Quick Tips

Nook Tablet - Restore Android CyanogenMod's Trebuchet Status Bar in 2 Taps

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To me the iPhone and iPad are the working tool, Android is a toy to tinker with and Windows Phone is still to be decided.  That's from my experience and I'll stick to that for now.  Your opinion on the devices may differ.

I have a Nook Tablet, one of the older ones with 8GB storage.  I run CyanogenMod on it and it works great.  It runs from an SD card so I can pop in another one and have a fresh install anytime I want.  It's an old device, but still works great.  From time to time, the built in Trebuchet launcher will crash or another app will crash, but I've seen that on other Android phones and tablets as well.  The device itself will continue to work most of the time.

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A few days ago, the kids got their hands on my Nook Tablet, and when I got it back, my status bar and navigation buttons (back, home and recent apps list) were gone.  I spent a few minutes going through all the settings and could not find anything that could bring it back.  I put it aside since it was something I will tinker with when I have time.

Today I spent a few minutes looking for an answer and finally found it.  Here's the fix:

  1. On the Home Screen
  2. Hold power button until menu appears
  3. Tap Toggle status bar


In general you can control the status bar and toggle between Tablet and phone type status bar using the following settings:

Settings - System - Tablet Status Bar

I find the built-in trebuchet launcher to be efficient and fast.  Sometime it does crash more than it has to.  That's why I also have Lightning Launcher (last updated February 2014) on my tablet.  I also just discovered Bazooka Launcher (last updated December 2013) as I was searching for my answer to the missing status bar.

If you own a Nook Tablet or other tablet that uses CyanogenMod, I hope this has helped you recover your status bar.  What launchers do you use?  Let me know in the commments.

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USB Device Driver Removal

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When you plug a flash drive into your pc, you'll notice a quick installation prompt and then your drive starts to work.  If you plug enough usb drives into your system, eventually you'll have problems with some of them such as drives not coming up properly.  Your system will get slower as windows has to load more and more drivers upon boot.

There are tools out there that help clean out some of this driver glut.  But if you want to get your hands dirty or just don't have internet access to download those tools when you work on a pc - here's a way to do this without any additional software.


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This procedure has been performed and tested on several Windows 7 Pro computers.
These instructions work for other devices too, not just usb devices.
WARNING: DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHAT YOU ARE REMOVING!

It sounds complicated from the steps below, but its really just a two step process.




  1. Show hidden devices and remove them
  2. Update the list of devices by removing the file and reboot.
HERE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS:

Open a command prompt with Administrator access

  • Click Start - type cmd - Right click icon and run as administrator

Type the following at the command prompt:

  • set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  • devmgmt.msc

In the device manager screen:

  • Click view - show hidden devices
  • right-click, and choose uninstall on any items to remove it from the system completely
  • I would do this for only devices in the following groups - if you just want to clean out usb flash drive related items:

  1. Universal Serial Bus Controllers - Remove anything greyed out
  2. Universal Serial Bus Devices - removed anything greyed out


Once you are done, we want windows to update the list of devices still available.  We'll need to delete the infcache.1 file.

Go back to the CMD screen.

  • type: cd c:\windows\system32\driverstore
  • type: start . (this should open up explorer in a new window.)

Delete the file infcache.1

  • Right click the file infcache.1 (do this so we can delete the file)
  • Click properties - security - edit - add - type Administrators - OK - Add full control for administrators - click apply
  • Now you can Delete the file infcache.1
  • Reboot pc

That's it!

Now if you do have internet access and want a simple tool to do this for you - and a little more.  Download drivecleanup.  Though Drive cleanup does not help you remove other old drivers such as old video cards, modems, etc...

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Ping Sweep Using DOS Commands

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When I want to find out what machines are on my local network, I have always relied on tools such as Angry IP Scanner or Look@LAN (XP).  Recently I could not get Look@LAN working properly on a 64-Bit Windows 7 machine, I kept getting crashes or errors.  I ended up finding and alternative they have made, called fing for Desktop.  They have great GUI versions for IOS and Android, but no GUI for windows.  However, they did have the command line version, which is better in some respects but not as easy to start out with.  I'll write more about that in another post.

I wanted to look for something simpler and I started to write my own script, but figured I can find it online.  I've looked in the past but never found one that was simple enough.  Recently, I found a very simple one line command by YouFooBar.  I couldn't believe how simple it was once I saw it.

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In short, the command is:

FOR /L %i in (1,1,255) do @ping -n 1 -w 200 192.168.1.%i | find "Reply"

This command will skip any non-responding systems and give us the "alive" systems on the local subnet.
You can put the above command in a batch file (make sure to add the extra % in front of %i) and redirect output etc..

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