Wednesday, 17 June 2020

How to remove the title bar from a SharePoint online Site Page

When you create a new SharePoint Team site (either directly or indirectly via a Teams team) you always get a "home" page that does not contain a title graphic.

Strangely if you create your OWN site pages then you ALWAYS get the title graphic and can't remove it from the GUI.

If you ever delete that default page then you can't ever recreate that page from the GUI.

Fortunately there is a way to switch the title bar "off" via PowerShell.   The secret is to change the "layout type" to "Home".

These are the steps inside an ADMIN PowerShell:

Firstly install SharePoint PNP with

[PS] Install-Module SharePointPnPPowerShellOnline -SkipPublisherCheck -AllowClobber

If installed already you may wish to update your version with:
[PS] Update-Module SharePointPnPPowerShell*

With that done, enter your admin credentials with
[PS] $creds = Get-Credential

Then set the name of the page you want to change:
[PS] $PageName = "Home"

Then set the URL of the site that has the page you wish to change (use your tenant)
[PS] $LoginUrl = "https://{tenant}"

Now connect to the site
[PS] Connect-PnPOnline -Url $LoginUrl -Credentials $creds

or with MFA you may need
[PS] Connect-PnPOnline -Url $LoginUrl -UseWebLogin

Now to do the switch:
[PS] Set-PnPClientSidePage -Identity $PageName -LayoutType Home

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Getting a 4K external screen working with a Surface Book 2

I note that there are many posts around the Internet about this topic - how to get a Surface Book 2 driving a single external 4K screen.
Many authors state that the screen is always reported as a HD scren 1920x1080.
This is what I found:
The lowering of the resolution can be simply related to the use of HDMI to drive the screen.
Now I am not saying it is not possible with HDMI but an immediate solution is simply to ditch HDMI and use the DISPLAY PORT connections from Surface Book 2 to screen.
Hold on you say, there isn't a mini display port socket on a Surface Book 2.
Yep true - you will need a Surface Dock and then you will be given two.
Just connect from the mini display port on the Dock to the Display port input on the screen, tell your screen to accept input from the Display Port and Voila!
Hope this helps someone.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Changing your Multi Factor Authentication (MFA) options in Microsoft 365 without asking IT

When your IT department switch on multi factor authentication (MFA) for your company Microsoft cloud system you only have one chance to set it up - when you are first challenged.

Trouble is that you may want to change your MFA settings (i.e. how you get the second challenge).  For example, from an SMS message to your phone  to "Microsoft Authenticator" approval on your phone.

So, just go to :

and follow the prompts!

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Checking MD5 SHA1 and SHA256 hash codes with Windows 10

It is a good practice to check the integrity of a downloaded file to make sure you actually get exactly what you are meant to get.

This can be done if the owner provides a hash code.  The hash code could be MD5, SHA1 SHA256 and I am sure there are or will be others but I will just comment on these three.

When using Windows 10, you don't need any special utilities to do a check.
Just open a command prompt
Type "command" in Windows Search next to the Windows button
Select "Command Prompt"

With the command prompt now open, go to your downloads folder
For example:

cd \users\(your_username)\downloads

Now, for an MD5 hash:

checkutil -hasfhile (yourfile) MD5

For an SHA1 hash:

checkutil -hasfhile (yourfile) SHA1

For an SHA256 hash:

checkutil -hashfile (yourfile) SHA256

The checkutil utility will display the hash of the file which you will need to compare with that supplied by the original owner of the file.

C:\users\marcus\Downloads> certutil -hasfile gpg4win-3.1.5.exe MD5

MD5 hash of gpg4win-3.1.5.exe:
CertUtil: -hashfile command completed successfully.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

What are the differences between Roland TD30K and TD30KV v-drums?

What are the differences between Roland TD30K and TD30KV v-drums?

Interestingly pretty much everything about these two kits are different. 
In fact the only think they have in common is the TD30 Drum Module itself. 
Here is a brief overview

The TD30K
  • takes up less space since the stand is smaller
  • is less expensive
  • has smaller toms
  • has black cymbals (one 2 trigger and two 3 trigger)
  • has a black stand
  • has smaller Hi Hat cymbals
  • has a smaller bass drum
  • needs a hi hat stand, bass drum pedal and throne (does not need a snare drum stand)
  • ideal for studios and practices and places where space is a premium.
  • has upgradability potential (i.e. you could purchase a PD-128S-BC at a later stage and use the snare drum as a fourth tom)
The TD30KV
  • has stage presence with a chrome stand
  • has metal gray cymbals instead of black ones.
  • has the snare drum on a separate stand
  • has larger floor toms
  • has more sensitive pads all round
  • has slightly larger cymbals (two 2 trigger and one 3 trigger)
  • has a larger bass drum
  • needs a snare drum stand, hi hat stand, bass drum pedal and throne
  • is more expensive
A comparison table of the individual components for you:

Drum Module
MDS-12V – Black
MDS-25 - Chrome
Bass Drum
KD-120BK 12”
KD-140-BC 14”
Snare Drum
PD-125BK 12”
PD-128S-BC 12”
Mounted Tom 1
PDX-100 10”
PD-108 10”
Mounted Tom 2
PDX-100 10”
PD-108 10”
Floor Tom 1
PDX-100 10”
PD-128 12”
Floor Tom 2
PD-128 12”
Hi Hat
VH-11 12" 
VH-13-MG (metallic gray) 12"
Crash Left
CY-12C 2 trig
CY-14C-MG (metallic gray) 2 trig
Crash Right
CY-13R 3 trig
CY-14C-MG (metallic gray) 2 trig
CY-15R 3 trig
CY-15R-MG (metallic gray) 3 trig

For me the TD30K does the job since it is lower entry price and still delivers that the amazing drum module.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Lawn care

Lawn care and advice

I am no lawn expert but I take pride in the lawn at the back of my house.  Here are the things I have learned about lawn care.  I have arranged my findings by Month.


Not much to do on the lawn this month.  Keep it free from fallen leaves and other detritus that may come down.  Typically no mowing this month.  Try not to put heavy loads on the grass and if you need to access other areas of the garden for other purposes, put down boards to spread the load.
If you want turf then it is actually possible to lay turn in January if you get a fine spell


Again, not much to do on the lawn this month.  Don't let worm casts build up - you can swish them away with a broom (a traditional "Witches broom" is ideal for this).  If you want to lay turf then this can be done in February.


The lawn gets much more attention from March onwards.  Make sure you keep the lawn clear of leaves and other rubbish.  You can use a rake on the lawn to get rid of thatch - but be careful not to damage the grass since it is still "tender".  If you had turfed then you may wish to consider rolling the lawn.  Rolling, instead of just flattening, actually strengthens the grass.  First cut for the year should be done at a high cutting height which should be done just to get the grass the same height again - you will lower the blades as the year goes on.
Pick out the weeds if there are any.  I personally like to pick them out manually.


This is the feed and weed month.  Remember to read the supplier instructions carefully.  Start mowing more regularly but leave the grass at least about 30mm high.  You can dig out unwanted patches of wide leaved grass this month too.  You can reseed if there are any blank areas


Once a week mowing can start this month and since this is a growing month.  Feed and Weed is ideal for this month.  Please remember to carefully follow the supplier instructions.


Once a week mowing can turn into twice a week mowing in June and a Summer feed could be in order.  The blade height can be systematically lowered but don't go too low.  Luxury lawns composed of fine seeds can be cut to 15mm but no home lawn should really be lower than that.  Shun the tendency to cut too short - you can kill the grass.  Keep the grass moist and water if there are dry spells.  Trim the edges for a nice border.  Manually take out weeds if they start to appear.

July and August

Likely to have twice a week mowing now. Keep on top of the weeds. you may need to water the grass in dry spells.  If you go away on holiday then make sure someone cuts your grass (high) at least once a week.


This is a busy month for lawn lovers.  Fristly you won't need to mow so much and you should increase the height of the blades.
You may find worms all over your lawn so you may want to discourage them with a treatment.  You may be able to find some at garden centres but pesticides that kill worms are not available any longer.
If you have bare patches then you may have a leatherjacket infestation so this is the month to treat it with something like Nemasys and if you are treating for leatherjackest you may also want to treat for grubs.
You need to feed and weed this month too and get rid of moss by scarifying.  There are plenty of Feed and Weed treatments available.  Also this is the month for aeration of the lawn either with spikes or with a plugging machine.
If you wish to overseed, this is the best period for sowing seed but laying turf should ideally wait till next month.  If you know the seed type of your grass then overseed this month.  Personally, I like to protect the seed with some pegged down fleece.  It lets water and light through but stops birds eating all your expensive lawn seed.


Regular mowing will typically come to an end this month - but a few mowings should still take place!  Make sure you don't cut too shot.  Keep the lawn clear of leaves and dig up coarse unwanted grass.  You can still seed this month and this is the ideal time to start laying down turf.  


Keep an eye on the weather and the length of the grass.  You may need to cut the grass with the blades set high this month.  Make sure leaves do not choke the grass by clearing them away soon.  Too late for sowing seed now but you may be able to lay turf if there is a break in the weather.  Keep an eye on worms again this month and treat if necessary.


Relax, make sure you keep leaves off the lawn and try not to walk all over the grass when it is soaking wet.  If you need to manage your flower beds and the lawn is the pathway to them, then use boards over the grass to spread the load a bit.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Dooya DT82TN - Inexpensive remote controlled curtains

Inexpensive remote controlled curtains

I have been looking at getting remote controlled electric curtains for my home automation system.  The Somfy range are inordinately expensive so I searched around and found a Chinese brand Dooya that appeared to do the job.

I noted that some others had successfully used Dooya before:
However, that installation needed a Z-Wave relay in order to bridge the gap between the curtain motor and the Z-Wave controller.

I wanted integration without the need for an additional relay so I chose to go for the DT82TN which is a DC motor and has a built in radio receiver that works on the 433MHz frequency.

I purchased my motor from the same source as the previously mentioned installer.  Scott Liu from "Friend Industry Holding Co., Ltd" was extremely helpful in ensuring I got all the correct bits.

I needed central opening mechanism, which means I get an extra carrier.  I also wanted wall mounts, which are not included as default.  Lastly I wanted additional rollers which Scott provided as part of the package of items.

The DT82TN motor is a DC motor and is incredibly quiet.  You can hardly notice that it is even on.  The motor comes with a built in transformer which accepts a C7 figure 8 type mains cable.  You get a cable shipped with the kit but it does not come with a plug.

My motor didn't come with instructions either but I found instructions on the internet and they were easy enough to follow.

The DT82TN motor also comes with a RJ10 socket.  This allows an external switch to be fitted.  This was my get out of jail free card if the radio system did not work since it can be connected to a z-wave relay.

Some warnings
1. You will need to pay import taxes on the item from China (about £22)
2. You will need a 27A 12V battery for the remote control handset

Other than that it works really smoothly.

Some features of this motor:
  • Soft start (allowing you to manually pull the curtain and the motor takes over)
  • Resistance stop (stops the motor if it senses an obstruction).  This is a safety feature but also is used to automatically stop the motor when it reaches the end of it's travel
  • Manual operation - when there is no mains power you can still pull the curtains manually
  • Built in radio control - 433MHz receiver built in.
  • Built in Transformer - you can plug this into both 240V and 110V supplies
  • Really quiet operation
I use the Zipato automation system and I am currently attempting to help Zipato provide direct support for this motor using their 433MHz module