Author Archives: amida168

Lenovo X1 Carbon Unknown Device Driver on Windows 8

I worked on a Lenovo X1 Carbon yesterday. It’s a very capable machine. The CPU is an Intel Core i7-3667U. It comes with 8GB of DDR3L RAM and a Solid State Drive. The performance is amazingly fast. When I installed some software that would usually take half an hour to install on a recent computer, it only took 10 minutes on this machine. It’s even faster than my i7 workstation because of the solid state drive. The only downside to this machine is that the graphic card is an Intel HD 4000 that is not very powerful, but sufficient for business applications. The machine came with Windows 7 pre-installed. The user had requested Windows 8, so I first tried to do an upgrade installation. The compatibility report showed that there were a lot of drivers and applications incompatible with Windows 8. Therefore, I decided to do a clean installation. After installation, I installed Lenovo System Update. This is a utility to install all the necessary drivers and application for your Lenovo computers. You do not have to download each individual driver one by one. This saves you a lot of time. I wish the other vendors would follow suit and have such a utility. Anyway, after I installed all the drivers downloaded by System Update, I found that one device driver was not installed when I ran the Device Manager.  I usually use PCIDatabase web site to identify the device. It did not work in this case, because there is no vendor ID and device ID. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to find that info through Google. The search shows that it’s a iSCT ACPI Virtual Device (INT33A0) for Windows 8 (32-bit, 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit) – ThinkPad X1 Carbon After the driver was installed, there was no more unknown device in the Device Manager.

Movie Maker on Windows 8 Error: Movie Maker Can’t Start

I have used Windows Movie Maker on Windows 7 to make photo slideshows. It worked quite well. With a few clicks, you can produce professional quality slideshows that you can burn to DVDs. When I tried to run the program the first time, I got this error message:

Sorry, Movie Maker can’t start. Make sure your computer meets the minimum system requirements before trying to start Movie Maker again, and the try to update the driver for your video card if Move Maker still doesn’t start.

movie-maker-w8-error

The message also provides two links for you to troubleshoot the problem. Before I checked the links, I remembered that the Movie Maker was installed before  the Windows 8 upgrade. I tried to download the latest version and install it. Unfortunately, it did not work, either. I received the same error message. I have used Movie Maker on this machine before, so I am pretty sure my computer meets the minimum requirement. I am also pretty sure that my video card driver is up to date because I just updated it a few days ago for Angry Birds. I tried the second link provided by the error message and found a solution to my problem. According to this post, I have to run Movie Maker in compatibility mode. If you are not sure how to do this, here are the step-by-step instructions.

  1. Press Windows key + E to run Windows Explorer.
  2. Navigate to this directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Photo Gallery if you have 64 bit Windows 8. Otherwise, navigate to this directory. C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Photo Gallery
  3. Right click on MovieMaker.exe and select Properties.
  4. Click on Compatibility tab. Check the box “Run this program in compatibility mode for:” and select Windows 7.
    moviemaker-w7-compat
  5. Click on OK to close the dialog.

You can now run Movie Maker. If this does not help, there is another post which might be helpful. Give it a try and let us know.

Angry Birds on Windows 8: OpenGL 1.4 Renderer Not Supported

I had trouble running Angry Birds on Windows 7 a few years ago. After my workstation was upgraded to Windows 8, I have not tried to install the game until today.

The game was installed using Intel AppUp. I first installed Intel AppUp and that went well. The installation of Angry Birds also went smoothly. However, an error message popped up when I tried to  run it.

angrybirds-w8-opengl

 

This message was similar to the one I got when I ran it on Windows 7. The problem was due to the graphic card driver. I checked my current driver. The driver on Windows 8 was certified by Microsoft, but it did not work. If you checked Windows Update, there is no updated version of the driver. My graphic card is an AMD Radeon HD 4850. I then visited AMD’s website and downloaded the driver. After the successful installation of the updated graphic card driver, this problem was fixed. Here are the links to the major manufacturers of graphic cards.

Intel

AMD (ATI)

Nvidia

Try to download and install the driver for your graphic card and see if the problem is fixed.

 

Android: Mobile Data Got Enabled Automatically

I recently purchased a Pantech Burst Android phone. It’s a nice budget phone with LTE capability. When I set it up initially, I noticed a strange thing about it. I disabled mobile data at home because I have Wifi access. However, the mobile data feature got enabled automatically when the phone woke from sleep mode.

The first thing I did was to contact Pantech support, but they only suggested that I reset the phone. A factory reset would reset the phone and erase all apps and customization, which meant that all the works I did would be lost. Before doing that, I tried to find a solution that would still retain the customization and files.

An online article pointed the right direction for me to solve the problem. This is the quote from the article.

Apps need a special permission to turn on or off mobile data. There’s no built-in way to search for apps that use a particular permission, but you can look at the list of apps in Settings → Apps. In the “downloaded” list, if you click on a suspect app, you can see what permissions it uses. The permission you’re looking for is “change network connectivity“. Any app with that permission might be connecting or disconnecting networks. If you found one in the “downloaded” list, and you don’t think it should be allowed to do that, there’s a button to uninstall it.

You can also see what permissions each app wants before you install it, in the Play Store’s install screen.

I followed the directions to check my downloaded apps. There were a lot of apps to check. Fortunately, I found it within just a few tries. The culprit for this problem was the app Battery Defender. I have this app on my HTC One X and it works beautifully, but apparently it does not work properly with a Pantech Burst. After I uninstalled the Battery Defender app, my phone does not enable mobile data automatically any more. I have included a screenshot of the permissions. The specific setting is under SYSTEM TOOLS section.

andorid-change-network-connectitivity

Mac OS X: Enable an AD User to be Local Admin

Most of our Macs are bound to AD now. One common task I have to do is to enable an AD user to manage the computer. You can do it through the GUI, but the user has to log on first and create an mobile account on the computer. I found that you can do it through a command line, so the user will not have to log on to the machine first. This command is dseditgroup and here is an example.

dseditgroup -o edit -n /Local/Default -u your_admin_account -p -a user_ad_account -t user admin

When you enter the command, it asks for the password of your admin account. Enter your password and press enter. The next time the user logs on, your user’s AD account will be the administrator. osx

How to Increase Battery Life for Android Phones

I recently upgraded my phone to an HTC One X android phone. The phone performs very well. I have used some Android devices before, including the highly rated Asus Transformer. I was not impressed at all by those Android devices’ performances. This phone actually changed my view of Android. It has a large bright screen with high resolution. Every operation is responsive and does not lag at all. It’s way faster than my iPhone 4. There is, however, only one thing I do not like about this phone: the battery life is way too short. By default, it cannot last for even a day!

I have spent some time learning how to better manage the battery usage. Most of the suggestions I found can help to increase the battery life only by a little bit. Of all the tweaks I found, there are only some that would significantly increase the battery life. Here are the tweaks that I want to share.

Configure Accounts & Sync

On my HTC One X, this is under Settings -> Accounts & Sync. If you turn auto sync completely off, you will notice a dramatic increase of the battery life. However, turning everything off defeats the purpose of having a Smartphone. Instead of turning auto sync off, I just turned off syncing for some apps. For example, I never used the Stocks app: there was no reason for it to sync with the server. Go through all the apps listed under Accounts & Sync and turn off the apps that you do not use. After configuring this, I can now use my phone for two days without charging.

Turn off Fast boot

I usually turn my phone off when I go to bed. The phone  is supposed to keep the charge when it’s turned off, but I found that it still consumes quite a bit of power when I turn it off at night. I estimate it loses about 15% to 20% of battery life. This had me worried a bit. I thought my phone might be defective. I then found out the reason why the battery still drains when it’s off. That’s because I have this feature called fast boot. This is turned on by default. With this feature, the machine is not completely turned off. The phone is put into sleep mode, which still consumes power. I turned fast boot off and the phone no longer drains battery when it’s off. This setting is under Settings -> Power.

Always Exit out of an App

If you do not exit out of an app when you are done, the app is still running in the background. Some apps can drain out power quickly. I learned this when I found out the Weather Channel app used over 60% of my battery because I did not close it. Be sure to check the battery usage from time to time to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary. You can check this info by going Settings -> Power -> Usage.

These are the 3 tweaks which I found affect the battery life greatly. There are, of course, some minor tweaks. I am listing these here:

  • Turn off wifi, mobile data, GPS or Bluetooth when they are not in use.
  • Lower the brightness of the screen.
  • Lower the screen time out.
  • Do not use live wallpaper.
  • Install battery saving apps.
  • Limit use of widgets.

htc-one-x

 

 

 

How to Change Default Host for Cisco AnyConnect on Mac

I had a post about how to change the default host for Cisco AnyConnnect on Windows. A user has asked me how to change this on Mac. I spent a few minutes to find this information. Here is how you change it:

  1. Open Terminal application.
  2. Type in the command at the Terminal window. This opens up TextEdit
    open –e ~/.anyconnect
  3. Find and edit the DefaultHost line in TextEdit so that it is set to the host of your choice
    <DefaultHost>vpn.mycompany.com</DefaultHost>
  4. Save the file under TextEdit.

The default host will be set to vpn.mycompany.com the next time you run Cisco AnyConnect.

anyconnect