Carbonized Blog http://carbonize.co.uk/wp Just a bunch of stuff Sat, 09 Aug 2014 07:58:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.1 6994687 Change WiFi Identity/Hostname on Android http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2014/08/08/change-wifi-identityhostname-on-android/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2014/08/08/change-wifi-identityhostname-on-android/#respond Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:28:40 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=717 Read more »

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Android with attitudeJust a quick one about how to change the hostname of your Android device. By hostname I mean the name it identifies itself with when connecting to WiFi networks. The default name is usually something like android-dfac61527a005982 which is far from helpful. Stupid thing is iOS has let people set this since iOS 4.

Anyway on to the instructions. You will require Root access on your device and some way of opening and editing the build.prop file. I personally used ES File Explorer. Just remember to set system directory to RW. Now you need to go to the system directory of your phone. In ES this just means pressing the / at the top of the file list. Now open the system folder/directory  and scroll down to the build.prop file. Click on this and open it in a text editor and choose to edit it. Now add the following line to the end of the file

net.hostname=YOURDESIREDNAME

Save the file, reboot your phone and you’re done.

I got the instructions from a post by a user called portscan here.

If you prefer to use adb then you can find instructions here.

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Beware of FTP Apps http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2014/01/16/beware-of-ftp-apps/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2014/01/16/beware-of-ftp-apps/#respond Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:24:29 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=689 Read more »

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FTPYesterday I received an email from my hosts saying they had received a report of email spam coming from my site. They said they had removed the offending script and suggested my site had been exploited. Like a good webmaster I logged in and checked my files. Nothing was amiss except a new directory with a random name like rbdfghydhf. I deleted the directory then started checking my server logs to see what requests had been made around the time the directory was created. I found nothing so began the process of deleting old files and scripts, which is something we should do regularly anyway.

So four hours later, after some Battlefield 4, I log back in to find a whole bunch of new directories had been made and again nothing in the logs to indicate how they were created. So I contacted my hosts and asked them to check the ownership of the directories and the files they contained. They eventually got back and told me they had been created via my FTP account from an an IP address in Poland, 77.114.120.185. Given my username and password are not simple things I scanned my computer to make sure it hadn’t been compromised. Two different anti virus programs and no malware found. Then I remembered that about a month or so ago I tested three FTP apps on my Android phone. One didn’t seem to work but the other two worked just fine after some messing with the settings. So by logical deduction I suspect this is how my account details got compromised. I checked the Play Store and only two of the three apps I tested are still listed which is another sign that this was the problem.

The moral of the story, if you need to FTP from your mobile device or anything else that requires your sites login details stick with trusted names or those that have a lot of reviews both good and bad. I was lucky but they could of done some serious damage.

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Apologies http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2013/06/18/apologies/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2013/06/18/apologies/#respond Tue, 18 Jun 2013 20:52:47 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=661 Read more »

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I must apologise to anyone who found themselves getting told they had been banned from my blog recently. I had installed a security mod and it logged 404s and banned anyone who triggered to many 404 errors. That’s fine on it’s own but it also changed the folder names so my uploaded images were no in a different place and any post with an image would result in your getting a 404 error.

Anyway all fixed now.

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Animated Div Collapsing http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2013/03/10/animated-div-collapsing/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2013/03/10/animated-div-collapsing/#respond Sun, 10 Mar 2013 20:20:59 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=610 Read more »

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A few years ago I was looking for a simple JavaScript to animate the hiding/showing of a div. I came across one that was perfect from harrymaugans.com but the site is currently undergoing a revamp so the original post is no longer there. Anyway the script was perfect but it had one issue, it required that the div’s height be already set and I was working with dynamically populated divs that I wouldn’t know the size of. My original solution was to loop through the divs I was going to hide and set their height to what their height currently was (if that makes sense) before hiding them with display: none;. Anyway I got sidetracked and I felt this solution was inadequate anyway so left it in my test folder. Jump to the present day. I started looking at it again and realised I can grab the original height of the div once it’s display had been changed back to block by the script and it’s height set to 1px ready for the sliding into view. The solution was simply to use scrollHeight which gets the height of a div including any hidden content such as when overflow is set to hidden.

I also added a new function, toggleSlide, which means instead of needing a link to call the slideDown and then one to call the slideUp you can just call toggleSlide and it will either slide it up or down depending on it’s current state.

And so I am offering my version of the script here since I think some people might be in the same boat as me and find my solution useful and also because the original source is no longer available.

/* 
   Originally from http://www.harrymaugans.com/2007/03/06/how-to-create-an-animated-sliding-collapsible-div-with-javascript-and-css/

   Update by Carbonize - http://carbonize.co.uk 
   Date: Sun, 10 March 2013 20:15:24 GMT

   To use simply use slidedown(objects ID) to slide it down/open or slideup(object ID) to make it slide up/closed

   Or simpler yet I have added toggleSlide(object ID) so you can just call one function and it will automatically slide the object 
   up or down depending on it's current situation

  Please remember to set the elements overflow to hidden as in overflow: hidden; otherwise it's contents will be visible.

  And you might want to add return: false; when you call it to stop the link you are using from doing anything.
*/
var timerlen = 5;
var slideAniLen = 250;

var timerID = new Array();
var startTime = new Array();
var obj = new Array();
var endHeight = new Array();
var moving = new Array();
var dir = new Array();

function slidedown(objname){
  if(moving[objname])
          return;

  if(document.getElementById(objname).style.display != "none")
          return; // cannot slide down something that is already visible

  moving[objname] = true;
  dir[objname] = "down";
  startslide(objname);
}

function slideup(objname){
  if(moving[objname])
          return;

  if(document.getElementById(objname).style.display == "none")
          return; // cannot slide up something that is already hidden

  moving[objname] = true;
  dir[objname] = "up";
  startslide(objname);
}

function startslide(objname){
  obj[objname] = document.getElementById(objname);

  startTime[objname] = (new Date()).getTime();

  if(dir[objname] == "down"){
          obj[objname].style.height = "1px";
  }

  obj[objname].style.display = "block";
  endHeight[objname] = parseInt(obj[objname].scrollHeight);

  timerID[objname] = setInterval('slidetick(\'' + objname + '\');',timerlen);
}

function slidetick(objname){
  var elapsed = (new Date()).getTime() - startTime[objname];

  if (elapsed > slideAniLen)
          endSlide(objname)
  else {
          var d =Math.round(elapsed / slideAniLen * endHeight[objname]);
          if(dir[objname] == "up")
                  d = endHeight[objname] - d;

          obj[objname].style.height = d + "px";
  }

  return;
}

function endSlide(objname){
  clearInterval(timerID[objname]);

  if(dir[objname] == "up")
          obj[objname].style.display = "none";

  obj[objname].style.height = endHeight[objname] + "px";

  delete(moving[objname]);
  delete(timerID[objname]);
  delete(startTime[objname]);
  delete(endHeight[objname]);
  delete(obj[objname]);
  delete(dir[objname]);

  return;
}

function toggleSlide(objname) {
  // Pointless going any further if we are already sliding the object
  if(moving[objname])
          return;
  if (document.getElementById(objname).style.display == 'none') {
    // div is hidden, so let's slide down
    slidedown(objname);
  } else {
    // div is not hidden, so slide up
    slideup(objname);
  }
}

Here’s some example HTML

Toggle Div
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Use your website to help find missing children in EU http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2012/09/26/use-your-website-to-help-find-missing-children-in-eu/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2012/09/26/use-your-website-to-help-find-missing-children-in-eu/#respond Wed, 26 Sep 2012 17:26:55 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=563 Read more »

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Do you run a website, blog or forum? Then you could help find children missing in Europe. Thanks to the NotFound project, you can make a difference. Install our application and a picture of a missing child automatically gets published on every ‘page not found’ of your website.

In the European Union alone, thousands of children are still missing. They run away from conflicts at home, are the victims of parental abductions, disappear after having travelled across the EU alone, or are abducted by criminals. But there is a way you can help, namely by installing the Notfound application. By doing this, automatically, a picture of a missing child will be posted on every 404 page of your website. This is how you can help Child Focus spread a maximum number of photos and help all missing children find their way home.

Discover the application on www.notfound.org.

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Random Character Generation in PHP and JavaScript http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2012/02/08/random-character-generation-in-php/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2012/02/08/random-character-generation-in-php/#respond Wed, 08 Feb 2012 16:29:07 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=486 Read more »

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I wrote this function in response to someone else’s attempt on a forum I was asked to join. It basically generates a string of random letters and numbers with the letters being in both upper and lower case. It is easy to edit it to only use upper or lower case letters or even add symbols as well. I initially wrote it in PHP and then rewrote it in JavaScript as well.

function randomString($strLen = 32)
{
  // Create our character arrays
  $chrs = array_merge(range('a', 'z'), range('A', 'Z'), range(0, 9));
 
  // Just to make the output even more random
  shuffle($chrs);
 
  // Create a holder for our string
  $randStr = '';
 
  // Now loop through the desired number of characters for our string
  for($i=0; $i<$strLen; $i++)
  {
    $randStr .= $chrs[mt_rand(0, (count($chrs) - 1))];
  }
  return $randStr;
}

Using it is simply a case of calling it and specifying how long to make the string otherwise it uses the default length of 32 characters.

echo randomString(12);

To also make it use symbols you just change the array_merge to


// If we want letters, numbers and symbols
$chrs = array_merge(range('a', 'z'), range('A', 'Z'), range(0, 9), array('!','£','$','%','^','&','*','(',')','-','=','+','@','#','~','?'));

Now for the JavaScript version. JavaScript has neither a range() function nor an easy way to shuffle an array so the code here is a little longer.

function randomString(len) {
  // Just an array of the characters we want in our random string
  var chrs = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e', 'f', 'g', 'h', 'i', 'j', 'k', 'l', 'm', 'n', 'o', 'p', 'q', 'r', 's', 't', 'u', 'v', 'w', 'x', 'y', 'z',
              'A', 'B', 'C', 'D', 'E', 'F', 'G', 'H', 'I', 'J', 'K', 'L', 'M', 'N', 'O', 'P', 'Q', 'R', 'S', 'T', 'U', 'V', 'W', 'X', 'Y', 'Z',
              '0', '1', '2', '3', '4', '5', '6', '7', '8', '9'];
              
  // Check that a length has been supplied and if not default to 32
  len = (isNaN(len)) ? 32 : len;
  
  // The following section shuffles the array just to further randomise the output
  var tmp, current, top = chrs.length; 
  if(top)
  {
    while(--top) 
    { 
      current = Math.floor(Math.random() * (top + 1)); 
      tmp = chrs[current]; 
      chrs[current] = chrs[top]; 
      chrs[top] = tmp; 
    }
  }
  
  // Just a holder for our random string
  var randomStr = '';
  
  // Loop through the required number of characters grabbing one at random from the array each time
  for(i=0;i
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	486	
		
		Firefox 10 Aurora Add On Compatibility
		http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/11/10/firefox-10-aurora-add-on-compatibility/
		http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/11/10/firefox-10-aurora-add-on-compatibility/#comments
		Thu, 10 Nov 2011 10:16:05 +0000
		
				
		
		
		
		

		http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=481
		Read more »

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So Firefox 8 has been released meaning Firefox 9 is now in beta and Firefox 10 is now on the Aurora channel. Trouble is, even if you are using compatibility reporter from the add ons site, most of your add ons will now be disabled. This is because compatibility reporter only supported up to Firefox 9. Anyway the fix is simple.

  1. Open a new tab
  2. Type about:config in the url bar and press enter
  3. Click the I’ll be careful, I promise! button
  4. Right click anywhere on the list that appears and select New then Boolean.
  5. For the preference name put extensions.checkCompatibility.10.0a and click OK
  6. Now select false and click OK
  7. Now do the same again but this time name it extensions.checkCompatibility.10.0
  8. Again set it to false.

Now close Firefox and when you restart all your extensions should be working again.

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Sending email via SMTP using PHP http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/10/24/sending-email-via-smtp-using-php/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/10/24/sending-email-via-smtp-using-php/#respond Mon, 24 Oct 2011 11:08:51 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=472 Read more »

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A couple of my users contacted me to say that their host had disabled sendmail and required any scripts they use to now use SMTP to send emails. This resulted in me quickly reading all I could about SMTP and the result is this slightly rough script I am sharing. It’s pretty self explanatory. Put your SMTP server details in the $mailCfg array. Next simply call the smtpMail function which uses the same variables as the standard PHP mail() function but with two additional variables. The additional variables are the email address we are sending from and $mailCfg. I could of put $mailCfg as a global but this way you can include the script in a different script and store the required information where ever you want. The from address is important as most SMTP servers will reject the message if it’s not included.

Just remember the code is far from perfect and was created to do a simple job.

It also has one nice extra function you might find useful…

The directMail function will look up the recipients SMTP server and try to deliver the email directly to it thereby bypassing the need for you to have access to an SMTP server to send through. Just remember your host may frown upon the use of this function.

/*
 * SMTP Email Sending
 * By Stewart Souter
 * Date Created: Thurs, 11 August 2011 17:15:37 GMT
 * Last Updated: Fri, 19 August 2011 10:54:35 GMT 
 * email: webmaster@carbonize.co.uk
 * 
 * By using this script you are agreeing to leave this
 * comment and agreement in place and untouched. If you
 * use any part of this code you must make it clear where
 * it came from and give credit where it is due.
 */

$mailCfg['Server']    = '';    // Servername
$mailCfg['User']      = '';    // SMTP username if needed
$mailCfg['Pass']      = '';    // SMTP Password if needed
$mailCfg['Port']      = 25;    // SMTP server port. 25 is the usual and 465 if using SSL
$mailCfg['popServer'] = '';    // Name of the pop server. Leave empty if POP Auth not required
$mailCfg['popPort']   = 110;   // Port for the pop server. 110 is the usual and 995 if using SSL
$mailCfg['SSL']       = 0;     // Does your SMTP server need you to use SSL or TLS? 0 = no, 1 = SSL, 2 = TLS

// This function delivers the email directly to the recipients mail server so bypassing the need for your own
function directMail($mailTo, $mailSubject, $mailMsg, $mailHeaders = '', $mailFrom = '', $mailCfg)
{
  if(empty($mailFrom))
  {
    return false; // No from address == no sending
  }
  $mailParts = explode('@', $mailTo);  // Seperate the parts of the email address
  @getmxrr($mailParts[1], $mxHosts, $mxWeight); // Get the MX records for the emails domain
  for($i=0;$i $value)
  {
    $mailCfg['Server'] = $key; // Set the SMTP server to the current MX record
    if(smtpMail($mailTo, $mailSubject, $mailMsg, $mailHeaders, $mailFrom, $mailCfg)) // Send the email using the MX server
    {
      return true;  // The email was successfully sent
    }
  }
  return false;  // Houston we have a problem
}

// This function connects to the SMTP server and does the AUTH if needed. Can also do a POP login if server requires that.
function smtpMail($mailTo, $mailSubject, $mailMsg, $mailHeaders = '', $mailFrom = '', $mailCfg )
{
  if(empty($mailFrom))
  {
    return false; // No from address == no sending
  }
  $timeout = '30'; // How long to keep trying to connect
  $localhost = 'localhost'; // How to identify ourselves
  $logArray = array(); // For storing the replies
  
  /* * * * POP Login if required * * */ 
  
  if(!empty($mailCfg['popServer'])) // Can't really do POP Auth without a server
  {
    $ssl = ($mailCfg['SSL'] != 0) ? (($mailCfg['SSL'] == 1) ? 'ssl://' : 'tls://') : ''; // If SSL or TLS add it
    $popConnect = @fsockopen($ssl.$mailCfg['popServer'], $mailCfg['popPort'], $errno, $errstr, $timeout); // Connect
    if(!$popConnect) // If we fail to connect...
    {
      $logArray['POPconnect'] = $errstr . '(' . $errno . ')'; // Log the given reason...
      logMailError($logArray); // And output to the log file.
      return false;
    }
    else
    {
      $logArray['POPconnect'] = @fgets($popConnect, 515)); // POP servers only return single line replies. Or should.
      if(!mailPackets('AUTH LOGIN', $popConnect, 'SMTPauth')) //Request Auth Login
      {
        return false;
      }
      if(!mailPackets('USER ' . $smtpUser, $popConnect, 'POPuser')) // Send username. POP is plaintext
      {
        return false;
      }    
      if(!mailPackets('PASS ' . $smtpPass, $popConnect, 'POPpass')) // Send password, again in plaintext
      {
        return false;
      }
      if(!mailPackets('QUIT', $popConnect, 'POPquit')) // Say bye to the server
      {
        return false;
      }    
      fclose($popConnect); // Close connection
    }
  }
  
  /* * * * End of POP Login * * * * */
  
  /* * * * Start of SMTP stuff * * * */
 
  $ssl = ($mailCfg['SSL'] != 0) ? (($mailCfg['SSL'] == 1) ? 'ssl://' : 'tls://') : ''; // Set the encryption if needed
  $smtpConnect = @fsockopen($ssl.$mailCfg['Server'], $mailCfg['Port'], $errno, $errstr, $timeout); // Connect
  if(!$smtpConnect) // If we fail to connect...
  {
    $logArray['SMTPconnect'] = $errstr . '(' . $errno . ')'; // Add the reason to the log...
    logMailError($logArray); // Then output the log
    return false;
  }
  else
  {
    $cnectKey = 0; // A counter for when we receive multiple lines in reply
    do
    {
      $smtpResponse = @fgets($smtpConnect, 515); // Get the reply
      $cnectKey++; // Increment the counter
      $logArray['SMTPconnect' . $cnectKey] = $smtpResponse; // Log the response
      $responseCode = substr($smtpResponse, 0, 3); // Grab the response code from start of the response
      // If we get an error terminate the connection and log the results so far
      if($responseCode >= 400)
      {  
        logMailError($logArray, $smtpConnect);
        return false;
      }        
    }  
    while((strlen($smtpResponse) > 3) && (strpos($smtpResponse, ' ') != 3)); // Loop until we get told it's the last line
      $ehlo = mailPackets('EHLO ' . $localhost, $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPehlo'); // Let's try using EHLO first
      if($ehlo != 250) // Server said it didn't like EHLO so drop back to HELO
      {
        if(!mailPackets('HELO ' . $localhost, $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPhelo')) // Send HELO. No EHLO means server doesn't support AUTH
        {
          return false;
        }
      }
      if(!empty($mailCfg['User']) && ($ehlo == 250)) // We have a username and server supports EHLO so send login credentials
      {
        if(!mailPackets('AUTH LOGIN', $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPauth')) // Request Auth Login
        {
          return false;
        }
        if(!mailPackets(base64_encode($mailCfg['User']), $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPuser')) // Send username
        {
          return false;
        }
        if(!mailPackets(base64_encode($mailCfg['Pass']), $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPpass')) // Send password
        {
          return false;
        }
      }
      if(!mailPackets('MAIL FROM:<' . $mailFrom . '>', $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPfrom')) // Email From
      {
        return false;
      }
      if(!mailPackets('RCPT TO:<' . $mailTo . '>', $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPrcpt')) // Email To
      {
        return false;
      }
      if(!mailPackets('DATA', $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPmsg')) // We are about to send the message
      {
        return false;
      }
      // First lets make sure both the message and additional headers do not contain anythign that might be seen as end of message marker
      $mailMsg = preg_replace(array("/(?\r\nFrom: <".$mailCfg['From'].">\r\nSubject: ".$mailCfg['Subject']."\r\nDate: " . gmdate('D, d M Y H:i:s') . " -0000".$mailHeaders;
      if(!mailPackets($mailHeaders."\r\n\r\n".$mailMsg."\r\n.", $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPbody')) // The message
      {
        return false;
      }
      mailPackets('QUIT', $smtpConnect, $logArray, 'SMTPquit'); // Say Bye to SMTP server
      fclose($smtpConnect); // Be nice and close the connection
      return true; // Return the fact we sent the message
  }
}

// This function sends the actual packets then logs the reponses and parses the reponse code
function mailPackets($sendStr,$mailConnect,&$logArray,$logName = '')
{
  $newLine = "\r\n"; // LEAVE THIS ALONE  
  $keyCount = 0;  // Just an incremental counter for when we get more than a single line response
  @fputs($mailConnect,$sendStr . $newLine); // Send the packet 
  do // Start grabbing the responses until we either get a terminal error or told we are at the end
  {
    $mailResponse = @fgets($mailConnect, 515); // Receive the response
    $keyCount++; // Incrememnt the key count
    $logArray[$logName . $keyCount] = $mailResponse; // Put the response in to the log array
    $responseCode = substr($smtpResponse, 0, 3); // Grab the response code from start of the response
    // Check for error codes except on ehlo, auth, and user details as they are not always fatal
    if((($logName != 'SMTPauth') && ($logName != 'SMTPuser') && ($logName != 'SMTPehlo') && ($logName != 'SMTPpass')) && ($responseCode >= 400))
    {  
       logMailError($logArray,$mailConnect);
       return false;
    }
    elseif((substr($responseCode, 0, 1) == 4) || ($responseCode >= 521) && ($logName != 'SMTPehlo'))
    {  
       logMailError($logArray,$mailConnect);
       return false;
    }
  }
  while((strlen($mailResponse) > 3) && (strpos($mailResponse, ' ') != 3)); // Loop until we get the end response
  return $responseCode; // Return the response code
}

function logMailError(&$logArray, $mailServer = false)
{
  if($mailServer)
  { 
    fclose($mailServer); // Be nice and close the connection
  }
  $fd = @fopen ('smtplog.txt', 'a'); // open the log file
  $mailResults = print_r($logArray, true); // Create a nice printable version of logArray
  @fwrite($fd,$mailResults); // Write the log
  @fclose ($fd); // Close the file
}
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Zuma Blitz on IE9 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/05/17/zuma-blitz-on-ie9/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/05/17/zuma-blitz-on-ie9/#comments Tue, 17 May 2011 15:43:08 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=449 Read more »

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OK I’ve noticed a few people a searching for information about Zuma Blitz on IE9. I did notice this issue myself when I first tried IE9. The main problem is the hardware acceleration that comes turned on by default in IE9 which results in Zuma, and anything else Flash intensive, being really jerky and laggy unless you are on a pretty powerful computer. This is because both Flash and the web browser are using hardware acceleration and competing for your graphic cards processor. This also applies to Firefox 4. Anyway you can try to improve things by disabling the hardware acceleration in either the browser or in Flash.

To disable it in the browser go to Internet options by either clicking the gear cog on the right hand side of IE9s toolbar or go to your control panel. Once open click on the Advanced tab. The very first option is Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering* so tick that. You will then have to restart IE9. Hopefully Zuma Blitz will be a bit more tolerable now.

To disable it in Flash simply go to a web page that has Flash in it and right click on the flash. From the menu that appears select Settings… and then deselect the Enable hardware acceleration option.

So first try disabling one. If that doesn’t work re-enable the one you disabled and disable the other one. If it’s still jerky try disabling them both.

If all else fails you can always just uninstall IE9 and go back to IE8 or try one of the other browsers such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera.

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Play MKV on Xbox 360 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/05/14/play-mkv-on-xbox-360/ http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/2011/05/14/play-mkv-on-xbox-360/#comments Sat, 14 May 2011 10:51:56 +0000 http://carbonize.co.uk/wp/?p=440 Read more »

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OK so I downloaded the first two episodes of Pioneer One which is a free to download mini series made for VoDo, which is a free video site. Unfortunately, like a lot of high definition (HD) video, it came in the MKV format which, unfortunately, the Xbox 360 does not support. Now the first thing you need to understand is that the video format is just a container. The actual video and audio inside the container can be exactly the same in a different container. Orange juice is still orange juice whether it’s in a glass or a cup. Anyway what we need to do is take the audio and video out of the MKV container and put it in to a container that the 360 can play such as mp4. I did a search for instructions on how to do this by searching for play MKV on Xbox 360 but the one I found required about 10 different programs. Admittedly the instructions on that page are from 2008. Mine is a lot simpler and requires just a single, portable, program called XMedia Recode. The site is in German but just click Download under where it says XMedia Recode Portable. Extract the contents of the zip file and run XMedia Recode.

XMedia Recode

  1. Drag the video file you want to convert over on to the XMedia Recode window and wait for it to finish checking it
  2. Click on the video in the list near the top of the XMedia Recode window
  3. Click the Format tab and change Profile to Custom, Format to MP4 and File Extension to mp4
  4. Click the Video tab and tick the Video Copy box at the bottom of the options
  5. Click the Audio tab and under Modus select Copy. If your file has multiple audio streams you can choose to remove some at this point.
  6. At the bottom, under Output, change it to Source Path so the mp4 version appears in same folder as the original (optional)
  7. Click Add Job at the top
  8. Click Encode

If you want to do more than one file simply repeat steps 1 – 7 before clicking Encode. So now you now how simple it is to get MKV to play on Xbox 360.

Just a minor update. I forgot that the Xbox does not like 5.1 audio so if your original file is using 5.1 audio you will have to convert to stereo. If you do you need to do this then simply setting the Modus under Audio to convert instead of copy should work just fine as the default is stereo.

Warning! – The latest version of Xmedia recode, 3.0.3.0, has a bug where selecting Video copy will result in an empty file being created. I have informed them of this bug. Appears to have been fixed in version 3.0.3.4.

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