Saturday, May 14, 2022

S Pen keeps disconnecting

Android Phone: Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Android version: 12

After phone update, S Pen of my phone keeps disconnecting and sending annoying notifications for reconnect, especially when I put my phone to charge.  The culprit is the Air actions of S Pen.  I did the following to disable it and everything is back to normal.  I what causes this.  Air

  • Navigate to Settings | Advanced features | S Pen 
  • Turn off Air actions 
  • Restart the phone to take effect
Like Windows 10, whenever there is an update, there may be issues awaiting for you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Beware! Google Photos app will delete your photos from your devices even with Back up & Sync disabled

A few friends of mine keep complaining losing their precious photos with Google Photos.  I am using Google Photos almost 5 years, but I have never encountered such an issue.  I always use the Web version of Google Photos for photo management, not the app.  The Web version is accessible via a browser while the app version must be installed before use regardless of on a phone or a desktop. 

To understand the deletion issue, I've recently taken Google Photos on my test run.  How and when are photos on a phone being deleted by Google Photos?  Is there a safe way to manage deletions on Google Photos?  The tests were manually done (1) on an android phone and (2) via the browser accessible to both desktop and phone with a single account.  

My current version of Google Photos app for test is 5.87.0444573954.

What I found is that the culprits of losing photos during deletion is using Google Photos app.  Unlike the Web version, the app always ensure the synchronized (or uploaded) photos deleted from the device(s), despite the option of "Back up & sync" disabled.  The only way to remove photos from Google Photos without removing from the device(s) is to have the "Back up & sync" option disabled first and then use the Web version for deletion.
  • Whenever you delete a photo from a device via Google Photos app, the photo associated with Google Photos will be removed at the same time if the photo was uploaded and added into Google Photos before.  In this case, the app will always delete it from the device and Google Photos, despite the option of "Back up & sync" disabled.  
  • Google Photos app provides an option for you to delete a photo from the device without removing from Google Photos. 


    There is no option for the other way around even though "Back up & sync" option is disabled.  In other words, the synchronized photo must be deleted from both the device and Google Photos.  Before deletion, Google has already provided a warning message (such as Remove from Google account & synced devices?)

    Google Photos Deletion Messagge

  • The only way to remove a photos safely from Google Photos is using the Web version of Google Photos (via Web browser) along with the "Back up & sync" option off.
I am not sure if Google does this on purpose or if it is a bug.   From the deletion message, it may be done by design.  It could be the reason why this issue has existed for a long time. 

In addition, my impression of using Google Photos app is actually handing over full control to Google (i.e., the Google Photos app), and your photos with Google Photos become a main copy, not the ones in your device(s).  Thus, when you delete a photo from Google Photos, the app will ensure to remove them from your device(s) without providing you an option to keep them in your device(s).

If you would like to manipulate photos in Google Photos without affecting your copy in your device, disabled the "Back up & sync" of Google Photos app, and then use the browser to handle the photo deletion.

For me, photos with Google are primarily for sharing.  I do not want Google to manage them in my device(s).  Thus, I will always have "Back up & sync" disabled and continue to use the Web version.
  
 

Thursday, April 14, 2022

How to download Whatsapp Profile

The following procedure only works with the Web version.

1. View the user profile picture as usual
2. Right click to "Copy Image Address"
3. Decode the URL
4. Extract the value of "e" key
5. Remove all key-value pairs except for "oh" and "oe" these two keys pairs

The new version of Whatsapp (newer than v2.22.3.76) should be able to let you retrieve the URL directly (step 1 and 2) without  the rest of steps (step 3 to 5).

My current versions are v2.22.7.74 android and v2.22.6.74 iPhone respectively.


Friday, March 11, 2022

Fix Zoom White Screen in OBS

My current OBS Studio Version: 27.2.3 (64 bit)

Using OBS to capture or record Zoom meeting may result in a white screen if you're running it on Windows with the default "Auto" setting for Video Rendering Method.  In this case, the default graphics API used in Zoom for rendering is not suitable for your camera.  

White screen of Zoom meeting in OBS 

Changing the rendering method to either "Direct3D11 Flip Mode" or "Direct3D" should fix the issue.
  • For HD video, choose "Direct3D11 Flip Mode"
  • Otherwise, choose "Direct3D11

Navigate to Zoom Video Advanced Settings and Pay Attention to Camera Settings




What to select in Video Rendering Method

Firmware Update Failed on the 2nd Canon with Same SD

Recently I've done firmware update on my two old Canon EOS cameras using the same SD card, specifically, EOS 7D and EOS M3.  I did it to M3 first, then 7D.  But the update failed on 7D due to this error:  "Update file cannot be found.  Please check the memory card and reload the battery and try again."

File Not Found During Cannon Camera Firmware Update

There are two (2) ways to fix this.

  1. Reformat the SD card before copying the firmware file into it for firmware update if you don't mind losing all files.
  2. Simply remove or temporally save all  DCIM\CANONMSC\*.CTG file(s) in the SD card to someplace else before firmware update.

I did it with the second approach.  As soon as the camera detected the firmware file, the update went smoothly.