Prescription Google Glass – Round 2


Last month I modified my Google Glass to work with my prescription lenses. It was better but there was still room for improvement. Some of the problems I had:

  • The zip tie was tight but, the shortened arm of my eye glasses could slip out. A few times I took my glass out of my bag and it had come undone
  • The zip tie allowed the for glass to pivot up and down. This made it difficult to keep the Glass optic aligned if I was doing anything active.
  • It looked weird – I had a zip tie holding everything together!

I decided that something had to be done. After some thought, I realized that shrink tubing my be the answer.

Positives to shrink tubing:

  • More surface area connecting the Glass to the frames = more stability, less vertical wiggle.
  • Less likely to come apart
  • Still a semi-permanent non-destructive solution – I could always put it back to the default factory configuration.
  • Better looking – no more zip tie, very little bulk

Negatives to shrink tubing:

  • Less room to adjust the alignment of Glass
  • Using a heat gun on the sensitive Glass – could melt / damage them

After weighing out the pros and cons I decided to go for it!

I assembled my tools. Shrink tubing, a heat gun, scissors, an exacto knife, and my Glass / Glasses creation.



I started by cutting off the zip tie that has holding it all together.


Next I cut the shrink tubing to length. I had to be able to reach all the inputs on the Glass – the power button, USB port and camera trigger.


Next I had to stretch the tubing a bit. Out of the package, it was too small to fit over the optic. I places the tube onto the scissors and opened them, stretching the tube wider.


Once stretched, I slid the tube over the optic and onto the arm of Glass.


Paying close attention, I made sure that the tube was ale to clear the USB port, camera trigger and power button.




Once I got everything where I wanted it and aligned, I used a zip tie to hold it in place. I plugged an old USB cable into the port in an attempt to protect it a little bit during the heat shrink process.


I decided to wrap as much of the Glass as I could into a heavy rag to protect it from some of the heat during the heat shrink process.


It didn’t take long for the heat gun to get hot. I slowly ran the gun over the tube, shrinking it to fit, being careful to not get anything too hot. This was a nerve wracking experience. I needed to shrink the tube, but not damage the Glass. It was a balancing act.


I let the tubing cool down before I remove the zip tie and unplugging the USB cord. I was very happy with the end results. The tube had shrank down, firmly sandwiching the Glass to the frame of my prescription glasses.


Glass powered up with no problem. I hadn’t killed them! To my surprise, touches worked through the plastic tubing! Bonus win!


I opened up the “MyGlass” app on my Nexus 7 – Bluetooth and Wifi were still working.


I also tested the USB port for charging and data transfer. Both tests worked. Next was taking pictures and video. Both of those passed as well. I had done it.


The end result is a clean and nearly invisible fusion of my Google Glass and my prescription eye glasses.




This is the first time that I truly feel that Glass fits me properly. This is a game changer.

I know that Google is working on prescription Google Glass, and I really hope that I’m part of that pilot program. Until then, I plan on pushing the limits of Glass. I’m a member of the “Google Glass Explorer Program”, explorers take risks and discover new things. That’s what I’m trying to do.



I have a feeling that this won’t be my last mod to Glass. I have more ideas but they start getting into the destructive realm and I’m not sure if I’m willing to go down that one way path. Time will tell.


I upgraded my mac!


A few months ago I bought a Mac mini so I could start to develop iPhone applications. I must say that I am growing to be more of a Mac user then I thought i would be. I purposly bought a cheap Mac to get started with, but I’m starting to regret it. One of the downsides of buying a low end computer is the lack of RAM. RAM is the area of the computer where th.e work gets done. Think of RAM as a work bench. The larger the work bench you have, the more things you can be working on at the same time. It boils down to this, more ram, more speed due to less reading and writing to the hard drive. My Mac had 1 Gig of RAM, no where near enough RAM for a power user/programmer.

Coming from a PC and Linux world, I have build all of my own computers since 1996. I’m comfortable working with computer hardware and the Mac mini is just another computer, except its wrapped up in a tiny package. I did some research and realized that it wouldn’t be hard to upgrade the RAM in my Mac. I found that had some great prices on RAM so I went for it and got 4 gigs worth.

I documented the whole upgrade process, and launched a new website, It’s a Do-It-Yourself site to help inspire and walk people through the upgrade process.

Adding the RAM to my Mac mini is one of the best upgrades I have ever done. So much bang for buck. You should do it also!

Controlling Twitter SMS notifications through code

twitter sms

It’s not secret my current favorite tech toys are my iPhone and Twitter.

I follow several hundred people of interest, and regularly use TwitterFon Pro, TweetDeck and to keep up with them all. For an elite group of people I follow on twitter I choose to have their updates pushed to me via SMS (text message) to my phone.

Sometimes I’m in area where I dont have reliable service to my phone (most of the meeting rooms at my work for some reason), and Twitter will try to send me an SMS message telling me that one of my good friends just made a tweet. If Twitter cant deliver that tweet for some reason, like the phone doesnt have service, Twitter simply stops sending message to your phone. There has been many times where i have thought to myself “damn Twitter is quiet today”, then I log onto and see a “is you device have trouble?” error. If i don’t go check the website, I have no idea that Twitter turned off SMS updates to my phone. Twitter is cool but they aren’t cool enough to send you an email saying “Hey your phone is screwed up, we are going to stop sending you SMS message until you fix it”. Atleast then the poor bastards like me who are addicted to twitter would know what we have to do.

Because I am such a Twitter addict, I have come up with a plan to end my frustrations with this problem. The solution? Use some evil “robots” to do my bidding. I have blogged about them before, I am talking about Cron and Curl. okokok, so they aren’t evil robots they are software running on my computer.

Twitter has an awesome API (Application Programming Interface) that allows you to do all sorts of sweet things using REST based http requests, including turning on and off SMS notifications to your phone.

cURL is an application that allows you to connect to web addresses from a command line.

cron is an application that allows you run application at scheduled intervals.

Can you guess where this is all going? Here is mathematical representation for you
((Twitter API + cURL) * cron(30 minutes)) = Happy Josh Highland

I have cron run the following command every 30 minutes (replace username and password with your own of course)

/usr/bin/curl -u user:password -d device=sms

I will never need to log onto twitter to turn on my SMS notifications ever again. In the event that Twitter disables notifications to my phone, every 30 minutes my evil robots enable MS messages to my phone. At most I will have 30 minutes of down time. I can live with that.

This is a perfect example of what one of my Computer Science professors told me… “If you have to do it more then 2 times write a script to do it for you”.

phpBB admin password manual reset


Today I ran into a situation where I had forgotten the password to my development instance of phpBB 3. I was stuck in a situation were I needed to reset the password. I had full admin access to the database, so changing it there wouldn’t be the problem. The real problem is that phpBB uses its own password hashing, not MD5.

In a work around, I created a new user and used the password “123456” looking at the database , in the users table of the phpBB install. I saw the “user_password” field was “e10adc3949ba59abbe56e057f20f883e”.

I then changed my admin accounts user to the same string, “e10adc3949ba59abbe56e057f20f883e”.


I went to the phpBB login screen, fillled out my username, and entered the password “123456”… BINGO! it worked.

So to save you the work. You can follow what I did or just use these hashes to reset your own password:

Hash: e10adc3949ba59abbe56e057f20f883e
Password: 123456

Hash: $H$9Ae3Uk.ECdWW5ya13M4ErWhr4c.761/
Password: password

I hope this helps someone else out there.

no place like home (and end keys) on a mac


I never noticed how often I use the “home” and “end” keys when I type until they were taken away from me. I am a programmer by trade, and as a result, I type code all day long. On a PC the end key will take you to the end of a line, and the home key will bring you to the beginning of a line. On a mac, this functionality doesn’t exist. It’s simple missing! It just makes a “ding” at me

Maybe it would be different if I was using a mac keyboard with my mac mini. Right now I am using a KVM switch to share my microsoft mouse and keyboard with my PC and my Mini. As a result, My mind and hands continue to type and work just like I was coding using a PC. “DING DING DING” damn its annoying. I had no idea i hit those keys so often, but the mini does a good job at reminding me 🙁

I tried to live with it but it got old fast. I decided to do a google search for “home end keys mac” to see if there was a fix for this. The first result was a God send. keyfixer is a tiny application for pc-to-mac switchers like me, that remaps your keyboard and adds back the functionality of the home and end keys.

It’s amazing how much more productive I feel just by having those 2 keys back. I guess after 15+ years of typing/programing for a living, the home and end keys are a perminiate part of my arsenal and I will never underestimate their power ever again.