Google Chromecast update fail and other issues

Fix – Update stuck or hanging? Can’t connect? Read this troubleshooting guide.

We have used Chromecasts since the first ‘model’ came out, and generally they have run without an issue.  Our first Chromecast appeared to have died, it would no longer connect,  so we bought a new Chromecast 2 and spent an evening trying to set it up.  Everything appeared to be working OK until it tried to fetch an update, at which point it just stayed at 0% (zero percent).  Here’s what we tried and how we eventually fixed it:

  • First we tried switching it off and waiting 30 seconds or so before switching back on.  This has worked for some but not for us, it just went straight to the update screen and stayed at 0%.
  • Next we tried resetting it to factory settings, another online suggestion, by holding the reset button for 25 seconds or so until it rebooted.  We went through the setup procedure again, it tried to fetch an update annnnnnnd stuck once more at 0%.
  • We recently upgraded our broadband and BT had kindly sent us a new Home Hub.  Now I don’t know if other routers have this functionality but when you log on for the first time with a new device you are redirected to a set up page where you can set parental controls etc.  Possibly the Chromecast was being treated as a new device when it tried to get an update, being redirected to this page would certainly confuse it.  To switch off this feature do the following:
    • In your browser go to http://bthomehub.home/
    • Select ‘Advanced Settings’
    • On the next screen enter your username and password and on the following screen select ‘continue to advanced settings’.
    • Select ‘Home Network’ and then ‘Smart Setup’
    • Change ‘Enable Smart Setup’ to ‘No’ and click the apply button.
    • Reset the Chromecast to factory settings once more and try again!
  • Now this didn’t work for us initially but we did discover that our old Chromecast 1 was now able to connect and function correctly once more and I think this was part of the solution to getting the Chromecast 2 up and running also.
  • The final key to the puzzle for us was to ……..

    Change to another HDMI port, I don’t know why that worked but suddenly the update was fetched and we’ve been streaming without an issue ever since.

Unable to force Windows 10 Upgrade?

How to solve the issues of wuauclt.exe/updatenow appearing to do nothing

I have been trying to force Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 10 using the the following steps:

  •  Delete all files in C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download.
  • Run the command prompt as administrator. (Right click the Command Prompt icon and select ‘Run as Administrator’)
  • Type in ‘wuauclt.exe/updatenow’ without the quotes.
  • Hit Enter

Nothing happened.  I was puzzled as I had already run these steps successfully on a PC running Windows 8.1 and it worked flawlessly.  No matter what I did or how up to date my updates were wuauclt didn’t seem to do anything.  However after some hunting around I found the solution:

Open the registry editor (regedit.exe) and locate the registry key: [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade]

It should exist, but if not, create it.

Create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value with Name = “AllowOSUpgrade” (without the quotes), and set the Value = 0x00000001 – you actually just need to enter 00000001, 0x is added by the editor.

Now, run through the steps above once more and Windows 10 should begin to download. I hope that saves you from the frustration that I suffered.  Full details on how to force Windows 10 upgrade and this solution can be found here.

WordPress, Jetpack, How-To show a gallery in Carousel by single link or thumbnail

How to launch a gallery in the Jetpack Carousel from a single thumbnail or link without rendering all the gallery as thumbnails in a WordPress Post

I quite like the Jetpack Carousel but unfortunately to have it display a gallery you have to render the entire gallery as thumbnails. What I want to do is launch the carousel from a single thumbnail or link. This gives the advantage of being able to display a couple of choice photos in a post and allowing the reader to view the full set if adequately interested.

So where to start? Well the one minor inconvenience is that you need to be working in Text rather than Visual mode in the WordPress post editor. Then select the Add Media button to create your gallery.
caro1

Then from the Insert Media screen choose Create Gallery.
Insert Media

I’m just going to choose a few random pictures that I have previously uploaded for this example.

Create Gallery

Adding captions and titles will make the carousel display more interesting and informative. Once you are happy with the gallery, insert it and in text mode in the editor it will look something like this:

Gallery code

and in your post preview it will display thus:

which actually doesn’t look too bad but when you have a hundred holiday shots or thirty/forty illustrations as in this post. Then it starts to get a bit messy. What I want to do is just display the thumbnail of the two horses and use that as the link for the entire gallery.

The first step is to preview your post so far, then click on the image that you want to use to launch the carousel. Note, the image you choose to launch the carousel will also be the first image that displays in the carousel.

Carousel

Then copy the address of the page from the top of the browser which should look something like this:
http://redeyedmonster.co.uk/?p=1669&preview=true#jp-carousel-1997
If you don’t mind publishing your post at this point and then selecting an image from the carousel you will find that the link is a lot neater:
http://redeyedmonster.co.uk/#jp-carousel-1997
That is the link you are going to use to launch the carousel. If you just want a text link then you could do something like this in the text editor:
<a href="http://redeyedmonster.co.uk/#jp-carousel-1997">Look at my photos!</a>

Which will render in your post thus:
Look at my photos!

To use one of the gallery thumbnails as an image for the link, select the add media button and select the image you want to use from the media library. It will already be there as part of your gallery.

Insertthumbnail

Select alignment and the image size you require e.g. thumbnail and then in the ‘link to’ section select Custom URL and paste the link to your carousel in the box below.

And that’s all you need to do:

Horses at the hilltop pool

Ta Da! “But wait a minute”, you say, “I still have all these gallery thumbnails clogging up my post!” Now here is the easy part, all you need to do is wrap the gallery code in a div with it’s display properties set to none:

<div style="display: none;">
[gallery ids="2003,2002,1998,1997,1991"]
</div>

That’s it. I hope you’ve found this helpful.

SWEAT v1.2.1.0

Search Word ExtrActor Tool

I developed this little text manipulation utility/editor to explore ways of extracting key words from large amounts of text.  You may find it useful for that or some other purpose.

Key Features

  • Drag and drop any file to analyse
  • Set case of entire text
  • Remove multiple spaces
  • Remove new line characters (new paragraphs)
  • Remove tabs
  • Remove special characters e.g. punctuation etc.
  • Remove Numbers
  • Remove single characters (i.e. a character with a space either side)
  • Only show words repeated X number of times
  • Remove all duplicates of words
  • Remove a custom list of words
  • Sort alphabetically
  • Wrap words in custom character(s)
  • Delimit words with any character

User Guide

SWEAT Main ScreenTo get started paste some text or drop a file into the top text box, select some options from the aptly named ‘Options’ tab, return to the tab above and hit ‘Go!’.  Your results will appear in the bottom text box.  You can change your options and hit ‘Go!’ again to see different results. When you close SWEAT down it remembers all of your settings including the exclusion list.

Options explained

SWEAT OptionsThe options shown above are executed in the order shown on the form which may explain why you get results you were not anticipating.  They are fairly self-explanatory but if you are not sure, don’t worry, you can do no harm, experiment. The exclusion list (Remove words listed below tick box) can, in my experience, get pretty big when working on large bodies of text.  These words are saved, capitalised and alphabetically ordered when you close the program for easy reference the next time you use it.

Reqirements

  • A Windows PC

Installation

Unpack the downloaded .zip file and run setup.exe

Versions

DOWNLOAD LATEST VERSION

Always grateful for your feedback

1.2.1.0 26/02/13

  • No limit on Remove Words List

1.2.0.0 20/01/13

  • Improved performance
  • Improved word count
  • Drag and drop any file to analyse
  • Remove tabs functionality added
  • No longer remembers text you pasted in on close. This is because it is now possible to drag and drop large files into the application and storing these as a setting had great implications on the start up time of the application

1.1.0.0 19/01/13

  • Check for update functionality enhanced

1.0.0.0 16/12/12

  • First release

Edit Any Table v2.1.1

A WordPress plugin/Dashboard Widget that allows you to connect to any database and edit the contents.

This plugin is a dashboard widget to allow you to connect to any MySQL database of your choice (as long as your hosting allows) and search, edit, add and delete records in an easy to use interface. Ideal if you have built a site referencing another database. You can allow other editors/administrators of the site to alter, update, delete, add and correct entries without having to give them the full capabilities of administration tools such as phpMyAdmin.

If you find this plug-in useful then please rate it, thanks.

Installation

To install, download the .zip file from the link below, extract the contents and place the edit-any-table folder in your plugin directory (typically \\your-site\wp-content\plugins\)

Setup

Once installed go to the Dashboard->Plugins page of your WordPress site and activate the plugin:

Edit Any Table activation and settings linkNow go to the Dashboard->Settings->Edit Any Table page and enter the required details:

Edit Any Table Settings

First you’ll need to enter the host (often localhost), the name of the database you wish to connect to and a valid user name and password. Under Admin Settings you can choose to allow Administrators only to have access to the widget or Editors as well. Note: If neither of these boxes are ticked the widget will not display in your WordPress Dashboard. You can choose what to allow the Editor to do i.e. Add, Edit and/or Delete.  Leaving these boxes unchecked will give the Editor view only access.   Display Settings allows you to select the maximum number of columns to display for returned searches. Edit Any Table displays best in a single column dashboard configuration and I find five columns is a comfortable fit but adjust to suit. Here you can also select to apply a friendly name for your connected database, this can help to assure editors (who don’t have access to the settings) they are working on the correct records. Finally, if you don’t want Edit Any Table to display as a widget then you can choose to have it rendered in its own separate admin page. Tables, if you have entered your database credentials correctly and saved them, you will get a list of all the tables.  Select which ones you would like to be accessed via the admin screen.

You will also notice that at the top of the settings page is an option to switch debug mode on or off. Switching it on will display all the SQL sent to your database and may help identify and issues or strange results you may be getting.

Using Edit Any Table

Once configured return to the dashboard and you should see the following widget:

Edit Any Table WidgetNow choose a table from the drop down list and select Open Note: If there is nothing in the list then you have either not entered the correct details in your settings or there are no tables in your database.

Here you can either search or add a new record with the values you have entered. Entering no search criteria returns all the records from the table. To clear any values hit the Reset button. If you enter values that are not of the correct type or in the wrong format when adding a new record these values will be substituted for the database defaults.  Wild cards do not work in searches but by selecting the ‘Fuzzy’ check box Edit Any Table will look for the phrase or part word you entered within any string field i.e.  entering ‘Liz’ in a first name field could return Elizabeth, Liz or Lizzy. Please be aware that fuzzy searches can take a lot longer when searching large datasets. Any time you want to return to this screen just select the Open button again.Search

These are the search results for a search against the AString field using the phrase hello:

Edit Any Table search resultsNow you can edit the record contents or delete a record. To return to the search/add record screen just select Open again. That’s it, enjoy.

Known Issues / Features

  • There is no bulk update or delete
  • After saving you are not returned to the previously displayed records
  • Cannot search blobs
  • Using reserved words as column names can cause issues

Please Note

To use this plugin you need a basic knowledge of database design and setup. Modifying records can have unpredictable results so if you are at all unsure I would suggest creating a test table first before using in anger.

DOWNLOAD LATEST VERSION OF PLUGIN

If you have a support question or have discovered a bug in Edit-Any-Table then please post here