Archive for June, 2005

Good Lord, this stinks: High court OKs personal property seizures

June 23, 2005 in General | Comments (0)

What the hell is wrong with our supreme court?


nVidia Cards and Linux

June 10, 2005 in General | Comments (0)

For some reason, every time I try to do something to my Debian machine’s X configuration I run into trouble. Part of it is just my own memory – I forget what I did last time – and the episodes are so far in between that the thought of pulling up notes is pretty far fetched.

Just went through a round of it again with a cheap 64mb nVidia PCI that I got to put in one of my boxes. Tried using the apt-get installation methods, but I never could get the module to load. Finally ran across a note somewhere on the web that reminded of the right way to do it… just go to nVidia’s site and download the damn driver there. You get a nice little shell script to run that handles the whole thing smoothly and cleanly.

The only hitch you might run into is that it might not find a precompiled image for your kernel and need to build one for you. It expects your gcc compiler version to be 2.95, so you may have to set the CC environment variable to force it use the right compiler. In my case, I just told it to shut up and use my 3.3 compiler and seemed to work correctly – X is up and running at high resolution.

Oftentimes the best solution is the simplest one. Going to the nVidia site first would have made great sense, especially since, once I got there, I remembered exactly what I had to do the previous time. I’m hoping this will stick in the back of my head this time so I won’t get stuck if it comes up again, but it may be a while before I upgrade video on another Linux box.


It’s way too early for this…

June 9, 2005 in General | Comments (0)

The first tropical storm of the season is already spinning toward Cuba, purportedly to the Gulf of Mexico by Friday. Last year the trouble didn’t really start until August. Is the madness really kicking off this early?


News.com | Possible fix for a broken patent system?

in General | Comments (0)

I’m really happy to read this story.

“The bill will eliminate legal gamesmanship from the current system that rewards lawsuit abuses over creativity,” said Smith, a Texas Republican.

It’s about time they did something about the patent issue. Hopefully this will make things better.


Really Reinstalling IE6

June 7, 2005 in General | Comments (0)

I’ve been having some trouble with Internet Explorer 6 and wanted to find a way to reinstall it. There are a couple of resources out there that tell how to go about it, one from Microsoft itself, and one from some other guy. These instructions have you set a registry key to tell Windows that Internet Explorer is not installed. Well, that might have worked at some point, but Windows is a little bit smarter about finding your IE6 installation and refuses to install, even if you set that key.

Some people recommend a fresh install of Windows because this could indicate deeper system problems, but I hate reinstalling Windows, so I decided to get medieval with Internet Explorer.

Please note that this is a very aggressive repair strategy, and it may not work – in fact you may mess your machine up beyond repair. I do not recommend following this procedure, and I was probably insane to do so in the first place. I got lucky and it worked. If you aren’t as lucky, remember that it isn’t my fault and just reinstall Windows like a good boy.

Here’s what I did that worked.

The first thing I did was visit this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components\{89820200-ECBD-11cf-8B85-00AA005B4383}

This is the one you’re supposed to tweak by setting IsInstalled to zero. That didn’t work. Screw that. Blow it away. You can back it up by choosing Export from the file menu if you want, but this won’t work if that key is still around.

Likewise, you need to dig in and excise this registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

Finally, you need to blow away the whole Internet Explorer directory:

C:\Program Files\internet explorer

To accomplish this, you need to hit F8 during Windows starup and choose Safe Mode with Command Prompt, or into the Recovery Console because the IE directory will be in use by the system.

After that, ie6setup.exe should run without error and then reboot your computer. This is where some trouble can occur. On my machine, the login box failed. winlogon.exe, services.exe, and lsass.exe all failed to load with this error message:

The procedure entry point AssocGetPerceivedType coupld not be located in the Dynmic Link Library SHLWAPI.dll

That really stunk, I couldn’t open Windows at all. However, at the next restart I hit F8 and chose Last Known Good Configuration. The system booted right up and the IE components finished installing. Because of this, I would recommend setting a system restore point before you get started.

Windows went on to download a few updates, but the pages that were being problematic are working correctly now. This appears to have resulted in a successful reinstall.

I have the same issue with one of my other machines (for some reason IE is having trouble connecting to the internet, but everything else connects just fine), so I’m going to try the same procedure there. I tend to keep Windows installations alive for a ridiculously long time, so these problems may just be artifacts of an aging install.