Saturday, December 22, 2012

[Tech Tips] How to open Youtube in Pakistan without proxy?

Its been around 3 months since Youtube was banned in Pakistan, supposedly in the wake of the anti-Muslim film Innocence of Muslims. When the film's trailer got released a load of cavemen came bawling about on the street asking to block Youtube. The government, in its signatory response, decided to block access to Youtube for an indefinite period citing the presence of blasphemous content.

The radical conservatives whose actions catalyzed this extreme response, if researched, would make up only around 2-3% of Pakistan's internet populace. This goes on to show the disproportion of the government's response; shutting down access to the world's premier video sharing site where millions of Pakistanis used to watch educational and entertainment videos.

Well, this ban didn't only lead to negatives. There are some positives as well. The use of free internet proxies like Hotspot and Spotflux flourished in the country, effectively lending government's censorship drive rudderless. Also, local video sharing websites like sprang up much like how the ban on Facebook, back in 2010, lead to Muslim Facebook. However, these websites are an alternative at most, I don't think they will be able to keep up once Youtube is unbanned like MFB faded into obscurity once people had regained access to Facebook.

So, now let's get to the crux of the article, how to access Youtube without those slow and pesky proxy softwares. Hotspot for one, is hated, because they just bombard you with a hell load of ads meanwhile giving abysmal speeds. Spotflux is better, it is faster and doesn't have any weird advertisement windows popping up left and right. Still, nothing beats the convenience of circumventing the turning on proxy part for accessing Youtube - you don't have sit around waiting to connect to the proxy server!
I discovered this procedure by chance, it goes like this:

1) Right-click on the internet icon in the system icons portion of the taskbar. (highlighted in yellow)

2) Select Open Network and Sharing Center.
3) Select Local Area Network.

4) Click on the Properties button. Make sure you are the administrator of your computer before doing so.

5) Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 in the list.

6) Click on the Use the following DNS server addresses radio button, if not selected, and enter and in their respective fields. These are Google's own DNS servers. Press OK on this window and the one that was open before [the previous one would automatically come up one you press OK on the first one.].

7) Now the first part is done, in the second portion you will apply these DNS settings to your router. If you don't go through this step Youtube would open but not stream.
8) Open your router's setting page by typing your router's address in your browser window. I use PTCL's router which has the address TP-Link routers have either the address or

9) Once you have entered the address you will be prompted for the username and password. If you haven't changed it, although it is recommended that you do, the combination will be admin/admin for both PTCL and TP-Link routers.
10) (for PTCL router) Then select Advanced Setup followed by DNS and enter the DNS addresses again. Save and reboot the router from Mangement.

11) (for TP-Link router) Go to DHCP then select DHCP settings. Enter and in the primary and secondary DNS fields respectively. Save and then restart your router.

Finally access Youtube using the https:// protocol like
Remember the simple http protocol won't work!
Enjoy, do let me know in the comments below how this panned out for you!‎

Sunday, December 16, 2012

[Tech Tips] Hitman: Absolution Crash Fixes


Agent 47. Oh, how much we have missed you. Yes, the silent assassin is back but, unfortunately, with him are a load of crashes and glitches.

I will try to help you people get around the most common ones.

#1 "DirectX 11 failed to initialize"
Hitman: Absolution is one of the first games that actually requires Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to be installed on your machine in order to run the game. If you don't have this SP1 then when you double click the Hitman: Absolution shortcut\executable, this error pops up:

To get around this go to this link and download the the highlighted Service Pack 1 version (see below). Then mount the downloaded .iso image via Daemon Tools or any other image mounting application. You can also burn this image on a DVD.
Download this version.
After mounting the image and accessing the setup within, follow the onscreen instructions and allow the installation to finish. The setup will take approximately an hour to complete and your computer will restart a couple of time during the process.

After you have installed this service pack, the above error will go away.

Also make sure that your graphics card drivers are up-to-date. If not, then you can download the newest drivers from Nvidia or ATI's website, depending upon the make of your graphics card.

#2 Fatal DirectX Errors
There are two fatal DirectX errors that I have seen with Hitman: Absolution...

Both of these errors happen in-game and the game crashes afterwards. I have found that these errors are related to a faulty implementation of Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO), an advanced graphic rendering technique that calculates how light will bounce off of various graphics within a game. So you will have to turn it off in the graphics menu of Hitman: Absolution. For added stability, I also recommend to turn off the related Depth of Field option. Doing these two will make sure these in-game crashes are kept at bay. However, keep on a look out for a patch from the developers that addresses this issue.
You can access the graphics menu of Hitman: Absolution by selecting Options at the startup screen.

Turn off both these options for a crash free gameplay.
If you are experiencing a problem other than the ones listed then please feel free to leave a comment and I will look into providing a fix for it.

Hope this helps!