06.22.2017

Is Bluetooth degrading?

Tags: Thoughts
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Being a programmer I know how hard it can be to get software right. Sometimes it never “get right” and the software have to soar in the flux between working and not working.

I my case I have an Apple iPhone 6S, connected to several Bluetooth devices such as a Garmin 235 watch, a couple of cars and a couple of headsets.

Over the years I experience that the Bluetooth connections have more and more problems. For example I can see that my Garmin 235 watch suddenly has a severe battery problem if it looses the connection the phone. In fact it can drain an ordinary 7-10-day battery life in just some hours, if it looses Bluetooth. Other symptoms are like “hey, shouldn’t the phone be connected with my car now?” or “Ooops, there died the sound in the headset”. Often the solution is to turn off the Bluetooth on my phone, turn off the other device, and then restart everything again. Then everything may work fine … for a while!

Who is to blame? Very difficult to say! It can be a hardware, software or both problem – on both sides of the communication chain! Every Bluetooth enabled device have a physical Bluetooth-radio. The radio have some features that often can be controlled by it’s software, the Bluetooth-driver. Read more about Bluetooth-basics here if you are interested. The quality and reliability of both the radio and the software can of course greatly vary. In other words, you can have crappy hardware with shitty software alongside, and the result is a crappy Bluetooth device. Vise versa you can have top-notch radio with brilliant software, and of course you can have anything in the middle.

Then you want to fix your Bluetooth-problem and start to search the net. Hundreds of pages from forums and blogs suggest all kinds of solutions. All from “install this” and “upgrade that” to “reinstall” etc etc. Of course it is often very difficult to see if you have the exact same problem, and thus if the fixes will actually work for you. Often you end up trying out some of them, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Perhaps you after a while experience SBM – or “Solved By Magic”? SBM happens when you have done lots of changes, and suddenly things seem to work, but you have no idea which of the tricks that actually nailed it! Believe me, over the years I have probably used hundreds of hours trying to fix hardware- and software problems.

The challenge is – for a layman: Does anybody know of a way to debug your Bluetooth-devices? Just being able to tell which of the components that is the cuprit would be great! I wish there was some kind of “Reference Bluetooth Checker” somewhere. Something that you could connect your device to. After a while, the checker could say how well the device has implemented Bluetooth or not. What if there was Bluetooth “middleman” radio that intercepted Bluetooth-communication between a communication chain, and analyzed the quality and reliability? By the way - I found the company NTS on the net, offering their Bluetooth Testing services. Seems to be a marked for such testing then.

Like it is now, Bluetooth is taking on more and more devices and it is becoming more and more important as a connection-protocol. Unfortunately its performace and reliability is sadly – in my view – degrading.

06.09.2017

ISBG Spring Seminar Success!

Tags: Thoughts
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ISBG (The Norwegian IBM Software User Group) has just finished it’s 19th Spring Seminar (“Vår seminar”) in Oslo, Norway. For two, intense days, the 50+ attendees has witnessed 15 top-notch sessions. The conference were staged in the offices of PwC in Oslo, very close to the main railway station, and just two blocks away from the hotel. In other words, pretty easy to get to the conference.

05.31.2017

How a recent Windows 10 update shoots itself in the foot with IPv6 :-)

Tags: Thoughts
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In the start of May 2017, one family-member suddenly experienced “No internet, secured” message hovering over the network icon down in the tray icon area. Sure enough, her machine wasn’t visible on my TeamViewer control panel either, so she was definitely off the grid. Why did her Windows 10 machine suddenly decide to drop network connection?

As always, I start to search the net for similar cases, and as always, tons of different results pop up. All sorts of suggestions too, with some of them pretty lame (“download this and that”, buy hey, we don’t have network access in the first place Smile). Well, searching the net and reading tons of answers, and then trying them out, is just the modus operandi in problem-solving.

The quick answer in our case was that Windows suddenly decide to favor the new address-regime in internet (the IPv6) over the old one (IPv4), and along the way, obviously introduce some errors! In our case we have an old router (DLINK 652) which knows nada about IPv6, and the result was that Windows 10 tries to connect/discover/communicate with some protocol that doesn’t exist on the other side of the line. The end-result is that Windows effectivly shoots itself in the foot, and can’t connect or communicate anymore!

Read more to see the details

05.12.2017

Engaged at Engage 2017 in Antwerpen, Belgium!

Tags: Thoughts
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Over the years I have attended many Lotuspheres and the latter IBM Connects. What I really enjoyed in the first Lotuspheres, were the intense depth of some of the sessions. Remember C API sessions with difficulty settings? Tree dots meant the real deal! Well, those days are over and generally Lotusphere has become more and more a marketing event. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not the same as “back then” Smile

Over the last years I have seen that the Belgium Engage-conference has gotten more and more coverage, and this year I finally got a change to participate for the first time!

Off we went to Antwerpen! Traveling in Netherlands and Belgium is  literally a breeze with the superfast TGV-train! Within an hour you have traveled from the Schiphol-airport in Amsterdam to Antwerpen, Belgium. 300 km/h!

04.04.2016

iPhone memory constraints? Make iOS clean up by renting a huge movie from iTunes Store!

Tags: Thoughts
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Some time ago I wrote a post titled Hmmm, a restore of my iPhone 5S found and freed 7,3 GB from nowhere?! Obviously iOS hasn’t become much better with the latest iOS 9.3 and 9.3.1 and on my phone something keeps eating the memory, and iOS can’t keep track of it. I hoped apps like iRefresh Pro could help me free something, but it only frees minimal amounts of memory.

Today I found this post on Reddit - and the trick freed 1 GB on my phone instantly!!! Others have regained much more!! Obviously Apple is pretty keen on renting a movie to you, so they do much memory cleaning much better  Smile

Simply do the following:

  • In the Settings -> General -> About, check how much memory you have left. Let’s say you have 1 GB left.
  • Open iTunes Store and find a huge film (such as Lord of the Rings or War and Peace from 1957). The trick is to choose a larger film than the available memory on your phone. The two mentioned films are about 6.5 and 8.9 GB in size.
  • Rent the film. iOS will think for a moment and discover that you don’t have enough memory available. You won’t be charged as you couldn’t download it.
  • Click Settings to manage your memory. You should see an increase of your available memory!

03.05.2016

Super-annoying "feature" in Windows 10 - It keeps hijacking my file associations!

Tags: Thoughts
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Windows 10 is a great update in many respects, but one thing is really annoying- Windows 10 insists hard on using Edge as the PDF viewer, and it’s own Photo App as the photo-viewer.

Well, I like Acrobat to be my primary PDF viewer, and Picasa Photo Viewer as the photo-viewer - hence my default applications.

Why the heck does Microsoft even attemt to please me with it’s Default Apps like the one below and let me choose Picasa Photo Viewer as my default app, like this...

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... for then to reverting back to the old MS-choices approximately 5 minutes later!?!?!?!? (in fact I can launch Picasa Photo Viewer ONCE!!!).

Searching the net for answers brings up a bunch of hits where people have the same problems. Unfortunately nothing really authoritative.

Yes, I have seen the post with “w10_stop_reset-fileasso.reg”  which inject the NoOpenWith keyword into the Registry for a bunch of Microsoft applications. Worked OK for PDF but not for images.

Microsoft - here is my advice: let somebody older than 5 years do the programming of this for you Smile

12.21.2015

Hmmm, a restore of my iPhone 5S found and freed 7,3 GB from nowhere?!

Tags: Thoughts
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I know, having 16 GB iPhone s%&ks , and I am getting used to see the “Storage almost full” message almost every day;

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Every time I enter the Manage Storage screen to see what I can delete, but lately I has become more difficult to actually find something to delete! Below you see the status I had before my restore;

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116 MB left.... My largest application is 547 MB so I couldn’d quite the numbers to add up. I therefore did a manual calculation of all the applications listed in the screen above, and came in just over 4 GB Disappointed smile ... where the h&%k had the other 7,6 GB gone? And yes, I tried to delete all logs and data from Safari, Youtube and whatever app I could think of. Somehow something had my memory...

Reading on the net reveals that I am not the only one (such as this from the Apple forums) with these problems. One of the suggested options is to restore my phone, and so I did .... Now, one hour later I have this memory status;

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7.3 GB free again!

So, something was holding my memory after all, and when a restore can clean up, so should iOS do too without forcing a user to restore!

10.27.2011

Can the 10-year old that wrote Microsoft MSI please step forward

Tags: Microsoft Office Thoughts Windows 7
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Have you ever seen the funny "Error "1310: Error writing to file: C:\Config.Msi..." -message when trying to install an application?

A picture named M2

..."Verify that you have access to that directory." ...

04.15.2009

Installing .NET on Windows 2003 server? Think again!

Tags: Thoughts
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You new and shiny purchased application crash with a bang, and when you contact the software vendors support, you hear it works on my machine" .... My latest software test was the BugTrap client/server system from Intellesoft, which amongst other stuff consist of a server part intended to run as a service on a Windows server. First of all, BugTrap is a module which can be linked into your Win32/64 applications, to catch uncatered errors. This will collect information about  the application crash, and potentially submit it back to my BugTrap server. Very briefly you can replace the following ...

A picture named M2

with a much more comprehensive ...

A picture named M3

BugTrap sends off the collected information to the server, and potentially this can help the developer make better products.

04.15.2009

Got a newsletter today - Genius inside - me thinks not

Tags: Thoughts
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Today I received a newsletter from "Genius Inside" <imelchner@geniusinside.com>

It looked like this;
A picture named M2

Does it look like a genius? Me thinks not!

In fact, I feel embarrassed on behalf of the the person that sent this newsletter and didn't debug it better. In fact the code says;

A picture named M3

Probably not

My own morale; hope I never do this myself!!

01.14.2009

Domino WikiGeno -or- Anybody has experience with collaborative, online, genealogy tools?

Tags: Question Thoughts
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Several members of my family are interested in genealogy, and sometimes need to pass over genealogy-data to each other. The integration is often conveyed via GEDCOM files, and thus each user has to import and maintain their own genalogy databases on each computer. Has anybody experience with such tools?

Of course an ideal tool would be Domino based, with the following top features;
  • Utilize Domino's strong security features to assign responsible persons for their own families within the complete person-hierarchy. This means that my uncle can be responsible for his familiy and any decendants, while my aunt can be similar responsive for her familiy and decendants. This will spur collaboration and ownership of the family data "near you". This would be much better than sending off some GEDCOM file to the authorized Genealogy-nut in the familiy which may or may not add your data.
  • Present the familiy data in cool, web 2.0'ish ways, created with DoJo or Ext.ND or similar. I foresee person, familiy and tree-views.
  • Wiki-like editing possibilities for authorized persons. This means that changes can be reviewed, acceped and rejected. All edits are saved.
  • Blog-like interface about edits in the database. RSS-feeds are important for some
  • GEDCOM export. Authorized users may export the data as GEDCOM files for other usage - such as report generators. GEDCOM import. Authorized users may import GEDCOM to start off a family-tree
  • Good image support. I will be willing to offer free usage of my Import Image 2 Lotus Notes (II2LN) for such tools! (BTW, Blogsphere users already have this possibility, see here).

    One day - perhaps several, independent familiy trees can connect and we thus have the start of WikiGeno - see who you are related to?  

01.13.2009

Initial Windows 7 impressions ...and... The Microsoft Office-Coffin

Tags: Windows 7 Microsoft Office Thoughts
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My initial impression about Windows 7 is that this Windows-version is what Vista should have been. This is probably the feeling of the programmers in Redmond too, which operates with the internal version number 6.1 on Windows 7. Windows Vista has internal version number 6.0 ...

Microsoft is already pushing Windows 7 very hard, and thus spreading the conception of Vista being a middle-version. This stirs up the customer base, which is currently mostly sitting on the fence, watching Microsoft make up their mind about the Windows future. Here in Norway, many (MANY...) customers still uses Windows XP, and wisely let others "test" Vista for them. They probably won't install Vista at all, but waits until Windows 7 is ready for launch. The lack of Vista-focus and "here we go again with another new OS"-attitude from Microsoft, gives open source projects like Linux, Open Office (and off course our own Lotus Symphony!) bigger momentum for every day Microsoft doesn't deliver a proper OS. Take a look at the latest distributions of Linux such as Ubuntu for example, and pair that with the powerful applications in Open Office. Both the functionality and the look and feel of these packages are now creeping upwards, and making them feasible candidates for both companies and people. Especially when you look at the cost-perspective

In December 2008 we had a major news-case in Norway, where the Northern Norway Regional Health Authority (Helse Nord RHF)  after a licence-review, had to pay Microsoft approx. 40 million NOK (around 5.5 mill USD) as a response for missing licences. Of course Helse Nord has to pay for their actual licence usage, but it probably shows how easy it is to get lost in the count of licences, and super expensive it can be to fix it
I bet someone is the finance department is thinking real hard on whether the functionality of Open Office and Linux could actually replace Microsoft Windows and Office in the very near future ...

The Office-Coffin
I can't stop feeling that Microsoft is loosing on the Office-part, as the functionality and looks of open source packages comes to par very quickly. An average user only uses minimal features in Word, Excel and Powerpoint anyway, and the counterparts in Open Office can clearly fulfill the ordinary users needs. In the case of Helse Nord, they can obviously save a bunch of money by having most users on Open Office, while only the most techno-savvy users continue to use Office. This is even more clear as Microsoft entered the open source XML world by introducing their document formats as  standards. This forces Microsoft to open up their previously propriotory document formats to the world, and after a while - who will use locked document formats when you can just as easy use open formats? So, perhaps Microsoft got their XML standards approved by slight tricking, but they may not realize that they at the same time hammers down another nail in the Office-coffin.

Seeing the Office-coffin in the horizon must make Microsoft think real hard on the remaining OS-part - at which they haven't decided completely yet My guess is that we don't have to wait until 2010 to see Windows 7. They have to surface it sooner than that!

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