How to Remove Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant From Firefox

5 02 2009

it seems that with recent windows updates, most notably the .NET 3.5.1 update, microsoft seems to think that its not only ok to install software which the user has no idea what it does, but make it intentionally hard to delete.

Here is a guide, basically the same from many other blogs out there but hey, the more publicity that these kinds of practices are NOT ok, the better.

1) Open up firefox

2) press the start button, go to run, and type in ‘regedit’

3) browse to the following directory in regedit:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Mozilla\Firefox\extensions

3a) Or if your running 64 bit windows, browse to this directory:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Mozilla\Firefox\Extensions

4) you should see a key named “{20a82645-c095-46ed-80e3-08825760534b}”. Right click on that key and select ‘delete’

5) restart firefox

6) type “about:config” into your url bar

7) accept the warning

8 ) type in “general.useragent.extra.microsoftdotnet"

9) right click that key and click “reset”

10) do the same thing for microsoft.CLR.clickonce.autolaunch. (although this string did not exist for me, if it does for you, just right click > reset it)

11) restart firefox again

12) finally, using windows explorer, browse to C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5\Windows Presentation Foundation\DotNetAssistantExtension\

13) delete the ‘DotNetAssistantExtension folder’

14) feel good about yourself.

Thats it. Enjoy your firefox.





How to setup a Dazzle Video Creator Platinium (DVC170) on Windows Vista 32 bit

15 11 2008

Hello again!

I recently wooted (www.woot.com) a Dazzle video creator platinium or DVC170, and tried to get it to work. The straightforward method obviously did not work, as when i started the program, i would get a BSOD and my computer would restart. that sucks. Anyway, this is how you set up your Dazzle to work on windows vista 32 bit. It might even work for 64 if you download the right stuff, but I have no way to test it.

Ok, first off. You should have 3 to 4 cds in your package. I have three.

Instant CD recorder (blue)
Pinnacle Studio Quickstart (white)
Pinnacle Studio Bonus DVD NTSC (other people might have PAL, or both)

Ok, Now you need to install all of this. Its a PITA, and according to spybot it installs a shit load of stuff to your start up menu, which I am not sure if you can safely disable. Anyway,  Before you plug in your pinnacle, install the included software:  the instant cd recorder, then the studio quickstart, then the bonus DVD in that order. You will be asked to restart your computer a couple times, be sure to do that.

Ok, now the fun begins.

First, you need to insert the instant cd recorder disk (blue) and click ‘remove’ when the autoplay comes up. Why did i ask you to install this? because you have to enter a cd key, so by installing it, it still has all that stuff in the registry and the installation goes by a lot faster. Anyway, go to this link:

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Products/Consumer+Products/Home+Video/Studio+Plug-Ins/Instant+DVD+Recorder+Support/Download+Area/Drivers+-+Updates/IDVDR2_0FULL.htm?mode=documents&Display=1

and click vista 32 bit and download.

Once it is downloaded, run the program, and it should reinstall/patch the program to the latest version.

Now, you need to update the main studio program to the latest version. Head over to this link:

http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Products/Consumer+Products/Home+Video/Studio+Family/Studio+version+10+Support/Download+Area/Drivers+-+Updates/Studio10_8_release.htm?mode=documents&Display=1

and download and install the latest version. Once that is done, head over to this link yet again:

http://cdn.pinnaclesys.com/SupportFiles/Hardware_Installer/readmeHW10.htm

and browse down to the orange boxes, and find  “Dazzle* Video Creator Platinium (DVC170”, And click on the correct link (either windows xp or vista 32, it appears they dont have vista 64 bit drivers though =/ )

Install those drivers, and restart your computer for good measure.

Now, here is the moment of truth. When your computer restarts, plug in your device. Start the Studio Launcher program and then click the button the left, the Pinnacle Studio Quickstart button. It will start the program, and take a super long time to load, and once its done, you need to click the ‘capture’ tab on the top left.

Now, this is where my computer blue screened when I first tried to set this up. If this happens, restart your computer, and go to the start menu > control panel > (in classic view) device manager > sound, video and game controllers and your DVC170 should be listed (if your device is plugged in). Double click it, it will pop up a window. Click the driver tab at the top, and then there should be a row of buttons on the left. Click “Uninstall”.  Click yes to confirm, and then the driver will be uninstalled.

Unplug your dazzle device.

Now, go back to the  driver update program you downloaded  (for me its called PCLEUSB2x32.exe. Install those again, and restart your computer. Now, before you plug in your dazzle again, go to the device manager again, click on the dazzle device, click the driver tab, and click update driver.  Click the bottom option, browse my computer, and leave everything at default and just click  next, and it should search (took a few seconds for me) and then say it found it and you can click ok.

Restart one more time for good measure (can never be too careful with windows) and then try opening the studio launcher again, click the studio quick start, click capture, and if everything went well, then it should bring you to the screen and you can now start capturing.

For settings, i just use MPEG 4, and full.

I hope this little guide helped! Enjoy your capturing =)





How to compile HandBrake w/ the GTK+ interface on Ubuntu Intrepid

19 10 2008

Recently i upgraded from Ubuntu hardy to the beta of Ubuntu Intrepid. I of course love the program Handbrake, which allows you to convert DVD’s and DVD like sources to a movie file, with presets to things like psp, ipod, apple tv, xbox 360, and more.

Anyway, the current stable version is 0.9.2, but the latest version, 0.9.3 svn, has the hotly anticipated GTK+ interface, which finally gives linux users a graphical interface rather then having to use the command line, which for this program can get quite complicated.

There are several guides for compiling on Ubuntu Hardy, but I noticed that there are a few changes that need to be done for it to work on Intrepid. Here is a step by step rundown of what to do.

First, you need to remove ffmpeg if you have it installed already so we can install one that has more codecs available.

sudo apt-get remove ffmpeg

Now, we add the medibuntu repo to our sources.list so we can install their version of ffmpeg. We also install the keyring package so we can actually use the repo.

sudo wget http://www.medibuntu.org/sources.list.d/hardy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list 

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install medibuntu-keyring && sudo apt-get update

now we install ffmpeg, this time from the medibuntu repo.

sudo apt-get install ffmpeg

Next, we install the required packages. For Intrepid, we do not need to compile from source yasm, as it includes a much more recent version. Get some coffee as this will take a while. (the entire thing is one command)

sudo apt-get install automake build-essential jam libdvdcss-dev libtool subversion zlib1g-dev libbz2-dev dvdbackup xmlto texinfo gfortran libgtk2.0-dev nasm doxygen libsdl1.2-dev gfortran-multilib gcc-multilib g++-multilib libesd0-dev libgtk1.2-dev libfftw3-dev electric-fence libx264-dev libx264-59 x264 libtheora-dev intltool gettext libgtk2.0-dev libglib2.0-dev libhal-storage1 libhal-storage-dev libhal-dev yasm libgtkhtml3.14-dev

Now, we need to make a directory to put the Handbrake svn files in. I personally have a svn folder within my home folder to contain all the svn files of the various programs i compile, that way I can exclude it from backups, and its just easy to remember

cd ~/
mkdir svn
cd svn
svn co svn://svn.handbrake.fr/HandBrake/trunk HandBrake
cd HandBrake

Now, we need to compile the program. In the past, the handbrake devs wanted you to use jam, but after running configure now, it says quite clearly that we are supposed to use make now. So, we shall. After you run make, this will take like 30 minutes to compile as it has to compile a bunch of libraries…so go watch some TV as this is finishing.

./configure
make
cd gtk
./autogen.sh
make
sudo make install

Thats it! Now there will be a HandBrake entry in the menu under applications > sound/video > Handbrake. Enjoy your ripping!





How to sync music, download album art, and convert movies to your Cowon D2 using Ubuntu Linux

17 10 2008

my cowon iaudio x5L recently died. I needed a replacement, and I settled on a cowon D2, which turned out to be a pretty sweet player. I wanted to try to see if i could have it sync my banshee library to the player to make it easier, and it turns out you can, but some bug or problem prevents it from being really easy. It is still possible, so I will explain my method for syncing music to my D2 using banshee, downloading and formatting album art, and converting movies to my Cowon D2

First, make sure you have the latest version of banshee, which you can download from their website:  http://banshee-project.org/

Second, make sure your cowon d2 has the latest firmware. You can download the firmware here and instructions on how to install it are here.

Third, we need to create a text file to make banshee detect the D2, for some reason it doesn’t do it automatically. This text file also tells banshee to put the music files in the right place, to specify the folder depth so it places the music in /MUSIC/artist/album, and what filetypes the player supports so it will convert any filetype that the D2 does not support (handy!)

In ubuntu (gnome), you can start up text editor by going to applications > accessories > text editor or just running the command ‘gedit”. Now, paste this into the window:

audio_folders=MUSIC/,RECORD/
folder_depth=2
output_formats=audio/ogg,audio/x-ms-wma,audio/mpeg,audio/wav,audio/flac,audio/mp3

Now, save this textfile with the name .is_audio_player on the root directory of your cowon. Now, you should be able to restart banshee, and it will detect the cowon D2 at the bottom. There does not appear to be a sync button, so highlight your entire library or whatever you want to sync, and drag it to the cowon icon. It will start sending your music to the cowon, as well as converting any file types that are not compatible with it and converting it into a compatible filetype.

Now, once that is done, since the Cowon D2 supports album art, here is an easy way to download album art to it. The cowon only displays the album art if a file named ‘cover.jpg’ is present in the album folder.

So, what we do first is: download albumart. You can download and install the deb here:

http://muksuluuri.ath.cx/~skyostil/projects/albumart/dist/albumart_1.6.6-1_all.deb

Then, open up albumart by typing albumart-qt into the console (applications>accessories>terminal)

Next, go to File > open and select your MUSIC/ folder on your cowon D2. Then, go to settings > configure on the albumart program and choose the ‘generic’ entry under “targets”. Click the box that says enable, and for the filename of the image, type in “cover.jpg” (without the quotes)

Now, since you opened your /MUSIC/ folder on your cowon, it should of searched the tags of all the files and listed all the albums. Highlight all the albums in albumart and then click the blue download arrow, and it will download the correct cover art, place it in the folder under the name ‘cover.jpg’, and even apply it to the file itself if the file format supports it (mp3 only i believe).

If you have album art that isnt found using albumart, you can find it and drag it to the album in albumart and it will convert it and place it for you.

Also, i noticed that the program has some bugs with non english characters (chinese…) and it would error out if it tried to download album art for that cd. If this happens, just select everything but that CD, and drag the album art manually to the album in the program.

Now, the final thing, converting videos to the cowon D2. This requires a program called avidemux, which you can get by typing in terminal:

sudo apt-get install avidemux

Now that you have that open, lets convert a video! Please note that converting wmv videos did not work at all for me, the audio was extremely garbled. Most other formats should work however.

Now that you got the program installed, open it. Its entry is located in applications > sound and video > avidemux. Open up the file you wish to convert, using file > open. After that, the video should appear in the program.

First thing you need to do is select the first drop down box under video, and select “MPEG-4 ASP (Xvid4)”

Second thing you need to do is to remove bframes. This can be done by selecting the second button under ‘video’, the button labeled configure. On the second tab, motion and misc, you need to de-click the box that says BVHQ, and lower the “number of b frames” down to 1. Now, click OK to save the selection.

Now, we go to the third button under ‘video” labeled filters. Click the button, then double click on “mplayer resize”. In the width section you should enter the number ‘320’ and in the height section, enter 240. You can leave all the others at their default. Click OK to add the filter to the queue.

Now, scroll down in the filter list until you find the entry called “resample FPS’ and double click on it. It pops up a window with some number in it. Delete it, and enter “30”. I am unsure what ‘blend’ does, but I clicked it just in case. Click OK when you have done this to add it to the queue.

Click close to save the filter list. Now you are all done! Now, back on the avidemux main program page, click the “save” button near the top. It will pop up a file lis window, you can just save it to <somevideohere>.avi on your desktop. Click OK, and it will convert the file. When it is done, all you need to do is drop the video file in the /VIDEO/ folder on your D2,  and if everything has gone well, it will play =).





Sunbird 0.9 review

15 10 2008

I just noticed that mozilla has released a new version of sunbird 0.9, so I decided to try it out and write a review

After downloading the installer from http://www.mozilla.org/projects/calendar/sunbird/, i ran the program, and tried to create a new calendar.

Pressing the ‘new event’ button does nothing.

Neither does the “New Task’ button

So…….what exactly do I do with this thing? Great job mozilla, it doesn’t even work on vista. I would expect this when vista came out, but not 1 to 2 years afterwards. and i can’t run it from console because I am on windows, not Linux. Yummy.





Ubuntu is not ready for laptops (at least not mine)

8 09 2008

So today i just reinstalled vista on my laptop, and its going to stay there for the near future.

I tried installing ubuntu on this, and most everything worked fine, but some underlying problems with ubuntu, and linux in general make it a horrible choice for laptops (at least mine)

1: load_cycle_issue.

almost a deal breaker for me, this has the potential of destroying my hard drive in under a year, and the only way to get around it is to use some ugly hacks and scripts that don’t even work all of the time (even after i implemented the hardy scripts, my load cycle would sometimes just jump up 50 counts, and other times it would obey the scripts and not spin down so the counts would not go up). This NEEDS to be fixed on the kernel level before i can consider putting ubuntu back again. I paid 700 dollars for this laptop, i dont want its hard drive getting destroyed prematurely

2: wireless woes

the hardy version of madwifi doesnt even support my wireless card, but luckily compiling a special branch of madwif from source seems to work. its just the fact that network manager 0.7 is still highly unstable, and even with these working drivers, i get random issues, like i cant connect to a network and i have to keep retrying until randomly, it works. Also, the unstableness of the ppa i was using means that one time, i lost all network connectivity together, and then with the most recent version, i cant connect to WPA TLS networks, which is what my college uses, which makes my laptop fairly uselss

3: ubuntu (or gnome’s) power management sucks

seriously, the power management options in ubunut pale in comparison to vista’s, random bugs like you cant controll how bright/dim the screen gets when you unplug/plug in the AC cord, different power management schemes, and more make it annoying for laptops. Also, because of the load_cycle_count issue, you have to keep your hard drive spinning 24/7 so that drains the battery considerably. It also does not help that ubuntu/linux in general sucks at delaying writes to the disk when on battery power, it seems even when im not doing anything ubuntu is doing something to access/write the disk where my disk could be sitting idle/spun down to save battery.

4: battery life is much better in vista, i don’t know why, it just is

5: annoying synaptics touchpad bug, which is present in other distros as well

this wonderful bug makes it so that the kernel loses connection to the touchpad, and when it reconnects to it, all your mouse/touchpad settings are lost, which means that the touchpad ‘tap to click’ feature becomes enabled which is the most annoying feature EVER. im just dragging my mouse and the touchpad somehow registers that as a tap so i click random buttons, files, urls, bookmarks, close buttons, etc. Ive noticed this in SUSE 11 as well, so it must be a kernel bug

6: suspend/hibernate is still wonky

it seems pretty good for my laptop, but i still get issues that shortly after thaw/resume my computer just freezes completely.

sure most of these problems are a result of the fact of using non offical reverse engineered drivers, and i understand that, but the load cycle, suspend/hibernate and the power management things are CRUCIAL for laptops, and sadly i’ve tried very very very hard to make it work, and it’s just not worth it anymore. The touchpad and the network manager issues might be fixed in Intrepid, but the load cycle/power management/suspend/hibernate issues don’t show any promise of being fixed in intrepid. oh well.

Ubuntu will still have a place on my desktop, but for now and the foreseeable future, vista will remain on my laptop





How to use Facebook IM in Pidgin

1 09 2008
Facebook IM Plugin for Pidgin

Facebook IM Plugin for Pidgin

I stumbled upon this just now and I thought it would be good to share for anyone who is interested.

There now is a plugin for pidgin (who knows, maybe it will become official one day, myspaceIM did) that allows you to login and chat with people who are currently signed into facebook. You can also see their profile picture and their status as well.

To install and use this plugin, if your using Ubuntu, simply head over to this page:

http://www.getdeb.net/release/3146

and download and install the deb.

If your using windows, download the .exe here:

http://pidgin-facebookchat.googlecode.com/files/pidgin-facebookchat-1.35.exe

and install.

Once you have installed the plugin, simply just add a new facebook account, and for your login, put your email and your password. There are some settings in the ‘advanced’ tab that you can configure when your setting up your facebook account in pidgin, such as having your pidgin status be your facebook status, whether you want new facebook notifications to show up as emails in pidign, etc etc. Configure them to your liking, and chat away!