Category Archives: Computers

Fix: Samsung Galaxy S3 not charging, charges slowly or charge toggles on and off

s3-charging-smallPretty soon after I bought my brand new Samsung Galaxy S3, it began to be erratic charging behavior. It would often not charge, charge slowly or rapidly switch/toggle between charging and not charging. Searching on the web didn’t yield any good solutions, with most sites arguing about whether the cable, phone, or software was to blame.

The charging cable seemed suspect, since it would work better sometimes if I manually held it at a particular angle. However, even if I used a brand new cable, our car’s USB cable or my wife’s cable (which was still working for her S3), my phone had this problem. After a few months, my wife’s Galaxy S3 started having the same problem. Continue reading Fix: Samsung Galaxy S3 not charging, charges slowly or charge toggles on and off

Fix: Vim not scrolling, coloring or displaying text correctly when using GNOME Terminator

Terminator and vimI recently installed GNOME Terminator as a replacement for the default terminal emulator on my Linux installation, due to its great ability for easy and quick screen splitting (among other features). However, when I would try to use vim from within one of the terminator screens, vim would not function properly. It would either not display the file’s content at all, or when I would scroll it would exhibit very bizarre behavior, not updating the screen with the correct content (like getting stuck at the bottom or showing an incorrect line offset), or coloring the text incorrectly (e.g., black text on a black background). Searching online suggested that the problem had to do with ncurses and .terminfo, but this was not the case. The problem was with one of my configuration settings in my .vimrc file. Continue reading Fix: Vim not scrolling, coloring or displaying text correctly when using GNOME Terminator

Linux Mint – Installing Bumblebee for NVIDIA Optimus on Lenovo Y580

LM_beeFrom what I had previously read, it took a lot of special hacks and workarounds to get NVIDIA’s Optimus running correctly on the Lenovo Y580 (and other similar laptops) using the Bumblebee project. This was applicable only to the Linux 3.2 kernel. However, I just upgraded my kernel to 3.11, which is supposed to work with Bumblebee using just the standard installation. It does, but there are still a few quirks that needed to be addressed. Here are the instructions for installing and using Bumblebee for the Lenovo laptops. Continue reading Linux Mint – Installing Bumblebee for NVIDIA Optimus on Lenovo Y580

Fix: “My Computer” window always opens during Windows startup

My Computer pops upFor the past few days whenever I have turned on my laptop, a "My Computer" window has popped up at startup once Windows has finished loading. There weren’t really any good answers online until I came across this page at www.sevenforums.com, which suggested that Adobe CS6 might be the culprit (more specifically, the Adobe Bridge utility). Well, I had just installed CS6 at about the same time that this problem started occurring, and indeed it was the problem. Here is the more thorough description on how to fix it. Continue reading Fix: “My Computer” window always opens during Windows startup

How to fix Netflix DRM Error N8156 (it is a Silverlight problem)

We recently had a problem with Netflix streaming. The problem occurred whether trying to use Windows Media Center or in a web browser (like Internet Explorer or Firefox). We could view our queue and everything, but when trying to play a streaming movie, the error message below would appear. Solutions for Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP and Mac are all shown below.

Netflix DRM Error N8156-6013

Digital Rights Management (DRM) Error
Error Code: N8156-6013

We’re sorry, but there is a problem playing protected (DRM) content.

The date on your computer is set to 4/6/2011, which may be incorrect. Please correct the date on your computer and try again.

If the problem persists, please call Netflix at 1-866-579-7113.

The problem, it turns out, Continue reading How to fix Netflix DRM Error N8156 (it is a Silverlight problem)

Epson wireless printer won’t print or show ink levels anymore

I recently installed Windows 7 SP1 (service pack 1), and as a result my Epson NX515 wireless network printer wouldn’t print anymore from my desktop computer. Additionally, when I would go to the printer properties, it wouldn’t show the ink levels anymore. I could ping it, view the memory card storage, and view its built-in webpage, but I couldn’t print to it from my desktop. I tried reinstalling the drivers for it and also tried just about everything else that popped up in the results from my search engine queries.

Eventually I figured out how to get it working on my own. Here’s the scoop on how to fix it. Note that this fix is for if your printer drivers can see the printer, but for some reason when you try to print it give a print error or communication error (e.g., you get an error on the computer, and when you physically look at the printer it appears as though it did not receive any data). Continue reading Epson wireless printer won’t print or show ink levels anymore

Wireless connection disconnects and reconnects randomly (or, wireless droppings stink real bad)

I thought that this little tidbit might be useful to a few people. My netbook’s wireless connection recently started disconnecting and reconnecting randomly at school. This didn’t happen last year, it only started a few weeks ago. Looking up this problem online didn’t give any conclusive answers, but made me believe that some settings got changed either on my netbook (e.g., an automatic driver update), on the routers’ configurations at school (e.g., an updated credential persistence policy or supporting a new standard like 802.11n), or a combination of the two.

My netbook’s disconnect and reconnect problem was fixed by changing two settings on my netbook. Implementing #1 below made the problem a little better, and implementing both made the problem go away completely. Continue reading Wireless connection disconnects and reconnects randomly (or, wireless droppings stink real bad)

Unlimited online file and hard drive backup – Mozy and Carbonite

Unlimited backup to the internetI have recently been thinking a lot about how terrible it would be to lose all of the data on my computer’s hard drives if something bad ever happened to my computer (e.g., flood, fire, computer crash, etc.) As such, I began looking for cheap yet reliable online backup programs. Alas, a few good (and relatively cheap) options are finally available! They have actually been around for quite a while now, but I say they are “finally” available because they now feature unlimited storage space, their interfaces and websites are much more polished than they used to be, and they have a firm user base that they have been able to work with to iron the bugs out.
NOTE: Mozy no longer offers unlimited storage space. My review here of their service is still valid, except that they now have different price tiers for various storage sizes. This is unfortunate 🙁 Continue reading Unlimited online file and hard drive backup – Mozy and Carbonite