Problems connecting iPhone 6 iOS9 to Underground Tube Wifi

I hope this helps anyone who has difficulty connecting their iPhone to London Underground Wifi. I recently updated to iOS9.3 beta (but was unaware that this was actually the cause of the problem).

The issue I experienced was that whenever I connected to ‘VirginMedia Wifi’ the connection would drop straight off. No login screen, nothing.

I tried the usual things like hard reset, ‘forgetting’ the network, deleting cookies in Safari and finally resetting the network. I did NOT want to wipe my iPhone.

The fix was this – navigate to ‘Settings’ > ‘Cellular’ then scroll to the bottom of the list and toggle Wifi Assist off.

I also have ‘Settings’ – ‘Privacy’ – ‘Location Services’ – ‘(Scroll to bottom) ‘System Services’ – ‘Wi-Fi Networking’ turned OFF.

Hope this helps. Took me forever to fix.

Stop Windows 7 Updates from Automatically Restarting Computer

Windows 7 (in my case, Ultimate Edition), restarts automatically when it’s finished installing scheduled updates. I had around 10 tabs open in Chrome I wanted to read in the morning and as the computer had restarted, they had gone. It also ungracefully forced the Windows SharePoint 2007 server VM I was playing with to shut down. I don’t like this behaviour at all and would much rather it restarted at my convenience, not its own.

So how do you stop Windows 7 from automatically starting after it’s updated?

I’ve seen some people rooting around in the registry but it’s best to avoid that if that kind of thing makes you nervous. A much better way is to use the Group Policy editor, so here’s how to stop those inconvenient restarts:

  1. Go to ‘Start’ type ‘gpedit.msc’ to open the group policy editor
  2. Once opened navigate to ‘Local Computer Policy’ – ‘Administrative Templates’ – ‘Windows Components’ – ‘Windows Update’
  3. Change the ‘No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic updates installations’ to ‘Enabled’
Stop Windows 7 Updates from starting your computer

Navigate to ‘Local Computer Policy’ – ‘Administrative Templates’ – ‘Windows Components’ – ‘Windows Update’ in Group Policy Editor

This should stop those pesky reboots.

Cheap, decent in-ear headphones (with mic) for the iPhone

First, let me begin by stating that I have no affiliation or prior history with either company that supplied the headphones I bought below. Also, I’m no audiophile but I DO use the handsfree headsets for my phones all the time. Recently, work gave me an iPhone 3GS and the headphones were unbelievably poor, probably through no fault of their own, in that they simply just fell out of my big dumbo ears.

The Blackberry headset I got with my old 8210 Curve  are compatible, but I’ve always been a bit funny about the sponge covering on the buds. I have mental images of the sponge membrane caked with earwax and getting beads of moisture forming on the soft, cake-like surface. And anyway, I wanted to keep this old set as a spare, so I decided to look on eBay for some new ones.

I ended up buying 2 pairs, both different. I thought I’d lost a set but someone mistakenly took them off my desk at work, which I got back. By this time I’d ordered a new set. Now, although they look pretty similar, one set was tinny and shit and the other was good (in that they were totally unremarkable). So I decided I’d post about which pair were shit and which pair were good, but like I said, I’m no audiophile, so here goes.

Crap headphones from eBay for iPhone

Tinny, wiring was poor, really bad.

This pair, sold by e_cell were so bad. Sounded awful and tinny and the left one broke up if you flexed the wire near the jack. Like those crappy headphones you used to have at school.

Avoid.

Non-audiophile rating: 1/10. It gets a one as they started to deteriorate almost immediately and only avoid getting a zero as they still barely work.

Oh, by the way, this isn’t a slur on e-cell, they delivered quick (REALLY quick – next day, just as promised).

Unremarkable (good, I suppose) headphones

These are pretty good.

These ones, sold by kgm_accessory, were the original ones I bought. They’re good, in the sense that they’re totally unremarkable and do the job ok. Bassier than the ones from e_cell, there’s no problems with the wire and the little button/mic controller works ok, but sometimes doesn’t have as precise an action as the original Apple headset. You can pull the rubber buds off and clean the slime out as well!

Non-audiophile rating: 7/10

So there you go – a quick non-audiophile’s review on two cheap-as-chips headsets from eBay.

Resuming from suspend with remote control on XBMC and Ubuntu 9.10

I’m so fucking lazy. I don’t want to have to get up, walk the 3 paces across my living room, open the cupboard door and press the power button on my HTPC to resume it from suspend (sleep). So I must be able to do it with the remote control, right? Well, you can with a little bit of work:

I completed all the steps in this excellent xbmc wiki article about enabling wake-on-device.

When I tested it by sleeping my computer, I had to press the ‘power’ button on my MCE remote to get it to resume, but all worked fine. However, it badgered me for a password. I didn’t want this as I wanted to be able to use it via the MCE remote ONLY. To disable the password nagging screen do this by starting terminal and type the following to bring up the configuration editor:

gconf-editor
Navigate to ‘Apps’ – ‘gnome-power-manager’ – ‘lock’ and untick ‘suspend’, as below:

Untick the 'suspend' box in the configuration manager

So there you go, resume your HTPC with the remote and no troublesome nagging password screen.

Fixing Blank Screen if Ubuntu 9.10 Started with HDTV or Monitor Turned Off

Lord knows this was painful to fix as I’m a relative Linux newbie.

Problem:

My HTPC, when started up with my HDTV turned off does not detect the TV and results in a blank screen. I can VNC into the Ubuntu OS but the resolution is very low (800×600). I suspect this is due to the television as I’ve read in some forums that this is just ‘one of those things’ on certain models. The graphics card is an Nvidia MSI 8400GS, connected to a Toshiba 37AV505D HDTV via an HDMI cable with a DVI adapter into the card.

After some research it appears the graphics card is waiting for monitor information to come down the connected cable via EDID. As the monitor is off, the card defaults to ‘failsafe’ settings and switches output to the VGA port at 800×600.

Solution:

Force the graphics to ignore missing EDID information, force output to DVI and also force the resolution.

Brief Solution Explanation:

Export EDID settings for connected and correctly configured flatscreen/HDTV. Point xorg.conf to use the exported settings and to ignore all else.

This is what I did to fix it:

Warning: This is, apparently, dangerous and can spanner your TV/monitor if done incorrectly. Proceed at your own risk etc etc

  1. Ensure ssh is installed
    This is so you can restore your xorg.conf file if everything goes tits up.
  2. Backup the xorg.conf file
    This file is, apparently, somewhat old and rarely used. When I totally spannered this setup (which I did a couple of times), I was be able to SSH back into the box and return the file to the original.
    First, open terminal and change permissions:
    cd /etc/X11
    sudo chmod 777 xorg.conf

    then make a new copy:
    sudo mv xorg.conf xorg.conf.original
  3. Make a new xorg.conf file
    At the moment no xorg.conf file exists. As I am using the Nvidia driver, I created a new xorg.conf file by starting the Nvidia settings in terminal:
    sudo nvidia-xconfig
  4. Start up the NVIDIA settings manager
    sudo nvidia-settings
    (You can also get to it by going to ‘System’ – ‘Preferences’ – ‘Display’. It should be present if your system is fully up-to-date) . Looks something like this:
  5. NVIDIA X Server Settings in Ubuntu 9.10Ensure the monitor/screen/LCD/HDTV or whatever is the ONLY monitor connected and save the settings
    Go to the ‘X Server Display Configuration’ option and ensure you select the correct resolution, frequency.
    Click on the ‘Advanced…’ button.
    Take a note of the ‘Model’ (in my case ‘TSB TOSHIBA (DFP-0 on GPU-0)’) and the ‘Mode Name’ (in my case ‘1920x1080_60i’).
    Click ‘Save to X Configuration File’ and save to ‘/etc/X11/xorg.conf’.
    If you have problems saving you will probably have to reset the permissions, as per step 2 (‘sudo chmod 777 xorg.conf’).

    Screenshot-NVIDIA X Server Settings

    Don't forget to save your settings

  6. Quit and restart Ubuntu.
  7. Export your EDID settings
    In terminal, start the Nvidia Settings GUI again with:
    sudo nvidia-settings
    Now go to the settings for your flat panel (in my case it was ‘DFP-0 – (TSB TOSHIBA-TV)’
    Click the ‘Acquire EDID…’ button and note where you saved it (in my case I chose ‘/home/mark/Desktop/edid.bin)
    Acquire EDID...
  8. Modify the xorg.conf file to use exported EDID file
    Open terminal and ensure you have write permissions for xorg.conf:
    cd /etc/X11
    sudo chmod 777 xorg.conf
    sudo gedit xorg.conf

    This should open your xorg.conf file.
    Under the ‘Section “Device”‘ I added:
    Option “CustomEDID” “DFP-0:/home/mark/Desktop/edid.bin”
    ‘DFP-0’ is ‘Digital Flat Panel – 0’, we noted this in step 5. Yours may well be different.
    The section ended up looking like this:
    Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    BoardName      "GeForce 8400 GS"
    Option         "CustomEDID" "DFP-0:/home/mark/Desktop/edid.bin"
    EndSection

    It’s probably worth restarting just to see that everything’s still ok. Still with the monitor on, it should boot up ‘normally’.
  9. Force the screen to use DVI and ignore other modes
    I added these two lines under the ‘Section “Screen”‘:
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP-0"
    (This forces the graphics card to assume the above monitor is connected)
    Option         "ExactModeTimingsDVI" "TRUE"
    (This gets the graphics card to ignore any other possible modes available)
    I then removed all but the mode I wished to use and locked it to the monitor I wished to use:
    Option         "metamodes" "DFP-0: 1920x1080_60i +0+0"
    (This line had lots more modes specified, separated by commas and semicolons).
    The section ended up looking like this:
    Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth    24
    Option         "TwinView" "0"
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP-0"
    Option         "ExactModeTimingsDVI" "TRUE"
    Option         "metamodes" "DFP-0: 1920x1080_60i +0+0"
    SubSection     "Display"
    Depth       24
    EndSubSection
    EndSection
  10. Reboot and check it boots up with monitor turned on
    The display should look totally normal.
  11. Reboot with monitor turned off to test
    Turn display on after it’s booted into the OS.

Problems? Troubleshooting? Try opening up ‘/var/log/xorg.0.log’ and looking through to see what’s not working.

If your display was hosed, you can see the log from the time BEFORE you just booted by checking out ‘/var/log/xorg.0.log.old’.

This post and this post really helped me out.

Mac OSX Screenshot/Screengrab Shortcut Keys

I can never seem to remember these, so this is really for my reference:

  • Command-Control-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Shift-3: Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area: Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
  • Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window: Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard

Originally posted at MacRumors.

Installing OSX86 (Hackintosh) onto Gigabyte G41M-ES2H with iDeneb v1.5.1 (Mac OSX 10.5.7) and NVIDIA MSI N8400GS D512H

This walkthrough is for those of you smart enough to buy an NVIDIA GPU rather than go through the torture of trying to get the onboard Intel X4500 graphics to work with OSX. Below, I basically copied 95% of the walkthrough I did for the vanilla, basic walkthrough without the NVIDIA card installed, but changed the bits that were pertinent to the video card.

I’ve done another write up about how to install with iATKOS v7 but graphics functionality is reduced as it uses the onboard Intel GPU. The installation on this page, in my opinion, is better. Click here to see the iATKOS installation.

Please note – I used an MSI N8400GS D512H which fit the bill as it was cheap (under £50), fanless (nice and quiet for my HTPC) and had OSX86 compatibility (QE/CI) and Ubuntu compatibility.

Originally I bought this motherboard with the intention of running XBMC on top of OSX. It was a toss-up between Ubuntu 9.10 and an OSX86 Hackintosh flavour and in the end Ubuntu won, but only because it was marginally quicker to boot up and support for this setup on the XBMC forums seemed to be a little better.

Anyhow, I think that at least a few people should find this walk-through useful so I thought I’d write it up. Originally I was going to write it up using iATKOS but you needed to mess around with NVinject, and the installation with iDeneb seems to be so much easier.

I installed the MSI card before I began and used the DVI output to connect to my monitor.

Setting up the BIOS

So, onwards and upwards. After installing all the components into the case (I used a SATA hard drive and port closest to the edge of the board) and having downloaded iATKOS V7 iso from one of the usual sources and burnt it to a DVD I had a quick wade through the BIOS to check the settings.

To start with I selected ‘Load Optimized Defaults’, save and exited in case the HDD needed to be redetected, then went back into the BIOS.

Here’s what I did on each page – I am only documenting settings I changed from the default:

Standard CMOS Features

On all IDE channels that weren’t in use I went into each and selected ‘NONE’. Although on the main page it already says ‘NONE’ I go into each and manually disable those not in use. In my experience it stops the motherboard detecting drives every time and can speed up the POST.
Drive A – ‘NONE
Halt on – ‘No Errors’Standard CMOS Features BIOS screen

Advanced BIOS Features

First Boot Device – ‘Hard Disk’
Second Boot Device – ‘Disabled’
Third Boot Device – ‘Disabled’

Advanced BIOS Features screen

Advanced Chipset Features

As I was using the MSI card I’d bought I chaged the ‘Init Display First’ to ‘PEG’Advanced Chipset Utilities BIOS screen

Integrated Peripherals

Onboard Serial Port 1 – ‘Disabled’
Onboard Parallel Port – ‘Disabled’ – I don’t use any parallel or serial devices.
USB Keyboard Function – ‘Enabled’
USB Mouse Function – ‘Enabled’ – Otherwise your (USB) keyboard won’t work during setup.

Integrated Peripherals BIOS screen

Power Management Setup

I left all these settings as default.

Power Management Setup BIOS screen

PnP/PCI Configurations

I left these as default.

PnP/PCI Configurations BIOS screen

PC Health Status

I left these settings as default, and couldn’t be bothered to take a screenshot.

OSX86 Installation

Please note – it is best to do this part connected to a standard computer monitor/flatscreen. Otherwise you end up having to choose options and press buttons that aren’t visible on the screen, a bit like this (this is from an earlier iATKOS installation):

iATKOS Welcome Screen on widescreen TV

If you use a widescreen TV, you may not be able to see or select buttons during installation

Now the BIOS is sorted, let’s get on with the actual installation. Connect the DVI cable to your NVIDIA card, pop the iDeneb v1.5.1 DVD into in the caddy, hit ‘F12’ as it runs through the POST to bring up the Boot Menu and select ‘CDROM’.

When it asks to ‘Boot from CD/DVD’ make sure you hit return. Another message with something like ”Press any key to start up from CD ROM…’ pops up a few seconds after, hit return again.

You should have the Apple logo up whilst the installer loads – after 10 or so minutes the a asking to select an installation language.

Choose your language screen

This next bit is important. You will now prepare your hard drive. When the ‘Welcome’ screen pops up you get the Apple menu along the top of the screen. Click ‘Utilities’ – ‘Disk Utility…’

The entire contents of this drive are about to be erased. Please ensure you have no important information on your drive because if you come whining to me I will honestly not give a fuck.

Select your drive in the left hand pane (in the screen below I already had a ‘Mac OSX’ partition created, ignore this), and click on the ‘Erase’ option to the right of ‘First Aid’. Choose ‘Mac OS Extended (Journaled)’ and name your new partition (I used ‘Mac OSX’). Hit the ‘Erase…’ button. A warning dialogue box will pop up, just hit the ‘Erase’ button again.

iDeneb Disk Utility

Close the Disk Utility and you should be back to the Welcome screen. Click the ‘Continue’ button and the Software licence agreement should pop up. Now Click on the ‘Agree’ button.

Software licence agreement page

Next the ‘Select a Destination’ window will pop up. Select your drive and click ‘Continue’

Select Your Destination screen with iDeneb

The ‘Install Summary’ page pops up. This bit is REALLY important.

Click the ‘Customize’ button.

Customize button in iDeneb

Don't forget to hit the 'Customize' button

Under ‘iDeneb Patches 10.5.7 Ready’ – ‘Drivers’ – ‘Video’ – ‘NVidia’ select ‘NVinject 0.2.1’. Don’t select anything else. Click the ‘Done’ button.

Selecting the NVinject driver in iDeneb

Hit install and make a nice cup of tea whilst it writes the data to disk.

I normally skip the DVD consistency test that next pops up. If it is the first time you are intalling you may want to let this run.

The installation time will depend on the speed of your DVD (hardware) and hard drive. My DVD is pretty old and slow, so it took about 15 minutes to install.

Your machine should reboot and you should see that hideous Chameleon graphic before it boots into OSX. Next you should be asked to identify your keyboard. Follow the instructions and choose the country you’re in and your keyboard layout.

When it asked me if I already owned a Mac, I chose ‘Do not transfer my information now’.

On the ‘Registration Information’ screen, I typed in my name and made up everything else in the compulsory fields.

When ‘Create Your Account’ popped up, I filled in all the fields and chose a password.

I selected ‘I don’t want to try MobileMe for free right now’.

When the ‘Thank You’ screen pops up, hit ‘Go’. Boom, all done.

Thank You installation screen on iDeneb

You're welcome.

Your new Hackintosh is all finished. I know the network/ethernet works fine, as does the sound. As for the troublesome power management capabilities, the ‘Sleep’ function works, but when you shut down the power light stays on, so it’s not quite there. As soon as I figure out the fix I’ll edit this post, or if anyone knows how to sort it, let me know!