Archive

Archive for 2006

Fucking Windows Update!

December 18th, 2006 No comments

I am furious with Windows Update.

Kudos to Microsoft for making the software so much better in Windows XP SP2, so much so that I am now willing to use it (I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole in previous versions). But it has an annoying habit, and has now done something which has made me incredibly angry.

As soon as it has updated, it asks if you want to restart your computer. Now, normally this is a very good idea. However, I have been running some seriously long processing tasks on my computer over the past couple of weeks (read: it takes 3 days to finish, and it is a time critical thing that this gets done), and therefore I just cannot restart when it prompts me to (Yes, I realised that I *should*, but just could not).

What is annoying is the interval that it prompts you to restart. It’s about every 10 minutes, and gets very very very annoying. There should be some option to let you turn off the reminder, or to reduce the frequency of the prompting, just for that one set of updates only.

What has angered me is that Windows Update has automatically restarted my machine, because I wasn’t there to tell it not to. Fortunately, my long processing job had finished, but I was half way through another job which would take a couple of hours. I’ve now lost that work. I have also lost the first draft of this post.

If I had been running my routine at the time, then I don’t know what I would have done. In fact, it would probably have cost my company a lot of money.

But it is not as if this is the first time that this has happened to me. It did the same thing to me the other day at home. Fortunately that time I did not lose any work because Firefox restored my session, and I was using the VMWare console, so simply re-attached.

Something needs to be done about this. It is not up to Windows Update to restart my computer without user interaction. It is, quite frankly, dangerous.

I’m also contemplating something else about this functionality. I wonder whether we could get Windows Update classified as a virus or piece of malware – after all, it is willing to restart a PC at an unscheduled time, when I don’t want it to, and without my interaction. Surely that’s got to be enough to give it a classification.

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And Another One!

November 26th, 2006 No comments

OK, this one only hit me today, but it bugged me, so I’ll blog it before I forget. Hopefully someone else will find it useful.

MinGW, or may be more specifically GDC, cannot find the standard include “object.d” if you are compiling files on a different drive in Windows.

To be more specific, my source code is stored in a directory on a network share mapped to a drive “P:”. If I try and compile the source code using GDC from the “P:” drive, it errors saying that it cannot find file “object.d”. However, if you change to the “C:” drive (or wherever MinGW is installed) and compile the file on the remote drive from there, it works.

E.G.

p:\> gdc mytest.d
Cannot find file "object.d"
p:\> c:
c:\> gdc p:\mytest.d
<No Errors>

It seems to be, that the libraries are searched on the drive of the working directory, and not “always c:\”. I’m pretty sure that you can get around this with “-L” or “-I” directives to GDC, or setting some environment variable, but finding any reference to how to do this is like looking for rocking horse poo.

I can’t confirm whether this happens on other platforms yet or not, but I suspect it wouldn’t on systems with a Unified Directory Structure (such as Linux and MacOS X), as you are always on the same “drive”.

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Finally! Another Problem Solved

November 26th, 2006 No comments

I’ve been having a problem with Apache Ant for sometime. Whenever I ran it, I got an error about “tools.jar” not being found.

I finally got fed up with it this morning, and have quite quickly managed to find the solution to the problem. And wonderfully it’s all summed up in one short mailing list post, here.

Basically, on my Windows PC, I had installed the Java 1.5 JDK and the JRE. My path was set to use the JRE version of Java, but this does not have the “tools.jar” provided with it. However, it is supplied with the JDK.

So, to solve it, I simply added an environment variable called “JAVA_HOME”, and set it to the root of the JDK directory (in my case “C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.5.0_09”). I’ve just tried it, and the message has gone.

I can’t believe it was that easy!

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Something I Don’t Like About Thunderbird

November 23rd, 2006 No comments

I’ve discovered something that I don’t like about Mozilla Thunderbird.

At work, I got a new PC about 4-5 months ago, and went about installing all the software that makes life bearable.

It wasn’t until about two months though that I realised that I couldn’t send HTML emails. I usually send emails in Plain Text, but sometimes use HTML for sending jokes, or sprucing my presentation once in a blue moon. Problem was, it looked like I was completely missing the options to turn on the HTML toolbars, and select “HTML Format” from the menus etc.

I’ve just discovered what was wrong. In my Account Settings (Account? What does this have to do with my Account? It’s a preference thing, not an Account Setting!), I discovered the “Compose Messages in HTML format” option.

And here’s what gives me the rub. It’s a binary thing.

I’m either writing Plain Text emails, or writing HTML emails. No middle ground, no ability to tune it on a per email basis.

In Outlook (boo! hiss!), you have the option to default to Plain Text, but then convert to HTML whilst writing the email.

Admittedly in Thunderbird, you get the option later on, but it’s not the same. It just doesn’t flow well enough.

Please Thunderbird team, let me work fluidly, not rigidly.

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Ooops

November 16th, 2006 2 comments

I’ve just accidentally called people without a degree stupid. Right in front of my two managers, neither of which have degrees.

Does this, by default, make me stupid? Discuss.

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Time Travelling

November 8th, 2006 No comments

Apparently Progress Software is able to manipulate the fabric of time, just by simply restoring a database.

restore: 11:14:38       Estimate 0 hours  1 minutes more processing    94 Percent complete.
restore: 11:15:38       Estimate 0 hours  1 minutes more processing    102 Percent complete.
restore: 11:16:38       Estimate 0 hours  1 minutes more processing    110 Percent complete.
restore: 11:17:38       Estimate 0 hours -1 minutes more processing    117 Percent complete.
restore: 11:18:38       Estimate 0 hours -2 minutes more processing    124 Percent complete. 

Thank god for that, those last two minutes were really dull – I’m glad I’ll get them back again.

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More MythTV Weird Colours

October 26th, 2006 No comments

I posted some time ago about having problems when I upgraded my MythTV box to version 0.20. It appeared to leave the colours in an awful awful mess.

I did manage to fix it temporarily, but soon after the same problem appeared.

I’ve done some more digging around and have ended up back at the same thread I found the answer on before. This time, something else has piqued my interest – it’s this response, and continues in the next response as well. It sounds like this could be a problem with nVidia drivers (and may be specifically related to Fedora Core 4).

I haven’t proved this, but I’ve got a feeling that there may have been a new kernel release about the same time as version 0.20. If this is the case, and the nVidia graphics driver didn’t update properly, then there could very well be a problem.

I’ll try tonight, and check what the nVidia driver is doing (or try and force it back to the standard “xv” driver), just to see what happens. Alternatively, I could possibly revert back to an old kernel version (at boot time through grub) to see what happens! I’ll keep you posted.

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Damn Annoying Software Names

October 25th, 2006 No comments

I’m fed up with having to search for pieces of Linux software which have annoying names.

I’m currently searching for info on the mail program “nail”.

How many sodding pages are there about “Is Linux the final nail in Microsoft’s Coffin?” (to which the answer is “No”, but that’s beside the point!)????

Why do Linux developers come up with such annoying names. They aren’t unique words; they aren’t utilitarian; and they are just puns. It annoys me!

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New Wheels on Da Wheelz

October 23rd, 2006 2 comments

Wow, long time no blog!

Anyway, just got some new tyres fitted to my car. I got them from a website called http://www.etyres.co.uk. They came to my work, fitted them, and took away the old ones; all at a price lower than I could get them from elsewhere. And wonderfully, I booked them on Friday afternoon, and they came on Monday. Can’t complain at that.

I’ll definitely use them again, and would certainly recommend them.

Disclaimer: I have nothing to do with eTyres, I just liked their service levels!

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I can’t help but believe that she is correct, but wrong

September 29th, 2006 No comments

Jacqueline Wilson is bemoaning the removal of junk food ads on kids TV. She is worried that it will hurt kids TV dramas. I think she is correct in that respect.

As far as I am concerned, that’s a good thing. With a loss of television programmes, kids will have to use their imaginations to play, and will be more active rather than just sitting down watching television. Kids will be active, and healthier; parents will be happier that their kids are healthy; and the cost to society (in terms of medical treatment) will be lower.

In fact, the only person who I can see at a loss in this situation, is Jacqueline Wilson – it will be her livelihood at stake.

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