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Archive for March, 2010

My icon for the Auslogics Registry Cleaner, on my Windows 7 START MENU, got corrupted as soon as I had installed Auslogics Registry Cleanter on January 26, 2010.

I even posted a picture for you folks. I reported it to Auslogics.

I kind of got used to it … that being human nature when working with Microsoft.

Last night I went to invoke Auslogics Registry Cleaner. Something looked different. It was late. Past midnight. I wasn’t at my best. Severe neck problems. Talk about a pain in the neck. Yes, talk to me about a pain in the neck.

The icon on the START MENU was magically restored.

A miracle? Should I report this to the Vatican? << Talking of which, I am on the Newsweek Web site today, talking about the Catholic Church >>

Yes, I ran Registry Cleaner last week. Maybe it got restored at that point. I do not know.

But, it is scary that a START MENU icon that was corrupted gets restored … automatically.

By the way, the Auslogics stuff seems to work. Last night I got to run Auslogics Registry Defrag for the second time. Boy, was I excited. So far so good. I am using their Disk Defrag every couple of weeks. I do not miss System Mechanic. I still get solicitation emails from them. Screw iolo. They screwed me for long enough.

So …

Good luck. Check your Windows 7 machine. Maybe you have had a miracle too.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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FireFox 3.6.2 continues to test my patience and mettle. Crashed again last night. Second crash in 48 hours. Both times was when I was trying to upload a file via a pop-up window. I do this most days. One is from my online GoDaddy file backup site, the other at Typepad.com (where I have www.popes-and-papacy hosted).

Playing around on my XP machine I noticed that there is a difference between FireFox 3.6.2 and FireFox 3.6 rc2. So I reinstalled FireFox today. Not sure whether it will help. Install finished normally. BUT, when I went to restart Windows 7 for the Windows 7 Update … I got a message that FireFox was not installed properly and needs to complete its installation. It did that. Not sure what that was all about.

Hope this helps. Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Windows Update KB980182 was a cumulative security update for IE 8 for Windows 7. Here is a list of the security exploits it supposedly fixed. I rarely, if ever, use IE … but decided to install this update for the rare occasions I fire-up IE.

Last night I also installed KB915597 — the latest Windows Defender definition updates. That is the second one in four days, and the seventh during the month of March. Wow.

So far, so good. KB980182 insisted on a restart. So I restarted. I am still alive. So, so far so good.

Just to let you know. We probably will get more updates next Tuesday … since we will be in April.

Good luck. All the best.

Cheers
Anura Guruge

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If you are sick to your eye teeth with frequent hangs with FireFox 3.6 rc2 YOU may want to consider the FireFox 3.7 alpha.

Alpha precedes beta. Beta testing refers to customer testing. Hence, alpha testing denotes in-house testing. So the software will have more than its fair share of bugs. From my experiences in the past with FireFox ‘betas’ (never alpha) you may also find that essential FireFox add-ons, for example, ‘Delicious’ may be missing. So don’t rush into this. But, if you can tolerate some instability … and you can argue, what can be worse that the frequent hangs with FireFox 3.6 rc2 … then give this a try.

You can download it from <here>.¬† It should be OK. I have used ‘softpedia’ before for downloads.

FireFox 3.7 is said to be the first version of to support Windows 7 — in particular the task bar. Maybe, full Windows 7 integration will make it more resilient. We will see. My goal today was to just give you a heads up.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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There are a couple of ‘security’ conferences taking place right now where professional hackers from around the world are showcasing their considerable talents to win cash prices and kudos.

A couple of them managed to hack past IE 8 and get into Windows 7, maliciously, with ease. But, other hackers also managed to skirt past security on FireFox running on Windows 7. So that is not good. As far as we know none of these ‘exploits’ are being exploited right now to hack into Windows 7 systems. All it means is that there are people out there who know how to do it, IF they wanted to.

No updates from Microsoft or Mozilla as yet.

So just a heads up. Here are two good links you may want to read: < link1> & <link2>.

All the best.

Cheers
Anura Guruge

P.S. No Windows 7 updates today, i.e., March 26, 2010

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Since I now appear to be the arbitrator of Windows 7 updates, I checked too see if there were any … today … a Thursday.

There were TWO. I was surprised. One was a new Windows Defender Update. Qu’est-ce que c’est passe?

We had one yesterday, and another today. Is Windows 7, like Democrats, under attack? Don’t get it.

Also an OPTIONAL update for the Realtek PCIe GBE controller. That is what I have on my ASUS motherboard.

That also happens to be the second in 4 days. What is cooking? I guess the update is OK. My Ethernet is still working … otherwise I would not be typing this.

Not good. Just a heads up.

Good luck. All the best.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Just two Windows 7 updates this week, i.e., March 24, 2010.

One was the usual Windows Defender Definition Update, the 5th in March … and the other KB980302, Update for IE8 Compatibility View List [i.e., an update to the list of Web sites that look ‘better’ in IE 8 despite not meeting the latest and greatest Web design guidelines].

I installed them both. System is still up. I haven’t restarted. Didn’t have to. Might restart soon. I am BUSY again.

I did this for YOU folks, just to make sure the updates are OK.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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I had always suspected that my FireFox 3.6 crashes were related to scripts — in particular Java Scripts (JScripts).

Just now I had an email from the Mozilla (read ‘FireFox’) support form that kind of confirmed this.

What we need to do is upgrade to the latest (and greatest) version of Java, viz. 6.0.18.

If you look … by starting up the Java console (by going to Windows 7 START and searching on ‘Java’) … you will probably notice that you are still at 6.0.17 (or maybe even lower). I have automated Java updates, but unlike Windows, I think Java only checks for updates MONTHLY).

Anyway … I forced it to update and I got 6.0.18.

Once you have that you need to disable your 6.0.16 and 6.0.17 ADD-ONS in FireFox 3.6.

To do that go to FireFox TOOLS >> ADD-ONS.

When the list of ADD-ONS is displayed DISABLE all Java entries that are NOT 6.0.18. Do NOT worry if you do not see a 6.0.18 entry. Disable all the non 6.0.18 ADD-ONS.

Now restart FireFox. Don’t close the tabs. FireFox will automatically restore them. FireFox will also, with luck (<< smile, smile >>), install the Java 6.0.18 ADD-ON … since you will have that installed on your PC.

I did this … 20 minutes ago. Worked OK.

So please try this. You really have NOTHING to lose. Honest.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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Over the last few days there has been much made by a statement by a Microsoft blogger that claimed that Windows 7 SP1 will only include minor updates.

I think people are MISINTERPRETING what this guy said … and he … and Microsoft are happy to perpetuate that misnomer.

This Microsoft blogger is a Windows VIRTUALIZATION expert. His blog is mainly about virtualization.

I think what he meant was that Windows 7 SP1 will only contain minor updates to Windows 7 virtualization. Think about it. That would make sense. Windows 7 virtualization probably doesn’t require that many fixes right now.

In my opinion SP1 has to be somewhat significant. Lots of Windows 7 BUGS that Microsoft is not currently fixing with updates … the padlock on icons probably being the most annoying of these.

So, I think, and I could be wrong, that we need to be careful about this ‘only minor updates’ comment.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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In general it is fair to say that Windows 7 disk I/O isn’t as fast as one would have hoped. [The slow USB transfer issue is a whole different ball of wax and let us not touch that in this post].

Yes, Windows 7’s background search indexing will exacerbate I/O sluggishness further, and unless you spent much of your time searching for files I recommend that you disable search indexing.

To be fair to Windows 7, it now has to deal with much bigger disks, with many more files, many of them larger, than XP. I used to have dual 60GB drives on my XP system. I now have dual 750GB Western Digital Caviar Black SATA drives. These aren’t the fastest disks that I could have got, but they are also not, by any means, slouches¬† either. They are high-end, high-performance SATA drives.

I had noticed, from day one (i.e., October 23, 2009), that the INITIAL access to my non-system drive [i.e., drive D, as opposed to C] was unexpectedly slow. I think it is a caching issue. I think Windows 7 does some directory caching to speed up SUBSEQUENT I/O. But, it takes time to do the initial cache the first time you access a drive. You don’t see this on the C-drive because this most likely happens during system start-up.

Sometimes Windows 7 takes a few seconds to display the folder content thumbnails on drive D. Kind of amusing.

Yesterday, however, I discovered another small, but annoying, Windows 7 BUG. Yes, another one.

Succinctly stated, Windows 7 does not dynamically update the THUMBNAIL icon of files — in this case JPEG image files. Thus, the thumbnail does not reflect the updated image! Yes, YIKES.

Here is what I was doing.

It is my youngest daughters 4th birthday tomorrow. I was making her a 4 page booklet so that she will be familiar with the Chucke E. Cheese’s protocol on the day — though she is no stranger to that joint. I had moved half dozen or so of our pictures to this new folder … and I was then using PAINT.NET to takeout the background. I would then save the new JPEG without the background into the folder. The BASIC problem is that Windows 7 would NOT update the thumbnail image to show that I had removed the background. So my AFTER icon was same as my BEFORE icon! That is annoying.

Here … look at this folder view:

That was what I would see. Look at the TWO thumbnails in the middle of ROW 1. See how they look the same.

Now here is the same folder view, AFTER I increased the thumbnail icon size:

Look at the thumbnails on the TOP row and the last thumbnail. AGAIN, I STRESS, I didn’t change the files between these views. It is JUST a case of Windows 7 NOT updating the thumbnail icon to reflect what is in the file. So see the images … cropped and with background removed … in the 2nd view. But, if I hadn’t ENLARGED the icons I would have still seen thumbnails that showed me the BEFORE image.

Crazy.

Talk about NOT-WYSIWYG. Not good.

Good luck.

Cheers,
Anura Guruge

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