Internet Explorer automatic Proxy detection not working until you opened and closed the connection settings.

Strange IE 9 behavior when using “Automatically detect setting” and a Proxy.pac that is promoted through DHCP.

When starting IE, intranet sites are working from the beginning, but internet sites are only working after opening Internet Options –> Connections –> Lan Settings, and then confirming with “OK”. No changes have to be made in the settings, it’s just about opening them, and closing again. This issue is reproducible every time the user profile is deleted.

After some further investigation with Procmon it was clear that settings are written to the registry, even if no changes are made when open the Lan Settings dialogue. The important ones are:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]
"EnableAutodial"=dword:00000000
"NoNetAutodial"=dword:00000000

Setting these 2 values using a script, or in our case GPO’s will solve the issue.

Testking Questions & Answers WITHOUT Explanations

To prepare for my Microsoft 70-642 exam I’ve bought Testkings preparation materials. It’s called Question & Answers with Explanations and costs 99$. A bit pricy, but expecting real explanations I thought I’d give it a try. What I actually got is Questions & Answers WITHOUT Explanations. On only about 10% of the questions there’s actually an explanation. Which makes it quite useless. I’ve tried to get my money back, but with no luck. If you ask me, I will never buy a product from Testking again, and I hope that you don’t buy one as well.

The original conversation with Testkings support:

On 15.01.2012 23:10, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Dear Testking

I’m very disappointed by Testking Microsoft 70-642 that I’ve just bought.

There are explanations on only very few questions, even if it clearly

says: Questions & Answers with Explanations. I would not have bought it

if I knew, that there are only few explanations. I’m asking you to take

that product back for a full refund.

Regards, Nico

On 17.01.2012 13:00, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Dear Testking

I haven’t heard anything from you, did you receive my Message?

Regards, Nico

On 17.01.2012 17:01, TK Support wrote:

Hello,

We do not issue refunds for downloaded products.

———————————————-

Support at www.testking.com
On 17.01.2012 18:23, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Hello

That’s not an acceptable answer, I’ve bought “Questions & Answers with

Explanations” but I’ve only got Questions & Answers”. So basically you

did not deliver what you sold, which is a fraud.

Is this really how Testking is doing it’s business? I’m asking again for

a refund, because you did not deliver what I’ve paid for. Or of course,

I would even prefer, if you deliver what I’ve paid for, “Questions &

Answers with Explanations”

Regards, Nico

On 17.01.2012 19:23, TK Support wrote:

For refund you need to contact billing@testking.co

———————————————-

Support at www.testking.com

On 18.01.2012 15:28, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Dear Testking

Please see my message below.

Regards,
Nico

On 18.01.2012, at 07:31, “TestKing Billing” <billing@testking.com> wrote:

Hi Nico

I am sorry, we do not offer explanation with all questions of the exams and we do not offer refund in this case.

Best Regards.

TestKing Billing

billing@testking.com

On 18.01.2012 11:40, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Hi Testking

Could you please forward this to your boss? I want to read that from a decision maker (who has a name) before I forward this to the crime department of my credit card supplier. Again, I’ve bought “Questions & Answers with Explanations”, not with some explanations..

Regards, Nico

On 19.01.2012 09:17, TestKing Billing wrote:

Hi Nico

We can offer you 20% discount on your next purchase as compensation.

Let me know.

Best Regards.

TestKing Billing

billing@testking.com
On 19.01.2012 09:26, Nico Baumgartner wrote:

Hi Unknown

Are you serious? You’re ripping me off, and after that, you’re offering me 20% discount for the next chance to rip me off? I’ll contact my credit card supplier and try to get my money back that way. And I will also publish this conversation on my website.

Nico

Hi UnknownAre you serious? You’re ripping me off, and after that, you’re offering me 20% discount for the next chance to rip me off? I’ll contact my credit card supplier and try to get my money back that way. And I will also publish this conversation on my website.

Nico

Yet another Lux-RC / Easy2Led bike light

Training off-road during the colder days often also means that it’s getting quite dark. There are lots of bike lights on the market, most of them are either too expensive or not 100% satisfying. There’s however a simple solution using components from Lux-Rc and Easy2Led.

Lux-Rc light engine:

A small board, 3 leds and a boost regulator is already integrated, different configurations are available

Easy2Led light housing:

A good fit for the L33X light engine from Lux-Rc, in addition you’ll need a handlebar mount (Lupine or the Chinese equivalent that can be ordered at Lux-Rc), cables, battery, a momentary switch.

Battery:

Input voltage depends on the light engine, mine is optimized for 2s Li-Ion batteries, I’m not going into detail about building a Li-Ion battery pack. This is dangerous, and you should know what you do, or better leave it. My battery pack has some additional heat-shrink tubing over each individual cell, heat shrink tube over the whole pack, and then a layer of plastidip liquid rubber on top of the heat-shrink tubing. Additionally, I’ve added some foamed rubber on the side that touches the frame when the Pack is mounted to my bike.

Oh yeah, and please use a little less thermal glue, maybe 1/3rd of what I’ve used should be enough.

Project FireStarter

I’ve always wanted to have a battery powered BBQ fan. The plan was to make it small/portable, but it all went wrong:

Having a cold beer on a boat.

I prefer having a cold beer when I’m on our boat, but since this is usually on the sunny days, the performance of our fridge (Waeco CF-18) was too weak to cool one down in a short time (temperature in the cabin goes up to ~35° C if the sun is burning down).

I’ve been thinking about some kind of a GSM-based remote control, and actually found a nice product called microguard. The product seemed perfect, relatively cheap, easy to implement, available, but there was no time-out that could be set. Even if I have a separate starter-battery, it was key to find a solution that turns off the fridge after a given time without user interaction. Luckily, the guy who runs microguard was very cooperative, and added a timeout feature for me (and everyone else of course).

The module now turns on a relay for two hours after it’s been called from my or one of 4 other predefined phones. this is a bit on the short side, but I can live with calling twice.

This is how my installation looks:

From left to right:
Charge split diode / Rear side of main switches / Fridge fuse / Microguard module with relays, cables, mounted on an a plastic case / RedBull cup as holder for a Siemens S45.
The Cat5 network cabling goes directly to the voltmeters on the dash, this was made to show the exact voltage without loss due to load on the cabling.

As mentioned before, I have two separate batteries the starter is a traditional lead/acid battery, and the domestic is an AGM type, which allows deep cycles.

This is how the battery compartment looks:

 

The switches on the left are starter / jumper / domestic. This allows maximum flexibility. The domestic main switch actually doesn’t kill the microguard / fridge, so it can be off, and I can still call the fridge.

Balancing the Magicshine MJ-836 Bike Light Battery

There are many reports about unbalanced Li-Ion cells in Magicshine Bike lights. This can lead into overcharged cells, which is dangerous, or at least will damage the cells. The charger which comes with the light does not have any balancing capabilities, the battery itself only has some very limited under/over voltage protection.

To solve this problem, you’ll need to modify the battery (add a balancing connector), and use a different charger, or external balancer. I’ll use my hobby charger, which has an integrated balancer.

This is no complete guide, it needs common sense, and some knowledge about electronics. You should also know, that working with Li-XX cells is dangerous.

If you don’t know how Li-XX balancing works, please read:
http://scriptasylum.com/rc_speed/lipo.html
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=599316
before starting to modify your battery pack.

Adding the balancing connector:

Open up the pack:

The interesting part is the four 18650 cells, remove the top of the pack (shown on the left):

Add a new wire which will end as your balancing connector, this is connected to the “middle” of the pack, the pack is 2S2P.

Your Magicshine Pack should now look like that:

The next Step is to put back the isolation, and bring the balancer wire out of the case. this can be done through the original cable exit:

I’ve added a 2mm banana connector, some heat shrink tube, and a cable tie:

Finished Pack, charging:

test

As you can see, the connections were made as follows:

– from the battery goes to – of the charger, and pin1 of the balancer.
newly made balancing wire goes to pin2 of the charger
+ goes to + of the charger, and pin3 of the balancer.

Microsoft Office 2010 Silent MUI install

Microsoft didn’t go the normal MSI-way with Office 2010, and included a customization wizard, as they did with previous versions. However, creating a silent install with integrated MUI-packs wasn’t as self explaining as I thought. In this post, I want to document the steps I’ve made, to create a silent install.

Needed Software:
– MS Office 2010 Professional Plus EN
– MUI Packs (DE, FR, IT)

Integrating the MUI Packs:
This is quite easy, you can just copy the MUI Packs contents into the setup sources, while keeping the files that already exist.

Customizing installation:
Setup.exe /admin starts the Customization Wizard, it will create a .msp patch, which includes the settings you’ve made. Be sure to choose the silent install.
If you didn’t add any MUI Packs, you can run

Setup.exe /adminfile yourmsp.msp

, and it will install silently. If you’ve added additional languages, this will not work, because Setup will prompt you what to install (MUI-Pack or Office). If you choose office, it will also only install one language.
To solve this issue, you’ll need a config.xml file, which includes the product you want to install, display level and the additional languages:

<Configuration Product="ProPlus">
<Display Level="none" CompletionNotice="no" SuppressModal="yes" AcceptEula="yes" />
<AddLanguage Id="match" ShellTransform="yes"/>
<AddLanguage Id="en-us" />
<AddLanguage Id="fr-fr" />
<AddLanguage Id="de-de" />
<AddLanguage Id="it-it" />
</Configuration>

You are now ready to start your silent Installation while running:

setup.exe /config yourxml.xml /adminfile yourmsp.msp

MP3 tagging for Squeezebox Server, Foobar2000, iTunes

This little article is about MP3 tagging, or to be more precise about MP3 compilation album tagging. Since I’m a Squeezebox, Foobar2000, and iPhone (and therefore also iTunes) user, I’m only addressing these products, but I’m sure other products work the same, or a very similar way.

Now to the problem, compilation albums appeared under each individual artist on my players (see title), this can be very annoying, especially if you have lots of artists within your compilations, from whom you don’t have any albums.

The solution(s):

Foobar:

Add an “Album Artist” tag to all tracks of the specific album.
foobar-tag

In “Album List” properties, replace %<artist>% with %<album artist>% in the “by artist” view.

foobar-albumlist

Thats it.

Squeezebox Server:

This one is even easier, in foobar2000, or whatever tagging tool you prefer, just add a “band” tag, which equals the “album artist” tag. It was necessary to do a full rescan (Clear library and rescan everything) to make the changes take effect.

iTunes / iPhone:

It won’t work on the iPhone, but it will in iTunes. What you need is an “itunesconpilation” tag, but you cannot add it with foobar2000. This relies in the way how iTunes stores this information. You can use iTunes with the following Settings:

itunes-compilation

Or you can read this thread, and use mp3tag: http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=61967

Light up your way

Yesterday, I was wondering about what I could do with this unused frog led light, and I think, I’ve found a solution:

Trisa Elektrozahnbürste AA Mod

This article is about a swiss product, which I don’t think is very common outside Switzerland, so I’m writing in German.

Als ich mir die Elektrische Zahnbürste von Trisa gekauft hatte viel meine Wahl auf dieses Modell, weil ich weder Platz noch Lust auf eine Ladestation hatte. Das Konzept aufladen und leerbrauchen hat mir da einiges mehr zugesagt. Am liebsten hätte ich jedoch eine Zahnbürste gekauft, die mit einer herkömlichen AA Batterie / Akku betrieben wird.

Letzte Woche ist mir die Trisa aus unerklärlichen Gründen ausgestiegen. Ich habe dann am Ladeanschluss mit einer Zange die Platine inkl. Akku rausgerissen. Eigentlich mit der Idee das Teil zu reparieren, doch der AA gedanke war schnell wieder da. Kurz eine Batterie reingesteckt, passt perfekt, nur findet auf der Vorderseite kein Kontakt statt. Es fehlten einige Milimeter beim Minus-Pol, welcher in der Bürste sitzt. Ein Quadratischer Neodym Magnet mit 7mm Seitenlänge war schnell zur Hand, und stellt nun den kontakt her.

Die Zahnbürste läuft nun perfekt mit einem AA Akku.

Charging leads with magnet contacts

Some of you might have noticed that i like playing with magnets, so i did again. I’ve used neodym magnets which have hole in the middle, and used a screw, which I soldered the wires to. This makes very practical charging leads which can be attached to just about everything.

This wasn’t my idea, someone on the candlepower forums posted some similar charging leads a while ago.

Maglite 3c 3-Led Modification

It’s been a long time since I wanted to mod my 3c Maglite, which to be honest wasn’t exactly bright. Costs always held me back, but then I’ve found this:

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9358

sku_9358_1

This module is very bright, but too much of a thrower for my use, but i didn’t know that, and probably cannot change it (any suggestions are welcome). It has an included circuit to drive the led’s from 3.6 v- 9v. It also has 3 Output modes, strobe, low, full, they are very annoying, because they change every time you disconnect the power source. The Mag switch actually connects, disconnects for a short time, and then connects again, if you pusch it once. This makes it even worse. So i would not recommend this module, or at least not if you’re planning to use the original switch.

Now to the mod itself:

I’ve had to cut down the mag’s head, and sand out quiet a lot of alloy to get the thing in:

P1000200

I guess this is much easier on the D mag, but i always preferred the C over the D.

Connecting the module to the switch is easy, the important thing is how to disassemble the mag, but i won’t describe this here, it can be easily found on the internet. The whole thing should look more or less like this (module installed in Mag-head, switch disassembled, wires soldered to switch contacts):

P1000198

After reassembling it looked like that, the parts next to it are the leftovers from the mag minus the reflector:

P1000201

Note: Three rechargeable NiCd or NiMh cells provide the absolute minimal current to run this thing, it gets brighter when running on higher voltage. Which is something I’ll maybe do i future, using 2 18650 Li-Ion or maybe LiFePo (much saver than Li-Ion) cells.

Microsoft .net Framework 3.5 on Windows XP Embedded

At work, I’m deploying Software to Windows XP embedded Clients. The Past days, i was analyzing a problem with Microsoft “Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 Service Pack 1 (KB929300)”. The Installation Log said:

DepCheck indicates Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0a is not installed.

This Error is kind of confusing, since .NET Framework 3.0 was already installed, and there’s actually no version 3.0a which you can download. I then decided (after a lot of other ideas, which didn’t work out) to extract the 3.5 (yes, 3.5) Redist Package using winrar, and found the following MSI:

dotnetfx35\wcu\dotNetFramework\dotNetFX30\Netfx30a_x86.msi

This MSI tells you to use setup.exe, and quits installing, so it has to be edited (I’ve used ORCA to do so). After I installed it, i was finally able to install .NET Framework 3.5

Lenovo Thinkpad “FN + F7” not working

I’ve done a clean install of  Windows XP with current drivers and utilitys on my Thinkpad X40.  Strange thing was that presentation director didn’t show up when I push “FN-F7”, although all necessary packages were installed, and PD started fine through start menu. I then found out that PD 2.57, which is the most recent version published for the x40 seems to have problems with the actual version of Thinkpad Hotkey Drivers. Using Version 4.03 of PD, (found within the X60 drivers) works fine.

Messing with Windows XP power profiles

Windows XP’s default setting for Standby mode is kind of frustrating. Even if the computer is part of a Windows Domain, Pc’s go to standby after a timeout by default. I have done the following to solve this problem:

1. Microsoft supplies a tool called powercfg to handle power profiles, however powercfg only works with administrative privileges by default, changing the registry permissions is a must if you want to do it with user privileges (I’ve used SetACL which is not part of windows):
%windir%\system32\SetACL.exe -on "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Controls Folder\PowerCfg" -ot reg -actn ace -ace "n:%computername%\users;p:full"
%windir%\system32\SetACL.exe -on "HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\PowerCfg" -ot reg -actn ace -ace "n:%computername%\users;p:full"

2. to add a new profile, and configure it, i run the following under every user:
powercfg /C efag-pwr-nb
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /monitor-timeout-ac 20
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /monitor-timeout-dc 15
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /disk-timeout-ac 30
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /disk-timeout-dc 10
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /standby-timeout-ac 0
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /standby-timeout-dc 0
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /hibernate-timeout-ac 0
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /hibernate-timeout-dc 0
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /processor-throttle-ac NONE
powercfg /X efag-pwr-nb /processor-throttle-dc ADAPTIVE
powercfg /S efag-pwr-nb

powercfg /G ON /OPTION BATTERYICON
powercfg /G ON /OPTION MULTIBATTERY
powercfg /G ON /OPTION RESUMEPASSWORD
powercfg /G OFF /OPTION WAKEONRING
powercfg /G OFF /OPTION VIDEODIM