BEARPIG

everday I concern myself with big ideas & elegant solutions

If you're interesting in chatting about freelance work either contact me at The Observatory or via the various social media links below and find out how I can help your business.

Clearing hidden files from SD cards

When you’re loading a movie file onto a memory card to be used in a separate media player, OSX tends to load on a few hidden files. This usually isn’t an issue, but if the media player is a fairly dumb one it will try and play all files on a loop, this can tend to ruin the point of a loop.

This is an issue I come across a lot as if theres no control panel for the player and it’s just set to auto play through all files on the card, you’ll get an annoying ‘can’t read file’ message. You can do a few things in Terminal to delete these files, or create an Automator task to deal with them, but I’ve found a great little program called CleanEject which you just use to eject the Card (or USB key, drive, etc) and it’ll remove all files with the prefix of *.* which tend to be all the added hidden files.

Getting Roku in Jersey to recognise UK Channels

Recently I picked up a Roku Streaming Stick to add SmartTv channels (netflix, iplayer, 4oD, ITVplayer,etc) to my rather dumb bedroom TV. It seemed like the best option as the TV is currently wall-mounted and there are no shelves/power sockets nearby that are free. This meant that an AppleTV was out of the running, as was the full Roku players. The Chromecast looked interesting but not having any Android devices, I decided on the Roku Streaming Stick.

It wasn’t the smoothest of setups. Firstly I couldn’t get an authentication code to be generated. Then after solving that issue, (I’d assume) due to being in Jersey, Channel Islands, none of the UK channels appeared which defeated the point of getting one! After some initial troubleshooting, it wasn’t apparent whether it recognised location based on GeoIP or the billing details of the account so I got in touch with Roku Support. The response was quick and managed to fix the issue. So it seems to be determined via which account setup page you use, which in turn would be decided by GeoIP on the computer you setup your account.

I’ve included the steps they provided me with for anyone else that has this issue.

  1. Unlink the Roku player from your existing account.
  2. Deactivate your Roku account.
  3. Please visit the following link through different browser window and tab:-
    https://owner.roku.com/signup-nocc/gb
    When you get the payment information page, scroll down the page to the bottom and click on ‘Skip, I’ll add later’.
  4. Once you have completed the account creation.
    Go to ‘Roku Home Screen’ on TV and click on ‘Channel Store’ >> ‘Get Started’.
    You will get a new activation code on TV screen.
  5. Go to your Roku account through your PC.
    Click on My Account (at the top right corner).
    Scroll down the page to the bottom, click on ‘Link a Device’.
  6. Enter the link activation code displaying on TV screen.
    Click on Submit.
  7. Choose/Check your favourite channels and click on ‘continue’.

EDIT – Apparently step 3 may no longer work. Will update this tutuorial if anyone manages to find another workaround…

WordPress troubles with .htaccess & 500 errors

Update РThanks to @retlehs pointing out, this issue is with an old version of Roots and HTML5 Boilerplate htaccess has now been moved to a plugin.

I recently had an issue with a client’s site that I’d inherited. It was a WordPress (up-to-date) and was running a theme based on Roots. I’ve used Roots a few times before and it’s always been rock solid, although due to the amount of stuff it does straight out of the box, sometimes these functions can cause errors.

The site in question was creating a 500 Internal Server error which would go away when the .htaccess file was replaced with a default one. This would be fine until the Dashboard was accessed, where upon the 500 error would appear again. Turns out Roots was set to inject the HTML5 boilerplate .htaccess content into the .htaccess file. This ordinarily isn’t a problem (it does a load of useful stuff) but in this case, the hosting environment didn’t allow this function and therefore was creating the error.

The fix was simple. Go to /themes/roots/inc/roots-htaccess.php and comment out the following line.

add_filter('mod_rewrite_rules', 'roots_add_h5bp_htaccess');

becomes

//add_filter('mod_rewrite_rules', 'roots_add_h5bp_htaccess');

Once you’ve changed that and uploaded the change, replace your .htaccess file with a standard one and you should be fine.

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