Launching Microsoft Apps error “0x80070102” on Windows 11 – Microsoft Simulator

Helping a friend with an issue on a new computer with Windows 11 and getting the “0x80070102” error when launching Microsoft Simulator.

After doing all the normal steps like resetting the app, Microsoft store app reset, Xbox app reset I remembered an issue with the time being off from another computer where chrome was giving website errors. And sure enough the computers time was off. I set the time to automatic time in the settings and the game came right up with no trouble.

So in the end check on your date and time settings when dealing with the 0x80070102 error or any error with Microsoft Store or games.

Rear Facing Camera not working on iPhone 5S?

Having a problem with a rear facing camera on your iPhone?

Specifically an iPhone 5S?

Should you try and replace the rear camera module?

These were all questions I was googling/asking when my wife came to me with a black screen inside of the camera app. I followed some black magic on youtube about toggling low power mode and hard resetting with some success but it was not consistent. Finally I found an apple forum post from a guy who went through the whole process below in iFixit after buying a new camera module:

He got in to replace the camera just to find that the camera module cable had disconnected. After a shy grin his girlfriend admitted her phone had dropped about the time the camera stopped working.

After reading this a lightbulb went off. Knowing that the kids use my wife’s iPhone to play games and watch video I knew this had to be a similar issue. I took out my trusty iFixIt tool kit and got to work. Low and behold the rear facing camera cable was loose.


I went through the iFixIt guide and then popped off the rear camera connection to make sure no lint or dirt was under the contacts and reconnected it. I put the phone back together and poof! The camera started working again like magic.

My wife was happy and so was I. Happy wife, happy life! 🙂

1&1 VNC Remote Console Java Security Issue

Java has consistently been updating its security to reduce it’s potential for spreading malware. Good news! Unfortunately older online java apps will sometimes break to the point of being unusable. One of those apps is the VNC Console for the 1&1 Dynamic Cloud servers. I found this article that explained how to add a line into the policy file to allow the IP that is getting blocked. Here is the article:

I had to add this code:

permission "", "connect, accept";

to this file on OSX (windows has a similar file in JAVAHOME somewhere):

/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Home/lib/security/java.policy

You can add additional lines to this file for any legacy app you encounter.

The error I was getting in the java console when I had this issue was:

"Network Error: access denied ("" "" "connect,resolve")

As always have fun!

Adding PECL Uploadprogress to 1&1 shared hosting for Drupal 7 (updated)

Drupal 7.x is the platform we use to build great websites. There are modules that allow the ability to update a progress meter when uploading a file. This requires installing a PECL extension to PHP called uploadprogress. Here is the process I used to get it working on a hosting package. You will need a hosting package with ssh support currently the Business and Developer packages do.

  • Download PECL uploadaccess to your 1&1 account
  • Extract the package
    tar xvzf uploadprogress-
  • Go into the directory
    cd uploadprogress-
  • Run phpize5.5
  • Change php-config to php-config5.5 in configure script
    sed -i 's/=php-config/=php-config5.5/g' configure
  • Run Configure
  • Change include directives in Makefile
    sed -i 's#-I/usr/include/php#-I/usr/include/php5.5#g' Makefile
  • Run make and make test
    make test
  • Make new extensions folder for new extension to go in
    mkdir ~/extensions
  • Copy uploadprogress extension to new folder
    cp .libs/ ~/extensions/
  • Create new php.ini under your main folder (or under a single subfolder for just that application) to add new extension_dir then add this code to the file

That should be it. You should now be able to see the “Upload progress Enabled (PECL uploadprogress)” on the admin/reports/status page in Drupal.

Links that helped me with the above info:

This is an update from the original Drupal 6 article. ( Just thought I would pass along as it was a little different that the previous article.

How to plan meals and lose weight – Part 3/3 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)

Friends and family have been excited for me since I’ve lost weight (over 20lbs!) and a few have even been motivated to start a lifestyle change as well. You can read part 1 and part 2 here about why I’m eating low carb. Of course there will be questions like “what have you been eating?” or “Can I still have variety when reducing carbs?” While the details of an effective eating plan can be found in the books I’ve been reading, The Rosedale Diet and The Art and Science of Low Carb Living, I will lay out a couple days of meals and snacks that I have been enjoying. There is no shortage of good low carb foods to keep life interesting!

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Fruit Smoothie (from The Art and Science of Low Carb Living) 6 carbs
  • Lunch: Caesar Salad very few croutons (6-10 carbs)
  • Dinner: Meatloaf, green beans, mashed cauliflower (19-22 carbs)
  • Snack: Small bowl of cashews (9-18 carbs)

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs (2 of each)
  • Lunch: Mini Filet Salad (6-10g carbs)
  • Dinner: Zucchini Lasagna (12-16g)
  • Snack: Almonds (1/2 cup) 4.5 effective carbs (total – fiber)

Day 3

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Bacon and Eggs (2 of each)
  • Lunch: Chipotle Burrito Bowl – No Rice, Half Bean, Steak or Chicken, Veggies, Salsa (no corn salsa), Lettuce, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Cheese
  • Dinner: Stuffed Green Peppers
  • Snack: Fruit Smoothie

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Green Pepper and Ham Omelet
  • Lunch: Tuna Wrap
  • Dinner: Cobb salad with Guacamole
  • Snack: Small bowl of cashews

As you can see there are many options for eating low carb/high fat. I have only touched the tip of the iceberg. There are so many websites that have low carb ideas. I have frequented recently which has a constant flow of new recipes. Just search low carb recipes and you will be overwhelmed with options.

I will re-emphasize that eating low carb/high fat diet does not have to be boring! I have heard of people eating lobster bisque, soups, salads, seafood, steaks, and more. The goal is to reduce the carbs. Not the fun!

As an aside I will mention that most days I will also have a Cafe Americano with heavy cream (or half and half) with a Splenda. Or a coffee (iced or hot). This will add a few carbs to the daily intake but only a few from the Splenda and half and half if they don’t have heavy cream. I’m not one to live without the occasional caffeine.

Hopefully this has inspired you to try out some new recipes and begin a change in your life for the better. Do you have any recipes you like or foods you enjoy that are low carb? If so please post in the comments or send me an message on your social media of choice. I will make a follow-up recipe post with everyone’s suggestions.

Missed the first two posts in this series?
Read Part 1: How I lost 20 pounds in 3 months – Part 1 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)
Read Part 2: How my wife helped me lose 20 pounds in 3 months – Part 2 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)
Read Part 3: This post!

How my wife helped me lose 20 pounds in 3 months – Part 2/3 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)

So I wrote an article yesterday (Part 1) about my story and how excited I was to lose 20 pounds in 3 short months. Now you may think “Wow he did it all on his own!” well I have something to confess. I had a lot of help from my wife, Carla. Although I must say that she was skeptical at first. Wondering in her head “is he serious” and “how long will this last” but after a few weeks of me pushing away the potatoes, rice, pasta and other carbs she started to catch on that I was serious. And boy did she catch on! That is when she went into superwoman, mega wife, ultra cook mode and started making awesome dishes like low carb bacon cheese cauliflower soup, stuffed peppers and zucchini lasagna. Yum! She has worked with me in coming up with foods that are low in carbs and high in fat. Reworking recipes to include different ingredients and planning new ones that will work with our family.

I am so thankful for how she has helped me reach my goal of feeling better (and losing weight in the process). While I could do it without her I know that it would be much more difficult. Thank you Carla!


Missed the other posts in this series?
Read Part 1: How I lost 20 pounds in 3 months – Part 1 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)
Read Part 2: This post!
Read Part 3: How to plan meals and lose weight – Part 3/3 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)

How I lost 20 pounds in 3 months – Part 1/3 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)

I wasn’t looking for it, I hadn’t planned for it and I certainly didn’t want to do it but I’ve started a lifestyle change.

Maybe you can relate. Everyday I woke up starving. I felt hungry at 10:30am, 2:00pm and 8:00pm and was never satisfied with just a snack. I wouldn’t feel energized after eating. After a large lunch I was unmotivated to continue the day often getting distracted from work tasks.

Then I listened to a podcast from Steve Gibson that changed my life (of all places on the amazing SecurityNow podcast). He talked about not being hungry, having more energy and losing weight. I thought this was to good to be true. He mentioned a couple videos (see below) he and Leo Laporte had done specifically about what he had been trying. I watched the video podcasts not expecting anything. But it happened. I was convinced that if I didn’t change my eating habits not only was I going to spend the rest of my life hungry, unmotivated and energy depleted but overweight. I knew I had to make a change. Steve mentioned a couple of books but ultimately I settled on The Rosedale Diet as a good well rounded start. I didn’t have time to devour the kindle book immediately so I checked out the Rosedale diet website. It had the full list of what to eat and what not to eat. I think the most important part for me was I didn’t start cutting all carbs immediately but began one meal at a time. Cutting out small things like snacking on candy, chips and the like that is always in the house because of the kids was an easy start for me. As I got more familiar with foods that are low in carbs and high in fat I started to incorporate more of those foods in my daily diet. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the high fat part of the Rosedale diet. Good fats can help rid the body of the bad ones but keeping track of what is good or bad fat is a work in progress for me at the moment.

I started digesting all this info around January 10, 2012. It has now a little over 3 months since I really started to cut out carbs and introduce more fat into my diet.

Currently I have lost about 20lbs. Going from 196-200 down to 176-178 has been amazing. However weight loss was never my goal. My main motivation in this life change was to feel better and have more energy. I now feel like getting work done in the afternoon after lunch. I want to wake up in the morning. I want to play with the kids in the evening. I literally feel like a new person. You can feel this way to. Everyone is different but if nothing is working for you then follow the steps below that I made to make a positive change in your life today.

  1. Change your attitude towards you. You are worth it. Make a statement to yourself that you want to change. I love the verse in the Bible that says “Love your neighbors as you love yourself” (Matt 22:39). You have to first love yourself before you can love others. So true.
  2. Start slow! Don’t over do it. One meal or snack at a time. I started by substituting cashews and almonds for snacks instead of chips. Then moved to eating low carb, high fat one meal at a time.
  3. Read and research. Knowing more about how your body works helps you make decisions about your own health. I read The Rosedale Diet and in the process of reading The Art and Science of Low Carb Living (which has some great smoothie recipes in it!)
  4. Keep going even if you fail. I failed many times but kept going. There were days when I ate cookies because I really wanted them. Eat the cookies and move on.
  5. Start a life change. Not a diet. The term diet makes me cringe. A step by step process on how I should each everyday. That just doesn’t work for me. Start taking positive action to change your behavior not your diet. That revelation made my world change.

One thing to note isI have done little to no exercise. Yes you heard that right. I wanted to experiment with my body and see if I could feel better with diet alone. Understand I do have 3 kids who I play with in the yard and I play the round of golf here and there. So while I’m not a bump on a log I do not go to the gym, take time out of my day or otherwise expend energy on purpose.

Hopefully my journey will have inspired you to make a life change and help you feel better about yourself. Stay positive and as always post comments with questions or insights to help everyone out. Thank you!

More information from Steve Gibson on the Low Carb choice and the video that really gave me the motivation I needed to change:

Missed the other posts in this series?
Read Part 1: This post!
Read Part 2: How my wife helped me lose 20 pounds in 3 months – Part 2 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)
Read Part 3: How to plan meals and lose weight – Part 3/3 – (Starting a very low carb and high fat diet)

Update: For some reason my math was off when I calculated 4 months. January 10 to April 17 is not 4 months only 3! So I updated the title but not the site link as it is already on other sites. Oh well. Measure twice cut once fail on my part!

Discrete graphics switching, MacBook Pro Retina, Google Chat and you

MacBook_Pro_Retina_nvidia-3Getting a new toy work laptop was one of the best decisions I made last year. My old 17″ MacBook Pro was getting tired and could not keep up with the computing I needed to do for my job. So when I got the 16GB of RAM 15″ MacBook Pro Retina (MBPr) late last year I was so pumped. I could run Parallels to run the windows programming environments as well as Firefox, Chrome and the web development apps all at the same time with plenty of room to spare.

One of the greatest things about this type of MBPr is the ability to do graphics switching on the fly. Apps that need more graphic card juice can get it. However using the NVIDIA GeForec GT 650M sucks the battery faster than a cheetah in hot pursuit. So in an effort to reduce and monitor the times my MBPr switches to discrete graphics mode I downloaded the awesome gfxCardStatus app for OSX. It lets you know when graphics switching occurs and most importantly what app turned on discrete graphics. Very handy and I suggest anyone with a graphics switching mac to download and donate.

All of that to say google chat in gmail and google+ has been the most annoying graphic switching app to deal with. I just want to check email in gmail or look at my google+ feed without having graphics card switching on and off. And if I want to leave gmail up and running it would be burning the battery down just to have the convenience of the web app up and running. This had to stop. So I started looking into why google chat was using discrete graphics. It all narrowed down to the google voice and video chat plugin. I uninstalled that plugin and no more graphics switching. Ok figured out why it was doing that. But there are times when I may want to use the video and audio features of chat in google+ or gmail. So I reinstalled the plugin and was able to find a way to disable chat in gmail and temporarily disable it in google+ with adblock plus as I wrote in my Removing Chat in Google+ article. Now I am switching graphics cards way less often and managing battery life much better.

Hopefully this will help someone in a similar position because I could not find anyone else by google’ing this issue. If you haver an questions or additions to my thoughts here please leave a comment. Thanks!

Removing Chat in Google+ (and GMail)

Google PlusI’ve been using google+ more recently and while I don’t mind chat being on the right side of the screen I wanted to remove it. No I’m not talking turn it off and have it looking at me. Or minimizing it somehow. I mean turn it off. Gone. For good. So I looked around the internets for a solution and all I could come up with was to sign out of chat. While some may find that as acceptable I didn’t. There had to be a way to just have nice white space on the right side. And there is! Here is how I did it in Firefox:

  • Download the amazing Adblock Plus add-on for Firefox
  • Right click in the chat area on the right in google+
  • Click on Adblock Plus: Block frame…
  • I just chose the defaults and hit the Add Filter button

Then boom. It is gone. And you can sigh in relief as you have de-cluttered and removed another distraction from google+ so you can browse your feed in peace. Sure there will be times when I may want to have chat in google+ and for those times I will just disable Adblock Plus for the domain. Then refresh the page.

This does not get rid of chat in GMail however and because GMail does not put chat into a frame we can not use Adblock to remove it. Fortunately that is a much easier process. Just go into your gmail settings, to the chat settings and turn it off. Easy peasy.

Ok so if you have gotten this far you may be asking yourself “Why get rid of chat!?! I need chat!!”. Well I have been using the on my Mac to supply my google chatting and iMessage needs. I will also use Adium when the need arises which also supports google chat and other chat client protocols. Another huge reason for me is because I’m using a MacBook Pro Retina laptop with a discrete plus internal graphics cards. Google chat voice and video plugin was triggering the discrete graphic card and draining the battery. No Beuno! I plan on writing a follow up blog post on how best to handle the discrete vs internal video card battle. So stay updated on new posts by signing up to my newsletter on the right.

This solution assumes you are using Firefox and not Chrome. I know there is an Adblock type extension for chrome, but I have not tried it out yet. Let me know in the comments if you try it out and please if anyone has a better way of doing this let me know. Thanks!

Repairing a TrueCrypt Volume and Unmountable Boot Volumes

truecrypt-logo38pxThe dreaded Unmountable Boot Volume rears its ugly head from time to time. Microsoft says it’s either a bad cable or a corrupt filesystem. For me it has always been the later which I fix by putting the harddrive into another computer and running a chkdsk. Or windows sees it as corrupt and fixes it for me (ie Windows 7). But what if your drive has full disk encryption using Truecrypt? (Don’t know what TrueCrypt is? It is an encryption program that can encrypt full volumes or volumes you create. Awesome indeed)

TrueCrypt is not longer being supported and is now VeraCrypt The info here should be the same for 7.1a versions of TrueCrypt and VeraCrypt.


I have a MacBook Pro so I hooked up the drive using a USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE Cable (which are very handy BTW) and mounted it in Parallels Desktop with Windows XP by selecting the USB ATA Bridge under the Devices->USB menu. I loaded up TrueCrypt in XP and mounted the drive. You have to make sure to mount the drive with “mount partition using system encryption without pre-boot authentication” selected under options. I forgot to do this and got frustrated, but after a quick google I figured that part out. Here is where that is:


Once the volume was mounted under windows TrueCrypt noticed the volume had not been unmounted correctly and asked me if I wanted to ChkDsk the drive. I said yes as this is exactly what I wanted to do! It found a couple problems and ChkDsk stopped. I then ran ChkDsk 2 more times till it ran with no errors.

I now have a bootable TrueCrypt system volume again and best of all my client will be happy she can get access to her files!