Sunday, April 18, 2010

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Monday, June 08, 2009

One particular Windoze XP machine at work keeps falling off the network, possibly relating to an infection by W32.Downadup that we can't seem to get rid of.
Thanks to

At least I've now figured out how to get it talking again without having to restart it.
To wit:
"The answer is pretty easy- run services.msc and enable Workstation."

A pox upon the idiots who refuse to convert this place to Mac OS X.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

iPhone 2.1, Syphone. MobileSync Browser, SMS and sanity

Syphone stopped working correctly with the update to iPhone OS 2.1, no longer adding new messages to it's archive database. MobileSync Browser would still read new messages, but can't export unless you pay for ir (which I did), and doesn't have quite as robust an export format as Syphone (Although it does do several things Syphone doesn't, like also backing up Notes, and Contacts. The additional features make it worth paying for, and it's possible to massage it's export files with some judicious grep'ping to a format that can be imported into Syphone. More on that later maybe.)

Turns out, Syphone will start working again if you clear all it's preference files (~/Library/Application Support/Syphone/ and ~/Library/Preferences/com.micromat.Syphone.plist ) but pay attention that you lose your previously saved messages if you just delete these files. Instead, first export any conversations threads that you want to keep from Syphone, then moved the preferences files, restart Syphone (turning off the SMS daemon if you get the No iPhones found error) and load your new messages, then re-import your old messages to the new database.

I fully understand that Micromat is concentrating on TechTool Pro atm, and that Syphone is free, but their handling of this issue has practically guaranteed that they'll never be able to charge money for Syphone. It should have taken a trivial amount of time for a programmer conversant with the software to come up with the above procedure and post it to their message board. Instead, we got

 "There is nothing I can do to help with this problem. We expect development of Syphone to resume after the release of TechTool Pro 5."

and over the next several days the userbase thrashed out the above procedure. Micromat completely trashed all the goodwill they'd gained from having the best SMS archive app, and a free one at that.

For me, SMS is a toy, I just happen to like to save my convos. For some people, SMS is business, and that makes saving them Mission Critical.


MobileSync Browser:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

D848PFT2 Drivers

Just to remind myself:

Sound: Realtek AC 97 Audio (downloaded from driverguide)
Motherboard: Intel .inf package
Lan: Intel VE Pro 10/100 package

Monday, April 18, 2005

DOS-usuable Shared Printer

Setup the Printer on a local port [LPT1] of your machine (in my case XP Pro). Then issue the following command from a command prompt:

net use LPT1 \\computername\printername /persistent:YES

depending on how the printer host is setup, you may have to give password info.

Hosts file redirect [WIN]

Have your hosts file installed for ad blocking, but still seeing adds from sites you know are in the file? Check this:


The next most frequent cause is that a virus has pointed
the system to another hosts file.

      Value of type REG_EXPAND_SZ
      Name: DataBasePath

The correct path where Windows finds the hosts
file should be:


and only that path alone.

Several viruses are known to redirect Windows to the
Windows\help folder (or perhaps some other folder)
and put their own hosts file there. If you find this,
don't try to just correct the registry entry. You must
first remove the virus.

And having removed the virus, go fix the registry entry so the hosts file works.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Converting wallpaper and ringtones for Nextel phones (i710, i830, etc)

Most recent Nextel phones can use two types of ringtones: midi or wav. Each of these must be in a specific format to be usable on your phone.

Midi files must be “type 0” Many of the files you download from the internet will be type 1 instead, and must be converted to work as ringtones. The best program I have found so far for converting midi files is called MID Convertor. At the time of this writing I’m using MID Convertor 3.2. ( The free trial works fine for this, full version is $29.95) Conversion using this program is a simple one step process: just open the program, select the file you want to convert and hit the “Convert to MIDI 0” button in the programs toolbar.

Some midi files may sound differently once loaded onto the phone. This has to do with the structure of the midi file format, and how the different phones process the files. In short, midi files are divided into channels, and some phone play more channels than others. And channels in the file beyond the number the phone can play are simply dropped, and this can negatively affect the sound of the ringtone.

Wav ringtones are rather more complex. They must be 8000khz, 8-bit, mono, PCM format. Theoretically, most sound editing programs should be able to convert files to this format if they can save .wav files, however I had numerous problems getting programs to actually convert files to these specific settings. The only program I found that was able to reliably convert files to this format was “FlexiMusic Wave Editor” from . The program is $15 shareware.

Lastly, making wallpapers is fairly easy with a small freeware program called IrfanView
( )
Wallpapers for the i710 should be 130 x 130, 8bpp, gifs and less than 16kb in size. They also must have the .gif extension for the phone to correctly recognize them.
I830 wallpapers are 176 x 220. Other phones’ specifications can be find using google, or by trial and error. It’s possible that the newer phones may be able to support higher color images, and or larger images.

Simplest program for loading the files (assuming you have the necessary cable) is “myJal” ( , $9.95 after the trial period expires.)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

WIN XP Cannot delete empty directory

Rather irritating little XP bug solved as follows:

in DOS (nope, it ain't gone, no matter what m$ wants you to think)
navigate to the directory containing the recalcitrant directory
dir /x

this will give you the 8 char name for the directory that isn't cooperating

rd 8chrn~1
where 8chrn~1 is of course the actual 8 char name

Viola. Yep, windows is stupid.