Friday, September 5, 2014

Disable HTC Syc Manager Autostarting on a Mac

This is how to disable the automatic mount and popup on a Mac, prompting you to install HTC Sync Manager on HTC phones like the HTC one M7 and M8.

To disable HTC Sync Manager auto-mounting

Launch terminal

diskutil info "/Volumes/HTC Sync Manager"

Make a note of the Volume UUID.

Next type:
sudo vifs

Go to the bottom of the file, underneath the last # comment line. There might be no other entries by default.
tap the i key (to get into insert / edit mode)

And paste the following
UUID=YOURVOLUMEUUID none hfs rw,noauto
Replacing YOURVOLUMEUUID with the one you made a note of earlier

Hit Esc then:
: (to get into command mode)
Then type the following to save:

Try disconnecting and reconnecting your phone, and voila, not more annoying popup.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Older Panasonic Plasma and Chromecast

Recently I had been having trouble getting a Chromecast working on my 2006 Panasonic plasma TV TH42PX60B - I was just getting a black screen.

For the benefit of anyone else searching for this, the solution was to swap my set top box to the other HDMI input, and put the Chromecast into HDMI 1 instead. Once this was done, the Chromecast worked just fine, and my STB seems happy in HDMI 2.

I have a faint memory that HDCP (the copy protection scheme) might not be supported on both inputs on this TV.  I think Chromecast requires HDCP to be enabled.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Overscan on Windows 8.1 with an ATI / AMD HDMI card and an HDTV.

I was getting black borders around my display on a new Windows 8.1 HTPC build, and needed a combination of advice found on the 'net to get the borders removed (underscan). This was connected to an older Panasonic plasma TV via HDMI - my preferred connection as it combines a video and audio in one lead.

Windows 8.1 seems to have broken Catalyst Control Centre, which is where you'd change this in the past. Even with 'legacy' drivers for my card, it didn't work.

Part one, cribbed from here is as follows:

Write down the resolution and display frequency you are running at.

Start -> Run -> regedit

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Video

On my machine there were five subfolders in this key. Each of these subfolders contained keys named 0000 and 1111. Only one of these subfolders contained a ton of entries while the rest had only six entries. The subfolder with a ton of entries is the folder you want to be working with.

Backup the 0000 and 1111 keys. Don’t just backup the whole video folder or subfolder.

Select the 0000 folder and search for your tv’s resolution. In my case it was 1920×1080.
There will be multiple entries found in the format Name ResolutionxFrequency. eg: DALR6 CRT1920x1080x0x59 - I believe this is the VGA connection DALR6 DFPI 21920x1080x0x59 - this was hdmi for me

Edit the key that matches your resolution AND frequency – change everything to zeroes. There is a corresponding key in the 0001 folder. Change that one also. (Note, I had to start fresh and zero out all of the entries, finishing on line 28)

Change your monitor resolution and then change it back to 1920×1080 or whatever you are using
The underscan should be gone

This didn't work for me, so I also had to do the following:

Go to the following key in the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\video{####....}\0000

Create a new DWORD:

"DigitalHDTVDefaultUnderscan" = dword 0x0000

This was so that XBMC would fill the screen. Once the borders have gone, you can use XBMC's video calibration settings to adjust the UI to the edge of your screen.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

VMWare - converting VMDK files and Storage VMotion

I ran into this issue at the weekend, getting an error after migrating a 'cluster in a box' - the servers would not power on:

Hey Jon, what's installed on your Android phone right now?

     Marks my strongest recommmendations.

Some apps need ROOT

AfterFocus - Nice photo effect editor
AirDroid - Control your phone from a browser
Amazon - Shopping
Amazon Kindle - Reading - Task manager
Arcus - Hyper local waeather
Aviate - Alternative launcher (testing this)
Avocado - cross platform spousal chat :)
BBC Media Player
BBC News
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
BBC iPlayer
BBM - Blackberry messenger
BTD Battles - Game - Bloons Tower Defense
BabyBump Pro - Baby app
Barcode Scanner
BetterBatteryStats - keep better tabs on your batters
BootManager - ROOT - change what runs when your phone starts
BubbleUPnP - uPNP streamer. I use this with my Sonos
BubbleUPnP License
BusyBox Free - ROOT - terminal tool.
CamSam PLUS - Speed Camera database
CamScanner - OCS / Document scanner
Canvas for Pebble
Canvas for Pebble: Now Playing Plugin
Capacitive Buttons - ROOT - dims capacative buttons
Cerberus - 'Find My iPhone' for Android, on steroids.
Changelog Droid - what apps have updated recently
Chrome - My current default browser - syncs with desktop.
Citymapper - London and NY public transport
Clash of Clans - Game - tower defense.
Cliffhanger - TV show database
CoPilot - GPS, but I normally use Google Maps navigation.
Cooking Guide - Roast meat timer
DS audio - Synology App
DS cam
 - Synology App
DS cloud
 - Synology App
DS download
 - Synology App
DS file
 - Synology App
DS video
 - Synology App
DSLR Remote - Camera remote firing
DashClock Widget - lock screen widget
DiskUsage - Tree Size Pro for Android
Dolphin Browser - my old default browser, still pretty good
DroidWall - ROOT - firewall
Dropbox - automatically backup phone photos
Dumb Ways to Die - Game
ES File Explorer - File Explorer
EZ Usenet - client
Earth - Google Earth
Evernote - Note taker. Syncs everywhere
Expense Manager
Falcon Pro - Twitter client
Fing - Network Tools - network scanner
Focal - Cyanogenmod's camera
Glance for Pebble
Good - Work email client
Good's Secure Browser Plug-in
Google Play Books
Google Play Games
Google Play Magazines
Google Play Movies & TV
Google Play Music
Google Search
Google+ - Backs up your photos to Google
Greed Corp - Game - Command and Conquer style
Greenify - ROOT - stop apps from eating too much battery
Greenify (Donation)
Guardian - newspaper
Hailo - London / NY  / Dublin taxi app.
Hangouts - Google talk / SMS video and messaging.
HaxSync - Facebook contacts sync.
HaxSync JB Workaround
Humble Bundle (beta) - Games on the cheap
JUST EAT - Fast food delivery
JuiceSSH - SSH Client
Junos Pulse - Work VPN
Kabbee - Cheaper minicabs
Keep - good note taking
Krome - get notifications from your phone on your desktop Chrome browser.
LastPass - password vault
LastPass for Dolphin Browser
List My Apps - generated this list!
Llama - Location aware task manager
LoaderDroid - save files from the web
London - Tube Map
Lync 2010 - Work messaging app
MX Player - superior video player
Mac Remote - use the IR blaster on an HTC One or Samsung GS4 as a mac remote.
Maps- Google Maps, good for car navigation.
Messenger - Facebook 'Chat Heads' app
Microsoft Remote Desktop
MightyText - Get SMS messages forwarded to your desktop browser.
Mimecast - work email client
Minimal UI - Nice icon replacement set
Minimalistic Text - Homescreen clock / weather widget
MoDaCo Toolkit - ROOT -Tweaks
Moves - Pedometer plus more
Music Boss - Pebble
National Rail - Train times. Home screen widget is great.
Navier HUD Free - pseudo HUD for your car
NiLS - Lock Screen notification widget
Night Mode - dim the screen lower than normal.
NotificationsOff - selectively stop some notifications.
Nova Launcher - The best current alternative launcher
Nova Launcher Prime
Pebble AutoSilent
Pebble Connect
Phone Ringer Switcher - Pebble
Plants Vs Zombies 2 - Game - brilliant.
Plants vs. Zombies
 - Game - brilliant.
PlayMemories Mobile - Sony remote camera app
Plex - Media streamer
Pocket Casts - the best podcasts app bar none.
Popup Widget - Homescreen widget
Pro HDR Camera - Nice HDR camera
Pubtran - Public Transport
Pushbullet - push notes from browser to phone and vice versa
Pushover - notifications framework
Quickoffice - Free and workable office suite by Google.
ROM Manager Premium License - ROOT - backup and manage ROMs
Rail Planner Live - Train times
Rando - Photo sharing
RedReader Beta - Reddit Client
RingMyPhone - Pebble
SMS Backup+ - backs up your SMS and call history to Google Mail.
SabdroidEx - SABNZBD controller
Scrabble - Game, play with friends
Sine Mora - Game, sideways shooter
Snap - Speedy camera
Sonos - for Sonos devices
Sound Search for Google Play
Speedtest - your network connection
Stitcher - Radio aggregator
Street View
SwiftKey - Alternative keyoard, recommended
TU Go - O2 phone benefits
TVCatchup - watch UK TV live.
TWOP - Television chat
TWiT Live Video
TWiT Pro
Tasker - ROOT - automate your phone
TeamViewer - remote control desktops etc.
Terminal Emulator
Terraria - Game that inspired Minecraft
Tesco Groceries
TeslaUnread Plugin - For Nova Launcher
Ticket to Ride - Board Game
Timely - Pretty alarm / timer
Titanium Backup - ROOT Backup phone
Tresorit - Secure cloud file storage
Trigger - Camera remote
Tube Master - London Tube
TuneIn Radio
UK Stops - Bus times
Uber - Taxi App
VPN Settings VPN shortcut.
Vine - Video app
Wakelock Detector - What is keeping your phone awake, draining battery.
Wallet - Google
Waze - Social GPS navigation
WeMo - for Belkin wemo switches
WearYourBarcode - Pebble
WiFi Web Login - Automate wifi networks that need a login page. Works on the London Tube Wifi!.
WiFi Web Login - Activation
Worms 2: Armageddon - Game - old school warfare.
Yatse - XBMC remote
Yatse Call Plugin
Yatse Notification Plugin
Yatse Queue Plugin
Yatse Stream Plugin
Yatse Widget SMS Plugin
Yatse Widget Unlocker
Zagat - restaurant guide.
Zite - News browser that adapts to your preferneces.
hello - Alternative SMS app - pretty nice buy hangouts is core integrated with my life.
iControlAV2 - Pioneer remote app.
iPlayer Radio - BBC radio
inSSIDer - Network scanner
reddit is fun - Reddit app
tinyCam Monitor PRO - great remote app for Foscam IP cameras
uListen - listen to Youtube videos with the screen off (try this with the YouTube app!)

Friday, May 10, 2013

SMTP message headers

Something I have been meaning to write for a long time is a script to analyse email headers.  Well,  Microsoft has beaten me to it with the new addition to their Remote Connectivity Analyser tool. There is new tab - Message Analyzer, where you can paste email headers. Use the expand arrow in the Tags ribbon in an Outlook message window to get to these.

The tool will then show the server hops and any delay incurred. It even works out the correct UTC offsets - often the most confusing aspect when you are trying to track a delay between time zones.

Adventures in Android Part 2

I'm getting on well with my Galaxy S3, and I'm really liking the customisation options that are available to Android. Sometimes this is as much a curse as a blessing, for example when I went too far and broke my phone audio recently! Thankfully I have backups, which I'll go into below.

I'm now rooted and have installed CyanogenMod10.1. The always authoritative XDA Developers site  is invaluable, and it's fun being back there for the first time since my Windows Mobile 6 days.

So I was asked recently why you might want to root your Android phone. Apart from being able to install custom roms, there is a class of useful apps that require root access to work. Here are some of my favourites:

Adaway - This is to remove ads from free versions of apps or even web pages – it works really well. Note this isn't on Google Play as they have banned these types of apps. You may need to enable the 'install apps from anywhere' option on your phone, and download this directly from the site in your browser, or save into Dropbox and install from there, which is what I normally do.

Helium - Many like Titanium Backup, but I prefer this to backup your individual app data. If you need to rebuild your phone, for example after you have installed a new rom, then this makes . You can also chose to backup the entire app, but this uses more space.

Rom Manager - This is also mostly backup related, and can help you make a complete image of your phone to an SD card. When you root your phone you will probably install ClockworkMod recovery during that process. This app lets you update that recovery partition, and set off backups easily.

Greenify - to hibernate apps that might otherwise keep your phone awake and waste battery. I am currently also looking at Greenpower, but haven't got to grips with it yet.

Notifications Off - to stop certain notifications from showing up in your notifications shade. For me this was the 'blocking mode' notification on the Samsung, and at the moment it's stopping a buggy version of the Mobile Brodcasts app on CM10.1 from spamming me with notifications.

Root aside, here are a few of my other favourite apps:

Nova Launcher - a replacement for the default launcher, which is infinitely cusomisable, and above all else, really snappy.

Pocketcasts - is my favourite podcast app on any platform. The Android version is currently superior to the IOS version.

Zite - A magazine-like app that you can customise with the news you'd like to follow from your favourite sites. This was a favourite on IOS and I'm glad it's on Android.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Adventures in Android part 1

Time for a change

Since decamping from the original Windows Mobile, I've been a happy iPhone user. I like Apple's products, but was not so impressed when the iPhone 5 was announced - I wanted a bigger screen. Jellybean for Android seems to have put the platform in a mature place, so it seemed time for a change. So enter my new Galaxy S3. I've had it for a week, and there have been some ups and downs, but I think I'm happy with it now.

The Bad

The phone, although supplied from Amazon actually turned out to be a model from the UAE (it was cheap!). I had to use Odin to flash a UK rom, then change the CSC to 'BTU', which means UK unlocked. This enabled the official Over The Air update to Jellybean 4.12 .
Battery life was appalling out of the box, and it's taken me most of the week to figure out how to fix that. I followed all of the tips at sites like this, but things were still not brilliant. I eventually stumbled across my issue - by default the Samsung has WiFi switched on all the time, even during sleep. I changed this to 'only when plugged in'. You can find this under the WiFi Advanced settings (press the menu button on the WiFi page). There's also another fairly annoying drain issue where Google internet sync gets stuck. You'll see Internet as the top battery user in preferences if this is the case. You can disable this in the Google Account settings page, or delete Chrome Sync from your Google Dashboard, before re-enabling the sync option in Android and Chrome on PC.

Lag - The default Samsung launcher is not the fastest going, So I replaced it with Nova, a very customisable and speedy launcher. Disabling S Voice (using the Application Manager in Settings) also stops the laggy behaviour of the home button, even in Nova. Google Now voice is much better anyway.

The camera is capable of delivering pictures as good as the iPhone 4S in most conditions, but I'm not sure low-light without the flash is as good. I also miss the iPhone's speedy loading of the camera app from the lock screen.

The Good

Now I have the annoyances out of the way, I actually like this device! The screen is gorgeous, and the extra real estate really makes most tasks easier.

I really like how there is no sandbox between applications, and each can share data without having to resort to kludges like emailing them around, or making multiple copies.

I have most of the apps I needed from IOS on Android, and have not had to spend so much to get the equivalents.

Google Now is just brilliant - travelling with this is especially useful, and I suspect it will only get better with time.

Google Maps is even better than the recently revamped Apple version. I love the location history and navigation - especially being able to download sections of the map for offline use.
Widgets - I know they should be used sparingly, but I love having the National Rail app's widget on my second home screen, and DoggCatcher, a very nice podcatcher on the top of my main homescreen.

Let's see what Apple offers next time around, but maybe this change might stick for a while.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Windows 8 Annoyances - UAC

To disable UAC properly in Windows 8:

Open regedit and locate this key:

In the right pane look for "EnableLUA" 

Modify the value to 0. 

Close regedit.

Windows will ask you to reboot to enable this, as before in Windows 7

Monday, January 16, 2012

Adventures in OSX part 2

The exFAT file system is your cross-platform helper:

Format your external drives in Window's Disk Management utility in this format, and you can read and write large disks from both sides. The current NTFS read / write options in Lion seem unstable and or expensive.