Fixing the Google Android USB driver to work with the NOOK Color ADB on Windows


When attaching a Barnes & Noble NOOK Color to a Windows computer for app development, Windows is not able to automatically install a device driver that allows ADB to communicate with the NOOK Color.

You may see a message similar to the following:

“Device driver software was not successfully installed” (with details: “No driver found”)

Further, once the driver is installed, the NOOK Color may not show up in the ADB list of devices.


With a small amount of driver hacking, you can get the standard Google Android USB driver to work with the NOOK Color. The modification you’ll make is clear; no downloading and installing of driver packages or batch files from spurious sources.
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Posted in Software Development | 1 Comment

GSmartControl for Hard Disk S.M.A.R.T. Information and Tests

It’s surprising how few good tools there are for Windows for hard drive Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology System (S.M.A.R.T.) functionality.

In addition to providing basic attributes like ‘Power-on Hours’ or ‘Temperature’, SMART can also include self-test ability and logs about recent errors.

Windows itself offers zero SMART information. Even hard drive manufacturer’s utilities, such at ‘SeaTools’ or Western Digital’s ‘Data Lifeguard Diagnostic’ barely support self-test functionality and only show each SMART attributes’ basic values (no raw values).

GSmartControl is a quality, free, open source GUI interface for the smartctl utility (also open source, part of the smartmontools package) exposing the very-thorough information and functionality provided by smartctl and expected by sysadmins. If you want anything more than a green checkmark, don’t bother with any other tools (including SeaTools, Data Lifeguard, or SpeedFan)

Here are some of the highlights (note: not all drives will support all features and each will have its own limits on how much data it keeps):

  • Raw Attribute values – for example, see the temperature in Celsius instead of as a normalized or worst value
  • Multi-tasking – view information and perform tests on different drives simultaneously
  • Error Log – information about the most recent errors that the drive has reported
  • Self-test Log – a log of the most recent self-tests performed and their results
  • More self-test types – Short, Extended, and Conveyance
  • Informative – Explanations of information and functionality are built into the UI; minimizing the need to consult Help or the website to find out what something does or means

Where to go from here

Posted in Windows Tech Support | Leave a comment

Error 1327 “Invalid Drive” while installing or updating applications in Windows


When trying to install or update an application, you receive an error message similar to the following:

Error 1327. Invalid Drive: Z:

I’ve encountered this error installing Google Earth and another application, and it also apparently happens with many others including Microsoft and Adobe applications.


These installers/updaters are failing to access the drive that one of your shell folders is on — probably your Personal folder, ‘My Documents’. This could be because: Continue reading

Posted in Windows Tech Support | 24 Comments

AT&T U-verse for the Curious Consumer – The Residential Gateway and Wiring Options

AT&T U-verse is an Internet, TV (IPTV), and phone (VOIP) service delivered primarily by fiber and existing copper. This article is targeted at consumers who would like a little bit of light shed on the in-home hardware (what it does, how it works, and the different ways it can be set up) and wiring options.
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Posted in Personal Technology | 8 Comments


bebooper [bee-boo-per]: beep + boop + computer


  1. Those things in movies that look like computers, but beep or boop every time something is clicked on, whir whenever there’s a progress bar, or ever show an “ACCESS DENIED” message in a 36 pt. or greater font size. These devices are often also likely to be able to enhance images, interpolating up to 729 pixels where there were originally only nine.
Posted in portmanteau | 1 Comment

View Your Google Apps Calendar in Outlook 2007/2010

Microsoft Outlook (2007 and 2010) and Google calendar both support the iCalendar format, which means you can view your Google calendars in Outlook. This is great if you, for example, want to be able to see your Google Apps personal calendar and Exchange work calendars in one place. It looks like this:

Outlook and Google Calendars overlaid in one view. The color of an item indicates which calendar it's from.

If you’re a regular Gmail user, you may follow the directions at How-To Geek. However, if you’re using Google Apps for your domain/business (or organization, family, or whatever), you would likely run into a couple obstacles with those steps.

Note that this is for just viewing your calendar — you will not be able to add or edit events to your Google Calendar. This might be your best option when other solutions aren’t appropriate, for example:

  • you’re not a Premium Edition user and can’t use Google Apps Sync or
  • you can’t use Google Apps Sync because you need full use of Exchange at the same time

Here’s what you’ll need to do to add a Google Apps calendar to Outlook, which includes enabling this feature for your domain (needs to be done by an Administrator) and a tiny bit of URL hacking…
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Posted in Personal Technology, Web Technology | 19 Comments

s3nukem – Delete large Amazon S3 buckets

s3nukem is a slightly improved version of s3nuke, a Ruby script by Steve Eley that relatively quickly deletes an Amazon Web Services (AWS) Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket with many objects (millions) by using multiple threads to retrieve and delete the individual objects.

Improvements include:

  • The key retrieval thread will pause when the queue contains 1000 * thread_count items. The original script’s queue would grow unabated, eating up memory unnecessarily.
  • All output is automatically flushed, which ensures you can keep an eye on progress in real-time.
  • Added the number of seconds elapsed since the start of the script to the output so you can calculate the rate at which items are being deleted.

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Posted in Web Technology | 6 Comments

WREST (Website REST)

WREST [rest] = Website + REST


  1. A RESTful API service that is made available to its own website. The distinguishing behavior from a regular RESTful API is that calls coming from the client are identified the same way as other calls made by the client’s browser (viz., the client’s cookie(s)) rather than by API keys and secrets/signatures.

I’m currently working on a service that has both a website (usable by the general public), and a RESTful API (currently used by our iPhone app, and later usable by partners). A Flash component of the website also uses the RESTful API when it needs needs data from the server. And while partners will need to obtain an API key, get user approval to make calls on their behalf, and sign calls, it would not be appropriate to expect the same of the Flash component.

So, I made some of the RESTful API calls available in a way such that the client can be identified by cookies instead of an API authorization token.

This results in the service having four classes of HTTP calls: Continue reading

Posted in portmanteau, Web Technology | Leave a comment


haircro [hair-kroh]: hair + Velcro


  1. When hair is cut very short (using, say, #2 on clippers), the hair holds hoodie hoods on like it’s Velcro — but it’s hair!

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Two Subnetworks on One LAN, and Linux arp_filter

It’s a rare situation in a small networking environment that having two subnetworks on one broadcast domain can be an issue. I would normally avoid such a scenario (and it’s usually easy to do so) but I recently got AT&T’s U-verse, and the do-it-all device that it requires (a 2Wire 3800HGV-B “residential gateway”) has forced me to put both my private (NAT’d) subnetwork on the same broadcast domain as my public (DMZ’d) subnetwork. While undesirable, this isn’t usually a problem, except that my dual-homed Linux box had trouble behaving with the 2Wire gateway.

The Two-Interface Linux Box

Two subnets on One Broadcast Domain

As you can see in the diagram above, there’s a Linux box on this network that has two network interfaces, Continue reading

Posted in Networking | 5 Comments