BlackBerry WiFi Connectivity Rain Dance

If you ever find yourself unable to get your BlackBerry to connect to wifi, try the following:

Settings -> Options -> Advanced Options -> Host Routing Table

In the “HRT Editor”, click the BlackBerry button and select “Register Now”.  You should get a “Registration message sent!” message and see some network activity.  Click “OK” and try to access the Internet again.

If you’re lucky, you now get to say “Voilla!” This seems to work about 80% of the time.

I think this is how BlackBerry locks down their devices so that folks are required to purchase data plans from a carrier.  No SIM card, no data plan, no wifi.

Would that this were rather more seamless.

Kernel conflicts in really old versions of Fedora

If you find yourself upgrading a wicked old Fedora distro, you may run across an error like this:

Error: Package initscripts needs kernel < 2.6.12, this is not available.

Try upgrading your kernel. To upgrade your kernel, make sure that only the latest version is hanging around. Because of a bug in legacy versions of yum, any older versions of the kernel must be removed.

To check your installed kernels, run:

$ rpm -qa | grep kernel

Note that if you simply run “rpm -q kernel”, you may miss smp kernels or other. The above will give you a complete picture. Remove all except the very latest version, then run yum update.

Running the BlackBerry Simulator on Vista

BlackBerry Simulator mysteriously dying every time you try to fire it up on Vista?  Same here. It’s a good thing I’ve become a compulsive reader of release notes. From the the latest JDE 4.6.0 docs:

If you install the BlackBerry® Java® Development Environment on a computer with Windows Vista™, if Use Account Control is turned on, launching the BlackBerry® Smartphone simulator might produce error messages and the simulator might not start.

Translation:  Simulator will definitely. not. start.  And of course they mean User Access Control. How-To Geek has an easy way to kill UAC here.

What to do about TortoiseSVN 1.5.x svn+ssh “Connection closed unexpectedly” errors on Vista

Annoying.  If, like me, you’re suddenly seeing this (despite assurances that it’s been fixed), I have two recommendations:

  1. Revert to an older TortoiseSVN 1.4.x build if you can find it.
  2. Try SmartSVN

SmartSVN is a Java-based free and “pro” drop-in replacement for Tortoise.  Unlike other SVN clients, you can use it exactly as you were using TortoiseSVN.  Possibly not as feature-rich, but considerably more polished than our favorite old Testudine.  Runs everywhere.  And it works over svn+ssh.

The easiest way to get Emacs Tramp Mode to play nicely with Windows and secure ssh connections

The easiest way is to go “under” Emac’s head and not bother with Tramp at all..

The currently distributed version of Tramp (2.0.x) has a design flaw wherein it assumes that ports are designated with a “-p” switch.  If you’re running Emacs on Windows, however, you will probably want to use Putty’s <code>plink</code> command instead of an command line ssh client.  Problem is plink uses a capitalized “-P” to indicate the port.  Urgh.  (Supposedly this is fixed in Tramp 2.1.x..)

Rather than muck around with this, consider tools that map the remote connection such that it appears local.  The well done open source app WinSCP does a pretty good job of this, though is a bit clunky in the way it syncs up its temporary cache.  South River Technologies’ WedDrive, however, is practically seamless.  Well worth the $60 for a one year license.

Visual editor broken in WordPress 1.3.2

Seems there is a bug in the latest WordPress check for gzip support which breaks visual editing. I’m not sure which condition below is causing the confusion

but if you modify the $supportsGzip variable to always return false as above, the problem goes away.

When in doubt, upgrade the firmware

I’ve had an old D-Link DI-614+ Wireless Broadband Router since 2003 or so. Its ticked along perfectly for the last five years, though since last week has started to show signs of wanting to go kaput. It had occasionally cut out on me in the past, but never so persistently.

Just before heading out the door to Best Buy to pick up a new one I figured I’d check D-Link to see if there were any firmware updates. Sure enough the last update was in 2006. Dowload to desktop, upload to router, reboot, and.. suddenly, no more problems. In fact, I seem to be getting better throughput than before. And the router’s clock now works. And signal strength is suddenly 100% everywhere in the house.

Sheesh, if I had thought to do this before I never would have wasted money on the Hawking Range Extender (which also required its own firmware upgrade).

So, fifty bucks saved and lesson learned. When in doubt, upgrade the firmware.

rpm freezes on Redhat 9

This kind of thing is exactly why I dislike Redhat. Probably such problems have been fixed on more recent distributions, however if you encounter a stubborn freeze, try killing the stale locks with rm -f /var/lib/rpm/__db*.

Apparently it will happen after prolonged usage or under heavy load. Or if you mutter nasty things about Bob Young.

Advanced Outlook Repair Crash

Well, for whatever reason AOR crashed when I tried to run the licensed version. Fortunately the kind souls at DataNumen let me upload my archive to their FTP server and did the repair for me.

When I asked why AOR wasn’t working here, I got the standard “must be your machine” answer:

Sorry but we don’t know the reason, as we cannot repeat the problem on our computers at all. We have used Advanced Outlook Repair to repair your file without any problems!

I guess the problem may be caused by incompabilities, but our computer installed with Vista and 2007 can also run correctly. So the problem may be related to other software or system confirgurations.

So with some good support here the results are what I was after.. though buyer beware.