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doubleTwist Automatically Mounts SD Card on Android Phone Despite Choosing Charge Only

I recently made the move from the iPhone 3GS to the HTC EVO with Sprint. There are plenty of articles out there comparing Apple’s phones to those running Android so I will leave any comparisons out of this post and stick to the problem I was trying to solve.

As I was learning the nuances of Android, I ran into an issue where any time I plugged in the phone via USB to my computer I could no longer use any phone applications that needed to access the SD Card. What perplexed me was that I was choosing, via HTC’s Sense UI popup, that I only wanted to charge the phone. What was even more frustrating was that any time I wanted to listen to music or watch a video from the phone’s SD Card I would have to unplug the USB cable. I could not charge my phone while using the applications I wanted to.

After looking through multiple settings on the phone, trying to find the cause of the problem, I finally stumbled on the cause and solution. I had, upon purchasing the phone, installed doubleTwist as my media player replacement. What I had not realized is that doubleTwist has an option to auto mount the SD Card any time you plug in a USB cable that is attached to a computer. As soon as I changed the setting in doubleTwist my problem went away. So what setting do you need to change?

Open doubleTwist on your Android phone. Open the Menu and choose Settings. Under the Settings look for Auto USB drive and uncheck the box. This should prevent doubleTwist from auto mounting your SD Card when you plug in your Android phone via USB.

BlendSense: XAML Intellisense for Expression Blend v2.1.1760.0

Karsten Januszewski has a post (read his post for instructions on installing the addin) about Intellisense for Expresion Blend and upon trying it, it didn’t work.  I would get the following error:

“Could not load file or assembly ‘Microsoft.Expression.DesignSurface, Version=2.1.1693.0, Culture=neutral,…”

The issue was caused by the fact that even though I was running SP1, I had v2.1.1760.0.  I’ve recompiled BlendSense against this version which resolved the issue.

You can download it here.

 

Better than ‘Open Command Window Here’ – Vista Explorer Shortcut

In Windows Vista, you can no longer drag a folder from Explorer on to a Command Prompt and have it change to that directory.  They say it is a security feature.  But, they did add the ability to shift+right-click on a folder to show the option to Open Command Window Here.  This was something on XP that was you could add through a Windows Explorer extension.  I’ll admit, it’s a nice feature to have built into Vista, however, I stumbled across an even nicer shortcut (read: magic) for those of us that are prone to using the keyboard over the mouse, when it comes to shortcuts.  To quickly open a command prompt to the folder you have open in Explorer, hit Alt+D (mouse users: click on any empty space in the Address Bar), type cmd and then hit Enter.  I told you it was magic!

  1. In Windows Explorer, hit Alt+D
  2. Type cmd
  3. Hit Enter
  4. A command prompt window will open to the folder you had open in Explorer

I’ve been working on some Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer extensions and for the ease of testing I have to constantly restart Explorer.  Heck, I’ve just probably saved myself an extra 10-20 seconds per day.  I know, I’m weird, but you know what they say about special weird people…

If you’ve been looking for a reason to upgrade to Vista folks, this is definitely it (only kidding, of course) because it doesn’t work on XP (ugh, I feel my subconscious bullying me into creating an extension for XP to mimic this functionality…must…resist…urge)!

Don’t disable Vista UAC system-wide; disable Vista UAC per application

For those of us that find ourselves disabling Vista UAC for the whole system (points finger at self), we now have the ability to disable UAC per application. Thanks to Microsoft KB946932, here’s the solution:

Using the tool and steps below, you may disable UAC prompt for the specific application. This does not disable the User Acount Control feature for the whole computer.

1. Download and install the Application Compatibility Toolkit from this link:Microsoft Application Compatibility Toolkit 5.0
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=24DA89E9-B581-47B0-B45E-492DD6DA2971&displaylang=en
(http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=24DA89E9-B581-47B0-B45E-492DD6DA2971&displaylang=en)

2. In the Start menu, locate the new folder. Find the shortcut icon for Compatibility Administrator. Right click it and clik Run as administrator.

3. In the left hand pane, right-click on the database under Custom Databases and select Create New, and select Application Fix.

4. Enter the name and other details of the application you want to alter behavior on and then browse to it to select it. Click Next.

5. Click Next until you are in the Compatibility Fixes screen. 6. On the Compatibility Fixes screen, find the item RunAsInvoker, and check it.7. Click Next and then Finish.8. Select File and Save As. Save the file as a filename.SDB type file in a directory you will easily find it.9. Copy the <filename>.sdb file to the Vista computer you want to alter the elevation prompt behavior on.

10. Click Start>All Programs>Accessories. Right click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator.

11. Run the command below:

sdbinst <path>\<filename>.sdb

For example, if you saved the .SDB file as abc.sdb in the c:\Windows folder, the command should be like this:

sdbinst  c:\windows\abc.sdb

It should prompt: Installation of <name> complete.

Now do this for each program that annoys the heck out of you with UAC and you should be good to go. This really helps if you share your computer with other users since UAC cannot be disabled on a per-user basis. You get to keep your kids safe (read, “protect them from destroying your computer”) and you get to keep your sanity!

Vista – Explorer: Disable Full-Row Selection, Add Tabs

One of the changes from Windows XP to Windows Vista is the difference when selecting/deselecting items in Windows Explorer when using the Detail View. In XP, you can deselect all items by left-clicking any column that is not the name column. I love that it is this way. In Vista, good luck trying to deselect all items using the same method. In Vista, the details view uses full-row selection. Clicking on other columns causes the item to stay selected. Sure, you can right-click to deselect, but that shows the context-menu which requires another left-click to remove. The only way in Vista to deselect all items is to click in actual white-space below any selectable items.

The good news is that I’ve found a free Explorer Plugin that lets you set Vista to use the XP style of deselection: QT Tab Bar

Vista Default Sample:

If I click on the date column in this case, Music
remains selected.

Vista w/ QT Tab Bar Sample:

If I click on the date column in this case, Music
is deselected, the same way it would work in XP.

To set the option, please do the following:

  1. Install QT Tab Bar (requires log-off).
  2. Open Explorer.
  3. Hit Alt to show the default file menu.
  4. Right-click in the empty space to the right and check QT Tab Bar.
  5. Right-click next to one of the tabs that now appears and choose Options.
  6. Click the Misc. tab and make sure that Full row selection in details view is unchecked.
  7. Make sure that Hide menu bar(Vista) is checked on this tab as well. (hit Alt+M to toggle the menu bar)
  8. Click OK. (If you get an error, just click Continue and everything will work fine).
  9. Close and re-open Windows Explorer.
  10. Note: If you switch from a different view to details view, it will possibly show full-row selection in the current directory. Once you change directories and go back, it will correctly show without full-row selection.

There are a bunch of other features that QT Tab Bar provides. Here are a few of my favorites:

  1. Tabs! – Very cool way to organize your numerous open Explorer windows. As a developer, I have way too many explorer instances open. This allows me to become better organized and save time. It also doesn’t require me to use a different program that is meant to be an explorer replacement but lacks much of the functionality I already depend on.
  2. Tab Groups – Again, as a developer switching between different projects, I can have preset groups of folders I need open while developing. QT Tab Bar gives me that functionality.
  3. Restore Tabs – When I close Explorer I lose my open folders. This makes it so I can close Explorer, go do something else and re-open Explorer with the same folders I previously had open.
  4. Application Groups – I haven’t used this one yet, but I’m sure it will help. An easy way to startup a set of applications that you need for a specific task.
  5. Plugins – Create your own additional functionality to plugin without having to do everything yourself (the download comes with some plugins which I have yet to use – If I find one that stands out, I’ll make sure to add it to this post).
  6. Shortcut Keys – For all the QT Tab features: undo last closed tab, clone tab, forward, back, next tab, etc.
  7. Change Selection with F2 – A nifty feature that toggles the filename selection when renaming. Hit F2 to rename, in Vista, it selects the filename without the extension. Hit F2 again and it changes the selection to no selection but with the cursor at the end of the filename in front of the .ext. Hit F2 again and now the extension is selected. This will save a bunch of time when all I want to do is change the extension.
     

Sample of Tabs added by QT Tab Bar:

It’s definitely a tool to add to your collection if you’re using XP or Vista. Did I mention that they also created a plugin to add the Vista Breadcrumb Bar to XP?

Download QT Tab Bar