Posts Tagged "software"

I have created a GitHub repo storing several Firefox extension utility scripts that I wrote. Here’s the rundown on what this repository contains:

compareLocales.pl
Compares all of the locales it finds against a “master” locale (`en-US` by default) and reports the number of exact duplicate entries for each. This is useful for figuring out which locales have not been updated.
entityToProperty.pl
Converts a given list of locale entities into corresponding properties. Handy for migrating existing entity localizations into a `.properties` file.
removeLocaleEntries.pl
This script removes a given list of entries from all of the locale folders it finds in the current working directory and below. Useful for cleaning up strings that are no longer needed.

Hopefully others will find these scripts to be useful. I hope to add additional scripts to this repository over time.

Comments Off Tags: , ,

I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus running the Ice Cream Sandwich version (4.0.4) of Android. For some unexplained reason, the location services feature stopped working a few months ago, but only for what seemed like a few applications. Google Plus no longer knew my location, Radar Now no longer knew it, and the stock web browser was also clueless. Google Maps, on the other hand, knew right where I was. Since I use the tablet in the house, GPS isn’t much help. I frustratingly was unable to fix things, until today, when I stumbled on a solution. Here’s how I did it:

  1. I opened up Settings » Location services and unchecked the Location and Google search option
  2. I rebooted my device
  3. Back in Settings » Location services, I rechecked the Location and Google search option
  4. I then toggled the Use wireless networks option, and answered a prompt that appeared about using my network location in third-party apps (or something similar; I don’t have the exact message in front of me).
  5. Success!

Using GPS to lock in on my position worked outside, but that alone didn’t seem to set things right. Disabling the above option, rebooting, and then re-enabling it seemed to do the trick. Hopefully this will help anyone else who might have a similar problem.

I went looking for how to install iTunes recently without the bloat (because I remember seeing an article about doing just that a while back), and though I found the article, it had apparently moved from its original location. As such, I’m going to note down the steps here in case said article ever disappears. The following is intended for use on a Windows 7 64-bit system, but I think these steps should work in general. It’s also intended for using an iPod classic, which is the only Apple device I care to use (though these instructions also work with the nano, mini, and shuffle variants).

  1. Download the iTunes installer
  2. Unpack the installer using something like IZArc
  3. Run the installers, using the given commands, in the following order:
    • AppleApplicationSupport.msi /passive
    • Quicktime.msi /passive (if this installer is present)
    • iTunes64.msi /passive
Comments Off Tags: ,

Access Denied in PuTTY 0.61

August 23, 2011

Update: This problem has been fixed in PuTTY 0.62.

Back at the beginning of last month, PuTTY 0.61 was released after four years (!) of development. Since upgrading to this new release, I’ve noticed the occasional “Access Denied” message when connecting to certain Linux systems at work. The odd thing about this message is that it appears between the user ID prompt and the password prompt; in essence, before I even get the chance to log in! Example output looks something like this:

login as: root
Access denied
root@myserver's password:

Making things stranger, I can enter the correct password and log in to the system with no problems. As I found out from a commenter on another blog, it turns out this message is due to a new feature in PuTTY 0.61. To prevent this message from appearing, do the following:

  1. Drill down into the Connection » SSH » Auth » GSSAPI section of your session’s configuration
  2. Uncheck the Attempt GSSAPI authentication (SSH-2 only) option

The phantom access denied message should then go away.

Improvements in PhotoMerge

October 12, 2010

I recently updated to Photoshop CS5 on my home computer, and I wanted to briefly share how particularly impressed I am with the new capabilities of their PhotoMerge process. The old PhotoMerge was a hassle to work with, and tended to screw up panoramas in weird ways. Getting the perspective right was usually a guess and check affair. Happily, the new system blows the old one out of the water.

Here’s are two examples to compare the systems:

The results with the new system are much better, and more in line with tools like Microsoft Research’s Image Composite Editor. I will be going through my panorama collection over the coming days and updating them as necessary, cleaning them up where needed. I’m looking forward to producing better panoramas in the future with this help of this great tool.

Comments Off Tags:

On Friday afternoon, I finally upgraded my home system to Windows 7. Windows XP was feeling dated, and my old system had slowed to a crawl for unexplained reasons. I also figured it was time to upgrade to a 64-bit OS, so that’s the version of 7 that I installed. Here are a few brief thoughts I’ve had on this new operating system:

New Task Bar
Interestingly enough, the steepest learning curve I’ve had with Windows 7 has been with the new task bar. I’m quite used to XP’s task bar, complete with the quick launch toolbar. The new task bar in Windows 7 rolls these two toolbars into one; essentially combining currently running applications with ‘pinned’ applications. Also, by default, only program icons are displayed; none of the window titles are shown as a part of each process’ button. This new scheme is a little confusing at first, but I’m becoming accustomed to it.
Updated Start Menu
Microsoft finally got smart with the new start menu. No longer does it stretch to the top of the screen when you have a million applications installed. Instead, the “All Programs” menu simply transforms into a scrollable pane, showing the items available. This is a terrific UI change that should have been done at least 10 years ago.
Improved Speed
In the midst of going to Windows 7, I also made several hardware improvements. I upped my memory from 2 GB to 4 GB (I may go to 8 GB if 4 doesn’t suffice), I am using a new brand of hard drive (Western Digital, instead of Seagate), and I added a new CPU heat sink. Since I updated a few hardware components, I’m not sure what really made the difference, but most of my applications now start noticeably faster than before. For example, iTunes starts nearly instantly, which blows the previous 15 to 20 second startup time out of the water. Games also start way faster, which is a plus. I love getting performance boosts like this; hopefully they will hold up over time.
Miscellaneous
There are other minor things that I find interesting about the Windows 7 experience:

  • Installation was amazingly fast, and I was only asked one or two questions.
  • Drivers thankfully haven’t been an issue (so far).
  • The built-in zip file support has apparently been vastly improved; it’s orders of magnitude faster than XP. I’m not sure I’m going to install WinZip seeing as the built-in support is so good.
  • The new virtualized volume control is epic; why wasn’t it like this all along?

So far, I’m pleasantly surprised with Windows 7. Some of the new UI takes getting used to, but this looks like a positive step forward; both for Microsoft and for my home setup.

Comments Off Tags:

MSE Saves the Day

January 26, 2010

Last night, while surfing around for some medical information, one of the sites I stumbled upon through Google’s search results tried to install a Trojan on my computer! This was surprising, seeing as I was using Firefox 3.6 with AdBlock turned on. Thankfully, Microsoft Security Essentials saved the day, alerting me to the fact that a nefarious application was trying to install itself. The tool caught the incursion, alerted me, and successfully removed it from my system. I then did a full scan and it found no other problems.

I’ve read that drive-by attacks like this are becoming more common, but until now I hadn’t ever been affected. Several of my plug-ins were outdated, so I updated them, though I’m not certain any of them were involved in this attack (Java never loaded, and there was no embedded media on the site).

That being said, make sure to surf with protection; there’s some nasty stuff out there.

Quitting Symantec

December 2, 2009

For a long, long time now, I’ve run the Symantec anti-virus program (corporate edition) on my home desktop computer. I got the original binary from college and I’ve kept it ever since, undoubtedly breaking the license agreement in the process. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, however, I ditched the bloated, slow Symantec mess for the newer, freely available Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE). Having read good things about the product, I figured I’d give it a try.

So far, so good. Boot times are noticeably faster, which is a big plus in my book. With Symantec, my boot times had become horrible; it would literally take 2 or 3 minutes for the machine to become usable. Now, it’s ready in about a minute or a minute and a half (still too long, in my opinion; maybe Windows 7 will fix that). MSE is also quite easy to use. The interface is intuitive, and updating happens auto-magically, with no need to schedule updates. Performing a quick scan took a little while, but seemed to run faster than Symantec did. To top it all off, the MSE memory footprint is much smaller, though it’s still one of the larger memory using apps on my system.

What do you guys use for anti-virus solutions? I’m pleased that Microsoft is offering a quality solution to this problem. And the price couldn’t be better.

Comments Off Tags:

Microsoft’s Big Day

October 22, 2009

Today is the big day for Windows 7: release day! I’m thinking about picking up a copy of the new OS at some point in the near future for my gaming machine at home, though I’ll probably wait until the price drops. Is anyone here going to upgrade?

I saw in the news recently that Windows 7 has eclipsed Harry Potter for the number of pre-orders on Amazon UK. That’s saying something, seeing as Harry Potter is wildly popular over in Great Britain. I’m looking forward to giving this new OS a shot. It’s definitely time for something new (XP is feeling increasingly old and clunky).

Two Lotus Notes 8 Tips

September 15, 2009

At work, we are being forced to Lotus Notes 8 by the end of the year. I recently rebuilt my laptop, and performed this upgrade at the same time. Since doing this, I’ve learned a few things that I thought I would share, seeing as Lotus Notes documentation on the web is very poor.

Tip 1: What to Copy During Upgrade

Apparently, copying your data file from one Notes installation to another isn’t a good idea (more specifically, when changing Notes versions). However, there are a few things worth migrating so you don’t lose all of your previous data. Here’s a short list of things I found worth copying:

  • bookmark.nsf
  • desktop6.ndk
  • {USERNAME}.ID (where USERNAME is your user ID)
  • names.nsf
  • user.dic
  • archive/*.nsf
  • mail1/*.nsf

There are other files worth copying, so I hear, but these were the only ones I cared about.

Tip 2: Removing the MS Office Toolbar

One of the more annoying features of Lotus Notes 8 is a new “Office Add-in” that will appear in all of your Microsoft Office applications. It’s a small toolbar containing three icons and, if you turn it off, it will reappear. You cannot uninstall this feature, but happily, you can disable it. Here’s how:

  1. Open a command prompt.
  2. Change to the \notes\framework\brokerbridge directory.
  3. Issue the following command: regsvr32 /u officeaddin.dll

This will deregister the plugin DLL, preventing the toolbar from showing up in your Office applications.

Comments Off Tags: