Blog Discontinued

This blog has been discontinued, this is the last post to it.

Old posts have been preserved for achival purposes only.

Dead Acer Aspire One D250?, There Is Hope

I bought a refurb (r0xor!) Acer Aspire One D250 off woot.com on November and it died last week, right after the 90 days warranty had lapsed, sigh. Just found this post with info on how to recover:

http://www.theeldergeek.com/forum/index.php?s=&showtopic=40312&view=findpost&p=273705

1. Insert your USB drive/thumb drive into a working windows system. Open up my computer or computer and locate your usb drive and right click and select format. Format the drive with ‘FAT’ file system and not FAT32 (Try to use a small capacity usb stick or a memory card in a reader, ie less than 256mb). Reason being mine would not flash using a 1 gig usb drive but it did using a 128mb sd card in a reader! 2. Download the attached zip file D250 Recovery.ZIP 3. Extract the files to the root directory of the USB Flash Drive. 4. Turn off the Aspire One and make sure that the power adapter and battery are disconnected from the netbook. 5. Plug in the USB stick to any port on the failed Aspire One 6. Whilst pressing Fn+ESC plug the power adaptor in (note battery is not installed) 7. Keep pressing Fn+ESC and then press the power button once. The power LED will now blink, after a few seconds let go of the Fn+ESC keys, it will now initiate the BIOS update, DO NOT INTERRUPT IT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. 8. After about 2 minutes, the power LED will stop blinking and the Aspire One will turn off. The BIOS is now complete. 9. IF the unit DID NOT REBOOT BY ITSELF, wait a further 5 – 7 minutes before rebooting the unit as the BIOS may still be flashing. 10. Now the unit is off remove the USB drive you used to flash, Install battery and power lead and turn on. 11. You should have a working laptop

The rapidshare link in that post is broken but it is probably just the bios files from Acer website. Just go find bios for D250 and download it.

I tried something like this but with a 2Gb usb drive. Now off to find a 128Mb one and a windows system to format it in FAT :-/

Fixing VMWare Player Keyboard Mappings in Windows Guest

In ubuntu 8.10, vmware player does weird keyboard stuff when opening a windows guest, some keys such as END and Arrow Down open start menu. I found the fix here

Close your virtual machine and type the following in console:

echo ‘xkeymap.nokeycodeMap = true’ > ~/.vmware/config

Linux + Wine + Voice Chat + USB Headset HowTo

I copied this from this cedega forum post before they delete it.

This little HowTo is for all the non-conformists out there like myself, who refuse to settle for using Windows.

Here are the steps I took to get World of Warcraft Voice Chat working on Linux+Wine.

Requirements:

  • Working ALSA drivers for your sound card(s).

  • Working Wine installation and are able to play WoW using Wine. (Wine version 0.9.46)

I will not attempt to go into in this HowTo about how to setup ALSA or Wine.

There are plenty of HowTo’s out there that accomplish that.

1) Configure ALSA. (Optional, only for voice chat on separate device or USB headset)

If you are like me and using a separate device or a USB headset then we need to alter our Alsa configuration.

First thing we need to know is what device number or headset is.

Open up a terminal and type the following:

Code:
cat /proc/asound/cards

Code:
You should then see something like this: 0 [M44 ]: ICE1712 - M Audio Delta 44 M Audio Delta 44 at 0xdc00, irq 19 1 [Headset ]: USB-Audio - Logitech USB Headset Logitech Logitech USB Headset at usb-0000:00:02.0-9, full speed

This shows us our main card, and our USB Headset.

Device #0 is our M Audio Delta 44

Device #1 is our Logitech USB Headset.

Now edit your ~/.asoundrc file and add the following.

Code:
pcm.headset { type hw card 1 } ctl.headset { type hw card 1 }

2) Edit the Wine registry.

Edit the file located in ~/.wine/user.reg and add the following section to the end of the file:

Code:
[Software\Wine\Alsa Driver] “AutoScanCards”=”N” “DeviceCount”=”2” “DevicePCM1”=”default” “DevicePCM2”=”headset”

I personally have two “devices” on my computer. My main sound card, which is an MAudio Delta 44, and a Logitec USB Headset (which I want to use for voice chat).

** If you only have one sound card, and will be using that card for voice chat, change “DeviceCount”=”2” to “DeviceCount”=”1”, and remove “DevicePCM2”=”headset”.

Now save the file and move to step 3.

3) Configure Wine to use ALSA.

Open up a terminal and run:

winecfg

Once the winecfg main windows is up, navigate to the “Audio” tab.

Here you will see a list of Sound Drivers available to Wine.

UN CHECK “OSS Driver”

CHECK “ALSA Driver”

Within the “Alsa Driver” tree you should now see your device(s) within the “Wave Out Devices” and “Wave In Devices”.

Here is what my Alsa Driver tree looks like:

Code:
- - Sound Devices |- Alsa Driver |- Wave Out Devices |- dmix:0 |- USB Audio |- Wave In Devices |- dsnoop:0 |- USB Audio

If you have only one sound card, and will be using it for voice chat, you may not see the “USB Audio” device.

Now, at the bottom of this tab we need to change some options.

Make sure the following options are set:

“Hardware Acceleration:” to “Full”

“Default Sample Rate:” to “44100”

“Default Bits Per Sample:” to “16”

CHECK “Driver Emulation”

Now click “Apply”, the click “OK” and move on to step 4.

4) Start WoW

Now configure your voice chat settings just as you would on windows!

Why I Don’t Use Paypal Anymore

Have you ever had to dispute a charge in your paypal account?

I’ve been a happy paypal user for several years. I usually will buy things and pay through paypal so I don’t have to put my credit card numbers in every shopping website in the land. In all these years never had a problem, never needed a refund… until two weeks ago.

I ordered some satellite parts from an online store, paid through paypal. A week later I get an email from seller that part is backordered. WTF?, backordered? - I replied - your site said it was in stock, please cancel the order and refund my money.

One week later, after no response from seller I emailed again this time with the subject: “Final Notice: If you don’t refund my money I’m going to dispute with paypal”. Didn’t I know the seller probably spilled coffee all over his keyboard/monitor upon reading such an hilarious sentence.

After giving the seller another few days I logged in to paypal and filed a dispute. I didn’t read much around just filled the form and submit. Having dealt with credit card disputes before, I expected my money back within a few hours.

The next day I login again… WTF?, where is my money? I start reading and oh!, this is just to give me 20 days to settle the dispute with seller, no way!, I already gave them more than a week, let’s move on to have Paypal deal with it so I “escalate” the dispute to a claim and again expect the money in a few hours.

Another day passes, login… WTF?, where is my money?… Oh!, wait, paypal is giving seller TEN MORE DAYS to reply.

So here it is: if you are buying from an online store for the first time, you are better off using your credit card (or better a virtual credit card number) than paypal. Your credit card company will generate a dispute and refund your money instantly after a phone call. With paypal, just forget about it.

Team Foundation: Welcome Back to Microsoft’s Source Control Hell

Management in my company, in all their wisdom decided to “upgrade” our source control system to Team Foundation. Until now our team was using Subversion along with TortoiseSVN.

The upgrade took a few hours but it was when the team tried to get the sources and build that problems started:

  • Some files in bin\ folders made it to source control and since you need to check out before editing (TFS marks checked-in files as read-only). We had to search through the whole source tree deleting any bin, obj, etc folders from source control.
  • Visual Studio loves to check out and change stuff in solution and projects files even when you sneeze, so after 4 years we are back to the good ol’ days of screaming around the office for people to check in their damn project files so everybody else do some work (yes, you can disable exclusive check outs but it seems management prefers it this way)
  • It’s been 6 years since the last time I had to deal with a source control product from Microsoft (in my previous place of work my first order of business was to throw away VSS and put CVS). In all these years of using CVS and Subversion later I never saw this message when opening the solution:


Ahhh…. the good ol’ days are back.

Example of Namespace Usage With Nant’s

After several hours figuring out why my would not find the xpath to change a setting in an enterprise library’s based app.config I came accross this post from Soledad Pano who saved the day.

Here is the relevant part of my app.config:

                                                                                                 

and the xmlpoke looks like:

                                       

Sos grande Soledad!

Some Games for Linux

Looking for some fun in Linux? here is a list of 10 games you can get from Ubuntu repositories.

Hacking the MIO C220 GPS

These instructions copied from a post in this forum:

Simplified instructions: Mio C220 “Hack”

NOTE: Before doing anything, obtain both the “Transfer_Mio_C250” -Hack- and the “Script_3.24r” from http://foro.todopocketpc.com/showthread.php?p=936930#post936930 For the “Transfer_Mio_C250” -Hack-, the link that you download from states “TRANSFER MIO C250 Hack”, but nothing downloaded states “Hack” in the name. That being said, the instructions below will state the displayed -name- of what is being accessed.

0. Both of the downloads are compressed rar files, uncompress both of them. Put the “Script_3.24r” folder on the C drive (for convenience of access when running the transfer, not the desktop. Double click on your C: drive and put the folder right there). Put the “Transfer_Mio_C250” folder on the desktop (if it is not already there). If you do this, then you will not lose track of anything if you are following these instructions. This is because you can refer back to this step to see where the folders are. Now to really begin.

1. With your Mio powered on, do a “hard reset” by pressing and holding the power button until the device turns off (about 5-10 seconds).

2. Power your Mio back on (it will boot up. Do NOT access anything, leave it on the screen it boots to).

3. Now start your software: “Transfer_Mio_C250” (from step 0. The only time you will see “Hack” is when this application is open).

4. Connect your device to your computer and it should be recognized (indicated by the gold colored chain link looking icon in the lower right corner by your time clock. Before connection it should look like a broken chain like {} and after proper connection it should now looking like a complete loop).

5. Before proceeding, KNOW AND REMEMBER that there will be TWO separate MioMap folders (one MioMap folder inside another MioMap folder). The order of folders to follow is “\My Flash Disk\MioMap\MioMap”. Rename the final “MioMap” folder to “MioMap2”. Now the order of folders will be “\My Flash Disk\MioMap\MioMap2”. The “MioMap2” folder contains your original MioMap data (you renamed it to keep it as a backup folder of the original files).

6. Now, you should still be in the folder where it displays “MioMap2”. Create a new folder here named “MioMap” (NOT INSIDE OF “MioMap2” but on the screen you are in. The purpose is to take the place of the original folder that WAS named “MioMap” that you just renamed “MioMap2”. For the moment it will be empty). Your folder structure should now be “\My Flash Disk\MioMap\MioMap =AND= MioMap2”. You will no longer touch “MioMap2”.

7. Now put your Mio DVD (from manufacturer) into your DVD drive and copy the folder contents of the DVD “MioMap” folder (from location of “install/MioMap” ) over to your empty created “MioMap” folder. You may have to create new folders, properly name them, then copy the contents into the created folders. When you are done with this step, your DVD “MioMap” folder and your created “MioMap” folder will contain the exact same contents.

8. Now go to your downloaded “Script_3.24r” folder (from step 0). There will be two folders inside. One named “Script” (NOT “SCRIPTS”) and another named “MioMap”.

9. Now transfer the contents of the “MioMap” just accessed in step 8 over to your created empty “MioMap” folder in “\My Flash Disk\MioMap\MioMap”. Make sure you are transferring the files into the correct “MioMap” folder. If you accidentally transfer to the wrong folder, your GPS unit will explode. Not really.

10. Now create a folder named “Script” so your folder structure is now “\My Flash Disk\Script” (not “Scripts”). Remember the “Script” folder from step 8? Ok, now transfer the folder contents of that “Script” folder into the empty one you just created.

11. Now with step 10 done, click on the lower right button to close “Transfer_Mio_C250” (it is the lower right button that says “sortir”. Do NOT click on the upper right hand “X” to close it because that does not truly exit the software). Make sure you are disconnected (the connect graphic should now be gone from the screen of your Mio, if it is still there, then you are likely still connected. When you are absolutely sure you are disconnected, you can pull the transfer cable out from your Mio).

12. Do a “hard reset” (press down on the power button for about 5-10 seconds until the Mio turns off, then you need to turn it back on. just like you did for steps 1 and 2).

13. Upon boot being done, click on “MioMap” (the file manager will open now instead, because the hack file you copied over is actually a file manager that replaced the file that was “MioMap”).

14. Now go to the created “MioMap” folder in “\My Flash Disk\MioMap\MioMap” and run “AUTOPATCHER.exe”. A small window will pop up. Now press “ok” and your Mio will reboot (you want this to happen).

15. Once it loads, you will hear the windows music tone (just like when you start your computer). Click again on “MioMap” and the file manager will run. You will now see your icons displayed, as well as a wallpaper of a tachometer (that you can change if you want to, but not directly from your gps. you would have to create a wallpaper and name it “back”, then use it to replace the -bitmap- file “back” that is located in the “Script” folder). All the icons should be functional (I am stating this because the miomap icon did not work for me the first go around. now it works after having done it my 2nd time. maybe I misnamed a file). You’re pretty much set unless I happened to unclearly state something. If I did, please post a reply and I will edit this post to try to make it clearer.

16. Just in case you have to hard reset (if the Mio freezes while playing a video, etc.), you will need to again run “AUTOPATCHER.exe” to get things up and running again (repeat steps 13-14).

Note:

Sortir = Exit Renommer = Rename Suprimer = Delete Annuler = Cancel New Dossier = New Folder

Ubuntu: Stop Gnome Keyring Prompt for a Password

Wireless laptop users connecting with an encryption key will be prompted by for a password after you log in to Ubuntu Feisty Fawn. This becomes annoying after a while as you are effectively having to enter two passwords on every new session.

I found a solution that seems promising in this blog. There are some question about this working with autologin. I will update this posting when I have a chance to try it:

sudo apt-get install libpam-keyring gksudo gedit /etc/pam.d/gdm Add the following line to the end:-
@include common-pamkeyring