Roodhouse Tech Blog

Technology at Geneseo Community School District 228

Archive for the ‘Misc. Repair’ Category

El Capitan has reached a nice stable milestone but one thing that has always irked me about the OS is its terrible version of Disk Utility.  Not only was functionality removed from this utility but it also simply is less stable and does not work much of the time.  Let’s say you want make a new USB Time Machine disk and you pick up and external on sale at Wal-Mart.  When you go to Erase or partition you will often end up with meaningless errors, such as Out of Space (brand new) or Volume cannot be unmounted (already unmounted), etc.

The fix is to use a customized version of the older more fully functional Disk Utility that has been altered to work on El Capitan (and MacOS Sierra).   This modified version brings back RAID control, ability to create disk images and is overall more stable and more functional then its newer replacement.

Disk-Utility-Legacy-app Mac OSX

Disk Utility Legacy Running on El Capitan

old-disk-utility

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Okay so Prezi makes nice looking easy presentations but they are made using a web interface and are flash based.  This makes sharing, downloading or viewing these presentations outside of Prezi.com a bit difficult.  Using built in software on a Mac along with an opensource project called soundflower you can convert a prezi (or for that matter anything on the web) into a easy to use movie file.

Using Quicktime you can do a New Screen Recording and draw a box around the content that you want to record.  This works great but has one major drawback.  This is capturing sound.

For example if you click on Quicktime and then do a new screen recording:

newscreenrecording

Now in the box that pops up click on the little triangle to view your audio options.

Notice the options are only NONE and Built-In-Microphone.

built in micSo the Built-in-Microphone would work but you will get terrible sound and further you will get background static, and room noise basically everything picked up by the mic.  Also recording from a speaker directly to a microphone sounds terrible.
Okay so what we need is a way to capture the audio stream perfectly and uninterrupted while capturing the screen.  Insert SoundFlower (https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower/releases/)

SoundFlower adds a audio interface into your System Preferences that allows you to direct the speaker output directly allowing you to copy it perfectly.  Here is how to use it.

First install SoundFlower.

(Just download the DMG and double click on the PKG installer inside.)

With SoundFlower installed you now can get redirect the output of your sound away from your speakers.

Okay so back to Prezi and capturing the presentation with Audio now that we have SoundFlower.   We need to go to System Preferences and choose Sound.

sound

Now you change your OUTPUT to SoundFlower 2ch.

2chOkay now that you have redirected your output you will no longer hear any sounds.  This is okay and you can change back to Internal speakers after your done capturing the video.
Now get your Prezi presentation ready to play and go to Quicktime and do a new screen recording.  This time notice when you click on the little triangle to change audio you now see SoundFlower 2CH.

audio

With the Soundflower 2ch checked now click on Record, drag a box around your prezi presention and start it it up.  When the presentation is done stop the screen recording by clicking on the little stop button on the top of your screen.

Stop button is square in the circle

stop button

Okay so when you are done with the screen recording you just need to clean up the start and the finish so that it looks nicer.  To do this use QuickTime’s Trim feature.  This feature is awesome and is often overlooked and unknown.

Just go to EDIT | TRIM

trim

Now you can move the sliders on either side of the video to cut off the ackward beginning and the ackward finish (the part where you stop the screen recording) so that you are left with just a nice movie.

Click and drag on either side of the Yellow box to adjust the start and end of the video

tim2

 

Okay before you play your final movie you need to redirect the sound back to the speakers.  Otherwise you will not hear anything because all sound is still going to SoundFlower.  So go back to System Preferences | Sound and now choose for Output,  Internal Speakers.

Putting Sound back to your speakers.

soundagain

With your trimmed video you can save it to your desktop then upload to Youtube.  Or you can use another great open source project like Handbrake to shrink the file and put on a disk, email it, or do whatever you like.

(Here is a link to another Post I made on shrinking videos https://www.gcsdstaff.org/roodhouse/?p=3598)

Wait, not that I am all done couldn’t I do this same method to capture video or content from anywhere……?

Answer yes.

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To fix you simply need install Java SE 8 and create two directories that Adobe CS 5 is looking for to check for Java.  That is it.

To create the directories in the /System folder you need to enable Rootless mode first and reboot.  Instructions below:

  1. Download the Java SE 8 DMG from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jre8-downloads-2133155.html and install.
  2. In terminal enter the following to turn off rootless and then reboot: sudo nvram boot-args=”rootless=0″
  3. In terminal enter these 2 lines: sudo mkdir -p /System/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/1.6.0.jdk
  4. sudo mkdir -p /System/Library/Java/Support/Deploy.bundle
  5. Turn rootless back on and reboot again: sudo nvram boot-args=”rootless=1″
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The new Mac OS X 10.11 has a new feature called  System Integrity Protection (SIP).  The Promethean Driver for 10.10 does not pass this check so must be installed with SIP disabled first.  Here i show to do this.

———-
To Fix:

1.  Restart in Recovery mode (Command-R at startup) and launch a terminal.
Then type the following line: csrutil disable

2.  Then reboot by typing reboot

3.  Reinstall the software ActivDriver Os X Version 10.10

4.  restart back into Recovery mode and type csrutil clear in the terminal.

Thats it your promethean board should now work like normal.

 

 

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The early Samsung Series 5 Grey colored Chromebooks have a slight design defect in which the trackpad can become stuck in a position and hard to click.  Now many users simply ignore this condition and use the tab to click but your can fix the button action by using just a few tools.

First the reason the machine gets stuck is that the gap between the case and the trackpad is just a little to close.  After enough grime or dirt gets wedged in the crease the machine simply has no room for the button to move up and down.  To quickly repair this trackpad without disassemblying the device can be done using iSesame tool, some cleaner (I used electrical cleaner) and sticky note.

Tools Used (iSesame, sticky note, electrical cleaner)

electrical cleaner

 

Okay with the iSesame tool you can gently pry the button upwards just enough to fill the opening with electrical cleaner.

iSesame tool (worth 6$ on Amazon)

isesame

 

Pry trackpad upwards just a bit.

pryopen

 

Now after you spray cleaner in the gap use a sticky note or two and use the sticky side of the note in the gab.¬† With it still pried up a bit you can move the sticky cafefully around the trackpad gap.¬† Focus on the bottom edge as this is where it primarily gets “stuck”.¬† You will see the sticky note pickup some grime along the way.¬† Thats it, chromebook is now back to clicking and working normally.

sticky note

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E-books come in all shapes and sizes especially when it comes to the world of education.  Sometimes I find many publishers simply save a textbook as an PDF (or HTML) and say that it is now digital.  This is correct but if this is all they are doing this can be done with existing textbooks that a school has already purchased.  Yes it is perfectly legal to make a copy of a textbook if you own the book, and in most cases own many many copies if you are a school.  The key is you must only distribute to your students and not exceed distributing over the number of copies you own.  In my process below I create an E-Book from a textbook and enable it to be read aloud using Text to Speech  software which is built into most modern Operating Systems.  Perhaps you have a student who has reading difficulties, can convert the book to an E-book and have a computer read it.

In a nutshell.  Take one copy of a text book and saw off the binding.  I headed down to the wood shop room and use a large DeWalt track saw.  Next I used a library page cutter to clean up the edges chapter by chapter so that they will go through the scanner nicely.  Then I used a scanner/copier and fed a chapter at a time to the machine. Had the scanner email me the PDF (200×200 or higher resolution recommended) in 1 chapter increments.  Here The process is almost done but first need to open each chapters PDF in Adobe Pro (used Adobe Pro 9) and then OCR the PDF so that it recognizes all the text on each page.  Thats it you can leave the ebook in Chapter by Chapter increments or you can use Adobe Pro and combine into one big pdf, really up to preference here.

 

1. Saw Binding (I used a Track Saw

tracksaw

2. Clean up paper edges with cutter

cutter

3.  Separate by Chapter

4. Use a high speed scanner (I used Kyocera TASKalfa 5501i) – email PDF

kyocera

5. Use Adobe Acrobat Pro and use Optical Character Recognition

OCR PDF

 

 

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Apple comes with Quicktime that has a great screen capture feature.  This is perfect for creating a screencast or podcast.  Screen Capture is also very useful for grabbing a video segment off of a tricky website where it is hard find the video source.

You can use the Screen Recording in Quicktime to grab just about any video on the web but to grab the audio you will need to first reroute the sound.  The best way to do this is to use SoundFlower,  https://code.google.com/p/soundflower/downloads/list

After downloading and installing soundflower your computer will reboot but you will now get a new audio option.  To use soundflower to grab a video and audio together off the web first go to System Preferences.  Now click on Sound. change the OUTPUT to SoundFlower 2 ch.

soundfloweroutput

 

Now you will no longer here sound playing as you have routed the output to soundflower.

 

Now you are ready to play the video and screen capture and record it.

Just go to QUICKTIME,

Go to Screen Recording

screencapture

 

Now click on the little triangle on the right and set the sound input to soundflower 2ch.

 

soundflower

Now just hit record and drag the box over the video and play the video.  You will be capture both the video and audio content.  You will not hear the sound while you are recording because you have rerouted it using soundflower. This is normal, when you are done recording simply go back to System Preferences and set your sound output back to internal speakers.

Although it is easy to grab a video off youtube and many video streams some you will find it is just not possible.  Using Quicktime, Screen Recording and Soundflower work great in this scenario.

 

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Cutting Hollow Doors to Fit

Doing some work in my basement and decided to put in 3 doors.  The only issue is that my house is 100 years old and the entry ways are not standard size.  Most doors are 80 inches tall and 36 inches wide, where as I needed a door 77 inches tall a door 76 inches tall and a door only 70 inch tall.  Doing some quick Google searches I found many fixit sites recommended using a solid door which can easily be cut or simply order a custom sized door.  Problem  with these solutions is simply cost,  a solid door is nice but expensive 150$ + per door,  a custom ordered sized door is also expensive 200$ + per door.

Lowes and Home Depot sell pre-made hollow doors that are perfect for indoor  scenarios at 35$ a piece.   The trick is since the door is hollow can you cut the door to size (height) but still maintain structural integrity?   I found that you can do this pretty easily by simply cutting the door at the bottom to the correct height.  In the case of the 70 inch door I took some cut both the top and the bottom.  Inside the hollow door the structure is supported by form that is glued inside and different points.  Using a screwdriver I removed the foam from the cut end of the door and then cut a piece of wood to size to go back in the hold.

Cut Bottom of Door

Cut

 

Using a 3/4 inch board I cut to fill in the hole.  Since the opening was actually 1 inch, I also cut a 1/4 inch plywood piece to make the fit tight.

3/4 Board Cut.

INsert

 

Finished Insert

Finished Insert

 

Using small finishing nails about 3 on each side attached this insert to the door.  These nails are small and would be undetectable if you wanted to paint the door.

Doors

finished door

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Sonic Solutions DLA Blocked Driver

I ran across an annoying issue when updating an machine to Server 2008 (Vista based).  After the upgrade on login I continously got a message about a driver Sonic Solutions DLA driver being blocked because it is not compatible.  Apparently this driver is responsible for the drag to disk feature of Roxio 9 Easy Medica Creator Center.  The problem is that if you uninstalled this program the uninstaller fails to remove this driver and to find in registry will likely leave you frustrated.

sonicsolutions

 

Roxio released a patch to fix this Driver but if you have already uninstalled the program this patch does not work.  After searching through forums I have found the installer itself for just the Drag to Disc feature which will update the driver to Vista/Win 7 compatibility and can also be used to then uninstall if you choose.

http://docs.roxio.com/patches/d2d3290.exe

This is a direct link to Roxio’s site.¬† This installer will install a newer version of Drag to Disk and does not require any version of Roxio to be installed.¬† This installer can also then be used to do an uninstall.

If you have trouble with the link above here is the file in zip format.

d2d3290 (zip version) (Roxio Drag to Disk Installer / Uninstaller)

 

Roxio had released this link http://www.roxio.com/enu/support/vista/d2d_update.html previously but this patch only works if you have Easy Media Creator currently installed.  In my case this was worthless as the Driver was left over from a previous uninstaller that did not fully remove it.

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I have been converting my older servers into Virtual Images with the Disk2VHD utility but ran across a problem with one that was utilizing a PERC 3/Di controller.  In the process of updating this Server 2003 R2 unit to Server 2008 an error is generated stating that you need to use the addfilter.exe tool from dell and remove the afamgt.sys from the computer before you can upgrade.

Interestingly the links given for this addfilter.exe tool no longer work on dell.

After some google searches and bit of hunting through forums I have found that the addfilter.exe tool is no longer used and instead the proper way to remove the offending driver afamgt.sys is to use the Filter_Driver_Removal_Tool.msi from Dell that automates the process removing the registry entries and the afamgt.sys file.

Here is the installer from Dell if you are looking for a direct link.  Filter_Driver_Removal_Tool.msi(Zipped)

Or Here is the Dell link where I found the utility – http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Drivers/DriversDetails?driverid=G23XC

This utility will generate a message letting you know your system is safe to upgrade to Server 2008.

This utility also will make your system save to create a VHD or VHDX file without getting a BSOD.

—- Screenshot of Upgrade Message and KB Article ¬†referring to addfilter.exe tool.

Upgrademessage

 

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