Good riddance to the headphone jack

Apple has dumped the headphone jack in the latest iPhone release.

Good. No more crackles.

As a species, we have become so used to headphone jack crackles, that we have totally accepted it as an unavoidable part of life.

But, not I. I remained annoyed by it. I’m happy to see it go. It twists and turns and crackles. Its important to get rid of these rotating connectors for any kind of data uses.

Now there will be a race to a new standard. It will be incorporated into increasingly multipurpose plugs. Soon we will be able to charge and do all other things at once through one connector.

Good riddance to the headphone jack

VS2015 crash when deploying app to device (Windows10anniversary)

I encountered a new problem deploying an app from Visual Studio 2015 to my windows phone 8.1 hardware device. I didnt have this problem before updating to the anniversary edition of windows 10.

when i deployed the app, VS crashed after building and after starting deployment.

I searched a bit and found that there seems to be new settings in the developer settings page. I tried to enable “device discovery” from my standard user account but it failed.

I had to open an administrator account, go to settings>update&security>for developers, and then windows automatically downloaded a developer package. then i needed to restart before i could enable “device discovery”. when i returned to my standard account, device discovery was enabled and i could deploy to my device without VS2015 crashing, and it worked fine again.

VS2015 crash when deploying app to device (Windows10anniversary)

How is Tizen going?

Many people don’t even know what Tizen is. Its Samsung’s answer to Google’s Android OS. Tizen has a lot in common with Android, except that it doesn’t use a Java virtual machine, it runs straight on the Linux kernel.

Recently, Samsung released the third mobile handset in the Tizen line, the Galaxy Z2. Now moving into African markets, Tizen devices have already sold millions in south asia, especially India and Bangladesh.

To Use, Tizen looks a lot like Android with Samsungs Touchwiz. I think it’s a little TOO similar to Android. But that’s the marketing strategy for Tizen. Online, Tizen based devices continue to hold their value well and its not easy to find much user feedback in English. Indications are that its reliable and stable, and users seem to be as happy with Tizen devices as any other system.

For developers, a significant recent event is the release of “Tizen Studio”, a version of Eclipse setup for developing Tizen native and webapps – applied in the style of Android Studio. Tizen is rapidly expanding its API so that it matches the features available in Android. Tizen has resurrected the Eclipse IDE that used to be the go-to IDE to develop for Android. However, Tizen native apps are coded in C++ not Java. That is necessary to avoid using a problematic virtual machine.

Put simply, on Android devices, the Android system runs on a Java based Emulator. It is the emulator that runs on the Linux kernel. Tizen ditched this emulator setup to be able to match the reliability and performance of iPhones, WindowsMobile and other operating systems.

How is Tizen going?

Windows 10: add any shortcut to the start menu

Some files dont have the option to pin to start. You can add it so it is available to all users or just one user.

  1. right click on the file and choose “Send to” –> “desktop(create shortcut)” – the shortcut will now appear on your desktop (if you right click on the shortcut, it still wont allow you to pin it to the start).
  2. Name the shortcut as desired and move it to a start menu folder:
    • If you want the shortcut to be available globally – for all the user accounts on the device, add it here (you will need administrator permission):
      • C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
    • If you want the shortcut to be available in just ONE user account – NOT all the user accounts on the device, add it here (you will need administrator permission if it is not the current account):
      • C:\Users\ACCOUNT_NAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
  3. Open the start menu – click on “All Apps” – find the shortcut you added – right click on it – select “pin to start”.

Where is C?           This PC -> Local Disk (C):

Windows 10: add any shortcut to the start menu

Laptop with HDD: Battery Life Trick

This describes a little trick to get more battery life out of a laptop with a HDD

Recently my PNY SSD died after only 2 years, and i have put the original HDD back in my laptop.

This immediately resulted in a massive drop in performance and battery life. With the SSD i would get around 4 hours battery life. with the HDD it went down to about 2.5 hours. And the startup time more than doubled, as did a lot of things the laptop did. Oh how i miss my SSD – it made it seem like i had a snappy laptop.

Yet, i did work out a little trick to get an extra half to one hour out of my laptop battery. I noticed how much the HDD was being accessed, but i didnt actually require this to do the tasks i was doing. So i put all the files i needed to work on on a USB2 drive. After opening the files i needed, i closed the file explorer. As soon as i closed the file explorer, the amount my HDD was accessed reduced a lot.

I can get an extra half hour or more out of my battery. its not nothing.

Laptop with HDD: Battery Life Trick

Windows 10: upgrade vs clean install

If your computer came with windows pre-installed, Upgrade first! You can clean install later, once your windows license key is registered as receiving the windows 10 upgrade. You can do a clean install immediately, but you will need to enter your windows product license key (not your product ID).

When I upgraded my laptop to windows 10, it went very smoothly, and windows performed well immediately.

Later I did a clean install. I did this because my installation of windows 10 was upgraded from an already messy windows 8.1 installation, with gigabytes of stuff leftover from installing and uninstalling software over a year or two. It was taking up 20 to 30 gb more than it really needed to. About half of the usable space on my drive.

Doing a clean install was quite different than doing an upgrade. It went easily with the USB I made using the media creation tool (for windows 10). Theres a separate media creation tool for windows 8 etc, but ive also seen screen shots of a media creation tool that has all versions in the list.

Once it first booted into windows 10 after the clean install, it went really slow. Not like the upgrade at all. Yet, after doing a lot of stuff that it was obviously very busy with, it sped up to what was expected. So, what was going on? On initial startup, a lot of stuff needed to be done…

  • Each software package had to be setup for the individual machine, which includes creating a cache of settings and content that is required for something to start quickly.
  • System components have to go through the same setup process.
  • Windows downloaded and installed updates.
  • Windows downloaded and installed the default windows apps (including bloatware such as soda crush saga or whatever its called)
  • And probably other things I don’t know about.

One example on my computer is the sleep function. After the clean install, my shutdown menu didn’t have sleep. Yet, after a while, it appeared in the menu. Its just a matter of noticing that windows is extremely busy, and accepting it will be unresponsive. It just needs to be left alone for a while to get all of the things on its list done. On my laptop it took about half an hour for it to become usable.

Once all the updating was done, my laptop worked just as well as after the upgrade – without GB of whatever it was. its hard to tell the difference in performance. But i have a lot more space. I have a copy of the pre-upgrade system, just in case i need to get something from it, such as fonts or drivers. I recommend keeping a copy of the pre-upgrade system.


Windows 10: upgrade vs clean install

Cheap laptop replacement keyboards on ebay

Today i replaced my laptop keyboard with a cheap replacement from ebay. My original keyboard “b” key had failed.

I followed a youtube video for how to do it for a model like mine, and it works fine. I am happy to do things like that myself, and i usually end up with something that still works.

However, there are some things you should know:

  • the new keyboard did not fix my typing dyslexia.
  • laptop keyboards are replaceable, but it may not be the same as before.
  • you can do it yourself if you have some basic repair skills.
  • watch videos about how to do it, for the device you will do it on, because that will let you know if you are really able to do it, and what tools are required. try to find more than one video, because different people use different tools and sometimes miss important information.
  • avoid really cheap tools, especially screwdrivers. the metal is too soft and will get damaged easily and damage the screws easily. for example,the really cheap small screwdriver sets that are really cheap and have looked the same for decades – avoid using them.

Laptop keyboards are replaceable, but that isnt really made easy by manufacturers. In my case, the original keyboard was held in place by plastic tabs that were melted in place at the factory. replacing the keyboard means breaking these plastic tabs. with a bit of effort and the right tools, these plastic tabs can be replaced also. without replacing these tabs, my keyboard still works, but the larger keys are a little misshaped, because they arent being held up properly from underneath.

IMG_0713 crop 30pc

This is especially noticeable for the space and shift keys. Perhaps in the future i will try to redo the plastic tabs.

Cheap laptop replacement keyboards on ebay