Monthly Archives: December 2021

iOS: Contact displaying as “Name Buddy”

An issue can occur in iOS where text messages stop sending to a contact and their display name will displayed as “Name Buddy” (even if you correctly choose them and their name displayed when selecting the recipient).  Additionally, if they have no contact photo you also won’t see their first and last initial in the avatar circle.

Many articles will suggest that logging out of your iCloud account, rebooting and logging back in will fix the issue but that isn’t always the case.

The Fix: The quickest fix with the least amount of risk is deleting the contact for that individual and then creating a new one for them.

Although fix applies to many iOS versions it was last tested on iOS 15.2.

How do I use xargs with a function in bash?

Question: How do I use xargs with a function that I’ve defined in bash?


The following example uses the export and runs in a new process which is why the export f switch is needed.

doEcho() {
  echo $1

export -f doEcho
echo You echo | xargs -d' ' -t -n1 -P2 bash -c 'doEcho "$@"' _

Note: This function works in bash and will not work in zsh.

In Ubuntu how can I use a shell alias that hasn’t taken effect yet

Question: In Ubuntu how can I use a shell alias that hasn’t taken effect yet?

Answer: After creating an alias during a session the alias doesn’t take effect often until you logout and log back in, an action which triggers a reparse of the alias file. You can immediately execute your new alias though with the eval command. Here is a brief example that will create a ‘test’ alias and map it to ‘ls’ to show you the current directory:

alias test=ls;eval test

How do I brew a sweeter beer?

To increase sweetness without nullifying the yeast you will need to add non-fermentable sugars to the wort. To add sweetness and some body in an extract brew, lactose is the usual adjunct: 1/8 to 3/8 pound in a 5 gallon batch. Lactose is non-fermentable and can be used to increase the sweetness either by adding at boil time or at bottling time.

I can barely hear the call on my iPhone, is my speaker broken?

Symptom: You can barely hear the audio when making a phone call but the quality is fine when using the speaker phone.  Turning the volume all the way up has no effect.

Fix: iOS during an update likely enabled the noise cancellation setting.  Although this can be useful, it has a habit of making phone calls very difficult to hear when you use the phone with it up to your ear.  Disabling this setting immediately returns phone call volume back to normal.  This setting is located at:

Settings –> Accessibility Phone > Noise Cancellation

In MRI’s, what does pixel shift mean?

Question: In MRI’s, what does pixel shift mean?

Answer: A pixel shift, or chemical shift is the signal intensity change in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that results from the differences in the resonant frequencies of moving protons. By observing differences in resonant frequencies of lipid and water, fatty elements within tissue can be confirmed with dedicated chemical shift MRI pulse sequences. Alternatively, the the shift on images obtained with standard MRI pulse sequences may corroborate the diagnosis of lesions with substantial fatty elements. Chemical shift can aid in the diagnosis of lipid-containing lesions of the brain (teratoma, lipoma, and dermoid) or the body (focal fat within the liver, angiomyolipoma and adrenal adenoma). In addition, chemical shift can be implemented to make visceral margins significantly more distinguised from the surrounding tissue.

How can I create a shortcut to start a command prompt as an administrator?

  • Right click on the desktop or a folder in Explorer and choose “New->Shortcut”
  • Enter “cmd” (without quotes) as the location of the item.
  • Give any name you like
  • Right click on the shortcut icon you created, choose “Properties” and then choose “Advanced”
  • On the “Advanced Properties” dialog choose “Run as Administrator” and then click “OK”
  • Click “OK” again on the properties dialog.

Although this is tagged for Windows 11, it should work for all supported Windows versions.

Why does coffee taste worse if the bag has been left open?

An age old question.  The answer mostly boils down to the molecules responsible for aromas.  A lot of what humans interpret as smell comes from aromas that we smell from the food or drink we’re partaking in (ever noticed how when you have a cold and can’t breath through your nose how food often loses it’s flavor?).

If a bag of coffee is left closed it gives the volatile aromas time to work their way from the interior of the bean outwards (and into the open air of the bag where it’s sealed providing the rush of smell when the bag opens).  To that point, when a whole bean is ground it allows those aromas that were trapped inside the bean out.

Bags that are left open allow these aromas to easily evaporate and over time much of what we interpret as taste will go with it.