Tag Archives: Computing

I hate error messages

Because they are generally unhelpful and/or stupid.

Yes I know the connection to my computer was lost because I turned it off forgetting that the movie I was watching was streaming from the said computer.

Make sure your computer is turned on: I just told you I turned it off. It was a mistake, an accident.

Connected to your network: There’s nothing wrong with the network. I turned the computer off.

And is running media sharing software: Dude! I was just watching a movie. Do you think that would have been possible without running media sharing?

Error messages suck.

Hey Microsoft!

Don’t you think it’s time for a Windows XP Service Pack 3? I was doing a clean install of XP Service Pack 2 today and I loaded the machine with Office 2007. This is what it took to bring it up to date:Installation of the active X control for Microsoft Update. Back to the home page for software upgrades, namely Windows installer 3.1 and Windows Genuine Advantage then restart. Back to the home page, 102 updates for a total of 244.2MB!!!!

Think that’s bad? Wait! Restart then back to Microsoft Update and another 14 updates totaling 42.7MB this time.

And that’s a third restart. Back to Microsoft update, behold! One security update for .NET framework. 8.8MB and we are done.

That’s roughly 300MB worth of update and you have to reboot your computer 3 times.

Microsoft? Time for Service Pack 3, like now… But I guess you’ve already decided that it was for the first half of ’08.


Goodbye Mozilla. Hello Seamonkey!

I’ve been using Mozilla for years and I don’t mean Firefox or Thunderbird, I mean Mozilla. I’ve switched from time to time to Internet Explorer when a new version was released but I always got back to Mozilla at the end.I had noticed for a while now that there was no updates to version 1.7.13 and since it was working for me I didn’t see any reason to look further but since I rolled back from Vista to XP on my home computer, this morning it was time to re-install Mozilla and that’s when I realized they stopped developing my favorite web browser in April of last year, the name of the new project: Seamonkey.

I don’t want to sound ridiculously over-enthusiastic since I’ve been using it for half a day but it seems to be everything I like about Mozilla, only better. I started customizing the browser right after install with this spiffy splash screen and the blue-splash icons. I also changed the theme to iCandy Junior and I couldn’t be happier.

Goodbye Mozilla, farewell Internet Explorer 7… All Hail Seamonkey!

Anything to declare?

Curse you HP for making my life miserable. It all started with a Designjet 110plus printer Friday of last week, not that there was anything wrong with it, but you would think that for $1,000 you would get a printer cable with it, well think again. I had to go to Circuit City around the corner to get one.I wouldn’t even remember that incident if it wasn’t for all the misery related to HP products that followed.

On Saturday I’m trying to slap a 500GB internal SATA drive into a Compaq Presario SR1403WM when I realize there’s no SATA power on the power supply and I would need an LP4 to SATA adapter. The thing is most vendors seem to have this item as a web only so I’m thinking on one hand that I’m out of luck but then again since the computer is an older model I decide to cut HP (that’s right Compaq is HP) some slack since SATA drive have only become widespread in the past couple of years. That was until we got our hands on a brand new HP Pavilion a6097c. Not only does the motherboard supports SATA drives it also comes standard with a SATA hard drive but again no SATA power. So how do they power the drive do you ask? By using the above mentioned adapter. At that point I was fuming.

This could be where the story ends but on Thursday someone walks into my office with yet another HP Pavilion this time still in the box right out of the store. I didn’t need to do any hardware upgrade for this one but I was still so miffed over the events of last weekend that I decided to open the case just for the hell of it. I shook my head in disbelief and then I snapped a picture.

It’s one thing to be cheap HP, but in order to unload your stock of old power supplies you have turned what used to be the simplest hardware upgrade on a PC into a nightmare. Congratulations!

Back on XP

I finally had the time this morning to roll back to XP Media Center Edition on my main machine. The saddest part of the story was my sigh of relief deleting the Vista partition.I really tried to make it work but I realize now I should have switched back to XP weeks if not months ago.

I wouldn’t put Microsoft latest OS at the same level as Windows Me but it’s a close second, there’s also ample evidence the wave of discontent is building up but enough rambling I’m back on a working computer! Woohoo!

I’m throwing the towel.

I was reading this morning the Washington Post‘s article about Windows Vista, then went on to watch the YouTube video of the ever excellent Chris Pirillo.

And I realized that consciously or not I’ve been playing with the idea of rolling back to XP Media Center for a couple of months now. Vista just won’t work for me. Not that’s it’s a bad Operating System, in many respects I love it and as long as you’re dealing with first party software and hardware, it’s great but when it comes to third party, I pretty much gave up trying to make things work.

Take my sound card for example. I had specifically picked it for it’s ability to output 5.1 surround sound to my receiver and the manufacturer even released a Vista driver. the card works fine except that it will not ouput under any circumstances 5.1 surround sound.

When it comes to third party software you can end up with some pretty funky stuffs. To download ‘recipes’ off Usenet (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) I like to use GrabIt, specifically an older version, 1.5.2 Beta, which has always been good to me. After completing installation, entering my account information, subscribing to my fovorite newsgroups, I then proceeded to download a first batch of posts, everything seemed to go well except after opening my “Download Folder” nothing was there. I knew however from the free space left on the hard drive (big long recipe) that the files were there. After doing a quick search by size and date, I quickly realized Vista was storing my GrabIt downloads in a mirror directory under AppData. I resolved the issue by changing the security settings on the GrabIt download directory:

Right -click on “Download” -> Security -> Edit -> Users -> Allow full control.

Then there are maddening issues directly related to the Operating System itself like the User Account Control(UAC). This thing will prompt you for something as innocuous as a “cut and paste” job. “Are you sure you really want to do what you’re trying to do?” Errrr yes most of the time I do, thank you very much. Some will be quick to point out that you can disable it and they would be absolutely right, however no sooner do you turn off the UAC that the Security Center freaks out because your settings potentially expose your system to hackers and viruses. So now here we go disabling the notification settings of the Security Center. All I was trying here was prevent my computer to ask me twice if I really want to move that file!

Not to mention the sidebar that’s buggy at best!

So at the end of the day Windows Vista, as it is, gets between me and my computer whereas Windows XP IS my computer. I’m switching back to XP next week.

PS: G4 you can bring back “Call for Help” still broadcasted on G4 Canada and “The Screen Savers” (I hate “Attack of the Show”) any day of the week