How to repair a woofer with a foam repair kit

It may happens that your Hi-Fi stereo speakers do not play as before … and if you look to their woofers you can see that possibly the front surround suspensions (IT: sospensione pneumatica), usually made of foam, are partially broken: even though you did not used them too much, after years these are the parts of a woofer that usually shatters, especially the biggest ones used for bass tones.
This is what happened to the biggest woofers of my Boston T830 speakers that I bought 28 years ago!

I found several vendors of Foam Repair Kit (8”) for my Boston Acustic T830 and I did the work myself, following step by step the included instructions: I thing it is an easy procedure that everyone can do spending only about 20$ for repairing both speakers. Each repair kit usually consists of two foams and some special glue.

Front surround suspension (made of foam)

Front surround suspensions (new one)

Front surround suspensions (new one)

In the following you can see some pictures I took during the repair with some advices: anyway, you can see several video on YouTube showing all the procedure if you need!

First you need to unscrew the woofer and disconnect the two wires: note that, besides being of different colors (black and red) the connectors are of different size so it will be impossible to make a mistake in reconnecting them!

In the following picture you can see my speaker with a woofer with the broken foam:

Front surround suspensions (broken)

Front surround suspensions (broken)

Wires connectors of different colors

… and different size.

Then you need to completely remove both the old foam and the glue used to attach it. First you can help with a screwdriver or a cutter, then I simply used my fingers to remove the remaining glue: you have to do it for both the edges: you have to be careful especially with the speaker cone side (there, I only used only my fingers and then a rag soaked in cotton to better remove the remaining glue).

Remove the old foam with a screwdriver and fingers

Remove the old foam with screwdriver and fingers

Remove the external edge of foam

Remove the external edge of the foam (with screwdriver and fingers)

Carefully remove the internal edge of foam from the speaker cone (with fingers and a rag soaked) (2)

All foam and glue removed

All foam and glue removed

All around the speaker cone, distribute the glue provided in the kit: put the glue ONLY on this side and not on the foam: do not use too much glue and be careful to distribute it in an uniform manner with a finger.

It is convenient to attach the foam first only to the speaker cone and wait about 2 hours so that it dries: then distribute the glue on the metal, gently listing the foam external edge, and attach also this other side. When attaching each edge of the foam, press several times all around (one finger of one hand belove and one finger of the other hand above) to make the foam be well attached everywhere …

Distribute the glue on the external edge of the speaker cone (1)

Distribute the glue on the external edge of the speaker cone (1)

Distribute the glue on the external edge of the speaker cone: distribute in a uniform manner with a finger (2)

The new foam properly attached to the woofer

The new foam properly attached to the woofer

Finally you have only to screw again the woofers into the speaker’s case and try them with your stereo … and appreciate again their original sounds

Pubblicato in Musica, Review e test | Lascia un commento

Auguri di buon Natale … di generazione in generazione (anni ’60 e anni ’30)

Ho trovato questi auguri di Natale tra i documenti conservati da mio padre: oltre che ad avere un valore affettivo, penso evidenzino molte bene i cambiamenti della nostra società e dei costumi … e quindi siano degni di essere inseriti in un post in prossimità del nuovo Natale!

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Partiamo da quelli relativamente più recenti, di metà anni ’60:

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… e due anni prima quando non sapevo ancora scrivere, se non il mio nome … ma già sapevo un po’ disegnare 😉

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Passiamo quindi ad un salto generazionale, siamo all’inizio degli anni ’30 … ecco la letterina di uno zio che purtroppo non ho potuto mai conoscere ma di cui porto il nome:

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Pubblicato in Dipinti, Pensieri e parole, Ricordi | Lascia un commento

How to get GPS coordinates of a point from Microsoft Maps app

Sometime it useful to get the GPS coordinates of a point on a map or to find a place knowing them.

In this post we will see how to do using the Maps app available for free in all Windows 10 devices (PC/tablet/smartphones …):

  • Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates
  • Get GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map
  • Get your current position GPS coordinates

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Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates

The second issue it is very easy: you only need to write latitude, longitude directly in the search place input. In the following you can see the screenshots taken from a Windows 10 PC/tablet and from Windows 10 Mobile smartphone. I have to stress that Maps app is an UWP app (Universal Windows app)  that is it is the same for all Windows 10 devices and so it dynamically changes its interface depending on the windows size/device type: so you can get a user interface very similar to the smartphone one, simply reducing the dimension of the app running on your PC!

Note that you have to search o point writing the GPS coordinate (latitude, longitude) comma separated and using the point for decimals (UK notation), for example 45.105911, 7.674172 as done in the following screenshots:.

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - PC/tablet (1)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – PC/tablet (1)

Once got the pushpin in that location, you can then delete it simply clicking on X in the associated upper tab:

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - PC/tablet (2)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – PC/tablet (2)

If you are using a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone (or set the Maps app window sufficiently small on you PC), here is the user interface you get:

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - smartphone (1)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – smartphone (1)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates - smartphone (2)

Find a place knowing its GPS coordinates – smartphone (2)

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Get GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map

You can get GPS coordinates of whatever point on the map, simply adding a (temporary) pushpin on the map and then looking into its detail.

So, right click on the desired point, choosing “Add a pushpin” from the popup menu. A pushpin will be shown in that position and in a window will be available all details, including the GPS coordinates that you want to know!

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) - PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) – PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2 - PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) – PC/tablet (big window size)

Again, if you don’t need anymore that pushpin, you can delete it clicking on X in the upper bar.

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) - PC/tablet (big window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) – PC/tablet (big window size)

If you have Maps app in a window sufficiently small, being a UWM app, its interface will adapt to better shows information on the available size: you have to click on the bottom bar associate with the created pushpin to get a full detail page on that position:

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) - PC/tablet (small window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) – PC/tablet (small window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) - PC/tablet (small window size)

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) – PC/tablet (small window size)

Maps on a Windows 10 Mobile smartphone looks similarly:

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (1) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (2) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of a chosen point on the map (3) – Smartphone

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Get your current position GPS coordinates

We see how to get GPS coordinates of whatever point on the map but, how to get your current position GPS coordinates?

If the localization feature is set to ON in the settings, there is already on the map a circle showing your current position but, strangely, if you click on it to see its details, those do not shows neither the GPS coordinates nor the accuracy of that detection!!      😦

The only way I found to let the current GPS coordinates be shown (other than creating a new pushpin nearby the already available circular icon!) is to share my current position and then look at the link provided in the shared text:

So, on the My current position details window, click on Share icon and choose, for example the Mail sharing. A new email will be created that include a text with a link to your current position: right-clicking on that link you can see an URL that shows both your current GPS coordinates and the precision of that detection (e.g. 272 ft; 457 m)

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) - PC/tablet

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) – PC/tablet

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) - PC/tablet

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) – PC/tablet

On the smartphone it look like the following:

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (1) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (2) – Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (3) - Smartphone

GPS coordinates of your current position (3) – Smartphone

 

Pubblicato in Review e test, Windows, Windows Phone/Mobile | Lascia un commento

Fetch files available on your PC from OneDrive site

I already wrote a post on the new useful files on-demand feature (ex place-holder) since the Windows 10 Fall Creator OneDrive. In the current post I will give some information about a furthermore new feature now available in OneDrive, that is the capability to possibly access and fetch from the OneDrive site, all files from a PC connected to Internet … without installing anything.

This is a feature different from either the Remote Assistance (*), to let someone you trust take over your PC and fix a problem, or  the Remote Desktop Connection, to let someone connect to a computer running Windows from another computer running Windows that’s connected to the same network or to the Internet: in fact this feature allows you only to get files from every your remote PC from the OneDrive site … but it is very simple to set and use!

The detailed description of this feature can be found in this page of the Microsoft Support site and in the following I will give you only few glimpses …

To let this feature possible, you first have to check the Allow to use OneDrive to fetch file from this PC in the Setting windows available right clicking on the OneDrive icon available in the toolbar:

Then, going on your OneDrive from a browser, clicking on the left menu to the PC item, you will find a list of all the PCs where you set the previous feature on (e.g. PC name: HP-Enzo)

If you  click on your computer name, only the first time you will be asked to access with an access code that can be sent to you  with one of several options:

Once received the security code and inserted it in that browser page, you can browse inside te folders of your PC, possibly downloading some files locally on the PC you are using or uploading them in your OneDrive, so they can be possibly edited with Office online. Note that you cannot delete files/folders but you can see their properties.

 

Pubblicato in Aziendali, Review e test, Windows | Lascia un commento

How to let Outlook 2016 be opened when you click on a new email notification from the Notification Center

By default, when you click on a new email notification from the Notification Center, that email is opened using the Mail app. However, if you have Outlook 2016 locally installed, you may want to use it instead.

Notification Center: received e-mails

Changing that behavior is a matter of setting the predefined association in Setting -> Predefined App and you can easily reach that setting page searching to predefined app and selecting the option related to the e-mail case.

Search for “Predefined App” and choose the e-mail case

Settings -> Predefined Apps

Settings -> Predefined Apps – Select Outlook 2016

May be, the new setting should have effect only after some time (as it happened to me) or possibly after a reboot.

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Note that there is also another settings option page related to what app is associated to every file extension type,: here you can find by default set to Outlook 2016 the following file extensions: .vcs .vcf .pst .oft .ics .hol .eml … and no one to Mail app.
But this settings is not related to the subject of this post, …  even though it can confuse!

 

P.S. This method doesn’t work to me (anymore?) … I am a bit confused, so I asked help to the Microsoft Community forum : let’s wait for some replies :-/

Someone suggested me to check the property “Make Outlook the default program for E-mail, Contacts, and Calendar” from the Outlook settings (following the steps on this link) … but it was already checked!

Some other good guy suggested the following workaround to turning the notifications on for the Outlook app, following the steps below:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Click System then Notifications & actions.
  3. Click on Outlook 2016.
  4. Check if Notifications is On and set the Show in action center switch On.

The issue still persisted, so I tried also to turn Mail app notifications off instead:

  1. Open Mail app then click Settings (gear icon on the bottom).
  2. Select Notifications.
  3. Turn off Show notifications in the Action Center to stop showing new emails in the Action Center.

However things continue not to work properly. As you can see from the following screenshots, now I succeeded to have ONE Outlook 2016 notification in the Notification Centre side bar (only the first one … then, for the following received emails, I did not receive anymore notifications in the Notification Center but only the temporary popup right bottom window): anyway that single email notification was greyed and clicking on it did not opened the related email with Outlook 2016, but simply disappeared from the Notification Bar, to appear again after a while, closing and re-opening the Notification Center side bar, always grayed and with the same strange behavior.

Waiting for some more suggestions … 😦

 

I even did the quick repair of Office 2016 but nothing changed in the behavior: as I said, each email notification is shown in the Notification center side bar but it is greyed and clicking on it only close that notification and does not open the email with Outlook 2016 …

Therefore I believe that there should be a missing integration of Outlook 2016 with the notification center. It is the only application I see having a notification grayed!

Pubblicato in Aziendali, Windows | Lascia un commento

Come contattare Amazon telefonicamente, via chat o via email (e.g. per chiarimenti su un reso)

Talvolta può essere necessario contattare il personale Amazon ad esempio per chiedere delucidazioni su un articolo o per un reso: ovviamente non sempre risulta necessario contattare un assistente per rendere un prodotto ricevuto e risulta sufficiente agire dal sito nella sezione degli ordini apposita relativa al prodotto … ma talvolta può risultare utile chiedere alcuni chiarimenti, soprattutto quando il venditore non agisce in modo corretto.

Il servizio Amazon è sicuramente tra i più efficienti, ponendo sempre al centro gli interessi del cliente, ma può non essere immediato trovare nel loro sito come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un loro dipendente. Una volta trovata la sezione giusta, le procedure proposte sono molteplici e chiare, sicuramente di esempio per un qualsiasi portale che desideri offrire alla sua clientela un buon servizio di assistenza.

La modalità che ho trovato più agevole per trovare la sezione di contatto desiderata è andare nella sezione Aiuto (ultima voce del menù in alto), ricercare “contattaci” e quindi, nella pagina dei risultati, cliccare il tasto “Contattaci” presente nella sezione sinistra:

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (1)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (1)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (2)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (2)

Verrà presentato l’ultimo ordine effettuato, per cui, se la richiesta di aiuto è relativa ad un altro ordine precedente, può essere necessario ricercarlo premendo il pulsante Scegli un altro ordine:

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (3)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (3)

Una volta selezionato l’ordine di interesse, si può quindi specificare il motivo per cui si desidera avere assistenza e quindi selezionare la modalità con cui si preferisce contattarli: sicuramente quella telefonica può risultare la più idonea e più agevole, prevedendo tra l’altro di essere richiamati con un tempo di attesa nullo!

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (4)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (4)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (5)

Come contattare telefonicamente o via chat un assistente Amazon (5)

 

Pubblicato in Just for fun!, Review e test | Lascia un commento

Bots sample with speech recognition and synthesis

Some posts ago I wrote about the Microsoft Bot Framework, giving some useful links. Among others, there were the following, related to bots examples with Cortana, speech recognition and synthesis … there are not so many references online:

In this post I will give some more details related the TriviaBotSpeechSample in order to make it run and see most of the features related to speech recognition and synthesis. It is a very complex examples that make use of many features, like embed the bot in a custom UWP app, showing how to add the speech support in an app using the DirectLine channel. This channels allows to interact with the bot at a low level with specific APIs:  the library supports both UWP and C# applications in XAMARIN, to allow developers to include speech enabled conversations with bots across different platforms (native iOS, Android, Windows).

A good tutorial of that sample can be found in the bot framework portal (Speech Support in Bot Framework – Webchat to Directline, to Cortana) and the more relevant instructions to make it be deployed and see it work can be found in the instructions available in the GitHub repository of that solution. As said there, this sample contains two projects, a trivia bot (built on top of the Microsoft Bot Framework C# Builder SDK) and a UWP app (that talks to the bot using the Microsoft.Bot.Client NuGet package).

As this is a combined client/sample demo, there is a bit of setup required and in the following I will improve the available instructions available there, with some screenshots I did during the test I did together with a friend, … that possibly can help you! 😉

At the end , you can talk to the sample bot in multiple ways, all of which support speech input and output … I succeeded to make it run with all of them:

  1. Using the TriviaApp (UWP app) included in this sample and  simply hitting F5 in Visual Studio to run it.
  2. Using the bot framework emulator https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/bot-framework/debug-bots-emulator.
  3. Host an instance of the Bot Framework WebChat client: https://aka.ms/BfWebChat
  4. Enabled the bot as a Cortana Skill. Simply enable the Cortana channel and provide an invocation phrase. Then make sure you are logged in to Cortana using the same Microsoft account, and say “Ask to start a game of trivia“. Cortana should trigger that bot!

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First of all, be sure to update all libraries used in the solution, going in Visual Studio Tools -> NuGet Packet Manager -> Manage Nuget Packeges for Solution: otherwise, especially if you will use the latest emulator version, you will have the error shown in the following screenshot-.
Note that only one library (System.IdentityModel.Tokens.Jwt) cannot not be updated to the latest version because of some dependences that require a lower version of that package.

 

In order to  link the bot of the sample, it is convenient to choose the seccond options, otherwise it will be created and registered in Azure a new “basic” bot (and then you have to download the solution and substitute it with the one of the sample … so more wotk!).

If you are trying to create a  ID/password with your MSDN subscription done by your company, you will possibly receive the following error due to insufficient privilege: because I needed that codes only for a trial and not to publish a company app, I solved the problem generating them with my personal Microsoft account.

You need to set the bot handle in order it is unique, because the URL will be realoted to that name:

  • Enable the Direct Line channel in the bot settings page, Add a new site and paste a Direct Line secret in TriviaApp\BotConnection.cs file.

  • Reference to Bing recognition API, as requested by the code and related generated error.

  • Publish the Bot as an Azure App Service, and add the public endpoint (yourhosturl/api/messages) to the Bot Framework portal settings page. Make sure to use https instead of http in the url.

  • [Optional] To improve speech recognition for your bot: on http://dev.botframework.com/ go to the bot’s settings. In the “Speech recognition priming with LUIS” section you should see a list of LUIS apps associated with the account you are logged in with. Check the new LUIS app you created for this bot and hit save. This information is used to improve speech recognition when you speak to this bot and uses the Cognitive Speech apis for speech recognition. Speech recognition priming improves the recognition accuracy for the utterances and entities defined in your LUIS app for this bot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pubblicato in Review e test, Windows, Windows Phone/Mobile | Lascia un commento