Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I don't know which is worst iPage or BlueHost....

IPage are totally incompetent and their server is down every 2 days.
In the last 3 days I have spent over 19 hours trying to convince them their server has a problem. 

Only look at this transcript:

IPage: Hi Petria, how are you today?
Petria: not so great.
Petria: I have problems with your server
Petria: I reported this problem also yesterday
Petria: it is intermitent
Petria: do you know what intermitent means?
IPage: Yes.
IPage: What exactly seems to be the issue?
Petria: how can we diagnose this kind of problem?
Petria: I have an exe file
Petria: uploaded here:
Petria: the users reported in the last days that they get incomplete downloads.
Petria: indeed TODAY, about 40 minutes ago I also got two incomplete downloads
IPage: Let me check.
Petria: I got them yesterday also
Petria: at 16:51 today (my time) the download had only 12.8 MB
IPage: Yes, I tried and the file downloaded already.
Petria: then again only 6.4 MB
Petria: what size?
IPage: The download is depends on your Internet connection. You can contact Internet Service Provider to check issue.
IPage: There is no filesize limit to download.
Petria: I never said that
IPage: If small filesize means download immediately. Otherwise it takes time.
IPage: The download is not incomplete.
Petria: I never spoke about time/speed either
IPage: Okay.
IPage: I can understand.
IPage: Yes, I am sorry.
Petria: do you understand my problem?
Petria: do you have technical expertize to help me with this?
IPage: You are saying that you can see file size difference right?
IPage: Yes, I understand your inquiry.
Petria: Good I got fucking pissed about it!
IPage: Petria, I am really sorry about this issue.
Petria: I keep contacting you in the last two days and I gut bull shit answers like the one above
Petria: > You are saying that you can see file size difference right?
Petria: God! yes, finally!
IPage: No, I cannot see filesize difference.
Petria: I got different sizes
Petria: I made 9 downlaods in the last hour
IPage: I can see filesze 13.5 MB is downloaded.
Petria: over 50 in the last 2 days
Petria: and I keep telling you there is a problem, but your support stuff is too incompentent to understand this
Petria: and don't tell me is my ISP
Petria: I got reports from users!
Petria: they are all over the world
Petria: please let me know if you still think is my isp or we can continue
Petria: I can send you a screenshot with my donwnloads
Petria: to see the size of each download
Petria: and I also have some emails from customers
IPage: Yes, please upload a screenshot to account and let me know filename
Petria: the problem started 2 days ago when your server was down
IPage: Okay.
IPage: I can forward issue to technical specialists to check it. Can you please provide us a screenshot?
Petria: i already sent one yesterday, but I will do it again. anything to convince you that your server got into a glithc two days ago
IPage: Please send one now. I can access it and check.
Petria: Desktop Wallpaper Changer/screenshot.PNG
Petria: or
Petria: Desktop Wallpaper Changer/screenshot.PNG
IPage: Let me check. Please hold on.
Petria: this is yesterday's screenshot.
Petria: Desktop Wallpaper Changer/yesterday.png
Petria: again... IPS problems is aout of question since I got reports from users.
Petria: I also have this reproduced in a diff computer 
Petria: so. it is not local and coincides with your server failure 2 days ago
IPage: yes, I am checking it. This need to be check by technical specialists. Let me create a support ticket. Please hold on.
IPage: Thank you for holding.
IPage: Our technical specialists will be investigating further on the issue. I have also hand over all my findings to that specialist. You should be hearing from them within 2-4 hours.
IPage: Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Their 'specialist' did fucking nothing! More chats like this to follow. No solution from iPage.

So, I tried to convince them to give my money back but the refuse to say what it the procedure, how to apply for a refund.
I am moving to BlueHost now.

A big and sincere FUCK YOU


Monday, September 2, 2013

BlueHost sucks

I have tried last week to purchase a Pro hosting plan from BlueHost. I was in a hurry so I was looking for a dynamic and professional company. Their web site was saying "instant setup" so I happily took my wallet, paid the 120.2$ and waited to the magic to happen.

I waited a full day to receive my login. Instead, I got AFTER A FULL FUCKING DAY an email saying that my application is incomplete. They asked my scan my Credit Card and send it to them. WTF?  Anyway, I done it. Next day, seeing that I get no answer, I contact them to see what's going on. 'The next operator will be available in 15 minutes.' WTF? 
After waiting more than that I get to speak with someone: 'Wrong department. Please hold while we transfer you'..... WTF? Finally I get a real human to speak with. They told me they lost my email (the one with the credit card). So I need to scan it again and send it over. 'We will contact you later'.
It was already late Saturday in USA and they DON'T offer support Sunday. I was prepared to buy yet another hosting from a different company. As backup. In case BlueHost screw it.
After waiting another day, they slap me hard again:  they asked my ID also. So, yet another day for them to process the new document and YET another day to receive the answer: "Your application has been rejected and the account deleted. Your charge will be refunded in 7-14 days!"

They got from me my money, a copy of my credit card and my ID (god knows how they will use it). I got nothing! Fuckers!

Conclusion: stay away from BlueHost. Go to a real/professional hosting company!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Firefox (23) going downhill

I just discovered that Firefox removed the 'Disable or replace context menus' checkbox from its OPTIONS panel. They say its and improvement. Mozilla! What the fuck? That was our first defense line against some intrusive web sites.

To get access to this feature type 'about:config' in your address bar then search for this string: dom.event.contextmenu.enabled
Double click the 'value' column to change it from enabled to disabled.

MOZILLA stop screwing around!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How to solve the "Cannot load a form that has itself as ancestor" error in Delphi

How to solve the "Cannot load a form that has itself as ancestor" error in Delphi

This is how a new/empty project should look like:
  Unit1 in 'Unit1.pas' {Form1};

And this how your project probably looks like:

  Unit1 in 'Unit1.pas' {Form};    <--------- here="" missing="" span="">

I spent on hour to find the well hidden culprit.
I had a previous problems where Delphi messed up the DPR file (the {$R *.res} declaration).
When do we ever learn?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Where do I see the results of a disk scan in windows 7?

On Windows XP/Windows 7 Disk Scan (chkdsk) shows no report upon compleation.
To see the results of a disk scan in windows you need to type this command in PowerShell:

get-winevent -FilterHashTable @{logname="Application"; id="1001"}| ?{$_.providername -match "wininit"} | fl timecreated, message | out-file c:\stuff\CheckdiskResults.txt

Please note the last path in the command:  c:\stuff\CheckdiskResults.txt
You should enter an existing folder here OR to create the c:\stuff folder.

Note: to open the PowerShell (press Win + R keys together and type in PowerShell.exe)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Foscam FI9821W - (The worst) wireless IP web cam

FoScam FI9821W - Wireless security web cam?


I wanted to monitor my baby so on 1 April 2013 I purchased a wireless IP camera for 122 Euros from 'Foscam Digital Technologies UK' via Amazon.

When the IP camera arrived I tough "cool, I will have it up and running in 10 minutes". Now, few weeks months later I still struggle to make it work. 

The Foscam (it should be rather spelled Fo-SCAM) wireless IP camera hardware seems somehow decent but the software is written by a dog. It is damn difficult to install and configure. There are multiple installation steps. The documentation is poorly written and the interface is poorly designed. For example the "IPCamera.exe" application has no visible button of menu. All functionality is hidden behind a pop-up menu that appears on right click. 

In the end this Foscam camera just doesn't work.

Nightmare installation / under-the-table software

So, the first problem I had was in the first step of the installation. Here I had to use a Windows application called "IPCamera.exe". But every time I ran the application it crashed with this explanatory message:

SOLUTION: I spent some time with the software and I have found out that instead of crashing the application should have displayed the following message 'Cannot connect to network. Please check your fucking firewall'. 
I am a software developer too and I know this is NOT the way to handle a firewall problem.


Foscam will crash the video driver

As soon as I installed web camera's second driver in Firefox the computer started to crash. Repeatedly. Every time I accessed the Foscam web cam GUI the computer will crash with a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). There is a conflict between nvlddmkm.sys (the nVidia driver) and Foscam web camera driver. Got the latest driver from nVidia. Still crashes like hell as soon as I try to access the Foscam IP camera.

Update (14 May 2013): I have installed the IP camera also on my second computer. This one has an Intel video card. Also this video driver crashes when I try to access the camera.

Bad firmaware, bad!

As you see, I have spent quite some time trying to make this camera work. That's me I am stubborn. So, the next thing I have tried was to update the firmware. I thought this will make it work.
I went to web site to download a new version of firmware. But surprise! Even if the camera firmware is faulty, Foscam won't let you access the updates unless you register yourself with them. WTF? They really WANT to make this difficult. Anyway after registering myself I got the direct link to the download page. I will share it with you so you won't have to register yourself: 

Unfortunately, the firmware update available on web site (V1.1.1.11) is actually older than the one in my webcam ( So, yet another dead end.

No support / Total scam?

So what's the last resort when you have problems with a brand new/expensive product you just purchased? The support! 
The support was very unresponsive. I only got 2 emails from them. The last one suggested to uninstall the DLL from Firefox and install it back, but didn't explained how to do that, neither provider the DLL or an uninstaller. I asked them how to do that. But they never-ever replied back. 
They also have a forum. I tried to get support via forum but when I try to create an account they ask the following security question: "Where was the camera created". I have tried "US", "USA", "America", "United States of America". None of them worked. So, I couldn't access the forum. WTF?

I would safely say that there is NO support whats so ever for this IP camera.

* 13 days few months after I contacted the support for the first time I still struggle with this piece of crap.I only once encountered in my life support as bad Foscam's support. 
* support gave up and redirected me to Now I have to start this bullshit all over.


Foscam released FI9821W v2. They promised they fixed all issues. So I purchased this web camera also. Guess what? They fixed those issues but added others. On this new camera the night vision is not working anymore (broken IR LEDs) and the sound is very poor (broken microphone). I will return this camera soon also.


The good
  • The camera can pan vertically and horizontally
  • IR (infrared) night vision

The bad
  • No customer support whatsoever 
  • Poor manual
  • Impossible to use/configure. I invested over 14 hours in it and still doesn't work.
  • The driver is unusable.
  • After installing the driver the computer crashes every 2-5 minutes with BSOD
  • Information of web site is misleading/obsolete 
  • The camera's speaker makes noises so it cannot be used as a baby monitor or as secret camera

With its price and set of features, the camera it will be GREAT (I repeat GREAT) if it would work. But it doesn't work! Don't waste over 100 Euros on a not-yet-mature product!

The webcam is produced by a company called Foscam which is very ironic because the company name could easily be written as Fo-SCAM! 

Few weeks months after I purchased this IP web camera it still doesn't work. 

Update 2014:
Amazon offers 2 years warranty so I send the camera back got full refund.

Recommended download:



Friday, March 22, 2013

How to make GDrive synchronize faster?

You are in the  middle of your work and for some reason you need to restart the computer. It restarts fast BUT you cannot start your work (if you are working in team with others) because your Google Drive takes a good long fucking nice nap before it synchronizes all the files.
So you delete some of those 500MB files hoping that it will synchronize faster. But it won't!

I did some research and I have found out that the size of the files you have in drive doesn't matter too much. What matters is the number of files. So, 5000 files of 0.1MB will take way much longer to synchronize than a singe 500MB files even if the total amount of data (5000 * 0.1MB = 500MB) is the same.

So, start compressing the folders that contains LOTS of (small) files if you don't use them right now. If the compression takes too long you can set your compressor to 0 compression (this is called a 'tar ball' or 'compacting'). This will generate a single files, of the same size as the initial uncompressed data. So you don't gain something, space-wise, BUT ITS ONLY ONE, not 5000! And now we know that one big file synchronizes faster than 5000 tiny files!

1. Don't use the 'Compress contents to save disk space' feature located in the Properties windows that appears when you right-click a folder. It won't work.   
2. Don't be a lamer. Use RAR instead of ZIP. Arcive created with RAR are MUCH smaller (better) than the ones created with ZIP. And if you activate the 'Create solid archive' in WinRar the archive will be even smaller!

Enjoy your new GDrive speed. 
Don't forget to leave a comment...


Related posts: Google drive still unreliable

Friday, March 15, 2013

How to solve Windows system crashes

You just experienced a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) or other NDE (Near Death Experience)? This is the easy way to find out what is cause the BSOD.

Whenever Windows crashes it generates a Dump (*.dmp) file that contains the log of the crash. All you have to do is to analyze the log to see who is responsible for the crash. In most cases its a driver. To analyze the dump you need a program from Microsoft called WinDebug.
  1. Install WinDebug. It can be downloaded from Microsoft's web site. It's pretty big! 
  2. Install it in a folder like: "c:\Program Files\!system\WinDbg\Symbols" 
  3. Once installed run it and hurry to "File | Symbol File Path" menu and enter this string: SRV*c:\Program Files\!system\WinDbg\Symbols2\*
    and wait... It may take quite a while for the download to finish... up to 10 minutes. The program will look like it it doesn't download anything. But when the download will be ready you will
    finally see a message.
  4. Load the Dump file (menu 'File | Open crash dump'). You can manually search for the DMP file in Windows. However, I recommend you 'W7F Diagnostic Tool.exe' tool to locate/extract the DMP file.
  5. Enter this command to analyze the file: kd> !analyze -v 
    Note: you don't have to write kd>. It is already there.
    The log will say "Bugcheck Analysis" and the command prompt will say "Bussy". It may take a while, then the command prompt will return to 'kd>'.
  6. Analyze the log and find out who is at fault.

The log may look like this. I will highlight interesting parts:

A driver is causing an inconsistent power state.
Arg1: 00000003, A device object has been blocking an Irp for too long a time
Arg2: 86cc1b58, Physical Device Object of the stack
Arg3: 83172ae0, Functional Device Object of the stack
Arg4: 8957d8a0, The blocked IRP

Debugging Details:
IMAGE_NAME:  pci.sys
FAULTING_MODULE: 84313000 pci

83172a94 83112347 0000009f 00000003 86cc1b58 nt!KeBugCheckEx+0x1e
83172b00 831123c0 83172ba0 00000000 8317f380 nt!PopCheckIrpWatchdog+0x1f5
83172b38 830c4489 8318d6e0 00000000 a47bf74a nt!PopCheckForIdleness+0x73
83172b7c 830c442d 83175d20 83172ca8 00000001 nt!KiProcessTimerDpcTable+0x50
83172c68 830c42ea 83175d20 83172ca8 00000000 nt!KiProcessExpiredTimerList+0x101
83172cdc 830c247e 002c498f 898a6890 8317f380 nt!KiTimerExpiration+0x25c
83172d20 830c22a8 00000000 0000000e 00000000 nt!KiRetireDpcList+0xcb
83172d24 00000000 0000000e 00000000 00000000 nt!KiIdleLoop+0x38

FOLLOWUP_NAME:  MachineOwner
FAILURE_BUCKET_ID:  0x9F_3_rtl8192se_IMAGE_pci.sys
BUCKET_ID:  0x9F_3_rtl8192se_IMAGE_pci.sys

The last line is the MAGIC line that we are interested in. It shows that network's card driver is the one that causes the blue screen!

That a fucking Realtek driver for a Realtek 8192 network card. I updated the driver many times but it continues to be buggy. 

Solution: I will send the network card back and ask for a refund!

W7F Diagnostic Tool.exe

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Delphi XE advanced (text) property editor

Here is a 3rd party text property editor for Delphi XE/Delphi XE2/Delphi XE3 that is way much better than the default one. It can help you to edit text and TCaption fields.

  • It allows you to enter multi-line strings via the object inspector. Such strings can only be assigned at run-time.
  • Allows you to enter very long strings
It adds an ellipsis button to the right hand side of the data entry area in the object inspector that displays a dialog box in which the property's value can be entered. 
F2 or Ctrl+Enter causes the entered text to be assigned to the property.
There are shortcuts that allows you to
  • Select all the text in the editor.
  • Clear all the text from the editor.
  • Overwrite the editor's existing text with text from the clipboard.
  • Copy all the text from the editor to the clipboard.
  • Undo the last edit.

You can download it from here
Original author: Peter Johnson

Related article: How difficult is to write a solid software protection (licensing) scheme?


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to prevent Delphi from generating bpl, identcache and local files

Delphi generates a series of annoying and useless files such as *.bpl, *.identcache and *.local. They are totally useless and safe to delete.

Few people know that Delphi Distiller is capable to disable the generation of these files. This is because the panel from where you do this is hidden under an obscure menu called 'Extras'. Just download Delphi Distiller and see for yourself. 

Piece of cake. Right?

Yest another useful features is 'Don't load .Net crap'.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The ultimate guide to rechargeable batteries

So, you want to buy some rechargeable batteries and you don't know which is the best? 
Here is a list of rechargeable batteries you can  find on sorted .....drum roll please..... by Euro per Amper.

For day by day use I recommend you batteries of at least 3000mAh. Therefore, batteries show in gray are of low power (below 4000mAh) so I will totally ignore them.

In the end I choose Ansman because it seems to be a German company. 

(Here is the link to the table: batteries)

The table contains only C and D size rechargeable batteries. 
I provided you also with the link to the Amazon page so you can check each item. 

Also you may want to see this article about Battery chargers

Energizer Universal Charger

Today I got an Energizer Universal Charger. Simply it sucks. I though Energizer is a big/good company. Wrong! 
This design of this device is simply shitty. Why? Because I can only charge 2 or 4 batteries at once. If I want to change 3 batteries (and this is what I want to do) I can't.

I have a set of 4 batteries and a toy that uses only 3 batteries. Every time the batteries are depleted and I want to recharge them I have to recharge (or more accurately to OVERCHARGE) and the unused battery.

Also I have notice that in the box there is basically no manual.

If you only want to charge batteries in pairs of 2, this device is ok. If you are in need of flexible/professional battery recharger, go look for something else.

Monday, March 11, 2013

More nasty bugs related to Delphi packages

The problem
My Delphi XE started to act strange lately. I have unit Unit2.pas that uses 'FormatBytes' declared in Unit1.pas. When I try to compile Unit2 Delphi says that it cannot find FormatBytes. But FormatBytes is there, in Unit1 !!

Unit1 belongs to Package1 and Unit2 to Package2 (Package2 depends on Package1).

Even more strange: if I delete Unit1 (pas and dcu) Delphi doesn't complain that it cannot find the unit! Its like Unit1 has been cached somewhere. However, if I try to open Unit1, obviously it cannot be found and Delphi popups a OpenDialog to let me show there Unit1 is located.

I know there is already a bug in the caching system for VCL. I guess this is a similar bug.


Solution: I deleted all files related to all my packages:
  • DCP
  • BPL
  • DCU
  • DSK
  • paths from 'Library'
Then I rebuilt everything. Now everything compiles smoothly without warnings and errors. 
(Note: Initially I tried deleting files specified above except  Dproj and paths and it didn't worked)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Fix conflict between Yahoo messenger and Kaspersky KIS

After installing KIS 2013 I have seen that the Video Call and Voice Call buttons are disabled in Yahoo Messenger, while the chat was still working.

This is the fix: In KIS go to:

1 settings
2 advanced settings,network, monitored ports
3 monitor all ports for specified applications

There you search for yahoo messenger and uncheck the check box.

Related article: How difficult is to write a solid software protection (licensing) scheme?


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Google Drive still unreliable (How to fix 'Primary key must be unique' error)

I hate Google Drive. It is haunted by too many bugs. 

Recently my GDrive application started showing a "primary key must be unique" error message, asking me to disconnect the drive and start all over again. I did that. Took few hours to resynchronize it all. But the next day I got the same error and asked me again to repeat the operation. I have been poking the forums (including Google's forum) up and down for months and found no real solution. So I had to do the job on my own. This is how to fix the "primary key must be unique" error:

  1. Start Google Drive
  2. Hold the SHIFT key pressed while clicking the Google Drive systray icon. This will show the 'Enable diagnostic mode' special menu.
  3. Click 'Enable diagnostic mode' menu.
  4. Wait until Google Drive crashes and shows the "primary key must be unique"error message. Let the application shutdown.
  5. Go to "c:\Users\YOUR_USER_NAME\AppData\Local\Google\Drive" folder and open "sync_log.log".
    Note: Replace 'YOUR_USER_NAME' with your Windows account name (the account in which you are logged in). You can see this name when you press the 'Start' button.
  6. Look up this text: "Detected conflict while trying to download file to".
  7. After 'to' follows the name of the file that generated the conflict. Locate that file and delete it or (better) rename it. Do this for all conflicted files (if there are more than one).
  8. Restart Google Drive.
    That's it.
This technique can be used to debug other Google Drive errors also.

Update 1 - How to do it on Mac OS (thanks to Maik):

Thanks, this fix also works for Apple Mac OS-X.
To get to the log file:
- in finder click the Go menu
- with the menu open click ALT-key so the hidden Library item appears
- open the Library and go to folder Google -> Drive

Update 2 - More GDrive bugs: The trash cannot be purged

Now my Google Drive account shows that is 95% full even if I don't have many files loaded in GDrive (I have a total of 1.1GB). After investigation I have discovered that are files locked in the 'Trash' that cannot be deleted. I contacted Google Drive support and they said they will fix my account. The provided additional Google Drive space so I can keep using my GDrive until they will fix the problem. That was in February 2012. Still no word from them.

Update 3 - How to make GDrive synchronize faster?

How to improve the Google Drive synchronize speed?


With this occasion I want to thanks Google team for the fucking 'good' job they did and to tell them: I don't believe in witches, but they surely exist.