How to Increase AT&T 3G Speed on Android

android3gThere are steps to increase your ROOTED Android phone’s 3G performance on the AT&T network if you are using a stock ROM.  Using the Dell Streak running SimpleStreak 1.2 as an example, I was consistently pulling ~800kbps from various Ookla servers.  My buddy’s iPhone 4 would hit 2.5MB sitting right next to me running the test simultaneously.  The issue does not manifest when using a custom ROM such as CyanogenMod on the Nexus One or StreakDroid on the Dell Streak.  That is because they have already added the modifications to the build.prop to specify the category settings of the radio interface layer (
The radio interface layer is controlled by commands in the build.prop file (2.2.2 Froyo) and indicates the class category of the target network. Android is available on every network throughout the world, so some testing has been done to ensure the best performance on the AT&T 3G network using the Dell Streak. Please note, these settings may work on other phones. In fact, many of these settings were gleemed from Amon_RA’s testing with the Nexus One. Continue reading “How to Increase AT&T 3G Speed on Android”

How to Protect Your Laptop from Theft

lojackEvery 50 seconds, a laptop goes missing.   Laptops are a common target of theft.  In addition, because of their portable nature, laptops are misplaced, lost, or simply left behind.  Last year, my wife’s laptop was stolen from our home.  Since that time, I have been looking at effective solutions to protect information and recover stolen property.
Thankfully, my wife is not what some would call a ‘power user’.  Her laptop didn’t have much in the way of personal information.  She only used her little netbook to access Facebook, Gmail, and sync her iPhone to iTunes.  All of our taxes, scanned records, financial databases, etc are on my computer.  After filing a police report, we changed the passwords to her various online accounts.  The police report did little to recover her laptop, so I perused local pawn shops for weeks afterwards hoping it would show up.  It didn’t.  So, I tried several free software solutions that promised to secure stolen data.  Of course, every solution requires a program be installed on your computer BEFORE it is lost or stolen. LaptopLock is free, but hasn’t been updated since 2007. Enter LoJack for laptops.
LoJack for Laptops works on nearly every version of Windows and Mac OS X v.10.3 and higher.  Some models of laptops even have a module built into the BIOS that lets the software persist even after a hard drive format.  That means even if the laptop is completely erased, you still have a shot at recovering your equipment.
For $99, you get three years of guaranteed protection to locate, lock, delete, and recover your laptop.  The service is transferable to another laptop if you buy a new machine in that time.  LoJack even has a theft recovery team that works with law enforcement to help recover your machine.  LoJack protects your laptop in these five ways, but only if you have signed up your account and installed the client software BEFORE your property goes missing!
Continue reading “How to Protect Your Laptop from Theft”

Android Malware – How to Protect Your Droid

androidmalwareRecently, several malware apps have been discovered in the Android Marketplace.  Tech headlines are brimming with descriptions of malware called DroidDream, DroidKungFu, Plankton, & YZHCSMS.  Well, at least you would think that tech headlines would be all over this subject.  According to Google, just one of these password stealing programs, Plankton, was downloaded over 210,000 times. These malicious programs are capable of stealing personal information, passwords, contacts, emails, browser history, device ids, sending SMS text messages (at a premium cost to you), discretely calling expensive premium numbers, and more;  all the while hiding themselves from you, the user.  These apps are piggybacked onto legitimate looking apps (Angry Birds Rio Unlock anyone?) that you can download from Google’s official Android Marketplace.  Remember the old adage, if it looks too good to be true/free, it is.   Be very wary of installing apps from unknown sources / unknown official market developers.
What does this mean for the average ‘Droid’ user? Continue reading “Android Malware – How to Protect Your Droid”

Fix Honda Odyssey Crosswind Rattle TSB 08-080

How to DIY fix the crosswind rattle in the Honda Odyssey as outlined in Honda TSB 80-080
captureThe TSB claims that it applies to 2008 Odyssey – From VIN 5FNRL38..8B000001 thru VIN 5FNRL38..8B093699 & 2008 Odyssey – From VIN 5FNRL38..8B400001 thru VIN 5FNRL38..8B419525.  However, the forum claims that other owners have experienced similar problems.  There is a three inch plastic garnish molding rising vertically along both front doors that is secured by a single screw.  When driving at highway speeds, crosswind will cause this trim piece to rattle against the metal door frame.  TSB 80-080 is old and some dealerships may not perform work under warranty.  The following is a how to do it yourself quick guide to securing the trim and removing the noise.
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How to Set Message Size Limits in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2003

The default email attachment size limit in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2003 is 10 MB.  Here is how to change that setting for both systems.
First, Exchange 2007.  Use the Exchange Management Shell to enter the following commands:
Get-TransportConfig | ft MaxSendSize, MaxRecieveSize

  • Output will show current transport send receive attachment size limits.  This is the most restrictive setting and overrides all other less restrictive size limits set elsewhere (i.e. individual mailboxes / receive-connector)

Set-TransportConfig -MaxSendSize 100MB -MaxReceiveSize 100MB

  • Note: commands are not case sensitive and are capitalized for readability. This will set send and receive size limit to 100MB per email.

Get-ReceiveConnector | ft Name, MaxMessageSize

  • Make note of “Windows SBS Internet Receive SERVERNAME” and “Default SERVERNAME” for set-receiveconnector command

Set-ReceiveConnector “Windows SBS Internet Receive SERVERNAME” -MaxMessageSize 100MB
Set-ReceiveConnector “Default SERVERNAME” -MaxMessageSize 100MB

  • Note: If the TransportConfig size is more restrictive, it will override this setting.  Also, “Windows SBS Internet Receive SERVERNAME” may be case sensitive as it is in quotes.

Continue reading “How to Set Message Size Limits in Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2003”

How to Google, Better

I came across the Google Guide Advanced Operators Reference today and it reminded me just how powerful Google searching can be.  Here is a quick rundown of how to use a few of the more useful operators.
Did you know Google can quickly give you the five day forecast by simply typing in “Weather”?  It pulls geographic location data from your ISP IP address, so it may show the wrong city (in my case, it pulls up Indianapolis and not Bloomington).  That’s ok, just type in “weather in bloomington in”.  That was easy.  Google figured out what I needed by the “o” in Bloomington 😉
Other search operations to try (these should be fairly self explanatory):

Continue reading “How to Google, Better”