Command Option R on a Windows keyboard

Today I had to do an OS X internet recovery but I only had a Windows keyboard. Normally the keyboard combination to launch the Internet Recovery on Macs is Cmd+Option+R but I couldn’t find the right combination on the Windows keyboard. After much googling and experimenting, it turns out its Windows+Alt+R

Origami platonic solids

I’ve been making some of these platonic solids in origami. Thanks to John Montroll’s books

From left to right. A tetrahedron, a cube and an octahedron.

Poor man’s router with wedge fail

chisel held into a block of wood with a wedge

I tried making a Paul Seller’s style Poor Man’s Router plane. It worked quite well but I couldn’t get the chisel’s blade edge to be really perpendicular to the surface of the wood. As an alternative I thought I’d try cutting a slot into the piece of timber and making a wedge to fit it to hold the chisel in place.


As much as I tried I couldn’t get the wedge to hold the chisel firmly enough that it wouldn’t slide up once I started cutting into wood with it. I think this was partly to do with it being a bevel edge chisel. This meant there was less surface area in contact with the wood, so less friction and easier to slip.

I might try making a hardwood wedge for it. I also need to try a firmer chisel instead of a bevel edge one. The extra surface area might be enough to hold it.

Workbench progress

pine board with pine leg held in with wedge
Test fitting the wedge that secures the leg to the skirt
pine leg held into pine skirt with wedge and retainer holding wede in place
Wedge retainer fitted
two sets of pine legs held up with a pine skirt between them
At last the bench self supports with the fitting of the first skirt
thick pine workbench tops resting on the pine leg struts
Workbench tops resting on the leg struts


Xero’s Paypal feed is crap

I’ve been setting up a new paypal account and I thought it would be nice to get the feed of transactions directly into Xero. Unfortunately Xero’s PayPal feed doesn’t understand how PayPal initially puts your transactions on hold until your account is fully verified. This leads to having your transactions incorrectly imported twice (with incorrect values) into Xero.

I showed the error to Xero and after quite a bit of nagging them to follow it up, giving them futher evidence of the error whey they tried to deny it they eventually came back with a solution of “just manually delete the extra transactions”. This defeates the entire purpose of the feed. Well done Xero! *slow clap*

Here is their support response for your viewing pleasure:

Hi Jason

It appears that PayPal are putting a hold on these transactions when they occur and releasing the funds to your account at a later date.

What this means is that the feed is correctly importing the Gross amount and Fee amount at the correct date and when the net amount has been released to your account later in the month by PayPal, the feed is picking this up as a new transaction.

We’d suggest deleting the incorrect Net amounts that have imported. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Xero Help Centre: Delete a Bank Statement Line

Kind regards

One of the major selling points of Xero is their feed integration, but if they can’t even get PayPal right, what’s the point?

Uniquify your Buffer Names in emacs with use-package

Recently I have been working on projects that often have multiple files of the same name. By default emacs doesn’t give much information to help you switch between the buffers of open files of the same name. At the same moment that I was thinking I need to find a solution to this Pragmatic Emacs posted a nice little solution using uniquify.

This is how do the same using use-package:

(use-package uniquify
  (setq uniquify-buffer-name-style 'forward)
  (setq uniquify-separator "/")
  (setq uniquify-after-kill-buffer-p t)    ; rename after killing uniquified
  (setq uniquify-ignore-buffers-re "^\\*") ; don't muck with special buffers


BPay View feedback

Dear CommBank,

While I think NetBank is great, the BPayView part seriously lets it down. I tweeted my feelings about this and you asked for feedback, so here it is:

1. It silently lets the biller prevent you from viewing older bills. eg. I cannot view Sydney Water bills older than 6 months. but you don’t know this until you try to view the bill, you seen the “This bill is unable to be opened at this time.” and then you call tech support and they inform you that Sydney Water prevents bills older than 6 months from being viewed.
2. It auto archives bills after 18 months. This should be at least 2 years if not 7 in my opinion
3. if you open a bill and try to save the PDF, the PDF is not named something sensible so you can quickly save it and move on to the next bill, making saving bills a tiresome slow process.
4. There should be an option to email the bills to you as a PDF as and when they become available.
5. The archived bills view is useless a it does not show the date of the bill or anything useful about the bill except the amount. This is maddeningly annoying.
6. You cannot open archived bills. well this wouldn’t be such a problem if points 2,4 and 5 were taken care of.