Home | Diary | Downloads

Diary sections: current 2004 2003 2002 2001 older

Diary archives 2003

November 2, 2003

I've been busy with family, work, and so on. There's a lot to mention. But, I don't have time to type it all in. I might type in a mega-update soon. Until then, here's a picture of my son Alex, taken this summer. I've been very bad about taking pictures of my family lately, so this will have to do.

October 3, 2003

Boy, I got the most interesting mix of feedback over that last posting. My political leanings were guessed by some, and they were pretty much wrong.


I've installed a DNS-based spam filter on my biggest customer's network. We'd been handling spam on a case-by-case basis up to now, but the volume of spam received by this customer had mushroomed over the summer. The DNS-based system uses a series of "blacklists" (DNSBL) to identify the IP addresses of known spammers or spam-friendly ISPs. So why am I not surprised that the most poorly-run local ISP (in my personal experience) turns out to be on a major blacklist?

By the way, the spam filter I installed was the free Mercury/32 mail server. There's one notable disadvantage to Mercury/32. The author doesn't provide a way for me to override the blacklist for a specific server. The author suggests that I create my own DNS server, containing a list of overrides, as a "whitelist" server. For two-thirds of my clients, that's an unreasonable request.

I've been surprised in past months by a spam phenomenon, and I think I'm ready to do something about it. I respond to legitimate email from all sorts of addresses, and my reply address is always the same. The address has never been posted on a public web site, as far as I can tell. Yet, I receive spam for several days after replying to a batch of email.

My plan is simple, but it will require some computer programming. I plan on having my email address include a unique ID number. The resulting email address will be perfectly usable as a reply address, at least until I see spam arriving with that address. So, instead of receiving a reply from 'me' at, you'd receive a reply from 'me092165'.

I'd also like to write a spam filter using DNS blacklists. It would be written as an NT service, so that I can use it at my customer sites. Ideally, I'd like to take it one step further, and write an SMTP mail server that is capable of actually delivering my inbound and outbound mail. Then, I could merely add the necessary code to create unique reply addresses.

Here's a note on an unrelated subject. Never set a Windows NT domain user's home directory to be the same as their roaming profile directory. If you do, then Windows XP will fail to update the local cached copy of the roaming profile at logon, and it will also fail to update the real roaming profile at logoff. Disabling offline file synchronization, as mentioned at, doesn't help. Guess how I discovered this?

September 23, 2003

WHEN IT COMES to the economy, President Bush has been demonstrating genuine leadership. The growth package he has proposed takes us in the right direction by accelerating the successful tax cuts of 2001, providing marriage penalty relief, and providing incentives for individuals and small businesses to save and invest.

Contrary to the class warfare rhetoric attacking Bush's plan, the proposal helps everyone who pays taxes and especially the middle class. This year alone, 92 million taxpayers will receive an immediate tax cut averaging $1,083 - and 46 million married couples will get back an average of $1,714. That's not pocket change for a family struggling through uncertain economic times. Combined with the president's new initiatives to help the unemployed, this plan gets people back to work and helps every sector of our economy.

Are you wondering why I'm delving into political commentary? Are you wondering why there's a link to demonstrating genuine leadership?

September 13, 2003

I went shopping today. I picked up! It was going for a song…

I also shopped for a web host. I found a place that offers hosting for up to ten domains for US$9.95 per month, but with smaller-than-average bandwidth allowances. I’d started to purchase this site's service at a smaller size, perhaps five or seven domains, but I ran into a problem at and I canceled the order. That’s right, this hosting site uses PayPal exclusively. I’m left with the strong impression that I’m dealing with a one-man company, and that the guy has merely bought one of the US$49 “reseller-level hosting” options from a larger site.

I may still choose to use this web host, simply because I can’t seem to find any cheaper multi-domain hosting provider. Too many of the competitors fall into two obvious categories: 1) the guys who think that nobody in their right mind would own more than one domain, and 2) the guys whose eyes light up with little dollar signs when multiple domains are mentioned. I found one provider that offered a “discount special” on their reseller-hosting page: TWO domains for only $25/month! Sheesh.

So, as of now, I own:,, and I seem to have no imagination. J

September 11, 2003

I am using 602 Software's LAN Suite Pro to manage the email for temporarily. It's working, but it is not a perfect fit for my needs. For example, there is no concept of a "default mailbox" for my Internet domain. Also, there does not seem to be support for multiple domains.

September 5, 2003

I've heard of a problem with the Aureal Vortex fix that my PCI patch performs. Apparently, if my patch detects an Aureal Vortex sound card and adjusts the VIA chipset to accommodate the card, an ATI Radeon 9000 AGP video card will begin to have a problem. I've consulted with Chris Day of Quantex Zone, who originally supplied the information about fixing the Aureal Vortex. Based on his suggestions, I've agreed to modify my patch. Look for 0.20b22 when time permits.

I moved this web site to a new server at a remote site. There are more web-related changes coming.

I finally found out about Thumb Wars: The Phantom Cuticle. Yes, it's a Star Wars parody that was done using thumbs. I was rolling on the floor when I found out:

August 28, 2003

I've received my first paycheck from my new job. The amount on the paycheck is too much. No, really! My employer failed to deduct the cost of my health insurance. Also, I'm not sure that I filled out the new W-4 form correctly. (Yes, the form has changed. I actually had to use the full-page worksheet that comes with the form for calculations and directions, and I still was unsure afterward!)

NAI's "McAfee Enterprise Antivirus 7.0 Hotfix #4" works. I can back up 100GB to tape at a speed of 11 MB/second, with full on-access scanning enabled, and there are no reboots. Hooray!

My download server is being moved. Sorry for the inconvenience.

The battery backup (UPS) on my web server smoked last night, filling my bedroom and workroom with a smell of burnt rubber. I couldn't pinpoint the source of the smell at first, so I fell asleep... And the UPS woke me up around 3:00 AM by beeping in random patterns. I opened the UPS this morning to disconnect the batteries. They were hot to the touch, and they look as if they were thoroughly overheated.

August 20, 2003

Attention: MSN Instant Messenger's newest EULA (license agreement) is toxic. By agreeing to it, you agree to pay for the next version of it, and to pay for upgrades and/or updates -- even unwanted ones.

McAfee Enterprise 7.0 has a significant bug. On an NT 4.0 server with a high-speed tape backup unit attached, running a tape backup will cause a BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death !!! No, really!). A hotfix exists for some cases, but there was no assurance that it would fix any case except for one Veritas high-end backup product. Document NAI33392 describes the one product, and the hotfix. I will be trying this hotfix very soon; after I complained to NAI, they said they'd assume it was fixed unless they heard from me by Friday.

If I haven't said so before, Belkin KVM switches are worthless when attached to Compaq servers. The older Compaq Proliant 1600 server model will fail to see a keyboard. And, the newer ML570 server will fail to see a keyboard at reboot unless that server remains selected during the time of the reboot. A DL360 server works, but when I switch from the DL360 to an ML570, the mouse goes crazy. Compaq's 2001-vintage Internet-ready keyboards fail to function. Belkin won't comment on this, as far as I can tell. Their web site makes no mention of it, although a Google search can find several people complaining of Belkin - Compaq problems. I experienced this problem with an OmniView Pro2 KVM switch, and the only updates for this switch on Belkin's site are as follows. They have a possible fix for a mouse problem on an IBM server, and they have an update that can change or hide the switch's on-screen display. So, why didn't I try the mouse fix? I found out that Belkin's firmware upgrades are designed to apply to only one device at a time. The unit has a switch on the side, which selects the port that needs the firmware upgrade. So, to apply their mouse update, I would select the mouse firmware first by using the switch on the side.

August 13, 2003

My daughter is away at a summer camp. My wife isn't feeling well. I've started my new job, and things are going well so far.

I've been away from my workbench, so I have no cool hardware-related news.

August 5, 2003

Today is my last day of work. I will be vacationing for the rest of the week, and then I'll start work at a new company.

Is the following email real?

"This is to all of you that signed up for the "do not call" law. This week I received a card in the mail that looked alright — It said "vote for your favorite cola — Pepsi or Coke — and receive a complementary 12 pack" It didn't look suspicious — but for some reason I kept looking at it.
THEN I FOUND IT !! At the bottom of the card there is a VERY small statement. It is SO small it is hard to read—but here is what it says— By completing this form, you agree that sponsors and co-sponsors of this offer may telephone you, even if your number is found on a do not call registry or list"
This REALLY upset me and I just wanted all my friends to be aware of this way to get around the "do not call" law !! Just think how many people will send this in and their do not call registry will be NO GOOD !! The company's name is MARKET SOLUTION. Please send this to all your friends that signed up for "do not call". I think this is just one of what we will get in the future—so READ EVERYTHING before you SIGN AND SEND !! AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT IT.!!!! PLEASE !!!"

Yes, apparently it is. You'll find it, along with a discussion, at this page:

Even before the USA "do not call" list existed, marketers were grabbing our names and addresses by offering us free stuff. Shucks, I'd even proven that a company was copying my handwritten return address from the front of an envelope containing a bill payment. Well, now these guys have an added reason to grab my name and address in any way that they can. It's their "proof" that I "did business with them".

July 20, 2003


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Just a few blocks from the future site of Bill Clinton's $160 million presidential library, a couple of Clinton haters hope to open a museum devoted to mocking his presidency.

"As long as he's talking, we'll have to be here trying to keep him somewhat honest and stop him from rewriting history," says John LeBoutillier, a former Republican congressman from New York who rode Ronald Reagan's coattails to victory in 1980.

Rode his coattails? Hmm, I think Mr. Hammer is letting his feelings, and possibly his party affiliation, show.

I became interested in the new generation of "yellow journalism" shortly after college. I was listening to the CBS Radio news, and I heard a story that subtly painted a defendant as thoroughly guilty before a trial started.

The common tactic seems to be one of calculated immaturity. "Oh, did I imply he/she was the spawn of Satan? Gee, I didn't mean to." Yes, dear reporter, you did so, and your colleagues did so, and the editor liked your slander so much that he chose it over the other stories. 

July 20, 2003

Windows 2003 Server has some interesting quirks. When I try to download a large file (300MB to 1.2GB in size) via the Web from my server, my connection is lost when the download is 80-95% complete. And, I managed to freeze the server by stopping and starting a shareware program too quickly. I can't even log on to the server from the Internet now; I get the message "RPC server is unavailable" when I try.

July 18, 2003

Um, maybe I should mention that I quit my job? :)

I am leaving my employer and my high-paid job. The office was likely to close at the end of the year, because my project had no more funding. I found a job that will keep my family fed.

I will be earning less money in my new job. My old employer was using California's cost-of-living as a basis for my paycheck. The cost of living in my area is much lower. My new job's income is based on local cost-of-living information, so I will miss having the extra money.

July 9, 2003

What will they say about me in my biography? Something like this (in the bottom-right panel).

July 6, 2003

There's always some clarifying to do. I've received several emails about my June 30 posting, and it's become clear that I need to say some more. Sorry folks, when I put something in the diary I tend to edit it a lot.

About VIAArena:

VIAArena's forums started out as a strange place, with a lot of evidence that anything unfavorable to VIA would not be tolerated. I saw threads deleted after I'd read them, and I remembered the content of those threads, and I felt that the person deleting them must be interested in pretending that VIA-based motherboards have no bugs. People simply weren't getting any help.

I avoided VIAArena's forums for a long time. In November of 2002, someone mentioned that my name was being taken in vain there, so I visited. I signed up for an account and I began defending myself and the patch. I ended up defending VIA's chipsets as well.

People were finally getting help in the VIAArena forums, but from volunteers. Some of the responses weren't very competent at all. And, between November 2002 and now, I've seen the quality of their help degenerate badly. People wanted help, but didn't know what hardware they had; unfortunately for them, posting a dumb question was guaranteed to earn a reply of "You're a moron; go away!" from a guy with thousands of posts to his credit. So, did that guy post "you're a moron" thousands of times? Hmm.

I posted a request for feedback. I wanted to know if my 0.20b21 patch worked well on all VIA chipsets. The resulting posts went something like this.

Me: I posted the patch a couple of weeks ago, and I'd like feedback.
Doofus (EDIT: Yes, that's his actual username): I've been using it for weeks! Your patch worked great till I uninstalled it, then it crashed my PC!
Me: (Go on, pull my other leg!) Oh, okay, as long as it worked while it was installed.
Other guy: What, don't you care about uninstalling?
Several other guys: Yeah, don't you care? Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph! (Blazing Saddles reference)
Me: Here's why he couldn't possibly be serious. Reason, reason, reason. Oh, and I misspoke when I said "two weeks". I sent it to private testers for a couple of weeks, but it's only been public for about five days.
Other guy: So you're a liar then.
Several other guys: Yeah! Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph!

So, basically I got the same schoolyard bully treatment that the newbies were receiving. I see no reason to return to VIAArena ever again.

The main VIAArena site isn't much better. At first, VIAArena presented itself as a useful site for VIA information, as if it were the sort of site where one might find out if a particular board is a good or bad one to buy. Unfortunately, the material only seemed to be positive. Case in point: VIAArena posted an article about the Creative Audigy cards, and the article claimed that Audigy cards worked just fine in VIA-based motherboards. Of course, the article only tested boards and processors that didn't support PC'99 cooling using the STPGNT# signal. We now know that the assertion of STPGNT# on an Athlon-based board is one major cause of sound problems on Audigy and SBLive sound cards. (Tech note: if you try it and you don't hear a problem, then maybe your motherboard isn't asserting STPGNT#. Even with the help of my patch, the problem can still occur. If you're having trouble hearing the problem, install Creative AudioHQ and turn the Reverb up to "-6db".)

The current VIAArena site is presenting itself as the "official support portal". Unfortunately, there is a great deal of information about VIA that would be vital to users. Questions like these could use answering.

About Sudhian:

Let me start simply. I asked Jasper to remove my information from Sudhian's "About" page because I wasn't comfortable having my face and name on a site where I wasn't able to contribute. But, what was stopping me from contributing? The simple answer is that I found myself increasingly unable to commit time to Sudhian. I needed money and I needed time for my family and my jobs, and I couldn't find a single eight-hour period to sit down and compose an article.

Communications has been a problem for a variety of reasons. Early on, I'd found out that Sudhian's writers were meeting regularly through a mid-evening Instant Messaging (IM) session. Well, the scheduled time was mid-evening for most of the folks, but it was past my bedtime. It wasn't reasonable to ask them to move the time, so I didn't ask. Eventually, I also found out that the planning for Sudhian was taking place in a private forum. I couldn't see the forum, so I didn't know if or where it existed. The main Sudhian planners and writers all had privileged "moderator" or "administrator" accounts, so they could see the private forum. So, I didn't know it existed, and they didn't know why I wasn't contributing to it.

It isn't Sudhian's fault that I can't make time to either write articles or participate in discussions. The lack of access was a problem, but I haven't had reason to post anything at Sudhian in 2003 anyway.

I am avoiding Sudhian's forums, but that isn't Sudhian's fault either. I find Sudhian's forums addicting sometimes, and I found myself spending from 11:00PM to 1:00AM visiting them on a few nights. I can't stay up that late any longer, sorry.

I was using Sudhian's Tweaks forum to support my VIA patches. Earlier this year, the Tweaks forum abruptly disappeared. By the time it reappeared, I had already made the decision to quit working on my patches. The disappearance of the forum caused me to think about the future of these patches. I knew my day job was ending, and that I needed to spend more time on my family, and that I was having trouble finding the time to test and support my patches.

June 30, 2003

It's possibly the end of an era. Read on...

'Bye, VIAArena.

After being flamed in my last forum posting, I revisited the posting and I deleted its title and text. Someone generously deleted the rest of the thread. I have no reason to return to's forums.

In late 2002, I was asked if I would create some articles and WPCREDIT PCR files for, based on their datasheets. I signed an NDA in order to receive access to their datasheets, but I pointed out to VIA that the NDA would actually prevent me from creating material based on the datasheets. I asked for written approval to create the material, and I never received that approval.

By the way, I received a lot of datasheets before that NDA took effect. I'll consider posting them somewhere, or donating them to a worthy site.

'Bye, Sudhian.

In early 2003, I asked Jasper of to remove my personal information from Sudhian's pages. He still hasn't done so. Their site lists me as a contributor but...

Back when I first asked, Jasper had sent me an email asking why. I communicated these details to Jasper in an email on April 22 and have not heard a reply.

'Bye, patches.

My employer is closing the local office soon. I only have one job prospect right now. That prospective employer will require me to sign over all rights to my creations, even if they never intend to use them. I will not be legally permitted to continue development of my patches. Oh, and the pay will only be 50-60% of my current job.

In other news...

Since late 1999, I've enjoyed uncapped cable modem bandwidth and the right to host a web site on my cable modem. Now a local group is trying to have the cable provider ejected from my town.

June 29, 2003

I've always thought that the Ask Jeeves search engine was badly broken. Here's more evidence of that. Ahem, Mr. Jeeves, has been a dead link for seven months.

And how did VIA do this? They are the number one hit if you ask Jeeves for the results from "DirectHit".

In other news, I have ended my relationship with More on this decision later.

June 24, 2003

Feedback on the 0.20b21 patch is all good so far, except for a shady-sounding claim from a guy calling himself "Doofus". He claims that uninstall failed, and the system showed a BSOD *after* uninstalling and rebooting! After giving him an un-serious reply, other people questioned it, and I ended up posting a serious reply.

June 18, 2003

I posted 0.20b21 of the VIA "PCI Latency" patch. The only changes were related to the problems reported on 0.20b20.

I solved my strange Windows XP Paint coloring problem (see June 10 posting) by saving the file as a true-color BMP bitmap file before editing it.

I went to the Cortland (NY) Hamfest. The rain stayed away, and I had a good time. I sold all of my spare ham radio equipment, and I bought an Icom IC-2100H radio for 40% less than the posted price at

June 10, 2003

It's been a while. I've been busy.

I posted 0.20b20, and found two flaws almost immediately. One, people still have trouble with the A7V133, and the web posting guy nicknamed THXTEX has helped me isolate the problem to the Guaranteed CPU Time setting. Two, owners of KT266/266A/333 boards would prefer PCI Delay Transaction enabled as a solution for sound problems.

Today is my wedding anniversary. My wife wanted some time way from our children, which has been impossible to achieve. We were able to get away for lunch on Sunday at least.

Interesting bug in Windows Server 2003. Install it on an older Dell PC, and it will fail to install a driver for the network card. Even worse, when I try to manually install a driver from Microsoft's supplied set, no network cards appear in Microsoft's list.

The Rochester (NY) hamfest was rained out. We stayed at the hamfest site for three hours in spite of the rain.

Got my car.

The Windows XP Paint program can't handle true-color? I opened a copy of the black-and-white photo that I use to identify myself on various forum web sites. I tried to use Paint's Ellipse tool to add a gold tooth and earring, but the result was gray. Yarrr...

The QDB is once again online at !

May 29, 2003

I’ve been telling individuals about the problems with Microsoft’s 811493 hotfix for Windows 2000 and XP. Microsoft has finally acknowledged it and provided a hotfix for the hotfix.;EN-US;811493 has been updated with the new information. Just pray that we don’t need a hotfix for the hotfix for the hotfix. :)

Oh, and I'll be picking up my new car this afternoon.

May 27, 2003

I'm disappointed in the quality of the latest review posted by LostCircuits. Their charts are inconsistent, with some of them showing single and double DDR performance, and some not. And, their comment on the last page implies that the onboard gigabit LAN connection can't be plugged into a 10/100 hub, which is not true. Past reviews at LostCircuits were excellent, from a technical standpoint. I hope they can recover their 'edge'.

I think I've completed coding of beta #20 of version 0.20 of my PCI patch. It took less than an hour to insert all of the items that I could remember. The obvious question is: what did I forget? I didn't add the promised Control Panel applet, but I certainly could not have completed that in less than an hour.

The local Saturn dealer has not delivered my car yet. It's been over two weeks. I've been lied to about the delivery date, and I will be writing a letter to their corporate offices about it. If it does not arrive this week, I'll refuse to take delivery of it.

May 20, 2003

Ah. Just what we needed, a timeline of our progress on the Internet.

Interest in the 0.20 version of my PCI patch is increasing. So is my workload. Grrr. I must continue to delay the patch, folks. Sorry.

May 14, 2003

I was ill for all of last week. It was just a springtime headcold, but it was enough to keep me from getting any useful work done. I wasn't feeling well during the previous week either, but that bug could probably be attributed to a lack of sleep.

And, when it rains, it pours...

The transmission in my car has decided that it can only carry one person's weight from now on. I wish it had notified me in writing of this, preferably in advance. Unfortunately, it decided to inform me of its decision when I was driving a carload of relatives to a nice restaurant to celebrate Mother's Day.

I've signed up for a new Saturn VUE. Paying for the car will be difficult. But, since I've stopped buying motherboards for testing my VIA patches, I should have plenty of extra money. Right?

McAfee WebShield SMTP is annoying me lately. My network customers are all receiving infected emails that contain malformed mail headers. For each of these email messages, WebShield reports three different errors (all three have event ID 4) in the server computer's event log, and then WebShield delivers the infected message without scanning it for viruses. This is WebShield SMTP version MR1a with Hotfix 8 added.

April 24, 2003

I salute the men and women of Extreme Ironing. Their dangerous sport has reached a new level today, with the announcement that two British men have ironed a flag on Mount Everest. For those who missed it, the British has been winning previous contests: here's one in 2002, and one in 2001.

April 22, 2003

Before I forget it again: The Q811493 patch from Microsoft (okay, it's 811493) is hurting PCs. Uninstall it until Microsoft can provide a fix. The finger-pointing has already begun; Microsoft is apparently claiming that anti-virus software is the real source of the problem. Unfortunately, Microsoft's claim is unreasonable -- how could a half-dozen antivirus authors have the same bug? Also, people are beginning to speak up about their 811493-induced problems on computers that don't have any antivirus protection.

April 14, 2003

I mentioned the ThermalTake Volcano 9 heatsink/fan combo (HSF) last week. I'm actually a bit annoyed at the noise that it makes. There's a noticeable buzz when the fan is at a low speed and the room is quiet. The noise is most likely related to the fan's "computer-driven" pulse-driven motor.

I knew I wasn't the best-known person to come from my home town. But this was a surprise.

In related news: Attention, Moravia New York (NY) Class of 1983, our 20th high school reunion has been scheduled. No, I'm not running it.

April 5, 2003

My beta PCI patch, 0.20b20, needs a little tweaking on the KT133A. I've been able to complete testing of it on the KT7A-RAID (KT133A) motherboard, but only by enabling PCI Master Read Caching whenever STPGNT CPU cooling was also enabled. With that tweak done, everything worked reasonably well. Now I'll get to figure out whether this tweak harms the Asus A7V133 motherboard.

I've mastered the art of enabling Windows 2000 Server's native support for SNTP time synchronization. It's certainly easy to tell a Windows 2000 Server system to use an external time source. The hard part is in telling ISA Server 2000 (the successor to Proxy Server 2.0) how to permit SNTP traffic through the firewall.

PM Update: Went to the local computer show. Bought a USB-to-parallel converter for $23. It didn't work on my Okidata OL610e/PS. Solved it by changing the OL610e's settings to INTERFACE SPEED=MEDIUM (was set to HIGH). Yippee.

Bought a ThermalTake Volcano 9 heatsink, with adjustable-speed fan, to try. I toyed with it already, running it at various fan speeds. It is very quiet at low speeds. But, will it cool effectively at such low speeds? I'll find out. I'll install it on the A7V133 as I begin the next round of patch testing on my workbench.

I bought some REAL mouse pads. You know, the kind whose surface is one solid color, and whose thickness is 7mm or so? They work MUCH better with my generic optical mouse and my Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer Edition, when compared with the thin plastic mouse pads that I've been receiving lately.

April 2, 2003

AHEM. I removed a statement from my March 31 posting, because it was poorly worded. Let me try again.

Help! I have been receiving notices from people who thank me for the PCI Latency Patch, but Amazon is telling me that there have not been any donations to my Amazon Honor System account in over a month. This is strange, because the number of donations was increasing before that time. If you have donated recently, please contact me! Use the email address that is posted on my Amazon Honor System page.

(The deleted statement made me sound as if I wanted to profit from the patch. I am only trying to recover the cost of developing and testing the patch at this time.)

Information about Microsoft Office 2003 is becoming available. It's never been a better time to examine an alternative software package, such as OpenOffice. Rumor has it that Microsoft's claim of "XML compatibility" for its documents in 2003 is bogus, and that Microsoft has instead used a proprietary XML-like format for those files.

March 31, 2003

The KT7A-RAID board has already arrived. This would be a good time to test my 0.20b20 patch on it. Of course, I have a waiting list of other projects to do, and most of them will make me some money...

McAfee's 4240 engine is still doing well.

Here's an answer to a question that caused me grief, and according to a Web search, is causing grief for others as well. Question: Why can't I use Microsoft FrontPage from inside a network containing a Microsoft ISA Server 2000 system? Answer: Because Active Caching is enabled, which is trying to cache the FrontPage session, and is giving up and closing the HTTP connection while FrontPage is still using it.. I've disabled Active Caching for the moment. Now if I could just get Microsoft's NetMeeting 3.0 client to remote control other computers correctly when I run it on the ISA Server computer...

March 28, 2003

I'm still tired. But, I've been busy, so I should at least report on some of the goings-on.

I've been trying McAfee's "new" 4240 antivirus scanning engine for Windows. I've tried it on Windows 95, 98, and 2000. The new engine solves some odd problems I've seen where the computer would appear to slow down. This slow behavior was especially noticeable on a group of Dell and Gateway workstation computers with 600-800MHz processors running Windows 98. On those computers, with the "scan all files" option selected, the mouse would have problems moving around the screen when the computer was idle.

I have finally located a KT7A-RAID motherboard. This model of motherboard is about 27 months old, but it is the model which is most-often mentioned in VIA-related complaints over the last two years.

March 17, 2003

I've been taking an active part in getting my 1-year-old son to sleep at night. Unfortunately, I have to tire him out, which is tiring *me* out.

I know a lot more about Windows Small Business Server 2000 now. I know, for example, that it automatically uses roaming profiles for its users -- which is a total mistake, because users in a small business rarely all have the same software in the same configuration. I know that it doesn't work fully with cable modems and other DHCP-driven devices, and that you can only reset the DHCP address of these devices if you first stop all the ISA Server's services. Also, if you follow Microsoft's suggestions and add a trailing dot '.' to the end of the server's new domain name, you end up with a DNS configuration that makes web browsing and email forwarding quite difficult.

I found out that my PCI patch has been mentioned on the web site. Neato.

March 12, 2003

Tomorrow is Ron Jeremy's 50th birthday. This is a family-friendly site, so I won't use the "21-gun salute" joke I'd saved for the occasion. :)

Version 0.20b20 seems to work for the KT400. I'll be testing it on the KT133A next.

March 4, 2003

I made some progress on the VIA PCI patch last night. I've completed the code for build 20. Once this build is debugged, I will attach an interface to it so that I can directly control it from a Control Panel applet. The interface is already written -- I wrote it in October 2001 when I was trying to make a separate VIA-tweaking program.

February 27, 2003

Ever see the movie Raising Arizona? It's coming to life in New Mexico.

February 26, 2003

I've been experimenting with video codecs. I like the quality of the XVid codec's output, but the codec is quite slow when compressing video, at least when compared to other MPEG-4 codecs. I have some friends and relatives who want to see pictures and video of my son's first birthday party, and a codec is certainly an important choice for creating the video.

It seems that everybody has already seen the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and is trying to spoil the ending for me. I have only seen the first 20 minutes of the DVD, so keep that in mind as you gush about what a great movie it is! :)

I've patched my server to solve the problem with Terminal Services. (TS couldn't use port 3389 because it was already in use.) Microsoft doesn't have an official solution, so my cure should be a salable item, right?

I spent two hours with a customer last night, and finally got the customer's ISP to admit that something was drastically slowing down the ISP's DNS "resolver" servers. After switching my customer over to a different set of DNS servers, I drove home. On the way home, I received a call saying that my daughter needed to go to the hospital! I took her to the Bassett hospital, almost an hour's drive from our house. The doctor confirmed that my daughter had broken her toe. He said she had "taken a divot out of the bone", so we know where his mind was wandering at the time. We arrived home around 2:00AM. I am posting this at 12:30PM, and I'm still quite tired.

February 20, 2003

There's something wrong with this server, and I haven't found the time to fix it. The server is sometimes failing to listen for inbound email, and it isn't accepting Terminal Services connections. When I run 'netstat -a', I see a ton of LISTENING sockets in the 2000-4000 range. I reconfigured DCOM to use ports over 10000, and the problem persists. It's time to search for a gremlin in the server... or perhaps a trojan. A trojan horse wouldn't have much success running on my server, because both inbound and outbound traffic are stifled by Microsoft ISA server's packet-filtering system.

Today is my son's first birthday. He's off to a good start in life. Basically, he's one bright and squirmy kid. He has a tendency to check objects to see if they'll bounce. As I walk him along the hallway, he reaches out to all the items on the walls to see if they are moveable. My wife is right; I will need to keep my computer hardware under lock-and-key from now on!

The temperature outside is over the freezing mark for the first time in months. Woohoo! Naturally, I immediately drove my car to the local car wash... and so did everyone else in town, it seemed.

February 10, 2003

I've installed the evaluation copy of Windows 2000 Small Business Server on this computer. Unfortunately, there was an unwanted side-effect to the installation. I shut down my cable modem before performing the installation, and when I was done I reattached the cable modem -- to a different NIC. My ISP decided that the modem was a new one, so it programmed the modem to the slowest possible speed that a new subscriber could purchase. Mercifully, I've gotten confirmation from my ISP that their computer's information about my account is showing my right to full-speed access, so I merely have to wait for a technician to replace my cable modem.

Windows 2000 Small Business Server was easy to install, but it was painful to configure. Most problems centered around ISA Server 2000. For example, my cable modem has an random IP address assigned by my ISP, and the address can change. ISA will, by default, try to cache web pages on this server as they are being requested by Internet users. Unfortunately, this caching feature requires a static IP address. Until I disabled this feature, I had two problems. At first, I would only see the caching server's IP address (namely, my server's primary NIC address) in my web server's logs. Later, once my random IP address changed, this service was blocking all access to my web server because the new address didn't match the address that existed when the server was first configured. Disabling this feature has solved both problems.

Here's more happy news from the Amazon Honor System site. Some anonymous user donated $15, changed his mind and canceled the donation, and placed a new donation of $20. Thanks!

February 7, 2003

Thanks go out to Dave Barry for sharing one of his old columns where he appears to have invented the TV show "Fear Factor" ten years before it aired. Also, an extra, management-grade, "attaboy" goes to Dave for inventing the word "wackmobile". I believe I will endeavor to use that word in my daily life for the coming week. Do I use "too many" quotes?

Yet more thanks go out to the anonymous donor who put $50 in my Amazon honor account. THANKS!

February 6, 2003

I tried to apply for an account and got...

Oddly enough, their CGI script seems to have worked in spite of this message.

February 5, 2003

Ah, good. The fine folks at have a new line of Demotivators for 2003. I think the following is a delightful example:

Windows NT 4.0 is hurt by a recent security patch. Random crashes and reboots can occur. Uninstalling the patch will solve the problem.

January 31, 2003


I can copy audio CDs using a freshly-installed Nero, but only when using the full Nero app. Once I use Nero Express to try copying an original audio disc, both Nero Express and the full Nero app will refuse to copy the disc. After the first refusal, closing and reopening the Nero application has no effect. Removing and replacing the disc in the tray, with or without Nero running, also has no effect.

January 30, 2003

Don't upgrade to Nero Burning ROM version! It will refuse to copy your audio CDs! I've tried it with LiteON and Plextor burners, and with old and new audio discs. It will copy an already-copied disc, but it will disable the CDRW drive if you try to copy an original audio disc! I've uninstalled it, and reinstalled the older version, and the old version is copying original audio discs without a problem.

There's one big problem with Nero's new policy. I have a CD here that is legal to copy -- at least, in my state. The copyright owner of this disc has not refused me permission to copy this disc, and in my state, I have the right to make an archival backup of this data. Unfortunately, since the US Supreme Court sided with copyright owners in Eldred v. Ashcroft, they are equally likely to tell my state's attorney general to go to hell if he tries to defend our state's law -- even where it doesn't conflict word-for-word with the DMCA.

January 29, 2003

From the "People who know something that we don't know" department:

Thieves broke in to a day care center, ignoring the computers and cash, and stole all the Lego bricks.

January 28, 2003

Lots of problems with my feet, among other body parts. Updates here will continue to be slow for a while.

NAV Corporate 8.0 is barely different from 7.6, at least at the client workstation level. I can't see a difference in the user interface.

There's another product called HDSPEED, at I'll be changing the name of my disk speed tool.

Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that the Olsen twins both got perfect 1600 scores on their SAT tests? Is it too unbelievable?

January 10, 2003

McAfee's GroupShield 5.0 is working smoothly. It seems to undo the worst mistakes of their 4.5 version. The 5.0 installation is complaining about something related to EPolicy Orchestrator, but that's unimportant for me at the moment.

There's great news about my PCI latency patch. My newest beta build, 0.20 beta 18, will successfully enable the PCI Bus Parking feature on a KT400.

I'm noticing a strange problem. On a Windows XP computer, I use Microsoft Outlook 2002 and Mozilla 1.2.1. After the system has been running for a while, I'll press Alt+Tab to switch from Outlook to Mozilla, and the system will pause for three to five seconds before completing my request. I've looked for possible reasons, but I can't find any. For example, the computer's hard disk isn't powered down, and Mozilla isn't displaying a complex page at the time.

I will be trying Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition 8.0 shortly.

January 3, 2003

Okay, I think I've seen enough snow for the moment. I drove home on Monday through blinding snow by following tire tracks. I had to leave early on Wednesday because the roads had been wet during the day and were beginning to freeze. It's now Friday, and we just received another 12-16 inches of snow today. My snow blower is dead, my neighbor's snow blower died this afternoon, and my car sputtered on the way home from work (early, of course).

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid... of Norton SystemWorks 2003. This seemingly-mature product contains a buggy SYMEVENT driver, which causes my Windows XP NTFS partition to appear corrupted with "bad security descriptors". There's an updated SYMEVENT driver available via LiveUpdate, but I really wish that updated driver had shipped on the CD! This is almost as fun as the broken SYMEVENT driver that shipped with Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition 7.6, which caused my customer's Windows 2000 server to reboot whenever a tape backup began.

I'm now using another new EVGA.COM video card in my main workstation. This time, it's their GeForce 4 Ti4200 8X-AGP adapter with 128 MB of RAM. The 3DMark2001SE scores are "only" around 11,500. EVGA.COM only used standard RAM on this unit, opting to save their better BGA (ball-grid array) RAM for the Ti4400 and Ti4600 models. This unit also has VIVO (video-in/video-out) support, like my previous MX440 model. The VIVO support isn't as badly broken this time; where the MX440 needed a special WDM driver, this one can use the standard driver... But, you won't see anything if you attach a composite video source and choose the composite input. You must instead choose "TV" input. This is happening with the latest 4.19 drivers. Sheesh.