And again Windows 10 messed with my display driver …

And again today Windows 10 messed with my display driver …

Suddenly my screen turned black and after a couple of seconds my desktop came back, but a little later I realized that the ‘Sleep’ menu entry in the ‘Start’ –> ‘Power’ menu had been gone.

Running powercfg –a as recommended here revealed that the ‘Sleep’ capability had been disabled by my graphics driver. And checking my graphics driver revealed: it once more had been changed to ‘Microsoft Basic Display Adapter’.

I found 341.81-desktop-win10-64bit-international.exe in my download folder downloaded in October last year when this happened, ran it and let it re-install my NVIDIA graphics driver. I had to reboot – problem solved.

Windows10 has been messing with my graphics driver

Last week Windows10 attempted to update the graphics driver on my computer and failed with this error 0x800705b4. When I rebooted my PC over the weekend I noticed that my graphics resolution had gone down and changed it back to my usual resolution.
Then, when playing a browser game, I noticed how slow it was and checked a bit closer my display settings. Apparently my NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT driver had been replaced by some Microsoft Basic Display Driver; see also this discussion.
I visited NVIDIAs web site for driver downloads ( German site in my case ) and first let it detect my installed graphics hardware. Before that worked okay I had to upgrade my Java. Finally NVIDIA correctly detected my graphics hardware and offered me the correct driver download. Everything back to normal now, after roughly one hour wasted and two reboots.
Dear Microsoft, how about the following: when you fail to upgrade software on my computer, can you please leave it like it was before instead of installing some different software without my permission ?

Windows 10 first experience: start menu not opening

OK, did the upgrade to Windows 10 today.
Took roughly two hours to download and install.
First experience was terrible: start menu not opening, task manager not responding.
I tried this solution for the first problem without success.
Thru my Rainmeter process monitor I noticed that MsMpEng.exe kicked in quiet often with high CPU usage. This opened my eyes that apparently Microsoft Security Essentials is part of Windows 10 !? Since I had Avast Antivirus installed on my system this was a good cause for trouble: two virus scanner competing with each other for disk resources, a great way to slow down the system to almost a halt.
The turnaround then was to de-install Avast Antivirus. After another reboot I finally was able to open the Start menu and use task manager and overall system behaves much smoother now.
The Windows 10 installer should consider this and ensure not two virus scanner will be running in parallel. It should either prompt with information that Microsoft Security Essentials will be available with Windows 10 and offer to de-install any other installed virus scanner, or offer to disable Microsoft Security Essentials if user prefers to stay with his current virus scanner.

Problem to connect to MySQL on Fedora 17

I am running Fedora 17 in a VirtualBox and after installing httpd web server and mysql-server I encountered the following problem – not initially, but later on after a restart of my VM: my web application ( written in Python and using the  mysql.connector ) wasn’t able to connect to MySQL anymore. In the error_log of my web server I saw

mysql.connector.errors.InterfaceError, referer …

at the bottom and at the beginning of the chain of errors:

cannot open Packages database in /var/lib/rpm, referer: …

Google offered 975.000 search results about the latter error message but after reading a couple of confusing articles about this I gave up to find the answer there.

I decided to run a little test Python script via console and look: it worked ! Thus apparently my Python application was just unable to connect to MySQL within my web server’s environment.

I decided to stop my httpd and start it again ensuring doing so as root user. And look again: problem solved ( for now ), my web application worked !

Firefox says: The requested URL could not be retrieved …

This error shows up for many people and might have many potential reasons. In my case I started getting that error after using a Firefox add-on to unblock some sites usually not accessible in my country by going through a proxy. Symptom has been that I was able to visit this site but started to get this error typically for sites in foreign countries ( not for sites in Germany ). The problem shows up only when using Firefox of course, not when using other browsers like Chrome or Internet Explorer.

Even after disabling that add-on & re-starting Firefox that problem didn’t go away. After a while I figured out that this add-on had changed my proxy settings ( that’s basically how it works ) but failed to set it back to normal.

After heading to Tools –> Options –> Advanced –> Network –> Connection Settings and changing my settings back to “No proxy” the problem was solved.

Strange behavior of Firefox 5

Since yesterday I observe some strange behavior of my Firefox 5 browser. Two of my extensions stopped working:

Both add-ons worked before and used to display some dialog box for bookmarking / sharing. Now nothing happens when trying to invoke these add-ons.

Besides Firebug 1.8.0 does not seem to work as well; I can’t find any means to enable / start it, there is for instance no icon showing up in the Add-On Toolbar, even after trying this recommendation.

The weird thing is: after I tried to use any of the two extensions mentioned above the Tools –> Add-ons feature in Firefox stops working as well: no add-ons page is displayed anymore.

And: after exiting Firefox it stays in memory ( I can see the process in Windows Task Manager ) and thus I can not re-start it without first killing that process.

Time of switch to Google Chrome as my default browser like many others are doing it these days ? Or does anyone have any idea how I can debug, investigate, mitigate or solve these problems ?

File permissions may be fouled up on web server …

Sometimes it happens to me that after I have changed a CGI script and FTPed it over to my web server the script won’t run because it has lost its original permission settings, especially it has lost its “executable for all” file permission. The problem is: I can’t define “sometimes” more precisely. Sometimes I have to change the file permission after FTP has finished transferring the file, sometimes not. I can’t spot a pattern nor discover a fix for this. Somehow I got used to this problem and fixing file permissions became a default activity after I have transferred a file over to my web server. I even stopped wondering whether I am the only one having that problem and possibly overlooked some basic thing to avoid this, or whether this is a more common problem.

Today I have been reading this in chapter 15 of the book “Beginning Python: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition” by  Magnus Lie Hetland:

Tip: Sometimes, if you edit a script in Windows and it’s stored on a UNIX disk server (you may be accessing it through Samba or FTP, for example), the file permissions may be fouled up after you’ve made a change to your script. So if your script won’t run, make sure that the permissions are still correct.

It always feels good if you discover that you are not alone with a weird problem you have. Apparently this really seems to be a more common hiccup happening somewhere between Windows and Linux systems. Good to know.