Thought I’d make this post to help save some time if someone else came across it. I was recently asked to fix a Windows 8.1 64-bit Laptop with no sound. The problem being specific to Windows 8 laptops
Talk about a night mare. The sound wasn’t working basically because the “Windows Audio” service wasn’t started. The problem is this thing relies on 3 other dependancies before it can work
– Remote Procedure Call (RPC)
– Multimedia Class Scheduler (MMCSS)
Everything would start except for the AudioEndpointBuilder. It would fail with an error code 193:0xc1. The log in even viewer said it was not a 32-bit application
After going through various troubleshooting procedures after going through the usuals. I trailed the web and checked everything suggested
- Reinstalling the sound drivers, motherboard drivers
- Running SFC.exe
- Checking the registry – making sure the paths were correct
- Accepting the windows drivers
- Booting into safe mode
- Recreating the service.
None of it it worked, the only thing I could do would be either reinstall windows or find a solution
Luckily I found a solution (or rather a bodge)
Basically to fix the Windows 8 audio problem I did the following after finding it online…
– Open the registry
– Navigate to Microsoft\Windows\Current Control Set\Services\AudioSrv
Look for the path which talks about dependancies, there will be 3 entries
You need to open this and delete the values for AudioEndpointBuillder and Rpc
Save it and reboot. The audio, should now be working
Views – 81
For a longtime I’ve had a Canon Inkjet MP180 Printer. It has been reliable and served me well, it still works to this day but it’s a bit iffy. When I first purchased it, I was on Windows XP. Since then I’ve done many migrations up to currently Windows 10. Canon have been a bit reluctant to update their drivers however for the MP Navigator software and it’s a bit finnicky when trying to connect the printer for printing off jobs.
Time for a replacement!
I decided to add a new addition to my network, I’m used to working with business class equipment. So recently purchased a HP Laserjet 4350 Printer (with Duplexer) to add onto my home network.
Not only is this more Universal (the printer drivers are bundled with Windows 10), it’s a lot higher quality to use and saves me money in the long run for printing.
The MP180 uses Inkjet Cartridges @ ~£13 per cartridge (490 pages)
The Laserjet 4350 uses B & W Toner Cartridges @ ~£165 per toner (10,000 pages)
To get the same amount of pages on my MP180 = 10,000/490 = 20.4 Cartridges
Total Cost would be 20.4 x £13 = £265.2 for same level
As you can see a Laserjet printer is more efficient at saving money when printing off jobs. Not to mention it’s faster. The MP180 prints 17ppm. The LJ4350 prints 55ppm
It will benefit me for my home network and when printing off information for eBay sales and general documentation. Already installed and chuffed with it because I’m used to the equipment
Total cost of printer was £99 including Toner.
Views – 119
This is probably something which someone may question at some point so here are the main reasons why I’m not (or currently haven’t) migrated my website into a WordPress or Content Managed Website
- Entire site needs rebuilding
- To migrate my website I’d have to modify a lot of code and go through all the articles again, quite frankly can’t be arsed. Also to have the site how I want it I would need to rebuild all of my website, and given the problem I’ve had moving between hosts, it would break everything meaning I’d have to fix it again and resubmit all site links to Google and generate new sitemaps.
- Static HTML suits me for the content I write
- Articles I write are DIY guides, I like the fact how they’re laid out within HTML and it’s just nice and simple. No OTT designs, or OTT in general. Just nice simple information which loads quickly what the end user wants
- Blogs are more for content which updates regularly
- Articles that I write are generally updated / created as and when I have to fix something on my car, I don’t really write very often, unless it’s crap. So doesn’t really suits me
- Static HTML is easier for me in terms of placement of pictures
- I don’t need to modify the code much, I just put in a simple HTML table, and insert the picture. If I wanted it somewhere specific I could have a little bit of CSS coding into the page. Having it on a WordPress/CMS system makes it annoying as a lot of my articles are full width and I’m yet to find one I like which makes it easier to add pictures and have them placed where I like. Plus uploading pictures is a chore as I have to upload them to a gallery then insert from gallery. Rather than just dump everything into an /images folder and simply hotlink from there
- Low server requirements
- My website if running on static HTML barely uses any resources. Websites running PHP/MySQL can be resource intensive, whereas a website designed to run nothing but static HTML could potentially hosts thousands/millions of websites on the same server because static HTML is reguarly cached and loads quickly
- More secure
- Whilst not impossible, it’s generally a lot easier and more secure when using HTML sites, because there is nothing happening in the background for pages to be loaded such as database or PHP requests. Pages are simply served, so it locks down the security a bit better as the hackers would have to be able to modify the direct HTML file itself
- Faster backups
- This is a bit irrelevant really because I can’t download my backups until I’ve created them, but the larger your site is the longer it takes, having a small website means it’s backed up within minutes, instead of being up to 1 hour on a larger size, HTML compresses very well too for backups which makes it quick to download. Useful if I’m on a low speed connection
- Easier to troubleshoot
- Whenever I get problems with HTML, it’s fairly easy, it’s displayed on the screen. You either make an error and it doesn’t work, or it works fine. You can make HTML pages look amazingly modern and very stylish by using basic .CSS stylesheets. If you run a site with WordPress or CMS, you have to have MySQL, CSS, PHP and a few other things. Usually a simple change can break your code which gives you hours of headaches. I’ve had to fix my site often so I’m familiar with the layout of it now
- Low disk space usage
- When my website only has HTML pages. It doesn’t consume much disk space. An average HTML page is around 5KB in size. So adding some pictures (reduced in size / compressed to around 100KB) and basic CSS, I could have an entire website with 100+ pages that only consumed 50-200MB of disk space with very low requirements and would be very responsive. HTML pages also load really quickly, because it’s basically text and nothing else. Nothing requires rendering or any function calls in the background which talk to database. It just has a request and serves it to the end user straight away. Whilst disk and file compression is possible on dynamic sites, putting everything into wordpress just increases the overall size due to the databases and PHP aspect of everything
Eventually, when I find something I like the entire site will be migrated. The PROS of having a WordPress or CMS based website outweight the CONS, but for the time being I can’t be arsed.
Until I find something which suits the purposes and how I write my articles I’ll just keep going as needed then eventually change it over when I have it how I like it. Content becomes easier to maintain and increases my score in Google overall, so it will be done for end benefit
Views – 119
Over time my washing machine has been developing a fault. I thought I had spilled water down the back of it because when I switched it on, every light on the front panel would flash continuously. Sometimes it would stop, and others it would just keep going and going.
This causes an issue when I’m trying to do my washing up, did some research because I got sick of it and discovered it’s actually a really common fault with washing machines (usually by Hotpoint / Creda / Ariston). The main capacitor on the electronics board (usually C17 Capacitor) has failed.
To fix the issue it’s a case of replacing the capacitors. Reading horror stories on the internet suggests calling out a washing machine engineer, they would simply replace the board and reprogram it. Costing the end user around £150
The article that follows shows how I fixed my washing machine for £15
- Solder Wick (2.8mm x 1.5m)
- Soldering Iron, Tip Cleaner & Solder
- Replacement Capacitor(s) – They need to be ELECTROLYTIC
- You will need to double check, but most likely it will be…
- 25V / 100uF
- 10V / 680uF
- 10v / 470uF
- You will need to double check, but most likely it will be…
Once you have verified the correct capacitors for your board you will need to remove them from the board. I’m not the best at soldering, so everyone has their own technique, not to mention the soldering iron I had was a really cheap one that didn’t heat up well. This is the technique I used
- Cleaned the tip of the iron after heating
- Apply a small amount of solder to the iron
- Put the solder wick over the board around the capacitor leg and wick it up
- Keep repeating the procedure until the leg is free, clean iron each time
It’s hard to describe the wicking process, but basically having the extra solder on the iron seems to increase the heat and make it easier to wick the hold solder off. Don’t bother with those plunger removers, they’re just annoying. Use the reel and it will be all off really quickly. In terms of cleaning the tip I used one of those metallic pan scrubbers you get from Asda (the balls of metal) what you use for cleaning stainless steel. The true kits use brass balls, but for cheap soldering irons I don’t really care. It worked well
Once you have removed the solder from all the pins, remove the capacitors. Insert the replacement capacitors inside the holes you made which should be clean, making sure you align (+ to +) and (- to -). You should find that there is a small white circle for the negative side and a + mark on the board for positive. Also on the capacitor the negative side there will be lines down the side. If there are no lines, the “shorter” leg of the capacitor is the negative side
After you have inserted a capacitor, tip the board upside down. Clean the tip of the iron, and let the end hit up (to the point where solder melts on touch), clean the tip again so it’s shiny. Then hold the hot point of the iron to the metal leg of the capacitor and touch the solder onto it, you should find the solder melts. Apply a small amount of solder so it covers the peg and then remove the solder, then remove the iron (this entire process should only take 2 or 3 seconds).
Clean the iron tip each time, and reapply solder to all the board points. Once you have resoldered all the connectors onto the board, snip off the end metal pieces with scissors / pliers. Your work should then be complete
Now you just need to test the board, personally, I was paranoid of doing anything during first install so I hooked up all of the cables into the board and switched on the machine without the water connected so I had acccess to switch off the power if there was any problems.
The washing machine switched on straight away with no flashing lights. Plumbed in the hose after switching it off again and set away two loads. It is now repaired and this is how I fixed my washing machine for £15
Views – 207
- This article contains my affiliate link to the product I’m discussing. I’d appreciate if you’d use it if you decide to carry out this investment option as it earns me money and it doesn’t affect you when you invest
- The website(s) given work on a principle of Investments, and is similar to a Pyramid Scheme. You are also investing in a Cryptocurrency which while stable, they are considered to be volatile. If something crashes over night you could lose everything you have invested. This is why I recommend you invest the most minimal stake that you are willing to lose if it all fails
SHORT GUIDE HOW TO TURN £10 INTO £10,000
- Sign up to control-finance.com preferably with my affiliate link included 🙂
- Register with a Cryptocurrency exchange such as Coinbase
- Purchase Bitcoin after verifying your details on the exchange
- Install a Cryptocurrency wallet capable of receiving funds
- Send money from the exchange to the wallet
- Click on deposit option, enter the amount and choose Bitcoin
- EXCHANGE RATES APPLY, SO $50 won’t pay $50
- The website will tell you the address, and amount to pay to
- Launch your wallet, click on send
- Enter the address, and the amount
- If you have enough click send
- You will then need to wait for the website to verify the transactions
- This can take between 15 mins – 1 hour depending on how much
- Once deposited go to your deposits click on the “pencil”
- Change the auto reinvestment option to “ON”
- Click on “withdraw funds” – go to Bitcoin option in wallet
- Click “receive”, copy the address, paste into the field for Bitcoin wallet
- Wait 1 year for your investment to grow
- When 1 year has passed, cancel auto investment, and withdraw daily
HOW IT WORKS
Much like stocks and shares you are investing in the volatility of the cryptocurrency market. If you choose the traditional method, you break even and ROI is within approximately 3 months
Traditional interest pays you a fixed return based on your investment
- If you invested £100 @ 1% interest, you make £1 per day
Compounded interest works the same way, but because you are reinvesting what you get out the total “invested” actually increases
Day 1 – You invest £25, after 1 day you gain 1% interest = 25p
Day 2 – Rather than withdraw this amount. You reinvest.New total investment £25.25
Day 3 – The cycle repeats, you now gained another 25p, total now £25.50 and so forth, so the more you balance increases, the faster you earn more money via interest
This goes on and on everyday, attached is a snippet of the calculation in the sheet for the first 1-3 days, and then at days 360-365. As you can see from a £25 stake, on Day 1 you’re only getting 25p per day. On day 365 you are earning £17.80 per day. If the market crashes, you’ve lost £25. Plus if you want some extra money, there’s nothing stopping you cancelling the auto investment (say 6 months in), all that happens is it then reverts to a fixed interest return and you gain X.XX amount per day until you reinvest again. The reason why you do this should become clear.
Think long term, if you invest £10 (minimum) after 365 days if the market hasn’t crashed you earn £36.50 (365 days x 1 % of £10) per day
If you invest £10 (minimum) and compound it 365 days, if the market hasn’t crashed. On day 365 you cancel the auto investment option. You’re now earning £5 per day interest (£150 per month)
Views – 218
In relation to my article I wrote on identifying the steering rack version in a Volkswagen Golf. One thing I mentioned was that I argue whether or not the Volkswagen steering racks should be covered under warranty or that they should be serviceable items.
After all there are a stream of articles all over the web relating to the steering rack failure with Volkswagen Electromechanical Power Steering.
What is the Electromechanical Power Steering system?
Basically the VAG group (Volkswagen Auto Group) decided in their wisdom to replace the traditional power steering system fitted to most cars. The traditional system being a pump which is driven by engine belts and topped up with fluid in the engine bay. They replaced it with an ALL electronic system, a power steering rack which links into the steering wheel and the power steering assistance is provided by an Electric Motor.
Whilst this does give benefits to the driver…. (examples below)
- Increased fuel economy
- Better steering control & input with self-centering steering
- Speed dependant driving assistance
In practical terms, it’s only so good until it fails. Steering racks on cars do fail from time to time, and they’re easy (AND CHEAP!) to replace. However the Electronic Power Steering on the VAG cars is a problem. The sensors that control everything are built into the racks themselves. Volkswagen don’t repair these they replace them when they go faulty. To replace a steering rack on a VW Golf MK5 you’re looking at around £2000 from Volkswagen, this takes the piss! Most people can’t afford to pay £2k to fix their cars when they’re realistically only going to be worth around £2k anyway
BUT – Here’s the big BUT…. when Volkswagen (or the VAG) replace the racks, it’s done on a surcharge basis they actually KEEP your old one and REBUILD it. This means the units are serviceable, if you look at the steering rack design themselves, the units which holds the motor, the sensor and the controller are all replaceable components, it’s just VW won’t do this. So when they remove your old unit, they rebuild it sell it on for another £2k job and it could fail 70k miles later and cost another £2k, a really bad con. This is why as far as I’m concerned this part should be a serviceable component that should be replaced every 70k miles on the car regardless or covered when the timing belt is replaced. It’s especially prone to failures on the MK1 steering racks. Plus a lot of customers would find a bill easier to chew if it was a £200 sensor than a £2000 rack job but then dealerships aren’t like that
I’ll be posting more photos as when I remove my old rack I’ll be removing the sensor. A common problem is the magnetic poles on them.
I’d love to know VW input on this as it’s clearly a fault, and they haven’t bothered rectifying other they’re just rectifying the problem at the customers expense
Views – 330
Unfortunately with all the im.going problems with my car I’ve now come across a major stand point.
Volkswagen Group alongside a lot of other car manufacturers have switched to what is known as an Electro Mechanical Power Steering system
Some of you may ask what this is. Basically it replaces the standard power steering design on a car where you have a fluid filled pump driven by a belt running off the alternator. Instead you get an electric motor which runs from the battery through relays and provides torque assistance to the steering system based on the speed and demand via a torque characteristic curve that’s preloaded at the factory. You also benefit from better fuel economy because there isn’t any load on the engine from the pulleys
Now. This all sounds hunky dory. Easier power steering. Better fuel economy. What’s so bad about that?
One VERY VERY big bad. Volkswagen and I’m guessing other manufacturers decides to build the sensor into the rack itself. The sensor is prone to failure. When it fails you get a red steering light on the dash which usually means buying a new rack from VW because it can’t be serviced
Now. I’d expect a steering system to last the life span of a car personally so if I want to fix my car. I either DIY it. Or take to Volkswagen to fix.
For reference here are the prices (from VW)
- Steering Rack (£1032)
- Wiring Harness (£110)
- Labour (£108 p/hr + VAT)
The job time is around 4 hours which means if you took this to Volkswagen you’d be looking at around a £2000 repair bill.
If that wasn’t enough. The part is only given a 1/2 year warranty. How about no Volkswagen. The steering system lasts the lifespan of the car. If you are saying this part only has a 12/24 month warranty it should be classed as a serviceable component if it fails again in which case it should be repaired FOC.
I’m left with a broken car to fix myself or sell. I love the car but things like this bug me. I’m going to end up repairing myself as £2000 is way too much to spend.
I’ll be updating this post with more information as I go
Views – 247
Yet again I’m writing another article about myhermes. I purchased an item from eBay 12th April for the upcoming bank holiday period when I was off work on holiday.
It got to the end of the week and still no parcel delivery. I asked the eBay seller for the tracking information as I thought it was them taking their time. Sure enough it wasnt. It was myhermes
Now. Complaining about Myhermes isn’t just enough because all couriers get slow periods, but this isn’t the first time I’ve had this problem and quite frankly the way their courier handled delivery of my product annoyed me
I was at work when the courier attempted delivery. The courier but a failed delivery note through the door. Fair enough I left them a note on the door window reporting I was at work and to leave a number to contact them
Next day. Another delivery note. No number. After the 3rd attempt the courier returns the item
So. What was the end result. After two weeks of waiting my item was returned back to the supplier and I had to get a refund
What could Myhermes have done to improve the service…
- Handle the product better and stop taking so long to sort it. Slow gits
- Make sure the couriers actually follow protocol and leave a number . You know it would help !
- Offer an inpost option for failed deliveries such as Argos click and collect or inpost lockers. This is more convenient for people who aren’t at home often
This doesn’t make me feel any comfortable using Myhermes as a courier. This is now the second time I have been let down by them.
I’ll be adding screenshots of the slips as proof that the standard procedure wasn’t followed and proof of my online tracking of the product to see just how long it took
Views – 220
One of the problems with Brexit is that it’s never happened before. No one knows what will happen, nor will they be able to predict correctly what will happen. They can only assume.
I myself have never been one to worry over things like this, although I do still have my own concerns because living in the North East of UK there’s one main employer here and I’m directly connected to them. So if the proverbial shit hits the fan, and they go under. How do I plan on Brexit survival if I lose my job?
Well. I can’t see I’m stacking myself for a zombie apocalypse, but the main priority is saving money and thinking long term solutions. Americans are known for their zombie apocalypse planning and end of the world scenarios for hoarding etc but everyone thinks that it’s a load of shit.
Well, the difference is in the UK, we are in an era where bad times have a very real possibility of coming. Brexit isn’t just a rumour, it’s already taken place. If everything goes to shit, there will be a lot of people unemployed, job competition will be fierce and the market will be saturated with desperate people who will do anything to survive. I probably shouldn’t post this article, but I don’t really give a fuck either since I like to prepare myself should the worst come to the worst. There’s always a bit of a mad streak hidden away in me anyway and I have plenty of frying pans around me 🙂
If nothing happens in a couple of years, you’ve got extra money to spend and a plentiful supply of food built up and some new skills. These are a couple of the things I’m planning
- Food storage
One of the main expenditures with a household budget is Food. A normal average households spends on average £200 per month from their salary… I live alone but usually average around £100 for everything (food, washing, etc) – I’m fairly simple anyway. So given that since the whole “Brexit” debate, nothing will really start showing up in the next 2 years or so that gives me 24 months of being able to overspend on tins. Doesn’t have to be excessive, but even adding another £10 per month onto my shopping gives me enough shopping to last at least 3 months and not worry about food supplies
If I had a chest freezer I’d focus on meats, I simply don’t have one yet. Although it might be something for long term solutions since meats are where you get most of your Proteins from.
Now, there’s no point going excessive. I have quite a large house though living by myself, so at the very least, I can afford to stash away a decent hoard of food in cupboards to take up some space. Make more room for food and keep a good supply going.
The food cupboard isn’t entirely because of Brexit. I’ve always wanted one in general, it’s just made me think a lot because of Brexit. There’s no harm in having a large food pantry where you can walk in and collect food when the weather has gone to shit and everyone is snowed under. You can calmly collect and keep going with everything.
I’ll be building up the essentials, tinned veggies, tinned meats, pasta, flours and oils. They all have a decent shelf life anyway. I figure an extra £4-500 worth of food over 2 years will be a decent 6 months to keep me going if the shit hits the fan and if there’s nothing to worry about. I’ve got extra food for a while without worrying or when I hit a bad payday with no overtime at work
Now, again the 2nd part of my theory is gardening. Gardening itself, is stress reduction and sustainable. For a rather cheap expense you get a long term solutions. You get free food just for a small amount of work and it helps calm you
Those are two things I’ll be taking up and blogging about long term when I start working on it
As of 27/10 a post was made that Nissan have confirmed they will be building the new X-Trail and next model of Qashqai at Sunderland plant. This means for the immediate future jobs are safe.
As for this post, I’m still going to do my pantry and gardening, simply because I’ve always wanted one to start with. So keep an eye out for future posts 🙂
Views – 469
Decided to post a recipe for one of the beef burgers I like to cook that I made up which I call my 100% Beef – Belly Buster Burger. Nothing but a few simple ingredients and 100% Beef Mince. These are about 1″ thick, because I like wholesome burgers and don’t have a proper burger press, although they would do nice inside of a meatball for spaghetti bolognese too
- 2 Eggs (Normal supermarket sizes)
- 750G of Low-Fat Beef Mince (I use Asda’s less than 20% fat version)
- 2 TBSP Oregano
- 1 TBSP Sesame Seeds
- 1 TBSP Tomato Sauce (Heinz)
- 1 TBSP Worcester Sauce (Lea & Perrins)
- 1 Garlic Clove (Finely chopped)
- 1 Onion (Finely chopped)
- 2 Leek Stalks (Finely chopped)
- 1/2 – 1 Cup of Breadcrumbs (I used Paxo Golden)
- Empty the Beef Mince packet into the bowl remove the thin paper
- Add the finely chopped onion and leeks
- Add all the other ingredients
- Mix everything together with your hands insuring it’s evenly mixed
- If you find the mixture is a little “wet”, add a few more breadcrumbs
- The mixture should be moist, but shouldn’t leave residue on hands
- Add to a Grill (Medium Temp) or BBQ and cook for desired time until desired consistency reached. I like mine brown all the way through, and it takes about 15 mins. Normally I just cut them with a knife and check before I serve them
- Serve in a white bun, add whatever garnish. Normally I use a few pieces of lettuce, and some grated or sliced red Leicester cheese as it brings out the flavouring. I then add some tomato sauce
These burgers are about 1″ thick. You can make them thinner if desired.The recipe will make approx 6 x 1″ thick burgers. If you’d like to make the burgers a bit more juicier, you can add in a mixture of pork mince. This makes them juicier
Views – 494