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.

Color calibration profile fails to load on windows 7 startup

After creating a custom color profile for my monitor using my new X-Rite i1Display Pro, I was really surprised that it wouldn’t load automatically when I booted into Windows 7. I wasn’t able to find any solutions to my specific problem, so I did my own investigation by disabling certain startup services using msconfig to see if any of those were preventing my monitor calibration from loading.

In my specific instance, when I disable the “Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Driver Service” from the services tab using msconfig, my monitor calibration loads properly when I boot Windows 7. I’m guessing there’s a bug in Nvidia’s drivers. Sadly, I’ve read that Nvidia drivers don’t reliably support custom color profiles. For the record, the GeForce driver version I’m using is 301.42.

Edit 9/29/2012: I’ve verified this is still broken with driver version 306.23 and have been in contact with Nvidia about this problem but there has been no resolution yet. Also – it looks like whenever you update your drivers, the service will start again automatically so you’ll need to go into “Services” and stop and disable the “Nvidia Stereoscopic 3D Driver Service” – even though it’s already disabled in msconfig Services.

How to Delete an Old Windows Installation Folder from Windows 7

After recently upgrading my computer with an SSD, I needed to clean up my old system hard drive. I thought “Oh, all I have to do is open windows explorer as administrator and surely I’ll be able to just delete the old Windows folder from my old HDD.” As you can imagine, I was wrong – of course Microsoft had to make this semi-common task into a cryptic puzzle.

Here are the steps that worked for me, but be careful! This will wipe out permissions within the Windows directory you’re about to delete, so be sure you’re ready to trash it!

Take ownership of the windows directory:

  1. Go: Properties -> Security -> Advanced -> Owner -> Edit
  2. Select your username from the “Change owner to” list
  3. Select the checkbox to “Replace owner on subcontainer and objects”
  4. Click Apply, dismiss the warning, and then hit OK
  5. Click OK again, in the Advanced Security Settings dialog

Ensure your username is in the list of users for this folder

  1. Go: Properties -> Security -> Edit
  2. If your username isn’t in the list of users, click Add
  3. Enter your username and click “Check Names”
  4. When your username is found and displayed in the text box, click OK
  5. Click OK to close the Permissions dialog

Give yourself write permission to the folder and all its contents

  1. Now back in the Properties dialog, go: Advanced -> Change Permissions
  2. Select your username and click Edit
  3. Select the “Full Control – Allow” checkbox
  4. Ensure that “Apply to” is set to “This folder, subfolders and files”
  5. Select the “Apply these permissions to objects and/or containers within this container only” and click OK
  6. Select the “Replace all child object permissions with inheritable permissions from this object” and click OK
  7. Click OK on the confirmation dialog that comes up
  8. Click OK to several times to close out the dialogs completely

Now, you’ll be able to delete the folder without any permissions troubles! Yay!