David Artiss

Category: Hacks (page 1 of 9)

Life and technology hacks for the modern world!

Where is the ODB diagnostic port on a 2017 Mazda 3?

The ODB diagnostic port is used by garages and dealerships to connect your car to their computer systems, checking for any reported errors as well as check various engine values.

Just to check and clear an error message can cost £30+, yet ODB readers can be bought for not much more than £10 and phone apps can then be found for free to then display the output.

Some car manufacturers make the port difficult to get to, often they’re found under the bonnet. But on the 2017 model Mazda 3 it’s ridiculously easy to access.

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How to make a Lego Minifigure display cabinet

If you have a number of Lego Minifigs then displaying them is something you may consider. However, official products can be expensive, and will often not hold many.

So, I set out creating my own on a relatively shoe-string budget. How does £20 for displaying 66 figures sound?

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The curious case of iTunes and ripping CDs

With an external CD drive connected to my CD-driverless 2016 model of MacBook Pro, I've noticed an issue when ripping CDs. And some experimentation has shown an odd issue – iTunes and newer MacBooks appear to have a problem.

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Goodbye contact form

Inspired by Mika Epstein, I've ditched this site's contact form. And, shameless ripping off her post on the subject, I'm going to explain a little bit of why.

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On Long Passwords

At the moment, I’m having a ‘discussion’ with British Airways on Twitter. Sadly, it’s not the first time I’ve had a similar conversation with a company.

Here’s the initial part of the problem – when you try and change your BA password, it gives you the following guidance for the password…

So, the password has to be at least 6 digits and be numbers and letters. No symbols, mind you, which is a negative point. So, I put in a new password, generated for me. 49 digits no less. It complained..

The password you have supplied is invalid. Passwords need to be at least 6 characters in length and use a mix of letters (English A-Z) and numbers.

But my password did abide by those rules.

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The new Mazda 3 – tips for a new owner

4 years ago I took possession of a new Ford Focus and the post I wrote about it became one of the most popular on this site, covering various tips for any owner. Now, the Ford has gone and, in its place, the new, 2017 model of the Mazda 3. So, let’s do the same…

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MZD-Connect – navigating with co-ordinates

So, you have a Mazda with MZD-Connect and Nav but the address you’ve tried isn’t found. What now? Well, you can enter co-ordinates but doing so isn’t as straight forward as you’d expect.

Here’s how to do it…

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Bacon to the Future – A review of meat substitute foodstuffs

In advance I’d like to apologise for making that title sound very clinical but I wasn’t sure how to word it otherwise. Most of the stuff I’m going to mention is Quorn but, as other brands are involved, I thought I needed to be a pretty generic.

Anyway, due to a required change in diet (reduction in red meat, in particular) I’ve turned to meat substitute to add to meals. You see, I like my meat, so something that will replace it in my diet without me even realising is important. Sorry, but a nut cutlet isn’t going to work with me.

So what’s good and wasn’t it?

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Why would you ever buy branded painkillers?

I saw this shared on Facebook today…

It’s wise advice. But it assumes you’re getting free prescriptions, which most people don’t. Of course, even then, it’s still good advice but can be extended more generally – always check the ‘over the counter’ cost of anything you’re getting on prescription, as it may be cheaper to buy it yourself.

However, this post is not actually about this but about comments that often come about as a result of this kind of discussion.

Why would anybody want to buy branded paracetamol when you can it buy them from Home Bargain for 16p?

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Whatever you do, don’t trust Doros Kiriakoulis

Last year I wrote about how a single product, the GoKey, had made me give up on crowd funding websites. Badly delayed, something always seemed to come up when the deadline was imminent. However, it all appeared to be moving on and only a couple of weeks ago all the backers received an email so we could provide final confirmation details of our product requirements (for example, my phone connection has changed, twice,
since originally backing the product, so I needed a different connector on the GoKey).

This morning I had an email.

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