SONY PS3 Firmware update 3.50 Error 8002F1F9

My friends PS3 was failing during the install of update 3.50 with the error code 800F1F9.

The instructions on the screen was to switch of and start again.  He had contacted Sony support who said it was an issue with the game that had the update bundled with it.  The game manufacturer said it was a fault with the PS3.

After a bit of research I found that the point at which the update was failing was when the update tried to write a new firmware code to the bluetooth/wifi board.  Ordered a replacement board from ebay (used one was £9.00 inc postage).  Fitted the board and the update completed on the first restart and all is now well.

Fitting the board is very easy (takes about 10 minutes).  You need a Phillips screwdriver and a T10 security torx (available from Halfords if you don’t have one).  One thing to note, try and get a board with the ribbon cable attached as it’s much easier to disconnect the ribbon from the PS3 end than than from the board.

There are plenty of youtube  videos showing you how to remove the cover of a PS3.

PLEASE NOTE: To remove the cover of your PS3 you need to remove the security sticker which will void your warranty.  So only do this if your warranty has expired!

Good luck

Posted in Computers and Internet | 3 Comments

Masterplug TVRC4N Instructions and Codes

I spent weeks trawling the net for the codes for a particular TV for the “Masterplug TVRC4N 4 in 1 remote”… until I eventually stumbled on the full instruction manual.

So hopefully to make others lives easier it’s available in pdf from the link below.  Smile



PS if you find this useful and download it please leave a comment so I know it’s worth leaving it available, thanks.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Leaving Ebay? Cancel all email notifications first!

If you have ever tried to resolve any issue with Ebay, you will be well aware of the frustration of automated, moronic responses, repeated requests for information, ignored communications, etc, etc, etc…

If you haven’t, I would highly recommend not bothering. Anyhow…

Approximately a year ago I cancelled my Ebay account.  Since then I have continued to receive all the email notifications that I had configured while I was a member, e.g. “Items from your favourite sellers”. In these emails it has instructions on how to stop receiving them, “To unsubscribe from this email, change your notification preferences”.  Now then, in order to change your notification preferences all you need to do is log into your account… The quick witted among you will have quickly spotted the flaw in this sound advice… So I’m back in the email hell that is Ebay Support…

  1. Send an email request to ask them to stop sending emails.
  2. Receive an email confirming that I want to close my account (?!)
  3. Reply asking them to stop sending emails to my email address for my closed account.
  4. Receive an email saying that they take fraudulent emails very seriously (well, I guess we’re getting closer), can I please supply the email header.
  5. Send a copy of the email header.
  6. Receive an email saying thank you for the email header (now we’re cooking!), but I need to send the actual email source as well.
  7. Send entire email source.
  8. Hear nothing for a couple of weeks, so, I reply to the email in 6 asking what’s happening.
  9. See 4 and 7
  10. See 8 and 9
  11. See 8 and 4 and 8…

Can you see a pattern emerging here?  So, my advice to anyone closing an Ebay account is to change the registered email address to someone you really don’t like and leave the country…


Cancel everything you can lay your hands on before you close your account.

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Office Live Update 1.3 – Breaks Flash Player in IE7 – Facebook and Youtube

After running the latest set of Microsoft updates I found that Facebook applications using Flash and Youtube were both reporting errors (along with the spell check on my webmail and several other web applications). 
Following instructions to remove and reinstall Flash (instructions here) fixed the issue in Youtube and most of the Facebook applications except for Scrabble.
Working back through what had changed since I had a working configuration it proved to be an issue with Office Live Update 1.3, removing this update fixed Flash (whether this is an issue with the update or Flash unclear.
Posted in Computers and Internet | Leave a comment


"150 people died homeless in London, in the year that £500 billion was found overnight to support banks"
Source Roof Magazine January/February 2009
Posted in News and politics | Leave a comment

Counting Trailing Spaces in SQL Server T-SQL

I recently had an issue with some data grouping in a third party application where data that appeared to be the same, was being grouped separately.


Example Data:


When grouped and counted was giving:

Data         Count
AB              3
BC              4
BC              2
DC              1

Instead of:

Data         Count
AB              3
BC              6
DC              1

Running the query:

FROM MyTable

Was returning the expected results.

After some thought it occurred to me that it might be an issue with some of the data having trailing spaces, and therefore, being treated as being different.  In the T-SQL query any trailing spaces are ignored, but I didn’t know how the third party application was grouping the data.

So the question was, how do I count the trailing spaces:

The T-SQL LEN command ignores trailing spaces, so what I ended up with was this…

Using the REPLACE to substitute spaces for asterisks and wrapping with LEN gave me the length of the data including the trailing spaces.


LEN(REPLACE(Data,’ ‘, ‘*’))


LEN(REPLACE(Data,’ ‘, ‘*’)) ActualLen
FROM MyTable
LEN(REPLACE(Data,’ ‘, ‘*’))

Gave me a list of Data and length:

Data         ActualLen
AB                  2
AB                  2
AB                  2
BC                  2
BC                  2
BC                  3
BC                  3
BC                  3
BC                  3
DC                  2

Showing me that some of the BC’s had trailing spaces and some did not, and these turned out to match the data that was being returned.

In reality I had too many records to look through manually so I wrapped this to just show Data values that had ‘matching’ entries with different lengths:

LEN(REPLACE(Data,’ ‘, ‘*’)) ActualLen
FROM MyTable
LEN(REPLACE(Data,’ ‘, ‘*’))
) AS A

If you purely wanted to count trailing spaces (as promised) you can use…

LEN(REPLACE(Data,’ ‘, ‘*’)) – LEN(Data)



Posted in Programming | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

There / Their / They’re

I’m not the first person to highlight this… and I’m sure I won’t be the last.  Some people may say it doesn’t matter, and I’m being pedantic… maybe they’re right…

Anyhow… for anyone who’s interested.  A brief note on the correct usage.

There: This word illustrates the place or position of something.

For example:

  • My car is over there.
  • There is a bump on my head.

Their: This word illustrates possession of something.

For example:

  • That is their dog.
  • Their car is a Ford.

They’re: This is short for "They are".

For example:

  • They are all going to the beach = They’re all going to the beach.
  • We know they’re all English = We know they are all English.

Putting it all together:

They’re fairly sure that their car is parked over there.

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Viewing CRW thumbnails in Windows XP

My Canon EOS-D60 produces CRW files when the image quality is set to RAW.  If, like me, your CRW image files don’t show in thumbnail view in Windows XP, you need to download the following:

Microsoft RAW Image Thumbnailer and Viewer for Windows XP

This definitely supports Canon RAW files (and I believe Nikon too).  As well as showing your images in Windows explorer thumbnail view, it also incorporates a viewer utility.

If for some reason the link doesn’t work, search for "RAW Thumbnailer", or for the actual setup file name RAWViewerSetup.exe

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Maxtor Personal Storage 3200 External USB – Hangs XP and is no longer detected


Last week I turned on my PC as usual just to find that it refused to boot up, not even making it to the XP splash screen.  After a couple of retries I figured more direct action was required…

So, I unplugged all the external hardware, printer, network, webcam, external HDD, etc.  Booted first time!

Gradually re-connecting the hardware and re-booting pointed to the external Maxtor drive.  Re-booting with the drive attached caused the PC to hang, and when attaching the drive once the machine was up and running the drive was initially detected but then reported an error and was inaccessible (didn’t even appear in the drive list).  I tried the drive on two other PC’s and my laptop, with different USB cables, with the same result.

I was already on my second one of these drives (the first didn’t work ‘out of the box’).  This one is less than one year old.

Skipping on to the solution to recovering my data…

I figured that there were one of two possible problems, USB interface on the drive or, actual failure of the drive itself.  Either way, removing it from the housing was not going to make things any worse.

Apparently some of these drives have two screws holding the external case on, mine is not one of these…  in the end it was a case of a sturdy screwdriver and a fair amount of brute force (more than I felt comfortable with to be perfectly honest).  Having mangled the outer casing, it appeared to have two sliding metal clips internally on the long edges of the case that could possibly have been manipulated to release the case, had I known they were there.  Anyway, I wasn’t going to need the case again either way…

It was then a fairly easy task to remove the actual drive from it’s metal housing and unplug it from the PCB with the USB interface.

Power down the PC.  Attach the drive to via a dual IDE cable internally (I left the jumper settings alone).  Re-boot. 

The drive appears to be in perfect working order, and has not skipped a beat for the last week.  So I can only assume that the USB interface was the offending item in this case.

So, if your External Maxtor drive has died, and you want a last resort to recovering your data, this is worth a go.

Posted in Computers and Internet | 2 Comments

Windows XP Search doesn’t work when using the “Word or phrase in a file” option

Have you ever used the Windows search facility to look for words embedded in the files and not got back the results that you expected?
I have… all the time…
Most recently I have started development on an existing PHP application (1046 undocumented PHP files).  In order to get an understanding of the application I have been searching the source files to find out where certain functionality is utilised…
So I have a PHP class called dbconnection and I want to find all the places that it’s been referenced. 
So… browse to the root directory and select Search – All Files and Folders and in the “Word or phrase” box I type dbconnection.  Hit the Search button… Nothing… hmm now I don’t know how many files I was expecting, but none is clearly wrong, there is at least one where dbconnection is defined!
To cut a long story short… this is a feature of Windows XP… Microsoft say…
“In Microsoft Windows 2000 and earlier versions of Windows, all files are searched for the content that you specify. Windows XP does not search all file to enhance the performance of searching and to avoid extraneous results. This behavior occurs whether or not you use the Indexing service when you search.”
The solution that worked for me was…
To configure Windows XP to search all files no matter what the file type, obtain the latest service pack for Windows XP and then turn on the Index file types with unknown extensions option.
If you use this method, Windows XP searches all file types for the text that you specify. This can affect the performance of the search functionality.
To do this:
  1. Click Start, and then click Search (or point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders).
  2. Click Change preferences, and then click With Indexing Service (for faster local searches).
  3. Click Change Indexing Service Settings (Advanced). Note that you do not have to turn on the Index service.
  4. On the toolbar, click Show/Hide Console Tree.
  5. In the left pane, right-click Indexing Service on Local Machine, and then click Properties.
  6. On the Generation tab, click to select the Index files with unknown extensions check box, and then click OK.
  7. Close the Indexing Service console.
This solution and other relating information is available here… 
Posted in Computers and Internet | 6 Comments