Website videos black / dark for first few seconds – FIXED

This has been annoying me for ages… When I say ages, I mean 6 months or more. When I start to watch a video in Chrome on a website like YouTube or BBC News, the first few seconds of the video are dark and pixellated. I’ve tried new video drivers and other setting changes but none have worked until now.

This first image shows what a video looks like when it starts to run in Chrome.

2016-11-09-18_57_18-donald-trumps-speech-in-full-bbc-news
When I realised that the same videos played well in Internet Explorer, Edge and Firefox, I decided that it had to be one of the Chrome settings. After some trial and error, I discovered this flag:
chrome://flags/#disable-accelerated-video-decode  .

I disabled this which means that Chrome wasn’t trying to use hardware acceleration on my graphics card. This fixed my problem.
2016-11-09-18_57_49-donald-trumps-speech-in-full-bbc-news
After disabling hardware acceleration, my videos are clear, right from the first second of replay – a great improvement.

Batch file to delete files older than x days from folders in Windows

I’ve been working for a client over recent months and part of my resposibility has been to look after a number of servers used for performance testing. Occasionally drives fill up on the server farm causing outages and obvious interruptions to testing.

It would be a near full-time job to manage all these servers, so to reduce the chance of temporary files from filling up drives and causing problems, I looked into creating a scheduled task to delete old temporary files. Since my server estate is varied, I didnt want to use PowerShell so I opted for an old “DOS” command, FORFILES.

This seems to have done the trick for me:
forfiles /s /m *.* /d -7 /c "cmd /c del @path"

(This command deletes all files that are more than 7 days old from the folder in which it runs.)

Update – To remove folders as well:
forfiles /S /D -7 /C "cmd /c IF @isdir == TRUE RMDIR @path /S /Q"

(This command deletes all folders that are more than 7 days old from the folder in which it runs. – Run it after deleting the files with the command above.)

 

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

 

Plagiarism
Plagiarism

 

I’ve heard this phrase before, but it’s never applied to me until now. This afternoon I was searching for a snippet of LoadRunner information when I came across a LoadRunner blog that I hadn’t seen before. I read a couple of articles when one in particular caught my eye. The website http://easyloadrunner.blogspot.co.uk by Raviteja Gorentla had one article in particular that interested me.

Article 1
The article “New Release of LoadRunner 12 version” describes in detail how the author met HP at the Discover conference in Barcelona and worked with them on the beta evaluation before it was released. This all sounded very familiar, so I looked at my own article, “First Look at LoadRunner 12” on the Trust IV blog. The text was identical. The plagiarist hadn’t even had the decency to cite the original author (me) or include a link to my site.

Article 2
I did a quick trawl of his website and found numerous other articles, some of which seemed familiar. For example “How to use JavaScript in your HP LoadRunner scripts” is a straight copy of Malcolm Isaac’s article from the HP LoadRunner and Performance Center blog.

Article 3
I looked a little further and the article “Sequential Random Unique Each iteration, Each occurrence in Load Runner” was taken from Sindu Bindu’s website and the article entitled “LOADRUNNER VUGEN PARAMETERIZATION”. Even the images were taken from the original article because the screenshots showed a distinctive purple colour on the task bar.

Article 4
The next page that I looked at was “Action files in LoadRunner”, a very short article, describing the purpose of the three commonly used sections in a LoadRunner script. This also looked as if it had been copied from Sindu Bindu’s website. “Action files in Loadrunner”.  This same content was also duplicated on three separate scribd pages.

So far all the articles that I’d seen had been taken from other people’s websites. No original source or author was ever cited, but Raviteja had thoughtfully put a copyright statement at the bottom of his pages to protect ‘his’ content from people like him.

Sadly Raviteja’s efforts were in vain. Three other “copy cats” appeared to have reproduced his content on their scribd pages. The “Action Files in LoadRunner” document is also reproduced in:

So now you know why it’s so hard to “Google” for the correct answer to a performance testing problem. Hordes of offshore workers are ripping off other people’s content and passing it off as their own. Next time you hire a big offshore provider, try to make sure that you don’t get Ravita, Janede, Sai or Ilaaaannnn working for you. I’m not sure that they know what they’re doing.