Category Archives: Technology

How to override and re-enable form auto-complete that has been disabled on a webpage

One of the most annoying problems I encounter when filling out online forms is when a website owner has disabled the autocomplete feature of your browser, by programmatically locking down form fields.
One example where I need to use auto-complete, is when filling out those Kroger surveys that gives you extra 50 fuel loyalty points every 7 days. There are legitimate reasons why website developers would want to disable auto-complete but in my opinion, online surveys are not one.

To save myself from redundant typing every week, I decided to write a bookmarklet that can be used in Chrome to quickly re-enable most auto-complete fields that have been disabled. I have been using this for over a year now without problems and decided to share here.

Drag and drop the button below into your Chrome bookmark bar:
Enable auto-complete form

To use the bookmarklet,  simply drag and drop the blue button above to your Chrome bookmark bar.
Next time you are on a webpage with disabled auto-complete, simply click the bookmarklet and this should enable the form fields for auto complete.

One very important point: Never auto-complete forms on a website you don’t trust. Auto complete phishing is a known way for malicious webpage owners to obtain your sensitive data via hidden fields without you realizing. In addition, please consider that some websites may have a legitimate reason to disable auto-complete so you should always use auto-complete feature with caution, and always at your own risk.

Feel free to post suggestions or comments. If this is not working for you with a webpage you are trying to use. When I find the time I’ll try to revise the code to make it work for you.

Samsung 4TB SSD drive is a monster of a storage

Samsung has just announced the launch of Samsung 850 EVO – 4TB – 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD drive that will start shipping on July 31st.

It was only a couple of years ago that the conventional HDD 4TB drives were almost pushed to the limit to accommodate the large storage. There has always been reliability issues as well with spinning drives, not to mention noise and heat. I personally had several 1TB and up drives fail both at places I worked and home.

In contrast, my SSD drives (albeit smaller in capacity), have proven to be reliable and I am yet to have one fail.

Speed of the SSD drives is amazing – it can really revitalize your personal computer, whether it is a laptop or a PC.  However up until now, SSD drives were primarily used as OS drives with installed applications on it to speed up the overall performance while keeping the storage requirements low, since OS and programs don’t take as much space as data. The data on the other hand has been delegated to those noisy and large capacity HDD drives. With the new SSD drives becoming almost similar to size of the HDDs, it is a promising development and hopefully bring the current hefty price of $1500 to the price point of a home user as the adoption, volumes, and competition ramps-up.

DIY Solar Filters for Binoculars

Did you know that you can do star-gazing during the day? Our own star, sun, in-fact provides the most spectacular star-gazing experience you can ever do with its full glory, color, and true spherical appearance.  You need the right equipment though to do it safely, especially during a solar eclipse, when many people mistakenly think that sun is not as bright during the eclipse. In fact, solar rays can be as damaging during an eclipse as staring at sun unobstructed.

solar disk

Your options are to get a telescope with a special solar filter or just use regular binoculars fitted with DIY solar filters. The more powerful the binoculars, the better. This article will demonstrate how to build a Do It Yourself solar filter that perfectly fits your binoculars. For this project I will use Bushnell 10×50 binoculars and will provide cut-out templates for its size, but any pair of binoculars should work – just make your own template and print it out. (You can use something like youidraw.com to create vector drawings free without software download).

Materials & tools required:

Bushnell 10×50 binoculars (or any binoculars you already have)
Black Polymer Solar filter sheet
Thin cardboard sheet
Scissors or Utility/Razor knife
Clear, gift wrapping tape
Printer (to print out template)
Filter cut out template (pdf)
PVC coupling or pipe 2.5 inch diameter (or diameter that is larger than your binoculars large input lenses)

Step 1.
Print out the Filter cut out template at 100% size (un-check any options to scale, fit-to-page, etc. in your printer dialog window).

template preview

Step 2.
Cut out the templates and use template A to draw two circles on the polymer sheet with pencil. Use template B to draw doughnut shapes on thin cardboard sheet.
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Step 3.
Carefully cut-out the drawings you have made with sharp scissors (Tip: keep protective cards on polymer sheet while cutting).

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Polymer sheet cut-out
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Cardboard cut-out

Step 4.
Prepare the cylinders. I happened to have a couple of wide media core ends available that were a just a perfect (loose) fit to my binoculars, but you can also use a 2.5in or size that fits your binocular lens PVC pipe or coupling (your local hardware store should have many different ones you can choose from).

I sawed the core ends to form two pipes with tapered ends.

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Step 5.
Drop he polymer circle sheets into the pipes. Then slide the cardboard “doughnuts” on top for them to hold the polymer filters circles. If your pipes do not narrow on the inside, simply glue or tape the cardboard “doughnuts” that we cut out earlier to one side of the pipe. Then cut out two more cardboard “doughnuts”. Slide the polymer filters and finally slide the cardboard “doughnuts” on top  to hold the polymer filters. Tape the cardboard “doughnuts” from the inside as shown below.


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Step 6.
Add some friction grips. For this, I used foam packing peanuts. Cut three thin pieces of packing peanuts for each lens (6 total), to the thickness that can pack the gap between the binocular and the solar filter just tightly enough to hold them securely. Tape the foam pieces in 120-degree interval as shown below.

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Step 7.
Now carefully slide both lenses onto the binoculars and make sure they are snug and won’t fall off. If the lenses are too loose, replace the foams with thicker ones. Be sure that the lenses are securely sitting and won’t fall out during use – you don’t want to look at the sun with unprotected binoculars!!!! It will most certainly blind you instantly.

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Step 8.
You are done. Please use extreme caution when looking at the sun with filters.  The way I do it, I put binoculars with solar filters on close to my eyes first, fully lowered and away from the sun. Then raise the binoculars toward the sun. When I am done observing, I keep the binoculars close to my eyes, lower the binoculars pointing well-away or opposite from the sun and only then take the binoculars off. This way I avoid accidentally looking at the sun without the eye protection.

solar image

DISCLAIMER: You assume all risks for any solar filter build. Extreme caution is required when observing the sun. Do not allow children to use binoculars as they may not be aware of safety issues. Read all instructions and safety information by the polymer sheet manufacturer and fully educate yourself on solar observation safety before proceeding with making your own solar filter or performing a solar observation. The above instructions are for my own record only and I disclaim any responsibility of any harm, permanent blindness or any type of injury any solar observation may cause you.