If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy
James Madison (American 4th US President (1809-17), and one of the founding fathers of his country. 1751-1836)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Passing Through...

Passing Through from Olafur Haraldsson on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Scan of a thought as captured by scientist (Full article to follow!)

Scientist capture a though in this animated gif using all the frames from each high-speed successive scan of a brain. I lost the article, but had to share this animation...more to follow!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Windows 10...what an adventure...

I have just finished playing hell to get an AntiVirus of any kind to run on this "Technical Preview" and finally found that Avira works with no issues. I tried those AV's that I had licences for first, Norton Security and Kaspersky, both of which had "compatibility issues" when installing. I tried then to use Bitdefender after trying to run the two previous AV's in every compatibility mode W10 offers. Bitdefender would just hang during install, which makes me think there was another issue. However, after several attempts I gave up and moved on to the next install, which just so happened to be Avira and it went without a single issue. I don't like to upgrade without having an AV installed before updating and fixing issues out of fear of getting something I don't want. So, to save some of you some trouble...Norton and Kaspersky have issues with "compatibility" and Avira runs right out of the box...and it is free. By all means let me know if you all find a way to get Norton or Kaspersky on Windows 10...until then I use Avira.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NASA's Kepler confirms its first planet in habitable zone outside our solar system

ScienceDaily (2011-12-05) -- NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed its first planet in the "habitable zone," the region around a star where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface. Kepler also has discovered more than 1,000 new planet candidates, nearly doubling its previously known count. Ten of these candidates are near-Earth-size and orbit in the habitable zone of their host star. Candidates require follow-up observations to verify they are actual planets. MORE

Such an exciting time to be in right now!

Record massive black holes discovered lurking in monster galaxies

ScienceDaily (2011-12-05) -- Astronomers using the Keck, Gemini and MacDonald observatories have discovered the largest black holes to date: Two monsters with masses equivalent to 10 billion suns that are threatening to consume anything, even light, within a region five times the size of our solar system. These monsters may be the remains of quasars that brightened the early universe.  MORE

Thursday, December 1, 2011

AMD/ATI have yet another driver update for the 11.11 release.  This is update C of the series and looks to fix issues specifically for the HD5700 video cards.  Snag it...take a breathe...updatee :P

Click HERE or below for update!

UPDATE:  Link to the actual build on ATI's site is not correct...go to the link below to download the file:


Monday, April 12, 2010

XBOX360 and the three wonderful flashing red lights!

Anyone who owns a an XBox360 knows first hand or knows of someone who has had the dreaded flashing red trio.  This along with a never ending list of “potential” and “actual” fixes for the lights can make fixing the problem pretty frustrating.  I know, I am among the ones that have first hand knowledge of this problem, having just fixed it on my XBox360.

My XBox360 was working fine for years and then it just booted to the evil three.  Nothing I tried worked…pushing any number of button combos listed on the web to reset the XBox360 proved fruitless.  At this point I figured that I was going to have to open up the unit and try out any number of overheating fixes…the first one being to tighten the X connectors with washers and the second to replace the X connectors with screws and washers.

In both methods you end up having to clean off the thickest damn thermal compound that I have ever seen.  Seems that one of the specs in a factory XBox360 assembly is to find some compound akin to thick clay to slap willy nilly all over the gpu, cpu, and chipset.  They must have had some ape applying it…as the stuff was not only on the chips, but all around them as well.  After seeing this, I could see doing the heat sink fix to clean up the job the manufacturer did.  I also noticed once the unit was open that the CPU heat sink's fins were not lined up with the airflow through the fan cover, but perpendicular to it.   Knowing what I know at this point I can see why these things overheat…not to say that all units have mal-aligned heat sinks, but i am sure most have thick goop on them for thermal compound.

In the end the first fix didn’t do jack, adding tension to the X connector with washers.  The second worked like a charm replacing the X connector all together with screws and washers.  There are many many sites on the web that show the second method.  I will link the site that I used at the end of this post.

Lastly, there is another option that some of you might want to try before opening your XBox360 when you have the 3 sisters pop up.  Make sure you have your unit plugged up and no disk in the drive tray.  Hold down the Sync button and keep holding it down while you power it on.  Do not let go of the sync button until you get to the console or until it fully boots up.  I know I will get flamed for this, but go ahead…it has worked in two different scenarios on two different XBox360’s.

I had been told by a friend of mine about this fix, so when my nephew had his unit go down I tried the sync fix and it came right up.  He is still playing with no issues since his brush with the flashing beacons of failure.  The second unit was a family friends who did in fact have the overheating issue and after doing the fix of replacing the compound and removing the X connector the red demons where still flashing.  I did the Sync process and it came back to life.  This unit too is still running like a champ.  Hope this helps somebody and thanks to Dtro for the Sync fix.

Replace X connector XBox360 Fix

Friday, November 20, 2009

Finally back at it!!!

Well…I really don’t know what to say, but I am back. I have been out for quite some time now, March 18 of 2008, due to illness and have finally gotten to a point that I can do this again.

My main issue for not updating during this time is just a lack of interest on my part. I was either sick, recovering, or drugged and during those times in between I just had an “eh” feeling about doing anything. I have been bed ridden for about 3 years…yes bed ridden. Before that last 2008 post I had just gotten back in to the groove of things and after just got out of that groove. In any event I am back and look forward to keeping this bad boy updated.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vista SP1 is finally out!

Well is finally here...Vista SP1. So, does this mean there will be a mass exodus to Vista...hrm? Probably not. I now when Vista first came out there were A LOT of folks that said they would hold out until SP1 came out and any post deployment bugs worked out. I was one of them, but unlike the die hard hold outs I did upgrade and to be previous negative reviews were in fact related to adopting Vista while those post deployment bugs existed. Seems pretty stable now...and I am actually looking forward to upgrading to SP1.

Prior to upgrading you will have to remove the previous SP1 Betas and Release Candidates (RC1/build 6001/KB936330). I will detail the RC removal as that is what I have and can't speak for the betas. You can do this the automated way via "Programs and Features" removal or you can go the manual route via the command prompt.

Automated: Start->Control Panel->Programs and Features->View Installed Updates then uninstall "windows vista service pack - KB936330".

type "cmd" in the Search box under the Start menu and right-click selecting "Run as administrator" from the contextual menu that will pop up. Identify the build number of your previous Vista SP1 installation and put in the following command: "start /w pkgmgr /up: VistaSP1-KB936330~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.0.0.". This is obviously valid for 32-bit machines. On 64-bit computers replace "x86" with "amd64". For confirmation enter "winver" and press Enter in the Run dialog box.

On a side note...if you do plan to upgrade to Vista...GO FOR THE X64 VERSION. It really doesn't make any sense to upgrade to the 32-bit version at this point...go for the version with room to grow...X64.

UPDATE:: Be ready for this SP1 update to take an hour to install from start to finish. Hopefully you will get this bad boy via automatic updates and don't have to wait.


Vista SP1 x32 (32-bit)

Vista SP1 x64 (64-bit)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Faster DNS...and FREE!

I am sure a majority of folks that were keen on reading something about DNS already know about OpenDNS...from which these two IP's have become famous:

OpenDNS is a freakin' great site if you need to block Adult Content, Phishing Sites, a large DNS Cache, and a means for more customization once you sign up for an account. I actually have set this service up for many people and can't say enough about it if you need content blocking and more security.

However, I don't care about all that...I want DNS Servers somewhat faster but more importantly reliably faster than the ones that are provided by Comcast. That is when I found the following list of free DNS Servers:
Service provider:
Public Name server IP address:

It turns out that is a DNS Service of Verizon that like OpenDNS finds the nearest city to ones location and will use that Server. I have found a slight speed advantage in these 4.2.2x Servers over OpenDNS, but you be the judge. Thanks!

DD-WRT - Open up your router...

I can't give this router firmware enough just rules and is always getting better through the development team over at .

On my lowly WHR-G54S it has turned this $40 router into something quite a bit more impressive. Using the one that I do have as a Client Bridge at one point to a Repeater Bridge at another. I have also upped the capabilities and reliability of my Linksys WRT-150N to a router that for one doesn't lose the wireless connection every 15 minutes like the stock Linksys firmware well as making it a more secure and tweakable unit.

Hit up their site...and by all means check out their Wiki page to see exactly what this firmware can do for you router. FanBoy moment is over :P

Just an FYI...DD-WRT has inspired me to try my hand at a PC based LAN/Wireless router...I will let you know how that goes!?!

Various Vista commands for TCP settings

At the moment none of the TCP tools out there (TCP Optimizer, DrTCP, etc...) will do jack squat on Vista. Vista takes care of all these settings automatically, well dynamically, and the jury is out on whether this is a hinderence or helpful...I hate it. I would rather have more control of MY system. However here are some commands you can run if you want to play with them, but from are better off sticking to what Microsoft feeds you as there was not a noticeable difference in performance after doing these settings.

You need to run and elevated command prompt. Click Start > All Programs > Accessories, right-click Command Prompt and Run as administrator, Allow it to have administrator privileges, otherwise these commands won't work.

To disable TCP/IP autotunning, in "Elevated" Command Prompt type:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled

To check that it is dsabled:

netsh interface tcp show global

To set back to the default Windows Vista behavior:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuning=normal
netsh interface tcp set global rss=enable

Manually setting the MTU:
Then type/copy & paste the following command:
netsh interface ipv4 set subinterface "Local Area Connection" mtu=1200 store=persistent
netsh interface ipv4 set subinterface "Wireless Network Connection" mtu=1200 store=persistent

Where xxxx = the MTU that you want. Rebooting isn't required. "Local Area Connection" is a common name for the interface if you use a NIC for connectivity. A wireless NIC may be called "Wireless Network Connection". If unsure, the network status icon by the clock will tell you.

If you have a router, ensure that the MTU is set to the MTU chosen here (refer to your router's manual).

Misc other commands:
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=Normal (To activate it again)
netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=experimental (crazy settings)

netsh interface tcp set global congestionprovider=ctcp
netsh interface tcp set global congestionprovider=none

netsh interface tcp set global ecncapability=enabled

Find your MTU...

For those of you out there who want to find your optimal MTU...check it:

MTU Ping Test
A series of ping tests using the command, ping -f -l xxxx, where xxxx is the packet size, can be used to determine the optimal MTU for your connection.

1. Go to Start and select Run.
2. Type in cmd (Windows 2000/XP) or command (Windows 98/ME) into the Open: field. Hit the enter key or click OK. The DOS prompt should open.

3. At the DOS prompt, type in ping -f -l 1492 and hit the Enter key.

4. Note the results above indicate that the packet needs to be fragmented. Lower the size the packet in increments of +/-10 (e.g. 1472, 1462, 1440, 1400) until you have a packet size that does not fragment.

5. Begin increasing the packet size from this number in small increments until you find the largest size that does not fragment. Add 28 to that number (IP/ICMP headers) to get the optimal MTU setting. For example, if the largest packet size from ping tests is 1462, add 28 to 1462 to get a total of 1490 which is the optimal MTU setting.

6. Change the MTU using DrTCP or editing the registry. See MTU Settings for further information.

Handy way to reset a Mac password

I have no idea if this still works on the newer models of the Mac Laptops, but it sure came in handy a few times over the last few weeks with a few friends. This method is all over the web, but for my own purposes I will post it here as the method that works best for me:

1. Click Restart at the login window
2. While the computer is restarting, hold down "Command-S" until you see text scrolling through the window. This boots the computer into single user mode.
3. At the Localhost% prompt type:
/sbin/mount -uw /
You will then see various services starting up.
4. When the Localhost% prompt reappears, type:
passwd root
It will then ask you to type the new root password twice, so do so.
5. After entering the new password, type:

1. First, you'll need to reboot into single-user mode. This boots your Mac into a text-only mode (you might be familiar with this experience if you've ever had to run fsck). You'll see instructions on how to run the file system check -- fsck -- and then a command prompt. Enter the command mount -uw / so that we can make changes to the disk.
2. Next, you need to be able to make changes to the users' accounts on your Mac in order to reset your password, and we'll do that with NetInfo. Start NetInfo by typing Systemstarter. You'll see a pile of messages appearing, which might seem familiar to you if you've ever watched the startup progress bar. When you see the message System started. and a stationary cursor, hit Return. You'll see the shell prompt appear again.
3. Now that NetInfo is running, we can change our lost password. If you don't know the short username for your account (for example, 'jane' instead of 'Jane Doe'), you'll need that - enter the command niutil -list . /users and hit Return, to see the names of the accounts on your Mac.
4. Now that you know the name of the account you want to use, enter the command passwd user -- where user is the short name of the account you're changing. You'll be told that you're changing the password for user and asked to enter it twice. Do this, being careful with your typing: you won't see the characters you're typing, or stars. Watch that Caps Lock key, while you're at it.
5. Now type reboot and press Return once more to reboot your Mac. You should now have no problem logging in.

HOWTO: Reset a lost OS X password
I've you've forgotten your Mac's admin account password, don't worry. Assuming you haven't locked out OpenFirmware, it's a pretty simple task to change your password back to something you know.
Here's how:
* Hold Apple+S when booting to enter single user mode
* #sh /etc/rc
* #passwd yourusername
* #reboot
If you can't recall your user name, you can either look in the /Users folder (the directories are named by user), or run "niutil -list . /users".
Also, on older systems the /etc/rc script isn't available, apparently. If that second step fails, try mounting and starting the base services manually:
* #/sbin/fsck -y
* #/sbin/mount -uw /
* #/sbin/SystemStarter
I've had to do this a couple of times for friends when they've bought a second hand machine, and once when I had a momentary brain lapse and forgot my own password. Works like a charm, though you'll loose any passwords stored in your keychain.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Battlefield 2142 won't load? Try this!

If when you try to load a map from one of the many BF2142 (Battlefield 2142) servers and find that it will only load half to 3 quarters of the way and hangs. Go to the drive you installed it to usually c:\Program FIles\Electronic Arts\Battlefield 2142 and make sure all hidden files are showing (from explorer...TOOLS->FOlder Options->View tab->check show hidden files) then delete the file called radial.cdb. Enjoy the gaming again!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

DD-WRT and wireless...

DD-WRT is to wireless what Firefox is to IE...something better than the alternative. least that is my perspective on it. For those that don't know what DD-WRT is...well it is as follows:
DD-WRT is a third party developed firmware released under the terms of the GPL for many 802.11g wireless routers based on a Broadcom chip reference design. For a list of supported devices, please see the Supported Devices page.

Which means that it is an alternative firmware for those Wireless Routers listed in it's supported device list. By replacing the firmware on said routers you can open up the offerings that the router has initially. There are so many tweaks and alternate uses that DD-WRT gives your router it is amazing. Personally, since I have been using DD-WRT on my routers I have managed to not only improve the performance of the router, but make signal improvements across the whole wireless network I have made. Most firmware will not give you the options to tweak out the router that DD-WRT does and NO firmware that I have seen allows you to change the purpose of the router (i.e. bridge, repeater, etc...). The latter benefits of DD-WRT really lets one expand their network without sacrificing performance throughout.

I can't recommend DD-WRT all means check it out!

- DD-WRT Hompage

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Mozilla came out...

Ok we have a new Mozilla update that came out yesterday and addressed the following issues:

- MFSA 2007-25 XPCNativeWrapper pollution
- MFSA 2007-24 Unauthorized access to wyciwyg:// documents
- MFSA 2007-23 Remote code execution by launching Firefox from Internet Explorer
- MFSA 2007-22 File type confusion due to %00 in name
- MFSA 2007-21 Privilege escallation using an event handler attached to an element not in the document
- MFSA 2007-20 Frame spoofing while window is loading
- MFSA 2007-19 XSS using addEventListener and setTimeout
- MFSA 2007-18 Crashes with evidence of memory corruption

Having set my Firefox browser to auto update I got this in an expedited fashion with no problems. However, over the last 24 hours I have noticed a particular issue that has popped up post update that is annoying the crap out of me. Seems if I follow an image link I cannot hit the back button to get to the page with the original link. It acts as if I opened the link in a new window with no link history. Although...if you load the page again that contained the image link and click it the image link again...all is fine and you can hit the back button as you should be able to. Not a serious issue, but one I will report nonetheless.

Leave a comment if you too are having issues with this latest update to Mozilla Firefox

- "Mozilla Firefox v2.0.0.5 Final" @ MSFN
- "Mozilla Firefox v2.0.0.5" @ Mozilla

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

PDF Creation tools...

As any of you know that have visited my blog in the past...I am all about the FREE or Open Source goodies. So, when I discovered the various methods of making PDFs without having to use Adobe Reader I was ecstatic. Now mind you this road of PDF making has been a long one and over the years I have played with the many apps that have come and gone. However, more recently I stumbled upon two that I can't speak enough about, BullZIP and LOOP.

BullZIP is a PDF creator that substitutes as a printer...meaning that you send a print job to the BullZIP PDF Printer and BOOM you have a PDF of your document. I have found this particular tool helpful at those times that I did not have a printer handy and had to have a copy of whatever it was. It is a great utility with many features that I will list below and I highly recommend people check it out:

* Print to PDF from almost any Windows program.
* Supports 64-bit operatings systems.
* Direct output to the same file each time or prompt for destination.
* Control if the printer should ask if you want to see the resulting PDF document.
* Control output and prompts programmatically.
* Setup can run unattended.
* Graphical user interface.
* Password protect PDF documents.
* 128/40 bit encryption.
* Quality settings (screen, printer, ebook, prepress).
* Set document properties.
* Watermark text, size, rotation, and transparency.
* Supreimpose/background documents.
* Appending/prepending documents.
* User interface control.
* Command line interface to all settings.
* COM/ActiveX interface for programmatic control.
* Support for Citrix MetaFrame
* Support for Windows Terminal Server

The next PDF goodness on the list is LOOP...a Firefox plug-in that will create PDFs on the fly while you are browsing. LOOP doesn't generate the PDFs locally unfortunately, but it is in fact generated on the LOOP web servers. For those with privacy concerns this might freak you out, but I don't see the process as anything too concerning and I am paranoid about everything. You also have to enable it with a login w/ an email on their site. Worth a look anyhow!

I know I only mentioned the two...but I cannot talk about PDFs and not mention Foxit and Open Office. Foxit is the bomb of PDF readers and I highly recommend everyone go and snag that up...FREE. Also, for those of you who want to create PDFs right from your doc...or office suite...hit up Open Office...does everthing MS Office does...and then some...i.e. create PDFs.

- BullZIP
- LOOP *Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration also has an article on this.
- Open Office
- Foxit