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-James

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Skype hates Windmill

Posted by james on July 2, 2008

We've been using Windmill for browser UI testing, and recently I ran into a problem.; I installed skype on my machine, which by default installs a firefox plugin. The next time you startup firefox, it loads a "Thank you for installing skype" page instead of whatever you were trying to reach. This happens once for each profile, including new profiles.

Windmill creates a new temporary profile each time it tests, and then loads up the testing page to start testing. However, now instead of loading the windmill testing page, it loads the skype page which screws up teh whole testing process. You can't change the profile since it's created fresh each time windmill tests. You can't avoid the initial skype page, since that always loads once for each new profile.

The only solution I can see is to delete the skype firefox extension. But since the extension is installed for firefox globally and not in an individual profile, you have to delete it in the main firefox folder. By default, it's:
C:\Program Files\Mozilla\Firefox\extensions\{B13721C7-F507-4982-B2E5-502A71474FED}
Delete that folder to prevent the plugin from installing for new profiles. This will allow Windmill to run normally.

Installing a Mishimoto Radiator on a 2G DSM

Posted by james on May 4, 2008


27 pictures.

My stock radiator started to go bad (massive corrosion), so I started looking for replacements. I could have bought a generic radiator for 200-300 at my local store, or an OEM for ~500 online. I decided to go with a Mishimoto aluminum radiator. It looked good, had some positive reviews, and was reasonably priced. I also got 2 12" Mishimoto slimline fans to go with it.

My first impressions were that the package was good, and the radiator looked very solid and well built. The fans were all-plastic, including the blades, but were stiff enough.
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I didn't install the slimline fans since they didn't come with the mounting hardware (why??). I bought those separately ($10 on ebay), basically just a few zip ties, springs, and pads. I'll post up that part when I get the parts in. For now, the radiator is working well and keeping the temps low. I'll have to keep an eye on the drain plug to see if it's leaking any. But for now, everything looks good.

My DIY Projector

Posted by james on May 3, 2008


15 pictures.

I've wanted to make a DIY Projector since I first learned that people were making these, back in college. It's a pretty simple idea; commercial projectors simply shine a bright light through a small LCD and through a projection lens onto the screen. They're bright, look good, and are very portable. However, they're very expensive, and the bulbs cost about $250-350 to replace. That's a huge maintenance cost! Even cheaper projectors on sale in the 300-400 range will need replacement bulbs eventually, which means within a few years the bulbs will far outstrip the initial projector cost.

We can make a DIY projector ourselves. It's cheaper (my budget is around $300), and uses cheaper bulbs (around the $20-50 range) that last longer (20,000 hrs vs. 3,000 hrs for a commercial PJ). However, DIY PJ's are much larger (since smaller items are more expensive), are not as bright, and take a lot of work to get them just right. But that's half the fun, making it yourself.

I just got my last shipment of parts, so now I have almost everything I need:
-18" FL Beseler projection lens
-400w electronic ballast
-400w metal-halide (MH) bulb
-650mm and 220mm FL fresnels
-17" 4:3 Xerox LCD (not widescreen, unfortunately)
-Temperature controller for the fans

I need to figure out the heat shield (a piece of glass or lexan) and the enclosure (probably MDF wood). Once I get this working, it's movie nights every week! I can't wait.


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