Fix: HP Mediacenter Blu-ray Error

Use this link to find a software update for the HP Media Center by Cyberlink for playing Blu-ray DVDs when and if you are getting the message that you need to update your DVD software/hardware. The error message on the computer states you need to visit the site http://cyberlink.com/bdupdate and perform an update of your DVD blu-ray hardware and software; but the problem lies in it not detecting any software to download.

Use the link to find the free patch to update your machine and get it working again. In short, this worked!

  1. follow the link
  2. download the software
  3. begin the installation
  4. answer the questions to uninstall the old HP Mediacenter software and install the new
  5. start the Mediacenter

The disc was recognized and started playing the movie. Finally!

The Long of the Story

I bought the X Men trilogy blu-ray for my wife for Mother’s Day and tried playing it in our HP Pavilion dv7-1273cl laptop. It didn’t work. It initially started when I had previlus model of HP laptop in December of 2008, but the fan failed. I returned it and purchased a more updated model. Now having the fan taken care of the same problem still existed for the DVDs.

But, thanks to this posting on the HPs forums I found the link to take care of it.

Originally, we bought Horton and it didn’t work. I bought Batman, it worked. I now bought X Men and it didn’t work … consistently. Now that I’ve done the patch, all of them, so far, are working.

Hope this helped you out too.

Using properties in an ASP.net Web Control

When creating a web control in an ASP.net application many times you will need to make references to information, data values and other contents of the web control from the web control parent. This is done by adding a Property statement on the control. It could be as simple as a Username and Password control to set or get the information at times of requesting login details.

Follow these steps to connect and use data on the User Web Control:

  1. Create a new Web Control in your application project
  2. Place two label and two textboxes on the control
  3. Name the two controls txtUsername and txtAddress
  4. In the code behind of the control add the following code (C#)private string username = String.Empty;
    private string password; = String.Empty;
  5. public string Username {
    get { return username; }
    set { set username = value; }
    }

    public string Password{
    get { return password; }
    set { set password; = value; }
    }

  6. Close the control designer windows, saving all changes
  7. Open the web page that will use the control
  8. Drag and drop the new web control onto the web page canvas (if you already had the web control on your webpage and you added new interface elements (public functions or properties), you will likely need to remove the controls including the REGISTER statements at the top of the page so that the interface elements are reconnected to the page for you.
  9. In the code behind the web page, make any references to the Tag name of the control (assuming “uc1” in this case) using the following statements (C#).this.uc1.Username = “Your username”;
    this.uc1.Password{ = “Your password”;

This concludes the tutorial to add a simple web control and connect to it from the parent web page where it resides. This concept will help in many ways like, login pages, bread crumbs, contained lists, or other user interface lists.

Ungrouping Taskbar Applications

In recent versions of Windows there exists the option to group your applications on the Taskbar. This is expected to reduce the amount of windows on the screen. To reduce clutter. It’s helped me, but at times, I can’t tell which window is which, or I want to compare side by side and it’s clumsy to do it with grouping on. So here’s how you ungroup the similar applications on the Taskbar.

1) Right-click on your Taskbar
2) Click Properties menu item
3) Make the Taskbar tab active
4) Untick the Group similar taskbar buttons

If you have a handy tip that you’d like to share, please forward it to us.

SQL variables can act on each other

There are many situations when you have a variable in a stored procedure and you want to add to it. Well, there is definately a slick way to build on variables within a single select statement. It’s necessary to reveal how this works in detail because it’s difficult to explain. So, the answer is in the statement.

DECLARE @Number1 numeric(14,2)
DECLARE @Number2 numeric(14,2)
DECLARE @Number3 numeric(14,2)
DECLARE @Total numeric(14,2)

-- Step 1: One way to to set variables is like this, on individual lines
/*
SET @Number1 = 15
SET @Number2 = 25
SET @Number3 = 50
*/

-- Step 1: or, as I like to do it, use the SELECT because I can assign multiple variables at once.
SELECT @Number1 = 15
, @Number2 = 25
, @Number3 = 50

-- Step 2: then, add the numbers together traditionally.
SELECT @Total = @Number1 + @Number2 + @Number3
SELECT [Total] = @Total

In a recent project it was necessary to grab a lot of numbers from multiple tables, perform calculations with them, and then return the results. The trick to assign multiple variables at once as indicated above yields the results of the simple trick. Instead of adding all the numbers in separate lines, do it all in one SELECT statement. Fast efficient results.

SELECT @Number1 = 15
, @Number2 = 25
, @Number3 = 50
, @Total = @Number1 + @Number2 + @Number3

SELECT [Total] = @Total

It’s great that I can reference previous variables without having to write individual SELECT or SET statements. Makes for very slick code. Just make sure that if you move the variables around, they stay in the descending order of dependency or your numbers will be off.

Basic Photography Concepts

Over the many years of taking photographs, I have come across many different ways of taking pictures and what make up the best basic concepts. I want to make the pictures “snap” with color, clarity, and vibrancy. To be able to share these techniques to further the abilities of myself and others to reach new heights and ambitions is a top priority. This is in concert with the philosophy to build a network of support with people from all around the world.

The philosophies here at the site are:

  1. simplicity
  2. clear understanding
  3. uplifting communication

The principles are important in everyday life and business. I want to carry them on here on the site.

Techniques

Some very important techniques that can make or break a photo:

  • Focused photo with Shutter Speed/Aperture
  • White Balance
  • Noise reduction and ISO settings
  • Contrast
  • Subject selection
  • Framing
  • Histogram alignment (which is a combination of results from the above items)
  • Focused photo with auto/manual lens focus

Focused photo with Shutter Speed/Aperture

As a rule, the shutter speed should always be no less than double your focal length. If you are using an 18-70 mm lens, regardless of what your ISO or aperature setting is, the shutter speed should be no less than 1/36th through 1/140th. Any camera shake by holding the camera will disappear. The aperature change will only effect depth of focus, and this won’t really matter, especially if you don’t have a photo that’s in focus or has the action stopped.

If your creative choice is to create a blurry action photo, then reduce the shutter stop to your liking, maybe no more than half (1/18th through 1/70th). But these settings will drastically effect the “shake” of the picture especially when you are holing the camera by hand. In order to achieve “no shake” at lower shutter speeds, use a lens that has a shake/vibration reduction technology or use a monopod or tripod.

Adjust the aperature for the depth of focus. Adjust the ISO for lighting and stop action. And always remember that the shutter speed is critical to the focus and clarity of the photograph.

As an example … for a concert event, with my D300 and the 70-200 VR lens, I will put the camera on the following settings: manual, ISO 1600, Aperature: 2.8, Shutter: 1/320th, VR: on.

Because of different conditions … I am moving so fast, the subject is moving, the lighting is changing … these settings will generally produce great photos, even though the noise will be high, I’ll take care of that later. Any difference in settings might  be that I use the Aperature priority setting at 2.8, let the Shutter adjust automatically, knowing that if I get too much low light, I won’t get a clear photo. Another will be to be on Shutter priority at 1/320th knowing that under lower light conditions, it will be clear, but underexposed. Oh well, that’s OK. I’m not generally there for artistic settings like that. Just good clear, average light photographs.

White Balance

White balance is a concept about the color of light in a photograph. When you take a photograph in the sun, you want a white t-shirt to look white. When you take a photograph indoors with other light (not from the sun) you want the same t-shirt to look white. But because the camera cannot tell the difference (exactly) between the two light sources, like your eye can, it will appear differently.

Many new cameras come with an Auto White Balance setting. This will take care of mose occaisions and helps out the novice photographer. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will be more than a novice and capture this most important concept and be able to use it immediately. Along with the skill to capture a photo that’s in focus, this skill of choosing the right white balance setting is right up there at the top.

Noise reduction and ISO settings

This subject is probably the most technical, but it can effect the entire artistic process to its core.

Noise appears in a photo from using high ISO settings. Noise reduction is the skill to minimize the noise through correct technical settings, or post-production work. The settings above 800 ISO in new digital cameras produces spots, or a grainy appearance where there are dark areas of the photo. Most new digital cameras can be set above 800 ISO; but they also come with newer technology that helps to reduce the ISO. It’s important to point out that film cameras don’t have problems with grainy noise until going above 3200 ISO. The point of this segment is to discuss it so you know it exists. Knowing that it’s there and accounting for it at either pre-picture or post-production can help turn a lousy photo into a great one.

Your ISO setting is critical in different situations. It takes practice to know what setting to use, but I will give some easy pointers.

  1. Lower ISO settings (50-400) are less sensitive to light; this means more light is required to expose the photo, this is satisfied by being outdoors or being under very bright lights indoors.
    • Produces a better quality picture (low noise)
    • Best suited for low action and lot’s of light
    • Requires a higher aperture and shutter speed if stop action is required
  2. Higher ISO settings (800-3200+) are more sensitive to light; this means less light is required to expose the photo, this can occur indoors and in subdued events (weddings, sunsets, sunrise, etc) and other low light conditions.
    • Produces a lesser quality picture (high noise)
    • Best suited for high action shots and when low light conditions exist
    • May need a higher aperture and shutter speed if stop action is required but beware because you will reach the highest settings quickly

When choosing the order in which to choose the right settings, follow this list:

  1. What quality of photo do I want
  2. Do I need stop action
  3. Do I have enough light
  4. Do I want to create any artistic photo results

The reason for setting your camera in this order is to be best adapt for any situation quickly and systematically. You will have enough to have to choose artistically, get the technical down to fast decisions. Choose low ISO settings for the best quality photo, but only if you have enough light. If you don’t then start with the lowest ISO that can be accomodated with the shutter speed and aperture.

Contrast

Contrast is the stark difference from light to dark areas of the photo and how defined the lines are. When a photo has low-contrast, the lines seems to almost blur and overlap with a gray sheen. With a high-contrast photo, the lines are well defined and dark looks dark.

Subject selection

When choosing a subject, always, always, choose what interests you. But always try and make it look appealing, make the perspective appear different from any other, use a filter, change it up. The best strategy with subject selection is not the selection itself, but the way in which you present the subject. Do it in a way that noone else has done it.

Framing

A technique to the subject selection is Framing. It’s putting the subject in a natural frame. An example of this will be a barn through an opening in a grove of trees. The barn has probably been photographed many times, and doesn’t have much standing on it’s own, but when it’s framed inside the opening of the trees, it has a new view.

Histogram alignment

The histogram alignment is to make sure the color distribution is idea. This may come from a combination of settings described earlier. It may represent exactly what you wanted creatively. But in the end. You need to make sure you know what it is, what it means, and what you can do to make it work for you.

A histogram of light/color distribution did not appear on all cameras, but is always included. On the left side of the histogram is the amount of dark colors, on the right is the amount of light colors. A photo with a lot of dark will normally be on the lower end of the historgram, a photo with a lot of light colors will normally be on the upper end. If your subject appears to the natural eye to have a good distribution of color, you would expect the histogram to have an even distribution in the middle of the histogram.

This tool takes years of practice to master.

Focused photo with auto/manual lens focus

Whether you use manual or auto focus, it’s critical to have the photo clear by using the techniques above. A blurry photo will usually not work, unless some creative effect is intentionally made. This skill is actually very straight forward, I wanted to include it to note the difference from auto/manual lens focus and getting a clear focused photo using the shutter speed and aperture setting.

UEC Web Launch

Utah Education Consulting

Utah Education Consulting

We are excited to announce the launch of the website of our client – Utah Education Consulting. We also designed the new logo for Utah Education Consulting and assisted in tweaking some image elements and provided consulting advice. They are a leading consulting firm providing consulting services to help Utah educational institutions to receive the necessary support, information, and strategies that can help make them be more successful.

Executive Director and Founder: Michael Westover

Visit Utah Education Consulting today.