Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

I’ve been having this problem. It’s not caused by a corrupt icon cache. It’s caused by bad permissions on the shortcut. If you right-click it, go to Properties, and then Security, you will see a message about not having permission.

The solution (after going to the above) is to:

  1. Click the Advanced button.
  2. Click the Owner tab.
  3. Click Edit…
  4. Click your user name and hit OK. You’ll get a message about having to re-open the object’s properties. Just close all the windows you opened and right-click the shortcut again to get to Properties.
  5. Click Security again.
  6. Now you will have some checkboxes. Click Edit… and with your username selected, check Full Control. Hit OK twice, and your icon will work again.

This may also work for desktop icons. I’ve noticed a lot of problems in Windows are caused by incorrect permissions.


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I wish I could find the source for this, but it’s proven useful to me a few times  now (Windows 10 Technical Preview woes) and I thought I’d share it. If an app in the Windows Store seems to get stuck on “Pending” or says “This app could not be installed,” try this:

  1. Close the Windows Store.
  2. Open a Command Prompt as administrator and type “net stop wuauserv”.
  3. Type “ren C:\Windows\softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.old”.
  4. Type “net start wuauserv”.
  5. Try the download again. It should be unstuck.

I think this leaves you with some junk files you can delete. You’ll also have to start your stuck downloads over again.

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Ever since iOS 6 was released, the Japanese to English dictionary has been non-functional. Even when your regional preferences were all set to English, it would only offer a monolingual Japanese definition. It seems there is a problem when iOS tries to determine which dictionary to use when multiple dictionaries are available. In iOS 6, multiple new language dictionaries were added and this has caused a conflict. Inspired by playing around with Flex, I thought I’d try to remedy the issue. I couldn’t do it with Flex, so when all else fails, just delete your problems and they’ll go away.

Here’s how to fix this:

  1. You need to be jailbroken on any iOS 6.x firmware.
  2. Download a program to access the root file system on your device (iFunBox, DiskAid, or iFile from Cydia).
  3. Navigate to /User/Library/Assets/
    . You should see a bunch of folders with names that contain a lot of numbers and letters.
  4. Find the folder that contains the Sanseido Super Daijirin dictionary (you can see its name under the AssetData subfolders)
  5. Copy the folder (the one with the really long name that contains the above files) to your computer, or rename it.
  6. Delete it from your device.

Now, when you select a Japanese word and tap Define, you should get an English definition. However, this will disable the monolingual Japanese definitions until you add the folder back (or perhaps redownload it when you switch your language settings). If you’re curious, the bidirectional dictionary that we just restored is called the Sanseido Wisdom English-Japanese Japanese-English Dictionary.

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I have a jailbroken iPod Touch 4 running iOS 4.2.1. If you use SSH or an application like iFunBox or DiskAid to access your iDevice’s folder structure from your computer, you may find that one or more of the default apps that come with iOS go missing (for me, I lost the Calculator app). It could be that the app has genuinely been deleted off the device but there is another plausible explanation.

It turns out that I didn’t delete the Calculator app at all–it had been accidentally moved into another folder. This took me months to figure out and just today I found it sitting in the folder for the Camera app. If you can’t find it nested in another folder, you can use iFunBox’s search capability. All you have to do is move the app’s folder back to the root of your Applications folder (DiskAid is easier for this) and restart the device.

  • To do this, copy the folder to your computer in DiskAid or iFunBox and note where it is saved
  • Delete the app’s folder from your device
  • Drag the folder on your computer to the “Applications” folder on the device and restart.

Or, in DiskAid, drag the folder from where it is on the device to the “Applications” folder at the top of the folder list–that’s where it needs to go.

This seems more likely to occur than actually deleting it from the device. If that is the case then you’ll need to do a firmware restore or find a copy of the app’s folder online that matches your iOS version.

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HOWTO: openBVE on (Ubuntu) Linux

While trying to remain as distribution-generic as I can, this HOWTO will, as a matter of course, focus on Debian and Ubuntu. This information is current as of openBVE 1.2 and Tao Framework 2.1.0.

If you just want it to work: openBVE is available in Ubuntu’s repository now (as of 9.04, see here), but it lags behind the official version. Everything is installed automatically and it works out-of-the-box.

If you’re like me though and hate having a software version lagging behind, or you want or need to manually install openBVE, here’s what I had to do.

Manual Installation:

  • Prerequisites: Just one thing. You’ll need to install Mono if you don’t have it already. It’s apparently included by default with Ubuntu and other Debians, so this eases our pain a little bit.
  • Installation:
  1. Download the openBVE executable package zip file on openBVE’s download page. Extract it to a folder.
  2. Download the Tao Framework. Get the .tar or the .zip archive of the latest version. Extract all of these files to your openBVE folder. (No, all of them probably aren’t necessary. It’s just much quicker than sorting through them.)
  3. Install OpenAL and ALUT from your distribution’s package repository. The canonical Debian example:
  4. sudo apt-get install libopenal0a libopenal-dev


    sudo apt-get install libalut0 libalut-dev

    If you can’t install via a repository, you’ll probably either have to find the files elsewhere or compile them from source from here. I think you can install using the .dmg for OS X but I don’t know how.

  5. I had problems getting sound to work. If you do, try this:

    In your openBVE folder where the Tao Framework was extracted, open the file Tao.OpenAL.dll.config in a text editor.

    Change the line

    <dllentry os="linux" dll="libopenal.so.0" />


    <dllentry os="linux" dll="libopenal.so.1" />

    and save.

  6. To run openBVE, open a terminal and change into the directory where you’ve extracted all this mess:

    cd /path/to/openBVE

    Then type

    mono openBVE.exe.

    This should hopefully give you a completely functioning openBVE.


  • I tried simply copying the files over from my Windows partition and running openBVE but that didn’t work. I have no idea why, unless the versions are different and I didn’t know it.
  • I’m getting a very low frame rate but that’s probably due to my poor graphics card. You’ll probably have better results.
  • Don’t be surprised if you end up with graphical glitches. I haven’t seen any in-game so far, but images in the pregame menus are distorted. I couldn’t get a 3D cab to load either.


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Looking for the HOWTO? Feel free to go right to it.

If you use Vista’s sidebar gadgets, you already know the essence of Screenlets. If you use OSX’s widgets or Yahoo! widgets, you already know the essence of Screenlets. Can you guess what it is yet?

Screenlets is a framework for such gadgets and gizmos on, you guessed it, Linux. It’s not the only framework available but according to the site  it’s “… possibly the best open-source widget framework out there”. Considering I never got it to work before today * (some still don’t), I can’t say for sure that’s true.


When first installed,  there are quite a few ready-to-go gadgets. The usual clocks, calendars, system montitors, and the like. But there are also a couple widgets that struck me as incredibly unique and useful.

I personally never understood the use for gadgets like a system or drive space montitor, but I shouldn’t talk because I took interest in one of the most pointless, yet charming, gadgets yet: A flower.


The goal is to make it grow from bare dirt into a blossoming flower by remembering to water it daily. Over- or under-water it, and it’ll die. Quirky? You bet. I can’t get it to work though.. :/

There are all sorts of media players available, so what makes this next one so cool might not be obvious. It looks like a normal, unassuming media player, right?


Right. But it’s for streaming radio. What makes it useful is the ability to create custom stations and store them in the “right-click” list of stations to choose from. It also includes prelisted stations from around North and South America and Europe. It may not look like much, but it’s a boon for me. The radio station in the pic (Frequence3) is what made me stop hating French. Pretty good find, if you ask me.

Finally, the reason I installed Screenlets:  a desktop wallpaper clock. Yes, a desktop wallpaper clock. It doesn’t come out-of-the-box with Screenlets, so it’ll have to be downloaded separately, such as from here, and installed. It looks a bit like this, depending on the chosen wallpaper:


I’d imagine something like this could be accomplished with an animated wallpaper (yes that is available, at least for Compiz on GNOME. Check gnome-look.org), and it may look a bit cheesy, but the art it would take to both program and design the styles for this widget makes it AWESOME! 😀

I never have been much of one for extraneous eye candy, but hey.

*And now, the mini HOWTO.

I believe the reason I had trouble using Screenlets before was simply that the Screenlets folder wasn’t writable by normal users. I found out through opening screenlets-manager in a terminal and then starting a widget that none of them would start; and all the ones I tried errored out because permission was denied to the install folder.

Since I just learned today that ‘chmod’ doesn’t work for folders, I had to figure out another way. I’m using GNOME, so this may be different for you, but I fixed this by doing the following (GNOME on Ubuntu 8.10):

  • Open Nautilus as root: gksudo nautilus
  • Go to your home folder, and turn on “View Hidden Files” either through the “View” menu or using Ctrl+H
  • Find the “.config” folder, and then locate the “Screenlets” folder
  • Right-click the “Screenlets” folder, choose “Properties”
  • On the “Permissions” tab, under the “Others” label, change the permissions to “Create and delete files”
  • Next time you try to open a widget, it should open.

Now see, I’m single-user so this may not be secure enough for other computers. But I don’t know a lot about Linux permission hierarchy, and this worked for me.

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I’d been meaning to post about this for a while but I never got around to it.


One random, lonely, boring day (really every day) I started digging through some files and happened upon something like this in IE’s Program Files folder:


“No,” I thought, “surely not.” Surely so, it turns out. That’s not just an old IE icon, that’s the old Internet Explorer. No I don’t know how I ended up with duplicates.


I check the “About” box and get this:


Hmm..”Side-by-Side Mode” you say? You kid, you kid.



Oh you were serious weren’t you?


I thought it was pretty cool that there’s still a workaround method. I guarantee this is stupid old news, but hey I found it myself 😀

I’d imagine this would only work if you had IE6 installed and then upgraded to 7. I’m not sure how IE8 handles it yet because I’ve not installed it for XP (I got the shared computer bluuuuuues yeah)

Heck I didn’t know they even produced IE8 for XP until a little while ago.

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