Saturday, November 30, 2013

Fix it: Deleting manufacturer bookmarks

I bought an Sony Xperia SP and when I launched the browser Chrome, I noticed there was a folder named "Sony" that I couldn't delete. Nothing in the browsers could be deleted. And to make matters worse, Chrome keeps defaulted to that folder most of the time I launched it.

I searched Google and I came upon this forum post on the XDA forums. As mentioned in the forum, to disable the folder, go into settings then apps find the app "com.android.providers.partnerbookmarks." Then click "Disable" and then "force stop." You could reboot the phone if necessary.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Info: Free Norton upgrade within subscription!

Edit: All the links to the latest version of Norton Internet Security (NIS), Norton AntiVirus (NAV), and Norton 360 Standard (N360s) and Norton 360 Premier (N360P) are forward compatible so that the links would download the latest version whenever you visit and I no need to update the links every year.
You may not realize it but starting from 2006, Symantec has allowed all users with a valid subscription of their Norton software to make a FREE upgrade to the latest version (Version 2012 as of the publishing of this post. Just go to http://www.norton.com/nuc to check if you qualify! Alternatively, you can download the direct installer from these URLS. Be sure to download the latest version to the product you already have! For example, Norton Internet Security users cannot upgrade to Norton AntiVirus and vice versa. Also for Norton 360 make sure you check if you have standard or premier (25 GB of online storage) and download the file accordingly!
Unless the previous version is glitching, Symantec recommends an over the top installation. However, I prefer to use the Norton removal tool first (http://www.norton.com/nrt).
  1. Download the required files to upgrade
  2. Download Norton removal tool from http://www.norton.com/nrt
  3. Back up identity safe if you are using it (Norton AntiVirus doesn't have identity safe so they need not to worry).
  4. Disconnect your internet by turning off the router or turning off the wifi switch or removing the cable.
  5. Uninstall the Symantec product through the conventional way (Through add/remove)
  6. Restart
  7. Run the Norton removal tool you downloaded earlier.
  8. Restart
  9. Go to %programdata% and delete the "Norton" and "NortonInstaller." DON'T delete any other files other than those two.
  10. Install the product from the installation file you downloaded in step 1.
  11. Restore identity safe

Fix It: Changing the size of the icons of Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10

Update

This hack does NOT work in Internet Explorer 11 (IE11).

Ignore this bit. This is to help people find stuff faster using "ctrl" F. This is just a list of keywords. Size, icon, Internet Explorer 9, bigger, smaller, big, menu.

This "fix it" article will attempt to enlarge the size of the command bar in Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 10 Unlike Internet Explorer 8, in Internet Explorer 9 and later, there is no easy way to enlarge the icon size.

Is your the icon in your version of Internet Explorer 9 as small as in the below screenshot?


 And do you want to make it large again as in the below screenshot?



Well then I have a solution for you, but it ain't pretty.

You would have to manually edit the registry. Open up registry editor by typing in "regedit". Then navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\CommandBar. After that right click on SmallIcons and select modify. Change the value from 1 to 0 [don't type in this part ("zero")] to renable large icons. Or else, just download the below file zip and merge the included registry key with your registry. The zip file also contains the registry to make your command bar small again.

The file reads:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\CommandBar] "SmallIcons"=dword:00000000
https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0B1Tan13i1a63Njk2ZGI1NzktNTJhNC00MzU4LTgyZmUtZTAxNTA4ZTYzOTFj&hl=en

In Internet Explorer 8, to make Command bar icons larger follow the below procedures
  1. Right-click the Command bar
  2. Point to Customize
  3. Click Use Large Icons (after clicking there should be a checkmark in front of it)
To make the icons small, follow this procedure and click Use Large Icons again.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Info: Older The Techy posts

As you probably know -- if you're following me from My Opera -- that Opera has decided to shut down their popular blogging platform MyOpera.  This was met with chagrin from fellow MyOpera bloggers.  I have transferred three of my most interesting MyOpera post to Blogger.com. The transferring process is very tedious so I will not be transferring all of my blog.  Older posts are available here, courtesy of Waybackmachine.

Rant: Music with very similiar chords

When I was watching the trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, I noticed an eerily familiar music.




The song had the rift from "The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm" from the movie Lord of the Rings.







However, comments on the trailer tell me that it is from the movie Sunshine.




It is also used in Kick-Ass, also by the same composer John Murphy:





Digging back even further, I noticed that the "rift" of the music is very similar to the Windows XP installation music:






Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: Windows 8

This blog post was posted from a Windows 8 PC! However, it was expanded and edited on a Windows 7 PC.

Windows 8 is released today on October 26, 2012. I went to my local PC World store to test it out. My first impression of it is that it is "different." It marks a radical difference from the Windows we use to know. Starting from Windows 95 up to Windows 7, the basic Windows interface looks pretty much the same: the start menu in the lower right hand corner and the desktop.

Boot up process

With Windows 8, the first thing you would notice upon booting up is that the BIOS splash screen is gone. So as the Windows start up screen. These are now combined into one. Windows 8 start up sound is disabled by default but if you turn it on, it sounds exactly like Windows Vista. Also, it boots up into the Metro Windows Start Menu (or as Windows call it Modern UI) rather tan the desktop. Note: For legal reasons, Microsoft wants users to call the Metro UI as Modern UI. In addition, if you want to go back to the traditional desktop, you have to click the desktop icon on the Modern Start Menu. That will throw you to the desktop, which feels like an app since it too can be closed by dragging downwards. There isn't any way to bypass the start menu and boot straight into Windows (well there are many ways but they are merely hacks as they're not "official" i.e. not supported natively)

Windows 8: A tale of two interfaces

Windows 8 feels bolted on. Settings made in the Windows 8 metro screen does not necessarily translate to the desktop app and vice versa. There are different settings for metro app. For example, when I log out of Chrome on the desktop app, it still signs me in in the Modern UI Chrome app. Also, I can't delete users from Chrome app.
I feel Windows is designed for touch as I find it easier to browse Windows 8 on a touch PC than with a mouse and keyboard. For example, with the Internet Explorer Modern UI app, to bring up the URL bar after it disappear, on a touch PC, you just swipe downwards. However, with a mouse and keyboard, I spent about 10 minutes doing various actions. I even consulted the PCWorld sales guys and he doesn't know. In the end of random clicking, I found that right clicking on a blank space in the app brings up the start menu. Another example is that to close Modern UI apps, you will have to click on the top and drag it downwards or press "alt+f4". I also do not like all the sideways scrolling that is involved in Windows 8.
Another chagrin I have with Windows 8 is that stuffs are thrown all over the place and it's hard to find it. Also, searching for the stuff is also one step longer Windows 8 search does not search files. There is an extra step to choose that. In Windows 7 to find the option to delete Internet Explorer history, I have to click on start and then type in "delete"--> Start --> Delete to find the option to delete IE histories.

In Windows 8, it's right hand corner (or lower right hand corner or the start button on your keyboard) --> Search. Then type in "delete" and select settings and then you will find the option to delete the history.Win8 Start --> Select Settings --> Delete
Step 1: Step 2:
Windows Explorer (or in Windows 8 lingo File Explorer) now sports a new ribbon UI. This interface was first introduced in Microsoft Office 2007. Gone are the menus. File Explorer with Ribbon showing:


File Explorer with Ribbon hidden (default):

I find this irritating since file options is hard to find. In Windows 7 it's tools --> Folder options:
However, in Windows 8 it's View --> Folder options

In the desktop settings, Aerosnap to view two windows side by side still work.

The option to switch apps remains as alt+tab. It can be used to switch between desktop and metro apps.

Windows 8 task switcher:



Windows 8 task switcher with metro apps and desktop programs running: 


Windows 7 task switcher:


However, aero switcher no longer present. Just in case you guys don't know what that is, this is aeroswitcher in Windows 7:


Pressing that combo brings up this screen:
Windows in Windows 8 feels flatter and more "digital looking." Unlike Windows 7, which sports a glossy look, the Windows 8 windows feels flat and bland. Here are the two Explorer windows shown side by side with the Windows 7 window on the left and the Windows 8 window on the right. Click on the image for the full view.


As well as a new Explorer window, Windows 8 feature a revamped task manager, which is certainly better than Windows 7's as shown.



Creating program shortcut is a pain in the arse. To do that, right click the app. A menu will open at the bottom listing the options available for the app / program. Click on the 'Open File Location' button. You'll be kicked out to Windows Explorer to the folder containing the app, and it will be highlighted for you. Right-click on it and select "Send To->Desktop (Create Shortcut)". You will now have a Desktop shortcut for your app!

Final remarks

Windows 8 feels faster and slicker, although I did manage to "freeze" an Internet Explorer window on the store PC (I think I broke it cause every time I bring up Internet Explorer, it freezes). However, it feels more touch orientated. Doing things on Windows 8 is a series of just trial and error. Files and settings are thrown all over the place and there is a steep learning curve. The user have to click various things before, a ha! I found it. Also, the upper right hand corner or lower right hand corner is the new start menu. Ther isn't any "visual" cue with Windows 8 unlike earlier windows. It's all hover and out pops the Window. Oh here's some advice of how to turn off Windows: to turn off, upper right corner, power, turn off. Or go to desktop and press alt+f4.

Note

I'm using Google Chrome rather than the native Internet Explorer since it's easier to simply junk all the settings after I use it. I feel it's more "portable" as I can easily sync all my settings to it and delete it in one go after I'm done. Also, it has Adobe Flash Player bundled so no need to worry about outdated Flash Player. In addition, it doesn't need admin privileges to install.

Hardware Requirements

Minimum hardware requirements for Windows 8
Criteria Minimum Recommended
Processor 1 GHz clock rate
IA-32 or x64 architecture
Support for PAE, NX and SSE2
x64 architecture
Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) support
Memory (RAM) IA-32 edition: 1 GB
x64 edition: 2 GB
4 GB
Graphics Card DirectX 9 graphics device
WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
DirectX 10 graphics device
Display screen 1024×768 pixels 1366×768 pixels
Input device Keyboard and mouse A multi-touch display screen
Hard disk space IA-32 edition: 16 GB
x64 edition: 20 GB
Other USB 3.0 port
UEFI v2.3.1 Errata B with Microsoft Windows Certification Authority in its database
Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Internet connectivity

Useful links:

free counters

Fix it: Hacked Twitter account

Recently there is a spate of Twitter account that have been hacked and spewing out spam tweets and direct messages to followers that says

Hi someone is posting horrible things about you... bit.ly/LKOFNj.

The shortened URL (address) and message may vary. Here is another variant:

Hi someone is saying nasty rumors about you... bit.ly/LKOqSG
But they all lead to tvvitiler.com/1w/ and have a similar suppose: to steal your Twitter account login details so they (the hackers) can pose as you.

How to fix it? Well the solution is easy, change your Twitter account password. Also change any other accounts that use a similar password. If you don't know how to do this, see this Twitter support article. For your convenience the instructions have been copied over.

  1. From your logged in account, click Settings in the upper right hand top navigation bar.
  2. Click on the Password tab.
  3. Enter your current password.
  4. Choose your new password.
  5. Save your changes by clicking Save changes.

If you are unable to log in to your account, you may try resetting your password:

How to send yourself a password reset via email:

  1. Click the Forgot password? link. Or click here
  2. Enter your email address or Twitter username.
  3. Enter your mobile phone number, if prompted, in the format suggested. (Forgot your number? Contact support for assistance.)
  4. Check your email inbox. Twitter will immediately send a message to your account's email address.
  5. Click the reset link in that email.
  6. Choose a new password

How to send yourself a password reset via SMS:

If you've added your mobile number to your account in your Mobile settings, you may receive a password reset via SMS/text message.
  1. On a computer, go to the Forgot password? page and enter your username (or email address).
  2. Enter your mobile number.
  3. Select Reset via phone.
  4. Twitter will text you a six digit code that is valid for 15 minutes. 
  5. Enter this code on the Twitter website. Use the code given and enter it in the space given. You will then be prompted to change your password.
Not receiving the SMS code?
  • It may take up to a few minutes for you to receive the code.
  • If you do not receive it after a few minutes, try texting HELP to your Twitter short code to ensure you are receiving SMS notifications from Twitter. If you do not receive anything back, please review our SMS troubleshooting page or use the email password reset option above. 
If that doesn't work you may try contacting Twitter customer service. You may also want to check the apps you authorized to your account and remove any you don't recognize. To do this see this Twitter support article. For your convenience the instructions have been copied over.

How to revoke access or remove an application

  1. Review the applications you've connected in the Apps tab of your account settings.
  2. Click the Revoke Access button next to the application.

Clean up

Now that you've secured your account, you may want to clean up your post by deleting all the spammy tweets and direct messages. This can be done by either clicking on delete or on the symbol of the trash can or clicking on the tweet to expand it and them deleting it.

Prevention

To avoid falling for phishing scams, always check the address bar of the browser or url. Most try to use a url similiar to the site they are trying to imitate. Therefore, check carefully. Avoid phishing, malware, and viruses by examining short URLs before visiting them. Find out where links really take you by expanding those pesky shortened URLs with LongUrl. Also, it is always best to go to the main website itself. In addition, ignore such message as others are spreading rumors about you since it is most likely fake and the account sending the message is compromised. It is also a good idea to keep an up to date AntiVirus on your computer, regardless of your operating system; yes, Apple Macs can get viruses too (see my list of blog posts debunking that myth). For PC I recommend use Norton Internet Security 2012 since I use it myself. Free reputable alternatives include (in no particular order) Avast, Comodo Internet Security, AVG AntiVirus, and Microsoft Security Essentials. Don't flame me if I have forgotten anything. There are many others security products but since I never used them "personally" and have never read about them before I can't recommend them; use them with caution as there are many "rogue" programs that are really malware that try to "trick" you into installing them. For Macs I recommend Norton Internet Security for Macs or Sophos free AntiVirus for Macs. Though I haven't personally tried that, it is made by a republe company with a history in the anti malware industry.

Fix it: Hijack of the "default" page on stock Android browser

After installing some Android apps, you may notice that the "default" home page has been changed to www.searchmobileonline.com or the likes. To get rid of the "default" home page, perform the steps below.

  1. Open Settings > Applications > Manage applications > All (tab on top) or Settings > Application manager as shown
  2. Go to the "All" tab on the top and scroll down to "Internet"
  3. Click "clear data" in the resulting window
Credits for the instructions go to Getting rid of "search mobile online" browser hijack in Android.