Friday, September 30, 2011

Fixing MMS on Dell Venue Pro

Symptoms:

  1. You forced the Mango updated on your Dell Venue Pro. (Here's a page with instructions if you haven't seen it yet: http://www.wpcentral.com/force-mango-update-early-through-zune-software)
  2. Someone sends you a text message with an image.
  3. When you click the "Get media content now" link, the message flickers but you don't see the image.

Problem:

The "MMS Proxy" setting s was erased from your phone when you applied the software update.

 

Solution:

  1. Dial the number ##634# to launch the diagnostics page.
  2. Go to "MMS Settings"
  3. After the Mango update, all of these fields were blank for me.
  4. Click the "Restore system defaults" button.
  5. You'll get a "Success, Setting is Done!" message.
  6. You'll see your carrier's values in the text boxes.
  7. Now go back to the messaging app and you should see the images when you click the "Get media content now" link.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Improve Your Productivity with AutoHotKey

I’ve been meaning to write something about using the AutoHotKey utility to increase productivity.  Then I saw this article in LifeHacker which prompted me to get started:

How to Make Your Caps Lock Key Search the Web, Chrome OS-Style

If you haven’t heard about AutoHotKey, it’s a program that runs in your task bar that lets you create your own hotkeys.  I never use the caps lock key, so AuthoHotKey let me change its behavior and put the wasted button to good use.  Now whenever I press caps lock, Windows starts a new tab in Chrome and moves the focus to the address bar so it’s ready for a new search.

My other use for AutoHotKey is to improve my typing speed when writing SQL queries.  I spend a lot of time at work writing SQL code in the SQL Server Management Studio.  Because of this, I’ve typed “SELECT * FROM” a countless number of times.  With AutoHotKey, I’ve defined “Windows Key + Z” as a keyboard shortcut that will type this for me.

Here’s what my AutoHotKey script looks like so you can get started with your own script:

#z::Send SELECT * FROM{Space}

; Add some media keyboard shortcuts since my laptop doesn’t have them…
#.::Send {Media_Next}
#,::Send {Media_Prev}
#/::Send {Media_Play_Pause}

; Fix one of my common typing errors…
::helath::health

; Create a new tab in chrome when caps lock is pressed.  Note that you’ll have to
; change the path to Chrome on your computer… (Copied from the LifeHacker article)
Capslock::
SetTitleMatchMode, 2
If WinExist("ahk_class Chrome_WidgetWin_0")
{
WinActivate
WinWaitActive
Send ^t
Send ^l
}
else
{
Run "C:\Users\your_user_name\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe"
sleep 100
Send ^t
Send ^l
}
return
+Capslock::Capslock

Monday, January 24, 2011

Goals for the Year

Around this time each year, we have to create goals for the year at work.  I really don’t like this process.  I understand that they are trying to make a quantitative way to evaluate the performance of all of the employees, but it’s hard to make goals when I don’t have control over what I work on.

At church this week I was thinking that even though I dislike goals at work, it would probably be beneficial to have personal goals so that I can manage my free time better.  Here are my goals that I have come up with.

  1. Read More
  2. Write More – I hated writing in school, but you can’t take over the world if you can’t convey your thoughts to others. I’ve also had to write quite a bit more for work for project proposals.
  3. Build a robot for the DPRG May competition
  4. Play the piano better
  5. Home Automation – be able to control several of the lights in my house
  6. Balance work time better.  I always end up having to make up at least 2 hours on the weekends.

I’ll have to come back and put in some deadlines.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Virtual PC vs. VirtualBox

If you want to run a Linux VM on Windows 7 64bit, don’t even bother trying to get it to work under Microsoft Virtual PC.  Not only is not supported, it just doesn’t work.  I spent several hours trying to tweak parameters to no avail.  It looks like it is trying to do the virtualization at a lower level which would give better performance with the trade off being compatibility issues.  It does work great for running Windows VM’s, though.  I’ve used the Windows XP VM, and it works fine.

In order to get my Linux VM running, I ended up using VirtualBox for the virtualization software.  It was shocking how easy it was to get Ubuntu installed and running.  The wizard’s in VirtualBox step you through mounting the ISO and booting up the VM.  Eventually I want to get a website using Mono up and running to play with.  For now, I’ll just use it for some cross-platform browser testing for my client’s websites.

Conclusion:

If you want to run a Linux VM, try VirtualBox.  If you only want Windows VM’s then either Virtual PC or VirtualBox will work fine.  On the server side, I’m still biased towards Hyper-V.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

“The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King

Last night I finished reading “The Colorado Kid” by Stephen King.  This was the first Stephen King book I’ve read.  My wife and I really like the show “Haven” on the Syfy channel which is supposed to be based on this book.

I was hoping that it would give more background information or clues into the show’s mysteries, but it didn’t.  The book and show are set in a similar north eastern town, but the two main characters in the book are only side characters on the show.  About the only things in common are the setting and mysterious atmosphere.

I would read another Stephen King book in the future, though.  I know there are plenty to choose from…

Friday, January 7, 2011

Recommended Local Businesses

As a former small business owner, I like helping other small businesses.  Here are some small businesses in the Plano, Murphy, & Wylie area that I recommend:

Food

Napolis Restaurant
701 N. Hwy 78
Wylie, TX
972-442-4653
http://napolistx.com/Wylie.htm 

Mogio's Gourmet Pizza‎
158 West FM 544
Murphy, TX 75094
(972) 423-8100
http://mogiospizza.com

Car

Highway 78 Auto
3302 N Highway 78
Wylie, TX 75098
(972) 442-2269
hwy78auto.com

Dentist

Westgate Dental
520 W. Brown Street Suite A
Wylie, TX 75098
(972) 429-4311 ‎
http://www.mywyliedentist.com/

Haircut

Billy Luke
7602 W. Campbell Road
Suite #1
Dallas, TX 75248
214-532-4983
http://www.salonsbyjc.com/operators/index2.asp?r_id=53

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Audio Stuttering in Windows 2008 R2

I’ve been running Windows Server 2008 R2 64bit for my desktop OS at work for a while now.  When playing background music with Windows Media Player, I’ve always had music skipping/stuttering issues.  You can especially notice it when moving windows around or running a high CPU task (like Flash animations).

I think I’ve finally figured out how to fix it.  It looks like in Windows 2008, the audio processes are by default given a CPU priority below low.  Because of that any other program will preempt Windows Media Player which would cause the stuttering.  It turns out that there is a registry key that controls this:

Key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\multimedia\SystemProfile
Value: SystemResponsiveness
Type: REG_DWORD

In Windows 2008 R2, the default value is 100 (decimal).  In Windows Vista this value is 20 (decimal).  The MSDN article describing this registry key says that this value controls “the percentage of CPU resources that should be guaranteed to low-priority tasks. For example, if this value is 20, then 20% of CPU resources are reserved for low-priority tasks.”  It sounds like the remaining percentage is divided up between the open multimedia applications.  I’m going to set this key to 50 (decimal) on my computer and see if that makes a difference.  Rebooting as soon as I can close all of my windows… It looks like that worked.

Other posts about this: