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Showing posts from 2018

How to Control Xiaomi Web Camera Sharing Permissions

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This post came about as a result of another earlier post on  How to share a Xiaomi webcam/video camera to multiple Mi accounts . A reader wanted more privacy control over his web camera after being shared with other accounts but could not find the necessary settings. After a few backs and forth, it got apparent that even across Xiaomi products, the level of controls is not consistent and I thought this was worth a post by itself to show where to find the settings and get more feedback on the inconsistencies. Xiaomi is a big Chinese company selling various Smart Home devices and digital technology products. It is a very big brand in its home market and has been rising internationally due to its aggressive marketing and pricing strategies.  In terms of webcam products, Xiaomi has a few different series to cater to different market needs, so to set the context, I am using Xiaomi Home Security Camera 1080p (it's the China website because not all products are available in every

In Cloud Computing, What is the Difference Between Scalability and Elasticity

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In Cloud Computing, we often hear the terms 'Scalability' and 'Elasticity' being thrown around, often being used interchangeably. Recently, I was listening to an online course describing Cloud Computing concepts, and the way these two terms are described got me thinking about the differences. So far, there is no consensus on how to draw the line. I have seen explanations that put Scalability as adding resources while Elasticity as adding AND removing resources. I have also seen descriptions that say Scalability is to be able to scale an instance's resources, while Elasticity is to be able to add/remove additional instances. I am of the opinion that demarcating the differences purely from the perspective of resource adding and removing is too simplified and a little ambiguous, while the latter view of instance resource vs new instances is still talking about Scalability (Vertical Scaling vs Horizontal Scaling - explained at the end of this article).

Powerpoint File Size Does Not Reduce Even After Deleting Slides

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Updated 10 Jul 2018 - After some testing, I find that those "extra" template slides appear when you try to copy some slides and paste them to another deck with "Keep Source Formatting". So if you frequently encounter this problem, you could be like me, often having to take content from different decks and piece together a customized deck for the work on hand. If so, then the solution below should help with your Powerpoint file size. If you work with Powerpoint slides a lot, you may have seen some pretty big and bloated slide decks, especially if it contains lots of photos or video content. This presents an issue when sending over email with attachment size limits. Most of the time, deleting slides or compressing content should help to reduce the size.  If you had come upon this article after googling, you probably had just encountered a similar frustrating experience as me. Even after  removing most of the content, the Powerpoint file size remains mostly th

How to Add Borders Around Images or Photos in Microsoft OneNote

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Updated 10 Jul 2018 - Another quick tip, the steps below can be reversed, you can copy an image into OneNote first, select the image, and then choose to insert a 1x1 table, which will achieve the same result. Ever since I started using Microsoft OneNote on my work laptop, I have found it useful for taking quick notes or just jotting down random notes while working. For those that like to use notepad or Microsoft word to jot down quick notes or your To-Do list, Microsoft OneNote works just like a note-taking program and much more. Unlike normal text-based editors, it allows you to click anywhere in the frame and start typing notes, add drawings and images! You can also group your notes into sections within notebooks, do hyperlinking across different sections, copy and paste content from the web (and a link to the source will be automatically added for you). This is a piece of software that should earn a place in your arsenal of handy office productivity toolkit. One peeve I have is w

How to Turn on HTTPS for Blogger Blog with Custom Domain

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Updated 24 Jun 2018 - Bonus tip for setting up non-www to www redirection Google has been offering HTTPS for subdomains under blogger (e.g. https://techrantz.blogspot.com). As for custom domains, for sometime, the only available methods were either to use alternative means like Cloudflare or an unannounced method involving Blogger in Draft mode. These methods, while working, were not so ideal.  I t took a while, but Google has now finally and properly extended HTTPS to  blogger websites using custom domains too. To turn on, simply go to Settings > Basic. Look for the "HTTPS" section, there will be two settings as shown below.

Resetting a Lenovo System to Factory State

I spent quite sometime figuring out how to reset a Lenovo S500 desktop to its initial, out of factory state. It was not a smooth experience due to inconsistent product terms and lack of an intuitive process. Most likely, you landed here because your system is having issues and resetting seems to be the last resort after having spent the last few hours trying every online advice and failing. Hence, I hope my experiences might help you shorten your troubleshooting time and avoid the complications I encountered.  Do note this process is irreversible, you will lose all your data. So backup your important data if your system is still accessible, before starting the process. The Lenovo S500 that I worked on is a small form factor (SFF) desktop, but I think the process I described below should work in general for Lenovo laptops. Do leave a comment if it works for you!