iPhone Tracking Data

There has been a bit of discussion on the Internet about the iPhone retaining a history of GPS location information- unbeknown to the iPhone owner.  It appears this action was fairly benign and the data never left the phone save for a backup to iTunes when the iPhone synchronizes.

Personally I would actually consider access to this information to be fairly useful for myself; I already use a GPS logger for GeoTagging my photos (not so much now as my HX5V/B camera has integrated GPS) ao having this data already logged on another device would negate the need for an additional device (and additional charger/batteries).

One resourceful person has released a MacOS application for plotting the data (synched with iTunes) over a map.  There is also a Windows version available.


The data seems to go back a distance (2/15/11 was the earliest in my cache) but seems fairly inaccurate as well as when I zoom into the map, there are several places I have never been (perhaps within 20 miles, but not that far off the Interstate).


Asus P8P67 Pro Sleep Mode Issues

I am still having annoying issues with sleep/resume and my Asus P8P67 Pro system. 

While digging through the BIOS settings to underclock my RAM speed (as suggested as one possible resolution) I cam across an ‘EPU Power Management’ option (beneath the RAM settings- of all places)- and disabled it. 

I will not know until morning if this fixes my standby issues- but I will try to update my findings over the weekend.

Update:  The EPU power setting had no effect; it may actually be having more issues than before. 

On a hunch, I decided to look at the memory to see if it may be the problem.  I was running 2x4GB and 2x2GB sticks for 12GB of RAM; I pulled the 4GB modules and replaced them with some older 2GB modules (so now at 4x2GB = 8GB).  I reset the BIOS to ‘optimal’ settings and my PC appears to have stayed online for the night; I will need a few more days to confirm, but initially this looks promising; 9+ hours and no sleep issues!

Update #2:  It looks like my RAM was the culprit!

I replaced the 4GB modules with 2GB modules and I have been almost a week without a sleep/shutdown issue.  (I did have one lockup, but that was probably a normal Windows issue).  I am nit sure if it is the 4GB module size or the RAM is defective, but I am currently running:

4x Corsair XMS3 2GB PC3-10600 1333MHz 9-9-9-24 (Kit of CMX8GX3M4A1333C9)

I replaced

2x Corsair XMS3 4GB PC3-10600 1333MHz 9-9-9-24 (Kit of CMX8GX3M2A1333C9)

I believe my memory was banked correctly; 4GB modules in slots 1 & 3 and 2GB modules in slots 2 & 4.

I am not sure if I want to try just the 4GB modules to see if the issue returns or if I should just be happy with it running as is.  I was hoping to eventually go to 16GB and onto 32GB (when they get around to making non-registered 8GB DDR3 DIMMs)- so I am kind of at a loss for what I want to do…


P67 Power Management Issues

i.e. P67 (SandyBridge) chipset will NOT resume from sleep mode!

I purchased a MSI P67A-GD65 B3 motherboard with an Intel i7-2600k a few weeks ago and returned the motherboard as it would go to sleep and not resume without a hard power reset (it also froze twice while working, so that was a deciding factor on the return).

I replaced it with an Asus P8P67 Pro.  It has been having many of the same issues when trying to resume from sleep mode:

  • Short ‘sleep’ sessions allow the PC to return to normal; generally under 1 hour
  • Extended (4+ hour) sessions will not resume.  Often my USB mouse will be dark and light up briefly when I press a button or move; but no wakey-up.
  • Pressing the power button on the system does nothing
  • My two options are to press reset or do a hard power off; after which the system comes back with with an unexpected shutdown alert.

Reading various forums (search for ‘P67 sleep mode issues’ and you get 1mil+ results) there are numerous suggestions:

  1. Disable PLL Overvoltage (specific to the Asus board); did this with no difference
  2. Issues with SSD drives and sleep mode; replaced the SSD with a SATA3 Winchester drive (and rebuilt Windows 7 from scratch) with no difference
  3. BIOS update will resolve; latest BIOS and no difference
  4. Issues with Win7 SP1 and Marvell SATA (SCSI MiniPort) controller Hotfix; Applied and possibly a difference?
  5. Use MCE Standby Tool; Installed tray icon, but does not appear to prevent sleep mode
  6. Disabled (as far as I can ascertain) ALL sleep, hibernate and hybrid sleep modes; still goes to sleep and having sleep issues!
    powercfg –h off
  7. Clear BIOS configuration after firmware update and reset to defaults; haven’t tied this one yet.

Today I was able to get my first successful wake from hibernation (albeit hibernation was disabled).  I pressed the mouse button on my PC and I heard the HDs click and the system fans spin up.  From powercfg I was able to discern:

powercfg -lastwake
Wake History Count - 1
Wake History [0]
  Wake Source Count - 1
  Wake Source [0]
    Type: Device
    Instance Path: PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_849C1043&REV_05\3&11583659&0&C8
    Friendly Name:
    Description: Intel(R) 82579V Gigabit Network Connection
    Manufacturer: Intel

This is logged as my first wake since I built this system about a week ago- not noting the 10 hard resets I have had to perform since then.

I am not sure if this was from the hotfix or from MCE Standby Tool running before it went into hibernation (or Hybrid sleep?).

I guess I will try the BIOS reset.  If that doesn’t work I will go back to Win7 with no SP1 and see what happens…



xBox 360 GPU

Ok, this video has me amazed:

I am learning that the xBox 360 GPU solder points may be ‘reflowed’ with the use of a hot air rework station and a 43mm nozzle:

This is not something I currently have a need for, but if I ever get a RROD on my current xBox 360 (or find a cheap original PS3 with GPU issues) I can purchase a few items and fix this myself!
Aoyue 968 3-in-1 Digital Hot Air Rework Station: Aoyue 43mm nozzle

Aoyue 968 3 in 1 Digital Hot Air Rework Station



42PF9631D/37 TV Issues

My roommate purchased a Philips 42” Plasma TV for her bedroom three years ago.  The TV worked great until a few weeks ago when the TV started not powering up; hitting the power button would turn the power indicator LED greed for a few seconds, and then it would flash red seven times. 

Luckily this is a pretty common issue as there are several posts (another here) and videos on the web detailing this issue:

I removed the back from my TV and it looks fairly intimidating:


A slow review of the mainboard revealed he capacitors mentioned on the posts; and they are blown…


The Capacitors are electrolytic 3300UF, 10V 105C units.  The part on DigiKey is P13117-ND.  I ordered four of these (two for extras in case I mess one up or one is damaged before delivery) and they are being delivered USPS priority mail.  They should be here by the end-of-the-week.

I have pulled the power supply board and I will install the new ones when they arrive.  I will post an update after all is done.


Neat Receipts

I have been using an awesome program called Neat Receipts for a few years now; it comes in a bundle with a small scanner that I use to scan in all of my receipts/packing lists/invoices/etc. It auto-recognizes dates and amounts (and sometimes vendor names- dependent on font) and allows me to categorize them and include information if they are business or personal expenses.

One issue I have with the software is you must use their scanner (I can import JPEG/GIF from another scanner- but that makes the scanning process more laborious, so I stick to their scanner) and their scanner can sometimes be unwilling to calibrate (especially with Windows 7 x64).  In my latest rebuild of Windows, I found that the scanner would not calibrate at all.

However, a quick Google search returned Neatco’s scanner trouble-shooting page with a link to their scanner maintenance tool (which I never knew existed)- this is a great utility if you are running Neatco’s Neat Receipts.

Droid X Gingerbread Update

A pre-release of Android 2.3 (codenamed ‘Gingerbread’) has made its way to the DroidWord Forums.
I have been running a variant of Gingerbread with Froyo via the Liberty 1.5 ROM, but there have been some stability issues (occasionally the screen goes off and it will not come back without pulling the battery)- so a semi-official release of Gingerbread sounds great.
The upgrade requires that you go back to the stock 2.3.340 ROM from Verizon; for this you need to download:
Boot the droid X in recovery mode by holding down the volume + and camera buttons while powering on.  Once the text screen comes up, plugin to your PC and restore the SPF file via RDS Lite.  Note:  There are some issues with the x64 drivers not working on some systems.  I was unable to get this to work on my MacBook Pro in BootCamp, but it worked without any problems on my gaming PC running.
You will likely need to wipe the settings on your phone as it will be stuck in a boot loop that will go to the boot screen and then restart.  Do this by booting the phone while holding down the 'home’ key.  The phone will bootup to a yellow exclamation triangle; press the ‘search’ key to bring up the recovery menu.  Select ‘restore factory settings’, wait a few minutes and reboot when it is done.  You are now back to a factory version of Droid X 2.3.340 ROM.
Do a basic setup that will allow you to get to the options menu where you can enable ‘unknown sources’ in the application settings menu.
Now you will need to re-root and re-install the Droid X Recovery boot loader.  Download:
Install both apps on your Droid X.  Run the Z4 root and establish a permanent root.  The phone may need to reboot once root is obtained.
Download the Rooted Droid X Gingerbread release and copy it to the root of your SD card on the phone. 
Run the Droid X recovery and run the ‘Bootstrap Recovery’ and then ‘Reboot Recovery’.  This will reboot the phone into recovery mode. 
Finally, navigate the recovery menu to install the Rooted Droid X ROM you installed form the SD card.  One more reboot and you should be running a semi-official version of Gingerbread on your Droid X!
The official release of Gingerbread expected to be released on March 27th, but is rumor is that Verizon rejected the update as it needed additional fixes from Motorola.  There is no estimate when the official release will be finalized, but his version should keep me happy until the final version has been rooted!  :)

P67 Upgrade Issues

MicroCenter has the Intel i7-2600k on sale for $280 this week.  This is one of the newer ‘Sandy Bridge’ 32nm quad-core i7 CPUs that has a clock speed of 3.4Ghz per core.  I have been running an Intel i7 860 (‘Lynnfield’ quad-core 45nm i7 at 2.8Ghz per core) and didn’t really see much need to upgrade- other than my current motherboard only has two SATA3 and two USB3 ports. 
However, the price was pretty good and I felt the sudden ‘need’ to upgrade.
CPU Comparison
The newer i7 models come in a new LGA1155 socket configuration- which does not work in my current Gigabyte P55A-UD3 LGA 1156 motherboard- so I also had to do a little motherboard shopping. 
There are currently two chipsets that support the LGA 1155 socket; the P67 and the H67.  The P67 does not use the integrated video found on the newer Sandy Bridge CPUs; it must be paired with a discrete video card and most most motherboards with this have multiple PCIe slots (supporting both SLI and Cross-Fire) and have good/exceptional overclocking abilities. The H67 motherboards do utilize the on-board Intel video, and these systems tend to be less expensive and have less features.  I am definitely looking to the P67 series.
One thing to note is that the initial release of P67 (and H67?) chipsets are being recalled by Intel due to a physical chipset problem that can affect the SATA 2 controllers.  From my understanding, this issue can take years to surface and it will only affect a percentage of the systems with this chipset version.  The problem is related to the fabrication of the chips and the only fix is to replace the affected motherboards.  The new ‘B3’ revisions of the P67 motherboards have this issue resolved.
I eventually picked up the i7-2600k and a MSI P67A-GD65 motherboard- and returned the board three days later.  The Windows install went without issues on this system, but the system had some problems- the system would not come back from standby/sleep mode on two occasions, and on another two occasions it froze up while I was working on it. 
I replaced it with an Asus P8P67 Pro; It is a very similar design and has not had any of the freeze up issues experienced by the former board- but I have had a few similar issues with returning from standby/sleep (albeit sleep and hibernate has been disabled in Windows).  This particular issue appears to be fairly common and disabling CPU PLL Overvoltage has not resolved this for me; hopefully a future Windows/BIOS patch will resolve.
On another note, the Asus VG236HE monitors are going back; they are so glossy that I am having more eye strain during the day when trying to read text that it negates all the benefits of the 120hz refresh.  I am replacing them with Acer GD235HZ models.