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CloudFlare and Your Web Site

July 12, 2013 // Posted in Main, Tips and Tricks (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

CloudFlare

CloudFlare *
and your Web Site

Have you been given the option by your host to install CloudFlare Security on your WebSpace?

 

 

Are you now getting problems with javascripts not working, or some php pages not working correctly?
If the answer to the above questions is Yes, then it appears that the problem with your scripts not working or your php pages not working correctly may be down to CloudFlare.
While trying to solve the same issues for a friend on her site, it was identified that there was nothing wrong with the php code or javascript code as the same pages worked fine on other servers.
Further investigation revealed that something was affecting the headers being processed by the php engine. Some php code requires that the php pages code is the first thing processed by the php engine, and on looking at error logs on the server, the error was ‘cannot send header code on page xxx.php, header already sent’.
The obvious reasons for this were checked, code was correct and in the right place as the first line in the php page, the file had was not saved as utf-8 with BOM, so something else was affecting the page headers.
CloudFlare was switched off and everything started working fine again. It appears that CloudFlare may be adding it’s own headers to pages before they are processed by the php engine and that was what was causing the pages not to perform correctly.

* CloudFlare orange cloud logo is a trademark of CloudFlare, Inc and is acknowledged as such.

 

Installing VB6 on Windows 7

July 10, 2013 // Posted in Computer Tips, Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  1 Comment

I know this post is not about PHP but I feel it may me useful to someone.

VB6

VB6

Microsoft say that you can only install VB6 on Win7 in a virtual machine in XP Mode. That is an issue if you do not have Win 7 Ultimate or Professional as XP Mode is not available for Windows 7 Home.

So here’s how to get it running on Win 7.

I have tested this on Win7 32 Bit, and know others that have also installed successfully on 64Bit.

Please Note: It will not work on Windows 8 as VB6 support has been removed from Windows 8.

    • Start by creating a zero-byte file in C:\Windows called MSJAVA.DLL. To do this create a text file in notepad with nothing in it and save it in a folder with the name MSJAVA.DLL. Then browse to the file, copy it and paste it in c:/windows, click Yes to the prompt to use administrator privileges.
    • Next turn off User Access control. To do this go to control panel, click System Security, then Click Change User Account Control Settings, move the slider right down to the bottom and click OK.
    • Insert your VB6 CD and click the view files (do not auto-run) and browse to the setup.exe, right click it and select Run As Administrator. You will get various incompatibility messages just ignore them and continue.
    • Select Custom Setup and check the boxes against:
      • Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
      • ActiveX
      • Data Access
      • Graphics
      Only the above.
    • Next browse to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VB98\ and find the vb6.exe file. Right click it and select properties. Go to the Compatibility tab and select the following only:
      • Run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 3)
      • Disable Visual Themes
      • Disable Desktop Composition
      • Disable display scaling on high DPI settings
    • Install the Service Pack 6, again by right clicking the setup.exe file and selecting Run as Administrator.
    • Finally as there may be some registration issues for some ocx’s download and run the vb6 runtime for Win7  (available from Microsoft here)
    • Switch User access Control Back on.
    • You are now good to go.
    • Enjoy.

I hope that is useful to someone

Steve

Some information for this post was gleaned from http://www.fortypoundhead.com/showcontent.asp?artid=20502, thanks to fortypoundhead.

Recovering from a Hard Disk Failure

July 6, 2013 // Posted in Main (Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ) |  No Comments

Computer Crash

Computer Crash

A few days ago I returned from hospital to a catastrophic computer crash.

I switched on my laptop and my hard drive, that is monitored by software that reported it was in 100% condition and 100% free of errors, went pop and  was reported as ‘Not Present’.  I had two weeks earlier backed up most of my data files and some other files, but there was about two weeks work (a lot of work), that had not been backed up. I decided to try and read the drive in my wife’s PC, bad move, the hard drive obviously had a major short, as it wiped out the keyboard and USB controller of the wife’s PC (she was not happy!).

The next major concern came, as I was still on XP Professional, resisting the change to 7 or 8 as long as possible, so I had to get a new Laptop, and decided perhaps this was the time to upgrade to Win 7 or 8. Another bad move!

I bought a new Acer Aspire with an i5 Intel multi-core processor, 4GB of ram, Nvidia Graphics, USB3, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Webcam and HDMI which had Linux pre-installed, and a shiny new copy of Windows 7.

After several hours I did manage to get Windows 7 installed, but the windows drivers supplied with the PC, could I get them to work? could I hell. I couldn’t even get a network connection so I could search for drivers on the Internet, and I had already destroyed the wife’s PC, so couldn’t use that either. After about 10 hours I eventually managed to get an internet connection using some old drivers I had on disk temporarily and a USB Ethernet stick.  I spent a day and a half trying to search for the drivers and eventually managed to get most of the drivers.

The biggest problem was the graphics drivers and the drivers for the Nvidia card, all the drivers I tried from Nvidia said the card didn’t exist. Eventually I went to the Intel site, the site scanned my system and said it had found some better drivers than I already had and installed them for me, and interestingly, it found drivers for items that were not Intel components and that the Microsoft and Acer sites couldn’t find.

So eventually I got what appears to be drivers for every component and even the Nvidia card.

Installing Windows 7 was a nightmare too, after about 12 re-boots to get the basic installation complete, it took all of one day to install the basic system before I started looking for drivers.

Then there’s the updates, every time I shut down the PC, Windows says it has found a load of updates, ‘Do Not switch OFF your computer’. Surely when you buy new software it should be reasonably up to date on updates? Apparently not, the first six times I shut down, it found over 30 updates, and took at least 2 hours to install them each time. And then the next time I switched on  Configuring recent Updates – Do Not Switch OFF your PC ‘, which took another hour or so. On one occasion when I switched off it said it had found 143 Updates!   When will these updates stop?

OK, so now I have the PC set up after 5 days, time to put my software on, item after item first you get ‘Do you want this program to modify your system?’ – I just ran it – What do you think Windows? Who the hell put that prompt in that comes up every time you install or run a program? I hope he no longer works at Microsoft.

Time after Time, ‘The program you are trying to install is not compatible with this version of windows’, many of which were Microsoft programs.

This must be a Microsoft scam to get you to buy more software. Then another program said you must upgrade to Ultimate or Professional to run this software, OK let’s have a look at the anytime upgrade offer, £125 to upgrade!!! that’s almost double the amount I have already paid for this version, think we’ll pass on that.

So now I have a New PC eventually installed and now need to recover all my backed up files from my three Network Storage Drives, No problems here then, this is straight forward eh?

Wrong!  The first NAS, no problem copied the files, second NAS worked brilliantly on XP, why can’t I access it? Search through help and troubleshooter, ‘the type of NAS is not supported by Windows 7’ was the reply, GRRR!!!, third NAS, same problem.

So another day trying to get round the ‘Not compatible’ and I managed to make them compatible with a bit of jiggerie pokerie. So now I have my files, but of course all my online passwords and bookmarks were saved in the browsers on the last PC. OOPS, I haven’t got them any more. So another day trying to recover passwords of the main sites and services I need to use.

OK let’s check the emails, Oh No, what are all the settings and passwords for them? They were all in Outlook and I haven’t got a back up of them. That’s another day gone trying to re set up them.

This is turning into a nightmare.

So I now have about 50% of what I had before set up, and time to try out windows 7, ‘Better than XP’, Microsoft say. hangs, crashes, slow, weird things happening, stupid  messages popping up every time you run or open anything, I am as yet unimpressed. Yes it has a prettier interface, but what were simple tasks on XP appear to be very more difficult on 7, I have a multi-core processor now, whereas I only had a dual core before, I have double the memory but can only use half of it as the super gaming video card uses half of it, I don’t play games, can I have the memory back? Nope, and the system runs slower than the old machine with the ‘old’ software.

After all this and over a week getting up and running again, I feel like I have gone backwards, I want my XP back!!

I can now see why some people just give up, I feel that I am an experienced PC user and programmer, and even I was close to suicide at one or two stages during this process, so I can understand how less experienced users must feel.

Surely the idea is that as things advance, they get more sophisticated and more powerful, but with advancing technology, surely they should be made easier to use and set up. It must be possible (or at least should be) to make these things more intelligent so that they sort themselves out, and it wouldn’t take a lot to make them backward compatible with previous systems surely.

Well I have had my moan, now I have some advice for you, if you do not want to go through all this, make sure you back up EVERYTHING regularly, because if you don’t back up EVERYTHING, when you try to start again after your hard drive dies, there will be data files saved by programs, and by you, or other configuration files that you will need to get fully up and running again, or like me you will find that files you now need were not backed and you have to start from scratch.

In the past when I have had a hard disk failure, I have luckily been able to recover everything off the drives. This time I was not so lucky, and have learned a harsh lesson. I will not forget to backup everything from now on.

Speak to you again soon.

Steve

 

 

 

 

 

 

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