CodyLoco's Random Rants… A little bit of everything…

12Aug/110

New Small Business Tools Site

I wanted to take a couple seconds to share my new web project I'm working on.  It's a new resource site for small businesses so they can find useful tools and services online that can help them streamline and expand their business.  It could be considered a new generation of my internet fax to email guide but with more features and definitely more content.  I've called it the eBizToolkit - and so far it covers Business VoIP Phone, Electronic Signatures, Email Marketing (Newsletters), and of course, Internet Fax.  Check it out, I've spent lots of time on this one!

24May/110

Fix the “Error: ActiveX component can’t create object” in Video Vision Plus 10

I use Vision Forecasting's Video Vision Plus 10 software to keep track of my movie rentals at Twilight Video Club and kept getting an error running the software under Windows XP whenever I tried to import movie information from an XML file (exported from Collectorz.com's Movie Collector).  Whenever I would open the import window, where you are asked for an XML file where your information is stored, I kept getting the following error Error: ActiveX component can't create object.

Because my support contract is expired - they wanted $250/year for email support - I was on my own to find the fix...  and after a few hours of research, have found the solution...  Install SQLXML, which apparently Windows XP doesn't seem to have, and Video Vision Plus doesn't install for you.  Simply install SQLXML 3.0 from this Microsoft page, reboot the computer, and it should start working!

Being that this is a standard ActiveX component, if you are getting an error similar to this Error: ActiveX component can't create object that I received, which also comes up often as Run-time error '429' ActiveX component can't create object in other programs, and it comes up when you are trying to load a dialog or window that involves importing / exporting data via XML files, than this might also fix the problem for you!  If you aren't trying to use XML in the program and you're getting that error, it's probably a missing ActiveX library, and you should hit up The Google for help on your specific program...  It's worth a shot anyways, since installing SQLXML should not cause you any grief at all if it's installed on your computer even if you don't use it.

7Sep/101

PS3 mandatory system update tries to block PSGroove jailbreak, can be bypassed!

Do you own a PlayStation 3? You might have not been following this in gaming news, but the once-thought-to-be-invincible console has finally been jailbroken to play homebrew code (like PlayStation 2 emulators) as well as load game backups off the hard-drive at twice the read speed it would get from the disc thanks to an open sourced code called PSGroove, which can be run on a USB Dev board like the Teensy++.

PSGroove Jailbreak on PS3Following Sony's legal battle that managed to ban the PSJailbreak in Australia, the retail jailbreak key that was way overpriced at around $170, Sony has obviously now shifted part of their efforts onto patching the PS3's software with the mandatory release of the PS3 Update 3.42.  Given that the update only takes the software from 3.41 to 3.42, and there are no new features provided, it can be assumed (and has been confirmed) that it is an attempt to block the PS3 jailbreak exploit.

PS3Hax.net has seen a massive increase in traffic since the release of the PSJailbreak, and has been faithfully covering the news and keeping the community updated on the latest on PSGroove.  Their users have already found two confirmed methods of bypassing the mandatory update (be sure to go through the comments) for fears that Sony may be able to identify the PSGroove's fake license code and ban the consoles from accessing PSN, similar to the "8002A227" ban that is applied to users who share their PSN accounts with too many friends.

At the moment, the PSGroove software has been ported to work on not just usb dev kits, but other devices like Android phones and even TI-83 calculators.  Work is underway to port it for use on the PSP, and it is believed that it will probably at some point be portable to something every PS3 gamer has: the DualShock 3 controller.

The real beauty of the PSGroove is that it does NOT modify or void the warranty on your console in any way - all you literally need to do is plug a device loaded with the software into the USB port, hard power your PS3, and start loading your games onto the internal or external hard drive!  Although it does not yet load ISO images, most respectable torrent sites like TorrentLeech.org have already begun receiving PS3 torrents, like the site mentioned listing 52 PS3 games available for download at this time of writing including Mafia 2, Just Cause 2, and Blur.

15Oct/090

Baby 2D Flash Version of Portal is VERY Addictive!

Portal: Flash Version, Level 15

Portal: Flash Version, Level 15

Looking for a healthy time-waster?  I found this highly addictive puzzle game on Break, which is a 2D version of the very popular Valve game called Portal.  The flash game puts a portal generator in your hands, just like in the Valve version, where you create an entry and an exit portal which you can use to get around the level.

The catch, however, is that you can only shoot portals within line-of-sight.  The later levels have you dodging giant spikey things coming from the roof or electric fields that will fry you if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It's a great way to waste your time.

Find the game at Break.

Tagged as: , , No Comments
11Sep/091

OpenOffice screen lag and artifacts on Ubuntu with Compiz and nVidia drivers fix

OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Impress

OpenOffice Writer, Calc, Impress

Since using Ubuntu I obviously no longer use MS Office (although I could, as Office can be emulated in Wine) since OpenOffice can do pretty much everything I need so far.  However, I was having a bit of an annoying problem where the screen seemed to be getting artifacts and text dissapearing and reappearing when scrolling around in Writer (OO's Word) and editing / updating cells in Calc (OO's Excel) was either slow or didn't appear on screen at all.  A quick search on Google came up with this thread on the Ubuntu forums site, pointing to this blog post, in which others have had the problems before, and offered a fix.

The problem is apparently caused by an incompatibility between compiz and the nvidia proprietary drivers, which causes the screen to come out of sync and not get redrawn correctly.  This will obviously only affect people with nVidia-based cards running their drivers.  Luckily, as with most things Linux, there is at least a workaround available, and this one is very easy to fix:

If you don't have it already, install the compizconfig-settings-manager package, which you want to have anyways if you use Compiz desktop effects, either through the package manager or through the terminal:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then open up System -> Preferences -> CompizConfig Settings Manager and navigate to the Utilities section in the screen that pops up.  Click on Workarounds plugin, and enable the “force syncronization between X and GLX” checkbox.  Close the window and your problems will be fixed immediately!

26Aug/090

Ubuntu 9.04: Latest version of Ubuntu better than ever!

Ubuntu: For Desktops, Servers, Netbooks and in the cloudIf you're not yet aware, Ubuntu 9.04 has been out for a while now, and it's better than ever!  I installed it on my Asus G50V, dual-booting between it and Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit and it's running like a charm (writing this on it right now!).

As usual, you need to install the "extras" that aren't included since they are proprietary, closed source apps, in my case such as the nVidia driver, the Windows corefonts package, and ubuntu-restricted-extras to be able to play mp3s, video codecs like divx, etc.  The nice thing though, is they have been making it easier and easier to get this part up and running with the inclusion of apps such as the hardware drivers box which lets you two-click install the latest video driver (that's way easier than Windows!!!) and tons of walkthroughs and help on the Ubuntu website.  There is now even support for 64-bit Flash and Java plugins!

I also updated Wine (the Windows compatibility layer) to run MS apps, and other than having to install the Windows-propietary fonts, it thus far has run anything I try including what I'm playing now, Eve Online.  I've even installed Serato Scratch Live, which although I haven't tested it with the hardware SL1 since mine is in Costa Rica, the app itself runs as if it doesn't even know it's on Linux (and it's a fairly resource-intensive professional DJ app! - check out my AppDB Entry).  In case you didn't know, if you're thinking of switching to Ubuntu and NEED a Windows App but you there isn't an equivelant in Linux (most have one), check the WineHQ AppDB to see how well it runs under Wine.  You'll be surprised to see how many games run out of the box under Ubuntu/Wine!

My bareyl customized desktop (while editing this post).

My barely customized desktop (while editing this post).

Speaking of games... While Linux can emulate Windows games, Windows can't emulate Linux games or apps.  There are quite a few interesting games and apps available for Linux, and a good place start for games is LinuxGames and for apps is the "cool apps" thread on the Ubuntu forums.

Of course, Ubuntu does have some drawbacks.  Because I'm using the 64-bit version, some drivers I can't get to work, such as the one for my Canon scanner, however most hardware DOES work for the 32-bit Ubuntu.

All in all, other than to run Photoshop, which I haven't tried installing on Wine yet even though it says it can be done, I have had no reason what-so-ever to boot into Windows.  I can access all my files that are in the Windows partitions in Ubuntu (so I can play my music in Amarok, and my movies / videos in VLC, and edit MS Office documents in OpenOffice), play Eve Online, edit my websites and stuff with KFTPGrabber for ftp and Bluefish for PHP/HTML editing, and check my business email through Evolution mail... all just as efficiently as I would with Windows.  Only, with a MUCH stabler, customizable, prettier, and FASTER operating system.

Be sure to check out this video (it's even an OLD version of Ubuntu):

Oh, and by the way, everything about Ubuntu is completely free!  Ubuntu 1, Windows 0.

19Oct/080

No More Windows! Try the new Ubuntu 8.10 Linux OS

"Ubuntu" is an ancient African word that means "humanity to others".

An Ubuntu Desktop

A default Ubuntu Desktop with some apps open

That's quite the name to live up to if you are a linux distro.  Luckily enough, Ubuntu does live up to it's name.  It is one of the most user-friendly free open-source operating systems available, and the amount of computer users that run Ubuntu proves it.  Even large computer manufacturers such as Dell and Acer offer Ubuntu pre-loaded as an alternative to Windows when you order from them, proving that these companies have acknowledged that Ubuntu is a linux distro that is easy enough for the "common man" to operate.

Sadly, most people are under the impression that the only way to have a usable computer is to fork over the dough for a copy of Microsoft Windows and pay for the software.  Few are even aware that there are other operating systems available, and thus by default choose Windows.  Ubuntu offers all the functionality of Windows, even including support or alternative programs (still free!) for the most common tasks such as web surfing, image editing, word processing, music and video playback / editing, and more!

As of this writing, the latest version of Ubuntu, version 8.10 will be released in just under 11 days.  It includes numerous new features such tabbed Nautilus (the file browser) windows, encrypted private directories, improved guest sessions (to lend your laptop to someone to check your email, for example), updated networking and Samba support, and lots of added hardware support.

If you have never used a different operating system, you definitely owe yourself to try Ubuntu, since you may be pleasantly surprised.  You can download what is called a "Live CD", which you can boot from into Ubuntu so you can try it without making any changes to your computer.  Take the CD out, and the computer loads Windows as it always has.  Remember, the download is completely free, the operating system is free, and the software is free!  No reason not to try it out!

If you want to get the best of both worlds, you can also dual-boot your computer, so that when you turn on the computer a screen will appear asking whether you want to load into Ubuntu or Windows (Ubuntu for everyday tasks, Windows for gaming!).

Ubuntu 8.10 is currently in Beta until November 1st, 2008. I recommend you use the 8.04 version if you are downloading it before it comes out of Beta.

For more information and to download the Live CD, visit the Ubuntu Official Website and see what you have been missing!

By the way, did I forget to mention that everything Ubuntu is FREE?

Update: ShipIt is now taking pre-orders for properly pressed CD images of the LiveCD.  As with everything Ubuntu, they will actually you a copy absolutely free but it takes about two to three weeks.  If you want to order a free copy, visit this link!  Thanks to douglas1991 for the tip!

16Oct/080

iBlogging… WordPress + iPhone

I decided it was time to get my personal blog up finally, but I have to choose a CMS to work with. Most of my sites I build using Joomla 1.5, but I wanted a simpler system for my blog.

After looking at and comparing many including Drupal, b2evolution, and Nucleus, one feature immediately caught my eye on the WordPress site- iPhone App!

I just bought an iPhone 3G with Rogers and this naturally I'm on the lookout for cool stuff like that. After a quick script install using Fantastico (because I'm lazy) and a username and password here and there, I am officially writing my first blog post on my iPhone!

So far the app works better than I had honestly expected, but you really begin to miss those things we take for granted on a computer, things like copy and pasting!

If you run WordPress as your blog and own an iPhone, be sure to check out the app. I would add a link to it for you, but first I need to figure out how!