Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Adobe Flash EOL Fix Blocked Applications Jan 12 2021

 Adobe Flash was made End of Life (EOL) at the end of December 2020 but Adobe gave users a short period of grace until turning the product off on 12 January 2021. As of today any websites will no longer be able to play Adobe Flash content as it is blocked by Adobe.

You can view a video of the steps here


However there is a way to still run Flash applications if you have access to Internet Explorer 11 and haven't applied the patch to remove Flash (KB4577586) We have successfully used this method to reactivate one of our applications that relied on Flash based graphs and had stopped working on Jan 12 but users are now able to access again. Bear in mind this should only be a temporary fix until you can rewrite the code, using Flash is not a long term solution. You need to create a file called MMS.cfg. Within the file you need to specify the domain and port that your flash application is running on, for example
https://https://www.bbc.co.uk/:80. This is the website/domain for your website that you need to enable flash to work on.

The port number for standard websites is 80 or 8080 but if you have access to your webserver you should be able to check the number in the configuration. For my application it was port 7777 but that was part of the URL I need to enter to access the site so fairly obvious. 
Other parameters in the file I used are as below:

EOLUninstallDisable=1 AutoUpdateDisable=1 EnableAllowList=1 AllowListURLPattern=https://www.bbc.co.uk/:80 The file mms.cfg needs to be copied to the following 2 locations: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash C:\Windows\System32\Macromed\Flash Do not install this optional Microsoft update KB4577586: https://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/search.aspx?q=4577586

Monday, 14 December 2020

Oracle Apex Form Download File link error - Server sent an invalid response.

I had the following problem reported by a user of one of my Apex applications when they were trying to download an attachment that had been added to a record as a clob using the built in functionality for Apex clob form fields. The error message wasn't very informative and gave "server name sent an invalid response."

The issue seemed to be that the file name the user was adding included commas in it which is obviously allowed in Windows but maybe not in other system processes. Once I removed the commas the download worked fine again.

In order to remove unwanted characters in file names I added the following code to the insert trigger on the Attachment table to automatically update them

-- Check and update Filename remove unwanted characters 

--*****************************************************************************

       :NEW.FILE_NAME := REPLACE ( REPLACE ( REPLACE ( :NEW.cat_FILE_NAME, CHR(44), NULL ), CHR(59), NULL ), CHR(39), NULL ) ;   

Monday, 7 December 2020

SecureDoc Password Different Windows 10 After Change

 SecureDoc is used to protect laptops so that the disc is encrypted before logging into the operating system. I have Windows 10 on my laptop and normally it's a seamless process to log in where you enter your credentials to SecureDoc on startup and this automatically logs you in to Windows.

However there seems to be an issue when Windows requires a password change and SecureDoc doesn't seem to be able to cope with this so you end up with the situation of needing a different password for SecureDoc to the one used for Windows and need to enter 2 different passwords.

The SecureDoc website is useless for finding information about this and doesn't have any support info - I guess because they expect support to be done by company helpdesks.

The answer seems to be to log in to the SecureDoc control center on your laptop once it has booted into the Operating System. Select the menu option to Communicate with Server and this appears to resync the password between Windows and SecureDoc. I don't know if the same process works for MacOS but it might be worth a try if you find that your password no longer matches SecureDoc.




Sunday, 22 November 2020

IOCrest SATA 6g Host Controller Not working - Hard Drives not showing

 For ages I've had an IO Crest 8 channel PCI-Express SATA (Serial ATA) host controller card that I've been unable to get fully working on my PC so it would allow the additional hard drives I'd got connected to it to be visible. There were a few suggestions online but nothing seemed to work and some posts had suggested the card was unlikely to function properly for various reasons so I'd not dug further into it.

I finally decided to give it another go and to look for new drivers. The driver CD that came with the card didnt have anything of use on it - not sure if it was the wrong CD but it had video software nothing to do with this card. It seemed that the card had Marvell chipsets on it so had a look on their website which was utterly useless and gave no information.

I then stumbled on a very informative post here https://www.tenforums.com/drivers-hardware/60112-marvell-92xx-sata-controller-6gb-driver-windows-10-1-2-0-1039-whql.html which gave some details of a site that had the drivers as well as the right driver to install.

Downloaded and installed - bingo - suddenly the missing drives all pop up in Windows explorer so I've now got it all working.

The website with the drivers on is https://www.evga.com/support/download/


The Marvell driver to look for is with the Intel Z87 motherboard, FTW part number. Select Sata 3G/6G and then the relevant Operating System.

Download and extract the files and a folder called 1.2.0.1039-WHQL will be created. Run the drvsetup.exe file and the drivers will be added to your system.

Once done you will see the following in the Control Panel Device manager and hopefully a bunch of disks if you have any attached.



Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Garmin Forerunner 45 Not Showing or Recording Distance Since Hack July 2020

Garmin systems appear to have been hacked from 23 July 2020 and as of 27th July are slowly starting to come back.

However I've found that since the systems started to come back online my Garmin Forerunner 45 hasn't been showing or recording the distance for activities. I rebooted it but that made no difference. The run or ride still records, it still detects the GPS signal but no distance is shown on the device screen. It shows the pace so something is getting the data for that but the distance stays as zero.
The solution that I've found is to turn the bluetooth on my phone off, then reboot the Forerunner 45 watch and the do the activity so that the watch isn't aware of the phone sync at that point. 

It seems to be the phone that is stopping the distance recording on the watch but not sure how that is being triggered. Until the problem with Garmin is sorted I'm leaving the watch like this so that I can still record distances. 

The Forerunner 45 watch stores quite a bit of data so I'm not in any rush to restart the sync if it stops distances being recorded

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Strava Sony Smartwatch3 Data Sync Fails - How to Fix

Strava have long since stopped supporting the Sony Smartwatch 3. I first found the problem with loading my runs & rides from my watch to Strava back in late 2017 and all was working relatively smoothly with my Android phone being kept on the latest working version of Strava which I'd found to be v20.0.0

I've now got a new Android phone and am looking to sell my old phone so need to get another way to load the Strava data from my Sony Smartwatch to Strava online. I've found a great website that maintains old copies of the Android Strava app where I am able to obtain a copy of v20 of Strava.

https://strava.en.uptodown.com/android/versions

Luckily I have a very old phone that I'm able to install Strava on and use that purely for loading my activity from my Smartwatch up to Strava. I can then use my new Android phone with the latest version of Strava to view my activity and those of my friends - the old version 20 no longer shows any activity on the phone but still syncs the data from the Smartwatch in the back ground.

So if you want to continue to use Strava on your Smartwatch I'd recommend using the link above to get v20 of the Strava app to load to your phone which will continue to sync your data.


Friday, 11 October 2019

Printing Clob Attachments from Oracle Database Along with Report Data

One challenge I was set by a manager at work was to enable users to be able to print from one of our in-house Apex applications and have a single button to print a record that included both rows of data from an Oracle database as well as various attachments that are linked to that record. These attachments could be PDF files, Word documents or Excel spreadsheets.

Looking online there doesn't seem to be much in the way of options for being able to use a single tool to produce a report that includes rows of data from an Oracle table along with CLOB or BLOB data in a single place.

However one idea came to mind when I was talking through options with colleagues. We already have the facility within the Apex system for a user to email themselves a copy of a specific record with any linked data. If it was possible to add the Clob attachments to this email then it would give a way to be able to print them.

Within Microsoft Outlook there is the ability to print an email and one slightly hidden option is to also print all attachments. The main print screen is below.

Printing Clob Attachments from Oracle Database
Printing Clob Attachments from Oracle Database

Click on Print Options and you see the screen below with the option to Print attached files. If you tick this option then the email body will be sent to print and each attachment will also be sent to the printer as a separate print job. 

How to print clobs in report with Oracle data
How to print clobs in report with Oracle data

You will see a message asking if you want to open the program that processes each attachment type - answer Ok and the print is generated. You don't even see the program opening, the print is just generated. The print jobs will be sent directly to the printer and be held for printing by the user or print immediately depending on your print server setup.

To generate the email from the Oracle database we're using the Apex_Mail PROCEDURE which is part of the standard Oracle UTL_SMTP toolkit that has lots of documentation online.

https://docs.oracle.com/database/121/AEAPI/apex_mail.htm#AEAPI341

You can use the APEX_MAIL package to send an email from an Oracle Application Express application. This package is built on top of the Oracle supplied UTL_SMTP package. Because of this dependence, the UTL_SMTP package must be installed and functioning to use APEX_MAIL.APEX_MAIL contains three procedures. Use APEX_MAIL.SEND to send an outbound email message from your application. Use APEX_MAIL.PUSH_QUEUE to deliver mail messages stored in APEX_MAIL_QUEUE. Use APEX_MAIL.ADD_ATTACHMENT to send an outbound email message from your application as an attachment.

So the process to print a report from Oracle that includes table data as well as PDF, XLS, DOC or other attachments stored as Clobs is below:
  • Generate email from Oracle Apex
  • Add attachments to email
  • Send email
  • Use Outlook to print email and all attachments

An improvement/variation on this would be to include the Oracle table data in a PDF as an attachment to the email rather than being in the email body. This would allow you to control the layout and format of the table data more closely and avoid the email headers being shown.

If you have any questions, comment or feedback please post below