Touchwiz home has stopped message

My Samsung S3 has been working fine for a couple of years now and all of a sudden it started freezing randomly. Sometimes with the message “Touchwiz home has stopped“, sometimes with no message and a frozen screen.

I don’t remember having installed any new application and there were no system update from Samsung. In fact it was just the opposite, the internal memory was almost full so I uninstalled a few apps and moved all other apps (that allow it) to SD card. Can this break the screen manager database?

Fortunately even with a frozen screen, not responding to screen touch at all, a long press on the power button would show the restart dialog box and even thought after pressing the Ok button it looked frozen again, it would restart after a minute or so. So I was lucky I didn’t have to take out the battery each time to restart it.

Looking around internet I found lots of people complaining about this issue, it is some kind of instability on Samsung TouchWiz touch screen manager, an improvement on the Android default touch screen manager made by Samsung. In this post you can learn more about Samsung TouchWiz, the pretty girl will tell you all about it :-) But I didn’t follow the instructions on that page, please read on.

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Go to previous tab on Firefox

I used to have a Firefox plugin that enabled me to get back to the previous tab if I clicked again over the selected tab and this was very practical, as I always have lots of tabs and often go back and forth between two tabs. For example, I have the WordPress and the Yahoo mail tabs pinned and while writing a new post I go to my emails tab and back again to my WordPress tab a few times. If you press <ctrl> TAB you can switch to the next (in GUI sequence) tab, and a <ctrl> <shift> TAB does the opposite. This is the default behavior.

But if you change the browser.ctrlTab.previews config parameter to true then the behavior changes and its a new whole world! You get a tab preview while pressing <ctrl> TAB and the order is no longer the GUI sequence order but the history order! So now I have what I want. And this is really a time saver for anybody who likes to open tabs around with things to read and they tend to accumulate over time.

To do this you need to type in the address bar:

about:config

At least the first time you do this you’ll have the warning that you can break your Firefox, go ahead and say you’ll be careful :-)

FirefoxConfigWarningAfter clicking the “I’ll be careful” button you get the list of config parameters, to quickly find the browser.ctrlTab.previews parameter just type ctrlTab in the Search text box on top of the page. Then double click on the parameters value to make it toggle to true.

browser.ctrlTab.previews.trueAnd start a new life using your favorite browser!

Using boost library on Windows

From this stackoverflow question:
MSVC has very poor support for the C language, they do not support anything past C90. Herb Sutter has already publicly stated this in his blog.
cstdint is supported from MSVC2012.
There is a msinttypes project that fills the absence of stdint.h and inttypes.h in Microsoft Visual Studio.
Boost also provides boost/cstdint.hpp if you do not have it.

Boost library can be very useful but it is also very big so in this post I’m going to show how to compile it from source code and then how to extract one of its modules and include it in your projects source code.

I also have another post where I compiled Boost.

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B&R Automation Studio compile error: undefined reference to `FileOpen’

I was working with another programmer in the same Automation Studio project that was shared using SVN, and after a new SVN checkout I had this compiler error message:

Error : undefined reference to `FileOpen’

So it looked like someone started using some file handling library, looking around the documentation I realize that it is the FileIO library. The undefined reference means the corresponding binary file was not found by the compiler…

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B&R PLC configuration: 4ms task with X20CP1381 CPU + ACOPOSmicro + X20SM1436

I recently used a hardware configuration where a B&R X20CP1381 CPU was controlling a couple of async motors using the ACOPOSmicro and a stepper motor using the X20SM1436. I needed a task running at 4ms but the current configuration was set to 10ms. When you add an ACOPOS controller, the CPU system timer configuration changes automatically to EPL/X2X Interface and the POWERLINK interface is selected, in my case it is the IF3 interface. The POWERLINK cycle time is 10ms by default in a new project.

So, in order to change my tasks cycle time, I have to change the POWERLINK cycle time to 4ms, which allows me to set the #1 Task classes timing to 4ms.

All looked fine, I tested the async motors and they were working, but when I tested the stepper motor I had an error, don’t remember its code but it was something related to timing. I opened the X2X (IF6) bus configuration and changed its cycle time also to 4ms. This fixed the problem! I think the reason is that the ncsdcctrl program is in the cyclic #1 tasks group running at 4ms and the X2X bus was running slower. I guess that if I had placed the ncsdcctrl program in a 10ms task it would also fix the issue, as the X2X cycle time is 10ms by default. Ho well, 10 is not a multiple of 4 so I can’t have a 10ms task, that fix wouldn’t work ;-) So probably the only possible solution is to have the POWERLINK, the X2X bus and the ncsdcctrl program all running at 4ms.

From B&R Automation Studio 3.0.90 to Automation Studio 4.1

I’ve been using B&R Automation Studio 3.0.90 for a few years, but as all IT tools there is always a time when you have to upgrade to the newest version of the software… Well, programmers have to make a living right? Humm… lets not enter into this upgrading subject… :-D

So, as I was saying, I need to start using the new AS 4.1 because some of the new hardware components no longer work with AS 3.0.90 as is the case of the new ACOPOSmulti passive power supply 8B0P0110HW00.000-1.

There are lots of improvements in AS 4.1 but the global feeling is about the same, no steep learning curve ahead to be able to use this new version. That’s a relief.

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Virtualbox on Asus MAXIMUS VI EXTREME mobo

I had some trouble making Oracle Virtualbox work on my Windows 7 PC. The motherboard is an Asus MAXIMUS VI EXTREME and for some reason the hardware virtualization is disabled on the BIOS settings. What this does is, when creating a new VM, in the versions combo box we only have the 32 bit versions of the proposed OS’s.

20150301_010316-small

After going to the BIOS settings and changing “Intel Virtualization Technology” to “Enabled” we have both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions available.

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