View from the Potting Shed The Revd Gareth J M Saunders' weblog Thu, 26 Nov 2015 18:56:56 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 Getting my Logitech F710 wireless gamepad to work with Windows 10 Thu, 26 Nov 2015 18:56:56 +0000 Continue reading Getting my Logitech F710 wireless gamepad to work with Windows 10]]> Logitech F710 wireless gamepad
Logitech F710 wireless gamepad

Last night I took the plunge and upgraded my desktop PC from Windows 8.1 Pro (64-bit) to Windows 10 Pro (64-bit).

The whole process took less than an hour, and as far as I could see most of my peripherals were still working after the upgrade: laser printer, scanner, webcam.

Of course, the one thing that I forgot to test were my pair of Logitech F710 wireless gamepads, which my three boys use most to play LEGO games. The controllers couldn’t be detected.

I downloaded the latest drivers from the Logitech website, which they claimed were Windows 10-compatible. That didn’t work.

Here’s what I did to get them to work; I found the official Logitech forum to be very useful.

  1. Remove both nano receivers from the PC (I have mine marked 1 and 2, so I know to which gamepad they belong).
  2. Switch the gamepad to D mode.
  3. Insert the nano receiver.
  4. Windows 10 installs drivers for Rumblepad 2.
  5. Remove the nano receiver.
  6. Switch the gamepad to X mode.
  7. Insert the nano receiver.
  8. Windows 10 installs drivers for Wireless Gamepad F710.
  9. Press Windows key + Pause/Break to open System screen.
  10. Click Device Manager.
  11. Locate Wireless Gamepad F710.
  12. Right-click and select “Update Driver Software”.
  13. Click “Browse my computer for driver software”.
  14. Click “Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer”.
  15. Select Xbox 360 Peripherals.
  16. Select Xbox 360 Controller for Windows.
  17. Click Next.
  18. On the Update Driver Warning dialog, click Yes.
  19. Allow the driver to install. You should now see Xbox 360 Controller for Windows listed.
  20. (Optional: if you have more than one controller, keep the working one plugged in but now do the same, starting at step #1, for the other controller.)
Device Manager listing the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows
Device Manager listing the Xbox 360 Controller for Windows

The controller now works perfectly for me in the LEGO games. Obviously, I’ll report back if there are any further issues.

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Getting fit again (and hey! so far I’ve lost 6 kg) Sat, 21 Nov 2015 12:35:45 +0000 Continue reading Getting fit again (and hey! so far I’ve lost 6 kg)]]> Six bags of sugar. This is how much weight I've lost in the last five months
This is how much weight I’ve lost in the last five months

On Friday afternoon I attended my bi-annual renal outpatients’ clinic at Ninewells hospital in Dundee. My appointments usually follow the same script.

Doctor: Hello, come in, sit down… how are you?

Me: Fine, thanks.

Doctor: Good. How have your kidneys been over the last six months? Any problems?

Me: Fine, no problems.

Doctor: Your blood pressure is a bit high, but you’ve probably been rushing to get here. Let’s take it again… Hmm… still a bit high. You’ve put on more weight, I see. You really need to lose weight. That will help with your blood pressure.

And off I’m sent with a slap on the wrist, a ticket to get my bloods taken, and an appointment for six months’ time.

Change of script

Well, dear reader, not this time. This time we had a change of script. I was in and out in about five minutes. No reprimand, my blood pressure was looking good, just a a request for bloods and to return in not six but nine months’ time (always a good sign when they don’t want to see you quite as soon).

The reason: over the last five months I have been exercising. A lot. And yesterday afternoon I discovered just now much weight I’ve lost: 6 kilogrammes (13.2 lbs).

I knew it must have been quite a bit: I am now back into my XXL t-shirts, and my 38″ jeans.

The last seven years have been in many ways the most brutal, the more difficult that I’ve ever experienced:

  • sleep deprivation (twins and then singleton) for about four or five years
  • two back injuries
  • two neck injuries
  • viral meningitis

Whenever I did exercise (walking, cycling or light dumbbell weights) invariably I’d get ill pretty quickly, within a few days I’d come down with someone, or I’d overdo it and pick up an injury.

And with a regular pattern like that comes fear. And so I ended up avoiding exercise because I didn’t want to get ill.

In June of this year I knew that something had to change. I was experiencing major headaches again, comparable with the ones I had experienced during last year’s meningitis. I knew that I’d put on more weight, I was already in XXXL t-shirts and these were beginning to feel a little tight. I was feeling so unfit and so ashamed of my size that I knew that I had to do something about it. It actually got so bad that I felt I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror.

I knew that I could do it, I’d done it before, after I’d moved from Edinburgh to Fife. I just wished that I had written down what I’d done so that I could do it again.

So I committed to the following:

  • Eat less (especially, cut out unnecessary  sugars and sweets).
  • Cycle more.
  • Lift weights more.

With the exercise I committed myself to a little, often. And with that I got on my bike and tackled a familiar circuit that I used to do: home to Kilrenny, up the farm track to the main road, then back home. I knew that it would take me about 13 minutes to reach the top of the farm track, up a gently hill, and about 26 minutes to complete the loop and get back home.

A few weeks in, I started lifting weights again. A little and often. Squats, preacher curls, bench presses. I hit major muscle groups. I followed a couple of Men’s Health dumbbell guides that I’d collected over the years.

Then I went back out on my bike, and was amazed that I could go significantly faster. The weight lifting had given my legs strength. Who knew?!

Night rider

The clocks changed and I continued to go out in the dark. I have fabulously powerful LED bike lights that illuminate the road ahead. And that’s when I realised that one of my biggest enemies, one of the things that had been holding me back, was myself.

When I cycle during the day and hit the bottom of a climb there is a small, nagging voice in the back of my mind that says, “You’ll never make that climb!” And coupled with the fear of getting ill, or pulling an injury, my brain gives in and replies, “Yeah… you’re probably right”, and I slow down and don’t push myself quite as much.

But at night… at night I can’t see the top of the hill. And so I don’t hear the nagging voices. I’m in the moment, and I just keep going, until I find the top of the hill.

So, I set myself a goal: get from my house to the top of the hill in under 10 minutes. A week in to my challenge I got it down to 10′ 52″.

I then realised that I was taking it too easy getting from my home to the bottom of the hill, so a couple of weeks ago I set out with the attitude of going for broke.

I pushed myself harder than I had in a long time, through the pain, up the hill, pulling on my pedals when pushing hurt too much, pushing when that started to ache.

At the top of the hill I slumped over the handlebars, out of breath, my heartbeat in my ears, sweat turning to steam in the cool night air.

I unclipped my bike computer and held it in front of my front light. Five minutes fifty-six seconds. What?! 5′ 56″.

Well… that’s under 10 minutes.


The next year or two are going to contain a lot of changes, big and small. Some I will have little control over, others I will grasp with two hands. This is one of them. I’m getting back on track (metaphorically and literally), getting fit and regaining my confidence.

Yesterday’s renal appointment was a significant milestone. Let’s see just how much fitter I can be in nine months’ time when I present myself to the clinic once again.

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I’ll be there for you Thu, 19 Nov 2015 23:29:06 +0000 Continue reading I’ll be there for you]]>

I’ve had this rather amazing song going around my head today.

I heard the voice of redemption
For me there is no exemption
I started praying

I heard the voice of satisfaction
Needing me for benefaction
I started pleading

I heard the bells begin to chime
Warning me, oh Lord!
Don’t let this be my time
Don’t let this be my time

I’ll be there for you, when you walk through the fire
I’ll be there for you, when the flames get higher
When nothing fits and nothing seems right
Till the very last breath of my life, I’ll be there for you

You saw me slide, you saw me fall
We kept our pride through it all
We started screaming

When skies are dark, no sun shines through
I know I see the light in you
We stopped dreaming and started believing

I’ll be there for you, when you walk through the fire
I’ll be there for you, when the flames get higher
When nothing fits and nothing seems right
Till the very last breath of my life, I’ll be there for you
I’ll be there

In my hour of need
You were there always
Now it’s time for me to be there for you too

I’ll be there for you

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Gardening, stamina and Joshua’s chalk drawings Mon, 28 Sep 2015 20:56:17 +0000 Continue reading Gardening, stamina and Joshua’s chalk drawings]]> Our back garden in a state of order
Our back garden in a state of order

One of the delights of this past weekend — apart from almost seeing the blood moon eclipse last night (there was too much cloud cover at 03:47 when I peered out of my south-westwards facing study window) — was getting the back garden tidied up.

Of course, the front garden still looks like a jungle. (Sorry neighbours!) But the back garden looks splendid and neat. The secret to tidy-looking gardens, I believe, is simply in defining straight lines and borders. It’s a bit like web design. But without the benefits of flexbox.

What is frustrating, though, is that my stamina still hasn’t returned after last year’s headache.

It’s been over a year now since I was in hospital. When I got out my GP said that I shouldn’t expect to begin to get my energy back until January or February; it was more like April when I began to feel that I was making some improvement.

But then in July the headaches began again. I know I was pushing myself too hard: cycling every couple of days, staying up too late, and I need to get my eyes tested again (appointment booked for Monday).

Time to reel myself in a bit and be a bit more sensible and disciplined.

Still, in the meantime at least the shed is tidy. And who doesn’t love a tidy potting shed?

Look! You can now walk in through the door and not tread on something.
Look! You can now walk in through the door and not tread on something.

And I think I may have discovered that Joshua is the secret identity of Banksie.

I love this cheerful drawing of a man and... a thing.
I love this cheerful drawing of a man and… a thing.

Seemingly to the right of the cheerful man is his thought bubble. I need to ask Joshua again what he’s thinking. Because I seem to recall that it was something random. Like a pie.

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Bulk install packages in Sublime Text Mon, 28 Sep 2015 12:31:50 +0000 Continue reading Bulk install packages in Sublime Text]]> A couple of weeks ago I was setting up a new laptop and kept putting off installing Sublime Text (my code editor of choice) because I knew that it would also involve about fifteen minutes patiently working through my curated list of packages (add-ons / plugins), installing each one by one.

There’s got to be a simpler way, I suddenly thought. Sublime Text saves me so much time doing other stuff automatically, surely they’ve thought about this too.

I was right.

In fact, front-end developer extraordinaire Paul Irish asked this very question back in 2012.

How do it it

So, here is how to do it:

  1. Install Sublime Text (2 or 3).
  2. Install Package Control.
  3. Create a JSON file listing the "installed_packages" you want (see below) and save it to Packages/User/Package Control.sublime-settings.
  4. Restart Sublime Text and allow it to pick up and install the new packages.

Just be aware of any packages that need dependences that Sublime Text cannot install, for example Git or Zeal (offline documentation browser).

Save locations

You can easily find the save location by going to Preferences > Browse Packages.

On Windows the save location is: C:\Users\[YOUR USERNAME]\AppData\Roaming\Sublime Text 3\Packages\User

Package Control.sublime-settings

This is my installed packages list from work and home; I keep a copy in Dropbox so that I can keep the two in sync.

The names listed are exactly as they are listed in the Package Control: List Packages list.

        "Bootstrap 3 Snippets",
        "Color Highlighter",
        "CSS Color Converter",
        "JSHint Gutter",
        "Markdown Preview",
        "Package Control",
        "Search WordPress Codex or QueryPosts",
        "Status Bar File Size",
        "Theme - Minimal",
        "Tomorrow Color Schemes",
        "View In Browser",
        "WordPress Developer Resources",
        "WordPress Generate Salts",

Needless to say, doing that made installing Sublime Text so much easier and quicker.

I will try to keep this list updated, as much for my own benefit as any one else’s.

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Writing to the Google Chrome console from PHP Sat, 26 Sep 2015 22:42:18 +0000 Continue reading Writing to the Google Chrome console from PHP]]> Chrome Logger is a Google Chrome extension for debugging server side applications in the Chrome console.
Chrome Logger is a Google Chrome extension for debugging server side applications in the Chrome console.

This afternoon I finally got round to figuring out why my workaround for changing the Divi projects custom post type to anything you want had broken in Divi 2.5.

In the end it was deceptively simple. I’d set the priority values for the add_action($hook, $function_to_add, $priority) and remove_action($hook, $function_to_add, $priority) functions too low.

WordPress uses the priority value to determine in which order particular actions are run. The default value is 10. The higher the value, the later it will be executed.

While I was investigating this, it crossed my mind that it would be really useful if I could write values to the Google Chrome console in the same way that you can when writing and debugging JavaScript.

It turns out you can, using Chrome Logger plus the ChromePhp library.

With the Chrome Logger extension installed and enabled on the tab I wanted to write to, all I had to do was include the library and log some data. Like this:

include 'ChromePhp.php';
ChromePhp::log('Hello console!');
ChromePhp::warn('something went wrong!');

Very useful. And as well as a library for PHP there are also libraries for

  • ColdFusion
  • Go
  • Java
  • .NET
  • Node.js
  • Perl
  • Python
  • Ruby

You can find details on the Chrome Logger website.


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Robin and Carol’s wedding Sun, 13 Sep 2015 21:39:30 +0000 Continue reading Robin and Carol’s wedding]]> Robin and Carol emerging from Kelso Registry Office
Robin and Carol emerging from Kelso registry office

Yesterday morning we drove to Kelso, in the Scottish Borders, for my first cousin Robin’s wedding.

They were married in Kelso registry office — my first ever attendance at a registry wedding — and then held their reception in the village hall in nearby Smailholm.

The highlight of the day, as far as the boys were concerned, was the bouncy castle in the hall grounds.

Three bouncing boys Isaac and Joshua take a break from jumping Isaac takes it a little further and settles down for a snooze

I spent most of the afternoon supervising our three. Isaac, especially, was really tired so every half hour or so he and I trotted across the grass to our car parked opposite the bouncy castle so that he could have a lie down in the temporary bed that I’d created for him in the boot of our Citroën Grand C4 Picasso.

It was a day of love and family and laughter… and a lot of bouncing.

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I got parked at the Bute! Fri, 21 Aug 2015 12:38:35 +0000 Car park at the Bute Building, St Andrews

The early bird (or in my case: bloke) catches the parking space at the Bute Building in St Andrews.

This was the view out of our office window at 08:19 this morning.

My car’s the one with the roof box. Or ‘car attic’ as we like to call it.

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Making scrollbars wider in Windows 8.1 Tue, 18 Aug 2015 22:42:07 +0000 Continue reading Making scrollbars wider in Windows 8.1]]> Windows Explorer, now with wider scrollbars
Windows Explorer, now with wider scrollbars

Since last year’s dalliance with meningitis, which damaged my eyesight a little, I’ve found the standard Window scrollbars just a little too narrow for my liking.

It may only take a second or two more to adjust my mouse so that they are hovering right over them but those additional few seconds all add up. “Mony a mickle macks a muckle”, as we say in Scotland.

So last week I went looking for a way to increase the scrollbar width.

Windows 7 offers an easy way to do this within the Control Panel > Personalisation interface. Windows 8.x, however, doesn’t. You need to guddle about in the Windows Registry.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. When the User Account Control dialog appears, click Yes.
  3. Type regedit, then click OK.
  4. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER / Control Panel / Desktop / WindowMetrics
  5. Locate the two keys: ScrollHeight and ScrollWidth. These will both be set to -255.
  6. Change both to -375 to make them a little wider. (One site I visited recommended between -100 for thinner, and -1000 for thicker).
  7. Exit Registry Editor.
  8. Either restart the Explorer process in Task Manager, or log out and back in again, or reboot.
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Getting a hp LaserJet 1320 dn to print multiple copies on Windows 7 Wed, 05 Aug 2015 12:29:32 +0000 Continue reading Getting a hp LaserJet 1320 dn to print multiple copies on Windows 7]]> hp 1320 dn
hp LaserJet 1320 dn (Photo sourced from AMDC)

At work I have an hp LaserJet 1320 dn (duplex and networked) plugged into my PC via USB. (It used to be networked and accessible by the whole office but since moving buildings we’ve not figured out how to do this yet.)


It’s great for printing out a quick copy of something without needing to send it to our central printing service and then walking to the other end of the corridor, logging into the printer, pulling the appropriate print job, waiting for the machine to warm up… you get the picture.

The problem

BUT until Monday I could only print out one copy of a document at a time. I’m using Windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition.

Which is fine if it’s just for me but I’ve been preparing interview papers for 14 candidates and four interview panel members. That’s 56 copies of application forms before we even get started on our own evaluation paperwork.

Anyway, my reluctance to walk down a corridor and stand in a dark, windowless room drove me to finally try to fix this. Thanks to Google and conscientious and helpful users on hp’s user forums I found the answer.

The answer

The first thing I did was make sure the latest drivers were installed.

Next, I followed these instructions:

  1. Open Start menu (in Windows 7) and select Devices and Printers.
  2. Right-click the hp LaserJet 1320 printer and select Printer properties.
  3. Select the Device Settings tab.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the dialog window and find the “Installable Options” section.
  5. Now locate the option “Mopier Mode” and set it to “Disabled“.
  6. Click OK.
Printer properties dialog for hp LaserJet 1320 (PCL 5 driver)
Printer properties dialog for hp LaserJet 1320 (PCL 5 driver) with Mopier Mode set to Disabled.

This should resolve the issue.

I hope this helps other users (and possibly also a future me trying to remember how I did it the first time).

Note: some users, I noticed, on the hp forum reported that with their printer (e.g. LaserJet 1200) they had to do the opposite to get this to work. In other words they had to enable mopier mode rather than disable it.

What is mopier mode?

I’d never heard the word “mopier”. Seemingly a mopier is a machine that makes mopies: multiple original prints.

As more information was being created digitally and printers were becoming faster, cheaper and more reliable people started creating multiple original prints (mopiers) rather than printing one original document and then duplicating it on a traditional photocopier (copies).

The mantra appears to be: mopy—don’t copy.

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