried downloading using multiple FTP clients from different platforms and it appeared that Safari under MacOS can download the files, while Firefox under both Windows and MacOS can’t. Right now I tried to get the same file from two XP computers using FireFox and one was able to download the file, while the other one wasn’t. It’s not about firewall settings and not about passive/active mode. If someone knows the reason and how to fix the problem I’d appreciate a comment on this post.

If anyone else is experiencing the same problems use the following solution: copy the URL of the link you’re trying to download the file from (in FireFox right-click on the link and choose “Copy Link location”), paste the link into the browser’s address line, replace “ftp://” with “http://” and hit enter. This will download the file using HTTP protocol.

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