Self Portrait


(& Stuff)

Initial Post

Last Week

Next Week


The Photo Blog


Copy this link to your newsreader's subscription page


Selected tech:

Moveable Type, "Remember me" doesn't

RSS Feeds:
(1) (2) (3)

Networking "non-network" printers

"MTUs", loss of connectivity

Time Sink Adware removal

One eBay scam

Internet Storm Center (SANS)

Take back the Web!

The Time Sink

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Most Recent (Last update: 1051 1/8/2006)

Happy Monday! Well, unless you're in Northern California and getting washed away. ...or in Oklahoma and getting burned out. There's something strange about that dichotomy...

Yes, we did get the lights and decorations down. Plan B was Daniel and me getting out and getting everything broken down and into the garage before the heavy stuff hit. After we warmed up a bit we went back out and packaged everything up for safe keeping in the attic and over at the storage place. We'll hit the attic today when we have Brad available to help, but the trip to storage is probably going to have to wait until the rains slacken a bit.

...and we have had rain, even here in Central Cal, non-stop once it got going shortly after noon yesterday. Usually storms pass through our area relatively quickly, but the radar is showing this one just taking it's sweet time. The prognosticators are talking maybe two inches locally today (I'm guessing we've had about three-quarters of an inch on Sunday).

Yeah, and we're the lucky ones...


Back to school for the boys; back to work for me... Shelley is finally able to do "Shelley things" since we're all out of the house for the first time in a week <g>. ...and the rains have stopped, at least until the weekend; that's a good thing: California needs some time to repair and get ready for the next round.

We did okay here, in spite of a tornado warning for the area we live in (yes, very locally) and having the roof blow off our small wood shed while I was out clearing the drains on the other side of the house. Locally things were a bit dicey with access to some areas restricted do to flooding, and I'm sure we'll have more reports of trees downed by the winds that kicked up yesterday.

I think we're ready for some sunshine again...


Side tracked... I'm behind on email to some people; I'll catch up when I can as I'm reconfiguring how I'm handling email here at Casa TimeSink. It shouldn't be any huge thing, but I'm working on consolidating boxes and boxen and it may take another evening.

...and hey! The fog stayed away for a day more than forecast so I managed to get a mid-week blading run in before the sun went down. That's good for the old endorphins!

Mañana, gang...


Once again we're running a sleep deprivation clinic here. Shelley and I were up several times last night dealing with cats and such, and my brain is just fried. We have high hopes for tonight...

Wish us luck!


"Reboot Friday"... Yep, that's what I'm going to call today. All day. All evening.

Windows gives me hives....


"Reboot Friday"? Oh, yeah... So I get to work and I need to open a PDF file. ...only the PDF file sent to me won't open in venerable Acrobat 5 and I'm a tad torqued. So I download Acrobat 7 and proceed to install it and get all sorts of surprised because the blasted thing installs some Adobe PhotoAlbum thingy I don't even want before it gets to Acrobat 7!!! WT??? Did I miss something? Sure, likely an "opt out", but I don't recall one... Oh, and I don't need another album cataloger because I have one from my PhotoShop Elements installation. (...and yes, for those Who Remember: I've finally set up a Win2k box at work; the Win95b box will be only a memory (albeit a fond one) sometime next week).

So... After I get the PDFs I need to print from AA7 I went to uninstall the cataloging software. ...and while I was at it I tore out the Symantec downloader its installer shoved on the machine when I tested WinFaxPro before I gave my copy to IT (those who recall my loathing for Symantec may remember the mess NAV made of one of my home boxes). Note: the previous sentence qualifies as "foreshadowing". Oh yeah...

Reboot. All is well until I get a sweet little message a few minutes later saying "NT is shutting down; you have offended the minor deity 'LSASS.exe' 2^7 times and your work is now on his Altair". Well, something like that. ...but wait, a reboot? Ummm... I don't like that at all so I pull the network cable out and go looking. A search on the Win95 machine shows this error message is likely castings from the Sasser Worm. WT? I don't think so. I have decent AV running and I'm paranoid enough to be firewalled from the network itself. No matter; I downloaded both Stinger and another removal tool, both of which gave my machine a clean bill of health. Great...

So one of those uninstalls hosed an authentication module? ...and rammed it's CPU use up to 99%? More searching brought up some info on the XP forums that was more or less indicative that it may not be a worm. ...although at this point Ouroboros came to mind as I was rebooting every darned step of the way. Well, heck, I'll toss SP4 on board (I hadn't yet) just to see if it clears it. ...and if not? Well, Xp is available a block away.

Hey, whaddayaknow? SP4 cleared it. Cool! ...only now I have another batch of updates to download (and reboot, reboot, reboot). Tempus is fugiting, but at a rate measured in pseudodays...

Cool. The machine is now up to date according to Redmond. Wonderful. Not: the purchasing program won't work. ...won't come up. ...error at startup. ...log generated. WT? I'm tired of this and the office is only marginally cleaner (the main project for the day) than it was in the morning because I've been sitting on my tail watching the dragon eat his own rebooty all darned day.

Dig. Dig some more. Dig some more. Dr. Watson's core dumps are not my friend. Much: What I am finding is that the lead error code shows up on forums for custom software. lot of forums for custom software. Hmm... Our program relies on the Borland Database Engine; you don't think Redmond would put anything in an update to hose a competitor's program do you? Yeah, me too...

Sure enough; the BDE admin panel won't come up. Cool! One reinstall (of all five modules) coming right up. ...and sure enough I can access the purchasing program once again. ...and make my orders. ...the ones from the morning. ...only it's almost time to go home. Swell...

Part II

Not content to leave Mr. Murphy at work, I invited him along home with me, or so it would appear. For some reason ("insanity" would be my plea) I decided to upgrade my AV program at home. Easy enough, just a download and an install (names left out of most of the programs involved because I like them), right? No: I get a message that since Roxio is installed on my system and contains a known bug in this version (to the AV program and several others) I needed to upgrade it first. Oh, and here's the page. Ummm... No Roxio here, folks. No Roxio anywhere with me, not since the days of the blasted thing hosing Win2k boxes and requiring bare metal reinstalls. ...but hey, maybe something is using a dll or two; I'll update it. ...and file things under "whatever".

Not. Roxio now requires registration and your first born just to update. ...and then only after putting up with continual ads (no joke!) to try to con you/have you click the wrong link/browbeat you/guilt you into upgrading to version 8. ...and while the first born deal could probably be negotiated, the other stuff was just egregious. To heck with them. I went for the AV install without updating (it took, I'm looking for problems but haven't seen any as yet).

...but how the heck did Roxio slither onto this machine? I mean, I know I didn't and I monitor the subsets of what is installed (Nero is my burningware). ...except for one place that doesn't let you monitor: Redmond! I figured a search would be useless but I went for it anyway. ...and sure enough, there it was: "Roxio burner"! Wt????? ...and up one level and what do we find? Windows Media Player 9! Sure, why not? Just use someone else's software (and under a licensing agreement that stated Roxio does not have to maintain the software for MS and MS has no update) and install this piece of dreck under the cover of darkness.

As I said, "Windows gives me hives"...


Never mock Murphy... As I'm in the shower this morning: "Dan, Brad says there is something leaking over by where the Gatorade is stored." That's next to the freezer. That doesn't sound good. So I got dressed for church anyway and went out to take a look. Hmmmm.... No, not Gatorade, not the freezer; this is coming from behind me...

Slowly I turned... Step by step... Inch by inch...

The water heater.


I'll be back later. Much later...

The Conjuror
Click image for larger version

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

Subscribe the Timesink in Amphetadesk!  Automatically subscribe to this domain in Radio UserLand.  Thanks for visiting!  Certain works on this site are covered by a Creative Commons License
All content Copyright 1999->2006 Daniel C. Bowman. Most rights reserved.