MMEncode is not available on Linux distros any more.

Posted by admin - Under: Linux, Software

Not sure what happened to this or why but its no longer available. I used to have a script that used it to convert binary data to text for attachments on emails. Having searched high and low I came up with a new solution – use openssl.

You can do the same that you were doing with mmencode by doing the following

openssl base64 -e < $FILE

Enjoy.

Visual Studio 2015, Windows 10 under VMWare Fusion 7 on a Mac

Posted by admin - Under: Apple, Microsoft Windows, Windows 10, Windows Mobile, Xamarin

Trying to run up my windows project using Xamarin for windows phone 8. Kept getting this error when the windows phone 8.1 emulator

"Failed to start the virtual machine because one of the Hyper-V components is not running"

Researched a bit and had a few goes and quite a few different solutions but had to manually edit .vmx file which is inside the vmware folders.

Had to add

hypervisor.cpuid.v0 = "FALSE"

Make sure you do this with the VM shutdown. And bobs your uncle it now runs up the windows 8.1 emulators. Took a while to run them up the first time but it did finally come up. Can now debug my Xamarin project on windows phone 8.1.

Enjoy

Xamarin: Unable to install new debug version of Android app on a Motorola Ultra

Posted by admin - Under: Software, Xamarin

On running from the Xamarin studio, I could no longer deploy to the companie’s Motorola Ultra. From the deploy to device window I was seeing the following error: [INSTALL_FAILED_UPDATE_INCOMPATIBLE]

This normally means that there is an old version hanging around on the device which you can’t overwrite – usually because the older version is signed and the new version is not because its running as debug from the Xamarin studio. On most Android devices they show the package name of the app in the installed apps and you can just go and remove it by the usual un-install method.

For some reason on my companies Motorola Ultra this was not showing. Took me a while but this is how I did uninstall it. You have to run up the Android debugger for which on my mac is located in …

/Users/<loggedinuser>/Library/Developer/Xamarin/android-sdk-macosx/platform-tools

Then you issue the command

./adb uninstall com.<package>.<name>

And Bob’s your uncle the package is uninstalled and you can then run the new one up and it gets deployed to the phone with no issue.

Hope that helps someone.

Moving From One Computer To Another With Existing Checkouts In TFS (Team Foundation Server)

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Microsoft Windows, Software

My laptop was corrupted and decided to move to another laptop at work. I had existing checkouts so I copied all the code involved to the new laptop. Then I couldn’t add the workspace with the same name as it kept saying the workspace exists on my old machine.

I looked around at posts on the internet and they were suggesting to use the tfs commands

I tried to use

tf workspaces [/updateComputerName:oldComputerName][workspacename]

Now I don’t know what was wrong but it didn’t work at all. So I took the brute force approach and updated the TFS database itself using the SQL management studio.

I used

UPDATE [TFSDBName].[dbo].[tbl_Workspace]

SET Computer = ‘NewMachineName’ WHERE Computer = ‘OldMachineName’

and that worked a treat.   If your worried then do a select first and make sure you know how many it should be updating first and do a begin transaction before the statement – just to make sure your updating the right amount.  Or even do a select afterwards to see the data changed and then issue a commit command.

Global Emergency Resources LLC – 57th Presidential Inauguration.

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Personal, Software

Over the last couple of weeks I was very privileged to have some of the software that I have worked on being used for the 57th Presidential Inauguration. It is probably my biggest career moment ever – so far !

My employer Global Emergency Resources LLC landed a contract to supply the first aid locations and command centers with their product – HC Standard.

Ex·cerpt from Global Emergency Resource’s website:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2013 Presidential Inauguration brought landmark changes in emergency management and spectator safety. For the first time, inaugural personnel used a powerful situational awareness software suite to track medical emergencies; reunite lost family members; and provide real time information to event organizers. Emergency personnel from The District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and the United States military integrated emergency data using HC Standard® – a patient tracking and critical asset software solution developed by Global Emergency Resources, LLC based in Augusta, Georgia.

HC Standard® allowed local, state and federal agencies, including the National Parks Service, US Secret Service, the Red Cross, and Homeland Security officials to have a common operating picture of major events during the Inauguration, including the Presidential Candlelight Reception; the Inaugural Parade; activities along the National Mall; the Commander in Chief Ball; the Inaugural Ball; and the Inaugural Prayer Service.

The DC Department of Health partnered with the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Service Systems (MIEMSS), the Northern Virginia Emergency Response System (NVERS), and the Maryland Department of Human Resources (MD DHS) to provide patient care and tracking throughout the event. Each partner used its own installation of HC Standard® to enter patient data with Motorola MC65 handheld devices. The data was aggregated and shared in all systems so that EMTs, first responders, and command center leaders could see the full picture of Inaugural events as they occurred.

During the Inauguration, HC Standard® tracked every emergency or first aid case and plotted it in each of the three emergency operations centers used for the event tracking and management. Additionally, family members who were lost, and those who were looking for them, had their information uploaded to a multijurisdictional database so they could be more easily reunited. Even the 100+ horses that carried the mounted police were part of the HC Standard® operating picture.

“Interoperability was key,” says Stan Kuzia, CEO and founder of Global Emergency Resources. “The EMS and Healthcare partners in the National Capital Region (NCR) have worked diligently over the years to eliminate information silos and enhance communication. This Presidential Inauguration demonstrated their hard work is paying off”. The various civilian agencies in the NCR also worked closely with their military counterparts to share a combined picture of patients and missing persons being treated and handled during the entire event. HC Standard® helped to bridge the interoperability gaps on Inauguration Day as near real-time data was available to military responders just as fast as their civilian counterparts.

Original document can be found here: http://www.ger911.com/news-and-events/17-news/133-inauguration2013

MySQL pegging CPU after the leap second adjustment.

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Linux, Software

So I find that my MySQL database is running high on CPU all of a sudden. I optimize the tables etc and no difference. I hunt around the internet to find that there seems to be a problem with this years leap second adjustment which sends MySQL into orbit.

The solution reset the date

date -s "`date`"

and it dropped back to normal.

Credit goes to this lady here http://www.sheeri.com/content/mysql-and-leap-second-high-cpu-and-fix

BackupPC Has qw(…) Warnings Since Upgrading Perl

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Linux, Software

So since upgrading Perl I am presented with qw warnings coming out of the cron job checking that BackupPC is running.

Use of qw(...) as parentheses is deprecated at /usr/share/BackupPC/lib/BackupPC/Storage/Text.pm line 301.
Use of qw(...) as parentheses is deprecated at /usr/share/BackupPC/lib/BackupPC/Lib.pm line 1412.

The way to get rid of these warnings is to enclose qw in parentheses and Perl processes the foreach parameters without warnings.

Like so

Text.pm (Line 301)

#
# Promote BackupFilesOnly and BackupFilesExclude to hashes
#
foreach my $param (qw(BackupFilesOnly BackupFilesExclude)) {
next if ( !defined($conf->{$param}) || ref($conf->{$param}) eq "HASH" );
$conf->{$param} = [ $conf->{$param} ]
if ( ref($conf->{$param}) ne "ARRAY" );
$conf->{$param} = { "*" => $conf->{$param} };
}

Lib.pm (Line 1412)

foreach my $param (qw(BackupFilesOnly BackupFilesExclude)) {
next if ( !defined($conf->{$param}) );
if ( ref($conf->{$param}) eq "HASH" ) {

CryoDefense

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Software, Windows Mobile

Just like to give out a shout to a young man Neil Bostrom who I had the pleasure of working with at Standard Life Healthcare.  It seems in the last year he has not only launched a company TreeHouse Development but a new game for the Microsoft Windows 7 Phone platform and its called CryoDefense.

CryoDefense Logo

Zotac ION-ITX-F Wi-Fi Dual Core 1.6GHz Atom N330 Mini-ITX Motherboard with PCI Express x16 With Windows 7 Home Premium

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Hardware, Microsoft Windows, Mini-ITX, Windows 7


Zotac ION-ITX-F

Originally uploaded by paulfarrow

After putting a power meter on my home entertainment system realised that my equipment was using a lot of power 350 watts at peak. So thought I would do some investigation into a recent low power mini-itx board from Zotac. I chose this one because it was dual core and it has a pci-express card on it which is good for a cable tuner I am looking at to use in it for when I am in the USA.

Ordered the board from mini-itx.com as they are the only people I could find doing this board. It came and everything looked fine except that the fan isnt fitted and there are no holes for it on the cpu heat sink. After talking with mini-itx they told me to screw it to the heatsink even though it doesnt have any predetermined holes. I also noticed that the manuals that came with it – the quick installation and the main manual werent for this board. Which was a great start.


Zotac ION-ITX-F

Originally uploaded by paulfarrow

I had already converted my old system from Vista to Windows 7. I then put the new Atom board into my case and started it up. Immediately I was getting checksum errors and just stalled. I was like oh dear must be memory related so twiddled about a bit with the memory until I found the culprit. From going from 1 board to the other, one stick of my 2Gb DDR2 had decided to die.

Not a real problem as really 2Gb of memory should be ok for what that board needs to do. So once over that everything came up fine. I use this as my media center so mainly playing music and watching tv (SD & HD blu-ray).

Initial reaction was that its great. So lets put it through its paces, watching blu-ray with fast moving action – didnt phase it at all everything was running fine at 17% cpu and wattage was about 270 watts so it was already saving me about 70 watts of power. I then decided to get it to record two tv stations and watch a recorded program at the same time.

It did this as well although cpu was about going from about 50 to 75%. And when navigating through the menu it was a bit sluggish although livable. All in all it is great because it will save me money and the Windows 7 media center is a little better than the old Vista one.

FURTHER UPDATE:  having recently bought UP on blu-ray I have noticed something that is important for this board.  Some of the later blu-ray’s are recorded in MPEG4 – I have tested UP and The Taking Of Pelham 123, they are both recorded in MPEG4 unlike I Am Legend which is VC1.

MPEG4 is currently running at around 47% cpu usage which is fine on its own but if (like I was at the time of trying to play UP) you are recording tv at the same time its just a bit too much for the little NVIDIA ION board which then runs at 100% and frames and audio drop on the play back of the blu-ray movie.  Its a shame because its a great board and just what I want when the machine is on all the time but its a trade off between performance and cost of running the equipment.

Overall I am still impressed even though there are these obvious trade offs.

#Rackmax #SATA Enclosure With A Silicon Image SiI3114 PCI SATA Raid Card

Posted by Paul Farrow - Under: Hardware, Linux, Mini-ITX

Last week I bought a Rackmax 4 x 3.5 Sata Enclosure from Linitx.  It has four drives but fits inside 3 x 5.25 external slots.  Initial inspection was that its well made and rugged.  Only niggle I had was that the two power molex sockets on the back are quite close together and because of this you cant use sata to molex power converters in it or not the ones I have cause the sata moulding touches and pushes the plug out of the socket.

There were no other problems, I housed it in an Antec mini tower just fine.  Kept the fan on the back which is a little noisy but not too bad, it seems noisy because the motherboard is fanless and the Antec case has a 120 mm fan which together is basically silent and this fan is the only thing in the tower making any noise.  Now I put disks a couple of old 250Gb Samsung Spinpoint SATA II drives in it which just happened to be laying around in my office and bought a couple of 1TB Samsung Spintpoint SATA II drives from Ebuyer.  Mounted the drives and put them in the Rackmax enclosure.  Powered it up and all the lights came on and went off but one of the drives in the Rackmax enclosure had a solid yellow light on which I think signals a problem.  I swapped them around and another light came on a different drive !!! wierd so I just put it down to the fact that the enclosure wasnt configured properly yet with the motherboard.

Ok so while I bought the terabyte drives I also bought a 4 port sata raid card from Linitx, it was only a cheapy and just thought its bound to be fine with Linux.  Linitx are a very reputable dealer who specialise in small form factor motherboards and embedded systems.  So got it slotted into my fanless VIA EK8000 board and plugged the drives up.  Powered it up and it just halts on when it is declaring what SATA drives it has on itself.  MMM I thought to myself wonder if its all SATA drives or what?!  So I unplugged the drives and powered it up and went through no problem.  So then I thought perhaps its a size thing so just plugged up one of the 250Gb drives and powered it up.  The system booted fine.  So tried again with the terabyte drive and low and behold it just halts before it even gets to the Linux boot up.  Ok so looked up the model of SATA card I have and it is the Silicon Image Sil3114 PCI SATA Raid Card.

Now some people on the web are saying it is because it cant negotiate the lower 1.5Gbps speed with the SATA II drives and to set your drives to the lower speed.  So thought ok that sounds feasible and set about lowering the speed from SATA II to SATA I on my Samsung drives.  Now Samsung have a utility that does this for you.  Downloaded it off their website and tried it.  The ramdrive they have wont load on anything other than a proper Intel processor.  It wouldnt load on my VIA C7 board or my Atom board.  Therefore I had to break apart my desktop just to be able to flash the drives – it was a real ROYAL pain.  Did all that put my desktop back together and still had a problem arrrhghghghghghg.  Ok so now I thought it has to be a BIOS problem on the SATA Raid card.  Low and behold the BIOS on the card was at 5.0.37 and the latest update was at 5.4 something.  Gosh that was like 4 years out of date !!!  So now did I have to break open my desktop just to flash the BIOS.  No after reading up on the flash utility etc I realised that it can be flashed in windows from the device manager.  So opened my Atom machine running Windows 7 (purely because it has an easy access case) and put the card in there.  I then downloaded the latest drivers for the card via Windows Update and went into the device manager and right clicked on the device and there is a tab called flash bios.  Clicked there browsed to the image and flashed it.  Couldnt have been simpler.   I took the binary prefixed with the letter R.

Threw the card back into the VIA board booted with the terabyte drives in it and it came up fine.  Just wish I had done that first rather than thinking it was because my drives needed to be downgraded.

And its all running very smoothly now.