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“Parse Error” on Android/CyanogenMod – just enable Package Installer “Storage” permission

November 28, 2016

You’ve probably Googled this to death, as I also have, and got mostly dumb answers like to reboot your phone, enable unknown sources, or even as far as to reflash/factory-reset your phone.

Nope. Just go to Settings -> Apps, tap the Menu button, then tap “Show System”. Scroll down to “Package Installer”, tap it. Check the “Permissions” line – “No permissions granted”? Right. Tap that.

In that menu, you’ll find the golden setting. Storage permission denied? Right, that’s a problem. Slide that beautiful little switch “on”. Then, back out, go back to your APK, and try again.

Thank me in the comments.ūüôā

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Payday: The Heist Input Lag – REAL fix for ATI users

September 28, 2014

I’ve got a Lenovo T500 laptop, and bought Payday (1, or The Heist) to play coop with the roommate on the living room gaming PC. So, naturally, I was a bit disappointed to find that my laptop’s dedicated Radeon HD 3650 was giving the game so much trouble. The GPU doesn’t have GPU Compute capabilities, so all the physics work has to be done on the CPU. No problem, I’ve got a Core 2 Duo P9500, about as high as you can get in this PC. But the GPU cannot be upgraded without a whole new PC. Typically, I just leave the integrated Intel graphics enabled, and ATI switched off – I’m not a gamer, so I don’t play many games.

This PC has no trouble playing Portal 2 at max settings and full HD 1920×1200 on my HD laptop display, though… but in Payday, the input lag is so bad, it’s impossible to even navigate the menus with nearly a 600msec delay on all inputs! Move mouse up, half a second later the mouse moves up on screen. Try aiming for menu options when the mouse is so far behind where it’s being moved, you overshoot EVERYTHING, even basic navigation controls on the menus.

Problem: the engine was running at nearly 15 FPS, high enough to be visibly acceptable, but this apparently screws with the engine timing. It has to be near enough to the refresh rate (50hz in my unusual setup, I can’t get it to stay at 60Hz without resetting next time I plug/unplug AC power) that it doesn’t drop frames to sync with the screen.

Solution: axe some quality options. The game has quite possibly the worst graphics configuration page in the industry, allowing only resolution and some texture quality tweaks… but not the stuff that counts that it clearly is incapable of auto-detecting. The flip queue size is a big one, from what I understand – causing the GPU or game engine to queue up too many frames and ignoring input latency.

ATITrayToolsEnter ATI Tray Tools. It lets you change the hidden settings of the driver/platform to squeeze the extra performance needed to run this game smoothly. Install it (defaults), open it, and use the tray icon to set:
3D -> Antialiasing -> Application controlled (“Disabled” would be nice, but only the game has that control for some reason)
3D -> Anisotropic Filtering -> Performance, then “Application Controlled” (I have a feeling that though it greys them out after setting Application Controlled, the Performance option sets some additional settings under the hood as well)
3D -> Texture Preference -> Performance
3D -> Mipmap -> Performance (seeing a trend yet? lol)
3D -> Wait for vertical sync -> Always off (we never, ever want the GPU waiting on anything petty like the screen refresh rate, tearing will never ever happen here on this chip)
3D -> Flip queue size -> 1 – this is my setting right now, though “0” is commonly recommended – play with it and see what gives better performance for you.

In the game:
Texture quality: Low (minimal impact, if you have more GPU RAM than the minimum spec, then you can safely bump this up)
Antialiasing: Off
Anisotropic: Off
V-sync: Off
Streaks: Off (though I can probably turn a few of these back on, as they rely on CPU and not so much GPU)
Light adaption: Off (adaptation, rather? Dunno, but same as above, may be irrelevant)

And now, I went from 15 FPS in the menus to a blistering 50 FPS, and the cursor moves instantly, as does the control in the game.

It’s a damned shame Overkill never even addressed these issues, and everyone in the forums acts like Compatibility Mode (zero effect on mine) or a patched d3d9.dll file (also zero effect, except a blank screen on the second version of the patched file I tried), is some kind of fix that’ll work for anyone. No amount of config file tweaks, patches, or other crap helped until I did these things in ATI Tray Tools.

Windowed mode also helps, but who wants to play the game in a pinhole?

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Samsung BD-D5700 Blu-Ray Player Performance Fix

September 15, 2013

I picked up a BD-D5700 back in Christmas 2011 on sale at Best Buy for $100. Cool – I can get a Blu-Ray player for $100! I’m in.¬†It turned out to be $100 for a reason – it was dirt slow.

Finally, now in 2013 and fairly out of warranty, I cracked open the case. Inside, I found this.

Image

The motherboard is about the size of a CD case, powered by a BCM7631 chip (Broadcom only has pages for BCM7630 and BCM7632 – weird). That powerful Broadcom SoC is cooled by one TINY layer of aluminum – barely as thick as a typical CPU’s heat spreader. Worse yet, the thermal compound was a pad, not even grease – leaving large burnt-out hot spots in the pad. The CPU is clearly overheating and thermal-throttling to prevent damage, and Samsung seems to have used that burn-out throttling to “class” the player as a cheap, slow device.

The heat needs to escape the chip quickly, and to do that, it needs somewhere to conduct to in a bubble area around the chip. In the current plate design, the top and center of the chip would get very hot very quickly, as there’s nowhere to conduct the heat to. We need a bigger heatsink.

Image

The heat sink here is from a dead PC motherboard. The spacing between the pegs straddles two different positions on the Samsung board, so the two spring mechanisms need to have very different tensions. I accomplished this by using two different spring clips (note above) and weakening the spring on the white one. This ensures the heat sink will stay centered on the chip, so that a lever action doesn’t lift the corner off the chip.

Now, you need to clean and prep the board and the new heatsink. I use ArctiClean and Arctic Silver Ceramique 2. Your goal is to clean both surfaces until the only thing you see is the mirror of the chip and the grain of the metal (or, preferably, the mirror finish) of the heat sink.

Image

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

Image

A dob’ll do ya. Leave it beaded (careful about air pockets) so the heat sink will spread it evenly without trapping air.
Image

As you assemble it, note how the heat sink rests flat on the chip.

Image

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

And reassemble.

WP_20130901_004 WP_20130901_005 WP_20130901_006

Done. Enjoy your player with a bit more pep in its step. Keeping that heat sink cool is key – now that it’s pulling away more of the heat from the chip and allowing it to run faster, it’ll produce more heat. Keep that in mind, and you’ll have a great player!

 

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FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD v4.61 Patch

August 8, 2013

This brings three changes:
– No longer loads power management if a new Intel AHCI driver is activated (causes BSOD while MiniXP desktop is loading)
– Updated HD Tune Pro to v5.50 (April 2013)
– Updated BootICE to 1.06 (May 2013)

Grab the patch here, extract it to a local drive, then drag your v4.6 ISO onto the patch EXE. It’ll walk you through the process, and create a new optimized ISO ready for burning.

Patch only: from falconsys.net
Requires FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD v4.6¬†as a source for the distribution ISO. You can’t use v4.5.

Full v4.61 ISO download:
https://mega.nz/#!DBJjjAKL!IU1jMVPpMjdv7PTETJovfGxKj4ZUPB0cViqi5T6LaEM

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FalconFour’s Ultimate Boot CD/USB 4.6

March 31, 2013

Hola amigos. I don’t speak Spanish, but, you know, trying to stay hip. Like¬†actually releasing a new version, that sounds like an awesome idea, doesn’t it?¬†Hell, v4.5 had so many holes that’ve been fixed in v4.6, it made 4.5 look like¬†Swiss cheese. And I’m sure the Swiss have even used this thing. It’s been all¬†the way around the internet and back – in fact, v4.6 was created on a laptop I¬†bought from a guy on eBay (just shopping around) that uses my disc as well! I¬†was amazed. This thing has seen some mileage.

FalconFour's Ultimate Boot CD v4.6

In this boot CD are the most popular and useful tools anyone would ever need. The best of the free software, the best of the commercial software, and it all fits on one CD-R that’s readable by any computer worth booting on. Not everything can read a DVD, and USB booting is hit and miss at best.

Meanwhile, since the last release in 2011, more has changed. I wrote off the dry, stale corporate IT world of wastefulness and over-powered, under-utilized systems and unnecessary, poorly planned “cloud” services. Currently unemployed (at least, as of this release!), I found some time to put some major polish on MiniXP and get everything working well. Still would love to work in computer repair. Anyone? I’ll even move. Anything? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

This disc, an even more minor single-point revision, is actually a huge MiniXP update. Other tools have been updated, like Memtest86+, which has been replaced with the more frequently updated Memtest86, with a smarter loading mechanism. Tons of updates in MiniXP. AHCI support, for one thing. Better driver support for network and wireless drivers, faster (and more reliable) startup, better error reporting/catching, better graphics, better compatibility with more tools and software, and… Flash support in the latest Portable Firefox! Yes, you can watch YouTube from MiniXP now. And access TeamViewer/LogMeIn which uses Flash. LOTS of work has been put into polishing the startup routine and compatibility.f4ubcd-46-menu

Plenty of features from v4.5: Virtual Floppy enables you to mount images from a USB stick to be used in a boot selection like MiniXP (for F6 SATA/RAID drivers) or FreeDOS (Dell option). VFD with file copy allows you to make a <1mb RAR file accessible to DR-DOS or Hiren’s DOS in a virtual floppy. Wireless drivers in MiniXP along with improved Ethernet and storage support. Mini Linux provided by RIP Linux. Bootable partition and imaging utilities provided by Acronis True Image and EASEUS Partition Manager. Improved Memtest86+ with failsafe mode to resolve startup hangs. Kon-Boot 1.1 is really v1.1 now, with support for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. Tons of new utilities in MiniXP with new launchers to provide easier access. ERD 5.0 is integrated with MiniXP for offline system restore and service/driver management, and Microsoft DaRT 6.5 (x86 and x64) are added to support Windows Vista and 7. Antivirus scanning with real-time updates is provided by DaRT 6.5’s Standalone System Sweeper, and allows you to load definitions to a USB stick for live updating.

This ain’t yo mama’s BartPE compilation.

f4ubcd-46-minixp

Once you dive into this disc, you’ll never need another boot CD.

Based on F4UBCD v4.5 with MiniXP from Hiren’s 15.2, heavily modified.

  • MiniXP gutted and rebuilt with new, flexible on-disc scripting, for easy mods.
  • Active File Recovery 7.5.1
  • CCleaner
  • CPU-Z
  • HWMonitor
  • MS DaRT 5 / ERD Commander 2005 utilities
  • HD Tune Pro 5
  • ImgBurn
  • Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder 2.0.8
  • MyDefrag 4.3.1 with FullOptimize script
  • NirSoft collection 2/1/2013, now with 90% fewer antivirus false alarms
  • SoftPerfect Network Scanner 5.1.2
  • TreeSize Personal 5.4.4
  • Firefox Portable
  • Shiny graphics that make the room smell nicer

And of course, a slew of utilities from Hiren’s disc, some updated, including:
EzPcFix, Acronis Disk Director, ATF Cleaner, Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware updated¬†11/6/2012, Bulk Rename Utility, Combofix updated 2/16/2013, Defraggler, Speccy,¬†Content Advisor Password Remover, Recuva, Diskview, Filemon, Regmon, Procmon,
DriveImageXML, GetDataBack, Recover My Files, Ghost32 11.5.1, ISOBuster, GImageX (ImageX GUI), SUPERAntiSpyware, IrfanView, NTPWEdit, Partition Magic, TeraCopy, TightVNC Server/Viewer, Unstoppable Copier, Victoria, MHDD, WinRAR,
and 7-Zip
… among others.

In this update

4.6, Apr-1-13: Many modifications to MiniXP. AHCI/RAID support (not quite universal yet due to architecture). Firefox update with Flash support. Memtest86 instead of Memtest86+. Streamlined boot menu configuration. Made USB setup easier with BootICE. ImageX front and center on the desktop now, as well as some additional new icons. Vastly improved MiniXP startup process. PDF, Word, Excel file viewing support. Replaced a billion references to outdated portable Opera browser in MiniXP with Firefox. Much improved network driver support. Battery support. Power management support (no longer roasts laptop CPUs while in MiniXP). Added keyboard switcher in tray. More sane date/time display.

ISO:

CRC32: 9B4B46FF
MD5: 41E62394E1C8D406FB41B65B6CDEECEB
SHA-1: CF92E23BBF2084812E454E7C8272596F2AD860BA

Download the torrent (save bandwidth, help others download it too!)

Then grab the v4.61 Patch to get up to date.

Or download v4.61 directly via HTTP (be a freeloader! Or if you have trouble with the torrent!)
(Here’s another HTTP mirror for v4.61!)

And, on Facebook: http://fb.com/F4UBCD

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PSTN digital network – it’s TIME to upgrade past 8KHz!

February 28, 2013

Look, internet. Telecom companies. Cell phone companies. VoIP providers. Get this shit straight. It’s 2013 now. We finally have realistic, viable, mass-market electric cars after decades of failures and false starts. We have a digital powerhouse in every pocket. Blindingly-fast 2 megabyte-per-second download speed is the accepted norm for broadband. TV is all on-demand now. Everyone is streaming their life in real-time on Facebook via their mobile phones.

So why in the FUCK are we still forced to endure 8KHz audio as the “norm” for telephone calls? I can’t even hold back here – that is nothing but bullshit. I don’t even answer phone calls anymore. With the mess of cell phones garbling audio quality and working to uphold that 8KHz piss-poor standard, I find myself spending most of my mental effort on the phone trying to decode the words said by the person on the other end, instead of thinking about the topic at hand. The only thing I ever want to do when I get/make a phone call to someone, is how much longer I must endure this conversation before I can get off the phone again.

Sick of this crap. Telecom companies, it’s time to upgrade your standards. The standard should be 44.1KHz like it is for everything else. Digital compression (AAC-ELD, maybe?) is within the realm of¬†possibility¬†for all PSTN connections, so why hasn’t any effort been made to phase in a newer standard? We get crystal-clear audio through VoIP connections that aren’t tethered to this arcane 64kbps/8KHz PCM standard. So why the hell can’t we get digital compression between callers? If you’re worried about loss in digital signals over a PSTN connection (i.e. dial-up modems), then just use a lossless compression scheme to fit higher bandwidth into that 64kbps bandwidth! But FFS, don’t keep screwing real people to make old dial-up crap technology happy. You can detect those signals and automatically apply a different compression scheme to them. Look at what Skype does. It automatically adapts to bandwidth needs in real-time during a call. Why can’t you do that for phone calls?

Get with it, because I’m sick of being afraid of picking up the phone and hearing some garbled 8KHz crap.

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HP Color LaserJet 1600/2600n Toolbox: Needlessly Well Guarded Secret

January 25, 2013
From back to front: first cleaning effort, followed by a couple cleaning cycles before the second (ghosting) print, then I got HP Toolbox working. Corrected some settings (below) and subsequent test prints got better and better, with the final result looking like a brand new printer - JUST with some settings changes.

From back to front: first cleaning effort, followed by a couple cleaning cycles before the second (ghosting) print, then I got HP Toolbox working. Corrected some settings (below) and subsequent test prints got better and better, with the final result looking like a brand new printer – JUST with some settings changes.

Missing your shortcut for the LaserJet Toolbox? Yeah, we all are. HP apparently thought it would be a funny joke to just… you know, OMIT the desktop/Start Menu shortcut for the HP Color LaserJet 1600 Toolbox from all their driver distributions online now. So if you don’t have the original driver from the original CD, you’re screwed! And HP’s site will mock you as it walks you step-by-step through how to use the HP Toolbox, but yet the icon they’re referring to is LITERALLY FREAKING MISSING. Gone. Poof. It’s nowhere to be found. Uninstall? User’s guide? Got it. Toolbox? No.

OK, so a huge oversight on HP’s part. I want to smack ’em. Here’s how you get that back.

Create a new shortcut and paste this info:
(For Color LaserJet 1600 ONLY)
ZHHP1600.EXE 3911 AGI1600.DLL 1600 ZHP1600R.DLL

For Color LaserJet 2600 series, it’s a little more complicated since I have a 1600 – which is a 2600 without the networking/duplex capabilities – same logic board, same drivers, just different branding. The process may be identical but with the “1600” replaced with “2600” in the line above. Version 5.x of the drivers (the current one available from hp.com) has the HTTP server (zhhp*.exe) completely REMOVED from the distribution, so the toolbox is literally GONE. You’ll need an older version – and to write a much-needed hate mail to HP for removing it. The “full software solution” download does not seem to have the HP Toolbox files. Maybe the “PnP software” distribution will have it, but look for the “ZHHP*.exe” executable – the “H” is for “HTTP”, the “ZSHP*.exe” file is “S” for “Status (monitor)”.

Launched using the shortcut in this blog post. Up yours, HP!

Launched using the shortcut in this blog post. Up yours, HP!

If you get an HTTP 500 error when you try to access the site (localhost:3911), it means your command line wasn’t correct or it couldn’t find the file you referenced on the command line. It’s very, very ambiguous with the errors.

Also, if you have problems with mirroring/echoing down the page, turn down the fuser temperature under “print modes” for your paper type (almost always the first one, “plain paper”) – set it to Less Fusing. If you have trouble with dirty/messy grey background fuzz, turn on “Background Toner” under the print options menu, and turn “Transfer Current” to “Dry Paper”, turn “Toner” down to “Less Toner” for those print types.

Hope this helps someone out with an old 1600/2600. It sure cleaned mine up!