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Showing posts from 2014

VirtualRouter Misbehaving in Windows 8: "A device attached to the system is not working"

After trying the VirtualRouter for a while, it got inebriated and started giving out the error that "A device attached to the system is not working." After unsuccessfully trying to repair or re-install, I dug deeper and discovered that indeed a device was not working. Somehow the built-in WiFi card was turned off and couldn't be turned on with the F3 key (on this laptop its the F3 key that switches  wireless networks on & off). 
However, if you visit the Network Sharing Centre, select Change Adapter Settings then right-click on the WiFi adapter and select Diagnose, the diagnostic tool should report that your WiFi network is off. It  should either turn it on automatically or give you the option to turn it on.

VirtualRouter turns your PC into a WiFi hotspot. No need for those gadgets that do a very lousy job trying to be hotspots. The software is entirely free. The shared connection could be your modem or LAN.

Android Studio Issues

Android Studio is a new IDE from Google apparentlyintended to try to make Android application development easier. However, there seems to be a few issues that get in the way. Two potential sources of headaches are:

"Locked cache" error andUnable to install cradleTwo possible solutions: Start Android Studio as Administrator if using Windows. I have not tried starting it as root in Linux. It is not recommended to run applications as root in Linux.Set up the HTTP proxy server IP address and port in the File->Settings menu.Google still needs a lot of work to simplify the interface. IntelliJ IDEA is still the simplest Android IDE in my experience. Eclipse ADT is getting close. R

Blurred Text in Windows 8 Applications

Some applications that are not native Windows 8 display with slightly blurred text even when the rest of the apps have sharp crisp appearance. As an example, see the distorted modem app shown below. Click on each image to see it in full size:

The settings are as shown below:

With some doctoring of compatibility settings, you can modify the application interface to be as crisp and sharp as native |Windows 8 applications. The settings I used are shown below. To access the settings, right click the application shortcut on your desktop and select the Compatibility tab shown below.

New settings:
Note the new settings for colour depth (now 16-bit, 65536) and "disable scaling on high DPI settings". You can experiment with different settings to see what works best for you. Unfortunately, pre-Windows 7 apps may be very challenging to sort out in this way.

Import .csv Contacts into Android

The problem is simple: You have an Android phone that is new or reset to wipe contacts or phone book. Your phone book or contacts are in a .CSV file or Excel and you want to import into the Android phone.

All kinds of strange and convoluted solutions are given out there but the one that worked for me on several occasions is a tool called CSV to VCard. It is free software that accepts .CSVfiles, allows you to make adjustments, then converts into VCard (.vcf) format. You can copy the .vcf onto your phone and then open that file via Android to import into Android Contacts.

The process is shown graphically below:

Launch "CSV to VCard": 2. Open .CSV File:

3. Edit Fields in VCard (Right side is editable by clicking "select" and scrolling the list to select best filed name):
4. Edit the export file name (It is a .vcf) and location:

5. Click "Convert" to convert and save. You get the following message in about 1/2 a second...:

6. Copy the .vcf file to the phone's SD …

Will my phone work in USA?

What if you are travelling to a foreign country and you need to know if your phone will work there? The answer is simple. There are two things to check: 1. GSM frequencies for making telephone calls  (some phones use CDMA,these are not dealt with here) 2. Data service frequencies for accessing the Internet.
There are two GSM frequency groups: 1. 900 and 1800 Mega Hertz (MHz) 2. 850 and 1900MHz.
Most of the world is in the first category except USA. See the map.
The next question is: Now that I have found that USA uses 850 and 1900MHz for making telephone calls, can my phone use these frequencies?
As an example, take the LG Optimus L3 E400. What are the GSM frequencies of this phone? You can get these details from the website. If you search for LG E400, you will get the following page.
For this phone, the key frequencies are: 2G NetworkGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G NetworkHSDPA 900 / 2100

This data says that your phone can use both the 850/1900 and 900/1800 bands for GSM …


Tchzz! is not Polish. Its the sound your laptop charger makes as it dies! This article is very short. It has one purpose: To warn you, dear reader, against using cheap  extension  cords and lose electrical sockets.

I am told that if you hope to keep your laptop charger for any length of time, ensure your extension cord has a surge suppressor and has very good fit with your electric plug. Do the math:
A good extension cord will cost you KES 2,000 (USD22) and up while a new laptop charger will cost you KES3,000 and up (USD34). A good extension cord will last years and years if not abused and  definitely  outlast the laptop which is obsolete within a few years.

Have a very optimistic year and make sure you look very closely at this site. It will change they way you look at life.