Category Archives: Howto

Increase sound volume beyond 100% on Realtek HD audio

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Have you ever wanted to increase the volume of a video or music track, but found that everything was already set to 100%?

There are a few solutions that work well, but I found them to be either to cumbersome or not effective enough. Sometimes the “loudness” enhancement (build into windows) rather dampened the volume!! I also tried DSP and DX plugins, but they are a nightmare to implement on system sounds. The windows build in Audio Processing Objects, or APOs, (of which the loudness enhancement is one object) are a great feature, but I found nobody developing usable software that uses the library (??)

But if you are in luck of having Realtek HD Audio hardware, the driver software can be setup so it gives you an extra boost. And, as an added bonus, it does so without clipping.

Here is what you do:

Double click the “speaker” icon of the Realtek driver.
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Then configure your speakers as a 5.1 (or 7.1) surround set. (remove the check for the center, subwoofer and side pair. We don’t need them.)
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Then adjust the front left and front right speakers to +10 dB
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You will now have an extra 10 dB (which is a LOT) gain. This is especially noticeable when watching those youtube videos that have the audio mixed to low. Music will also gain from this trick, but when it is already loud, some compression will occur as to avoid clipping. Still the effect is much louder without extra hardware or intrusive (distorting equalizing) pay-software.

Have fun.

All-in-One Event Calendar custom template code php

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I recently used All-in-One Event Calendar on a WordPress site. It’s a very rich plugin with a lot of options. Tough there is a whole theme structure behind the plug-in, real customization is a little tricky. There is that possibility to use short-codes in posts, but when I wanted to use these in WordPress templates, I got stuck. For starters there’s almost no documentation (that I know of) on functions and or queries to use for custom pages. Thus leaving me no other option that to go through the plugin code myself and figure out what to do.

Now, if you are in the same situation, I’dd like to share with you what I did.

What I want is the following: A page based on a template, displaying two sets of events both in a different event category.

All-in-One Event Calendar events are stored in WordPress as normal posts with the post-type set to ‘ai1ec_event’. For the categories it uses taxonomies. At first this looks simple enough by doing a query on the post type including (or excluding) the categories. But a bug in Worpress prevents me from doing that. The categories are ignored, because of that bug. It’s two years old and they just closed the topic and moved on without fixing it. /Sadface.

ok, now for the solution.

To get around this, I decided to take a OO approach using the events object. I did this by using the code I found here: http://pastebin.com/dxCTht6S
Then, to display the event’s I used a foreach loop (something like this):

To get the categories working, I used the $filter option. I changed it to:

You find the categorie number if you hover above the categorie (in the post or in the editor).

If you want to display other fields of the event, you can access them in the event object. There is no map of the object, but I did a var_dump for you.

Note that some of the properties are part of the object “post”, which is in it’s part a property in the object $event, so to access them you need to use: $event->post->…

You’ll notice the $event->start is a timestamp, so you need to convert it. Use date() for this. Like so:

If you want it in your langueage, convert it using strftime() by using the locale settings. Like so:

That’s about it. Have fun.
Post questions or remarks in the comment section below.

Installing Android x86 4.0 in Vmware Player

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This is what I did to get Android 4.0 (x86 version) to work in my Vmware Player.

First, download and install Vmware Player.
Then, download the installation image (cd-image) of Android from Google: http://code.google.com/p/android-x86/downloads/list (I tried android-x86-4.0-RC1-eeepc.iso in this example).

Creat a new virtual machine to run the installation:



Point the “Installed disc image” to the android-x86-4.0-RC1-eeepc.iso file you downloaded:



Choose a install directory, where you’ll keep the virtual machine folder.



Make a small drive. 1 gig is enough.



Customize hardware:

and increase the memory to 512 megabyte. (or more)



Select INSTALL. You can also run the live CD. But I prefer to install the OS. If you choose live cd, you don’t need to do anything after this step, except enjoy your android.



Then: Create/Modify partitions <-- Press enter. Choose [ New ] <-- Press enter. then [ Primary ] <-- Press enter. Size (in MB): 1069.29 <-- Press enter. Then: Choose [ Bootable ] <-- Press enter. Choose [ Write ] <-- Press enter. type yes <-- Press enter.

Now the disc is being prepared:



Choose [ Quit ] <-- Press enter.

Now select sda as the install partition:



Choose a file-system. I tried ext2 and ext3. Take whatever you like.


Install the GRUB bootloader.



File-system writable? If you want a writable file-system, choose yes.


You are done. Choose Run Android-x86.






Note: This version has NO ethernet support. You can find a version that supports sound and ethernet here: http://www.buildroid.org/Download/android-x86-vm-20120307.iso.gz (thanks to source: http://www.android-dev.ro/2012/03/17/android-x86-4-0-rc1-for-virtualbox-is-released/ )


More info can be found on http://www.android-x86.org/

Windows 7 : Thumbnails folder.jpg not showing (on networked shared drive)

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I had this annoying problem where only some of the folders in windows (7) would show the thumbnail, which was present as a “folder.jpg” file inside it. Most of the folders would just show the default folder-icon. Nothing I did would change this, except when I would navigate into the folder and back, the thumbnail would suddenly appear. This would typically happen on mapped network drives or network shares.

I could narrow the problem down to the way windows uses cashing of thumbnails. As of windows vista, thumbnails are stored in cashing files that are stored in the users application data folder: C:\Users\**username**\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer . These files are protected however, and can’t be deleted. Cleaning the thumbnails can be done by the “disc cleanup” tool, located in Accesoires -> System Tools. Whenever I cleaned like that, all thumbnails would disappear and leave a blank spot. Not even the default folder icon would return. I could, however, remedy this by killing and restarting explorer in the task manager. (or simply by rebooting). But the missing thumbnails would still be missing!!

Solution: My solution my be harsh, but effective: Disable the cash completely.
To go around disabling the cache, you need to use the “Local Group Policy Editor”. Run it by pressing the windows key + R and then typing “gpedit.msc” after the Open: field. Navigate to “User Configuration” -> “Administrative Templates” -> “Windows Components” -> “Windows Explorer”

Find “Turn off caching of thumbnail pictured” and double click it. Choose “Enabled” from the three radio buttons and confirm with OK.

Now restart explorer (by killing it in task manager. Restarting explorer using the “New Task…” button in Applications where you type “Explorer”). OR simply reboot windows.

Now all thumbnails will be loaded every time you open the folder. This may be a bit slow, but at least you’ll have the thumbnails.

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