Category Archives: Tech Support

How to Remove Badges from Sony Xperia Phone

I get nagged enough in real life: I don’t need my phone to add to the problem. I, therefore, turn off ALL notifications except for those that have to do with actual phone calls (which are rare) or SMS messages. Apps should go silently about their business, in my opinion. That especially includes email apps, which should be there for when I *want to* check, not ping and ding me every time someone sends me something.

I feel the same way about “badges”, the little numbers that appear beside app icons on your phone’s screens to tell you how many new notifications you have received, or how many are unread. I don’t need that kind of stress in my life, so I prefer to remove all badges.

HOWEVER…

While you can remove badges on a Samsung phone by disabling the “badgeprovider” app, there doesn’t seem to be an equivalent app on my Xperia XZ phone. From what I can tell (and feel free to correct me in the comments), the only way to solve this problem on an Xperia phone is to replace the default launcher with a third party app such as Nova or Apex. You can do this by going into the Play Store and searching for “Nova Launcher” or “Apex Launcher” and installing one or both of them. After you install the launcher of your choice, click on your “HOME” button (the one on the bottom of your phone, shaped like a house) and you should be asked which launcher you want to use in the future. Chose the one you installed. Note that this will undo any customizations that you have made to your screens, so you will have to sort them out again from the start. (Of course, you will only have to do this once and then the new app will remember your preferences.)

I am using Nova, and from what I can tell, badges are disabled by default. I lost all of the customizations that I had made in the default launcher, but as I prefer a very minimalist interface, this did not take very long.

Connected to Public Wifi, No Internet Access (Hotel)

I was able to connect my phone to my hotel wifi, but not my computer. The computer connected to the network, but it said that I had “no internet access”. I looked online for some solutions and here are some of the things that I tried.

  • Turning my computer off and on.
  • Turning my wifi off and on.
  • Flushing my DNS (command prompt — ipconfig /flushdns)
  • Releasing my IP address and renewing it (command prompt — ipconfig /release, then ipconfig /renew)
  • Opening different browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer)

None of these worked. Here is what did.

  • Network settings for the network in question
  • Go to “properties”
  • Internet protocol version 4
  • Go to “properties”
  • “Choose DNS server automatically” (mine was set to the Google DNS servers)

Hope this helps!

Printer Won’t Feed Paper

I have a Canon printer and it starting having trouble feeding the paper in. I found this really odd thread (please follow the link, as you won’t believe me otherwise) that suggested, amongst other things, the following:

  • turn the printer upside down and shake it
  • shove a slightly thick piece of paper (or cardboard) through it
  • clean various parts with alcohol

Almost all of the people who posted found something stuck inside their printer and shaking it or shoving thin cardboard or thick cardstock (e.g. a thick Christmas card) was enough to dislodge the thing that was stopping the feeder from working properly. Examples of things that were stuck in there include: pens, insects, needles, paper clips, food, SD cards, parts of Christmas trees, coins, paper, pills, toys, etc. Many people who tried out this solution said they were convinced nothing was stuck back there… until they tried this.

Even if you don’t have a printer problem you may find the thread interesting to read just for the number and variety of things that people get stuck in their printers. (Some of the posts are obviously just making fun of the idea. I’m pretty sure a moose wouldn’t fit back there, for example.)

Shaking and pushing through cardstock has made my printer “attempt to print” which it was refusing to do before, but it is still not completely fixed. It looks a bit dusty in there, but nothing came out after the shaking/pushing episodes. (Note, I tried both more than once.) I don’t print very often, so I shall have to wait and see if this fix sticks.

Blank Screen on Dell Vostro After Windows 10 Upgrade

This is a problem with the graphics driver and the BIOS.

1. The problem is caused by the computer selecting an external monitor (which may or may not be present) as the main monitor for the laptop. If you have an extra monitor, attach it to the Vostro and the screen will probably show up there.

2. Update the BIOS to A12. You can find the update on the Dell site. You might need to go looking for it specifically. When I used the Dell site to search for updates (of any kind), it led me to update the BIOS, but only to A09. I had to go back to the site and search for further BIOS updates in order to find A12.

3. You can try upgrading the graphics driver, but I don’t think that helped in my case. Disabling the graphics driver will force the screen back to the laptop monitor, but you will be using a very basic, generic graphics driver in that case, so you will have limited functionality. The above BIOS update is the only thing that worked for me.