Author Archives: Billy Barrow

Update On Listen

I ran listen on a friends computer (one where it doesn’t start) and I found the problem in the Mono run time. I don’t know how to fix that, but I am going to try and port the program to Python, with a better UI. To all the people having trouble running this application I apologize.

Thank you for your time

Fix screen blank on laptop

Intro

A friend of mine told me this trick, and on a few occasions I have found it useful.

 A friend of mine’s laptop screen died. It just stopped working, you don’t even see the BIOS splash screen. This was a bit of a problem.

The Fix
Okay, you a probably thinking “oh no, I am going to have to do a lot of hardware stuff” however you won’t even need a screwdriver, so don’t worry!
There are 8 easy steps to fix this:
Shutdown Computer
  1. Somehow shutdown your computer, you may have to crash it
  2. Unplug your laptop from the wall
  3. Remove the battery from the laptop
  4. Press the power button
  5. Press the power button again except this time hold it down for 5 seconds
  6. Put the battery back into the laptop
  7. Plug the computer back into the wall
  8. Turn on the laptop

If this does not solve the problem then there is a more major problem with your laptop.

Good Luck!

A Bug In Listen

A Bug In Listen
Okay, so I am understanding that there is a bug with my application Listen. I am working hard to fix it – but it is working on my computer. After one bad review I was thinking that I should look into it, and after yet another (in Spanish) it seemed to be more urgent.
The bug is that it does not work on some computers.
So I just want to let you know that I am trying very hard to fix this.
Sorry for any inconvenience.

Listen

My new app “Listen” for Linux Ubuntu is the first of many applications I will write for Ubuntu, as I have changed all (or almost all) of my computers OS’s to Ubuntu, an OS I would recommend to anyone.

What It Does
The application is made for letting you listen to any audio input device through your speakers, this includes microphones and bluetooth devices.
How Do I Use It?
First of all you open the application, then you select a device to enable in the drop down list, after you have selected the device you want to use, click (or rather un-click) the mute button. To disable the device again click the mute button. You may have more than one device on at a time, however the application must be running to keep any device enabled, if you close the application all devices will be remuted.
How Do I Get It?
 
You can download it in the Ubuntu Software Centre, click here to open the Listen page in the Ubuntu Software CenterUPDATE:
There seems to be a bug were Listen does not work on some computers – I am trying hard to fix the problem. For more info see www.pcthingz.com

ANOTHER UPDATE:
Listen 2.0 is out, seehere

Mad Dog Domains fix "(7) Cannot Connect To Host" error in Zen-Cart

Intro
I was setting an e-commerce site up for a friend using MadDog Domains and used their installer for Zen-Cart. We had set up zen-cart the way we wanted it but when we hooked it up to PayPal and tested it there was a long wait and then finally we got this error “(7) Cannot Connect To Host”.
What Happened
After doing a fair bit of research we decided to change hosting providers, we have read CURL is required for communications to PayPal and after looking at MadDog’s help file there was nothing to say that CURL was installed on their Windows hosting (however CURL was available on their linux hosting). The new hosting provider was windows too (as we have some asp.net scripts).
When I tried Zen-Cart on the new hosting provider I got the same error, after doing more research I found out that the “CURL PROXY REQUIRED” setting should always be set to false and as of Zen-Cart 1.5.0 the “CURL PROXY\ REQUIRED” setting cannot be edited as it should never be changed to true, the MadDog installer sets it to true when it installs. You can see the problem.
The Fix
This fix may work on MadDog however I have not tested it and there are no guarantees as the fix was done on phpMyAdmin on Arvixe web hosting…
I went into the Zen-Cart database and changed the value of “CURL_PROXY_REQUIRED” in the “zen_configuration” table from “True” to “False” and that solved the problem. If this doesn’t work for you the error must be caused by another problem.

 More Information

We ended up using a Linux server for serving Zen-Cart. The shopping cart is for video downloads and the first thing we noticed is that the page loaded much quicker! The reason we changed to a Linux server is because we had major download problems with the Windows server – these were fixed as soon as we switched to the Linux server. Through all of this the Arvixe support has been phenomenal.

If you wish you can see the shopping cart here!!!

"BOOTMGR is compressed" error message

Intro
This post tells you how to fix a compressed BOOTMGR file. This is for Windows Vista & Windows 7 only

What Happened
 
I was cleaning out my C drive, when I was done I only had 4 GB left, (better than 2 GB but still not that good) so I right clicked on my C drive then clicked properties and clicked the checkbox that said  “Compress this drive to save disk space”. So I clicked apply. It was going to take 4 hours so I cancelled it. Later on I needed to restart my computer, It shut down but when it turned back on it said “BOOTMGR is compressed press CTRL + ALT + DEL to restart”… Oh Dear!
  
The Fix

I got the cd that I used to install Windows and put it in the CD drive and turned on my computer. I pressed a key when it said “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD”. When it was done loading I clicked next.

  Then I clicked Repair Your Computer” and then clicked “Command Prompt”

In the command prompt window I typed “C:” and pressed enter.
Then “bootrec /FixMbr” and pressed enter.
Then “bootrec /FixBoot” and pressed enter.
Then “bootrec /rebuildBCD” and pressed enter.
I typed “exit” and pressed enter.

I clicked “Restart” and my computer booted just fine!


Warning

It is not recommended to compress any of your hard drives as it can slow your computer down and corrupt your drive and if it did that you would lose all your files. You can also get the “BOOTMGR is compressed” error message. If this is why you’re here, after completing the steps above click start > computer, right click “Local Disk C:” and UNCHECK “Compress this drive to save disk space” click apply and DO NOT cancel!!!

How To Remove A Bootsector Virus

Intro

The other day a friend dropped her computer off to get us to fix some of her problems (BSOD, Viruses, etc). When I powered it up, the virus she said was on there, was not there. Still I removed AVG and installed Avast antivirus.

What Happened

Avast displayed a message saying that we had a virus that attached itself to the boot sector and asked if we wanted Avast to remove it. I clicked yes and I got told that to do this I must restart the computer, so I did that and the Windows Vista boot diagnostic came up (this was not meant to happen) and tried to fix the problem and restarted itself, the boot diagnostic came up again! and it just went into a loop

The Fix
I downloaded the Windows Vista recovery disk (64bit Download*, 32bit Download**) I unzipped the zip file and burnt the iso image to a CD. I put the CD into the computer, rebooted it and pressed a key when it said “press any key to boot from CD or DVD”, waited for it to boot then clicked next (don’t worry this will not wipe your computer or reinstall vista). Now click “Repair Your Computer” or press “R” on the keyboard wait for it to find your vista installation and click Next. Now click Command Prompt.
Now I type (into command prompt) “bcdedit /export C:\bcd_backup” and press enter.
Now we want to move to the directory “C:\boot” to do that type “cd C:\boot” and press enter.
Next you need to type “attrib bcd -s -h -r” and press enter.
Now we need to rename the bcd (just so we have a backup copy). Type “ren C:\boot\bcd bcd.old” and hit enter.
We can’t leave it like that as you would have no BCD! Now type “bootrec /RebuildBcd” and hit enter and type Y when it says “Add installation to boot list?”.
Close command prompt by typing “exit” and pressing enter or by clicking the X
Now press “Restart” and your computer should boot correctly!
* Download link from digiex.net
** Download link from digiex.net

Some of the steps are from this video