I use Skype for work calls on a weekly basis.  Recently it nagged me into upgrading to the latest Windows 10 version that has been “rebuilt from the ground up”.  Straight away after installing and running it I realised they meant they had demolished it and let a cowboy builder do the reconstruction.  What a pile of shit!  Took 3 attempts to get it to load past the loading screen.  When it finally did connect I saw what a mess they made of a simple thing like the contacts list.  Instead of having a list of my actual contacts I now have a list of everybody that’s ever tried to contact me on Skype ordered by last activity.  So all those Chinese ladies that want to be my friend, all the Nigerian princes that need a load etc.  You have to click a contact button to get a popup and then another button on there to see who is online from my actual contacts list.  I can handle the extra clicks to do basic tasks but the two three big killers are (1) the interface looks horrible, both color variations of it (2) it keeps getting stuck on the loading screen and (3) it keeps being entirely unresponsive so I can see the contacts and messages but clicking on them does nothing.  They visually respond to the mouse event but don’t trigger the actual action.

Anyway, I gave it a week and now I’m done.  Downgrading is super easy.  Head to the Skype download page here.  Click the down arrow on the blue button labelled “Download Skype for Windows” and choose “Get Classic Skype”.  Download and run the installer.  It will replace the latest Windows 10 version and boom, you’re back in business.  I’ll keep an eye on reviews for new Skype versions but there will have to be some huge improvements before I upgrade it again.

I recently upgraded my browser to FireFox Quantum and found most of my addons no longer worked as the devs haven’t updated them yet.  One thing I forgot I missed until I needed it was the Restore Closed Tab toolbar button I had with the Session Manager addon. The way this worked was that when I accidentally closed a tab I could press the toolbar button and the tab would re-open along with it’s back/forwards history.  Turns out there is a built in FireFox way to do this.  Just press CTRL-Shift-T and the tab will open again.

My sister was having problems using ManyCam with Windows 7.  She could enter her login details to connect and setup her subscription but when she closed the program all the details were lost.  This caused her an additional problem where she could not use the same details again next time as it threw a subscription error at her.  She runs Windows 7 using an admin account so the solution was pretty simple:

  1. Right click the ManyCam desktop icon
  2. Choose the “Compatibility” tab
  3. At the bottom tick “Run this program as an administrator”
  4. Click OK
  5. The next time you run ManyCam it will now correctly save your settings file at the end when you close the program
  6. Note that if you are not running as an administrator then you may have to provide their login details when you use the shortcut

I think this ManyCam problem is because the program is trying to save the config file in its main program directory which it can’t do when run as a standard user.  Running as an admin means it can save the file.  This is not the ideal solution as it means granting admin access to the ManyCam program but at least it will get you going until they provide a proper fix.

I have a HTC Vive and lately when browsing various sites including engadget & Tom’s Hardware I notice SteamVR keeps opening.  Turns out some dickhead advertisers are trying to force VR ads on me.  The problem is I work with lots of Firefox tabs open across 3 screens and when you try to close SteamVR it also wants to close Firefox.  The solution is pretty simple, just disable VR in Firefox:

  1. Type about:config in the address bar
  2. Type VR into the search box at the top of the config page
  3. Double click both “dom.vr.enabled” and “dom.vr.openvr.enabled” so the right side value column says “false”

Done.  It’s a bit of a pain if you do any browser based VR work but you can always re-enable it while working and turn it off again afterwards.

Working on a hardware problem and I had to find the ohms (Ω) for the various Noctua Fan Resistors.  Found everything I needed but didn’t see a single source for them all so thought it might help others if I compiled it all into one place:

  • Classic Black LNA 50Ω (source)
  • Classic Blue ULNA 81Ω (source)
  • NA-RC6 81.4Ω (source)
  • NA-RC7 50Ω (source)
  • NA-RC8 150Ω (source is an email reply to me from Noctua: “the NA-RC8 is a 150 Ohms ressistor”)
  • NA-RC9 100Ω (source)
  • NA-RC10 51Ω (source)
  • NA-RC11 98Ω (source)
  • NA-RC12 147.5Ω (source)

It took me ages but I finally managed to pull out all the old content from the blog and wiki systems. Now I just have to go through the 200+ pages and 400+ comments, giving them the once over before making each one live.

So all the big complicated jobs have been done, now it’s just a case of a few big repetitive boring jobs so another 2-3 weeks. Then I can spend some time polishing the site theme off.

I’ve been a member of the G-Camp Muay Thai school for almost 8 years, I’ve had 13 ring fights, helped out at many of the inter-clubs and made many good friends along the way. I realised quite a while ago that I had reached a plateau and wasn’t getting any better, I actually felt over the last year I had gotten worse. I put that down to most of my actual fight training ending when Horace stopped teaching the fight class on Tuesdays. A couple of good friends did come down on Saturdays to help people including myself which was great but once a week isn’t really enough and they couldn’t make it all the time. That meant we were left with watching pad-work combos before Mike would disappear out of the room to play with his phone, it’s extremely rare that he comes over and gives you direct guidance such as good footwork or fighting stance, he prefers to shout “throw more jabs, do more low kicks, stand your ground”, as he’s leaving the room to make another call. There are people that go to a few of the classes and think otherwise and wave the flag of allegiance which I also once carried but after visiting some other gyms it was quickly obvious how wrong I had been. I’ve always accepted that I am part of the problem, I could be watching lots more fight training videos online or going to other gyms as well but then what am I paying an expert for? I can do keep-fit at home with the Insanity Workout videos.

Continue reading “Goodbye G-Camp”

This is a simple short tip on how to copy one or more layers and/or layer groups to a new Adobe Photoshop document.

  1. Open the document you want to duplicate layers from.
  2. Create a new document you want the duplicated layers to be placed in or open a current document.
  3. In the Layers panel, select the layer(s) and/or group(s) you want to copy.
  4. Right click what you selected in the Layers panel and choose Duplicate.
  5. In the popup there is a “Destination” section. In the dropdown pick the name of the document you created/opened in step 2 and click OK.
  6. Done! If you checkout the new file you made/opened earlier in step 2 you will see your layers/groups have been duplicated to there.
  7. Alternatively, you don’t have to create the new document first, in the “Destinations” dropdown the bottom option is “New” which means it will create a new document for you. You just have to fill in the “Name” field which is the title for the new document.

I think that title gets a +5 on the geek scale! So, I’ve tried to do this before with my old HTC HD2 and had mixed results. The problem I had back then was that MyPhoneExplorer would get launched when any USB device was connected, not just the phone. As you can imagine that was a bit annoying. Now I have a shiny new Samsung Galaxy Note I thought it was a good time to take another stab.

What is the goal? I use a free application called MyPhoneExplorer (MPE) to sync Outlook 2010 x32 with my phone. I sync my contacts, calendar, notes, tasks and custom directories. It works really well but you have to connect the phone and then manually load MyPhoneExplorer. That’s means loading it from the start menu and then clicking the multi-sync option. How much effort is that?! Ok, not much but it’s more than I can be bothered doing each time. The goal is to get MPE to load automatically when the phone is connected, do an automatic multi-sync and then close MPE. Took me like an hour to work it out and searching the depths of the interweb it seems nobody else on the planet has posted how to do this so I felt it would be a nice thing to share.

Continue reading “MyPhoneExplorer Android Auto Sync via Windows Task Manager”

Who wants to know what the legal UK residential sound levels are? There are none! I know crazy right. To make things even more fun, the council don’t even have to come to your house or your neighbours. They entirely base their decision on what the other person says and any “witnesses” they can scrounge up. Don’t be mistaken into thinking the councils ASB Action Team are there to mediate because they are not. They just want to shut you up and close the case as soon as possible. There is a common misconception that the council must send someone out with a sound measuring device, sit in your neighbours place and detect the level you are producing. That is a myth. As I said, they base their decision solely on the word of your neighbours and their friends. How do I know all this? Well I’m on the receiving end of a noise nuisance complaint.

Continue reading “UK Residential Sound Laws”

Ha-ha! I threw that shit before I walked in the room!

— Black Dynamite