• Apple iPhones have fantastic cameras, the only problem is the default settings aren’t the best settings. As default the photo ratio is set to 4:3 which is great in some situations but 16:9 is much better especially with the wide angle lens on the more recent iPhones. What’s worse is as standard it will always revert back to 4:3 which can be really annoying. The good news is there is a single setting on the iPhone that if you enable it will keep your previous iPhone camera settings. Here is how to enable it. Open settings on your iPhone. Scroll down and tap on Camera. Tap on Preserve Settings Enable Creative Controls Close Settings Open the Camera Press the arrow on the left side of the screen tap on the button on the right side that says 4:3 Change it to 16:9 Tap on the arrow again. The camera will now keep the aspect ratio as 16:9 instead of 4:3 You will notice there are many other settings which the camera will now remember such as exposure and flash settings. Hope this helps.
  • The nightmare has happened, you have forgotten the admin or user password for your WordPress website and you can’t get in to the admin area of your website. There are a number of ways to fix this but the phpMyAdmin way is my preferred way of resetting your WordPress admin password. We are basically going to find the account in the MySQL database and then remove the old password and put a new password in to allow you to login. ** MAKE SURE YOU TAKE A BACKUP FIRST  ** Login to phpMyAdmin Down the left side expand your WordPress database. (This will normally have wp in the title or even wordpress) When you expand it you will see a list of tables (These normally all start with wp) Scroll down the list and find the table called users. Click on that table name. Find your user account in the list Click edit on the same row of the account In the column user_pass you will notice a long line of characters. This is your forgotten password that has been encrypted. Delete that long line of characters and type in your new password in normal text In the function dropdown menu on the same row select MD5, this will hash your password and store it as a long line of characters. Now click go at the bottom of the page and try and login again to your website with your new password. Hope this was helpful. If your not comfortable doing this, please contact me and I will try and help you out.
  • March 21, 2021

    Must Have Free WordPress Plugins

    Having built a number of websites on WordPress, I have collected a list of my must have free plugins for WordPress. WordPress plugins increase the functionality of the standard WordPress platform and there are plenty to choose from. These WordPress plugins are the ones I pretty much use on any WordPress website that I build. From visitor statistics through to basic SEO. Here are my must have free WordPress plugins. Classic Editor WordPress Plugin A few versions back, the standard WordPress editor changed but I have never managed to get away with the new editor. The good news is that this plugin is the original editor for WordPress and puts things back as they should be. Link: Classic Editor – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin The Yoast SEO plugin in my opinion is one of the best free WordPress SEO plugins around. Once installed it adds an additional box to the editor page which allows you to manage the SEO for that post. It also gives recommendations on how to improve the SEO of your WordPress content and also the readability of each post and page. A really useful plugin. Link: Yoast SEO – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org WPS Hide Login WordPress Plugin This WordPress plugin does exactly what the name says, it allows you to change the WordPress admin login page to something different. This is a basic step to help secure your WordPress website. It is really easy to configure and would recommend installing it on any WordPress website. I also wrote a guide on how to setup WPS Hide Login Link: WPS Hide Login – WordPress plugin | WordPress.org WP-Forms Lite WordPress Plugin Every website needs a contact form, and this plugin makes it so easy to add a basic contact form to your...
  • The Amazon Echo Show is a great device to have around your home. Its a perfect way to ask Alexa for information and get a basic display of her answer. The speaker in the Amazon Echo Show range of products isn’t too bad either. There are some occasions where it is useful to be able to stream audio from your phone or tablet and have it play out through your Amazon Echo Show. Here is a quick guide on how to connect your phone to your Amazon Echo Show and use your Amazon Echo Show as a Bluetooth speaker. Open your Bluetooth Settings on your mobile phone. Ask Alexa to connect to Bluetooth. When you do this Alexa will probably respond saying there are no Bluetooth devices available. Check on your phone and you will see a new device appear called Echo Show and then a number after it. Tap on the new Echo Show Bluetooth device and connect to it from your phone. Once connected play your music from your phone and it will play through your Amazon Echo Show. Hope you find this useful.
  • If you have 2 factor authentication enabled for your Office 365 Exchange Online administrator accounts and you try and use the standard way of connecting to Exchange Online using PowerShell then you will get an error. This is because it can’t handle the 2 factor authentication part or the authentication process. To connect to Exchange Online with 2 factor authentication enabled you need to use the following PowerShell code: $username = "firstname.surname@domain.com" Install-Module -Name ExchangeOnlineManagement Import-Module ExchangeOnlineManagement Connect-ExchangeOnline -UserPrincipalName $username Once you have run the above PowerShell code a screen will load which will allow you to login with your Microsoft account. Hope you find this useful.
  • If you have bought an Amazon Fire TV Stick and your wondering why the volume is so low when your watching something through it on your TV it’s most likely because the Fire TV stick isn’t sending the audio signal in the correct format for your TV. Here’s how to fix it: From the home screen select Settings from the top menu In the settings, select Display & Sounds In the Display & Sounds menu select Audio Select Dolby Digital Output Select Dolby Digital Plus OFF Press the home button and your all sorted. Now that you have followed the guide above to fix the low volume on your Amazon Fire TV Stick you should be able to play content and the volume should now be correct. I hope you have found this guide useful. Have you tried Amazon Prime Video on your Fire TV device? You can sign up for a 30 day free trial using the links below. Amazon Prime Video UK 30 Day Free Trial Amazon Prime Video USA 30 Day Free Trial
  • January 14, 2021

    Password Generator Python Script

    Its always useful to be able to quickly generate a password. This Python script uses a word list to create a random 3 word password with dashes between and then drop it into the clipboard. You could modify it so it doesn’t drop it into the clipboard and just passes the variable to another script. The word list I used (britcaps.txt) can be downloaded from here: British English Word List for Spell Checkers – Curlew Communications but you can use other word lists. You will just need to change the wordfilepath variable at the top of the script. # www.jonathanblench.co.uk # Script to generate a 3 word password and drop it into the clipboard to use # Set path the word file as variable wordfilepath = "britcaps.txt" # Import the random module import random # Function to use clipboard import os def addToClipBoard(text): command = 'echo ' + text.strip() + '| clip' os.system(command) # Open and read the words file and split words fileread1 = open(wordfilepath, "r") allcontent = (fileread1.read()) words = list(map(str, allcontent.split())) # Generate 3 random words and store as variables word1 = (random.choice(words)) word2 = (random.choice(words)) word3 = (random.choice(words)) # Bring words together into string and add dashes between words password = word1+"-"+word2+"-"+word3 # Place password into clipboard and display addToClipBoard(password) # Remove hash from next line to print the password. #print (password) Hope you find this useful.
  • There have been many times when I have been investigating a server or device dropping and then coming back online. Here is a useful PowerShell script that updates a txt file each time a device drops. <# Script to log drop in connectivity Checks every 10 seconds. If a drop is detected it checks every 60 seconds until it comes back online. #> #Variables #Set the IP or Hostname you want to test $target = "" #Set the location of the log file $logfile = "C:\result.txt" #set how often to check connectivity (in seconds) $checktime = 10 #set how long before chacking after a drop in connectivity (in seconds) $rechecktime = 60 #no changes required past here function Test-Ping { param($ip) trap {$false; continue} $timeout = 1000 $object = New-Object system.Net.NetworkInformation.Ping (($object.Send($ip, $timeout)).Status -eq 'Success') } $killswitch=1 Write-Host "Running a network test. **PLEASE DO NOT CLOSE THIS WINDOW**" -Fo Red while ($killswitch -ne 0) { If (!(Test-Ping $target)) { Write-output 'No connection at: ' $(Get-Date -format "dd-MM-yyyy @ hh:mm:ss") | out-file -append $logfile -force Start-Sleep $rechecktime } Else { Start-Sleep $checktime } } Hope you find this useful.
  • I recently came across a problem when trying to update WordPress that was running on Centos 7. Whenever I tried to run the WordPress update from the admin area I got the following error: Unpacking the update… The update cannot be installed because we will be unable to copy some files. This is usually due to inconsistent file permissions.: wp-admin/includes/update-core.php Installation Failed From the error I initially thought this was a simple file permissions issue however after checking the the permissions on the WordPress installation everything appeared to be OK. After some reading up online there were a number of people talking about SELinux. SELinux stands for Security Enhanced Linux and its a security module that supports access control policies and is built into a number of Linux distributions including Centos 7. In my case this module was causing the updates to fail with the above error. So before you run your updates you need to SSH to your server and run the following command to disable SELinux: Sudo setenforce 0 Then run your WordPress updates. Once they are complete, enable SELinux again by running the following command: Sudo setenforce 1 Hope you find this useful.
  • February 16, 2020

    How To Change Your WordPress Admin Address

    WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world and there is a good reason for that. WordPress is an extremely flexible content management system and its ease of use helps to make it popular. But with popularity comes an increased security risk. One of the biggest problems is that anyone who has used WordPress knows the WordPress Admin Address. That anyone also includes people who might want to try and attack your website. The good news is there is a very easy way to change your WordPress admin address and that comes in the way of a plugin. So here is a step by step guide on how to change your WordPress admin address: Download and install the Plugin called WPS Hide Login (Click here to view details) Activate the plugin Hover over Settings in the menu Select WPS Hide Login Type in your chosen login address in the text field next to Login URL Change the redirection page to something else. I recommend putting 404 in here Click save changes and now browse to your new login address to login. I hope you found this useful!
  • A few mornings back, I woke up to what can only be a nightmare for any Geek… My iPhone screen wouldn’t even display anything. There was nothing, no sign of life. I tried the usual press and hold the power button but nothing happened. I got to the office and I mentioned it to someone who just happened to work for Apple support in a previous life and he showed me how to bring my iPhone back to life. So if your iPhone ever becomes completely unresponsive with no sign of life here is how to reset it without loosing any data, apps or anything else. Press and release the volume up button. Press and release the volume down button. Press and hold the side button until the Apple Logo shows on your screen. I hope this helps and saves you from the panic i had.
  • With the recent improvements to the files app that is built into Apple’s iPadOS, I have found myself using it more and more to manage my files on my iPad and also in iCloud. But you can also add other cloud storage services to the iPad file manager app. Here is a quick guide on how to add Google Drive to the iPad file app. Open the app store on your iPad and install the Google Drive app. Once it is installed, open the Google Drive app. Sign in with your Google Account. Return to the iPad Home Screen. Open the Apple file manager app. In the left bar you should see other locations. Tap on other locations. (if you can’t see other locations, tap on the three dots next to browse and tap edit. Enable Google Drive. You should now have Google Drive within your Apple files app. Hope you found this useful.
  • We were still missing people at our door even though we had a ring doorbell. The reason for this was because if we were in the back of the house or upstairs and didn’t have our phones with us you couldn’t always hear the doorbell. I then realised you can setup your echo devices so that Alexa tells you when someone is at the door. Here is a quick guide on how to set this up. Ensure your Ring Doorbell is linked to your Amazon Alexa App Open the Alexa App Tap on Devices Tap on Cameras Select your ring doorbell Under Doorbell Announcement enable Doorbell Press All done, next time someone rings your doorbell your Amazon Echo devices will let you know that someone is at the door. If you found this useful please share it!
  • November 22, 2019

    Use NFC To Control Your Home

    When iOS13 was released it opened up the opportunity to use NFC tags for home automation through the updated IOS Shortcuts App. Our house is already kitted out with Philips Hue lights and the Philips Hue bridge so I bought some NFC tags so we could quickly turn the stairs lights on and off using our iPhones and and NFC tag. Here is how I set it up in case you wanted to do it yourself. Buy the following NFC tags from NFCtagify Amazon. Click here to View on Amazon (I recommend these as I know they work with IOS) When the NFC tags arrive get one of the tags and open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad Tap on Automation located at the bottom of the screen in the middle. Tap on the little plus icon in the top right corner of the screen. Tap on Create Personal Automation Scroll down and select NFC which is located under the Settings category. Tap Scan and hold the NFC tag to the back of your iPhone or iPad at the top. Give your NFC tag a name. You can then setup what you want to do when your device detects the NFC tag that you scanned. Below is a screen grab of my settings using a basic if statement. In simple terms if the stairs lights are off then turn the stairs lights on otherwise turn the stairs lights off. Once you have set it up make sure you turn off the option called Ask Before Running. By doing this the shortcut will just run without any interaction from you. Test to make sure it works by putting the tag near the back of your phone. When you do this the lights should come on. Put the tag near the back...