Wednesday, October 18, 2017

How To Disable Secure Boot In Windows 8.1 In Acer Laptops

How To Disable Secure Boot In Windows 8.1 In Acer Laptops  
By Abhishek Prakash
December 17, 2014

I have already written about disabling secure boot in Windows 8.1 when I was using a Dell laptop. A number of people mentioned in comments that for them the option to disable secure boot was greyed out in UEFI settings. They simply could not disable the secure boot for the reason that the option was available to them.

I did not face this issue until I bought this new Acer R13 ultrabook. It comes with Windows 8.1 pre-installed and of course it has UEFI instead of the legacy BIOS system. In order to dual boot Windows 8.1 with dual boot, I wanted to disable UEFI secure boot first. And when I checked in to UEFI settings under Security tab, I found that the option to disable secure boot was grey. Moving the arrow key up and down to select this option was futile.

In this article, we shall see how can we disable UEFI secure boot for Acer laptops (and perhaps systems from other manufacturers).

https://itsfoss.com/disable-secure-boot-in-acer/

Friday, April 5, 2013

Beach Refuge: recycled containers with ocean views

Beach Refuge: recycled containers with ocean views
By Bevin Chu
April 6, 2013
Taipei, China

Beach Refuge: recycled containers with ocean views
http://www.busyboo.com/2013/03/17/container-beach-hut/
Casa Huente
http://www.pabloerrazuriz.cl/2013/03/casa-huente/

Standard 20 and 40 foot long ISO shipping containers have been often used as emergency housing in disaster areas.


Standard ISO Shipping Container

Unfortunately those charged with using shipping containers for this purpose, even in the "First World," are usually tone deaf and color blind when it comes to design. The results can be dismal indeed.


Typical Poorly Designed Emergency Housing:
How NOT to design a Shipping Container House!

My own preliminary study of shipping container housing design has taught me that three design features are essential for shipping container houses:

1. The shipping container house must be elevated above the surrounding grade level, at knee height or above
2. The shipping container house must include a generous elevated outdoor deck, that is both visible and accessible from within the house 
3. The outdoor deck must be covered by a roof or a canopy

The shipping container beach refuge shown below, by contrast, was designed by talented Chilean architect Pablo Errazuriz. It has all essential three design features mentioned above, and meticulous attention to architectural design. The result is impressive. It and other architect designed shipping container homes, suggest the unrealized potential in shipping container architecture.   

Site Plan/Floor Plan


Aerial View, Inland Side


Elevation, Inland Side


Deck, Inland Side


Ramp, Inland Side


Ramp, Inland Side


Elevation, Ocean Side


Deck, Ocean Side


Ocean View, Interior


Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House, with similar design parti: a rectangular box shaped house on elevated stilts, with covered outdoor deck. I would not be the least bit surprised if Pablo Errazuriz's beach refuge was inspired by the Farnsworth House.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

7-11 vs. Starbucks

7-11 vs. Starbucks
by Bevin Chu
Taipei, China
October 18, 2012


Starbucks Taiwan "Phinney" Stainless Steel Tumbler - 900 NT
(Sold for $19.95 in the US)
Available in white


7-11 Taiwan "City Cafe" Stainless Steel Tumbler - 399 NT
(354 NT if you deduct the 45 NT Medium Latte included free with each purchase)
Available in Trendy Silver or Simple White

Notice how the tumblers are nearly identical? They were almost certainly supplied by the same OEM manufacturer on mainland China. 

If you deduct the price of the medium latte that comes free with the tumbler, the cost is only 354 NT. That means a savings of 546 NT over a nearly identical tumbler from Starbucks.

I bought one each of the 7-11 City Cafe tumblers. One in "Trendy Silver," or brushed stainless steel, and the other in "Simple White," or white enamel. They're very well made. The tolerances are close. The detailing is precise. The slight taper keeps the tumbler from slipping in case one's hand is wet or oily. Most importantly, the lip has a large radius curve where one's mouth touches the tumbler.


Note the rounded lip on this Starbucks tumbler? Click on the photo. The 7-11 tumbler has the same rounded lip. That is how it should be.


Many tumblers/vacuum bottles on the Taiwan market have an almost raw sheet metal edge at the lip. Click on the photo. This is not how it should be. Frankly I don't understand how anyone could have signed off on such a design and allowed it to go into production.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

DIY Steel Car Rim Barbecue Grill

DIY Steel Car Rim Barbecue Grill
by Bevin Chu
October 1, 2012
Taipei, China

Back in the late 80s I had the idea of turning an ordinary salvaged steel car rim into a portable barbecue grill.

My idea was to take a steel car rim:

Bolt it onto a standard four pronged restaurant table base:



Then add a wire cooking grate:


This would result in a convenient waist height barbeque grill that did not require stooping.

The parts shown in the photos are new. I would of course use recycled parts wherever possible and appropriate.

Because I was constantly moving from one city to another, I never got around to actually doing it. Lo and behold however, the same idea occurred to others, who did follow through, who confirmed that it was indeed an excellent idea.

Here are two outstanding examples. The first is supported by four short chrome plated steel Ikea cabinet legs from below. The second is supported by two long galvanized steel chains from above. 


Rolling BBQ! How to make a BBQ out of an old Wheel 
http://diyrobj98168.blogspot.tw/2009/08/rolling-bbq-how-to-make-bbq-out-of-old.html


hanging barbecue grill
http://gageslaughter.wordpress.com/tag/hanging-barbecue-grill/

Incidentally, I see no reason why one couldn't make one out of an old mag wheel either.

Alternative: A DIY Galvanized Steel Water Bucket Barbecue Grill 

An even cheaper, more expedient, more portable alternative, might be this barbecue grill made from a galvanized steel water bucket. Buckets such as these are available brand new for only 10 USD. This one looks like it was designed to burn wadded up sheets of newspaper, like the old "Qwik Cook Grill" Dick Butkus endorsed in TV informercials 20 years ago. But it could easily be redesigned to burn charcoal. Just add a charcoal grate below the cooking grate.  


BBQ grill from a bucket
http://pinterest.com/pin/151855818656125055/


San Diego Chargers Tailgating’s Favorite Grill, the Qwik-Cook.
http://www.sdchargerstailgating.com/tag/qwik-cook-grill


 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to Convert ODT Files into JPG Files Using GIMP


LibreOffice: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base
http://www.libreoffice.org/


GIMP: GNU Image Manipulation Program
http://www.gimp.org/

How to Convert ODT Files into JPG Files Using GIMP
Bevin Chu
September 17, 2011
Taipei, China


Did you know you can convert your LibreOffice/OpenOffice Open Document Text (ODT) files (or MicroSoft Word DOC files) into GIF, JPG, PNG, or TIF files, using GIMP?

Say you have an ODT (or DOC) file that you want to convert to an image file, such as a JPG (or GIF, PNG, TIF) file. Say you want to display it on one of your webpages as a visible image, rather than as a downloadable file.

All it takes is two easy steps.

Step 1: Using LibreOffice/OpenOffice Writer, open your ODT file. Export the ODT file as a PDF file using the "Export as PDF" command under "File."



Step 2: Using GIMP, open the just created PDF file. Save the PDF file as a JPG file using the "Save As" command under "File."













That's it. You're done!

You now have a JPG file that will immediately be visible on your webpage upon uploading.



No need to throw away good money for commercial conversion software. No need to risk security leaks by uploading sensitive information to an online conversion utility. Instead, make use of open source software, such as LibreOffice/OpenOffice and GIMP.

Something this elementary ought to be easy to find. But oddly enough it wasn't. I drilled down pretty deep before finally stumbling across this information.

"GIMP, the GNU image manipulation program, is basically the open source version of Adobe Photoshop. These two programs are frequently compared to each other due to their similarities. However, GIMP was not designed to be a Photoshop clone. Adobe Photoshop retails for around $450. Gimp is FREE. This is a very robust image editing program that allows even the beginner to do some pretty amazing tricks."
-- Bright Hub Review

A Note to MicroSoft Word Users: I use LibreOffice because it is Open Source Software. From what I have read online, the process is similar for MS Word.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How to Convert ODT Files into JPG Files Without Additional Software


LibreOffice: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Math and Base
http://www.libreoffice.org/

How to Convert ODT Files into JPG Files Without Additional Software
Bevin Chu
September 17, 2011
Taipei, China


Did you know you can convert your LibreOffice/OpenOffice Open Document Text (ODT) files (or MicroSoft Word DOC files) into GIF, JPG, PNG, or TIF files, using only the software already on your PC?

That's right. No need to download and install specialized software useful for no other purpose.

Say you have an ODT (or DOC) file that you want to convert to an image file, such as a JPG (or GIF, PNG, TIF) file. Say you want to display it on one of your webpages as a visible image, rather than as a downloadable file.

All it takes is two easy steps.

Step 1: Using LibreOffice/OpenOffice Writer, open your ODT file. Export the ODT file as a PDF file using the "Export as PDF" command under "File."



Step 2: Using LibreOffice/OpenOffice Draw, open the just created PDF file. Export the PDF file as a JPG file using the "Export" (not "Export as PDF") command under "File."



That's it. You're done!

You now have a JPG file that will immediately be visible on your webpage upon uploading.



No need to throw away good money for commercial conversion software. No need to risk security leaks by uploading sensitive information to an online conversion utility. No need to even download additional freeware.

Something this elementary ought to be easy to find. But oddly enough unless you happen to search for it under "videos," it isn't. For the record I drilled down pretty deep before finally coming across this information at YouTube, of all places.

In the event LibreOffice/OpenOffice Draw has trouble reading your PDF file, use GIMP to convert your PDF file to a JPG file. See my blog entry: "How to Convert ODT Files into JPG Files Using GIMP."

A Note to MicroSoft Word Users: I use LibreOffice because it is Open Source Software. Based on what I have read online, the process is similar for MS Word DOC files.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Giant CT 102 to Front Wheel Drive Low Rider Conversion

Giant CT 102 to Front Wheel Drive Low Rider Conversion
by Bevin Chu
Taipei, China
March 19, 2011


Giant CT 102 Urban Commuter Bike

In previous posts I spoke of converting my Giant CT 102 Urban Commuter Bike into a DIY LWB Mid Racer, Low Racer, or FWD Delta Trike.

An alternative might be the following DIY FWD Low Rider Conversions by Robert Horn, of Englewood, Colorado, USA.

Robert Horn's Super Chopper
http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=22701&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=0



Very few DIY bike designs are as ingenious as these F'Lowroller variants. They are remarkable for their economy of design, and deserve greater recognition and exposure than they have gotten.

They are clearly superior to many better known DIY bike designs that call for the fabrication of many components from scratch. They require only one donor bike, not two or even more. They ingeniously move the bottom bracket / chainstays / rear wheel to the front, and the front fork / front wheel to the rear. The original handlebars can be reused as well. Waste not, want not.

They are more aesthetically pleasing than many DIY bike designs, which often look very "ghetto." The F'Lowroller variants look futuristic and elegant -- almost like factory prototypes debuted at an industrial design expo by some big name bike manufacturer.

Robert Horn's New F'Lowrollerhttp://bikerodnkustom3.homestead.com/gallery291.html







Robert Horn's F'Lowrollerhttp://bikerodnkustom3.homestead.com/gallery167.html






See: ROHORN Mind Expanding Cycles
http://www.rohorn.com/