Failing to connect to work

cisco-logoNothing worse than working from home and not being able to connect to the company network using Cisco AnyConnect.

I was recently working from home, but encountered really annoying error when launching Cisco AnyConnect “Failed to initialize connection subsystem”.  And, the help section in the Cisco desktop application is not helping – it’s actually slightly ridiculous.

Thanks for the internet I found the solution … thanks to one of the awesome tech dudes.

Here are the steps that were suggested and which resolved my connectivity challenge:

  1. Close the Cisco AnyConnect Window and the taskbar mini-icon
  2. Right click vpnui.exe in the “Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client” folder. (I have it in “C:\Program Files (x86)\Cisco\Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client\”
  3. Click on the “Run compatibility troubleshooter” button
  4. Choose “Try recommended settings”.
  5. The wizard suggests Windows 8 compatibility.
  6. Click “Test Program”.  This will open the program.
  7. Close
  8. Some people may need to repeat the above steps for vpnagent.exe. That is the local service that supports the client user interface.

To be honest, this only took a few minutes and I was able to work again.  And, I believe this is now added to Windows 8.1 patch.

Java Challenge

java runtime environment error mac yosemiteI recently upgraded my Mac to Yosemite, for free of course thanks to Apple, and ever since I get this really annoying browser error “To view this web content yo
u need to install the Java Runtime Environment.”

To make matters worse, after clicking through to Oracle’s Java.com to “Download Java for Mac OS X” and installing it, the error persisted.  I most have tried to install this version a dozen times, but with little or no success.

I even uninstalled/deleted the Java tool from my Mac, rebooted thinking I was working with Windows OS, install it again, only to find that error was not resolved.Next option – Google.  And thanks to other people who have been through the same painful hours, they have developed a simple path to resolving this error.

I cannot claim to have developed the steps, so this is courtesy of another fellow Mac user.

oracle java for os xThe reason the general (normal) approach work by installing the official Java version is because… wait for it… it is the wrong link.

The error is being generated by Oracle, so naturally it directs you to Oracle’s Java download page for OS X.

STOP! STOP!  You need the official Apple version of Java for OS X.

java for os x 2014 apple

Be sure to restart your browser after installing!

iPhone DIY repair

repairkitDIY sounds so awesome and easy, especially when you write the three letters D.I.Y.  It’s also another way of saying “I’m refusing to pay someone else to do this work” and for some it’s simply a way of asserting their manhood.    For me, I’m convinced that I can just as great of a job as someone who does it for a living.

It’s not like I haven’t tried to do DIY in the past, but at times I have to question my own DIY abilities; and it can be difficult to sometimes remember the times were my DIY adventures were successful.  But, I’m living the dream that I can still do DIY!

To satisfy my male genes, and to fix the iPhone 4 my dear wife had dropped several times and as a result the screen had cracked, I ordered an iPhone 4 repair kit.  How hard could it be?

  • I have access to superior computer brain (well, sort of)
  • We have fast FiOS internet, allowing for streaming video on YouTube
  • Plenty of friends on Facebook who could assist with some moral support
  • A mall nearby with an iPhone repair clinic 🙂
Let the adventures begin!

I did some basic research to start with and it was clear that disassembling an iPhone is not necessarily straight forward, and there’s a reason Apple have managed to fit so many parts into the casing.  One can now only appreciate the complexity of building the iPhone.

Most people who had attempted this challenge in the past all claimed that it would take good parts of an hour to replace the front screen.

As I managed to slide the back plate off, I realised how complicated this task would actually be.  I was amazed by the amount of micro components squeezed into this little device, and even more amazed about the microscopic sizes of the various screws holding the pieces in place.

GaelBigHandsI frantically looked at my rather oversized and clumsy fingers and I wondered how on earth I would be able to get these fragile components out without breaking tools, fingers and iPhone all at the same time.

Over the next 45 minutes I surgically removed tiny screws, gently removed layer upon layer of micro boards and placed all parts in somewhat order on the table.  It’s only when you sneeze that you regret opening and placing these tiny components on the table!

Putting the device back together was yet another adventure and it was pretty clear that each component had a symbiotic relationship with each other, and you had to insert them in a certain way and order.  After another 20 minutes I had successfully completed my mission and inserted the last screw to fasten the back cover again.

Now, the final test was to charge the device and then hope the bloody thing actually worked.

Good news was that the battery charger came up, so I had at least assembled it correctly.  Only problem was that the touch screen was not responding to any gestures, which is obviously a key feature of any smart/touch phone.

Perhaps the small connector that broke off wasn’t the antenna as I had hoped, but the cable that actually controls the touch capability!

Oh well, I ordered a new iPhone kit and hopefully that’ll be a better result, otherwise I’ll end up visiting the local iPhone repair shop.

Applefest

No, I’m not talking Steve Jobs or any of the Apple products.  This is not some strange fetish nerd post about a party dedicated to various generations of the iPod, where people compare features, size, appearance and capacity.  If you read something else into these adjectives, then you are a pervert LOL

apple miniI’m actually writing a post about the actual fruit, the Apple, and how one particular area (village) has dedicated a full day to celebrate this delicious fruit.  At times it has been underrated, but sweet lord, there are so many amazing recipes for how to eat apples; devoured fresh off the branch stolen in some orchard, chopped/sliced and added to magical pastry or dough, served as juice, served as a warm godly nectar with Jack Daniels … and the list goes on.

Continue reading Applefest

Now that’s customer service!

A few days after handing over my Apple Cinema display to the local Apple Genius bar, I received a call from the engineer working on my case.  He just wanted to give me an update, which immediately made my neck hair stand up.  Nobody rings with an update unless something is wrong.

Whether it’s the local garage changing your car battery, the bicycle shop fixing your flat tire or the local computer repair shop; these calls normally involve a “hello sir, we are progressing well with the repairs, but eh, we’ve discovered problems with other parts and it’ll cost you XX dollars!”.

So, when I picked up the call and spoke to the engineer, the writing was on the wall.  It was just a question about how much.

The good news was, replacing the logic board fixed the display and it was now fully recognised by the computer.  The bad news was that it only worked with sound and the screen itself did not display anything at all.

In order to fix the display it had to be replaced, which would cost a whopping $800.  Please note, a new replacement Apple Cinema display costs $1000.  Either way you look at it, I could not afford to pay that amount of money.

The worst thin is that the monitor is from April 2011, so I’m about 6 months outside the normal one year warranty – typical!

My biggest concern, beside the fact that the engineer was trying to fleece me for $800, was that this is actually poor quality by Apple.  A monitor should not die after just 18 months usage, so I decided to escalate the case.

I called Apple customer relations and my case was dealt with by a very friendly dude.  I’m certain that he was wearing an Apple T-shirt, conducting the entire conversations on an iPhone 5 and recording all the details on his 15″ MacBoook Pro Retina model.

To be clear, I was not upset and did not raise my voice a single time.  I merely expressed my concerns about Apple’s poor quality and that such an expensive display should not stop working – unless of course I had dropped it or placed a hammer through the display.

The friendly customer service guy placed me on hold for a number of minutes, while looking into various options for.  It always sounds ominous when you are placed on hold, but hopefully the dude would pull out some miracle.  I was prepared to pay a few hundred dollars for the replacement or even half the cost of a new display, but that was it.

Suddenly the silence was broken by the dude and he was about to outline is offer.

He started off the usual customer service way.  “Sir, I’ve looked into different options to help you.  I totally understand your frustration”.  Damn, get to the point I thought.

“Apple will cover all the parts and labour, and you will not have to pay a penny”.

Did I hear right?  Was Apple actually going to pay all the repairs?

I asked him to clearly state what Apple was intending to do and he confirmed that they would pick up all the costs.

Wow, that was way more than I had hoped for.  I was utterly amazed by the guy’s ability to provide me with a solution that was well beyond my expectations.  I thanked him profoundly and completed a survey where I obviously gave him full marks.

Can’t wait to get my fully repaired display back home.