Archive for the 'Troubleshooting' Category

Installing Windows 7 under Boot Camp 4.0 (OS X Lion)

This is odd. But true.

This week, I upgraded the hard disk that shipped in a mid-2010 13″ MacBook Pro (MacBookPro7,1) to a larger capacity disk which necessitated clean installs of OS X and Windows. But the Windows 7 installer (quietly) hung at the last step in the installation process. “Completing installation…”, indeed.

Looking on-line, I came across posts from several other other people who were having the same problem, but just the one, improbable-looking, solution.

Improbable as it may have appeared, after following each step, exactly as described, Windows 7 Professional (32-bit edition) installed without complaint..

All Hail the Mighty PNGCRUSH

Among other things, I develop games for Flashbang Science. Earlier this week, I posted an update to our first game, Tubes.


Tubes is Flash-based (written using the Flex SDK), but from very early on we wanted it to appear to integrate seamlessly with the web page in which it is embedded. This was fairly straightforwardly accomplished via CSS positioning and cutting the graphics to match.

But there was a problem under Safari for Windows, as well as both Safari and Google Chrome for OS X: the browser appeared to render the PNG (Portable Network Graphics) images on the page with less contrast than Flash rendered its graphics (which were cut from the same source, using the same tools, etc.), subtly but unmistakeably breaking the illusion of seamlessness.

After much searching, the solution was to use pngcrush to remove the gamma information, embedded ICC profile, and other ancillary colour information from the PNG images which surrounded the game on the page, as follows:

pngcrush -rem cHRM -rem gAMA -rem iCCP -rem sRGB input.png output.png

The above may seem self-evident to designers and others who spend a lot of time working with images on the Web, but this is the post for which I was looking when I searched for safari webkit flash colour difference.

The Bouncy Castle Provider

Recently I was using a Java applet which generated a digital certificate for storage on the local file system, but which was failing, silently, at the last step.

Switching the browser’s security settings down to the lowest (i.e. least secure) level and, subsequently, starting the browser as an Administrator made no difference.

Bringing up the Java Console, I found a stack trace of exceptions with the following root:
java.lang.RuntimeException: java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: org/bouncycastle/jce/provider/BouncyCastleProvider

This indicated that the applet depended on one or more third-party libraries which had not been deployed with the applet. The solution, here, was to download the current implementation of the Bouncy Castle Cryptography library.

I copied the four .jar files (you don’t need to download the ‘Test Classes’) into the Optional Package directory of my Java installation.

(On Windows, Java is typically installed into the Java folder/directory under Program Files, or, if you are using 32-bit Java on 64-bit Windows, in the Java folder/directory under ‘Program Files (x86)’.)

After restarting the browser again, the applet functioned as desired.

Audio on the Dell Inspiron 1545 under Windows XP

Update (August 26, 2013)
A commenter tells me that this alternative driver, still available from Dell, worked for him on his Inspiron 1545.

Update (June 17, 2013)
The link to the known-to-be-working version of the audio driver package for the Dell Inspiron 1545 running Windows XP has gone dead (and not for the first time; bad Dell). The file is not listed on Dell’s FTP site, and searches on and Google don’t seem to turn it up.

I have a copy, here, but it’s not mine to post online.

Recently, while installing Windows XP on a (new) Dell™ Inspiron™ 1545, I noticed that the most recently posted driver (as of writing: R264250) for the system’s integrated audio refuses to install. More precisely, the installer refuses to run with this “error”:

This is not the correct audio driver for this system (xp). The installer will now exit.

I was able to get the drivers to install by pointing XP’s “Add New Hardware Wizard” at the underlying driver files, but subsequently each individual sound played by the computer was preceded and succeeded by a loud popping sound which did not appear to be governed by the system’s volume setting.

The solution was to uninstall that version of the driver package, and install a previous version instead (R215959), as suggested here.

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