My photo website’s excellent software Gallery had gone end of life and was no longer supported. I used the opportunity to explore new software, Koken, and move from shared hosting to my first VPS – Virtual Private Server. I’ve hosted development websites on Windows and Linux, and setup many many websites using shared hosting from Site5 and other hosting services – now was time to take the dive and go next level. I chose Digital Ocean for it’s popularity, great reviews and pricing and excellent tutorials which were incredibly helpful.
I’m a Windows/Mac guy so this project was both fun and hard! End result is here – clean, lean and fast site: http://photo.gfisk.com/
Steps to get this rolling!
Setup and connect to your droplet at Digital Ocean
Install and configure Ubuntu
Install and configure Apache, MySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin
Adobe Flash Thanks Adobe and McAfee but I already have McAfee and would actually quite like to get rid of it…
Adobe Flash Update – McAfee
Java – Ask Search App Dear Larry E – you’re one of the richest people in da world, why are you sticking us with this junkware? The Ask Search App aka “Toolbar” hijacks all of your browser homepages, your default search engines and add’s browser components to all installed browsers. None of this is removed when you “uninstall” the Ask “Toolbar” application. Because… we all need more toolbars and personal info collecting browser add-ons!
Java installs Ask Toolbar
Apple iCloud On the surface this looks harmless enough but look again. Someone in Dialog Boxes From Hell got a gold medal here – The dialog box title asks a Yes/No question “Install the iCloud Conrol Panel?”. The options presented are yes, or be reminded to say yes (once we’ve reminded you later 25 times to say yes). I solved this one by uninstalling iTunes (free at last!).
Dialog Box – iCloud options… not!
Epson Printer dialog Epson fail – every single time you print Epson hits the internet to pull down adds, ink prices and in this dialog box they’re busted in action pulling down a Web Analytics script for whatever purposes they deemed fit. I just wanted to print.
Dialog Box – Epson fail
Microsoft Office 365 – Password Easy there hoss, we know it’s 2014 but we don’t want those passwords protecting your digital life to be hard to crack. This is Microsoft Office 365 not allowing a space in my password.
Dialog Box – Office 365 Doesn’t allow spaces in password
Are you suffering from notification overload? It can be a bit confusing as to where to change or disable notifications on iOS devices. “Notifications” would be the logical place to manage notifications and it does work, sometimes. Sounds is where we’ll be looking today, where you then disable… notification sounds.
Mail fail – Disabling Mail Notifications in Settings does not disable vibration notices
Settings > Notifications > Mail > Allow Notifications
Solution – Disable Sound and Vibration settings for Mail and other apps go to:
Settings > Sound
Under Sounds and Vibration Patterns choose > New Mail
Under Alert Tones Choose > None
Tap Vibration and Choose > None (way down at the bottom)
I recently cloned Windows 8 with apps and data from a 500gb 5400RPM Hybrid disk to a 500gb SSD using “Paragon Migrate OS to SSD 4.0“. The process went smoothly – install Paragon’s software and connect the new SSD with a USB to SATA cable. Launch the software, pick the target disk and the cloning processes begins. Mine cloned 120gb of data in 30 minutes. The final step is to swap the drives, confirm the new SSD is the boot disk in BIOS and… you’re off to the races.
After an update on 12/22/2014 OneDrive started magically importing photos and videos from my iPhone (my Windows Phone is managed by Phone App for Desktop). Microsoft refers to the process as “Auto Save”. This is the second OneDrive update in a row where the change has silently occurred (or I missed it twice!).
Issue:OneDrive “Auto Saves” any new pictures or videos to a folder on your computer named after the phone or device you’ve connected. This change appears to happen after any of the recent 2014 OneDrive updates and happens without asking the end user for their preference. Specs in my case – Windows 7 with OneDrive version 17.3.1229.0918 and an iPhone 6 running iOS 8.1.2.
Adrian Belew was playing in bar & cover bands going seemingly nowhere and hitting thirty. Then Frank Zappa’s limo driver was asked for a live music destination in Nashville. They were covering the stones when Frank tuned in, stayed and made Adrian an offer. Playing for Zappa opened doors and provided music industry schooling. From there Adrian played with Bowie and Eno. Then met David Byrne while touring with Bowie and ended up with the Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club. Then on to King Krimson, The Bears and recently with the Power Trio and Nine Inch Nails. The guitar virtuoso from Covington, KY coming to you all thanks to a limo driver…
The Issue – Using Remote Desktop the remote screen turns black right after login. The issue appears to be caused by Screen Caching and accessing a system with different display resolution or RDP window sizes.
While logged in at the black screen
press CTRL + ALT + END (or CTRL + ALT + FN + END). This will bring up Task Manager in most cases and you’ll immediately see the desktop.
If only Task Manager appears try running Explorer: File > New Task > Explorer.exe
Try connecting at a different resolution.
Access the remote computers Computer Management or Services MMC and cycle the Remote Desktop Services service.
Disable bitmap caching for your RDP connections
Access the remote computer using consistent resolution – Full screen may help
Confirm video drivers are up to date
Confirm RDP account has full administrative rights on remote system
Adaptive keyboard sounds cool right? It does make for a very clean, uncluttered and easy to use keyboard. But it also makes accessing functions harder, more time consuming and without knowing the special hidden keys (see Lenovo video below) you’d be forgiven for thinking some functions were completely dropped.
Print Screen is a common function that appears to be missing. Print Screen for entire display captures (depending on your keyboard: Prnt Scrn, Prt Scn, Prt Scr) or ALT + Print Screen for capturing just the active window or a dialog box (on many laptops a mini keyboards – FN + ALT + Print Screen). These are fast, light and effective tools that we all know and love. But where are these screen capture key commands on the Lenovo adaptive keyboard!? They’re there, just hidden! Lets find them and check out some other commands and screen capture options – Welcome to Planet Lenovo!
Using the adaptive Keyboard
Press and hold the FN key, tap the T key for a full screen capture
Press and hold the FN key, the Alt key and tap T for an active window capture
See the Lenovo video below for all six hidden key commands
FN + B = break
FN + I = Insert
FN + K = ScrLk
FN + P = Pause
FN + S = SysRq
FN + T = PrtScrn
Using the Snipping Tool
Launch via FN + Scissors key, or via the Programs > Accessories menu , or search for it
Choose from the options: Free-form, Rectangular, Window or Full Screen
Using the On-Screen Keyboard
Search Programs for Keyboard & launch the On-Screen Keyboard
Click (or press on touch screen) the Alt + PrtScn keys
Lenovo X1 Carbon On-Screen Keyboard
Hidden Keys! This video reveals the magic keys which work with FN on planet Lenovo.
Steps to create a Model of an existing MySQL Database
Launch MySQL Workbench
From the Home window click the > icon to the right of Models at the bottom of the Window
Choose “Create EER Model from Database”
The Reverse Engineer Database Wizard starts
Connect to your DBMS (Local instance / TCP/IP in my case)
Select Schema (the database you wish to model)
Import the Table Objects
Option “Place Objects on the Diagram” will auto generate the ERR diagram. If this doesn’t work for you run the wizard again and deselect then manually create the ERR Diagram via drag and drop of your tables.
Save your model
You can now add relationships and or modify tables
Bourbon Street was an experience as you’d expect. The mood, music, open containers, happy people and cobbled streets with beautiful old architecture reminded me of Dublin. The people delivered and I saw some excellent street music, great art and fun performers. The music in bars & clubs was very polished and packed with tourists enjoying a good time out… but I like to hear more than Lynyrd Skynrd, The Doobie Brothers and Aerosmith when in a land of great original music. When I travel I like my food, beverages and music local. If you’re with me then make the trek east down Bourbon Street (or Royal or Dauphine), through the French Quarter and onto Frenchman street for some local color and great music. It’s a great walk and you will be entertained, see some history and end with many options for good music and good times.
Social Media integration on Windows Phone is excellent but can have some downsides. One issue I’ve experienced and heard others note is due to Facebook integration.
During installation of the Facebook app you’re asked to connect FB with your phone. This integrates Facebook with your People hub, calendar, photos, allows for FaceBook photos on the lock screen etc. This is an excellent Windows Phone feature but… the down side can be a lot, A LOT of Birthday reminders cluttering up your calendar and popping up reminders left and right.
Here are two ways to disable Facebook birthday reminders.
Disable Facebook Birthday Reminders
Open your Windows Phone Calendar
Open the Calendar options (three dots at lower right)
Uncheck Birthdays under Facebook
Disable all Birthday Reminders
Open a web browser
Log into the Microsoft Account used to setup your Phone
Ghost drop down menu’s that stay on your screen until you reset your resolution, logout or reboot. At first you think – no problem, I’ll just ignore that. Then like a dripping tap on a quiet evening you find you’ve suddenly lost all focus to this little sliver on your screen and you cannot move forward until it is elminated! I’ve experienced this issue on and off over multiple versions of Windows on laptops & desktops with onboard integrated or massive discrete gaming graphics cards with many different type of monitors, resolutions and setups.
My current setup that drove me to make this post: Lenovo T440p laptop running a 3.7ghz i7 4800MQ 6mb cache processor with 8gb ram, 256gb SSD and Intel 4600 HD Graphics card running on Windows 7 Enterprise pushing dual Lenovo 21.5″ 1920×1080 displays via DVD-D cables. That’s after having just come off of a Dell Latitude E6410 With a gigabyte NVidia graphics card driving a single monitor that also experienced the issue. This should get better with new OS’es, displays cards, drivers ram, memory and throughput pipes right? RIGHT!?
So how to fix this little monster of an annoyance? Two methods presented here. The first removes the current ghost menu item, text or window but does not resolve the issue. The second resolves the issue, unfortunately by disabling rich UI features.
Solution #1 – Temporary fix to remove current Ghost menu, text or window items.
Open a command prompt
Click Start > type CMD > right click on CMD > choose Run As Administrator
type: net stop uxsms
type: net start uxsms
You can create a batch file to automate the above process
The mighty keyboard and mouse have roared and Microsoft has listened. Windows 8.1 Update 1 is out and has some (some!) nice changes for content creators and other non touch screen users. Most notable is that instead of forking the OS into mobile/touch & desktop/mouse + keyboard versions they’re detecting the hardware and adapting the experience appropriately. This is what should have happened from day one but I’ll assume ship dates and probably some star crossed marketing folks who hallucinated a pot of gold at the end of the Metro Rainbow prevented logical decisions and implementations. Windows 8.1 was a glimmer of hope, Update 1 is a start, lets hope it continues.
This update requires windows 8.1 and the the install takes about 30 minutes. Available April 8th 2014 via Windows Update or download now: KB2919355
The update contains cumulative patches and other changes, but we’re here for these:
Default boot to desktop for non touch devices. 8.1 introduced boot to desktop as an option, update 1 detects your hardware and default boots to the desktop for non touch. Worked perfectly on my 4 year old Lenovo test laptop.
Desktop actions wont open Modern apps – YES!!! Now when you open an image you won’t be whisked off to a faraway land with no idea how to get back nor ability to navigate to the next image.
Other changes for desktop users – faster startup, improved battery life for laptops, better security (including Trusted Boot for UEFI systems), the File History automated backup and versioning utility, clearer task manager and file move dialogs, and the ability to mount disk image files as virtual drives.
What’s lacking and still needed? Here’s some reasons why Windows 7 is still gaining OS market share 18 months after the release of Windows 8.
A rich UI for the desktop. I have a 24″ LED display and a gigabyte graphics card but I’m staring at horrid Windows 3.1 style dialog boxes, windows and applications. No rounded corners, no transparency, giant kludgy widgets, options and menus.
Backup your .htaccess file (located in the root of your CS-Cart install)
Edit your .htaccess file
Below the default CS-Cart code in your .htaccess file add rules for
ETag – disable so we can control with Expires
Expires – Set so browser caches
Compression – compress to optimize
Example code that I’ve used to move my site from an 81 “B” YSlowscore to a 92 “A” score.
## -- Optimization -- ##
# Turn on Expires and set default to 0
# Disable ETag - force browsers to rely on your expires settings for caching
Header unset ETag
# Set up caching on commonly updated files for 1 Month (far future)
# Set up caching on media files for 1 year
Header append Cache-Control "public"
#Gzip - compress it!
Some excellent resources if you’re hosting your own domain with Office 365. When doing so you’ll need to create a TXT SPF record for email. The SPF Generator Framework Wizard below was very helpful generating an SPF record that accounted for my webhost generated email (web forms) and email on 365 servers – v=spf1 ip4:xx.xx.xx.xx include:spf.protection.outlook.com -all
The Legendary Lightness – World Full Of You (Official Videoclip) Music by The Legendary Lightness Directed and edited by Adrian Winkler Photographed by Simon Huber and Mario Winkler Color Grading by Christian Müller Production: PiXiU Films, Laurin Merz Supported by Migros-Kulturprozent