How to Fix Crackling Sounds on your Computer

sound-card-crackling-fix-2If you recently installed a new video card, or just happen to hear crackling or otherwise less than perfect audio, I may have the fix for you.

First of all, download DPC Latency Checker.


Start your music playing after running the DPC tool, and do you see red bars? If so… you’ve got problems; but you already knew that, hence your google search that landed you here!

What I found was “NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device (Wave Extensible) (WDM)” needed to be disabled.

Find this by going to your start menu, and type in in “device manager”.

Next, open up sound and video game controllers (click on the arrow to expose the drivers), and right click the WDM, and choose disable.

Reboot, and be thankful towards both life and music again. Woosah!


iPhone Email Setup Instructions

In the directions below, wherever it says “” substitute with your domain name.

  1. Tap “Settings” app
  2. Tap “Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  3. Tap “Add Account…
  4. Tap “Other” (bottom option)
  5. Tap “Add Mail Account
  6. Enter Name, address (full email, and password.
    (iPhone will attempt to guess your settings. Allow ~1 minute for it to fail.)
  7. Select IMAP.
    (It’s the default. The option you’ve selected will be highlighted blue.)
  8. Under “Incoming mail server
    1. Set “hostname” to
      (or your server host name or server’s IP address)
    2. Set “username” to
    3. Set “password” to your password
  9. Under “Outgoing mail server
    1. Set “Host name” to
      (or your server host name or server’s IP address)
    2. Set “User name” to
    3. Set password to your password

Email Setup Instructions

Your/Display name: anything you want
Email address: enter the full address (

Type of connection: POP3 or IMAP (I suggest IMAP)

Incoming mail server:
Outgoing mail server:
Outgoing mail server does require authentication.

Incoming mail port: 110 for POP3, 143 for IMAP
Outgoing mail port: 25 (If 25 does not work, try 26, as some ISPs block port 25)

Note: For Comcast/Xfinity Internet customers, port 587 is available for use as ports 25 and 26 are blocked on their network.

No SSL boxes should be checked*

Username/Account name: must be the full email address ( Sometimes this setting won’t work until you replace the @ with a + in the username.

Password: the email password. Do NOT use SPA (secure password authentication).

Getting Rid of Spam, Forever!

We all know how annoying it is to get bombarded by spam email. It hits every one of our devices…. you first see it on your phone, then webmail, later in your Outlook. If you create spam rules in Outlook to block certain words or senders that is a start, but how about never ever downloading them at all from the server? I will teach you how to block spam, forever.

The first step is to login to your control panel. If you use FrontEndTech for your hosting, just send me an email and I will provide you the login details. If you are a Godaddy customer, this won’t work, you aren’t on cpanel, sorry.

Ok, so you are logged into the cpanel now? Great

Step 1: Login to your control Panel

If you have cpanel hosting setup, you can get there by going to: and of course, out your site instead of where it says yourwebsite… For example, mine is and yours might be: I hope you get this far… again email me if you have trouble logging into your cpanel!


Step 2: Click on Account Level Filtering



Step 3: Click on “Create New Filter”



Step 4: Give it a unique name, I do both from and subject, since both often contain nasty spam words

The below rule I specify discard if “from” viagra.


What I am specifying above is discard any messages that come from anyone with viagra in their name. Below, I show delete/discard messages that have the subject viagra

This step shows the second rule, where the subject is specified.


Step 5: Click “Create” and you will see the below success message.


Step 6: View Filters

These are just some of the filters I’ve setup in the past. Go here periodically to edit or delete any that maybe were unintended, or just to marvel at the words you don’t have to see anymore in your inbox 🙂

Are you surprised that I delete email that promises 1st page rank on Google?


Delete spam status = yes

This automatically deletes email that spam assassin has decided is spam. Use the below rule, to discard rather than just label as spam and still deliver to your inbox.

If you want to verify if spam assassin is setup, and read more, view my spam assassin setup tutorial.


Lather, Rinse, Repeat

I do this daily unfortunately, but my inbox has gone from over 100 per day, to less than 2 per day! I currently have over 250 “discard rules” in place. Unfortunately I cannot export them, but I can send you a text file if you are a FrontEndTech customer.

Check Yourself!

Be sure you didn’t get overzealous, and ban all email from your Mom, or subject contains your company name… that would be bad.


Using Spam Assassin to Block Spam

Welcome. This is a very basic tutorial intended on helping you understand what spam assassin is, how it works, how you should be using it, and more.

What is it?

Spam assassin is built into your hosting platform, it can identify spam and block it, label it, or delete it.

How does it work?

Spam Assassin assigns a spam score for each known spammer trick, and gives a number for each issue it finds. For example, the default spam score is 4, so that means it has to find four things about an email it doesn’t like, to be considered spam.

How to use?

For the most part, just verify it’s on, and then decide if ou want the emails delivered, or just deleted. If you set a high score, it likely is spam, so I go ahead and delete spam.

Where is it?

Inside you control panel, click on the “Apache Spam Assassin” button:


Verify it’s on


New Redesign!

We’ve been building responsive sites for almost a year now, so it was about time that we finally redesigned This was no small task as the site had grown to hundreds of pages over time. We slimmed it down and included some new features:

  • Sortable Gallery
  • Client List now includes a timeline
  • Animated homepage (not flash) that is mobile supported
  • Responsive, for desktop, tablet and phone viewing
  • New logo and branding
  • New business cards / brochures
  • Built on WordPress

San Jose WordPress Help

We are now offering assistance with WordPress. If you need help getting setup, or perhaps trained on how the application works, please give us a shout. I really do enjoy helping others, and it is a good reminder of how difficult web design can be. I take my knowledge for granted, and sometimes forget that my knowledge today is a culmination of 16 years of web design experience.

Some of the services include:
1. Setup /Installation of WordPress
2. Integration of WordPress within an existing site (add a blog section that matches your design, and lives under your domain)
3. Help with alignment issues, CSS, menus, etc.
4. WordPress optimization, backup, and maintenance
5. WordPress SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
6. Cross browser issues
7. Mobile Issues
8. WordPress tips including how to blog, how often, what to say, what not to say/do, etc.

Link Buying, not a good idea

I received a call yesterday morning regarding purchasing links in order to boost SEO. My immediate reply to the person calling was: “There are five rules that Google tells you to follow, that would be breaking one”. Silence on the other end of the line; and then: “But lots of people are doing it”. Well, just because people are doing things they shouldn’t, doesn’t mean that I will, or that you should either.

We all know that cheating is not the way to boost SEO, and buying inbound links would essentially be cheating. YOu are not allowed to buy links, so if that’s true, then I reckon you shouldn’t be allowed to sell them either.

Although I do agree that inbound links can and do help SEO, I am not about to risk my ranking by gaming the system. My hope is that if you ever receive a call like this, you will give them an ear full as I did yesterday. Comments are certainly welcome here.

Google Places Offering Free Business Photos

I read this today, and was thinking who wouldn’t want free photos taken of their business? It says they are currently seeking hotels, restaurants, retail shops, gyms, salons, repair shops, and more. They aren’t interested in major chains, but smaller business. Check it out here:

Let me know if you’ve used it, or found this information regarding Google Places helpful.

Paint It Yellow

As web designers, some of us don’t know when to stop and let things go. We live in a world of perfection… beautiful people on TV, fast cars and motorcycles, goals and aspirations. Today I’ve come to realize that sometimes good enough is OK. I’m not talking about mediocrity, I’m talking about sanity.

This reminds me of a story I was told in roughly the year 2000. It had to do with a “caption this poster” contest at Hewlett-Packard in the lunch room. Basically the poster was a bunch of yellow chicks (baby chickens) and one gray one. My boss at the time dropped an entry into the anonymous box that read: “paint it yellow and ship it”. Needless to say his suggestion didn’t win. It did however notice that not every variation or deviation should be tossed out in search of perfection.

My story comes from working on styling the submit button for this blog. It isn’t yet as pretty as I want it to be, but I cannot spend another minute on it, since it’s already taken too long. Tomorrow when I try to fix it the solution will come right away so why waste another minute tonight? Do you have these moments? Is there a name for it? I’m not giving up; just postponing in favor of my sanity.