Saturday, November 2, 2013

Saitek X52 64bit Driver Issue

Had just purchased my Saitek X52 Joystick in hopes I could play some great games like DCS on Stream.

Apparently I got confused by Saitek's website and got the wrong 64bit drivers.

Here is how to make sure you are getting the right drivers, X52 instead of X52 Pro.

First, I had to disconnect the Saitek X52 (not X52 Pro). Uninstall any SST software you may have installed. Then, I had to go to the Hardware setting in Control Panel and delete the two entries. I then had to go tohttp://saitek.com/uk/down/drivers.php and download the drivers, and install them. Do NOT click on "Choose your product range" button, click on the "Choose your product type."

Then click on "Joysticks" and under "Select product" choose "X52", then (in my case) under "Select operating system", I chose "Windows 7/8 and Vista 64-bit".

NOW - choose to download the drivers and install them - remember that you disconnected your X52 - and plug it in when prompted. Then download the software, and install it. If you did it all right, everything should work.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Apple TV: Movie Rentals Not Showing

Thought I would share an issue I came across today.

I had rented a couple of movies on iTunes last night.  Shortly after, the Apple TV said there was an update available and it downloaded and installed the update.

I did not try watching any of the movies I had just rented until the next day.  Oddly, none of the rentals were displayed under rentals where they should have been and when I tried to open them from the iTunes store a message displayed stating I should go to options > downloads to download the movie but there was no such option. Luckily, in our Master bedroom we had another Apple TV and all the rentals were displayed there.  The Apple TV in the Master bedroom had not yet been updated.

Rather that taking you thought all the troubleshooting I will just cut to the chase.  The fix was using the reset option that wipes out all your personal data and sets the Apple TV back to the factory settings.  It sucked because I had to set it up as if it was brand new but it worked but that only took a couple of minutes.  After I had entered my iTunes account info, all my rentals magically reappeared.

Hope this helps.

Rick

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Microsoft Windows 7 Easy Transfer Error: You're Logged in to a Temporary Profile

I was reviewing the Microsoft Windows 7 70-680 requirements for the Easy Transfer feature and got an error on my PC that I thought I would share just in case anyone else should encounter the same problem.

When running Microsoft Easy Transfer I got an error stating that I was logged in to a temporary profile and it would not allow me to continue.

Here is the problem and the solution.

Problem: You have a temporary / backup profile listed in your Windows Registry.

Look for this registry entry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList

Look for a sub folder entry ending with a ".bak".  

If you find a key with a .bak suffix, check the ProfileImagePath subkey and make sure you have a backup copy of everything within that path unless it is in your "temp" path. 

Related References:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947242

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947215

Hope this helps!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Raspberry Pi: "Can't open file to write"

Just got my first Raspberry Pi and was excited to get it booted up.  

First problem:  The keyboard is set to UK.
Solution: Edit the keyboard config file > etc\default\keyboard


Second problem: Can't edit the keyboard file.
Solution: Start the GUI using the command line: sudo startx

Hope this helps!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Eclipse Error: Failed to allocate memory: 8 (Android Development)

I not new to programming but I am new to developing for Android mobile platforms so I was excited to begin learning how to develop apps for Android.  As I'm just about to get the SDK to run my first "Hello World" app on a the device emulator I got and error: "Failed to allocate memory: 8".

Background

Editing the virtual Android device settings manually in Android Virtual Device Manager for the device I had named VirtNexus7.

The fix for "Failed to allocate memory: 8"?

On my Windows 7 PC I had to go to: C:\Users\[User Name]\.android\avd\VirtNexus7.avd\Config.ini Edit the config file with a text editor.

In this case I had to change "hw.ramSize=1024" to "hw.ramSize=1024MB".

Also, to avoid such headaches, I would recommend that you only use the Android Virtual Device Manager's built-in virtual device presets to build your virtual device.  I've never had a problem when I've used it create new virtual devices for testing.



Below are the settings from the Config.ini file that I had created manually for the emulated virtual Nexus 7 device:

avd.ini.encoding=ISO-8859-1
hw.dPad=no
hw.lcd.density=213
sdcard.size=1024M
hw.cpu.arch=arm
hw.device.hash=-2113695447
disk.dataPartition.size=300M
hw.gpu.enabled=yes
skin.path=800x1280
skin.dynamic=yes
hw.keyboard=yes
hw.cpu.model=cortex-a8
hw.ramSize=1024
hw.device.manufacturer=Google
hw.sdCard=yes
hw.mainKeys=no
hw.accelerometer=yes
skin.name=800x1280
abi.type=armeabi-v7a
hw.trackBall=no
hw.device.name=Nexus 7
hw.battery=yes
hw.sensors.proximity=no
image.sysdir.1=system-images\android-17\armeabi-v7a\
hw.sensors.orientation=yes
hw.audioInput=yes
hw.camera.front=none
hw.gps=yes
vm.heapSize=32

Sunday, May 19, 2013

CSS Tutorial for Beginners

CSS is a markup language is used to apply style to HTML documents.

There 3 ways to apply CSS to a HTML document.

The order or precedence of how CSS is applied to an HTML is a follows:

  1. The browser loads CSS from the external stylesheet.
  2. The in page style sheet is loaded and overwrites any duplicate styles from the external stylesheet
  3. Any in-line style are applied to the HTML tag overwriting the first two methods.



HTML Code

<html>
 <title>CSS for Beginners</title>
 <head>
  <link href="style.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css">
  <style>
   /* tag selector */
   h1 {color: red;}
  </style>
 </head>
 <body>
  <h1 style="color: blue;">CSS for Beginners</h1>
  <p id="intro" class="first">This is the first <em>paragraph</em></p>
  <p class="first">This is the second paragraph</p>
  <p>This is the third paragraph</p> 
 </body>

CSS Style Sheet

/* CSS Comment */

/* tag selector */
h1 {color: gray;}

/* class selector */
.first {font-size:150%;}

/* id selector */
#intro {font-size:270%;}

/* decendant selector */
#intro.first em {
 color: green;
 font-size:270%;
 }
CSS rules are made up of a selector, a property and a value. h1 is the selector color is the property red is the value When properties and values when used together they are called a declaration. id selector = #id class selector = .class descendant selector: #intro.first

Sunday, April 28, 2013

For Loops for Beginners - ASP, PHP and JavaScript examples

A "For Loop" executes a block of code a specific number of times or while a specified condition is true.

PHP

Sample
for (init; condition; increment)
  {
  code to be executed;
  }
    Parameters:
  • init: Mostly used to set a counter (but can be any code to be executed once at the beginning of the loop)
  • condition: Evaluated for each loop iteration. If it evaluates to TRUE, the loop continues. If it evaluates to FALSE, the loop ends.
  • increment: Mostly used to increment a counter (but can be any code to be executed at the end of the iteration)

Note: The init and increment parameters above can be empty or have multiple expressions (separated by commas). Example The example below defines a loop that starts with i=1. The loop will continue to run as long as the variable i is less than, or equal to 5. The variable i will increase by 1 each time the loop runs:
<?php
for ($i=1; $i<=5; $i++)
  {
  echo("The number is " . $i . "<br>");
  }
?>
 
See the PHP for loop example 

ASP

<%
For i = 1 to 5
 Response.Write("The number is " & i & "<br>")
Next
%>
 
See the ASP for loop example  

JavaScript

<Script Language="JavaScript">
for (var i=1;i<=5;i++)
    {
    document.write("The number is " + i + "<br&gt");
    }
</Script>
 
 See the JavaScript for loop example  

Video

Friday, February 22, 2013

Netflix Throttling: Changing Playback Performance to Reduce Bandwidth Usage

The Problem with Netflix... Bandwidth Caps and Mobile Data Plans

  Bandwidth Caps & Data Plans

I work in IT for a living and I've recently coined the phrase, "Bandwidth is the new gasoline".  Just about every new gadget or tech related product seems to require some sort of connectivity to the internet.  Pretty soon I think it will be hard to find a consumer electronic device without some form of connectivity feature.

The entertainment industry and the business of content delivery is no exception. From online content services like Netflix and Hulu to internet connected televisions, Apple TVs and Roku boxes.  Home entertainment now requires internet connectivity too.

Your data plan is fast becoming a key indicator of how much entertainment (content) you can watch for a given period of time.

Until about 6 months ago I was using an AT&T DSL account that I used for years which had a bandwidth cap of 150 GB per month.  After adding some Dropcams and an couple of Apple TVs I began to receive warnings from AT&T about exceeding my monthly data bandwidth cap and additional fees would be applied at $20 per each additional 50GB.


Over the next couple of months I paid overage fees every month and eventually upgraded to AT&T U-verse which as a 250 GB per month bandwidth cap.

Fast forward to last week, Feb 2013, and now I have my new iPhone 5 (4G LTE) via Verizon Wireless and upon upgrading had to say goodbye to my old unlimited 3G plan.  The new data plan had data plan options in increments of 2G from 2-12GB per month and each one adding more and more the my new monthly bill.

I ended up choosing the 6GB plan and it added $40 per month to my bill, now $120.

 How to Throttle Netflix Playback

Now that I have my blazing fast LTE iPhone, and it is fast, I'm worried that watching Netflix on my iPhone will quickly burn through my 6 GB data plan.

Netflix has a potential fix for this.

From your account settings screen in Netflix:
  • Choose Manage video quality
  • Select the quality setting
    • Good Quality ( up to 0.3 GB per hour)
    • Better Quality (up to .7 GB per hour)
    • Best Quality (up to 1.0 GB or up to 2.3 GB per hour for HD)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Google Analytics & Adsense Apps for iPad and iPhone (iOS)

Google Analytics & Adsense Apps for iPad and iPhone (iOS)

I've recently found quite a few iOS apps for Google Analytics.  Some just automate the login process and rehash the same web based user interface but others actually go the extra mile and make it easy to look at the data quickly and in ways that just make more sense for people of rely on this data to make business decisions on a day-to-day basis.

I will cover some of the ones I've been using lately share with you my favorites.


iPad Apps


iPhone Apps


Monday, February 11, 2013

SEO: How Often Should You Submit XML Sitemaps to Google or Bing

How often you should submit XML sitemaps to Google and Bing?

Let's explore this together using a real world site that gets about a million page views a month and see what happens!

If you are a webmaster and you're not using both the Google and Bing webmaster portal sites to gain awareness as to how they are seeing your site, start now.  While they won't share all their secrets, they do share some key data to help you improve your site and should in theory result in more organic (free) traffic.

2/11/2013 Before


Sitemaps Stats

I have a site where new content is constantly being added by users and old content is deleted after 90 days.  At the time of this writing there are approximately 38,000 pages on the site and by the end of today probably 39,000 pages. Unfortunately, only 15,771 of the 38K have been indexed by Google.

Since I have so much new content on daily basis I thought I should be letting Google and Bing know by sending them updated XML sitemaps every 2-3 days.  I've been doing this over the past 6 months and am beginning to believe that this practice is hurting my organic search results.  I think my statistics show that immediately after submitting a new sitemap my organic search engine traffic seems to drop and then slowly comes back after a couple of days.

Beginning the Test

Two days ago, 2/9/2013, I had submitted an updated sitemap with 38,093 pages and have decided not to submit another update for at least two weeks or maybe even a month depending on how many pages Google says they are indexing and much organic traffic is coming in.



The screenshot below is the before shot and displays the organic traffic beginning Jan 1, 2013 and ending on Feb 10th.

See the pattern?

  • 1/1: 58 clicks
  • 1/5:  69 clicks (high)
  • 1/8: 39 clicks (low)
  • 1/18: 95 clicks (high)
  • 1/20: 67 clicks (low)
  • 1/27: 105 clicks (high)
  • 1/28: 74 clicks (low)
  • 2/6: 89 clicks (high)
  • 2/7: 77 (low)
  • 2/10: 90 clicks (up)
  • 2/11: 108 clicks(up)

This site has had a long history of SEO related issues like duplicate content and dynamic pages that were erroring out for various reasons.  Slowly but surely I've been learning all I can about SEO including watching every Matt Cutts Google Webmaster video and spending a lot of time on the SEO MOZ site and watching their Whiteboard Friday video series and then applying this knowledge to my site.
 
You can see since January 1st, I was able to double my organic traffic which shows that all the SEO efforts that I've been working on for the last 6 months are starting to pay off.

As of late, the term, SEO seems to be taking on a negative connotation.  When I say SEO, I'm really just saying that I'm improving the site and users experience on the site by applying best practices.

Check back on my blog for an update on this blog around 3/11/2013 where I will show some statistics on the before and after affects of my SEO sitemap experiment.

2/14/2013 (End of Week 1)

At the end of week 1 without resubmitting the XML sitemap Google finally shows indexing more than 15K of the 38K pages.  Another 1,000+ pages were added to Google's index this week.  That's great!

2/16/2013

Another 4K pages have been included in Google's Index.




 

3/7/2013

Another 1K pages have been included in Google's Index.



Bing Webmaster Tools (Pages Indexed as of 2/25/2013)

Bing Webmaster Tools is also showing an increase in pages indexed.  The longer I withhold resubmission of an updated sitemap the more pages seem to be indexed but it is taking quite a long time to index. 
 
On 2/25/2013 had a recorded high of 122 organic clicks and then I deleted approximately 1000 records from the content database. I did not submit a new sitemap but as a result of this action, the following day's organic traffic seemed to suffer.  I would attribute this to Google and Bing detecting an increase in 404 and 410 response codes from web pages that had been deleted. Also, the Bing webmaster tools now shows only 21% of my pages as indexed, down 1% from the previous day.