Friday, April 11, 2014

BD/DVD rom won’t read movie discs, but data discs OK

I don’t use my BD-rom often, maybe only several times a year. As far as I could remember, last time I had problem with it was almost half a year ago: it failed my three blank DVDs. But I was in a hurry, so didn’t investigate further, and forgot it completely afterwards.
Until today. Didn’t know where the idea came from, I wanted to watch a DVD. The disc was put in, but the BD-rom tried for a few seconds, and then the light went off. As a result, the windows didn’t think there was any disc there.
My first thought was hardware failure. But I highly doubted it. I don’t use it often, and it was working before. Therefore, I tried a data disc, and it worked! So basically I could rule out hardware failure.
Tried to uninstall and  reinstall the BD rom, and Microsoft fix it. No luck. The issue still remained unsolved. It didn’t look like a software issue either. Then I came to this post  DVD/RW will not read anything. That’s it. I followed the cleaning solution from Naveen:
... and I started cleaning the DVD lens with an ear bud.
When I pressed the lens it was moving in to/fro motion, i moved it left/right couple of time rotated the bud to clean the lens.... and that's it..Life was never the same again ..
The movie finally came alive…

Friday, March 07, 2014

Remove PDF password and restrictions using Ghostscript via drag and drop

I deal with and process lots of PDFs. However, sometimes the security settings of the PDF documents cause trouble.

There are several online websites available to remove these restrictions. Most offline tools cost more than 20 dollars. Actually we can do this ourselves via drag and drop, if Ghostscript is installed, free of charge.
  1. If you don't have Ghostscript installed, download it from It is free.
  2. Save the following code as a .cmd file.
    @echo off
    set PATH="C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.07\bin"
    echo **************************************
    echo   Start processing, may take a while, please wait.
    echo **************************************
    set filein=%~1
    set fileout=%filein:~0,-4%
    gswin64c -dSAFER -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sPDFPassword= -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress -dPassThroughJPEGImages=true -sOutputFile="%fileout%_noPW.pdf" "%~1"
  3. Change this line according to the installation directory of the Ghostscript on your machine.

    set PATH="C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.07\bin"
  4. Change 'gswin64c' to  ‘gswin32c’ if you install the 32-bit version.
  5. Once the configuration is done, you can drag a password protected PDF to the .cmd file icon, a file without restrictions will be generated in the same folder.
  6. To change the icon of the file, create a shortcut to the .cmd file. The icon of the shortcut can be changed.
  7. If the PDF requires a password to open, then this password must be known to remove restrictions. In this case, the password should be provided to gswin64c via


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hangouts in Android shows contact's number instead of name


Before you read this article, make sure you have not saved the same number under two contacts. In this case, Google hangouts will not show the name for the number.

I have a friend in USA whose number is +1-***-***-****. Cannot remember when it started, Google hangouts (SMS function) did not show this friend's name anymore. Instead, it showed the number, without the +1 prefix. This friend and the number were in my contact list; all other messages from other contacts were not affected. If I used other SMS apps from Google play store, this issue did not exist. It looked a bug of Google hangouts.

 I followed the solution described at!msg/hangouts/h55Ur77xwxc/m0xAWw5BuJkJ, but no luck. After a few tests, I decided to give up on hangouts. Google may have good ideas, but their software is not well made.

However, I would like to dig further. I used SMS backup & restore app to backup all my messages. Then downloaded them to my computer and checked the messages from the friend. At that time, I thought I might be able to solve the problem.

Because of unknown reasons, two of the messages between my friend and me used the number ***-***-**** instead of +1-***-***-**** . Since I was in Australia, how it could happen still puzzled me.  Furthermore, hangouts thought ***-***-**** and +1-***-***-**** were not equal, but still grouped the messages together.

I changed the number to the +1 format, uploaded the file back to my phone, erased all SMS on the phone, and then restored the messages using the SMS Backup & Restore app. Finally buggy hangouts showed my friend's name, not the number.