How to duplex print with a HP 1320 printer using OSX

As a recent convert to Macs and OSX, I was pleased when my trusty old HP 1320 laser printer ‘worked’ straight away when plugged into my Macbook Pro. However my joy was short lived when I couldn’t figure out how to enable duplex printing – you can’t set it from preferences or the printer driver.

For the past 12 months, despite numerous Google searches, I had despaired at finding a solution – until tonight. So without further ado, here is the info on how to configure duplex printing with the HP 1320 laser printer:

“The HP 1320 printer is capable of duplex printing but the information from HP is not correct. If you wish to duplex print on the 1320 open a document in MS Word or any word processing application. Select Print>Layout>Long Edge Binding>Presets>Save As>assign a name>print the document and then close the application.” Once you have done this, you can now select that preset in any other application and duplex printing will be enabled. If you want to return to one-sided printing, you similar reselect the ‘standard’ preset.

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How to cut onions without crying (the non-stupid method)

If you do a search on how to cut onions without crying you will come across all manner of convoluted ridiculous solutions such as cutting it under running water, putting it in the freezer for 5 minutes, holding a spoon in your mouth, lighting a match and the most ridiculous, purchasing a pair of onion goggles (amusingly, the googles are a real product with positive reviews!).

Cooking is complex enough without adding un-needed preparation time, wasting water, or flushing your dignity down the kitchen sink (holding a spoon in your mouth, really!).

So here is the simplest, free method to cut onions without the fumes causing you to tear up:

Turn on the exhaust fan above your stove, stand close to the fan, and when you cut your onion, make sure that the onion is between you and the stove.

How simple is that! The fumes get sucked away from your face, no tears, no prep time – just cut and go – and you don’t look ridiculous doing it! Now you can safely go back to cooking your favourite onion recipes such as from The Onion Lover’s Cookbook (ha! I didn’t even know there were cooking books specifically for onions – then again, I didn’t know you could buy dedicated onion goggles either!)

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The Simplest Fix for ‘iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPod’

Over the last two hours I’ve been trying to get my 5th Gen iPod Nano to sync with Apple iTunes on my 2009 model MacBook Pro, but all I got was the dreaded error message ‘iTunes cannot read the contents of the iPod’. iTunes tells me to restore, but as the iPod won’t appears under the Devices section, I can’t actually perform a restore.

Googling for this error message turned up numerous sites with different methods to fix this issue – they ranged from doing hard resets to hooking your iPod Nano to a Windows box (but requires your iPod to be in hard drive mode). None of these worked for me.

After two hours – I discovered the problem ….. make sure that your iPod isn’t plugged into an unpowered USB hub!

I eventually still had to do a restore since by then, I had well and truly corrupted my iPod drive with all the various previous attempts at fixing the problem. However the ipod was now appearing under devices in iTunes and the restore was quick and painless. Hopefully your problem ends up being as simple to fix as mine …

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The Day ‘City Homicide’ Was Filmed In My House

We’ve all watched TV or movies at some stage and most of us are fascinated by how these shows are made if the popularity of ‘Behind the scenes’ specials are anything to go by.

Yet few people get a chance to see a TV show being filmed and even fewer get the opportunity to have a real TV show filmed in their home. I was recently lucky enough to have that chance when Channel 7 (one of 5 major TV networks in Australia) contacted me to use my house as a location for their hit TV show, City Homicide.

For those who might get a similar offer, here is what my experience was like (there is a video of the scenes at the very end of this post) …

(The episode that featured my house is the Season 2 finale – Life and Death).

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Towboat Passes Beneath A Bridge … By Rolling Underwater!

In this amazing set of photographs, a towboat hits a bridge, rolls underneath it and emerges on the other side – intact and functional! The event occured on April 19, 1979 at Rooster Bridge on the Tombigbee River in western Alabama and was captured by amateur photographer Charles Barger.

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iPhone 3G – Wifi and LEAP authentication tip

Well I jumped on the bandwagon and replaced my aging Motorola Razr mobile phone with an Apple iPhone 3G. One of the first things I tried to do was connect it to the wireless network at work which took me a while to do. Here is the tip that may save you some time:

  • The network name is case sensitive!
  • If the wifi uses LEAP authentication, select ‘WPA Enterprise’ or ‘WPA2 Enterprise’ from the security options.

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Nivmedia Reloaded

To cut a long story short, I’ve moved nivmedia.com back to the first web hosting firm I used years ago -  Westhost – and taken the opportunity to rebuild this site from the ground up. So new themes, new purpose and hopefully more frequency in posts. Unfortunately in the move, I was unable to migrate any of the posts.

So instead, I’ve re-posted a few of the more popular posts (thanks Google Cache) and adjusted the post dates so that previous links will remain consistent. I’ll also manually re-add all the comments over time, but for now, i’ll post them all in one big comment.

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Photos of Foot Binding – An Ancient Chinese Custom

Foot binding was an ancient Chinese custom and considered a status symbol. The act of foot binding involved wrapping the feet in tight bandages at a young age such that they would break and become highly deformed resulting in feet that were not larger than 4-6 inches!

You can read a more in-depth explanation of the custom on Wikipedia. Photos of this custom are shown below. If you are a bit squeamish, I’d advise skipping the photos.

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How to make a “Ball and Chain” for a Bachelor Party

Bored with the idea of forcing a soon-be-married Bachelor to wear a ‘funny’ t-shirt or phallic symbol on his Buck’s Night (aka Bachelor Party or Stag Party), I decided to make my own ‘Ball and Chain’ and attach it to him for the entire night.

Marriage (for the guy) is often compared to being attached to a ball and chain and so what better way to get the victim use to the idea that to actually chain him to one for the night. You can’t easily walk into a shop and ballball and chain, so I decided to make my own. The completed item is shown in the left photo below, and in the right photo the same ball and chain this time in actual use.

Continue reading for step-by-step instructions on making your own …

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Vista and slow torrent downloads using uTorrent – a solution!

I ‘upgraded’ to Vista a few weeks ago and unhappily discovered that utorrent ran like an absolute dog. I would try to download the same torrent on two identically configured utorrent clients on the same connnection – one running on my Vista desktop and one running on my XP laptop. What I would see on Vista was:

  • It struggled to find seeds, yet on XP, it found plenty.
  • Download speed hovered around 0.2 kB/s whereas on XP it would happily do 50-350 kB/s.

Continue reading for the fix …

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Plot Spoiler

There has been much discussion on the final book in the Harry Potter series – much of it focussed on ‘Will he die? Will he kill Voldemort?’ This is too narrow a focus, and the bigger focus should be on the total destruction of magic. Here is the plot for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (well at least what I think it will be :) ):

The Plot

The war between Harry Potter and Voldemort will reach a crescendo with both sides amassing armies on both sides. Voldemort will be the more powerful and all seems lost for the ‘forces of good’. Finally the forces of good discover a method to destroy Voldemort – however, using this method will destroy magic forever. No more magic, no more Hogwarts, everyone becomes a Muggle.

During the final battle, with Voldemort gaining the upper hand and on the verge of winning the war, Harry unleashes the secret weapon on Voldemort, killing him, but at the same time, removing all magic from the world. The last chapters of the book will deal with all the ex-wizards/witches dealing with life without the magic they had got used to relying on. Finally Ron and Hermione get married.

Continue reading for the justification …

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Secret volume control in Quicktime

If you have ever watched media on media players such as Quicktime or Windows Media Player, you will probably have come across the situation where the volume is too low (even with the volume slider at max). Sure, you can adjust the volume controls in your OS or on the speakers, but sometimes this is either too fiddly or the volume knob is at max.

Well if you are using Quicktime, you can access a secret volume control by pressing Shift and clicking on the volume slider. This give you additional volume boost and best of all, doesn’t affect your OS volume settings (which is something I hate in Real Player).

Update: If you are using the standalone Quicktime player, hold shift and press the up arrow – it will increase volume even when slider is at max. If volume is above max, hitting either up or down arrow (without shift) will instantly bring it back to max. So that’s a quick way to fix the volume if you set it too high and a loud part comes on. Thanks to eridius on Digg for this additional tip.

I’m sure people will tell me that this ’secret’ volume control is really old news – but meh, I was only shown this today so it’s big news to me :) .

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