How to get an EpiPen for free

New-Style-EpiPen

If you have severe allergies in your family like mine I’ll let you in on one of the Internet’s best kept secrets…You can get a Epi-Pen for free – better yet make that a 2 pack!

EpiPen is short for epinephrine autoinjector, or a small medical device for injecting a measured doses of adrenaline into a person that is experiencing anaphylaxis due to an allergic reaction.

For years it has been an industry standard. Now there are newer devices like Auvi-Q which actually speaks the instructions, which makes it a nice to have for care givers or peace of mind.

However, the trusted and true EpiPen will still work fine. But if you’ve ever purchased either you know how expensive it can get, even with insurance because they usually expire in about a year so they must be replaced, even if you never use them.

On EpiPen’s website there is a coupon for getting an EpiPen 2 pack for as little as $0 depending on your insurance coverage. Considering that this prescription with insurance is around $100, this is quite the savings.

I wanted to post this because what is common knowledge to some is not common knowledge to all. I was reminded of this the other night when my wife was purchasing dinner for us and the lady behind the counter mentioned how her nephew has severe allergies. My wife went on to tell her about this coupon and the lady was so grateful. She went on to explain how much it would help them in their financial troubles.

So if this is you or you just want to save a little cash I strongly recommend looking at EpiPen’s website often for deals as they do often expire but re-run the promotion often.

And if you just purchased an EpiPen without this coupon, go ahead and print it out and take it back into the store with your receipt. Many quality retailers will gladly refund the difference because they don’t lose money on coupons. The manufacturer actually pays them for the coupon.

Hope this helps.

OS X Mavericks Updates to SVN 1.7: How to rollback to Subversion 1.6

So I’m not an early adopter but after updating my personal Mac to Mavericks with little issues, I decided to upgrade my work Mac as well.

Besides Mavericks not shipping with Java and breaking all my hard work with Jasper Reports, I soon after discovered that it had also upgraded my Subversion to 1.7 which stopped me from being able to check in my code.

So I found this little tip from Kevin Broome that fixed my issue quickly.  I figured it could be done but Keven actually found where the old SVN 1.6 lived on the hard drive.

To summarize:

1) Make a backup of your SVN 1.7

sudo mv /usr/bin/svn ~/Documents/svn_1.7

2) Point to 1.6 in paths

sudo nano /etc/paths

3) Add the following to paths

/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/usr/subversion-1.6/bin

4) Check SVN version

svn help

That’s it, you should see Subversion 1.6
 

[SOLVED] How to Fix JasperReport Server and iReports in OS X Mavericks

So I am evaluating using JasperServer for an upcoming project. As a result I have a Jasper development environment setup on my MacBook Pro which includes JasperReports Server and Jasper iReports.

Recently I upgraded to OS X Mavericks and everything Jasper came crashing down. After further investigation I discovered a few things:

  1.  Mavericks actually didn’t come with a version of JDK, and in fact removed the version was installed on my Mac.
  2. As a result, $JAVA_HOME appeared to be non-existent
  3. Also, after getting Java installed again the default path bin/java has changed to Commands/java

So, to get things working again I did the following:

Install Java

Go here to download the latest release of java.

 

Upgrade and Reinstall JasperServer

My existing copy of JasperServer would still not run so I upgraded to the latest release (v5.5 at the time of this writing).

Download the latest Jasper here

Note:  In hindsight I’m assuming that this because of the $JAVA_HOME issues and the installer setting paths in configuration files. (Therefore, you may not need to upgrade.  You might be able to simply re-install the existing version. If so, let me know in the comments.)

Once you do this, JasperServer should run again.

Test Java

Check that java is installed

open terminal and type

java -v

You should see your java version number…

To Check your $JAVA_HOME

Open terminal and type:

echo $JAVA_HOME

If you see an empty line then follow steps in Part B, else if you see a path like this:

/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_45.jdk/Contents/Home

then congratulations – continue on to the next step.

Part B) Manually Set Your Java_Home (Only if the last steps didn’t work)

So if you tried to set your JAVA_HOME  on your mac but it didn’t work then try doing the following which was originally written about here:

  1. Start up Terminal
  2. Type “cd ~/” to go to your home folder
  3. Type “touch .bash_profile” to create your new file.
  4. Edit .bash_profile with your favorite editor (or you can just type “open -e .bash_profile” to open it in TextEdit.
  5. Type “. .bash_profile” to reload .bash_profile and update any functions you add.

Now test your JAVA_HOME again – Open terminal and type:

echo $JAVA_HOME

Finally, Tell iReport where Java is in Mavericks

  • Right click on the iReport.app (in Applications)
  • Show Package Contents
  • Navigate to /Contents/Resouces/ireport/etc
  • Edit iReport.conf with your favorite text editor
  • Add a line that says something like
  • jdkhome=“/path/to/javahome”

Where “jdkhome” should match the path that appears when you type “echo $JAVA_HOME” in terminal  For example, mine is:

jdkhome="/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/jdk1.7.0_45.jdk/Contents/Home"

Finally…

Save the file and try running iReport again.  Your problems should be solved.

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments if this helped you!

Writing Inspiration

I mentioned the past how I wasn’t a big fan of writing.  Getting over this is a difficult challenge because I basically am forced to re-learn all of my existing opinions and habits as they pertain to writing.  But writing on a regular basis, and in this case blogging, is more important than I ever imagined.

For one, I believe the Internet has kept its promise in allowing people to reach almost anyone else in the world.

How to blog consistently

Ever notice how sometimes you can just buckle down and accomplish a ton of stuff in a short amount of time?  Yet other times it takes you exponentially longer to do similar tasks?  It comes down to know when (time of day) you are most effective and achieving a state of flow.  In high school and college, every term paper I procrastinated on or forgot about until the night before it was due, I seemed to do better on than the ones that I dragged out for weeks. This is because I was both more efficient and effective at writing late at night and while deadlines were staring me in the face.  In other words, I had no choice but to finish.

Why is this?  It is because a task grows in scope and complexity the longer you are given to complete it.  If you are given 2 hours to go to the gym, stop at the bank, pick up dinner and get gas then you MUST get started on it right now.  Whereas, if you are given a week to complete the same 4 tasks, it is quite possible that one or more of them wouldn’t get completed.  Given short deadlines forces one to drop all the garbage and focus on the task at hand.  Tim Ferris talks about it a bit in his book Four Hour Work Week.

So if you simply SAY you are going to blog instead of sticking to a firm deadline of “2 posts this week, one on Tuesday, another on Friday,”  chances are it won’t get done.

Also, since writing by itself often requires a certain state-of-mind and clarity in order to do effectively.  Another strategy that has helped me is writing multiple posts in the same sitting, then scheduling them a few days to a week apart.  In fact, this is the second article I’ve written today, and the fourth this week.  I’ve learned that it is a lot more difficult for me to allocate time every day to write a post.  I’d rather just take care of it once or twice a week when my mind is in writing mode.

The trick is to figure out your rhythm.  For example, if I check my email first thing in the morning, my day is off.  The morning and late at night are my most productive times, but  when I check email that early I can’t help but reply to everyone and put out fires.  Subsequently, I get none of my tasks done.

Lastly, you’ll probably notice that once you start writing and achieve a state of flow, the act of writing becomes a whole lot easier.  You’ll even start thinking of more things to write about and ways to make your writing more effective.

The trick is getting started and staying consistent.  Try writing once per day for 21 days, even if you don’t actually publish what you write.  Writing will become easier during that time.

What to Blog About

If you are like me you are not keen on writing. Coming from an engineering background, I can say first hand that the importance of writing is almost de-taught in the computer science department.  In fact, it is not a major that requires a lot of term papers or essay writing.

Programming is an interesting bird, in that, productivity is measured by how much has been built, not necessarily the abstract, long term effects of building something.  In fact, when I was in school it was common to hear phrases like “write less code.” If I got 8 straight hours of coding in, that is considered productive – what a great day!  On the other hand, if I spend the day making calls and re-fostering relationships, it is considered unproductive. There is no tangible result at the end of the day.

But what if one of those contacts becomes a customer, or knows someone that becomes a customer, or knows someone that knows someone that becomes a customer.  It was not so much a waste of time now was it?

It took me a long time to realize this (in fact, too long). I wish someone would have slapped some sense into me back in high school or college.

Blogging is very much the same high-value, low immediate gratification thing.  Although you may not see the value immediately of connecting with other people or writing something of value.  It does far more for your long term karma than having 8 hours of productive “programming” ever would.

This is why I have decided to rekindle my love for blogging.  I come across problems all the time that I struggle to solve and from now on I plan on posting my solution on my blog so that I can help others out.  I challenge you to do the same.

What problems do you face each day?

How do you solve them?

Did you have a good or bad experience with a new restaurant, mobile app, shop, etc?

Blogging becomes a whole lot more fun when you stop talking about the tricks your cat can do or what you ate for breakfast and instead start telling others about your experiences and how you solved your problems.  You’ll quickly notice that you’ll never need a new idea for a blog post again!

– E

Sync Gmail Contacts with iPhone

If you’ve ever owned an Android device and recently switched to an iPhone or iPad, you may notice that your contacts don’t sync with Gmail as they did with your Droid.  Bummer, I know.

What this means is that when you get a new device, or if you were to break your old one, you may lose contacts (as I did while going from Droid to iPhone).

The good news is that there is a quick way to get your iPhone or iPad to sync your Mail, Calendar AND Contacts like your Droid did, or as though you had Microsoft Exchange.

 Step 1

Tap the Settings icon on your iOS device and then tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars.”

iPhone Mail Settings

Click on "Add Account"

Step 2

Under Accounts, tap “Add Account..”, then select “Microsoft Exchange” from the list.

iPhone iCloud, Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL

Tap "Microsoft Exchange"

Step 3

Enter your email login information: Email, Leave “Domain” blank, username is just your email address before the “@gmail.com”, password, and description.  Then tap “Save.”

Add Gmail Account Details

Step 4

On the same page, a field “Server” should appear.  Enter “m.google.com” (no quotes, of course).  Tap Save and you should get to the toggle screen that allows you to sync Mail, Contacts, and Calendars with your i-Device.

Mail, Contacts, and Calendars iOS

Toggle on Contacts

Closing Thoughts

Considering that Exchange will set you back a minimum of $708 plus hardware.  This is a nice little hack.

 

Launch Chrome in iOS (iPad, iPhone)

Chrome for iPad and iPhone was released less than 2 weeks ago and it has been all the rage.  One problem is people face is when they click on a link in other apps, such as the Mail app, it opens the link in Safari by default.  Apple doesn’t have a way to allow you to switch your default browser (as they would rather you use Safari).

However, there are two workarounds, one if you have a jailbroken iOS device, and another that allows you to launch Chrome from any Safari page.

Jailbroken Method (From Redmond Pie)

To get the tweak on your device, you have to add Ryan Petrich’s repo rpetri.ch/repo to Cydia from Manage > Sources > Edit > Add. Then you just search for BrowserChooser and install the free tweak, it’s really that simple.

Launch Chrome from Safari Method (from JonAbrams )

javascript:location.href="googlechrome"+location.href.substring(4);

Install instructions:

  1. Copy the bit of code up there.
  2. Bookmark this page.
  3. Open the Safari bookmarks, click “edit”, and edit the new bookmark.
  4. Rename it to “Open in Chrome” or something like that.
  5. Delete the URL that’s there and paste in the above code.

ChromeMe Method ( From ChromeMe)

This is similar to above but like the first option, requires a jailbroken device also.