collected wisdom

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Phone no longer recognized as USB device - a solution

Folks you are not going to like this...
I have just spent a desperate weekend trying to solve this problem.  My Nokia 820 had connected flawlessly with every computer I have used (many) until it installed Cyan update to 8.1. Now I get the mentioned USB device error. At the moment the best each computer can do is think that the phone is a Bluetooth device. I have done all the standard procedures. Rebooted everything, changed cables, deleted device settings, reinstalled the PC app (win 8 computer) and program (win 7 computer).
I have downloaded the recommended winUSB and tried to do a manual device update.
What is wrong with most people's suggestions about this problem that they assume the phone appears in the device manager. It doesn't, well it no longer does correctly. It doesn't appear in Portable area as would be expected. It will appear in the other devices as  an Unknown Device.
When following the method of telling the unknown device that it is a usb device  and selecting winUSB it rejects it as a device can't start. I tried all the different device drivers in the portable section and the usb devices section.
I saw that one recommendation was to remove the SD card so I did that. Nothing. The phone would charge off the computer cable, it just wouldn't recognize it properly.

As I say, you are not going to like what I discovered has fixed it. A pin!!! Repeated use had build a fine layer of lint inside the usb socket on the phone. I started scratching around in the hole and pulled out much more stuff than I could see or image. I believe what has happened is that that had built up at the bottom of the socket such that the plug can't quite push in far enough to get the data connection even though the power gets through. The update was just a distracting coincidence. I did also scrape the contacts in the socket carefully which may have also helped. Be gentle with your pin - don't snap the contacts or you're dead.  Pay attention to the bottom of the socket. If your pin is too fat to fit down the narrow side of the socket, don't force it, just go find a needle instead!
2 minutes cleaning and my phone and computer love each other again. :-) Interestingly now I can also see that the plug pushes in further.
Hope that helps you all.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Wii Whiteboard

I have recently run some successful trials of Wii Whiteboards, using a WiiRemote, bluetooth connection and an IR Pen. I bought an IR Pen from and was pleased with a 2 week delivery from the US by USPS. I am more than pleased with the results so far. While I had some issues getting the WiiRemote to link with Windows I have now got a reliable method which I have shared back to the Wii forums I have been quite pleased with the accuracy so far. Unfortunately I have been using a pathetic projector so will try to swap that out for one that will let be get a larger screen (this one is at the end of its bulb life so you can't see anything if you back up too far :-( which is why it needs to be changed).
The WiiWhiteboard software has been fine as the basic connection tool which I have then put together with Promethean's activinspire software, or any other programs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mahara ePortfolio System

Interesting open source ePortfolio from NZ

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Using PowerPoint and OneNote to have interactive lessons over laptops

A nice addition to PowerPoint has emerged that has some vague similarities to Mouse Mischief. It is Microsoft's Interactive Classroom. This small 7mb freebie from Microsoft adds an extra Tab onto PowerPoint. With that tab you can create a variety of questions (true/false, yes/no, and multiple choice) as well as on the fly polls, and deliver them through your network to wireless or wired computers for instant (well near instant) feedback. In addition all the session material is delivered to the participants OneNote computer so they can annotate during the delivery and take home to digest. Any live additions or amendments are refreshed onto participants screens during the session.
Unfortunately it is serial to Mouse Mischief, you can run one after the other but not both at the same time.
The format is relatively simple, and the instant feedback is nice. But the main aspect I like this the delivery of material to the end user in a live way.
There is the suggestion that interactive clickers can be married into the system. One would have to determine whether there is any benefit in running the session in Interactive Classroom as opposed to the native propriety clicker system. Again, the main plus would be that the material is shared to all the participants.

This is one to experiment with, and hope that further development can expand on its functionality. Requires OneNote 2007 or 2010 on participants computers.

Link to  Download page for Microsoft Interactive Classroom

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Using Video in Word

The realm possibilities that have opened up with the realisation that we can embed youtube video directly in word documents is just dawning on me. Without bloating the file size, we can have video enhancement right at the typeface. Connectivity issues are almost a thing of the past. If a person has a computer it is probably online, if they are reading your word document they are probably hooked up to the Internet. While we could always hyperlink out to a webpage video, to have the video display directly as an image in your word page keeps the reader focused on your 'paper' where we want them. There is no to'ing and fro'ing with the risk of them being hijacked or straying. The nice thing is that while it looks a little complicated at first, it is remarkably simple to accomplish. See instructions on the website.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Windows update on an endless loop - Configuring update 3 of 3 0%, do not switch off your computer

If you have suffered the windows update loop step Configuring Update 3 of 3 0%, you will know the limits of frustration.
The standard way of dealing with this is to do a system restore to before the update. From the boot menu, F8 to the boot options and go for repair, then select system restore. Safe mode won't work as that just goes back into the loop.
Recently I had this happen for a second time, only in this case all my restore points had mysteriously disappeared! Quite a catastrophe.
Nevertheless there is a fix. You need to dive into DOS, opt for the Command prompt option, do a change disk (C:) to c-drive then a change directory (CD windows\winsxs)
Don't do a DIR command because you could wait forever if you have a lot in there and you probably will. Instead do a DIR p* to get a list of the files beginning with P. You are looking for pending.xml You can delete it but I prefer to rename it (REN pending.xml old-pending.xml) Then close the command window and reboot, select normal start. You will still come to the loop but this time you will skip through it. Mind you your heart might stop while waiting when the loop first reappears...
You should then get to have your operating system back and your first task is to create new system restore point. Your next task is to go in and turn off MS automatic updates... That may or may not help, I had mine off when the second crash loop happened!

My thanks to Mooh who provided the best explanation that I found on fixing this.
MS has a note about this problem here
This problem seems to be kicked off by a variety of different updates.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Local Host misbehaving?

No not the waiter kind. But if you are waiting on a localhost connection then you may be subject to a missing legacy linkage. If you are running moodle and can't get to a page via local host but can do with loopback then you have probably got a problem with your hosts file.
See this description of how to fix that with reference to the issue that can occur with Moodle anywhere.
Localhost correction for legacy IPv4 from IPv6

Saturday, March 27, 2010

An old but good programme to promote digital literacy.

Photostory3 is one of my favourite free programmes from MS. It is an old XP programme which lets you collate a set of photos in to a slideshow. It presents the slides with movement and transitions, has a simple narrate button to add commentary and generates its own copyright free music background tracks.   The finished product can be saved as a project for re-editing or exported as a wmv file. The programme is so straightforward you can get preliterate new entrant children creating digital stories by themselves, however, there are some nice customisations that you can find to alter pictures, movement, transitions, just one layer down so that it can easily satisfy the demands of older users as well.
There has been one small hiccough with the compatibility in Windows7. Many people report that they are unable to install it or even run it on an upgrade to Win7. I have personal experience with this, where it worked on one laptop and refused on the other, when both had the same upgrade from vista to win7 professional.  Eventually I was able to get the second one running but I know of many online who don't seem to have succeeded.  MS reports that there is no compatibility issue on their website but win7 certainly thinks otherwise in some circumstances.