Archive for January, 2008


January 29, 2008 Leave a comment

I have been involved with distributed computing since college, and have always seen it as a great way to help aid in the solving of some of mankind’s complex problems.  At Cyber-Safari, all of our computers ran SETI@Home as screensavers — I know this was not exactly the best use of all that computing power, but at least I was contributing to something.  At the cafe, I also had our servers running the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS).

I continue to run GIMPS whenever I can on home computers and servers, and have been contributing (search for my name) now for quite some time.  Something hit me this year, and I am not sure why, but I decided I wanted my distributed computing to work towards more humane problems — cancer and other diseases, for example.  As a result, I have recently begun running Rosetta@home on a few computers.  I think this project has the potential to actually do some good for all of us who have a disease, or know of someone who does.

To this end, I ask anyone who reads this to consider running Rosetta@Home on your own computer,  or at the very least, run some sort of distributed program and donate your computer’s idle time.  When enough of us join together in causes like this, we certainly can make a difference.

Categories: Computers Tags:

Book Released

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment

The book is officially released today, and what that means (as far as I understand this whole process) is that it is in O’Reilly’s warehouse and ready to be shipped. Amazon should have it in stock in a day or so (yea!) and brick and mortar stores should have it in stock in a couple of weeks, or however long it takes them to send their trucks out, pick up the books, and deliver them to stores.

I reserve the right to celebrate until I have my first copy in my hands, which I hope will be today! (Come on, FedEx!)

Categories: Books Tags:

ALA said WHAT?!?!

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment

I am nearly rendered speechless by what I have just read in the latest A List Apart (Issue 251). Where did all of our common sense go? Moreover, who is paying these people anyway?

I used to view ALA as the place to go for the latest in Web culture and philosophy, and was honored when they accepted my proposal for an article, which was subsequently published in Issue 234. ALA has always had the forward thinking developers, designers, experts, etc. writing for them, and this has (I believe) given them great clout in the community. Then I read this issue…

I am struck with the sudden horror that ALA may actually be in bed with the Web-destroying behemoth itself. How is this possible? Instead of pushing developers to begin writing standards-compliant code (something I, and many other developers and writers are strong advocates for), we are instead supposed to bow to whatever fetid fancies the great and mighty Microsoft comes up with? Are they serious?

What happened to getting the browser-companies to comply with standards? Why should we, the developers, be the ones who must bend over backwards in order for our code to work — especially when our code is compliant code?

The Web is shaping up to be a Web I do not want to be a part of. The Web was innovation and art, a place where we could all come together and make a better world through technology — away from the monolithic companies that have tried to control every aspect of technology for far too many years. Now, these companies have apparently taken control of groups (or maybe just individuals — time will tell here), and with them the direction for the future of the Web.

I have always had great admiration for Eric Meyer, and I cannot believe what I have read in his article.

Let me just end by saying: STANDARDS, STANDARDS, STANDARDS!

Categories: General Rants, Internet Tags: ,

Using Windows Installer in Safe Mode

January 8, 2008 Leave a comment

Having to recently put on my desktop support hat, I ran into an issue where installed software had created a brick out of an IBM laptop.  I booted into Safe Mode and wanted to uninstall the offending software when I discovered, to my dismay, that I could not access the Windows Installer service from within Safe Mode.

A quick Internet search provided the solution, and that is to edit the registry so that Windows Installer is available.  The following are the steps to take in order to start Windows Installer in Safe Mode.

Important! You may want to back up your registry prior to modifying it in any way.  Microsoft has support article 322756 showing you how to do this for Windows XP and Windows Vista.

  1. Start your computer in Safe Mode by pressing F8 before the Windows splash screen appears.
  2. Once logged in, click Start, then Run, and type regedit in the textbox, followed by Enter (or click OK).
  3. Locate and click the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal
  4. Click Edit from the menu, and select New –> Key.  The new Key should be named MSIServer.
  5. Double-click  Default and type Service in the Value data box.  Click OK.
  6. Close the registry Editor.
  7. Restart your computer in Safe Mode, following the information in Step 1.
  8. Once logged in, click Start, then Run, and type services.msc in the textbox, followed by Enter (or click OK).
  9. Click on Windows Installer, then click Start.

You should now be able to add and remove programs from within Safe Mode.

Just remember that a serious problem might occur if the registry is incorrectly comfigured in any way.

I hope this helps someone.

Back from Hiatus

January 8, 2008 Leave a comment

I am sorry for the month and a half hiatus from any blogging, but I have been so busy wrapping up everything with my old job and getting up to speed with the new one that I have barely had any time to think, let alone write on the blog.

Things have changed, though, and as the new job gets less hectic, I should be able to focus on the things I want to and have in the past.  Switching gears from programming to managing the IT for a firm has been huge, and a little overwhelming at first.  I’m getting the hang of it now, though.

Definitely look more more soon!

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: