Category Archives: Tech Stuff ~

iTunes syncing does not include backup anymore.

Throughout the history of iTunes, iTunes sync includes backing up as the 1st step of the syncing process.

However, I have recently realised that this is not the case anymore. No idea when the change occurred, but this is a pretty significant change.

Backing up and Syncing are 2 different processes.

A back up creates a snapshot which ensures that you can easily restore your device to the particular state when you did the backup.

A sync simply ensures that the contents in your iOS device matches what is in iTunes.

Hence, if you only sync your device, you may have run into problems when you really do need to restore your iOS device =/

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The curious case of iOS 9 app syncing.

iOS 9 changes a fundamental concept of syncing – the syncing of apps.

In previous iOS versions, apps that were updated on any iOS device would simply be transferred to the PC during a sync.

However, apps that were updated/purchased on an iOS 9 device will not be synced to the PC. This is due to Apple’s new policy (from iOS 9 onwards) of only loading the appropriate components of an app to a device. For instance, only the iPhone related components of an app will be loaded into an iPhone, the iPad artifacts in the app will not be loaded. Hence, this means that the app on an iOS device is not 100% complete. This is the reason why apps updated on an iOS 9 device will not be transferred to a PC during a sync. A PC will only contain apps that are complete.

Apps that are updated on the PC will be synced to the iOS device.

One way to maintain the identical set of apps on a PC is to manually download the apps that were downloaded on a device to the computer as well via iTunes. An easy way to see in iTunes the apps that are not present on PC, but present on your device is to go to the App Store > ‘Purchased’ (on the right hand side) > ‘Not in my library’ . Strangely, it is not able to sort the apps in chronological order even after sorting by ‘Most Recent’.. Is this a bug or something, I’ve no idea.

The other way is to enable automatic downloads in iTunes.

Edit > Preferences > Store > Automatic Downloads > tick the checkbox for ‘Apps’ .

I’ve to agree that this new policy change is not well communicated to the general public by Apple. Such major changes should be explained clearly. I faced the issue of numerous apps being stuck on ‘waiting..’ after syncing and was wondering why. I did some research and this is what I am able to conclude so far.


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Firefox can’t find the file at /C:/Windows/System32/energy-report.html.

I encountered the above just now as I was attempting to open the html file generated by the powercfg -ENERGY command.

My first thought was to try opening it in another browser, Chrome, to see if it can load. Result = failure. Hmm.. I did some googling and nothing substantial was discovered.

At last, I had a brainwave and concluded that perhaps there is something to do with the security in Windows system folders, as this particular html file is in the System32 folder. I copied the energy-report.html file to another directory and lo and behold, it loaded properly in the browser 😀

Apparently, my hypothesis was correct but of course, without deeper analysis it is impossible to definitively determine that it is due to the enhanced security for Windows system folders..

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How Nslookup determines which DNS server to use.

Nslookup simply uses the first DNS server it detects among all network adapters present in the system.

Run ‘netsh interface ipv4 show dns‘ to display a list of network adapters and the respective DNS addresses (if applicable). You will notice that Nslookup will assume the first DNS address it finds in this list as the DNS server to use.

A graphical way is to go to open ‘Network and Sharing Center’ > ‘Change Adapter Settings’. Take note that however, the order of network adapters shown graphically here may not be the actual order that is read by Windows. This view is simply for viewing the DNS address of each adapter graphically. In order to see the actual order graphically, press the Alt key, clickAdvanced’, and then clickAdvanced Settings’. Click theAdapters and Bindings’ and then underConnections’, click the connection you want to modify and raise and lower its position accordingly.

It took me awhile to figure this out, I was wondering why nslookup wasn’t using the DNS address on my active wireless connection. It turns out that there is another adapter that is higher in order that has a wrongly configured DNS address, and nslookup was using the erroneous DNS address to perform its function.

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Working with both Python 2.X and 3.X on the same computer. [Windows]

You may be wondering, if I have 2 or even more different Python versions on my computer, which version would be used when you execute a Python script ?

It turns out that there are 2 ways to specify the version of Python you wish to use for execution of a script.

1) Per-file

For each Python file, add a #!python3 or #!python2 as the 1st line of your file, depending on which version of Python you wish to use for the particular file. A spacing between the hashbang and python word is fine too. Both #!python3 and #! python3 works.

2) In the command line

In the command line, py -3 executes using python3, and as you might expect, py -2 uses python2 to execute the file.

Take note that the command line version specification overrides the #! specified in the file. Eg: In you inserted #!python2, but in the command line you entered py -3 Python3 will be used to run the script.


If you have multiple versions of Python 2.X or 3.X, Python by default will use the latest version. Eg: If you have Python 3.2 and 3.4 installed, #!python3 will use Python 3.4 .

Without any specification in the command line, the default is Python 2. Eg: Entering py or will use Python 2.

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PM/AM time format not working in Linux Mint

I have just installed Linux Mint 17 xfce and realised with frustration that the am/pm time format doesn’t display at all. I tried %p, %P, %r .. all of them couldn’t work.

Initially, I presumed the issue lies with xfce’s TimeDate plugin. Thus, I ran Backbox Linux, which also uses xfce. The TimeDate plugin works fine in Backbox, which means that it wasn’t the xfce plugin that is causing the problem.

Did some research and figured it could be a problem with the system locales..

Ran locale -a to list all available locales. Yup, my country’s locale is listed.

Next ran locale to determine the current locales in use.

Hmm strange, some of the variables, notable LC_TIME is using a locale which isn’t the default en_US.UTF-8 or my country’s. A cause for concern.

Ran update-locale LC_TIME=<my country's locale> and rebooted my system. ( A Reboot is necessary !! )

Yeah, the AM/PM finally shows up nicely in the desktop 😀

In short

Check if LC_TIME variable is matching your own country’s locale by running the locale command.

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VMware Tools installation problems and solutions.

Sometimes when you are installing VMware Tools, you might encounter “kernel path not found” , “build path not found” and etc…

The solution is to run this command line before executing :

apt-get install build-essential linux-headers-$(uname -r) 

Prepend sudo if you are lacking in permissions to execute apt-get.

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Microsoft’s Security Bulletin Severity Rating System in numerical format.

The .xml file from MBSA lists the severity rating in a numerical format, from 1 to 4.

I couldn’t find any clearly defined definition from Microsoft..

So I did verifications for a few bulletins in my .xml file against the corresponding bulletin information on Technet, and this is what I confirmed :

4 – Critical

3 – Important

2 – Moderate

1 – Low

Note : Technet Link lists the description of the severity ratings.

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Networking issues when both VMware and Virtualbox are installed.

I have both VMware Player v6.0.1 and Virtualbox v4.3.10 installed on my laptop.

All these while, networking worked fine for both Virtualisation software, until a few days back. My VMware Virtual Machines (VMs) using Bridged network interfaces have no network connection. NAT worked fine.

I happened to have a Virtualbox Bridged interfaced VM running just a few hours back that day and the connection was working fine.

The DNS servers shown by ipconfig were the default ipv6 DNS addresses which was strange, when I am using ipv4. No gateway server address was present as well. Netmask was also different from my usual /24 configuration. Things were really strange..

Hence, I did everything I knew of to attempt to get the network back in working condition.

I reset the TCP/IP stack to its default, flushed the DNS cache.. nothing worked.

Just when I am about to give up all hope, I came across a post about VMware automatically connecting to the Virtualbox network adaptor when Bridged networking is used.

I manually set VMware player to connect only to either my Ethernet or wireless adaptor and it worked !!

( Go to Virtual Machine Settings > Network Adaptor > Bridged > Configure Adaptors  > Deselect the Virtualbox Host-only Ethernet adaptor/Select only your Ethernet or wireless adaptor )

The connection is once again, back to normal 😀

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Exchange Server 2013 Installation.

After countless hair-pulling situations while installing Exchange Server 2013 in Windows Server 2012, I have decided to post my consolidated research into a short and simple guide.

  1. Requires a Domain Controller to be set up.
  2. Recommended to install on Member Server.
  3. Login using Domain account. ( Preferably Domain Admin to reduce issues )
  4. Install the Media Foundation server feature. ( Server Manager > Manage to install it )
  5. Install the 3 prerequisites. UCMA, and the 2 filter packs.
  6. Restart the system.
  7. Run Setup.exe from the Exchange Server ISO.
  8. Profit.
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