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Flash

Since when does every website seem to think they have to use Adobe Flash?

In my opinion some of the crappiest software on this planet comes from Adobe, and they are one of the very few companies that seem to believe that installing their software on your computer gives them every right to take it over.

The only other software that I know that acts like that we refer to as a VIRUS and we work diligently to keep it off our machines.

Wake up — and just say HELL NO to web sites trying to force you download and install ANY software.  If they can’t figure out how to give you a WEB 2.0 experience without you needing to install viral agents — just spend your money elsewhere… they’ll get the idea soon enough.

Originally posted 2009-02-27 01:00:02.

Gates & Seinfeld

Imagin a life without walls…

OK — so just watch these…

Originally posted 2008-11-21 12:00:27.

Windows Live

Microsoft introduced it’s next generation online services quit some time ago under the name Windows Live through the URL live.com.

It’s intended as far more than a replacement for Hotmail or for MSN Messanger, it’s a fairly rich on-line experience with BLOGging, photo sharing, calendaring, document sharing, as well as email and instant messaging.

You can also download software to install on your PC through the site, the Windows Live mail program is the next generation to Windows Mail / Outlook Express; and it promises to be much more polished and functional (it will allow you to interact with your Hotmail/MSN/Live account from your PC without launching a web browser, as well as any standards based POP3 or IMAP4 server).

Additionally, Microsoft offers email hosting for your private domain (for free)…

I find it interesting that Microsoft doesn’t heavily publicize all these features like several other large internet companies, they just offer them at no charge and with what looks to me like much less advertising and no hidden information collection.

Originally posted 2009-01-10 12:00:38.

Microsoft Virtual Server and Virtual PC Windows Guest Optimization

Keeping a Windows virtual machine running well using a Microsoft virtualization system is fairly simple, and here are the best practices that I’ve come up with (through trial and error and reading).

First, if you use Virtual Server rather than Virtual PC make sure you’re using SCSI disks, and regardless, always try to use the most current virtual tools in your guest.

Second, if you use dynamically expanding disks you need to compact them occasionally to decrease the size; you might as well defrag them in the guest before doing the compact and clean off unnecessary files as well; and if you have the time, defragment the host as well.  The reason for keeping the dynamically expanding disks as small as possible is caching and head travel — small is good.

Third, if you’re running something like SQL server inside a virtual machine, or software that tends to grow and shrink the store, consider using a pre-allocated disk rather than a dynamic one, it will probably be much better in the long run.

 

Now, here are a few of the “tools” I use to make my life easy.  first, I create a batch file that contains:

  1. if EXIST “C:\Program Files\OO Software\Defrag Professional\oodcmd.exe” set oodcmd=”C:\Program Files\OO Software\Defrag Professional\oodcmd.exe”
  2. if EXIST “C:\Program Files\OO Software\Defrag Server\oodcmd.exe” set oodcmd=”C:\Program Files\OO Software\Defrag Server\oodcmd.exe”
  3. REM Disk Clean
  4. regedit /S cleanmgr-0666.reg
  5. start /WAIT cleanmgr /sagerun:666
  6. REM Defrag
  7. %oodcmd% /COMPMOD:ALL
  8. REM pre-compactor
  9. precompact -silent
  10. REM shutdown
  11. shutdown /f /s /t

I use O&O Software’s OODefrag to defragment my disks; some of my machines have the professional version installed, and some have the server version installed; so lines 1 & 2 just figures out which of the versions is installed.

Line 4 setups up for calling the disk cleaner manager, because Microsoft really didn’t create a very good command line interface to it, you have to write a job detail into the registry.  You actually only need do it once, but rather than see if it’s there, I just write the “current” version to it.  666 is an arbitrary choice of labels.  I put a copy of what’s in the reg file at the end of the post, use MSDN to decipher it.

Line 5 invokes the disk cleaner manager with the job that was setup in line 4.

Line 7 defragments all the drives.

Line 9 invokes the precompactor (comes with virtual server, but works for virtual pc as well).

Line 11 shutsdown the system.

After the system is shut down, you need to run the compactor from the host, you can invoke that with Virtual Server with a script, or through the web interface (inspect disk); with Virtual PC you’ll need to do that with the virtual disk wizard.

After the compactor is finished, consider defragmenting your host disk (at least occassionally).

I actually have permutations of this procedure for use with Parallels and VMware.  Both Parallels and VMware have an interface for this, but it really doesn’t do that great of a job in the guest, so you can definitely improve on it by doing the same procedures I do for the Microsoft products before calling their “built in” functions.

 

If you use UNDO disks and always throw away your changes, you only need to do this procedure once (with UNDO turned off), degragment the host files, then enable UNDO.  Since the base disks never change (until you need to apply service packs, patches, etc), you never need to worry about cleanup.  But don’t let UNDO disk change sets grow extremely large or your performance will suffer.

One more word of advice, if you copy your virtual machines (and this is true of any of the virtualization systems), make sure you allow the virtualization software to create a new descriptor file (to avoid MAC address duplication, though Virtual Server can handle this), and make sure you run NewSid.exe (or a similar program) in a Windows host to change it’s name and security identifier.

________________________________________

cleanmgr-0666-reg

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches] [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Active Setup Temp Folders] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Compress old files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Content Indexer Cleaner] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000000

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Downloaded Program Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Internet Cache Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Memory Dump Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Microsoft_Event_Reporting_2.0_Temp_Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Old ChkDsk Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Recycle Bin] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Remote Desktop Cache Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Setup Log Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\Temporary Files] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\VolumeCaches\WebClient and WebPublisher Cache] “StateFlags0666″=dword:00000002

 

Originally posted 2008-05-18 20:46:42.

The global war on drugs has failed…

The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world…

Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption. Apparent victories in eliminating one source or trafficking organization are negated almost instantly by the emergence of other sources and traffickers. Repressive efforts directed at consumers impede public health measures to reduce HIV/AIDS, overdose fatalitiesand other harmful consequences of drug use. Government expenditures on futile supply reduction strategies and incarceration displace more cost-effective and evidence-based investments in demand and harm reduction.

 

Global Commission on Drug Policy Report Recommendations:

 

— An end to “the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.”

— Governments experiment “with models of legal regulation of drugs to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens. This recommendation applies especially to cannabis.”

— Increases in “health and treatment services [for] those in need.”

— Less focus on the arrest and imprisonment of “people involved in the lower ends of illegal drug markets, such as farmers, couriers and petty sellers. Many are themselves victims of violence and intimidation or are drug dependent. Arresting and incarcerating tens of millions of these people in recent decades has filled prisons and destroyed lives and families without reducing the availability of illicit drugs or the power of criminal organizations.”

— Less emphasis on “simplistic ‘just say no’ messages and ‘zero tolerance’ policies in favor of educational efforts grounded in credible information and prevention programs that focus on social skills and peer influences.”

— A increased focus on “violent criminal organizations, but do so in ways that undermine their power and reachwhile prioritizing the reduction of violence and intimidation. Law enforcement efforts should focus not on reducing drug markets per se but rather on reducing their harms to individuals, communities and national security.”

Members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

— Asma Jahangir; human rights activist, former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions; Pakistan.
— Carlos Fuentes; writer; Mexico.
— Cesar Gaviria; former president of Colombia.
— Ernesto Zedillo; former president of Mexico.
— Fernando Henrique Cardoso; former president of Brazil.
— George Papandreou; Prime Minister of Greece.
— George Shultz; former secretary of state.
— Javier Solana; former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy; Spain.
— John Whitehead; banker and civil servant, chair of the World Trade Center Memorial; United States.
— Kofi Annan; former secretary general of the United Nations.
— Louise Arbour; former U.N. high commissioner for human rights; Canada.
— Maria Cattaui; member of the board, Petroplus Holdings; former secretary-general of the International Chamber of Commerce; Switzerland.
— Marion Caspers-Merk; former state secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Health, Germany.
— Mario Vargas Llosa; writer; Peru.
— Michel Kazatchkine; executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; France.
— Paul Volcker; former chairman of the Federal Reserve.
— Richard Branson; entrepreneur; founder of the Virgin Group; U.K.
— Ruth Dreifuss- former president of Switzerland.
— Thorvald Stoltenberg; former minister of foreign affairs and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees; Norway.

Originally posted 2011-06-02 02:00:24.

Vernal Equinox 2017

March  20 2017 10:28 GMT

Amazon Changes

You know how you used to be able to search for an item on Amazon and when you viewed it you could look at the pricing for the various vendors that offered new, used, refurbished, or all items?

Well, not any longer… looks like Amazon has decided you couldn’t possibly need that information and they’ll just hide it from you and you can buy which ever one they decide to put in your shopping cart.

And they’ve added a near useless history panel and recommendation panel, that even though there’s an option to turn it off — it doesn’t turn off.

What they forgot to include is a button that gives you a useful version of the Amazon site!!!

Looks like we know the next company to go down the path that Netflix speed down…

Originally posted 2011-11-01 03:00:11.