Woot! I’ll Get Android Oreo

At the beginning of April I switched to Google Fi from Virgin Mobile because VM canceled the low cost plan I used for the past couple years. The replacement plan from VM was more expensive than Google Fi for the amount of voice, text, and data I need.

The big catch was that my small LG Pulse <$100 smartphone would not work because Google Fi only works with the official Google phones. I chose the Nexus 5X because it was only $250 after the Google Fi discount.

Fast forward to a few months ago when Google published an official update and upgrade life cycle for its phones. I was bummed out that they said there are no guarantees of Android version updates for the Nexus 5X after September this year because I thought new versions came out later than that. This is one case where I’m very glad I was wrong, Android Oreo has been released, I’ll be getting the upgrade and the new features look great!

Spring Creators Update Problem

Although it’s close to releasing the fall creator’s update some PCs are just now getting the spring release. My Windows 10 Home test PC has been trying to install the update the past couple days and it almost got through it. On reboot Windows failed to start and showed this error, Error 0xc0000017: There isn’t enough memory available to create a ramdisk device.

I used the solution on this page How to fix error 0xc0000017 when installing Windows 10 to clear out the memory that was marked as bad (after running diagnostics that showed the memory is OK). My Win10 Home PC is a testing only device with nothing important on windows and has a dual boot Ubuntu setup that I no longer use, I’ve opted to do a complete reinstall.

Update 1:

Turns out a complete re-install does not remove the dual boot like I think it did in some previous Windows versions. Bravo Microsoft that is the right thing to do even though it made my task a little harder. How-To Geek has the instructions I used to get rid of the no longer needed dual boot setup. How to Uninstall a Linux Dual-Boot System From Your Computer

Update 2:

Decided I should also remove the Windows Vista recovery partition. Can’t do it in Disk Manager you need to use the CLI diskpart program.
Ref: How to Delete a Windows Recovery Partition

 

Courier New Font Broken

The Windows 10 Creator’s Update messed up the appearance of the trusty old Courier New font. Most users don’t use that font but for decades it has been a favorite in terminal windows and code editors for programmers and system admins. This Microsoft Community thread, Creator’s Update – Courier New, details the issue and proposes a couple solutions. I didn’t like either solution so I simply switched to the modern Consolas font that is included in modern versions of Windows.

Migration in Process

I’m migrating my blog from self hosting on my shared Linux host Go Daddy domain to this shiny new version hosted by WordPress. I originally set it up back in October 2005 on AK Web Hosting (now out of business) and migrated ti to Go Daddy in 2006. It was fun learning how to do all the maintenance work. However the maintenance work has become drudgery and the ancient install started throwing more PHP errors than I wanted to figure out how to fix. After seeing ads on the TWIT network  I decided to come here where I pay experts to manage the drudgery for me.

Unfortunately I took the old site down over a month ago so I couldn’t do an easy export/import. I had to restore the site to a local install, and since I didn’t take the time to make the local install accessible out side the LAN, the images didn’t come through. Also likely do to the character set changes over the last decade some apostrophes and quotation marks didn’t translate properly. I’ll be working through the old pages and fixing the quote marks and replacing the images for a while.

The migration is complete! If you see any problems let me know.

Microchip Support is Amazing

We had one of our Microchip ICD3‘s fail last week so I put in a support ticket via the web site. I figured I wouldn’t hear back for a couple days because Microchip is right in the thick of their annual Masters engineering event. To my surprise they called me soon after to ask about the issue, find out if it was urgent (it wasn’t we keep a spare on hand) and to apologize in advance for possibly slower than normal responses due to the Masters event. Today I got a notice that a replacement ICD3 has been sent out.

Wow even with the event going on they still were able to get this all done in less than one week. Thank you so much Microchip your customer service is amazing.

PS – Their products are great too!

Microsoft Desperately Wants to be Apple

This morning I got the email from Microsoft saying they are downgrading OneDrive to 5Gig making it as useless as iCloud. They also keep pushing out Windows 10 upgrades disguised as recommended updates to people who have declined or rolled back after upgrade incompatibilities as they desperately want to be able to handle their OS like OS-X. They are delusional if they think they can get away with treating their customers the way Apple does and still maintain a large market share (there’s a reason why Apple has never grown beyond being a niche PC company).

It’s sad to see a once great company fall to such low levels. Oh well, as we move forward through the century Google, Amazon and Apple will continue to take away Microsoft’s business. The only remaining question is when will, not if, Google or Amazon make a concerted effort to take away Microsoft’s corporate customers.

Rescuing Windows Movie Maker Projects

I’ve used Microsoft’s Windows Movie Maker for simple video editing tasks for many years. Over the past few weeks I’ve been organizing and verifying all my video editing software and old projects. This was when I remembered that I’d never been able to get my old Windows XP Movie Maker projects working in the currently available version. Searching around the web it appeared that there was no solution. Then I came up with this simple solution.

  1. Install the Vista version of Movie Maker from Blaine’s Movie Maker Blog. It will be listed as Windows Movie Maker 6.0 in your start menu.
  2. Install the current version of Movie Maker from Microsoft. It will be listed as Movie Maker in your start menu.
  3. Open the old XP Movie Maker project in the Vista version and save it as a new project. You may need to edit the titles.
  4. Open the New Vista Movie Maker project in the current version and save it as a new project.

Android Audio Problem

I’ve hit this twice now when the Google App has updated so I figured I should note it for future reference.

Symptom 1, trying to record using the stock voice recorder on my LG phone I get a message that says Cannot start voice recording while other application is using audio.  Symptom 2, the alarm clock/timer doesn’t make any sound.

Solution, go to Google Settings -> Search & Now -> Voice -> “Ok Google” detection and turn off the From any screen option.

LibreOffice Windows Explorer Extension Problems

I’ve been struggling to resolve some odd infrequent problems with LibreOffice crashing for about a year now. The problems were not fixed by uninstalling and deleting my user profile as well as many other suggestions that had resolved similar issues for other users. The worst part was how usually the attempts would appear to help but it was always just a perception not a reality.

A couple of weeks ago I upgraded my NAS to a QNAP TS-231 and the problems got worse. I tried a whole bunch of things to fix the problems and nothing really worked. Yesterday the problems got severe enough (trashed ODB file) and repeatable enough that I decided to take some time to research them carefully.

It turns out at least some of the various problems were actually caused by the LibreOffice Windows Explorer Extension which had been a problem for me twice before since 2012. The solution is to simply remove the Explorer Extension as shown in my 2012 post. Now that this feature has caused me major problems for a third time I’m going to have to remember and recommend that whenever installing LibreOffice on a PC that will access files from a *nix based NAS, use the custom option when installing and avoid the Windows Explorer Extension like the plague.