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May 10, 2017

Sticky Pills Problem Solved

Background: I take a few vitamins, supplements, etc. and use a pill organizer that has 28 compartments that helps keep me on track. I'm usually foggy-brained first thing in the morning and the box gives me a way to check if I actually took the pills and ensures I take the right ones.

My pill box. Highly recommended for ease of loading (each row of lid lifts out).

Problem: The only problem is that the gel capsules often cling inside. IF I notice (see that big IF), sticking my finger in the compartment works to dislodge the culprit. IF it gets past me, it messes up the schedule. SO I googled, regoogled, etc, finding only one solution which I can't find now to show you.

The Solution: Add a dash or about 1/8 teaspoon of an edible powder to your bottle of gel caps and shake to distribute evenly. Then put the capsules in your pill box. The powder coating helps reduce stickiness.

Powders Tried: The original youtube poster used one of her powder-containing supplement capsules. My gel caps have liquid inside so my first experiment used cocoa powder, but the cocoa left brown dust all over my pill box! Since then, I've used bicarbonate of soda, which works great for me.

Powder Considerations:
  • It must be safe to eat. 
  • When damp, the powder should not be sticky which could defeat the purpose. I'd avoid powdered sugar, sugared drink mix, cocoa mix, and similar.
  • The powder should be the same color as your pill box. Most are white or clear, so white powders are ideal.
  • The powder should be very fine like bath powder, but don't use that!
  • The powder should have a tolerable taste.
  • It should be something you already have or can buy in very small quantities (think bulk bins).

Possible Powders Powders to Avoid
  • Flour
  • Sugar-free fiber or protein powder
  • Instant milk powder (mash granules into powder first)  
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • Sugar
  • Fructose
  • Cocoa
  • Colored drink mix 

July 20, 2013

How to Make Magic Jack Text You when You Get Voicemail

I'm one of those people who don't enjoy the bleeding/leading edge of technology as evidenced by my using an almost smart Tracfone and the original Magic Jack for my telephonic needs. From time to time, I want to be notified on my Tracfone when I get voicemail on Magic Jack. This system also works to notify me of specific email as it arrives in my desktop's email application, the oldie but very goody, Eudora. Oh, and I use Windows XP. If your configuration is different, or even if it isn't, your mileage may vary.

BTW, I searched the web, tried numerous programs, several approaches, and this system is the result. Thanks especially to Make Use Of and The Frugal Berry for having the info I needed.

Here's the setup:
  1. On your original Magic Jack panel above the red End button, click the MY button, log in, go to Call Features, and click Voicemail via Email and turn on that feature. I don't remember what the steps are and I don't want to mess it up because it's working, so you'll have to figure it out. Use an email address "captured" by an email application with filters and a way to run an application on your desktop. In my case, Eudora's filters have an Action called Notify Application.
  2. Test to make sure Magic Jack is sending email to that address when a voicemail is left.
  3. Figure out what the email address is for text messages being sent to your phone. Typing in your 10-digit cell phone number in place of each  CellPhoneNumber, try emailing a very short message to:

    CellPhoneNumber@vmobl.com, CellPhoneNumber@mmode.com, CellPhoneNumber@myboostmobile.com, CellPhoneNumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com, CellPhoneNumber@messaging.nextel.com, CellPhoneNumber@mymetropcs.com, CellPhoneNumber@cingularme.com, CellPhoneNumber@message.alltel.com, CellPhoneNumber@questmp.com
  4. At least one of these should leave a text message (also called SMS) on your phone. To find out which one, open the text and reply to it. Ta da! You have the email address for texting your phone.
  5. If you don't already have a way to send email from your system's command line, find a free application such as SendEmail, play with it until it works (or doesn't; then start searching for another one such as Blat).
  6. Write a batch file containing the paths, switches, etc. to send an email to your cell phone. Mine looks like this:

    REM call bat file from Command Prompt with c:\textfromMJ.bat
    "c:\program files\sendemail\sendemail" -f MJ@domain.com -t 5035551212@txt.att.net -u MJ -m MJ -s smtp.youremailserver.net -xu me@domain.com -xp emailpassword
      && exit
    Save it as as plain text with the .bat extension anywhere you like (the root directory is/was traditional). Substitute your own info where the italics are' Test it. Test it. And again until it works OK.

    Your phone may be different, but on my unopened text messages there's an identifier of sorts that says FRM:xx, where xx is the first 2 digits of the sending email address, in this example, MJ. I don't need to open these texts to know that Magic Jack has a new voicemail message. The address following SendMail's -f switch can be anything you like as long as it looks like a real email address (something@something.com).
  7. OK, now set up your Eudora filter to catch Magic Jack's email messages and send you a text when that happens. The mspaint notification opens a graphic on my desktop that is much easier to see than the tiny MJ vmail button. cmd /k c:\textfromMJ.bat is the command to send the email-as-text-message to your phone.

  8. Test. Test. Test.
Please use the comments to share your configuration and experience with this little "tutorial." Thanks!

PS: I just set up a filter that catches responses to Craigslist messages. wahoo.