Igor's Blog

It's amazing how much of a market share Microsoft has when it comes to people producing documents using it's Office software on Windows. I often find myself in situations where I have to read DOC or DOCX files on my Mac and without a Mac version of Office installed this can be quite frustrating. So I decided to try the NeoOffice Viewer which is a free product that runs on macOS and lets you view (but not edit) files created in Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

For this experiment I used the Calibre eBook DOCX demo document since it contained a nice variety of formatting and is freely available online.

First lets see what the original DOCX file looked like when opened in Word (2007 version, I know it's old but it's all I have access to).

Word 2007 rendering -
neoof_word2007.png


NeoOffice Viewer rendering -
neoof_neoof.png


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A few days ago I decided to give my MacBook Pro's internal fans and heatsinks a clean, but before I did that I decided to collect some data on temperatures before the clean out. I knew my Mac has been running hotter than usual lately, I just didn't know how bad it was. I've not cleaned its heatsinks or fans ever since I purchased it back in 2012 (4 years now).

I used Hardware Monitor to collect temperature results and Geekbench 4 to perform benchmarks so that my Mac would heat up. All tests were run with ambient temperature of 23C.

These were the numbers before doing a clean out. That's pretty hot and you could really feel the Mac heat up for a while there.
mbpr12_temps1.png


After doing the clean, I collected more results to compare to the before data. I ran the Geekbench CPU Benchmark two times prior to doing a final run to collect data so that it didn't appear cooler just because it was switched off for some time. Overall both the minimum and maximum temperatures (except CPU core 1) were lower. The after results show that the Mac cools down to idle temperatures much faster. There appeared to be less heat buildup during benchmarks too, this could be seen by cooler GPU and 3rd and 4th CPU core temperatures. What that was saying was that heat was being dissipated much quicker that before. Less heat buildup should prolong component life times so this is a good thing, it felt cooler to the touch.
mbpr12_temps2.png


I was expecting a more significant drop in temperatures but was still impressed with the difference it did make. I could notice this especially during work hours when running Virtual Machines, the fans weren't spinning up as much any more. Less fan noise and less heat, awesome!

This write up wouldn't be complete without photos so lets see how I cleaned it.

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I've been thinking of adding an email subscribe feature to my Blog for a while now. Originally I thought that I'd build this functionality myself but after a lot of deliberation and research I decided that there really wasn't any need to reinvent the wheel and looked for an alternative. That's when I came across Blogtrottr.
Blogtrottr delivers updates from all of your favourite news, feeds, and blogs directly to your email inbox, giving you the flexibility to stay updated whilst on the go.


What that means is it takes an RSS feed and emails you whenever that feed is updated. It's also possible to use Blogtrottr directly on your own Blog or web site to add an email subscription feature (as described on their Help page - Can I put a Blogtrottr form on my website?).

So I ended up with something that looked like this...
blogtrottr_sub.png


I tweaked the code that Blogtrottr provided by changing the default email schedule, adding an input text placeholder and adding some JavaScript to do basic email address input validation. Below is a cut down version of the code based on what I put on my Blog (I removed the CSS styling and my own blog URL and changed the email input ID field name to something more generic).
 Subscribe Form
<form method="post" action="http://blogtrottr.com" target="_blank"
onsubmit="return (/\S+@\S+\.\S+/).test(document.getElementById('blgsubeml').value);">
<input type="text" name="btr_email" id="blgsubeml" placeholder="Your Email" />
<br/>
<input type="hidden" name="btr_url" value="YOUR_BLOG_RSS_URL" />
<input type="hidden" name="schedule_type" value="6" />
<input type="submit" value="Subscribe to my Blog" />
</form>


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I've had Google's G Suite set up for my domains for quite some time and think it's fantastic. However, I have been a bit annoyed with the Google logo being plastered all over the G Suite apps. Further when I tried to change this logo to something of my own, it never sized properly, so I thought that the best solution was simply to remove Google's logo.

So my G Suite Gmail went from this...
gstuite_nologo3.png


...to this:
gstuite_nologo2.png


Unfortunately there is no setting in G Suite to disable logo display. There is a way around this however. Simply download a 1x1 pixel transparent image from here and set that as your logo! This is done in the G Suite Admin console, inside the 'Company Profile' section, under 'Personalization'. Select 'Custom Logo' and upload the transparent image file. Google's logo will now disappear.
gstuite_nologo1.png


You can still click this transparent image, same as before. In Gmail this will get check for new emails for example.

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NeoOffice Viewer macOS Word Document viewer vs Preview and Microsoft Word

Importance of cleaning the internal fans and heatsinks in a MacBook Pro

Adding an email subscribe feature to your Blog with Blogtrottr

How to remove Google's logo from your G Suite applications

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