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Fixing Installation Failed message on Bitnami WordPress and Google Cloud Compute Engine

Getting WordPress installed on Google’s Cloud Compute Engine service is super easy using the Bitnami Launchpad for Google Cloud Platform, the gotcha is the default permissions set during installation mean you cannot use the WordPress Administration to update Theme’s, Plugins or WordPress core itself.

To set the file and directory permissions correctly you will need to connect via SSH to the container that your WordPress instance is installed on.

Here’s how to set the directory and file permissions correctly, split up into the different WordPress core directories:

WordPress base directory

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;

sudo chown bitnami:daemon -R /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs

wp-admin

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-admin -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-admin -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;

sudo chown bitnami:daemon -R /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-admin

wp-includes

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-includes -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-includes -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;

sudo chown bitnami:daemon -R /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-includes

wp-content

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-content -type f -exec chmod 664 {} \;

sudo find /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-content -type d -exec chmod 775 {} \;

sudo chown bitnami:daemon -R /opt/bitnami/apps/wordpress/htdocs/wp-content

That’s it!

 

Fix for firmware upgrade on Dell XPS 15

Firmware update from 01.00.07 to 1.2.0 is not permitted. The system is configured to block firmware updates to previous revisions

Sound familiar? I couldn’t install any Dell firmware updates for my XPS 15 due to a rogue prefix ‘0’ in the default factory firmware version ‘01.00.07’ causing the Dell BIOS update tool to think it’s downgrading itself. 😐

Here’s how to fix it.

  1. Restart your computer
  2. From the DELL logo press the ESC key until the BIOS Settings prompt shows
  3. Open the Maintenance > Firmware Downgrade tab
  4. Remove the check on Do not allow firmware downgrade
  5. Click Apply and then exit BIOS
  6. Run the firmware upgrade

That’s it!

Resolve Bluetooth connection issues on Dell XPS 15

My Dell XPS 15 and Nexus 5 just don’t get along. Updating to the latest Bluetooth drivers for the Broadcom-enabled embedded chipset resolved this.

Here’s how to update your Broadcom-based Bluetooth drivers in Windows 10:

  1. Visit the Bluetooth section of the Broadcom website
  2. Expand the WIDCOMM® Bluetooth Windows® Software for Windows 10 & 8, 64-Bit section
  3. Click on the Download button to the left of the WIDCOMM® Bluetooth Windows® Software for Windows 10 & 8, 64-Bit header
  4. Open the downloaded ZIP archive (e.g. BTW_12.0.1.940_win8_10_x64.zip)
  5. Run Setup.exe within the Retail Package directory of the ZIP archive
  6. You may be prompted by Windows SmartScreen, click the More info link and the Run Anyway button within this dialog
  7. Click the Upgrade option within the WIDCOMM Bluetooth Software dialog
  8. Restart the computer when prompted

That’s it. 🙂

Hiding the Filezilla “Transfer Complete” notification in Windows 10

Here’s how to hide FileZilla’s pesky “Transfer complete” notification that appears after each file upload/download on Windows 10. I assumed you could toggle it off within FileZilla itself but it didn’t stick.

  1. Right click the Windows taskbar
  2. Select Properties to open the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties dialog 
  3. Beside Notification area click the Customise… button to open the Settings > System > Notifications  & actions panel
  4. Scroll down to application entries under the Show notifications from these apps
  5. Beside FileZilla hit the toggler

That’s it!

I put up with this way too long before I did anything about it!

Fix for stuttering, lag in Bluetooth mouse on Windows 10

Here’s how I fixed the stuttering and lag issue with my Logitech MX Master working with Windows 10 Home and Pro:

  1. Open up the System screen within the Control Panel (keyboard shortcut: Win+Pause/Break)
  2. Open Device Manager from the list of links on the left panel
  3. Expand the Network adapters section to list your network adapters (e.g. WiFi, Bluetooth, VPN, etc.)
  4. Double click your WiFi network adapter to open the Device Properties dialog (in my case this is a Dell Wireless 1830 802.11ac)
  5. Switch to the Advanced tab (if you cannot see an Advanced tab then close this dialog and double click the other Network Adapters until you find one that has it)
  6. Within the Property list select Bluetooth Collaboration
  7. Change the Value of the dropdown list from Auto to Disabled
  8. Click OK to save changes

That’s it!

The WiFi network adapter will restart the device so expect to lose network access for a moment before network access is restored. Happy days.

Update 1: Yeah the above helped but didn’t fix it entirely, somehow unticking the Enable pointer shadow option within the Mouse Properties dialog (open Start then type in Mouse) makes a big difference, I do still notice some stutter when copying files or using Google Photos.

Update 2: Uninstalling the Realtek AC’97 software from Add/Remove Software and restarting did wonders on-top of the above steps. No more stutter!

German Working-Holiday/Youth Mobility visa for Citizens of Australia, New Zealand and Japan

The Working Holiday Visa Programme is the visa ninja’s way of staying in Germany and traveling around Europe for up to 12 months without applying for a traditional German residence visa or require sponsorship or steady employment.

You must pass the following requirements:

  • be a Citizen of Australia, New Zealand, Chile (*1) or Japan
  • be aged between 18 and 30 years old
  • not be accompanied by dependent family members (e.g. children)
  • your Passport must exceed the end of your stay by at least 3 months
  • have proof of health insurance valid in Germany (e.g. travel insurance for Germany) with coverage of at least €30,000 (EUR) and including costs for medical evacuation/repatriation
  • show a recent bank statement (with full name) indicating proof of sufficient funds – up to $7100 (AUD) for the duration of your stay; calculated at:
    • cost of return flight from Germany to Australia: $2100 (AUD)
    • living costs without free accommodation: $5000 (AUD)
    • living costs with free accommodation: $1800 (AUD) (*2)
  • pay the €50 (EUR) visa fee at time of visa application in Germany

(*1) Citizens of Chile are recommended to apply for a Working-Holiday visa before traveling to Germany.

(*2) If staying in Germany with free accommodation (e.g. relatives or friends) you must show an invitation letter and passport photocopy of the inviting German Citizen.

If you’re over this age limit or not a Citizen of one of the ‘best friends’ nations then you must consider a traditional residence visa for Germany (e.g. general employment, self-employed, job-seeker visa, EU-Blue card, internship, artist, etc.), the Working-Holiday visa is not appropriate for you.

Australian citizens (as well as New Zealand and Japanese citizens) are encouraged to apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority (‘Ausländerbehörde’), without prior applying for a visa in Australia.

German Missions in Australia – Working Holiday Visa

The perks of this visa is you can travel around EU-member states with your Schengen visitor visa for 3 months then return to Germany and without appointment submit your visa application in-person at the closest Ausländerbehörde (German immigration authority) then continue traveling.

In my case the closest immigration authority was Altona Kundenzentrum in Hamburg and I was granted a Working-Holiday visa valid for 12 months on the spot after queuing for less than 4 hours!

Note: Check if your closest German immigration authority requires prior appointment for visa applications, an example is Welcome Center Hamburg which requires appointments for all visa applications with a appointment waiting list of 3-6 weeks. No appointment was necessary for visa applications at Altona Kundenzentrum.

Pausing automatic Windows Updates in Windows

Today I noticed my internet speed running slower that usual when running an internet speed test over the wireless network, I isolated the network usage to automatic Windows Update downloads that were in progress yet frustratingly there was no way to stop the Windows Update session.

Here’s how to pause/suspend an in-progress Windows Update session in Windows 10 as a local Administrator (by default for personal computers):

  1. Click the Start menu
  2. Type cmd to open the Windows search dialog with Command Prompt appearing as the Best Match
  3. Right click Command Prompt and from the dropdown menu select Run as Administrator
  4. The Command Prompt window will appear
  5. Enter the following Windows command:

    net stop wuauserv

  6. If successful the following response will be given:

    The Windows Update service was stopped successfully.

  7. Close the Command Prompt window

That’s it! 🙂

To resume your Windows Update session either open Windows Update from Settings > Update & Security and click the Retry button, open another Command Prompt window using the above instructions and replace net stop wuauserv with net start wuauserv, or simply restart Windows from the Start > Power menu.

Temporary visa extension for foreigners in Germany

As a non-EU Citizen you can apply for a temporary visa extension (up to 3 months) to remain in Germany whilst your residence visa application is being processed, or simply because you want to spend additional time in Germany after your Schengen visa expires (90 days in every 180 days).

Tip: If you are visiting Hamburg, Germany or other EU-member states on a Schengen visitor visa and wish to stay in Germany for an additional 90 days after the end of your Schengen visa consider applying for a temporary visa extension from Welcome Center Hamburg.

You can pick up this short-term visa extension paper without appointment at the Welcome Center Hamburg. Bring your passport and the filled application form Application for the issue / renewal of a residence permit (available from Hamburg.de > Application forms), there are also blank applications available from the information desk.

The general requirement for this temporary visa extension is that you have submitted your residence visa application before requesting a temporary visa, this makes sense except where you are yet to submit your residence visa application and need to travel abroad; in this case an extension can be approved in exceptional cases.

Update: You cannot travel outside of Germany, in any circumstance if your temporary visa extension has ‘Gilt nicht für Auslandsreisen’ (Not valid for travel abroad) printed on it. Mine did and because of this applied for a Working-Holiday visa (available to ‘best-friend’ nations of Germany for under 30 year olds) which allows for immediate international travel.

This visa extension doesn’t allow international travel unless stated otherwise so there may be issues at immigration when leaving or returning to Germany when traveling with this visa extension paper, therefore you are discouraged to travel outside of Germany unless absolutely necessary.

Update: See notice above, you cannot re-enter Germany after your Schengen visa has expired with this paper. You could leave Germany a day before your last Shengen visa calendar day and may be able to re-enter on the last calendar day. I’m not putting this one to the test… 😉

APN details for WinSim Germany

After some research on cheap mobile data plans in Germany I picked up a WinSIM 3G/LTE SIM card for my Nexus 5 – 3GB for 12,99 EUR, no contract – but couldn’t get a data connection. The APN guide on the WinSIM Services site is not intended for Android users.

Here’s the correct Access Point Name (APN) details:

  • APN: internet
  • Proxy: (empty)
  • Port: (empty)
  • Username: (empty)
  • Password: (empty)
  • Server: (empty)
  • MMSC: (empty)
  • MMS proxy: (empty)
  • MMS port: (empty)
  • MCC: 262
  • MNC: 07
  • Authorisation type: None
  • APN type: default,supl
  • APN protocol: IPv4
  • APN roaming protocol IPv4
  • Bearer: Unspecified
  • MVNO type: None