23 December 2015

Windows 10 Upgrade Issues

As I have recently upgraded my laptop (Toshiba L875D-S7232) to Windows 10, I went about setting it up. However, I came across some issues.

AMD Quick Stream Licensing Issue

Everytime I started my computer, it would complain that AMD Quick Stream could not find its license. Luckily, simply uninstalling the AMD Quick Stream fixed the error message from popping up. I then updated the video drivers from AMD's website that included Quick Stream and I no longer seeing the error.

Touchpad Mouse Scroll Issue

When I went to switch the two-finger scroll to the scroll zone using Synaptic Pointing Device Properties, the zone would show as activating, but no scrolling would happen. So I went to Toshiba's website and downloaded the latest driver (which was actually a downgrade v19 to But when I went to install it, it complained that a newer version was already installed and to uninstall it first. Unfortunately, when I tried to unistall it, it said that it could not because a DLL could not be found. To get around this I went into device manager and uninstalled the driver. Unfortunately, it still would not install using the install. However, I was able to update the driver thru Device Manager, by having it search for the driver in my User/AppData/Local/Temp folder. And great news, I am able to scroll using the zone! Now, Windows Update wants to install the newer version again, so onto the next issue.
Update: After Windows reinstalled, I just had to re-do my scroll settings and it works fine now.

Restoring Control Panel

As I wanted to hide the update to prevent my computer from re-installing it, I thought that I could hide it in the traditional Windows Update. To my suprise, when I went to Control Panel, it was EMPTY!
In order to add the icons back I followed these steps (source):
  1. Start -> type "gpedit.msc" -> select the program
  2. Select "User Configuration" -> "Administrative Templates" -> "Control Panel" 
  3. Double Click "Prohibit Access to Control Panel" -> Select Disable -> Click Ok
  4. Double Click "Show Only Specified Control Panel Applets" -> Select Disable -> Click Ok
  5. Close any open Control Panel windows
  6. Open the Control Panel
Unfortunately, even after the icons appeared, there is no Windows Update one, and so far I have been unable to get one to appear.

Start Menu will not open

Windows 10, randomly began to not open the Start Menu by either clicking on it or pressing the Windows Key.
To fix I followed the following steps to repair corrupt Windows files (source):
  1. Open Task Manager (by right clicking on taskbar or pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del
  2. Click "File" -> "Run new task" -> check "Create this task with administrative privileges" -> type "powershell" -> Click Ok
  3. At the command prompt type "sfc /scannow"
  4. Wait as this will take a long time

05 December 2015

Sony XBR65X850C Review

Sony XBR65X850C Review

The Choice

As my aging LN-T4066F was too small for my new family room, I decided to go shopping for a new TV due to the good holiday pricing.  My debate was between the Sony XBR65X810C ($1500), Sony XBR65X850C ($1800), and Samsung UN65JS8500 ($2000).

My primary sources of information, was rtings.com, amazon.com, and bestbuy.com.

JS65008.34.7 (377 reviews)4.3 (195 reviews)
X850C7.74.6 (455 reviews)4.2 (187 reviews)
X810C8.04.2 (64 reviews)4.3 (38 reviews)

  • Rtings.com ratings are for 55 inch , both Sony models have material differences in 65 inch:
    • X850C has a Full LED backlight, which should improve uniformity
    • X810C switches to an IPS display, which would reduce black intensity, but improve viewing angles
  • Amazon.com ratings are for all sizes combined

Key factors in choosing the X850C:
  • In person picture: very similar between all 3 at the store
  • Android TV: while still young and needs some refining, I believe this will be the future so I wanted this type of TV
  • Ability to do 24p via almost any source
  • Full Array LED Backlighting: Samsung was only border lit
  • Low input lag for games
  • No additional connections box (This could have been a plus with a longer cord)
  • Small not distracting bezel: the Samsung model had a bright stainless steel looking metallic border that I found to be very distracting

The Review

The picture on this TV is absolutely amazing. The upscaled 1080p contact looks life-like as we have been binge watching BBC's Sherlock. Netflix SD content looks okay, but that is more likely due to the source material.

  • Excellent picture without requiring any tweaking
  • No flashlighting or dark corners as far as I can tell
  • Netflix and Amazon Instant Video built in
  • Access to all my Google Play Movies
  • Casting built-in
  • Ability to install Kodi (and decode MPEG2 content from MythTV)
  • Standard remote works well (haven't tried smart remote)
  • Ability to rename inputs and the easy switching from the home screen
  • Some glare from windows
  • TV button on remote can only be mapped to an input and not an app
  • Inability to create a "favorites" app list: Built in apps are separated from installed apps
    • Update 1/12: You can now rearrange the apps, but I wish you could turn off featured apps and suggestions
  • No included 3D glasses, not a big deal for me, but something to be aware of
  • Remote is not universal
  • Cannot go back to the home screen via input button
In the middle:
  • Sound is decent, but not much is expected from TVs this thin and is about the same as my old one
  • Android TV requires some refining, have had to reboot the TV because of dropped frames in Kodi
  • No context menu button on remote, had to map Stop to it in Kodi