Category Archives: Tech Notes

Allow or disallow Flash for certain websites in Firefox

In order to allow or disallow third party plugins for certain websites in Firefox you need to perform the following steps:

  1. Go to the desired website and right-click on the window, this should display the following promptFirefox - View Page Info
  2. Select ‘View Page Info’ then click the Permissions tab, this will display the window below, here you can toggle a plugin for each website, for instance disable Flash browser wide but enable it to be used in Spotify.Firefox - Page Permissions

ASP.NET Master and Content Page Event Order

Below is a breakdown of the ASP.NET master page event order in relation to the event order of the content page that is using the master page.

Content Page

Master Page

2Controls Init
3Controls Init
8Controls Load
9Controls Load
12Controls PreRender
13Controls PreRender
14Controls Unload
15Controls Unload

Information taken from

Development resources

Below is a list of resources that can be used for developing video games.


Color Scheme Designer 3 – A interactive web page for generating a colour scheme.

COLOURlovers – A website that can be used to get inspiration for colour palettes, patterns or even just individual colours.

Rainbow colours – A web page listing the HTML and RGB codes for the colours of the rainbow.


CSS3 Generator – A web page for generating CSS3 specific code for various CSS commands such as border radius, box shadow, text shadow, etc.

Fonts – A website containing both free and commercial fonts.

Font Awesome – A font specially designed for web use which contains 369+ web-related actions, such as a settings icon.

Graphics – 2D

GIMP – An open source alternative to Photoshop which includes a wide range of plugins.

GIMP extensions – A compliation of GIMP extensions, plugins, scripts, brushes, etc.

Graphics – 3D

Blender – An open source 3D modelling software.

Blender 2.5 cheat sheet – A PDF of useful keyboard shortcuts to be used when using Blender.


MusicRadar – A music website containing a vast array of samples that can be used in your music.

Shockwave Sound – A website containing royalty-free music and sound effects.

Incompetech – More royalty-free music.

JewelBeat – Even more royalty-free music.

Catooh – An online media marketplace for images, video, songs, sounds and effects.


CLR Profiler – Microsoft’s own .NET profiler, can be hard to use but one of the few free .NET profilers around.

Intel Graphics Performance Analyzer – Can be used to monitor performance of 3D programs, helping to identify any performance issues.

Sound Effects

Bfxr – A web based program for generating basic sound effects.

Wilhelm scream – The famous Wilhelm scream which can be heard in a wide variety of places, see Wikipedia for more information. – A database of Creative Commons Licenced sounds.

Soundsnap – A database of professional paid sound effects.

VoiceBunny – Provider of professional voice actors.

Catooh – An online media marketplace for images, video, songs, sounds and effects.

Technical Notes

A sampling of shadow techniques

Understanding half-pixel and half-texel offsets

Command and Conquer

A while ago Electronic Arts released the older Command and Conquer games for download but since then they have revamped their website and the links seem to have been lost, as of posting below are working links:

Command and Conquer: GoldCommand and Conquer: Gold – GDI ISO
Command and Conquer: Gold – NOD ISO
Command and Conquer: Red AlertCommand and Conquer: Red Alert – Allied
Command and Conquer: Red Alert – Soviet
Command and Conquer: Tiberian SunCommand and Conquer: Tiberian Sun

Nokia 5230 codes

There are a number of “secret” codes that can be entered on Symbian phones in particular the Nokia 5230, if your phone asks for the unlock code at any point the default value is 12345.

*#0000#Software/Firmware Version
Shows your software and firmware version, including information such as Software version, Software version date, Custom version, Custom version date, Language set, Model, Type and Latest update
*#06#IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) Number
Shows your IMEI number, each mobile phones number is unique
*#7780#Soft Reset Code
Restores the default factory settings without affecting your contacts, messages, files, etc
*#7370#Hard Reset Code
Will erase all data, including contacts, messages, files, etc. on the phone returning it back to its default factory settings. It is best practice to backup your settings and removing your memory card before using this option
*#2820#Bluetooth Device Address
Shows the devices Bluetooth device address for manually connecting to a Bluetooth device (Note that Bluetooth must be turned on before entering this code)
*#92702689#Life Timer
Shows the total outgoing call minutes since the last hard reset.

How to load the web page instead of the RSS feed summary in Thunderbird 3

Mozilla has released Thunderbird 3.0, their email and news client, but after upgrading from Thunderbird I found that my RSS feeds were no longer displaying the linked web page when viewing them, instead they were displaying the article summary.

There are two different settings controlling this functionality, the first can be found by entering ‘Manage Subscriptions’ and editing the individual feed. There is a tick box called ‘Show the article summary instead of loading the web page’, to load the web page, make sure this is unticked.

The second setting can be found by viewing the feed and then on the main menu navigate to ‘View > Feed Message Body As’ and selecting ‘Default Format’.

CD or DVD drive not found in Windows 7

If your CD\DVD drive is identifed by your BIOS but not by Windows 7 then try the following:

  • Run regedit.exe
  • Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ControlClass
  • Delete both UpperFilters and LowerFilters in the right-hand pane
  • NB: Leave both the UpperFilters.bak and LowerFilters.bak entries

If this doesn’t work then try resetting the drive letter using the following:

  • Run the Disk Management tool
  • Choose ‘Create and format hard disk partitions’
  • If the DVD drive is present then right click it and select ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’
  • Click ‘Change’ and select a new letter
  • If the CDDVD drive is now visible in Explorer you can change the letter back
  • If it is still not visible then reboot and it should appear

Perform a clean install with Windows 7 Upgrade

Paul Thurott and friend have worked out how to do a clean Windows 7 installation whilst only using the Windows 7 upgrade disc.

The instructions are as follows:

  • Perform a clean installation using the Upgrade disc.
  • Install all pending Windows Updates.
  • Open regedit.exe from the Start Menu.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/Windows/CurrentVersion/Setup/OOBE/
  • Change MediaBootInstall from ‘1’ to ‘0’.
  • Open the Start Menu again and type ‘cmd’ — use ctrl+shift+enter to run it as an elevated-permissions user.
  • Finally, type slmgr /rearm — and press enter.

You can now reboot and activate Windows 7 by running the Activate Windows utility, type in your product key and it should now work.

Grand Theft Auto IV save game location

In order to backup your save games for Grand Theft Auto IV on the PC you will need to backup two different folders, this is due to the game using the Games for Windows Live system.

Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Rockstar Games

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\MicrosoftXLive

Windows Vista/7

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Rockstar Games


NB: These are the default folder locations, if you have a different location it can be found by typing %LOCALAPPDATA% into Windows Explorer.

Assassin’s Creed save game location

The Assassin’s Creed save games can be found in the following locations:

Windows XP

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Ubisoft\Assassin's Creed\Saved Games

Windows Vista/7

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Ubisoft\Assassin's Creed\Saved Games

These are the default locations, if they are not in the respective location you can try searching for assassin.ini as they should be in the same folder.