Sunday, December 24, 2006

(not-so-) Quick Googler Updates

First, a big thank-you to VMTN Blog (VMware Technology Network) for their link a few weeks ago. Glad you guys liked it. I'm guessing the guys at Citrix won't be linking to me any time soon.

!! Super Windows tip in today's episode !!
!! Screen captures from Windows Media Player using !!
!! the PrintScreen key !!

On to the searches. There've been some strange groups, like life on zeus, life of zeus and life to zeus. Apparently some schoolchildren who need to work on their prepositions were assigned to write about Greek mythology. I'm surprised no parents have complained.

I'm still getting a lot of hits for searches on the Moroccan spelling of "Bullshit" (منيك) but I still haven't received any comments telling me how to write it in other Arabic variants.

vpn does my employer have access to my private information
A lot of people stumble across this blog looking for answers to privacy questions, especially from the workplace. The answer is Yes, unless you mean you're at work and connecting to your own machine via VPN, and even then it's technically feasible. You have no privacy nor (in most countries) any expectation of privacy when using someone else's terminal, especially your employer's since he can be liable for what you do with his machine.

bereavement fares
I don't know if I'm really happy or not about people coming to this blog right after a relative has died. Maybe reading about someone else's misery might help ease their own, if only for a few minutes. Worked for me.

To the best of my knowledge, only USAir offers bereavement fares for travel originating outside the US and Canada. All other airlines I've contacted -- Lufthansa, BA, AA, AirFrance, Delta, Northwest, KLM, SAS, United and others -- now only offer bereavement fares originating in the US. Things have changed in the past two years. If you live in Europe and a relative in North America dies, you'll pay the full, overpriced, last-minute (un-)fare which can be two to three times higher than the normal price because you didn't know in advance that your relative was going to die.

In any case, first check on-line fares from places like travelocity, opodo or orbitz. Get an idea of the lowest full fare you'd pay. Then call each airline's reservations number directly and ask if they have bereavement fares from X to Y. Even if you get a half-price bereavement fare, it might be more expensive than a regular ticket due to the way fares and seat blocks are handled.

Before you call you should have the following information ready: name of person, relationship, hospital or funeral home name, an attending doctor or funeral director name. They also tell you they'll need a copy of the death certificate (doesn't need to be certified) when you check in for the return but I've yet to be asked for that.

restore vpd.properties
You can't. You can delete the lines which reference the program you installed but make sure to save a copy of the original in case you fuck up.

InstallShield tip: Under the "Program Files" directory you'll find one called "InstallShield Installation Information". This stores a copy of the entire fucking installation software used. Why? Who the hell knows? It's a huge waste of space. Delete the subdirectories. Since InstallShield also fucks up and forgets to delete these even after you've uninstalled the program, you can't re-install the software before manually deleting them. Fuckwits.

printscreen and wmv
Back in July I wrote Kindergarten, and inside that piece I wrote a Cringely-style forecast in which I mentioned embedding content inside WMV so that people can't use the PrintScreen (PrtScr) key to make screenshots. That was just me being lazy. You can make screenshots with PrtScr.

Go to Windows Media Player, select Tools:Options, go to the Performance Tab, click Advanced and then uncheck “Use Overlays’. Easy, huh?

I haven't looked to see if this is even possible in Vista yet. If enough people find out about it I'm sure Microsoft will remove the option because they don't give a shit about what their customers want, only their "partners".

happy feet dressup eb
I don't know and I really don't think I want to know.

919010
For fuck's sake! Update your goddamned software already! The 919010 patch is gone. History. That's it. No one has it (except maybe me, and probably on the dead drive that needs to go in for recovery). MS lost the Eolas case and that's that. It's bullshit, it sucks, but it's reality. Your only hope is to update the software that still uses the deprecated ActiveX embedded controls.

presentation of kindergarten life
I've written a number of articles which have been published in print and on-line. If you're looking for a cleaner version of the Kindergarten piece (perhaps to demonstrate how little difference 40 years can make) I can rewrite it and even tailor it as needed. I generally do this free for schools and most non-profits; everyone else gets charged. Drop me a line.

aix unicode difference
AIX is an operating system. Unicode is a character encoding method. That's the difference, fuckwit.

i hate citrix
Who doesn't? Pull up a chair and commiserate. It's your round. Mine's a Hendrick's gin, neat, thankyouverymuch.

Zuma regedit
No, I will not tell you how to steal the game. Jeez, it's only 20 bucks! If you like it that much, buy it. Anyway, it takes more than a registry change. Popcap Games aren't that stupid.

That's it. I have to go. My girlfriend wants me to teach her how to play guitar and insists learning with a Fender 12-string acoustic rather than an electric BC Rich 6-string because, and I quote, "it sounds so prettier". Yes, the same girlfriend as before.

Suggested viewing for the holidays:
Origins of Christmas Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Back to basics!

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and would also like to see the implementation of Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.