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Software - OSX
 
Apr 01, 2012
 
72


Fuzzy fonts using Firefox on OSX 10.6

Close ...
The fonts appeared to be anti-aliased and not clear but with Camino the text was good.
Decided to check the about:config settings in both browsers and came across an option called gfx.use_text_smoothing_setting - Camino was set to True and FF was set to False. On changing the FF option to True I found my text rendered clean just like Camino but the fonts in the FF app itself (toolbars,etc) were rubbish however I’m more interested in the clarity of the web page fonts so I’ll live with the toolbars!





Wireless/Networking
 
Apr 01, 2012
 
71


Airport Express co-existing with BTHH2

Close ...
Decided to extend the range of the home network.
Arrangement: BTHH 2 on ADSL line (wireless on ch 4 with WPA2) and AE connected to BTHH via ethernet ( wireless on ch 9 with WPA2). The BTHH2 has DHCP enabled (BT Vision) but all clients use static addressing.

Plugged in AE (ethernet not connected) and opened Airport Utility on OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard). The AE was duly picked up by the utility and setup commenced -
Create a Wireless Network -basically the Macbook used the wireless settings from the existing connection so I allocated a different Wireless SSID to the AE and used the existing password, etc.
At some stage it gave an option to Join a LAN which I chose - specified static IP (192.168.1.1) and used the BTHH IP (192.168.1.254) as the DNS server. When the config was done the AE was restarted by the utility and the existing wireless connection to the MacBook dropped, the MacBook then connected to the new wireless but found no connectivity to the internet (correct since it was still not connected to the BTHH). The AE was taken and connected via ethernet to the BTHH2 and the Airport utility detected the completed connection. The utility then checked a couple of details and required a firmware update which was successful (took a wee while - 3 or 4 mins or so).

The Airport Utility is quite a nice wee piece of software and gives options for various types of network configuration (joining existing wireless, extending existing wireless, etc).

I used - Create Wireless Network (on the AE)
- Join a LAN ( static IP for BTHH2 LAN )

The BTHH2 WLAN appears to co-exist beside the AE WLAN OK.
Initial indications show the AE signal strength to be a bit better than the BTHH but not massively so.





Web - X/HTML/PHP/JS/CSS
 
Apr 01, 2012
 
70


Upgrade of Aprelium Abyss X1 server breaks console

Close ...
Just upgraded my version 2.6 Abyss web server to version 2.7 and when a Show Console is done all I get in the browser is a page saying that the web server is running and you can replace that page with your own ones.

It appears that the upgrade altered the existing abyss.conf file slightly.
I use port 8000 for the web pages and the upgrade altered the console port setting to 8000 rather than using the default 9999 so therefore when I opened the console I got the welcome message in the web root. Changing the console port back to 9999 allowed the console page to show.
Example of abyss.conf -
<console>
<port>
9999
</port>
<bindip>

I guess the lesson here is to make a backup of the abyss.conf file before upgrading!





Software - XP
 
Apr 01, 2012
 
69


Unable to delete corrupt ._Safari file

Close ...
Just been trying to clean up the ol’ P4 and had a problem trying to delete/rename a corrupt file.

The two files at issue were named -
._Safari 49K in size
Safari 0K in size
The files were in a folder named corrupt2.

The method used to remove these successfully was to remove the folder via the DOS command line -

rmdir /S /Q corrupt2





Software - XP
 
Mar 31, 2012
 
68


Dot Net Framework can’t be updated/uninstalled

Close ...
Tied in with previous post (67) - I noticed that Windows Update was failing on .net framework updates.

Tried to uninstall/reinstall the various Frameworks and it basically creates and endless vortex that will suck the life from the mortal body and make one wonder whether the product code for windows is actually 666!

msicuu2.exe was tried but didn’t appear to work so well on the Framework installs.

Anyway I found a good site that discusses these sort of issues ( http://blogs.msdn.com/b/astebner/ ) and got links to a couple of good tools.

Cliwreg-x86.exe - used to clean out Framework 2.0 install.
Cleanup_tool.exe - used to select a Framework to clean out.

I found I needed to clean out all the Framework versions installed ( in my case - 2.0, 3.0, 3.5 and 4.0) and then restart the Virtual Machine.

After doing this I installed Framework 3.5 SP1 (which also installs 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 ) successfully and then Framework 4.0 installed OK.





Software - XP
 
Mar 31, 2012
 
67


Windows installed apps can’t be removed and updates won’t install

Close ...
XP Pro SP3 (32) on Parallels 6 VM on OSX 10.6.4

Seem to be getting a lot of aggro lately with Microsoft Installer problems so here we go (there’s a football song there somewhere!).

Note: mention is made of a MS utility no longer available from MS (msicuu2.exe) but some good copies exist elsewhere (I think I got mine from MajorGeeks). It has been superceded by FixIt utilities (KB 290301) but these appear to only cater for Office installs which is no good since the problem appears to afflict any MS app.

MS Office Professional 2003 :: Add/Remove uninstall failed.
I was having a problem with pre-MS version of Visio (Viso 2000) which was calling the MS Installer (looking for Pro11n.msi) and since the original disc had been lost the fun started. I think maybe an Office 12 app was installed (Expression Web 4) and this creates an erroneous link somehow between Office 11 and Office 12 apps anyway tried to uninstall Office 2003 but lo and behold Add/Remove Programs wouldn’t work.

Solution :
MS KB 290301 gives details of a new FixIt utility – this was downloaded, installed and Office 2003 was uninstalled OK (runs Fixit50416.msi).
The Office 2003 install needed to be run twice since the 1st time resulted in a –
“Please wait while the installer finishes determining your disk space” issue where the result never happens. Running the installer again generally avoids the issue.

Silverlight 3.0 :: Upgrade to 4.0 with Silverlight.exe from MS failed.
The installer returned an error relating to an install source not found (c:\temp\18866\) and advice on the MS web site suggested removing Silverlight and re-installing. However the Add/Remove feature returned the same error for the uninstall so right up a gum tree. The new FixIt utilities from MS only seem to do the Office suites. Had another go at using the obsolete msicuu2.exe and it worked well- installed OK and gave a list of all the Windows Installed apps. Silverlight 3.0 was listed and removed OK. Silverlight.exe was run and Silverlight 4.0 was installed OK.

Registry details ::

Silverlight 3.0 installed –

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\D73 14F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100\SourceList\Net
SourceList - “LastUsedSource”=”n;1;c:\temp\18866\”
“PackageName”=”silverlight.msi”

SourceList\Media - ”1”=”;1”
“DiskPrompt”=”Microsoft’s Silverlight Installation [1]”
SourceList\Net – “1”=”c:\temp\18866\”

Silverlight 4.0 installed –

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\D731 4F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100\SourceList\Net
SourceList - “LastUsedSource”=”n;1;c:\2ef16a612bf20933c6dd12decbc8a1 \”
“PackageName”=”silverlight.msi”

SourceList\Media - ”1”=”;1”
“DiskPrompt”=”Microsoft’s Silverlight Installation [1]”
SourceList\Net - “1”=”c:\2ef16a612bf20933c6dd12decbc8a1\”

Expression Web 4 :: Tried to install EW4 Service Pack 1 and the install failed with an error 1612 - The installation source for this product is not available. Verify that the source exists and that you can access it.
Tried to uninstall EW4 from Add/Remove Programs and got –

Unable to find the specified file
*.xrm-ms
Search Paths :
C:\Program FilesMicrosoft Expression\Web 4\Setup
C:\1d69851f60054aaba08d13d8c3dc\Setup

Used the MSI Clean Up Utility (msicuu2.exe) and listed all the installed apps. Removed the MS 2007 Proofing Tools (not sure why they were there since I use Office 2003) and also EW4. This utility seemed to take EW4 out of the install database but left the app installed however the EW4 installer (download edition) ran OK and said app had been installed OK (was still registered OK). At this point the EW4 SP1 installer worked OK and updated EW4.

Bibble 5.2.2

This failed giving –

The feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unavailable. Looking for vc_red.msi
c:\21eeb2b6eod5bd7bfbbb\

Used msicuu2.exe utility to clean out old install and re-installed OK.





Software - XP
 
Mar 31, 2012
 
66


Installing Legacy screensavers on XP SP3

Close ...
Tried running some old favourite screensavers on XP SP3 and they didn’t work – although I thought I might have had them running on an earlier install of XP.
Note:
Sometimes case is important as DOS was rather anal about case and file name length so I try to keep that in mind. eg: PROGRA~1 is a classic example which equates to Program Files folder (legacy of short file names in 8+3 format) so when doing install specify this format.

When troubleshooting if the .scr file is double-clicked the saver should run, if not maybe a data path is missing from an ini file or a file needs to be in the same folder as the .scr file.

Some savers I have tried :::

Pink Floyd PULSE (Earls Court Shows)
Johnny Castaway
Jordan F1
Newcastle Broonale (2nd version with bouncing balls)
(Note: seem to remember an original version with a spinning bottle falling off the table but can’t locate anywhere!)
Toshiba Flying Laptops
*********************************************
Pulse :: OK
Downloaded a good copy from a Pink Floyd site (http://www.floydianslip.com) and installed. It happens to install FLOYD.EXE into C:\FLOYD folder and Floyd.SCR into the Windows folder. (win.ini file is edited with an entry for [FishScreenSaver] C:\FLOYD\FLOYD.EXE - Does not work!

Two methods do work –

1 Use ssDruid which is a freeware screensaver runner app.
2 Rename Floyd.SCR as ssPink Floyd.scr and place it in the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
The screensaver will now appear in the Desktop Properties under Screensaver options. The C:\FLOYD folder is required (maybe there is a method of moving it to Program Files but I have other things to do!)
Note: Pink Floyd as the name can be seen in a hex listing of the .scr file against Screensave and it seems that XP usually places the screensavers in the System32 folder with prefixes of ss.
Update: I found that modifying the win.ini file (windows folder) allowed the exe folder to be altered eg:
[FishScreenSaver]
C:\PROGRA~1\FLOYD\FLOYD.EXE
*********************************************
Johnny Castaway :: OK

Used a copy for XP from http://www.gnudawn.co.uk/johnny/ and installed.

To get it going OK I needed to –

Rename .scr file in the Windows folder to ssScreenAntics.scr and place into C:\windows\system32 folder.
Check scrantic.ini in C:\windows folder – all of the settings are written by the Settings button in the Desktop options for the screensaver however the SourceDir must be in the file to begin with.
It will be noted that the SIERRA folder can be moved to the Program Files folder by specifying it in the .ini file. If the SourceDir reference is not in the scrantic.ini file then the Preview in Desktop Screensaver Properties will error saying it can’t find necessary data files.

[ScreenSaver.ScreenAntics]
SourceDir=C:\PROGRA~1\SIERRA\SCRANTIC\
Background=1
Clouds=1
Waves=1
Sounds=1
Password=
NumDays=1
Introduction=1
CurrentYear=2010
CurrentMonth=12
CurrentDay=7
StartTime=900


*********************************************
Jordan F1 :: OK

Still had a copy of this and ran the install. The installer will put all the files into the windows and windows\system folders.

Changes done –
CNCS.dll moved to system32 folder
DIB.drv moved to system32 folder
Jordan.cca renamed to ssJordan Grand Prix.cca and moved to system32 folder
Jordan.scr renamed to ssJordan Grand Prix.scr and moved to system32 folder
raceloop.wav moved to system32 folder

Jordan.scr

Install log was –
*** Installation Started 12/7/10 20:53 ***
Title: Jordan Screensaver Installation
Source: C:\DOCUME~1\BLATMAN\DESKTOP\JORDANGP.EXE
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\cnc.ini
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\CNCS.dll
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM\DIB.drv
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\jorsetup.EXE
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\Jordan.cca
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\Jordan.scr
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\jordan.ini
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\jordan.wri
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\Jordan.ico
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\Jordanr.ico
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\raceloop.wav
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\JUnwise.exe
File Copy: C:\WINDOWS\jordangp.exe
Icon Group: Jordan Grand Prix
Icon Name: Jordan Notes
Icon Cmd: C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\WRITE.EXE C:\WINDOWS\JORDAN.WRI
Icon Group: Jordan Grand Prix
Icon Name: Jordan Quick Setup
Icon Cmd: C:\WINDOWS\JORSETUP.EXE
Shell Link: C:\DOCUME~1\ALLUSE~1\Desktop\Jordan Quick Setup.LNK
Shell Link: C:\DOCUME~1\ALLUSE~1\Desktop\Jordan Quick Setup.LNK
INI File: C:\WINDOWS\CNC.INI
INI Sect: setup
INI Item: grmode
INI Val: 1
INI Old: 0
*********************************************
Newcastle Broonale ::

*********************************************
Toshiba Flying Laptops ::

*********************************************
Heineken Bottle Cap :: OK

Rename Heineken.scr to ssHeineken.scr and move to system32 folder.





Software - Apps
 
Mar 31, 2012
 
65


Installing Canon ImageBrowser onto OSX 10.6 (Snow Leopard) using Updater

Close ...
Being too lazy to find the original CD I found that it is possible to use the latest Updater file download to install the ImageBrowser app.

Download file : IBX_UPD_6_4.dmg.gz (ImageBrowser 6.4 for Intel OSX)

Open up the dmg file to obtain UpdateInstaller file.

Use Show Package Contents –

Contents>Resources
Remove the update.plist file
Run the UpdateInstaller file and it should all happen!





Software - XP
 
Jun 24, 2010
 
64


Thunderbird RSS feed does not update

Close ...
RSS handling on Thunderbird 3.0.5 appears to be a crock of brown steaming stuff!

The problem I had was a feed not updating. It worked fine in RSSOwl and Firefox.
I tried to delete the RSS account and recreate it to no avail - it just seemed to pick up the old feed file (67 items at the time instead of 79).
Next I deleted the RSS account and then went into the profile folders -

Documents and Settings>user> Application Data>Thunderbird>Profiles>l9jei9sf.default>Mail

where I deleted the Feeds folder and the Feeds.msf (both in Mail folder) , I then restarted TB and recreated the RSS account - again the old 67 item feed was picked up!
Getting desperate I fossicked around a bit and found a Cache folder under -

Documents and Settings>user>Local Settings>Application Data>Thunderbird>Profiles>l9jei9sf.default>Cache

I duly deleted the RSS account,all the files in the Cache and restarted TB.
On creating the RSS account again the new feed (79 items) was indeed picked up - it looks like TB was always going back to old data in the cache instead of checking the website for the new feed.
I actually confirmed this prior to finding the cache by using Wireshark - the other Feed was doing the GET command OK


::::::::::::::::::: Update :::::::::::::::::

Line 1 above still valid - the brown stuff is still steaming . . .

Had two feeds and wanted to keep one intact so reinstall the WH feed I had to -
1 Remove feed from RSS using Manage Subscriptions
2 Delete folder from RSS using Right-Click + Delete
3 Close TB
4 Goto the Cache under Documents and Settings and clear files
5 Goto Feeds folder and edit feed.rdf and feeditems.rdf (need to remove description references relating to the feed that you wish to remove - this is tedious for the latter file since there may be a lot of entries!

An alternative would also be to archive the untouched feed, clear the cache, close TB, and then delete feeditems.rdf - when TB is started the the feeds should update with all items (note: I think that some feeds will have a time expiry on them so that is why archiving would be important).





OS - Virtual Machine
 
Jun 24, 2010
 
63


Installing Parallels Tools into a Kubuntu 9.10 guest VM

Close ...
Kubuntu had installed quite nicely into a VM but as is the way with Linux the user is inevitably drawn to the wonderful experience of the command line which is about as friendly as a lawyer shaking hands with a shark.

A lot of advice casually tells the user to mount the cd and type in a string of commands - good stuff, that is why Windows makes money and Apple make the GUI so good that the terminal is not really needed.

Anyway after having success in resizing my Windows VM I decided to revisit the Kubuntu VM and install the Tools.

At this point I had just upgraded the Parallels 5.0 to the latest build 9344 and the Kubuntu was still the 9.10 release.

With the VM working use the Virtual Machine>Install Parallels Tools option. This has the effect of inserting the Tools ISO into the CD device and then a message talking about terminals,command lines, etc.
At this point rather than go straight for the terminal I double-clicked the CD/USB device icon in the tray which proceeded to give a box showing 'Devices recently plugged in' (as it happened the CD was also mounted automatically).

The Tools ISO was showing so I clicked it and selected 'Open with File Manager' (it is called Dolphin in this distribution).

A window opened titled 'cdrom0-dolphin' and showing the root folder of the Tools ISO which happened to have an install.sh file in it.

I then went to Menu>Tools>Open Terminal and the terminal opened titled 'cdrom0: bash'. The command line showed - blatman@blatkubuntu: /media/ cdrom0$

At this point I tried -

sudo -s sh install

and lo the Parallels Tools Installer opened. ( I felt I was winning at this stage!)

Hit the NEXT button and it went off and downloaded some missing components , did the install and gave a fine SUCCESS message. Just hit the REBOOT and the VM rebooted perfectly and the mouse worked fine between the host/guest.

Bloody marvellous!

Postscript:

The Kubuntu allows for an online update from 9.10 to 10.04 LTS release so I tried this - what a joke.

It all worked just fine and then the reboot - yup you guessed it I was left with the LOGIN prompt at the stupid command line.

The Answer:

Download the full ISO and load it into the VM CD and set the VM to boot from the CD.

Install 10.04 from the ISO - need to answer a few questions (Language, Partition, Time-Zone, Password, etc).

Interestingly the default option is to manually LOGIN but I selected AUTO-LOGIN (maybe this was the problem with the online install/update). Anyway, the new install worked fine but the Parallels Tools needed to be re-installed.

Things happened slightly differently this time.
When Parallel Tools Re-install was selected the CD was not automatically mounted so I opened Dolphin (the file manager) and selected Parallels Tools from the lefthand Places menu which gives the Parallels folder.
Again use Menu>Tools>Open Terminal and the command line read -

blatman@blatman-kubuntu: /media/ Parallels Tools$

At this point I did -

sudo -s sh install

and all was well again.

I must admit that the Linux distributions are getting better (fonts still a bit rough to my eye) and maybe in a decade or so will catch Apple . . .

Addendum:

Also tried installing Parallels Tools on a Mandriva One 2007 VM without success.

I think the problem may be down to the ONE being a tailored install of Mandriva and it doesn't allow the install of required components. The procedure tried below may very well work with a standard install of Mandriva 2007.
Procedure:

Run Command - kwrite Options - Run As Different User Username - root PW - your root pw RUN

Browse to /etc/kde/kdm/ and edit kdmrc file (this allows root login from the KDE GUI)

allowrootlogin=true

The above may not be necessary since I didn't use the GUI in the end but that is how you do it anyway.

Do Install Parallels Tools from the Virtual Machine menu - this will load the CD.

Run Command - konsole (as root)

mount /dev/cdrom /mnt/cdrom

cd /mnt/cdrom ( can do ls to list the files)

sh install (this opens up the installer as above)
NEXT is pressed in installer and a message about missing components appears.

Components missing - gcc, make, kernel services

This is where the Mandriva ONE fails since the components can't be downloaded whereas with Kubuntu it just worked OK. Again, I suspect a standard install of Mandriva ONE 2007 would work OK.



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