Tag Archives: Windows

What is in a techs mind when they work on a problem?

I don’t know in the startup, reboot, same problem. Check the other computer on the router, works perfect. Downloading Firefox on good computer, putting it on thumb drive and loading it on broken computer. Still does not work. Still able to ping google. Resetting all internet settings, no luck. Turning off wireless and using Cat5 cable. Still pings google, but browser does not work. Going back to wireless. Hmmm, what is next?

Let me take the computer home and try it on my home router. OK same thing. Lets try to browse the network, ok this does NOT work either. OK time fore more software. Lets see what HijackThis says. Well two things I see really quick… IERESET.INF with a ton of options that are not so good, also some DLASX_W.DLL, used for a dlink wireless the client tried to get working before I came over. I am going to remove everything other than Norton and Google toolbar. Lets reboot. Same thing. Ok let’s use google to find out more ideas. Running the reset command on the TCP/IP connection. Still broken. Reboot, still broken. OK, resetting the DNS. No help. Is it just port 80, hmm lets test some other program, does RDC work…no, ok so more ports.

Now looking for a tool to reset winsock, ok found a great one, let me pop in my thumb drive. Oops electric shock, blue screen, just rebooted my main computer. Uggg. Well now it is time to install that new DVD burner I bought the other day. Ok done, all up again. OK running the winsock reset, reboot, ping works, ugg browser still broken. This is getting very lame. OK I have some reg tools but I never had them fix much, but worth a try now, we are desperate. Running RegCure, found 894 errors and fixed them. Broken, rebooting, still broken, as expected.

Well I know it is software, but lets see if an Ubuntu live CD will work on this, plus I can test my new burner. The new burner is very fast, only 2:44 to burn, about 2 min faster than my old one. While burning I typed net view, and got error 6118, let me look into that. Nothing really there for browser problems. Did a search for the firefox error message “Though the site seems valid, the browser was unable to establish a connection.” And I got a large number of good information. A bit more research and it seems that Norton has caused this problem for other people, so let me download the Norton removal tool and see if that helps. This is most hopeful I have been that we have a solution, but it is taking forever to do. Ok, done, rebooting, crossing fingers. Yippie, it worked. Stupid Norton, I always hated that thing. So cool now.

Wow, I knew I would get it eventually, but that took a long time. It totally works now, just tested everything out, no problems. I am now installing AVG so the client has a bit of AV protection. Also going to run Windows Update, he has been offline for months with this problem.  Never got to try Ubuntu on this one.

I have had similar problems in the past, and it seems that it was a different fix each time. But if you found this blog because you had the problem listed above try some of the things here, it may just work.

CLICK HERE for the removal tool I used to remove norton.

CLICK HERE for the winsock reset tool.

Our world is too complex and getting worse…please help.

Many people have jobs, where your job is to make something better.  In order to keep your job you need to show results.  Now a problem happens, many companies make their product just about as good as it can get.  In the real world of products they just move on to the next thing, but in software they keep adding features well beyond what is useful.

There are many examples of this. Winamp was perfect 8 years ago, it played music well, it had good skins and an equalizer.  Then they started adding stuff, and adding and adding.  They put in a video player, but it sucks.  They put in a browser, what is the point in that?  Adobe Acrobat is a program that never really worked well.  And every update just makes it slower.  There are third party ones that are much faster and better.  There are many other examples.

So companies that make programs have figured out that most people don’t need their updates, but if people don’t get their updates they can’t push future changes on them, that may include more advertising, or toolbars on your browser, and these companies love to do that.  So they have made their programs “phone home” each time they load, and if the company decided they want to send an update they will do so.  This makes these programs slower, and many of them gripe if you are not online when you load the software.  At least 20 programs I know of now try to push the Yahoo toolbar on their customers each time you update and unless you are very careful and unselect a box hidden somewhere you get it.  And it is hard to remove and almost totally useless.  There is really a battle going on for your attention, and these companies are trying more and more intrusive things to make you use their software, even though most of it is free.  The other day I noticed that if you update java, it tries to install download and install open office, a almost 180MB download.  Java is just a programming language, why should they push an entire office suite on users.  Most users are not smart enough to catch this stuff, then they call me when they see stuff they don’t understand, and these calls are increasing.  (As a note I love open office, I suggest it to many people and install it on all systems we sell.)

Now in the world of software this is a minor annoyance. You can run older versions, or usually disable all updates. But this is also done in many other areas, it is human nature that once something is very good you will keep changing it, even if the change is bad, simply to look like you are doing something.  One area where this is VERY costly and actually dangerous is in the area of Government.  The government keeps adding rules, and regulations in areas where none really is needed.  Many people running for office brag about the number of bills they introduced, and the number of laws they passed.  All of this makes life more complex.  Do we really need such a complex tax system that you have to call an expert for help and even the experts don’t know half the time.  Do we really need over 20,000 classifications for imported items.  Do we really need to have so many regulations on hiring employees, increasing complexity and costs so much that companies get fed up with it and simply hire people in other nations.  Should it really take over a year for a citizen to bring his wife to the US legally?  Do we really need the government to tell us what food is safe, to tell us that we need to give our babies over 20 shots, many of which cause more harm than good?  Should it be so complex to get a Federal grant that Matthew Lesko has become famous for his awesome 3000+ page book with over 15,000 DIFFERENT programs listed (BTW read his blog).  Do we really need a government with 1000’s of different divisions?

This has cost our country a huge price.  Our power has allowed us to survive for a while but now a crisis is coming. It is so hard to appease the government regulations that no nuclear power plant or oil refinery has been built here in over 30 years.  Most factories are built overseas simply because lack of regulations make them much more profitable.  Why would you want to build you widget here, and deal with the EPA the IRS and OSHA when you can built it overseas and import it for less.  This is why our balance of trade is so bad, this is why are money is flowing out of this country and we are all in debt, as a nation we are living well beyond our means.  This has been a problem for many years, but just recently it has gotten so bad that people have stopped lending to us, whole nations are writing down our debt, and this is causing problems for millions of Americans.  This is a problem, created by our own government decades ago, the symptoms were hidden for years, the official government report showed almost no inflation from 1997 until 2005 while the average person saw huge inflation.  Now it is all catching up, and millions of people are SHOCKED by it.  It will ruin the lives of millions, it will also improve the lives of millions.  I have written many times about this subject, see here or here.

Anyway this was suppose to be a simple post about how everything is getting more complex simply because people want to keep their job and have nothing better to do.  Please comment on what you think about all of this.

Safari on windows!

Wow, for once I am shocked and impressed by something in this industry. Mac just released Safari for Windows today. (Click here to get it) I was not keeping track and did not know it was coming, but shortly after midnight it came on saying that I could get it. I quickly installed it, and tested it out on my PC. The graphics look about the same but slightly better. I think they up the color setting on everything, and I like it. It seems to load as fast or faster. I will have to learn how to make some changes to it that I like to have but I will give it a good try.

This is a good idea that was a decade in the making. When you use it you feel like you are using a mac. I am a PC guy but I do see how this will get many new customers for Mac. I already see their market share increasing due to the tragic and predictable failure of Microsoft Vista. (Click here to see a survey of how big a failure vista really is)

I also downloaded FireFox on the day it came out, it was not so great at first but as IE got worse FireFox got better. For most of 2007 I used Ubuntu as my OS but I finally had to break down and go back to Windows on my main computer, but I did not go back to IE. I miss many things about Ubuntu, it is a much better OS but there are a few programs I need that simply don’t exist yet in the Linux world.

Thanks mac for raising the bar. I hope Microsoft either steps up or fades away soon.

The key to commercial success for Linux

You use a computer, and read blogs so you probably know a bit about computer and you probably know about Linux. Linux is great, robust and free OS. It runs almost all web servers and websites. Including google, wordpress and billions of others. Linux is very secure, robust, fast and hack proof. It makes great servers because servers are ran by experts. Without Linux the web would not exist as we know it.

Well for over a decade now they have been trying to make it popular for your desktop computer that you use every day as well. One of the best parts about Linux is that anyone with knowledge is free to change and customize it exactly how they see fit, and they have. Almost everything in Linux has at least 3 different programs that do the same thing, but they do it in different ways. People then pick and choose the different parts of Linux and combine them into a complete Operating System. They call this a distribution or distro. There are now 100’s of up to date distros, all with different ways of doing things and different followings. This has helped Linux in the past but in the world of mass merchandising it also has hurt Linux.

The problem is that when a company writes software to work on Linux they must assume things about how the computer is set up. Because there are 100’s of different ways to do this, and only a few million Linux users, they simply don’t bother. Companies that make drivers and hardware also don’t bother. The Linux people thus have to do all of it themselves. And, if they do it for one distro of Linux it probably will not work on many others. So the game makers, and the people who make the huge programs we need to function usually don’t bother making a Linux version. There is no Photoshop, QuickBooks, MSN or Yahoo chat with webcam, or robust video editing software in Linux because these are very complex and would usually be distro specific, and the userbase does not justify the cost.

The strength of Microsoft Windows was the fact that it was closed and controlled. People could not change the OS, all the rules from computer to computer were exactly the same. Because of this people could code for just ONE OS, that they knew would be supported and work for at least a decade. This is exactly what they did, 1000’s of companies started writing. Hardware makers could design one driver to work with the OS and everything was easy, because it was a standard platform, that was predictable. Windows was not the coolest, and it sure was not the most secure or robust, and they charged a huge price for it, but all of this was worth it because it was STANDARD. Nothing is more important than something being standard when it comes to business, and all the geeks need to learn this. McDonalds does not made the best burgers, but I have ate them in 5 different nations and they are all the same. When it is the same it is predictable, and you need that to get investors and make money flow. This is the main reason the Linux world still has less than 1% of desktop computers.

So now what? Well in a dream world someone with great power and clout would take all the best parts of Linux, get a ton of people behind him and release the ultimate distro of Linux. He would promise to not change it for at least 6 months and also promise that anything written for it will work for years on the newer versions. By creating a standard and unifying the Linux world programmers would start making software work on Linux and soon it would gain marketshare. It will be better and be free than windows, and soon takeover the world from the grasp of Microsoft.

Someone else, a tech billionaire named Mark Shuttleworth thought EXACTLY the same way, and he used his power and clout to do it. He calls it Ubuntu. He only release every 6 months, and he has static versions that are supported for two years or more. He then went much farther, he made a community around it. They have great free tech support with forums and chat. As well has many other great features and designs.  My good friend Matthew Helmke is one of the leading Ubuntu experts and forum leaders and inspired me to try it out.

This OS has the chance to become huge. For over a year now Linux has been the top distro, and it growing faster than the rest of the Linux world put together. The standard it presents has already encouraged many companies to start writing software for Linux. Many large games are not tested on Ubuntu. If you use Linux, switch to Ubuntu, for the sake of the Linux world. Raising a unified standard is the only hope that Linux has at commercial success.

I hope this explanation of a very tech thing from a business perspective educated both the techs and the business people who usually don’t understand each other.

I will offer much more of this sort of knowledge in the future so be sure to subscribe to this blog!.

Jason Dragon.