Monday, July 15, 2013

Windows Live Mail stuck in offline mode / won't go online

From time to time my Windows Live Mail will get itself confused and prompts me with:

"You are currently working offline. Would you like to go online now?"

No matter how many times I manically and repeatedly click "Yes" the prompt just keeps reloading. Disconnecting from the internet and restarting the PC has no effect.

Thankfully there is a solution, and it's found within Internet Explorer (no really!). It seems that Windows Live Mail takes its on/offline status from IE. So, to resolve this issue you need to:

1. Open Internet Explorer and press ALT-F to open the File menu.
2. Towards the bottom of the menu, there is Work Offline which you need to untick.

Do this and the go back to Windows Live Mail. This time, when you get the "shall I go online prompt" - click Yes and it works. Hopefully this is useful for you (if so, leave a comment!). I found this solution courtesy of the Windows Live forums


Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Using Windows: iOS provisioning files, private key and push certificate

While working on a project that involved a white-label (BYO) version of the Tapatalk app, I discovered the issue of trying to get the various iOS files you need in order to launch an app. The problem is that all the instructions from Apple are, unsurprisingly, based on the assumption you are using a Mac.

Thankfully others have been here before me and have kindly posted their solutions online.

Firstly, there is this YouTube video that takes you through the basics. Just take note of the comments, and in particular if you get an error message when trying to run the commands shown in the video then do use these tips.

1. Run CMD as administrator (right click on it)

2. Type in:
set OPENSSL_CONF=C:\OpenSSL-Win32\­bin\openssl.cfg (you may need to edit the path)
Then press Enter on keyboard, then type in:
set RANDFILE=.rnd
And press Enter again. Then try the video instructions again and it should work.

To create the .p12 file, first download your iOS Distribution certificate file from the Apple Developer area, then you need to watch this video and use the file you just downloaded where it says developer_identity.cer - in my case the downloaded file was actually called ios_distribution.cer

To get the Push Certificate file (.pem) I had to source some different instructions. This time I found them courtesy of this page at BrightCove, under the section heading "Setting Up Push Notifications" - which is about 2/3 of the way down. Even those these instructions are for something else, they worked for me to generate a .pem certificate for the Tapatalk app, so I'm guessing they are fairly generic.

This should help those running Windows and looking to develop iOS applications without having to get a Mac.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

[Solved] "No service currently available" on Blackberry

A couple of days ago I mislaid my Blackberry. Unfortunately I'd also left it with call divert enabled which meant I couldn't ring it and run around the house / car / garden listening out for the ringtone. So, having turned the aforementioned places upside down, I came to the conclusion I must have completely lost it. I called Orange and reported it lost, which led them to block the SIM card and blacklist the IMEI number. Long story short, I found the phone a few hours later and called Orange to lift the blocks.

Fast forward a few days later and I tried to make a call, but got "No service currently available". Strange, as I had full reception, so I put it down to a temporary network error and used another phone. Next day, the same thing - regardless of what number I tried to call, I got the same error. What's really strange is that I could happily browse the web via the phone, I just couldn't make calls or send/receive SMS messages.

The SIM card was fine, I tested it another phone and successfully made outgoing calls. I then tried properly wiping (factory reset) the Blackberry but still no luck. Eventually, after agreeing with Orange that it was my ageing handset that was at fault, I resigned myself to having to buy a new phone.

But then, through a bit of searching, I came across this thread. Now you can ignore the fact that it's on an O2 forum because, as mentioned, this is not a network issue. Anyway, the bottom line (and solution) is that when Orange originally lifted the SIM bar on my phone, they failed to remove the IMEI from the national handset blacklist - which explained why it worked fine in my spare handset, but not on the Blackberry.

When you call customer services (regardless of your network) ask them to double check that your IMEI number is not blacklisted on this national list of blocked handsets, otherwise you'll end up getting the "No service currently available" message like I did!

Hope that helps - if it did, then post a comment.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

W7 cannot access Vista files (error 0x80070035)

I needed to access some files on my laptop (Vista) from my desktop (Windows 7). I set up file sharing and it worked well, but only in one direction: Vista could access files on W7, but not vice-a-versa. The error code I got was 0x80070035. I spent hours searching for a solution, before stumbling across a fix.

My two computers are named as follows:

GB-PC (Windows 7)
GB-LP (Laptop, running Vista)

When I created a test shared folder on my Vista laptop, I noticed it assigned it the address of \\GB-lp\test rather than the address of \\GB-LP\test - i.e. the 'lp' bit was in lowercase. I suddenly wondered if this was the cause of the 'path not found' (0x80070035) error.

To test it, I returned to my W7 deskop and opened up the My Computer folder. In the address bar, where it  says "Computer  >" I deleted this and typed in \\GB-lp. All of a sudden I was prompted for my laptop's login details and it worked! So, my recommendation is to create a test shared folder on your Vista machine and see what case it considers its name to be. I can't imagine it's meant to be case sensitive, but it worked for me!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Barclays fraud dept not answering phone!

Yesterday I tried to make a payment online using my Visa debit card (sometimes you have no choice!). The problem started when I accidentally entered the wrong 3 digit CSV code. A Verified by Visa page then appeared, with some additional security questions to verify my identity. At this point I realised I had entered the wrong card's CSV so I cancelled out of the transaction.

I tried to make the payment again, with the correct CSV, but to no avail. I was now presented with a Barclays "transaction failed" page quoting error code EC15 (or ECI5?) and a 0870 156 6485 national rate number to call their fraud department.

I tried calling this number twice last night (Dec 5th, 6-7pm) and despite holding 10-15 minutes each time, no-one ever answered the phone - and this department is meant to be available 24/7. I gave up and decided to try again this morning (Dec 6th, 11-11.30am). After 13 minutes of listening to the on hold music, it started to ring - only for me to then be connected to silence - #fail, as it's called these days!

I will have to ring back and try yet again. If anyone from Barclays stumbles across this post, then I hope you will investigate what's going on with this awful call centre/dept. I've included the dates and times above so you can query them (if they answer your call) on why they were not answering customer calls for the last day.

In the meantime, I found a freephone number that takes you to the same queue, it doesn't solve the problem of them not answering, but at least you don't have to pay national rate for the privilege of having your call ignored! The number is 0800 015 1358