Samsung Galaxy S4 Tweaks

I “bought”, or received a free Samsung Galaxy S4 with contract, from Best Buy on Black Friday. I fell in love with the phone instantly.  It was quite the upgrade from my original DROID RAZR.
Anyway, i wanted to share some must have tweaks are below:

– SoundAbout – http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.woodslink.android.wiredheadphoneroutingfix&hl=en
One complaint I have with the phone is when you have headphones plugged in, the software assumes you are using a headset and doesn’t transmit audio through a bluetooth, ie a car. SoundAbout, even the free version fixes this issue and makes it a must have app for anyone who uses a audio cable and bluetooth in their car.

– Reordering the App List – http://www.fixedbyvonnie.com/2013/08/how-to-organize-the-apps-on-your-galaxy-s4/
By default Samsung sorts the App Drawer by install date, making Apps really hard to find. Simply hit Options… View Type… Alpha.

– Disable S Voice and use Google Search instead on double home key tap.
Turn off S Voice or go to S Voice settings and disable home key shortcut then install Home2 Shortcut.
a href=”https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eikatou0.appspot.home2shortcut&hl=en”>https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.eikatou0.appspot.home2shortcut&hl=en

– Turn Off Crappy Appys!
Settings…Application Manager (Under More tab). Simply select the App and choose Turn Off.
S4 Disabled Apps

– 25 Great S4 Features
http://www.gottabemobile.com/2013/05/24/25-samsung-galaxy-s4-hidden-features/

More to come, but wanted to share a couple of tips for my S4 homies.

 

Xbox Live Gold Free Month (Legit)

I was looking for a legit free way to get a free month of Xbox live. Gold is actually required to watch online video services for which you pay for. Anyway, leave it to Cheap Ass Gamer to have someone from their awesome community to post a working free month link.

XBL DirectLink: https://live.xbox.com/en-US/Subscriptions?Campaign=gff-live-welcome-offer&cid=gff-live-welcome-offer&ru=https%3A%2F%2Flive.xbox.com%2Fen-US%2FCampaign%2Fgff-live-welcome-offer%2FBillingInformation&aru=https%3A%2F%2Flive.xbox.com%2Fen-US%2FCampaign%2Fgff-live-welcome-offer%2FBillingInformation

What is the catch? Just link a payment method to the account, which is setup automatically to re-new after a month.

Make sure you cancel right away, simply log in to http://live.xbox.com and change your auto renewal to off.

https://live.xbox.com/en-US/Subscriptions/AutoRenewalAcknowledgement

Credit also goes to my great friend who followed the Cheap Ass Gamer folks and got me some GREAT deals on Xbox games 360 games, back when they were relevant. See my last post about resolving the Red Ring E37 issue :).

Source: http://www.cheapassgamer.com/topic/320984-free-month-of-xbox-live-gold-is-working-again/?hl=%20xbox%20%20live%20%20free

 

Xbox E73 Error and USB Flash Drive Not Recognized (Resolved)

I recently was given a Xbox 360 from my friend on the condition that it was mine if I was able to fix the Red Ring of Death (RROD) issue.

After a few days of tinkering and researching I was able to resolve the RROD and furthermore overcome not having a Xbox Hard Drive, even though I should be getting one from eBay in a few days.

1) How to resolve the Xbox E73 Error (Workaround) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67sbmlJ2_ek&list=FLtHHt9rpMNoLVOKQEAQHmGQ&index=1

Solution: Use two paperclips to stop the rear fans. After 10 – 15 minutes the RROD pattern will change from bottom left, to the top half flashing red. Remove the paper clips, un-plug and re-plug in the cables and the system should boot normally.

2) Original Xbox Flash Drive Unrecognized – http://shkfon.tumblr.com/post/26816616497/updating-xbox360-without-memory-card

Solution: Burn or copy a an Xbox firmware update to a CD/USB drive, ironically, boot the system, choose yes to update. When the console reboots, you will be informed that the update cannot be applied, however the important update has already been applied and the USB device should now be visible from the system menu.

I wanted to pass these on as they took quite a bit of digging and trial to resolve. It is worth noting that the E73 error is not a safe fix, nor is it a long term solution.

 

Compress WinSxS to Save Space on Primary Windows Partition

I, like others I am sure, made the mistake of not buying a large enough Windows 7 primary SSD partition on my desktop PC. With 32 GB SSD and only 30 GB actually free, space became hard to come by.

For those looking to evaluate free disk space, I recommend WinDirStat, which provides an easy way to dive in to files and folders which are using most of the hard drive space.

Aside from the Microsoft Office 2013, which appeared to offer no installation options and installed on my primary hard drive partition by default, a majority of the space was taken up by C:\Windows\WinSxS, a whopping 12 GB. This folder is mainly used for rolling back of service packs, and Windows Updates, which rarely need done, therefore compressing this directory is the best option.

The issue with compressing this directory is there are services and separate windows user accounts which make access to this folder impossible. That is why I wanted to share a reference I used to free up several gigabytes of space on my primary hard drive partition by compressing the WinSxS folder.

http://dandar3.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-to-ntfs-compress-windows-winsxs.html

WinSxS Compression

Regarding the Office 2013 issue, I copied the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office 15 folder to D:\Program Files\ and created a Symbolic Link which freed up several more GBs.

This is all to prolong the inevitable, which is upgrading to a new SSD and most likely upgrading to Windows 8.1. Let me know if you have any questions I can answer.

 

Farcry 3 Launch Error “Failed to execute command: farcry3_d3d11.exe (error 193) Please make sure this executable file exists.”

Issue

Steam Farcry 3 Launch Error: “Failed to execute command: farcry3_d3d11.exe (error 193)
Please make sure this executable file exists.”

Resolution (Workaround)

The main issue seems to be on the steam side and the path that is used not correct. You can add it as a non-steam game for overlay and convenience.

Farcry 3 Launch Workaround (Special Uplay Steam Shortcut)
1. Browse (D:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Far Cry 3\bin\) or C:\ if your steam folder is on the C Drive.
2. Create a shortcut for farcry3_d3d11.exe.
3. Right click on new Farcry 3 (shortcut)… Click Properties
4. Append -uplay_steam_mode -language=English -steam_mode AFTER the quotes on the target field.

The full target path should be: “D:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Far Cry 3\bin\farcry3_d3d11.exe” -uplay_steam_mode -language=English -steam_mode

Farcry 3 Steam Uplay Shortcut

Hopefully steam will fix this issue, so a workaround is not required.

See full steam thread:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/220240/discussions/0/846938351074429433/

 

Amazing Looking Fallout New Vegas

A friend recently sent me a link to an amazing looking Fallout New Vegas powered by ENB and some choice mods. I thought I would include some notes to help others through the process.

Inspiration
http://enbdev.com/enbseries/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1220&sid=aa3acc4abed4f963b75cfff26bb18f6d

Mods
ENB v.161 (Copy WrapperVersion\d3d9.dll to fallout directory) – http://enbdev.com/mod_falloutnv_v0161.htm
– ENHANCED SHADERS – ENB 161 – http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/49882/?
FNV Project Reality MkI – http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/42180/?
– Blackout R_Evolution ENBhttp://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/48203//?
– Depth of Field Mod - http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/35615//?
– NMCs Texture Pack – http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/43135//?
– ArchiveInvalidationInvalidated (For NMC) – http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/37004/?
– Fallout 4GB (Increases available memory to Fallout New Vegas) – http://newvegas.nexusmods.com/mods/35262/?

Instructions
– Copy ENB D3d9 to Fallout Directory
Copy Enhanced Shaders PROJECT REALITY – ENB 161 files following the readme.
– Copy FNV Project Reality MkI to Data directory
– Copy Depth of Field Mod to Data Directory
Copy Blackout R_Evolution to Fallout Directory
– Extract NMC Texture pack to Fallout Directory
– Rename Fallout New Vegas\Data\Shaders\shaderpackage013.sdp to _bak. Copy and rename shaderpackage019.sdp to shaderpackage013.sdp (Part of Weapon Transparancy Fix)
– Modify Fallout.ini (My Games\FalloutNV), set bAllow30Shaders=0
– Modify your “Fallout_default.ini” which is located in “Steam\SteamApps\common\fallout new vegas” and search for SArchiveList, once found add “Fallout – ArchiveInvalidation.bsa” to the list before “Fallout – Textures.bsa”. Search for bInvalidateOlderFiles and change it from 0 to 1
– Run Game Launcher, click options HDR enabled, anisotropic filtering off, in-game and/or driver-based anti-aliasing off
– Enable mods via Data files
– Launch the game, launch fnv4gb.exe when using Fallout New Vegas 4GB version.
– Set Depth of Field via Inventory Armor (POV Mod interface). This fixes the transparent gun issue.

Enjoy, and if you have questions, let me know.

 

Multiple Statements in a single Command Prompt Line

I have been working with Windows as long as I can remember and I love to learn new tricks to save time. I recently found out how to run multiple commands in a single line in a command prompt.

Launch the command prompt, Start… Run… CMD, OK. Need to release and renew your network adapter, insert “ipconfig /release && ipconfig /renew”. Immediately after the connection information is released, the renew statement will run.

Sure that is useful, but if you want to go a step further try a timed shutdown or reboot of windows. Use “ping -n 30 localhost && shutdown /f /r” to wait close to 30 seconds and reboot. If you wanted to reboot a server in 10 minutes and notify in logged in users, “/msg rebooting server in 10 minutes && ping -n 600 localhost && shutdown /f /r”.

Last tip is redirecting output to prevent the ping or commands from showing. Simply add > NUL to the line. “ping -n 5 > NUL && echo “unseen text” > NUL” The statements will execute with no output.

 

WP-Syntax – AJAX Code Example

I wanted to look for a WordPress plugin that supported formatted code snippets. Probably not the best out there, but seems to do the trick is WP-Syntax.

Client side JavaScript receiving JSON formatted data from PHP:

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function ajax_get_json(){
		var hr = new XMLHttpRequest();
		hr.open("GET", "getTable.php", true);
		hr.setRequestHeader("Content-type", "application/json");
		hr.onreadystatechange = function() {
			if(hr.readyState == 4 && hr.status == 200) {
				var data = JSON.parse(hr.responseText);
				var output = document.getElementById("output");
				var debug_label = document.getElementById("debug_label");
				var rows = data;
 
				if (JSON.stringify(data).length !=  dataLength){
				debug_label.innerHTML = JSON.stringify(data);
				for (var i in rows)
				{
				  var row = rows[i];          
 
				  var id = rows[i].id;
				  var name = rows[i].name;
				  var msg = rows[i].msg;
				  var dt_received = rows[i].dt_received
 
					output.innerHTML += "<b>"+name+" (<i>"+dt_received+"</i>) </b>: "+msg;
					output.innerHTML +="

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";
				}
				dataLength = JSON.stringify(data).length;
				//Scroll chat
				scroll_chat()
				}
				document.getElementById("status_label").innerHTML = "Waiting...";
			}
		}
		// Send the data to <strong class='StrictlyAutoTagBold'>PHP</strong> now... and wait for response to update the status div
		hr.send(null); // Actually execute the request
		document.getElementById("status_label").innerHTML = "processing...";
	}

Server side PHP pulling up table and returning JSON:

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<!--?php 
 
  include 'conn.php'; //$con $dbs, $tableName
 
  //--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  // 2) Query database for data
  //--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  $result = mysql_query("SELECT id, msg, name, dt_received FROM $tableName");          //query
  $array = mysql_fetch_row($result);                          //fetch result    
 
  $data = array();
while ( $row = mysql_fetch_array($result, MYSQL_ASSOC))
{
 
foreach($row as $key =--> $value)
    {    $arr[$key] = $value; }
	$data[] = $arr;
  //$data[id] = $row[0];
  //$data[name] = $row[1];
}
 
  //--------------------------------------------------------------------------
  // 3) echo result as json 
  //--------------------------------------------------------------------------
echo json_encode( $data );
?&gt;

Oddly enough this was the first time I worked with JSON. One nice feature of this solution is that the data is an associative array, vice a standard array. This means that on the JavaScript side array values could be pulled using the syntax “arrayObj[‘keyvalue’];”, vice “arrayObj[(arbitrary number)]”

Kudos to Exec-PHP  – a WordPress Plugin for in-line PHP code within posts.
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/exec-php/

 

YouTube+ & Motivations

Well first of it was to my surprise that YouTube prompted me upon logging in to YouTube starting 2/1 that I need to use my real name, and my avatar from Google+.  Well this is a strong reminder of A) YouTube’s original reminder of where they prompted you to use your full name, and B) Google Play store making you use a full name for reviews.

This all seems to be some big ploy to make thing less anonymous and use a single Google profile between services. We shall see how this works, but overall it seems to bring Google’s services more toward a centralization, and less anonymous existence. A part of me says, yes I need a pseudonym  to operate under for protection. Another part of me says, who cares, why not give your true identity out?

If you are still holding out on updating, ensure you make the correct selection when prompting, as I didn’t and I ended up with an additional YouTube account.

 

JavaScript, Timezone Conversion the Quick and Simple Way

So I am back to my good old friend, JavaScript. You know that friend who you knew, but you never really had a reason to hang out with him lately. Since HTML 5 and many more browser standards came around your good old friend from high school brought back some reasons to hang out with him other than to catch up.

A few lessons from JavaScript that I learned is that times ain’t what they used to be. By that I mean you can use a JavaScript to make it a easy time converter. It does not take in to account DST automatically, but thanks to the structure of the Date class the JavaScript there is an easy to convert time zones.

What brings me back is in High School I used to try and tackle dates and time zones by adding and subtracting raw dates. One easy way I found you can add and subtract dates from JavaScript is to use milliseconds (MS).

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/convert-the-local-time-to-another-time-zone-with-this-javascript/6016329

~Example Math:

var newTZ = new Date(36000 * (hours))

What I did not know at the time, is you can take a date and convert against the time MS which is time since Jan 1, 1970 aka default date.

What is funny, is I used to actually try and manually calculate the months, days and years by adding and subtracting dates. Little did I know you could bring the dates down to the lowest common denominator, MS, and convert away.

Lesson learned there is always an easier way. Feel free to leave a common with easier JavaScript date conversion methods.