Speeding up the Android Emulator (Intel)

If you have installed the Android SDK but find the emulator hopelessly slow (even on a fast PC) then this might just make your day. It did mine; in my adult nerdhood I am easily pleased.

Install the Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM):

  1. Start the Android SDK Manager by right-clicking and seleting Run as administrator (you’ll only need to run as administrator if you installed the SDK in a restricted location such as /Program Files, like I did – doh!).
  2. Tick Intel x86 Emulator Accelerator (HAXM) under Extras and install.
  3. Make sure your chosen platform has Intel x86 Atom System Image installed.

Check your configuration in the AVD Manager:

  1. Set your CPU/ABI to Intel Atom (x86).
  2. Tick Use Host GPU for faster graphics (display problems can occur so I have un-ticked this for now).

If you try running the emulator now you will get the following error:

emulator: Failed to open the HAX device!

emulator: Open HAX device failed

HAX is not working and emulator runs in emulation mode

To fix this you simply need to run the installation program for HAXM:

  1. Goto ..android-sdk/extras/intel/Hardware_Accelerated_Execution_Manager.
  2. Run the program haxm-windows_r02.exe.

You should now find that your Android Emulator runs a lot faster!
See you soon…on www.workbootsnerd.com

Windows 7 + Acrobat + Xerox – half-page reduction problem

Does your Adobe Acrobat/Reader always print on your Xerox Phaser 8550 (or other Xerox) with half-size output locked into landscape even when you force orientation to portrait? An illustration will explain the problem better:

half-page xerox/adobe reduction problem

It appears that this is a legacy driver problem. Here is the fix I used:

  1. Goto Devices and Printers → remove the offending Xerox printer!
  2. Goto the Xerox website → download the Xerox Global Print Driver (dated 9-Nov-2012 at the time of writing). Make sure it is WHQL certified.
  3. Select Install from Web.
  4. Delete the old drivers → highlight another printer → click Printer server properties at the top of the Control Panel window
  5. Click Drivers → highlight your Xerox driver(s) → click Remove → select Remove driver and driver package.
  6. Reboot.
  7. Run the set-up program (in my case Setup.5.273.23.2.exe).
  8. The set-up program should detect your printer which you should then select and click Next.
  9. Select your required option(s) and click Install (I chose Postscript).

Thank you to those who took the trouble to post their solution in the Adobe Community.

Manually Installing (Side Loading) Apps On Your Android Device

One of the obvious benefits of the Android platform is its openness. Android is, therefore, ideal for dipping your toe into the “app” world.

Here’s the method I use to install an app on an Android phone without going through the hassle of having to publish it on Google’s Play Store:

  1. Goto Settings → Applications and tick Unknown Sources so that any applications can be installed, rather than just ones from the Google app store.
  2. Plug in phone and set it to USB storage mode (mount as a disk drive) so that you can view the device’s SD Card as a disk drive.
  3. Copy your application file (.apk) to the phone and note the location.
  4. Disconnect the phone.
  5. Use a File Manager app to find the file and install your .apk file.