Reaping what you sow…

Remember the stealth update story from a few days ago?  Well, it seems that not all is pleasant in paradise…  According to Windows Secrets, the transparent update can cause problems for users that use the “repair” feature in the operating system.  ZDNet has also confirmed this.

In theory, the repair function tries to restore the operating system to a usable state.  Basically, it removes some updates by overwriting files and adjusting the registry.  But apparently the repair feature will download and install the new Windows Update binaries.  When you attempt to install new updates, the updates fail to install.  Windows Update will download them, but is unable to install them.

Luckily, there is a workaround of sorts.  It does require some manual labor, though.  You’ll have to manually register the Windows Update files:

  • Open a command prompt windows (Start->Run->cmd.exe)
  • Next, run the following list of commands

regsvr32 /s wuapi.dll
regsvr32 /s wuaueng1.dll
regsvr32 /s wuaueng.dll
regsvr32 /s wucltui.dll
regsvr32 /s wups.dll
regsvr32 /s wups2.dll
regsvr32 /s wuweb.dll

  • Windows Update should now magically work!


My own personal recommendation is to not use the repair feature.  Look at it this way, if you’ve broken your system to the point where you need to use the repair function, then you’ve likely broken more than just the operating system.  Repairing it will remove updates, adjust the registry, etc., breaking some of the programs you’ve installed.  If you need to repair at all, then do so merely to back up your data.  Get a solid backup of the data and then wipe the drives and re-install the system.  Believe me, a little extra work to re-build the system now will save you tons of headaches later.


As I was zippin’ around the Information Superhighway today, I ran across this blog entry by Wil Wheaton. Wil is a great guy and has some interesting insights into a variety of matters both geeky and not-so-geeky. This particular post by him picked up on a pet peeve of mine that I’ve had for some time now, text-speak. Modern day devices have evolved to the point where we can communicate almost instantly via typed communications, most notably on cell phones. The reasons for using typed communication vary, but they exist and are actually pretty valid. However, it seems that as we move into more and more instant communication, our language skills are devolving. Wil’s blog entry is a perfect example of this.

I’ll admit, I’ve been known to use the odd LOL or ROFLMAO here or there, but it’s mostly in situations where those terms are almost expected. I refuse, however, to degrade myself by using shortcuts and misspelled words. It’s one thing to use the occasional acronym, but another to use cryptographic shortcuts to get your message out. Perhaps if my life was in danger, and I only had a few seconds to send a message, things would be different.

When I was in college, I spent a lot of time on IRC and playing a variety of MUDs. I have spent a good deal of time online in forums, talking on IRC and IM, playing online games, etc., and I have not devolved to the point of bad grammar in any of these situations. I think it’s a bad sign that people have decided to throw proper grammar out the window to chat with their friends.

What makes it worse is that television is popularizing the concept. AT&T runs a commercial now that pokes fun at the shorthand messaging by speaking it aloud and showing subtitles on the screen. It is quite the annoying commercial for any normal, educated person. In fact, I find it to be in quite poor taste.

Californication, a new series on Showtime, summed it up best with the following :

Radio Host: What’s your latest obsession?
Hank: Just the fact that people seem to be getting dumber and dumber. You know, I mean we have all this amazing technology and yet computers have turned into basically four figure wank machines. The Internet was supposed to set us free, democratize us, but all it’s really given us is Howard Dean’s aborted candidacy and 24 hour a day access to kiddie porn. People…they don’t write anymore – they blog. Instead of talking, they text, no punctuation, no grammar: LOL this and LMFAO that. You know, it just seems to me it’s just a bunch of stupid people pseudo-communicating with a bunch of other stupid people at a proto-language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King’s English.
Radio Host: Yet you’re part of the problem, I mean you’re out there blogging with the best of them.
Hank: Hence my self-loathing.


So, my wife was watching Boomerang with the kids last night.  Duck Dodgers was on, which is always great for a few laughs.  Well, she saw this particular episode and decided to rewind it for me to watch..  Well worth it.  I’ve seen the end before and was astonished..  The joining of two greats…  Megadeth is one of my all time favorite bands, and Daffy Duck is just hysterical..   So, without further ado, “MEGADUCK!”

ISO Recorder Power Toy

I recently had the need to create an .ISO image of a CD. The CD burning software on my computer, however, only created proprietary images. Being my laptop for work, I didn’t want to purchase better software, so I googled around on the net a little bit.

I came across a little utility created by Alex Feinman called ISO Recorder. It runs on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, and the dreaded Windows Vista. After installation, it adds two options to your right-click menu, “Create ISO Image File” and “Copy CD to CD”.

The Create ISO option appears whenever you right click a folder and allows you to create an image of everything in that folder. This includes folders on your hard drive, so creating an ISO is as simple as moving the relevant files into a single folder. Very convenient.

Alex also has a command-line CD burning utility called CreateCD. I have not had occasion to use this particular piece of software, but it does look interesting. Using this utility, you can automate the creation of ISO images, great for automated backups.

Both of these utilities are free for personal use. Alex does provide a PayPal link for donations, so if you find this software useful, send him a few bucks to show your appreciation!

Geek Reading List

Wil Wheaton (Wesley from ST:TNG) writes a weekly column for Suicide Girls (NSFW). In a recent article, he writes about 5 books every Geek should read. He has some pretty good picks, but I’d like to add some more. Keep in mind though, I’m nowhere near as eloquent as Wil is.. :)

Diamond Age

Author: Neal Stephenson

Published: 1995

This, for me, was one of the greatest books I’ve ever read. In the future, where nanotechnology is the norm and matter compilers offer the basic necessities of living for free, a young girl is given a unique gift in the form of a book. But this is no ordinary book. This is the Young Ladies Illustrated Primer. What follows is a whirlwind of activity as the true nature of the primer is discovered, the balance of power is shifted, and a new class is formed.

The Illuminatus Trilogy

Author: Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea

Published: 1975

The ultimate conspiracy theory. From beginning to end, Wilson and Shea wrap theory after theory together creating, at times, a semi-plausible theory about the government and who truly runs it. Complete with Atlantis, Nazis, and even Shoggoths, this story will keep your head spinning. This is definitely not a tale for the faint of heart!

Discworld Series

Author: Terry Pratchett

Published: 1983 – Current

A flat world held up on the backs of four elephants, all standing on the shell of the Great A’Tuin, the star turtle. Enter hilarity. These are some of the funniest books I’ve ever read. If you like Douglas Adams’ novels, then you’ll love Pratchett. A mixture of magic, stone age technology, and general mayhem is presented in each book of this massive series. From the wizard Rincewind to Death himself, there are characters for every occasion.

The Lord of the Rings

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Published: 1954-1955

Tolkien is commonly known as the “father of modern fantasy”. This three volume series continues where The Hobbit left off, following the tale of the Ring as it passes into the hands of Frodo the hobbit. Frodo’s task is to take the ring to Mount Doom and destroy it. A journey of epic proportions follows as Frodo becomes the center of a battle for Middle Earth.

Think of the Children!

Wil Wheaton (Wesley from Star Trek) wrote an entry in his blog the other day about the current state of our government. This got me to thinking and I thought I’d toss out my thoughts as well. This is the first political statement I’ve made in this blog and I’m hoping it doesn’t become a habit..



I don’t much like politics and I try to avoid it whenever I can, but sometimes it’s necessary to dive in for a short time. Our country was founded on a few important principles. I’m sure you’ve heard them before, Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The first congress did everything in their power to create a stable, secure government. But, they knew that nothing is perfect and put in provisions to allow for changes to the founding principles. Since that time our government has been progressing ever forward towards the very form of government that we seek to eradicate.

The September 11th tragedy is being manipulated and twisted in ever more horrible ways as our government seeks to strip us of our liberties, all in the name of security. From illegal wiretapping to prisoner torture. And now they seek to make both of these things legal! For example, our illustrious president is seeking to have a bill passed to allow warrantless wiretapping. Thus far, this bill is intended to allow wiretapping only for suspected terrorist activities, but once the door is open… *sigh* With cries of “protect the USA” and “think about the children”, the government seeks to strip us of our rights and create what is essentially a police state

Other liberties are at risk as well. Are you aware that the government is currently seeking to pass a bill that forces ISPs across the US to keep detailed records of all internet activity? We’re talking more than just the standard radius records that are used to tie a user and IP together. This bill seeks to force ISPs to keep records of IM conversations, web browsing, email, and anything else they can use to “fight child pornography.” I work for an ISP and I can’t figure this out. They want this data recorded in advance of any wrongdoing. In other words, guilty until proven innocent. All they need is a warrant to go digging through all that data! I’m sure it will start out with a warrant that specifies exact IP addresses and time frames, but that will quickly change. I’ve had to deal with warrants that are very vague about what they want. In other words, give me EVERYTHING that deals with this IP between these two times. And, of course, if they find anything else out during their legal search then they can act on that. Imagine what can happen if they suspect a pedophile used your system between 1am and 4am on Saturday, but they don’t know the exact IP. And then they ask for everything between those times! Imagine the possibilities. Perfectly innocent people are at risk here!

“Well think of the children!” Yes, lets. I will agree that if the data is already available, it may be quicker to pull a predator off the streets. However, we’re dealing with child pornography here. Most of these cases deal with people downloading the porn. In that case, it’s safe to assume that they will do it again. Getting a warrant that asks the ISP to capture the data for a period of time is perfectly valid at that point. Besides, most ISPs retain logs for at least a week anyway. This is done purely for statistical and debugging purposes, but that should be plenty of time to get a warrant. Or, try this one out. How about creating something specific to the computer industry called a suspicion warrant. When served with one of these, the ISP starts collecting data. That data is not available to the police force until a “real” warrant is obtained via the court system. This at least gives the police a chance to save any data that may be rolled off after a period of time. Again, this is something I would be more than happy to do for the police if it helps get these predators off the street.


Well, enough ranting. The long and short is this. The government is trying to steal away our liberties, all in the name of good causes. And put that way, it makes you look like the bad guy if you don’t agree and fight against it. But please, if you truly care about this country and the freedoms you have, look hard at the issues. Vote in the next election and make your voice heard. I won’t tell you who to vote for, and beyond the above, I won’t even hint at it. Just get out there. Do a little research, and make your voice heard!

Holy Pink?!?

You’ve probably noticed the pink by now. Yeah, it’s a little blinding, but it’s for a good cause. There’s a site called Pink for October which is all about breast cancer awareness. Being a guy and liking breasts just as much as the next guy, I thought I’d try to help out a little. If you have your own website, perhaps you’ll join as well. Every bit of awareness helps!


Ok, so it’s not a tech post. But I have to post. I’m pretty impressed and fairly proud. Pittsburg Steelers. 21-10 over the SeaHawks. Not my team, but still. They looked great all season and were just awesome in the big game. Randel El’s touchdown pass was simply incredible. All in all, an awesome game. And for the most part, it was actually close..


Congratulations Pittsburg! Live it up! Next year it’s my turn! :)


Welcome to my blog! :) This is a bit of a new thing for me and I’ll see if I can’t keep it relatively alive.. :P

My intention here is to post information related to technology, current projects, and the like. Stuff like game reviews, or new technology that I’ve played with or I’m interested in .. That sort of thing. Just a place to share my thoughts, hash out new ideas, etc.

I’m eager to hear any comments regarding what I’ve written as well, so please, leave comments!

Till next time!

PS…  The site layout may change a bit..  I’m still not satisfied with it..  :)