How to get a Nexus 7 running quickly again

Nexus-7-2012

I recently had a Nexus 7 (2012) that was updated to Android 5.1.1. At first after upgrading I thought it was running fine, but only a few days later, it had slowed to a crawl. And I mean a crawl – it would take more than 15 seconds for the device to respond to many actions, like opening settings, opening apps, etc.

It seems the generally accepted explanation is that the device just can’t handle recent Android versions. Instead, it’s recommended to downgrade to Android 4.4.4. So I went ahead and downgraded, and so far it is really running quickly! I recommend it to anyone else in the same situation.

It’s quite simple:

  1. Install and run Nexus Root Toolkit
  2. Unlock your bootloader using NRT
  3. Download a good version of Android 4.4.4 such as this
  4. Download your choice of Google apps for this version (I installed the Micro variant)
  5. Copy the zips to your device, reboot into recovery, and install! Here’s a quick guide for reference

What a nice tablet, once again!

 

Error connecting Outlook to Gmail

Are you trying to connect outlook to your gmail account, but getting this error?

Your IMAP server wants to alert you to the following: Please log in via your web browser:
http://support.google.com/mail/accounts/bing/answer.py?answer=78754 (Failure)

Gmail and Outlook are just not playing nicely together. To resolve, the quickest solution is to “enable less secure apps”. Take a look at this page:

https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255?hl=en

More details:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2984937

Fix proximity sensor on Samsung smartphones

Samsung_Galaxy_Note_II

My proximity sensor stopped working, and it was just killing me – whenever I’d make a phone call, the screen would turn off instantly and couldn’t be revived until the phone call ended. I had to disable the phone setting to “automatically turn off screen”. However, this made for other problems since I would forget to turn off the screen after a call started, and then my ear would end up touching the screen and navigating around my phone and screwing up settings. Ugh.

I thought it was because of dust on the sensor, but it turns out it was software related. Thank goodness!

This post clearly outlines the fix. You just need to run a few commands via ADB, or via a local shell, and it’s fixed!

Turn your Sennheiser HD555 headphones into HD595s

Here’s a very simple “mod” to upgrade your HD555s. All you really are doing is removing a small piece of adhesive high-density foam from inside each earpiece. I’m really enjoying the sound a lot more now. I always felt they were a bit hindered on the bass, and now the sound is definitely more full. Take a look!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvQ8PzBrHXE

How to run Descent 3 on a modern computer

I installed Descent 3 (and 2 and 1) on my core i5-2500k machine and was surprised to find all kinds of weird visual problems when running the game in direct3d mode. After a little research online, I found a utility called “nglide” that simply makes the game run like it was supposed to. The game looks great now. Go download today!

http://www.zeus-software.com/downloads/nglide

You just install nglide and then start up the Descent 3 launcher and scan for display devices and be sure to pick 3dfx.

I also found it useful to modify some command-line parameters. I have mine launching with “-deadzone0 0.0 -deadzone1 0.0 -bumped -z32bit”. See the full list of options here:

http://www.dateiliste.com/en/descent-3/67-getting-started-with-descent-3/524-descent-3-command-line-options.html?start=1

How to fix microstuttering in Fallout 3

I’m astounded by what a pain in the butt it is to run games on a PC every time I run into something like this, but I really shouldn’t be. The complexity is probably due to the fact that we’re dealing with a relatively open platform with an infinite array of configuration and combination possibilities. Anyway, let’s get into the details.

So – you love Fallout 3 (and Fallout Net Vegas, Oblivion, Skyrim, etc.), but you’re just so sick of dealing with that ugly, ugly microstutter effect. You know – the one that makes your game look like it’s trying to give you a seizure?

I was so happy to find out that a solution exists! Ever since I observed microstutter on Oblivion and found no real solutions to the problem, I just assumed I would have to live with microstutter wherever it occurred. Apparently it’s the fault of the gamebryo engine, upon which all of these games are based. Anyway, just yesterday I found this great mod for Fallout 3 to address the problem, and also found that such mods exist for these other games too! Sweet!

Install FOSE (fallout script extender) first:

  1. Go to the FOSE site and download fose_v1_2_beta2.7z
  2. Open the zip file and copy all of the DLLs and fose_loader.exe
  3. Go to your Fallout 3 program folder (the one with the main fallout3.exe) and paste these files here

Now, install the stutter remover mod:

  1. Go to the mod website and select FSR_4-0-7 under the downloads page
  2. Open the zip file and copy the folder called “Data”
  3. Go to your Fallout 3 program folder and paste this folder here (you may have to select “merge” if there’s already a data folder – just say “yes” to this)

Now to start Fallout 3, you just have to run “fose_loader.exe” instead of the normal exe. If you have a shortcut on your desktop or start menu, you can modify that shortcut to point to fose_loader. If you’re running steam, you can go into steam and “add a non-steam game” from the games menu, and point to fose_loader.

One other thing – if you have any saved games from before, you’ll need to move or copy those up one directory level or you won’t see them when you run fose_loader… and you’ll be really confused like I was.

  1. Open up: My Documents > My Games > Fallout 3 > saves > (username)
  2. Copy all your save games and .ini files
  3. Go up one directory (to My Documents > My Games > Fallout 3 > saves)
  4. Paste the files here

That’s it! Fire up Fallout 3 and behold smooth video!

Watch an example of this in action (link updated; old one no longer online) to get a sense for before and after.