Friday, March 31, 2017

What was the fix for the DVD drive that disappeared?

Quite a long time ago I reported in my post regarding the loss of DVD drive. I use the DVD very infrequently and it was on the back burner. Finally I decided to get to the bottom of it and succeeded. Here is the result.

In the Device Manager I could see that the DVD device was not working properly as reported in the previous link. The Toshiba, TSST Corp CDDVDW SU-208DB drive was not working and the DVD drive was not seen in the Windows Explorer. The properties of the problematic drive appeared as shown with the Code 19 error (image from the above post).

Finally I came across this Toshiba support site here.

Interestingly this page does not say anything about Windows 10 but describes the fix for Windows 8
My problem started when Windows 10 anniversary update was made and the DVD stopped working from that time.

The fix for this problem consisted of removing two of the programs from the Control Panel|...|Programs and Features shown here:

Toshiba Recovery Media Creator
Toshiba Disk Creator

and also uninstall the DVD\CD_ROM Drives element in the Device Manager.

I did not have the Toshiba Disk Creator, but I uninstalled the TOSHIBA Recovery Media Creator and the DVD/CD-ROM drives in the Device Manager.

These are as shown in the screen shots:



And now after restarting the computer I can see the DVD drive in the explorer.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What is a dual-band router?

A dual-band router is a router that has two bands.

For example, the Arris router used by subscribers to Time Warner Oceanic service provider uses the service provider provided router that two has bands, 2.4 GHZ and 5 GHz.

A typical dual-band router has an administration panel shown here:

 You can see that you can have separate settings (password, encryption, etc.) for the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHZ bands that this router can provide.

You can have devices working with either of these two bands or both. For example one or two of desktop works on 2.4 GHZ and my Lumia 950 on 5 GHZ.
My Samsung TV works on the 2.4GHZ as well.

If want to utilize the full power of bandwidth, or have multiple devices that depend on Wi-Fi it may be better to go to dual-band router although they may cost higher.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Are there tools to look at financial information of the stock market in R?

I read a very illuminating article on R-Bloggers which was originally published on R-Curtiss Miller's Personal Website (

Ever since Microsoft SQL Server began supporting R in its 2016 version, I got interested in R language. It is extremely rich with wide applicability from Astronomy( to Zoology( and everything in between.

Financial information from Yahoo as the source, the packgae 'quantmod' brings with it most of the useful financial information about stocks. quantmod gets data from Yahoo Finance and Google Finance plus from other sources.

In order to work with financial data you should download the package which can done as shown:
> # Get quantmod
> if (!require("quantmod")) {
+     install.packages("quantmod")
+     library(quantmod)
+ }
Loading required package: quantmod
Installing package into ‘C:/Users/Jayaram/Documents/R/win-library/3.2’
(as ‘lib’ is unspecified)
--- Please select a CRAN mirror for use in this session ---
also installing the dependencies ‘xts’, ‘zoo’, ‘TTR’
[ I chose the CRAN site in California ]
trying URL ''
Content type 'application/zip' length 662188 bytes (646 KB)
downloaded 646 KB

trying URL ''
Content type 'application/zip' length 905140 bytes (883 KB)
downloaded 883 KB

trying URL ''
Content type 'application/zip' length 432456 bytes (422 KB)
downloaded 422 KB

trying URL ''
Content type 'application/zip' length 473601 bytes (462 KB)
downloaded 462 KB

package ‘xts’ successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked
package ‘zoo’ successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked
package ‘TTR’ successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked
package ‘quantmod’ successfully unpacked and MD5 sums checked

The downloaded binary packages are in
Loading required package: xts
Loading required package: zoo

Attaching package: ‘zoo’

The following objects are masked from ‘package:base’:

    as.Date, as.Date.numeric

Loading required package: TTR
Version 0.4-0 included new data defaults. See ?getSymbols.
Warning messages:
1: In library(package, lib.loc = lib.loc, character.only = TRUE, logical.return = TRUE,  :
  there is no package called ‘quantmod’
2: package ‘quantmod’ was built under R version 3.2.5
3: package ‘xts’ was built under R version 3.2.5
4: package ‘zoo’ was built under R version 3.2.5
5: package ‘TTR’ was built under R version 3.2.5
Once it is installed. You can set up start and end dates variables for viewing your stocks like in:
start<-"" br="">end <-"" br="">
With these defined, you can get the Apple's stock price using its ticker symbol AAPL using the functions in the package as shown obtaining data from the Yahoo source.
> getSymbols("AAPL", src="yahoo", from=start, to=end)
To view the data just run the statement

Thursday, March 23, 2017

How do you set up the DMZ on your router?

You may want to place one of your computers behind the firewall temporarily outside the firewall for troubleshooting purposes. Keeping a computer outside the firewall is not good practice except temporarily for troubleshooting.

In order to do this you need access to your router's IP Address. In most home computers connected to the Internet via a router, this address is

On my Arris router supplied by Oceanic Time Warner, I can go to the DMZ page directly by entering the router address as shown:


Of course you need the username and password, which you can get from the service provider.

All you need to do is indicate which of the Internal computers behind the firewall goes to the DMZ. The settings of DMZ will have both a Public IP (WAN IP) as well as an Internal (Private IP). Note that all the ports on the computer in the DMZ can be attacked by hackers.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

What kind of a file is this?

This is often a question you ask yourselves when you come across a file which has no extension, or has an extension that you do not recognize. Often you get into this questioning mode while trying to read an email attachment, or a file you downloaded from the Internet. Often times it is also an archived document.

The designer of TriEngine has looked through various types of documents, over 8000 of them and has set up a database which he uses to compare the patterns in the files to make the best guess of the file type. This is useful mostly for files in binary format.

You can download a copy of the latest program from here or use an online version )of it.

I did downlaod a windows version and a .NET GUI version, but they had problems with a missing root for some XML file. You may give it a try.

I used the online version to see if it can find some of the files in my directory filled with file types. I deliberately deleted extensions from two of the files but renamed it to recognize later. 

It did quite a reasonable job. It found the match if it is within the definitions directory(constantly updated) which now has over 8000 definitions. Here are some of the results:

.diagcab file

 .sqlite file

 .pbiviz file

.ogg file

It did not file with an extension .nar and a file with no extension was recognized as a .pdf file

Friday, March 17, 2017

What if I do not find Remote Procedure Call Service (RPC) on my Windows 10?

It can happen as it happened to me that the RPC service line item may be missing in the Windows 10 Professional.

RPCss is the Service Control Manager (SCM) for COM and DCOM servers. It performs object activation requests, object explorer resolutions and distributed garbage collection for COM and DCOM. Programs on the local computer and or on a remote computer may fail if it is not working.

You should find this in Control Panel|...|Services.

By default RPC will be running as NT Authority\NetworkService, a shared process of svchost. If it fails error is logged.

If it is absent you can get it from here:

Note. Make sure that the rpcss.dll file exists in the %WinDir%\system32 folder.

If this file is missing you can try to restore it from your Windows 10 installation media.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How do you open a X.tar.gz file in Window 10?

The word 'tar' refers to the software utility program for archiving many files into an archive file. It was usually called a tarball for distributing or backing up file lots. This is very similar to the files in Windows.

Recently I needed to open a file of this type in my Windows 10 Professional and I looked at the various Apps in Windows Store. I finally decided to use the app, OpenZip shown here.

Open ZIP+_0.png

This iss downloaded from the Windows Store as shown.

Open ZIP+_1.png

I had downloaded the file with extension  tar.gz to the Downloads folder. After launching Open ZIP+,  I just browsed the file and extracted to a folder on the desktop.

Open Zip+_2.png

Extracted files were saved to a folder on the computer as shown:

Open Zip+_2.png 

Looks like this is a reliable app for this task. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

Can I use the bacpac file to import WWI database?

Although the bacpac file available is for the Azure SQL Database, you can use it to import it inot SQL Server 2016 Sp1.

In this post I describe how you may construct the database on the named instance using a BacPac file.
If you have not used this kind of file please review the following link here.

In what follows I describe using the .bacpac file to construct the WWI database
Go here:

Get this bacpac file:
Azure SQL Database Standard tier

    WideWorldImporters-Standard.bacpac - standard edition OLTP sample database in bacpac format. For Azure SQL Databases in the Standard tier.

Download the 58.4 MB file from the above site.

SQL Server 2016 SP1 like the other versions has a wizard to bring the database using a .bacpac file such the one you downloaded.

You invoke the wizard as shown in the next image and follow through.


Click Import Data-tier Applicaiton... to open the window shown in the next image.  Read the steps in this introductory page.


 Click Next. You click the Browse... button to locate the  indicated file. This is the location to which I saved the WideWorldImporters-Standard.bacpac file. 
It does not matter it is for Azure SQL Database.


After getting the file location from the location as shown in the next image proceed to next step.


After getting the file location in the wizard's interface (the image one above the previous) click Next.


 Just verify that the location for files are what you want. Herein defaults are accepted. You could browse and park elsewhere.

The database name was changed to WWI_Bacpac.

Click Next. The Summary of processing is presented as shown.


Click Next. The next four images shows the progress captured in images. Indexes are dropped and created, etc.


Object explorer refreshed - last processing step.

The WWI database is imported successfully.

Here is the final verification of the import into the named instance.


Another way to import the database is using the Restore utility in SQL Server 2016 as described here.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

What version of SQL Server Data Tools can be used with Visual Studio Community?

The recommended version of VS Community to use the latest SSDT is Visual Studio 2015. The version of SSDT with Visual Studio 2015 Update 3 is  14.0.60519.0.

With this version of SSDT you can create the following types of Business Intelligence projects for which you can find the templates in the New Project Menu shown here:

Analysis Services Project templates:

Integration Services Project templates:

Reporting Services Project templates

I am not sure if there are templates online for Business Intelligence projects. I tried and did not find any.

How do you find what features are installed and configured after SQL Server 2016 installation?

The best way to find what features are installed when you installed SQL Server 2016 is to run a discovery report. The discover report table has the following columns:

Instance ID
Edition Type
Clustered or not
Configured or not

How do you run a discovery report?

You can use the command line tool to run the report.
Run the following from command line prompt:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Setup Bootstrap\SQLServer2016>setup.exe /action=RunDiscovery

This generates the discovery report and places it in the log folder.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Setup Bootstrap\Log

This generates the report (an htm file) in the following directory:
C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\130\Setup Bootstrap\Log\20170304_105325>

Where 20170304_105325 is the last session (or the session for running the discovery)

 You may now go to the above directory and open the htm file in your usual browser (the whole screen is not shown).

How likely would I recommend Cortana?

Not very likely in the present state of mind. The explanation is in the image.

I am not the only one. Many have reported this problem and some observed that although you don't see the characters being typed into the search box they do get registered. Such was not in my case. The cursor stays put.

I could not repeat this behavior. All of a sudden I cannot type-in, but if I bring up the All Programs after some type it registers the text input.