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Fix: Windows Update 0x8e5e03fa, 0x800703fa errors

Sometime ago, I was receiving errors 0x8e5e03fa and 0x800703fa on several pending updates at Windows 10’s Update pane (found at Settings / Updates & Security / Windows Update from the Start menu).

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The updates history wasn’t showing many more details, but could see Knowldege Base article numbers (KBxx) for some pending cummulative updates.

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Trying to update some graphics drivers from the Device Manager (can access that by right clicking the Start menu button and selecting “Device Manager” from the popup menu shown on Windows 10), by right-clicking respective devices and selecting to update their drivers, was also failing.

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So it did look like a systematic issue, not some issue with some specific update item.

Looked up the error code 0x8e5e03fa via Google and found this article mentioning a JET (database engine) error. That’s the same engine used in Access if I remember well, interesting that it’s getting used by Windows Update too (probably to maintain some private database).

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The suggested fix didn’t work since the file mentioned in that article was not existing, but at that folder (%windir%\system32\catroot2) I found a dberr.txt file that obviously was holding some error log.

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Printing out that file (can use TYPE dberr.txt | more to wait after each “page”), I couldn’t help but notice that it was writing JET error all over it.

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I renamed that file (think it was then recreated again automatically) and also renamed the two folders there (using the move command – e.g. can type move, press TAB till the name of the folder appears and then add a minus sign and press TAB again till the same folder name appears and press ENTER). Did that while having the cryptsvc service stopped (using net stop cryptsvc command) as that article suggested. Then started the service again (using net start cryptsvc). 

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After doing this, all failing updates (some extra driver updates had been found using DriverBooster, but were also failing to install) eventually installed fine and Windows 10 started bringing more updates:

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HowTo: open older Pi SD card via USB multi-reader on Raspberry Pi

After doing

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

on an older Raspbian installation (at a 4GB SD Card), some corruption occured (probably due to lack of space, since I see newer NOOBS asks for an 8GB SD Card), making it unbootable. Would only show the NOOBS splash screen, but couldn’t boot into Raspbian.

I just needed some audio files from the desktop of that older installation (it was an unattended looping audio player for an art installation).

So I prepared a new SD Card with the free SD Card Formatter utility and put the latest NOOBS files in it. Booted the Raspberry Pi 2 with it and installed the latest Raspbian OS (full) from the menus. This time doing again the above two commands from a terminal and rebooting didn’t cause any problem.

However, I was searching for the files and couldn’t find them. I had gotten a bit confused at first, since when plugging in the reader it would show a dialog asking whether I wanted to open a file explorer, but then it would keep that dialog again and repeat the action till I closed the dialog. Then I read

…in Linux when there are more slots in a card reader, only the one labelled LUN 0 is read unless other tools are installed to read the other luns. If your SD slot is not LUN 0, then the SD card will not be seen.There are a lot of pages on web about this, I will be installing a package called sg3-utils that is supposed to enable reading other card reader slots.

at this thread https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=11397 and just in case I did:

sudo apt-get install sg3-utils

from a terminal and then tried plugging in again the USB card reader with the older SD card.

This time I was patient and instead of closing the action dialog that was shown after executing the suggested action (open with file explorer), I repeated it for three times and respective file explorer windows came up, then the action dialog closed by itself. The three windows were showing different partitions that had been found in the SD card, and one of those windows was showing “/media/pi/” folder. I navigated from there to “root/home/pi/Desktop” subfolder, where I could see the old desktop contents and drag-drop the audio files I was looking for to the new desktop.

Fix: WordPress administration UI content area showing up blank

Some time ago, at a WordPress 3.3 blog, a friend was getting a blank main area at the administration UI (just the menu was showing up there) when they visited the classic URL of the form http://somesite/wp-admin/. Here is a writeup of some notes I had kept while troubleshooting that issue and then upgrading to newer WordPress, with updated theme and plugins.

Visiting the problematic admin UI page online, I right-clicked and selected View Source in the browser and browsed to the bottom of it where it was showing: 

image

That div tag wasn’t not closed with a matching closing div. Obviously some PHP code that was outputing that tag failed at that point.

For starters, I copied all files via FTP (with the FireFtp Firefox plugin) from the remote server locally (into my Dropbox). Useful for backup too in case I messed up something.

Could use grepWin tool (http://stefanstools.sourceforge.net/grepWin.html) to search all locally copied php files for “contextual-help-sidebar” and see which one was outputing this (if that string was assigned to some variable could then search again where that variable was being used).

However, WordPress also has debugging mode, so I edited wp-config.php and uploaded the edited version to the server replacing the old file. I changed WP_DEBUG setting to true below: 

  image

At the problematic admin UI online page again, I right-clicked and selected View Source in the browser and browsed to the bottom of it, this time reading:

image

This led to indentifying the exact place in the PHP code that was causing this issue:

image

So, I commented out the buggy PHP code, converting it to an HTML comment block instead of a PHP block:

image

and the admin UI was working again after I pressed ENTER at the address bar again to refresh the admin UI (http://somesite/wp-admin/) and it was not showing up fine (F5 function key didn’t seem to really refresh the site when using Firefox btw, probably some caching issue).

Then installed (the free version) of the WP Database Backup plugin for WordPress:

http://www.wpseeds.com/documentation/docs/wp-database-backup/

by searching for “Backup” at

http://somesite/wp-admin/plugins.php

and evaluating the different backup plugins listed there (judging from both their votes and by checking out if WordPress wasn’t saying at the details page of a plugin that it hasn’t been tested with that [old] 3.3 WordPress version that was on that site) and backed up from Tools/WP-DB Backup menu:

http://somesite/wp-admin/tools.php?page=wp-database-backup

Then Downloaded the MySQL backup (.sql) file, so now I could update Themes, then Plugins, then update WordPress to new Core from

http://somesite/wp-admin/update-core.php

Did keep copies of the wp-content/themes and wp-content/plugins folders before and after updating them of course.

After WP updated, it asked to update the DB, all went ok

Then did backup up again the database via the WP-DB Backup tool and went again to

http://somesite/wp-admin/update-core.php

and installed an update for one of the plugins (can also do update per-plugin from http://somesite/wp-admin/plugins.php)

Then backed up again every file (db not included there) via FTP and done.

Robot modelling formats for simulation

Several XML-based formats have surfaced over the years that can be used to describe a robot.

Apart from URDF (and SRDF) of ROS origin, the Gazebo simulator has been promoting SDF (an evolution of URDF with emphasis on physics simulation), while MJCF apart from being available as URDF extensions, also has its own format with an XML schema for validation and more advanced simulation features (e.g. tendons).

URDF (ROS)

http://wiki.ros.org/urdf

http://wiki.ros.org/urdf/XML

http://wiki.ros.org/urdf/XML/joint

http://wiki.ros.org/urdf/XML/link

Also related, units of measurement in ROS: http://www.ros.org/reps/rep-0103.html

SRDF format http://wiki.ros.org/srdf that is mentioned at http://wiki.ros.org/robot_model is also related (adds Semantics like kinematic chain definition etc). As explained there it is combined with URDF in describing a robot:

This does not replace URDF, and is not an extension of URDF.

This is a format for representing semantic information about the robot structure.

A URDF file must exist for this robot as well, where the joints and the links that are referenced are defined

SDF (Gazebo)

http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=build_model

http://sdformat.org
http://sdformat.org/spec

https://bitbucket.org/osrf/gazebo_models/src (various SDF models in XML)

http://gazebosim.org/tutorials/?tut=ros_urdf (Converting from URDF to Gazebo)

http://gazebosim.org/tutorials?tut=simple_gripper (tutorial for simple gripper in SDF)

Gazebo seems to be using ODE (Open Dynamics Engine), so these are related too:

http://www.ode.org/ode-latest-userguide.html#sec_7_3_0 (see images for Joint types)

http://www.ode.org/ode-latest-userguide.html#sec_3_6_0 (ERP & CFM constraint parameters)

MJCF (MuJoCo)

http://www.mujoco.org/ (MuJoCo 1.50 was released on April 23, 2017. Student licenses are now free)

http://www.mujoco.org/book/

http://www.mujoco.org/book/modeling.html

http://www.mujoco.org/book/modeling.html#CURDF (MJCF is an advanced format but some of its functionality is also available as URDF extensions)

http://www.mujoco.org/book/computation.html#Constraint (MuJoCo has constraints like Connect/Weld/Joint/Tendon/Distance)

https://homes.cs.washington.edu/~todorov/papers/TodorovIROS12.pdf (see paragraph «B. Elements of a MuJoCo model»)

URDF to MJCF conversion is possible (related sample available for MuJoCo):

http://www.mujoco.org/forum/index.php?threads/urdf-mjcf-conversion.3429/

There is ongoing work at Bullet Physics engine to import MJCF, as mentioned at:

https://github.com/bulletphysics/bullet3/releases

Thus, they have collected various MJCF models (XML):

https://github.com/bulletphysics/bullet3/tree/master/data/mjcf

Background info on libpng warning: iCCP: known incorrect sRGB profile

I was just checking some log file saved from Buildbox and seems Qt framework was logging the error:

libpng warning: iCCP: known incorrect sRGB profile

Did some quick research on Google (sorry dear Bing) and added the following background info to the respective question on StackOverflow:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/22745076/libpng-warning-iccp-known-incorrect-srgb-profile/

Some changes in libpng version 1.6+ cause it to issue a warning or even not work correctly with the original HP/MS sRGB profile, leading to the following stderr: libpng warning: iCCP: known incorrect sRGB profile The old profile uses a D50 whitepoint, where D65 is standard. This profile is not uncommon, being used by Adobe Photoshop, although it was not embedded into images by default.

(source: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Libpng_errors)

Error detection in some chunks has improved; in particular the iCCP chunk reader now does pretty complete validation of the basic format. Some bad profiles that were previously accepted are now rejected, in particular the very old broken Microsoft/HP sRGB profile. The PNG spec requirement that only grayscale profiles may appear in images with color type 0 or 4 and that even if the image only contains gray pixels, only RGB profiles may appear in images with color type 2, 3, or 6, is now enforced. The sRGB chunk is allowed to appear in images with any color type.

(source: https://forum.qt.io/topic/58638/solved-libpng-warning-iccp-known-incorrect-srgb-profile-drive-me-nuts/16)

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Fix: Delphi error MSBuildToolsPath is not specified for the ToolsVersion …

This is my answer at:

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/32936544/delphi-10-seattle-trial-fails-to-compile-anything-gives-an-msbuild-error

for the issue of Delphi showing on build the error

MSBuildToolsPath is not specified for the ToolsVersion “12.0” defined at “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSBuild\ToolsVersions\12.0”, or the value specified evaluated to the empty string

note that in my case it was also showing underlined unit names in the code editor at uses clause with “Cannot resolve unit name xx”


It is a known issue, documented here: https://community.embarcadero.com/article/technical-articles/16202-msbuildtoolspath-is-not-specified-for-the-toolsversion

This error is caused by incorrect values in the registry. On a 32 OS, run regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSBuild. On a 64 bit OS, run regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\MSBuild. First, backup this registry key by selecting File | Export. Next, look at the numbers below the ToolsVersions key. Delete any number not found at the MSBuild level. … There is anecdotal evidence to suggest this registry key imbalance is caused by uninstalling some versions of Visual Studio, but it has not been confirmed at this time.

Since I’ve been installing/uninstalling various Visual Studio versions (including previews), guess it has indeed been caused by that

Error “A default tools version “2.0” was specified, but its definition could not be found.” may appear then if you deleted the 2.0 key following the 1st article’s advice. Solution for that one is to edit each value under MSBuild key in the registry locations mentioned for x32 and x64 and change DefaultToolsVersion to 14.0 or other highest MSBuild tools version that is installed

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image

Note that on x64 machine you need to fix these two issues for both x32 and x64 registry locations, since the IDE is 32-bit process and if you fix x64 location only it will fail internally, underlining all Standard units at uses clause in your source code at uses clause and showing “Cannot resolve unit name xx”

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image

Also it may be useful to install this: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=48159

This may also be useful to know (copying from https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb383985.aspx):

Order of Precedence

The order of precedence, from highest to lowest, used to determine the ToolsVersion is: The ToolsVersion attribute on the MSBuild task used to build the project, if any.

The /toolsversion (or /tv) switch that’s used in the msbuild.exe command, if any.

If the environment variable MSBUILDTREATALLTOOLSVERSIONSASCURRENT is set, then use the current ToolsVersion.

If the environment variable MSBUILDTREATHIGHERTOOLSVERSIONASCURRENT is set and the ToolsVersion defined in the project file is greater than the current ToolsVersion, use the current ToolsVersion.

If the environment variable MSBUILDLEGACYDEFAULTTOOLSVERSION is set, or if ToolsVersion is not set, then the following steps are used:

The ToolsVersion attribute of the Project element of the project file. If this attribute doesn’t exist, it is assumed to be the current version.

The default tools version in the MSBuild.exe.config file.

The default tools version in the registry. For more information, see Standard and Custom Toolset Configurations.

If the environment variable MSBUILDLEGACYDEFAULTTOOLSVERSION is not set, then the following steps are used:

If the environment variable MSBUILDDEFAULTTOOLSVERSION is set to a ToolsVersion that exists, use it.

If DefaultOverrideToolsVersion is set in MSBuild.exe.config, use it.

If DefaultOverrideToolsVersion is set in the registry, use it.

Otherwise, use the current ToolsVersion.

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