Chrome just would not launch

Today something weird happened. I started up my computer and clicked on Chrome icon – and nothing. I click again nothing… This is weird… I start up Windows Task Manager and then I click again Chrome icon and I monitor Processes list at Windows Task Manager and chrome.exe doesn’t come up… So I start up Total Commander and go to c:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\ and there is chrome.exe and there is debug.log. I start the chrome.exe and nothing again. In debug.log I’ve noticed lots of lines like this one:

[0214/035118:ERROR:client_util.cc(315)] Failed to load Chrome DLL from 0029F7E0
[0214/035118:ERROR:client_util.cc(356)] Could not find exported function RelaunchChromeBrowserWithNewCommandLineIfNeeded

Also I see two directories above: /16.0.912.77 and /17.0.963.46. So this looks to me like some update gone wrong. I start Opera and start searching a at Google on how to solve this since I don’t want to loose all my logins, bookmarks etc… Few minutes later I have found a simple solution that worked but not fully… To solve this problem I had to copy the chrome.exe from /application folder into /application/17.0.963.43 folder (newer version folder). Then by running chrome.exe from that directory did start a browser but when I click on a Key (settings in Chrome) and go to “About Google Chrome” I can see error message “Update server not available (error: 1)” that means that my Chrome will not update itself in future.

So I went to FileHorse.com and downloaded the latest version of Google Chrome and at the moment it was 19.0.1036.7 and I start the chrome_installer.exe I just downloaded and nothing happens…. No installation stuff, nothing… Well I know Google guys like minimalism but this was nothing… but in my Google Application folder I see two new things: new folder /19.0.1036.7 and new file new_chrome.exe. So after trying few more things I found the solution. I had to delete old chrome.exe and rename new one from new_chrome.exe to chrome.exe and it was finally it!!! Chrome was working, update at about page is again saying “Google Chrome is up to date (19.0.1036.7)”.

Ok but why did this happen?
Well I started searching the web and I found out that this happened because of using Chromium or Chrome portable. And I’ve been using/trying both! So one of those probably started auto-update and than used settings stored in registry from my installed Chrome and messed it all up. So my advice for you today is: DO NOT use Chrome along with Chrome Portable or Chromium Portable or any other browser running on Chromium open-source platform!

Keyboard shortcut for Windows Task Manager in Windows 7 and Vista

In order to get to Windows Task Manager using CTRL + ALT + DEL shows you screen (with following options: Lock this computer, Switch User, Log Off, Change Password, Start Task Manager):

Starting Windows Task Manager using CTRL+ALT+DEL

Some times getting to that screen is not easy and it takes a lot of time especially if some application is stuck or it’s using all CPU power or allocated lots of memory.
But there’s are two quicker ways to do start Windows Task Manager directly, without that blue screen, that is really slow sometimes.

1. Right-click on empty space in your Windows 7 taskbar and select “Task Manager”, like on the picture below:

Starting Windows Task Manager taskbar rightclick

2. Press CTRL + SHIFT+ ESC. The result will be the same: Windows Task Manager will start:

Windows Task Manager

How to install CSF firewall

In order to protect your server the best way possible, beside running iptables you should install some additional software. I can recommend ConfigServer Security & Firewall. I’m using it on couple of servers right now and it’s prove it self to be stable and low on resource usage. It also has WHM/cPanel plugin that helps you managing your firewall even if you’re not very experienced user/admnin.

Before installing you must be sure that you do not have any other firewalls installed (such as APF)
Installation is really simple. You just need to run those couple of commands in SSH:

cd /usr/local/src
wget https://download.configserver.com/csf.tgz
tar -xzf csf.tgz
cd csf
sh install.sh

Don’t forget to disable testing flag by setting TESTING = 0.
You can do that easily in WHM/cPanel: after logging in at WHM and in Plugins section of sidebar you’ll find “ConfigServer Security&Firewall”. Then click on Firewall Configuration and change testing value. Save it and restart firewall and there you go! Your CSF firewall is up and running!

csf firewall cpanel plugin

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Web host is adding ?PHPSESSID to the end of all URLs

Today I a customer of mine came to me with a problem with web site that he have just moved from one host to another. And on that new host all his links on his site suddenly had ?PHPSESSID=k234j2knk… in the end. Since that is totally unusable since that site doesn’t even uses sessions and could affect his search engine rankings, he wanted it out of the way. The new host he moved that site to was shared and it doesn’t allow editing of php.ini any way so I had to make some other solution.

After failing with adding one of those on top of php files, as suggested on most pages that I found on Google:

// stop PHP from automatically embedding PHPSESSID on local URLs
ini_set('session.use_trans_sid', false);

// only use cookies (no url based sessions)
ini_set('session.use_only_cookies', true);

I suggested him to just switch hosts again, but he said he already paid up front for the whole year… and that it’s not an option… and that he wants that off his site… So, I’ve Googled some more and finally found a simple solution (that doesn’t require editing of 100’s of files in his case because of poorly programmed site). All I had to do is just put one line of code in .htaccess file and BOOM! All those nasty ?PHPSESSID were gone!

php_flag session.use_trans_sid off

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag?

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-1Everyone of us probably has hundreds if not thousands of images taken with his digital camera or cell phone. When viewing these pictures on computer (or TV) you will find that lots of pictures needs to be rotated to be displayed correctly. Doing this by hand can really take some time. Luckily, I have found an easier way of solving this problem. It’s also very fast and easy to use!

Most of modern digital cameras (and cellphones) save many extra data to JPEG. That’s called EXIF data. Many useful information about how the picture was taken is stored in there. In sample I provided on the right you can see part of the EXIF data saying that the picture was made using my Nikon D50, that I didn’t use the flash and that exposure time is 1/250 sec and that focal length was 80mm. Beside that, there are many other details that are not displayed in this sample, and among those is Orientation tag that says how the camera was positioned in time of shooting.

Some programs use that Orientation data to auto-rotate the images for you when viewing them – some do not.

Our mission is to rotate multiple images in batch using exif orientation without loss of quality. For that purpose I will use FastStone Image Viewer that you can download from my favorite software download site FileHorse.com. This software is free for personal use (professionals should buy a license). It’s really amazing piece of software for image manipulation (viewing, converting, cropping, re-sizing, watermarking – you name it!) and it’s very light weight one so it will run smooth even on lower spec computer.

How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-2

Ok, once you’ve downloaded, installed and started FastStone Image Viewer, you need to find images that you need to rotate. Once in folder with images select them by pressing CTRL+A and then go to Tools – > JPEG Lossless Rotate -> Auto-Rotate based on EXIF Orientation Tag just like on picture above. A popup will ask you are you sure you want to do it, press yes and wait until your photos are auto rotated (if you have lots of photos or slower computer it can take some time to process them all). It’s easy as 1-2-3! Take a look at the samples below:

Before Rotation
How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-before

After Rotation
How to auto rotate images based on EXIF Orientation tag-after

Feel free to leave your comments in the comment box below!