Category Archives: Quick fixes and tips

Any quick fixes and tips that GEEK! write about will be placed in this category.

[Quick fix] Fix no or incorrect auto rotate on Windows 10 tablets

One thing I have noticed having used Windows 10 on various tablets, is that in many cases the auto rotation feature doesn’t always work correctly – both out of the box and after upgrading from Windows 8. I was confused, as my system’s Device Manager reported that the built in accelerometer was working fine – but despite this I still had no rotation.

I believe the issue might be relating to the fact that, bizarrely, when you first activate Windows 10 (after a clean install or an upgrade), it is set to lock the auto rotate function by default. This meant, maybe coincidentally for me, that when I connected my tablet to a keyboard dock, it shows the screen as portrait when it should be landscape.  It seems like a bit of a design flaw to me, but it’s easy to fix.

With your touchscreen, swipe in from the right hand side of the screen to bring up the Action Centre. Then, check the option called ‘Rotation lock’ – if it’s on (i.e. its highlighted with a colour), tap it to turn it off. The icon should switch to a grey colour.

Then try rotating your tablet. It should work correctly now. When you dock your keyboard (if you have one), it should also stay in the correct rotation.

Drop a comment below letting us know whether this worked for you if you were having a similar issue.

Google Chrome being unresponsive or unusually slow? Here’s a fix!

In recent weeks I’ve been finding my favourite browser, Google Chrome, walking on thin ice. It used to be a seriously speedy browser dancing from page to page… OK, cut the fairy tale. Nonetheless, it was getting increasingly slow performing basic tasks like opening new tabs and launching video playback. It even seemed to cause mouse lag when multiple tabs were open.

Nonetheless, I was fiddling with settings and finally seem to have found a reasonable solution. It seems hardware acceleration has been a relatively new feature for Chrome (available from early 2014-ish). but many seem to be reporting this has led to Chrome becoming slower rather than faster.

Try turning it off using the instructions below and see if it makes a difference.

  1. Type chrome://settings into your address bar. Alternatively, click on the Google Chrome customize button (far top right button in Chrome with the 3 lines, then click Settings)
  2. Scroll to the bottom and click Show advanced settings…
  3. Scroll all the way to the bottom and find the System section. Untick Use hardware acceleration where available. Chrome will tell you it’ll need to restart, so do that by clicking restart (or closing Chrome fully and reloading it)

Try browsing to some sites now or opening some new tabs. I noticed an immediate improvement myself, but let me know if it makes any difference for you.

Postfix/amavis workaround: “delivery temporarily suspended”

I’ve put together a quick workaround for a long-standing problem with my server, whereby every so often my mailserver will crash (usually every week or so). I discovered the problem relates to amavis crashing – but as yet I have not found a solution to the problem.

The shell script I’ve put together below (with the help of this) checks the status of the amavis service. If it’s down, the script will bring it back up and then restart postfix to resume deliveries.

I’d suggest running the script every 5 minutes from a cron job (use crontab -e to modify to your cron jobs).

#!/bin/bash
#
# Author: Alex Ward
# This script was created to find workaround to a problem where postfix would fail
# if amavis stopped on ISPConfig / Debian. This simple script will check the
# uptime of amavis and, if it is down, start it and then restart postfix.
# This script can be set up in a crontab.
#
# Built with help from
# http://www.akamaras.com/linux/linux-script-to-check-if-a-service-is-running-and-start-it-if-its-stopped/
#
#
version=”1.1″
#Changelog: Implemented version number and prepared for crontab logging.

service=amavis

echo ‘==========================’
echo ‘MAILSERVER SYSTEM CHECKUP!’
echo ‘==========================’
echo ”
date
echo “Version: $version”
echo ”
echo “Checking $service status…”
if (( $(ps -ef | grep -v grep | grep $service | wc -l) > 0 ))
then
echo “$service is running! No action required.”
else
echo “$service is DOWN! Rectifying this…”
/etc/init.d/$service start
postfix stop
postfix start
fi

echo ”
echo ‘=====================================================================’
echo ”
#END

You can download a copy of the script here (right click, save as).

It isn’t a solution to the problem – but until I find the solution, this will at least stop the problem from killing off mail deliveries.

Charge your iPad from any PC USB port & fix “Not Charging” error

Just a very quick Christmas post. If you’ve got an iPad and you’re wondering why it won’t charge over your desktop or laptop’s USB ports – it’s because by default desktop USB ports only provide 1A of current to connected devices. Any iPad actually needs more than this to charge, hence why Apple give you a special charging plug to charge it.

However, hope is not lost. You can actually get an app for your PC which manually increases the amount of current that your PC’s USB ports provide. It’s called AI Charger and it’s by Asus. Don’t be  fooled though – it will actually work with any computer and not just computers with Asus motherboards.

All you need to do is download the app from the page, install it and give your computer a reboot. When you turn it back on, you should notice that your computer will now charge your iPad (albeit slowly).

This should actually work on any desktop or laptop. Bear in mind, though, that use of this app while using your laptop’s battery may cause excessive wear to your battery. A useful app though, nonetheless.

Configuring anti-spam (SpamAssassin) in ISPConfig 3

As you may have noticed, I’ve recently moved GEEK! to a brand new VPS – which, hopefully, will massively improve the uptime and performance of the site in the long run. It’s a little too early to tell, but now most of the trial bugs are ironed out, improvements should start to be seen soon.

However, by moving my site (and all other sites I run) to a VPS, I have had to make some sacrifices. The key sacrifice on my end has been cPanel – which I’ve used ever since I started working with web servers. I love cPanel – it’s generally very reliable and controls most of the functions I would ever want. But now, as I’m slowly getting more experienced with the way web servers work, I thought it would be a good time to move on to something a little more advanced (and, as a result, cheaper). I was recommended to ISPConfig – a free and open source control panel for web servers running on Linux. And after a slow start, I seem to be getting the hang of it.

The one thing that really did get to me for a while was the poor performance of the spam filter built into ISPConfig. ISPConfig relies on SpamAssassin – which is, when configured correctly, a very powerful spam filter. But for some reason, it just wasn’t working on my installation of ISPConfig. Spam would get through and it can get seriously frustrating!

Thankfully I now have it cracked – and wanted to share the configuration I chose for ISPConfig and SpamAssassin. I think the correct settings vary from person to person – but if you want general spam filtering, this should show you how to get it.

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