Blackboard Collaborate, Java Runtime Environment, and Windows 8/8.1

Strangely enough, Java Runtime Environment (JRE) fails to register javaws.exe as the handler for .jnlp files when installed in Windows 8/8.1.

Just remember to choose javaws.exe, not java.exe nor javaw.exe.

Further more, Blackboard Collaborate insists on using 64-bit JRE on 64-bit Windows, i.e. visit the directories and files usually found in C:\Program Files\Java, not the ones found in C:\Program Files (x86)\Java.

BTW, download your clean JRE from http://java.sun.com/ or from http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/index.html. On 64-bit Windows it’s usually wise to download and install both 32-bit and 64-bit JRE, i.e. Windows x86 Offline (e.g. jre-8u20-windows-i586.exe) and Windows x64 (e.g. jre-8u20-windows-x64.exe).

Manually rebuild Performance Counters

I tried to install some estimation software for building construction requiring MS SQL Server 2008 on a computer running Windows 8 only to encounter an unusual anomaly. MS SQL Server 2008 refused to install due to corrupted performance counters. The error message was kind enough to mention http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300956, but you should really go and visit http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2554336. Continue reading

Dell Latitude E6430 and the firmware setting for Optimus video

A Dell Latitude E6430 had Windows 7 reinstalled this August, and the firmware was upgraded along to revision A15. Somehow the firmware setting for Optimus video got disabled and I regrettably missed the change.

Today, while upgrading the firmware to revision A16, I spotted the disabled Optimus video setting. Thus, I enabled the setting, and now both the Intel HD Graphics 4000 and the nVidia NVS 5300M graphics cards show up in Computer Management. Just remember to install the Intel HD Graphics 4000 driver prior to installing the nVidia NVS 5300M driver.

Hopefully, all stability issues we’ve seen lately should now be resolved.

I began to question if the firmware update process is always able to restore every setting. The moral of this story is to verify the firmware settings after each upgrade.

Revisjonssystemer for kildekode og konfigurasjon

Fra en fylkeskommune her til lands, kom følgende frem for noen år tilbake:

En ansatt ved fylkeskommunens IT-avdeling hadde ikke lyst til å bruke revisjonssystemer for de skriptene som vedkommende produserte, fordi vedkommende ville ikke at de andre på avdelingen skulle se feilene som ble begått underveis. I samme tidsrom hadde vedkommende brukt mye tid på å feilsøke et av skriptene sine, bare for å finne ut at vedkommende hadde i vanvare slått inn en fnutt (') et godt stykke til høyre på en kodelinje, og dermed gjort en stor del av utsagnet (statementet) om til en kommentar. Jeg innbiller meg at det var snakk om VBScript. Det hører med til historien at vedkommende brukte notepad.exe som editor. Continue reading

Autodesk Inventor Professional 2014 SP1 and Dell Inspiron 7520

A student had recently installed Autodesk Inventor Professional 2014 SP1 on his Dell Inspiron 7520, running Windows 8.1. Inventor refused to run and crashed with a more or less useless crash report.

It turns out that Dell or possibly someone else hadn’t properly installed the driver for the AMD Radeon HD graphics card. Catalyst Control Center was surely missing.

A trip to support.dell.com to download the current driver for the AMD Radeon HD graphics card was required. I ensured that Inventor always run using the high performance graphics card and that power savings are disabled regardless of the charger being used or not.

Inventor Professional 2014 SP1 now runs happy on said student’s Dell Inspiron 7520.

Local slave port for emulators/virtualbox-ose-additions without OpenGL and X11

I have a bunch of FreeBSD VMs running in VirtualBox. They all share a number of virtual harddrives, and among them are a virtual harddrive with the common contents of /var/db/ports.

My ports configuration of emulators/virtualbox-ose-additions have the OPENGL and X11 options set. This is useless on some of my simpler VMs, as those VMs have no need for any X11 ports, but they could sure benefit from having the VirtualBox additions installed. These simpler VMs are usually used only to test ZFS in FreeBSD in various configurations.

I could juggle the settings for emulators/virtualbox-ose-additions for each time I’m updating the VirtualBox additions port on my VMs, but I decided to create a local slave port disabling the OPENGL and X11 options. Maybe this port, with the necessary tweaking, could sit among its siblings in the official emulators category.

OPTIONS_EXCLUDE=	OPENGL X11

MASTERDIR=	${.CURDIR}/../../emulators/virtualbox-ose-additions
.include "${MASTERDIR}/Makefile"

CATEGORIES=		local
VALID_CATEGORIES+=	local

COMMENT=	VirtualBox additions for FreeBSD guests without OPENGL and X11

PATCHDIR=	${MASTERDIR}/../${PORTNAME}/files

PKGNAMESUFFIX=	-additions-nox11

PKGORIGIN=	${CATEGORIES}/${PKGNAMEPREFIX}${PORTNAME}${PKGNAMESUFFIX}

# EOF

For now you must copy the /var/db/ports/local_virtualbox-ose-additions-additions-nox11/options file to /var/db/ports/emulators_virtualbox-ose-additions-additions-nox11/options, or else dialog4ports(1) will keep nagging you until kingdom come.

I guess this problem stems from early processing of bsd.port.mk as done by the master Makefile at a time when the CATEGORIES variable was set to emulators.

Yet another technical oriented blog, more or less