Category Archives: Software

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.

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.

Touchscreen Not Working in Chrome After Windows 10 Upgrade

After I upgraded my computer to Windows 10, my touchscreen stopped working in Chrome. I actually didn’t notice it for quite some time, which tells me that maybe I don’t need a touchscreen. Anyway, here’s a workaround that can fix the problem.

Type the following into the address bar in Chrome.

chrome://flags

A huge list of settings will appear. Click on “ctrl” and “f” to do a page search for the word “touch”. That should take you to:

“Enable Touch Events”

Change the setting from “Automatic” to “Enable”.


Edit: Typing this into the address bar will get you to the right place quickly.

chrome://flags/#touch-events

How To Turn Off Cursor Animations in Microsoft Office

I don’t know. Maybe some people like how the cursor flies around the screen in Office 2013 applications. I do not.

Here’s how to stop the insanity.

  1. Open any Microsoft Office 2013 program.
  2. Click on the “?” thingy at the top right hand corner of the window.
  3. In the search box, type “turn off office animations”.
  4. Follow directions.
  5. Breathe.