Saturday, March 31, 2007

Code Camp OZ 2007

This weekend I'm at Code Camp OZ 2007, geeking on. It's going great... almost at the end of the last session of day one. Wine tasting is next.

The best part I think is meeting a whole bunch of other .netters. Networking with other people who are doing the same stuff.

More later... am in an interesting session. Dan Green's tips...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Rosey Outlook

Spent about an hour and a half troubleshooting an issue with Outlook 2007 tonight.

Problem: Navigating emails was slow, often a 5 second delay, with Outlook periodically coming up with (Not Responding).

Initially I blamed Mcafee Antivirus. I wonder why I paid for the subscription when I'm so against it. It slows me down at work, and antivirus is SO often the cause for problems. I must admit I jumped the gun a bit this time, being to quick to point the finger. The strangest thing was that disabling McAfee's email functions actually made the problem go away so you wouldnt blame me for thinking it was the problem.

So I thought I'd try out the support seeing I paid for it and all. I very quickly found myself in a one on one chat with a McAfee helldesk operator. She was quite helpful and in about 20 mins had given me instructions to disable ALL of the addins in outlook. Too bad if I actually wanted any of them, but I'll assume this was just to narrow down the problem. Unfortunately you CANT disable the Addins in Outlook if they are in the registry. So I turned off what I could and loaded up Regedit.
I exported the whole Addin Key so I could easily revert back and turned off all of the addins. To do this I changed each Loadbehaviour to a 0. The problem went away. Yay. So I turned them back on one at a time and fortunately started at the right end.
Solution: The problem Addin was OutlookAddin.Connect. A quick Google showed this was possibly related to Business Contact Manager. I dont really recall getting excited about this and thought If I miss the addin I can always turn it on. I'm guessing I wont notice it missing.

So although it doesn't seem to be related to McAfee SecurityCentre at this point they pointed me in the right direction regardless. A refreshing change from the usual "lame everyone else and handball" that seems all too common.

I still don't like stuff hitting my every file load, that has got to add overhead. How much of my life has been wasted from the accumlative effects of waiting for stuff to happen?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Vista + Windows Media Player = SLOW! - Page 2 - Notebook Forums and Laptop Discussion

Vista + Windows Media Player = SLOW! - Page 2 - Notebook Forums and Laptop Discussion

Had a weird problem in windows media player on the new laptop. Periodically the music would stall and stutter. Watching movies over wifi at home was quite painful pausing and continuing the movie like a streaming problem.

The link I just found above described that it took a long time to change songs. So i tried changing songs and sure enough it took about 10 seconds to change to the next track. So I tried the fix which for the sake of convenience (and its slightly different for my audio drivers) will repeat.

Problem: takes ages to start/change songs. experience stuttering and freezing as the DMR stuff does its thing.

Here's how I fixed it:
Start > Control Panel > Sound > Playback Tab > Double-click "Speakers/Headphones" > Enhancements Tab > Check "Disable System Effects"

I figure most of those effects wont make much difference for headphones... but I might experiment with it later to see if i can tell the difference.

Anyway, it's not skipped a beat since so hopefully thats that. (touch wood)

History & info - Daylight Saving Time idea from Benjamin Franklin

History & info - Daylight Saving Time idea from Benjamin Franklin

< RANT >
WTF were they thinking?!

Ok... personally, I'm against daylight savings. If people REALLY wanted an extra hour of sunglight in the evenings they would move to the other side of the planet. They would follow the summer around the globe, turning into a nomad. It's been done before... It's not a new thing to humans.

Here in Perth we have been trialing daylight savings. It's been horrible. So far, I don't think I have met anyone who actually likes it. Microsoft have yet to sort out their patches for Exchange server, so you never quite know if the meeting in your calendar is for the right time. Not being able to trust it means you can't count on it. They (politicians) didn't even ASK us (the people) if we even WANTED daylight savings. I seem to recall a few years ago that we were asked and the outcome of the vote was NO. So they wait a few years and then implement it regardless. Why do we need it? So businesses can deal with Sydney easier? Who cares!! We've dealt with it until now, why mess with it? WTF??

I've noticed Microsoft are also having problems with daylight savings patches in other parts of the world. It can't be easy having a moving goal post.

Time is an illusion. Lunch time, doubly so. It is something we have created in order to introduce structure to our day, but if there is no consistency what is the point of structure? It's just chaos! The sun does not care what time it is. The earth spins and the sun becomes visible. Why don't we just get out of bed when the sun comes up and go to bed when the sun goes down? There would be no need for lighting so think of the environmental impact.
< /RANT >

I'm done now. Moving on.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

JasJam USB Modem

Today I visited the local Telstra shop where I bought my JasJam. I asked one of the sales guys there about expresscard laptop options and the answer was there are none. (Yet. I'm sure they will come). I showed him my phone (JasJam) and asked if there was a way to share the Next-G account with my phone and he told me I could use my mobile as a wireless modem. Dang, why didn't I think of that?

I know why... not being used to the new technology, I just assumed that hooking my mobile to my laptop would enable me to dial up as in the analog voice call kind of dial up. Wow, if this is true then maybe I don't need more hardware etc.

I found a pdf describing how on the web site, as well as on (after some searching). The Telstra one is more specific to using it with Telstra. There are a few config settings which I made and I had to find some Vista drivers - the ones supplied on the cd are for XP and give an error when you try to install them. I found a thread here XDA USB Thread which has some drivers for Vista, including 64bit.

First attempt reported the modem was in use and could not dial. rebooted and tried again and this time it connected.

So it all worked after a bit of fiddling around, but now i've disabled it and won't be using it. Except in an emergency. Such as when i'm in a hotel and they want $30 a day to use the Internet. This is because the plan's available for mobile phones is SO expensive that text only browsing on a mobile is as much as you can afford. $29 plan would get me 70Mb of traffic before I get charged at 0.26c per K of traffic (both ways!). Bastards!

Oh, and Telstra has the most horrible tool for checking your data usage. It shows each individual session and does NOT tally them up. I mean come on! How hard is it to add up some numbers?? I called Telstra to ask them how much I had used for the month and SHE had to add them up too!! Someone needs to have a word with the developers there. I asked her to pass on my suggestion for a total. Not to mention it would make her job easier, she said she has to add them up all the time.

Next thing i'm planning on looking into is broadband for my new laptop. (The mobile option is too expensive). The new laptop should be here this time next week and if what I read is correct it has some form of inbuilt broadband wireless. (In addition to the wifi/802.11g) I might be able to use it with Vodaphone as the mention it on their web site. If I don't have to buy hardware, and just have to activate it then that may be a much cheaper option. Time to do some research, I can't be the first person to be doing this!

New Laptop

I’ve just ordered my new laptop. Hopefully it will be here before I leave for codecamp at the end of the month. Should be here just before I leave if they can deliver inside their 2 week estimate.

The main reason I went with this one was the size. It’s the same physical size as my current laptop (Dell 710m) but is a major upgrade on the innards.

Dell XPSTM M1210
Intel® CoreTM 2 Duo Processor T7600 (2.33GHz, 667MHz FSB, 4MB Cache)
Genuine Windows Vista™ Ultimate
2Gb of Dual Channel DDR2 memory (667Mhz)
12.1" Widescreen XGA (1280 x 800) display with TrueLifeTM .
256MB NVIDIA® GeForceTM Go 7400 with TurboCache Graphics Card. (Not the best on market but possibly better than my 6800 in my desktop!)
9-cell extended battery
100GB 7200RPM
Combo Drive - 24x/10x/24x CD Burner and 8x DVD-ROM 8x DVD/CD Burner (DVD+/-RW)
4 USB 2.0
5-in-1 removable memory card reader
Built in web cam and mic for using with skype
2 x stereo headphones/speakers miniconnector
Express Card (Don't seem to be many Express cards around yet)

$3850 after adding all the fruit.

In a previous post I mentioned I'm beta testing Windows Home Server but the install didn't go ahead due to my old laptop (Toshiba 3000 not the Dell 710m) not being high enough spec in the RAM department. This new laptop will replace my desktop which will then free it up to become my WHS. It should be good for the job too, it has 910Gb of storage if you count the external 300Gb USB drive.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Human Jet Airplane

OMG this is THE coolest thing I've seen ever! Takes me back to my Hang gliding days... and makes it seem tame!!

.Net Cafe meet

Not a bad turn out for the Perth .net coffee meet this week.

Dave Gardner
Hadley Willan
Keith Woods
Mike... um... dang not sure on his last name.
and me...

Spruiked on about geeky stuff for an hour or so. Solved world hunger... starting with my hunger. Will get to the world next. I'm still here at Tiger Tiger with Dave. I think he's working, where as i'm doing some study... (Wireless vulnerabilities). I've got the afternoon to kill as the pMug meeting is this afternoon.

For those not in the know, pMug is the Perth Mobility User Group which is all things mobile... i figured my laptop battery should get me most of the way to 5pm and the meeting is at 5.30. for more info.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Whiteboard stop motion

This really impressed me. Must have taken forever to create.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Thought for the day...

If we had the technology to reproduce a human being in 100% efficiency, and we were then to remove parts of the brain from the original and implant them into the copy, with 100% accuracy, what part of the brain would give that person the experience of waking up in the new body? Would moving part of the brain give this effect? Or is the whole brain in its entirety what comprises our soul. Are the two even related? In other words, where is our consciousness physically located?

Perth bus pass

This only applies to Perth bus/train goers but should save you some dollars. We have a new bus pass system which uses a swipe card. Unless you go looking for it you might not know there is an autoload option. You fill in a form from the transperth web site ( and nominate a bank account and how much you want to autoload. It took two weeks to process but I will never have to go and load my card again, it happens automatically when the balance gets low. You also get a 25% discount! (without auto load you get 15% so its an extra 10% on top)

Friday, March 09, 2007


Originally uploaded by Lyynx.
I thought I'd get my blog set up for when I go to code camp and 'll be able to upload pics too.

Sorry if the pic scares anyone. :p

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Windows Home Server

Lucky me, I'm beta testing Windows Home Server. I found a pretty good review of what WHS is all about so I won't cover that but I will blog about how it goes for me.
Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: Windows Home Server Preview

I started off by downloading the images. There was one DVD image (Server) and two CD images. First CD image was the client install CD and the other was a home PC restore cd. From reading the docs you install the client install on each of your home PC's that you want to talk to the server. The other CD is used to do a PC rebuild/restore. The idea is in the case of a complete failure you can restore your Pc from scratch. The whole thing is backed up on the server. Cool!! I guess that gets around my recent frustration when i discovered that Vista's built in backup software is limited in control.

My progress hasn't been so good. I burnt the images to DVD/CD which required me to find something that allowed me to actually burn images under Vista. I found a free tool that works well. (the name of it escapes me). I then grabbed my old Toshiba laptop which currently has the CTP build of Longhorn on it and booted up the DVD. I didn't get very far... I got an error that basically told me 368Mb of RAM isn't enough to install WHS. I was really surprised... firstly that my laptop only had 367Mb of RAM (I thought it had more!!) and secondly because Longhorn installed onto it with no problems. Minimum memory requirement of WHS is 512Mb. Strange, the docs say that WHS is designed to be able to be put on your old computer that you are not using anymore... I have about 8 computers at home, more if you count the ones that don't have enough working parts to be functional and I still don't have a spare computer i'm not using.

I priced up some parts for a new server to be my WHS server and ended up going high end with all the parts essentially making a better Pc than my desktop/gaming PC. So I scrapped that idea and decided to buy a whole new system and make my current desktop into the WHS. Business plan approval rejected by the missus... Doh! Ok, so that project is currently on hold until I get the funds (and approval) to proceed. :)

Stay tuned for more WHS beta testing when I get it installed... Hmm... might try a couple of installs on a virtual machine!


I found this interesting link FOCUS where they discuss using virtual reality to help treat the fear of speaking in front of an audience.
I think this is a fantastic idea. Instead of seeing a room full of threatening people you only see your mum and that chick from down the street you want to shag… people you want to impress with your verbal prowess.

Then again that might have the opposite effect. Ok, so lets go for the naked audience. Who needs to visualise when you can have it with VR!? Lets hope the speaker has a podium to stand behind...

So how does this relate to blogging? A friend of mine, a brilliant, but somehow yet undiscovered author, told me that he doesn't have a blog. It's a shame. I know he will read this entry (I'm going to make him) so just to reiterate my point... I think hes scared of having a blog because he doesn't want an audience. He also mumbled something about relating to people, something about Namibia and Aardvark testicles.

I won't go too much into it, but he's quite happy to post comments on other people's blogs. Fear of commitment maybe? Lurking in annonominity perhaps!? Obsessive compulsive comment spammer? Now we know how some spam gets by those little "pictures of letters that you can't read" spam blockers.

I've forgotten my point...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Desk Pic

Thought I'd take a pic of my desk at home. Had no end of troubles with the camera on my phone, it kept changing the light depending what it was focused on. Focussing on the screen made everything else too dark but focussing away from the screen made the screen super bright. Ah well, you get the idea anyway.

I've had lots of problems with my JasJam's camera. It seems to kill the camera if there is too much light. Sometimes when outside in the sun I either get a completely black or grey picture (as if the lens cap was on!) or the camera application just completely closes as if I had pressed the X. If i try to open the camera application again I get an error saying "The camera device is in used." Yes, it has the spelling mistake!! I then have to reset the phone to get the camera working again... And there goes the photo opportunity.

I think my phone is trying to be too many things at once. Everything else it does it does pretty well...

Michelle lost my digital camera which was a Sony cybershot. Cost me $1000 about 4 years ago. I think i got a few thousand photos out of it and it might turn up again... It went missing once before and just as I was about to buy a new one it turned up.