[HOWTO] Remove Bing and Amazon search from Mozilla Thunderbird

This was annoying the first time I saw it. You select some text in an email message, and what does Thunderbird do now? Start an automatic search on Bing! for the selected text. So, I went to about:config and removed the names of all the search engines they had in there. Namely, Bing! and Yahoo. Restart Thunderbird and guess what? Now it defaults to Amazon Search!

Searching in about:config for amazon reveals nothing! No “official” way to remove it.

I got frustrated enough that I finally said “screw it” and downloaded the Thunderbird source tree and decided to make some of my own changes and just use the one I build locally.

Well, turns out there’s a much easier way to accomplish removing these. I chose to replace it with Google search since it’s what I normally go with.

Simply navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Thunderbird\searchplugins

Delete everything you see in there, and create a new file called google.xml

Put the following contents into the file:

<SearchPlugin xmlns=”http://www.mozilla.org/2006/browser/search/”>

<Description>Google Search</Description>
<Image width=”16″ height=”16″>data:image/x-icon;base64,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</Image>
<Url type=”application/x-suggestions+json” method=”GET” template=”https://www.google.com/complete/search?q={searchTerms}”/>
<Url type=”text/html” method=”GET” template=”https://www.google.com/search” rel=”searchform”>
<Param name=”q” value=”{searchTerms}”/>
<Param name=”ie” value=”utf-8″/>
<Param name=”oe” value=”utf-8″/>
<Param name=”aq” value=”t”/>

That should do it. Restart Thunderbird and viola! You’ll have a useful search function in your email client now.

By the way, all those seemingly random characters in the file above is just an encoded version of the google search icon. (notice it’s between <image/> tags.

However, be warned! If you simply delete all the files in the searchplugins directory, when you right click on something in Thunderbird, you’ll get every menu option possible. Even if it doesn’t work. Since it can’t parse a plugin xml file, it will just display everything instead.


[RECIPE] Garlic and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Cheese and Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms:IMG_20140924_210606-sm

2Tb Butter
1Tb chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1t red wine vinegar
1/2 c Shredded cheese
1 slice bread
3T Parmesan cheese
10 large button mushrooms
3t olive oil

Preheat oven to 200C

Toss the butter and garlic into a pan and cook over medium heat until all the butter is melted.
While that is going on, take the slice of bread and turn it into crumbs.
Once the butter is all melted, drop in the breadcrumbs and vinegar. Cook for about 2 minutes or until breadcrumbs have soaked up all the butter and are lightly toasted.
Once finished, move the breadcrumbs to a bowl to cool.
While waiting, clean and stem the mushrooms and place them on a baking dish/sheet.
Mix in the Parmesan cheese to the breadcrumbs and add any other seasonings you like to flavor.
Stuff the bread/cheese mix into the mushrooms and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Drizzle olive oil over the top and stick in the oven.
Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly soft.

Let cool for 1 minute. Serve hot.

[HOWTO] Quick Breakfast Sandwiches

Ok, these are simple and go without saying but hey, I’m bored.

Usually when I get off work (around 7am), I’m kind of hungry.  When I get home, I’ll cook up a quick breakfast sandwich or 2.

Breakfast Bagel Sandwich

1 Bagel (i use onion) or 1 English Muffin
1 medium/large egg
1 T milk
1/2 t garlic salt
1 slice of ham (or substitute sausage, turkey, etc)
1 slice american cheese (or your favorite)
1 t butter

Put the bagel or muffin in the toaster oven and toast how you like it.
Toss the butter in a pan and put over medium heat.
Mix the milk, garlic salt, and egg in a bowl and whisk together.
Toss the eggs into the pan and stir them up until they’re about 1/2 set.  Then I scoot them together until they form a square shape about the size of a piece of sliced cheese.
Flip the eggs and take your muffin out of the toaster.
Place the egg on the muffin, then add the cheese and ham.  I put the whole works back in the still warm toaster oven for about 30 seconds to help melt the cheese.

Viola!  Only takes a few minutes, not much cleanup to do, and it a quick breakfast snack.


[WIP] Recreating Arashi Genkotsu Ramen

As long as I’ve lived in Japan, I’ve had a favorite ramen shop.  Arashi Kagetsu.

My favorite ramen they make there, is 嵐げんこつらあめん (Arashi Genkotsu Ramen).

Since moving to Alaska in May 2014, I have found myself missing this ramen.  So, my attempt to recreate the soup they use will be documented here:

Completed Ramen with butter

So far, it’s not even close, but as I’m cooking for one, I’ve not had the opportunity to really buckle down and buy everything I need to make the real effort that it deserves.

10 chicken necks
1 can beef broth
1 can water
1 medium chopped onion
1 T honey
1/4 c Soy Sauce
1 T chopped garlic
1 T sake (I use Ozeki)
1 T rice vinegar
1 t hon dashi
3 T red Miso

Basically, toss it all into a slow cooker and let it sit for 6 hours on high, or 10-12 hours on low.
Run the resulting soup through a strainer, then some cheesecloth to get rid of all the left over bones and such.
Drop what’s left into a pot and reduce by half. Store and freeze what you don’t use immediately.

About 1/4 cup of this broth when mixed with about 1 1/2 cups boiling water will go nicely with noodles.

I will add more next time I get a chance to work on it.

Time to Start Updating Again

I’m going to start posting here again.  It’s been a while, but since I have little else to do after moving to the USA after 20 years in Japan, I guess I should start doing something.

Expect mostly recipes, local photography, and hardware hacking.


[HOWTO] Reset a H5-01 Error on Sharp Laser Printer/Copiers

The laser printer here at my office just had a series of jams, one of which tripped the “Call a service Tech” flag on the darned thing. Rather than calling the tech to reset it (I managed to clear the paper problem myself), you can simply enter this code on the control panel:


Then Press Execute, then Tap Yes, then hit the B/W Copy button, then hit the reset button.

P = Program (#)
C = Clear

Problem solved, no maintenance fees!


[HOWTO] Root your au Sharp IS03 android phone Part 4

Sorry about the delay in updating, I have been busy at work lately.

Firstly, make sure you have downloaded and installed the android sdk from google: http://dl.google.com/android/installer_r11-windows.exe

Second, download the following file: rootkit_is03_0430

Once those are downloaded and installed, you will need to drop to a command line.

The android SDK should be located somewhere like c:\android-sdk-windows\

The first time you run the android sdk, it should ask you about updating.  Let it do that since it will download the tools required (specifically adb, the android debugger).

Run the command:

adb devices

You should see your phone listed.  If you don’t see anything, make sure your phone is plugged in via usb and you have debugging enabled on the phone. (see my previous posts for how to do that).

Run the following commands:

adb push data_local /data/local
adb shell chmod 755 /data/local/is03break
adb shell chmod 755 /data/local/autoexec.sh
adb shell chmod 755 /data/local/busybox
adb install jackpal.androidterm.apk
adb install Superuser.apk
adb shell /data/local/is03break

You should see something like the following:

[**] Gingerbreak/Honeybomb — android 2.[2,3], 3.0 softbreak
[**] (C) 2010-2011 The Android Exploid Crew. All rights reserved.
[**] Kudos to jenzi, the #brownpants-party, the Open Source folks,
[**] Zynamics for ARM skills and Onkel Budi

[**] donate to 7-4-3-C@web.de if you like
[**] Exploit may take a while!

[**] Modified for IS03/IS05 by goroh.kun@gmail.com
[+] Detected Froyo!
[+] Found system: 0xafd138bd strcmp: 0xafd1cb7d
[+] Found PT_DYNAMIC of size 280 (35 entries)
[+] Found GOT: 0x000152b8
[+] Using device /devices/virtual/block/stheno
[*] vold: 0094 GOT start: 0x000152b8 GOT end: 0x00015538
[*] vold: 0325 idx: -0002078

[!] dance forever my only one

adb shell
$ /data/local/tmp/sh

If you see the #, then you have root.   once you are at the root prompt, do the following:

# cd /data/local
# cat local.prop > /data/local.prop
# reboot

After this, any time you need root, you should be able to drop to a shell and type /dev/su and you will have root.

Now, this root does not allow just anything to run.  Due to restrictions in place on the IS03, you will lose some functionality on the phone (ezweb mail, etc…) if your phone is rooted.  There is an app that allows you to switch root access on and off when needed.

Here is the zip file containing the Root Switcher mentioned above.

Also included is a modified version of the Barnacle Wi-Fi tethering app.  It has been modified to work with the new su binary location.  Make sure you run the root switcher first!


[HOWTO] Make apt ignore a “broken” package

Recently had an issue where I had a package that I needed to install under debian but which wouldn’t install because of a dependancy problem.  So, dpkg –force-all package.deb worked and got it installed.  Program works and everything is fine.

Then, I needed to install openvpn and apt started complaining about the “broken” package.  It would not let me install or update anything else unless I removed the broken package.  Only problem is.. the package is not broken.

How to get around this?  Essentially you need to “lie” to apt and remove the dependancy.

#  vi /var/lib/dpkg/status

Opening the dpkg status file, you will see all kinds of stuff in there about the current status of every package which is installed.

For example, let’s say the name of your “broken” package is test_package.

Do a search in vi (/test_package <enter>) and it will take you to an entry which looks like this:

Package: test_package
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: applications
Installed-Size: 24084
Maintainer: init
Architecture: i386
Source: init.sh
Version: 1.0.0-1
Depends: package1, package2, package3
Description: Performs cool tests

Now the package named “package3″ is the dependancy which is causing the problems.

The solution?  Simply go down to the Depends line and erase package3.  The entry now looks like this:

Package: test_package
Status: install ok installed
Priority: optional
Section: applications
Installed-Size: 24084
Maintainer: init
Architecture: i386
Source: init.sh
Version: 1.0.0-1
Depends: package1, package2
Description: Performs cool tests

Problem solved.  Now back to the prompt and a quick “apt-get install openvpn” works fine now.


[DOWNLOAD] Android TUIO Server

This post is just for mirroring a file that was found in this nuigroup post.

From the post:

I developed my first Android Applictation that sends TUIO data via Wifi to a receiver.
You can define your receiver easily by changing IP and Port.

It should work under Android 2.1.
It is in a beta stadium, a really good blob tracking is not implemented yet.

The file was linked via rapidshare and now the link and file is gone so I am mirroring it here.

Click here to download TuioAndroid_v05

The file is an apk, so just copy it to your phone.  If I can get ahold of the source, I will update this post with it.

Here is a qrcode if you want to download it directly from your android phone:

qrcode for TuioAndroid_v05.apk


Sony begins banning users from the Playstation Network

This morning,
Sony started sending out the following emails:

Notice: Unauthorized circumvention devices for the PlayStation(R)3 system have been recently released by hackers for the PlayStation(R)3 system. These devices permit the use of unauthorized or pirated software.
Use of such devices or software violates the terms of your “System Software License Agreement for the PlayStation(R)3 System” and the “Terms of Services
and User Agreement” for the PlayStation(R)Network/Qriocity(TM) and its  Community Code of Conduct provisions.
In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of International Copyright Laws.
A circumvention device and/or unauthorized or pirated software currently resides on your PlayStation(R)3 system. Immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from your PlayStation(R)3 system. Failure to do so will result in termination of your access to the PlayStation(R)Network and access to Qriocity(TM) services through your PlayStation(R)3 system.

Somehow they are able to detect if you have jailbroken your PS3. Might be a good idea to keep your Playstation unplugged from the network until a workaround can be found.