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Fix for Windows 8 hanging with 100% Hard Drive Usage

24 Oct

If Windows is suddenly tasked with a lot of HDD I/O it will lock up for 20 seconds or more. I’ve noticed mostly this when launching games or installing apps. This fix has worked for me in the past:

bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes

Removing advertisements from the new Kindle Fire HD

28 Sep

Removing the ads from the new Kindle Fire HD is a fairly simple process.

First make sure to root your device, the method here should be quick and painless:

Now just open up a terminal and do the following:

adb shell
cd /data/data/                        
rm -r ./adunits
touch adunits

Now the lockscreen should just show the stock photos.

Modifying Amazon’s Kindle app to hide soft keys on Ice Cream Sandwich

3 Feb

Ice Cream Sandwich introduced soft buttons to Android phones, and Google had forethought  enough to allow applications to dim these buttons so that they don’t distract from content like text and video. Sadly Amazon has yet to update their Kindle application to support this feature. Luckily we can take advantage of APK Multi-tool to de-compile, modify, and re-compile and resign applications. Below is a screen shot of how the app should look before and after the modifications.

First we need to create a temporary application so that we can get the Dalvik code that we want to inject into the Kindle application.

Create a test project in eclipse to get the dalvik code and put this into the onCreate method after setting the content.


We can use baksmali that comes with APK Multi-tool to de-compile this new app and find code similar to this:

invoke-virtual {p0}, Lcom/amazon/kcp/reader/ReaderActivity;->getWindow()Landroid/view/Window;
move-result-object v2
invoke-virtual {v2}, Landroid/view/Window;->getDecorView()Landroid/view/View;
move-result-object v2
const/4 v1, 0x1
invoke-virtual {v2, v1}, Landroid/view/View;->setSystemUiVisibility(I)V

Next we need to de-compile the Kindle app.

We want to change the code located in:


Now the code that was generated earlier can be inserted into the Reader activity after line 2027 which should look like this

invoke-virtual {p0, v0}, Lcom/amazon/kcp/reader/ReaderActivity;->setContentView(I)V

Once that is complete smali include with APK Multi-tool can be use to re-compile the modified app. The output can be pushed to an android device with adb and the soft buttons should now auto hide.

On Wall Disc Storage

28 Feb

At the office we have an unreasonable amount of discs that we use frequently. At one point they were kept on thumb tacks on a bulletin board, but they always seems to manage to jump off and end up in the same place where lost socks go.  Luckily I stumbled upon an excellent article on Make, Peel ‘n’ Stick Disc Storage.

It turns out that the CD hubs, that are often found in books, are the perfect solution and cost very little.  I went ahead and ordered some clear ones from Amazon and set them up in the office. So far they get the job done wonderfully, the discs are easy to access and they don’t try to run away anymore.

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