Except for the fact that I will have to buy a whole new slew of cables, this is going to be a great thing! Geek.com is reporting that the new class C reversible USB cable has had its spec finalized. This means that the cables and devices that they can be plugged into will be rolling out relatively soon. One more step toward making technology that much more accessible to the moms and pops of generations past. Full article here.

usb-3-type-c-final-render-640x353-590x325

I ran out of HDMI cables this last week when I was rearranging a bunch of equipment and found that several of my systems actually gained greater speed and quality of video when I switched them from their old VGA d-subs to new HDMI cables. Since I have Amazon prime I decided to see if I could find something on their site relatively cheap to fill the gap for the missing cables. The below is what I found and I can truthfully say that while they are relatively cheap they work great! Check ‘em out:

AmazonBasics High-Speed HDMI Cable (6.5 Feet/2.0 Meters) - Supports Ethernet, 3D, and Audio Return [Newest Standard]

There are numerous posts on the Net regarding fixing a boot loop on your modded Android device yet none of them addressed the problem I had this morning.

I had just installed the latest CM11 Nightly (Which ironically was NOT the reason for the boot loop) and was messing around with some new themes I found on the market that purported to be specifically for the CM11 release. This was apparently not 100% correct because after adding the “Rouge” flat theme and applying the entire theme including the boot animation, then rebooting, I ended up having my phone reset every time it got half way through the boot animation sequence.

Initially I hoped that simply wiping the Dalvik cache would fix the issue as many times this is required after updating any given aftermarket ROM such as CyanogenMod 11. However I wasn’t too surprised when it didn’t work because the TWRP build that I use for a boot/recovery loader automatically does this part (most of the time). So after wiping and rebooting, as I said, it still got stuck half way through the animation and then rebooted with a flash of the screen.

I did a dozen or so web searches on fixing boot loops and I am perplexed that the majority of them recommend wiping the entire phone and doing a factory reset! You don’t swat a fly with an atomic bomb, why on earth would you tell people to wipe their entire device just to fix a broken boot animation?

At any rate, the fix is relatively simple provided you can either access the device using a USB mount to your computer and/or have the TWRP software installed as a boot loader on the device. If you use TWRP to do the next step the file manager can be found under the Advanced button. You will need to mount the “data” directory prior to accessing it, do this by using the Mount button and putting a check mark next to “data”. Incidentally there are no ‘OK’ buttons to commit certain procedures in TWRP, you simply check what you want then use the back button that is provided and the given adjustment is executed.

Once you have access to the Android file tree navigate to /data/system/theme. You should find a file labeled “bootanimation.zip”. Make a backup using your method of choice then rename the file to “bootanimation.bak”. Reboot. After a few moments CM11′s original boot screen should pop up. Apparently the CM team (or perhaps the original Android dev team) has set it up so that if the boot animation is removed that the original boot animation gets added back automatically. Now that’s good development!

In my case using TWRP was the only method available for me to complete this procedure. Mounting the system to USB only gave me access to the SD card. This could have been an oversight on my part but I feel it’s actually a better way to approach the problem because this way you don’t actually need another system to affect the fix. Further, I was actually less careful in my own fix of this problem than I should have been because I didn’t actually make any backups, which is what put me in the position to begin with! So always make a backup when you’re upgrading. Then again, if I had made a backup I wouldn’t have found this procedure so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise, as it were.

I hope this helps someone. If you come across this post in your own search for a cure to your Android ills feel free to post questions in the comments and I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

 

I noticed this right before the last Firefox update but it deserves a post even though I’m late to the game; The Firefox built-in web development tools have become massively awesome! Beyond the usual combo of css tools, code coloring, breakdown of elements, debugging, etc., this new Mozilla beast gives you a 3d view of your css!

Check this out:

Firefox 3d CSS view

 

Do You see that?!? That’s the actual layers of the css stacked up so you can select just what you want whether you just need to retrieve an ID or whether you’re debugging and need to figure out why your css has gone all wonky.

My hat’s off to the Mozilla devs! You guys are AWESOME! And the new build of FF is also awesome! If you haven’t tried it there are hundreds of new bits that make it easily a great competitor in the browser market once again. I’ll admit I was feeling a bit of frustration with FF for the last couple of years as I saw Chrome pulling ahead in the browser sector both in the area of speed and versatility but it looks like Firefox has come back finally, and come back swinging!

 

Great site for trading altcoins. What are altcoins? Altcoins are alternate crypto-currencies, that is, alternate to the one crypto-currency that everyone has started to learn the most about; Bitcoin. At the very least, Bitcoin (or BTC for short) is the most publicized of crypto-currencies. Why crypto-currency? That’s a matter for another post. Suffice it to say I’m just posting this filler because I’m trying to remind myself about something entirely different and somehow when I make a post about something unrelated it helps to bookmark the more important thought in my brain. Yes, it’s odd, and perhaps even more odd that I put such things on display here, but hey, that’s what sets me apart from the masses, eh? No? OK, whatever, I’m done now.