Puppy Linux – Errors

I was having trouble with Puppy Linux booting on a few PCs I have.  It took a while to find the answer, so I’m posting it here in case others need it.

I was running it on an Intel D201GLY motherboard, but this error doesn’t appear to be specific to that board.  That said, the following link was where I found the answer (hint: it’s in the last post):


The error is:
Searching for Puppy files in computer disk drives…
pup_400.sfs not found. Dropping out to initial-ramdisk console…

The answer is to start Puppy with the switch acpi=noirq, so at the first screen you see when booting (Grub), type the following:

puppy acpi=noirq

Then hit enter.  Things should work better.

Uninstallation of AT&T/SBC Self Support Tool

As part of my daily IT routine, I had to use a magical, mystery disc from AT&T/SBC to install a DSL line in one of our offices. This disc, as I suspected, installed a bunch of ride-along software (in addition to letting me configure the account on AT&T/SBC servers, which was all I really wanted out of the disc in the first place). All ranting about how much this whole process sucks aside, I was able to use standard methods to uninstall everything it installed with one exception. For whatever reason, the SBC Self Support Tool’s uninstaller did not remove the product. I found an uninstall.exe in the Program Files/SBC Self Support Tool folder, but when running it it would simply prompt that I had to uninstall from the Add/Remove Programs option in the Control Panel. (Which no longer showed the SBC Self Support Tool, presumably because it thought it was already uninstalled.) Ugh, Windows.

Anyway, the fix is to simply run that same Uninstall.exe with a command line of SBC, you could do the following from the Start/Run:
“c:\program files\sbc self support tool\uninstall.exe” SBC

Update – 19-Oct-2008: (As per David in the comments, be sure to include the quotes!)

Don’t know if anyone will need this info, but I found it in one of the install logs from the product, and thought it might help someone else out.

Ultimarc MagStick Plus Modification (Potential Sanwa Hack?)

I was pretty disappointed with the MagStick Plus from Ultimarc. It wasn’t due to a lack of engineering, or the overall cool factor of the stick. No, it just didn’t “feel” right to me. It was nice that it has such a small throw, but you have to push entirely too hard to make it do its thing. It seemed that I’d even miss directionals at times, having not pushed the stick hard enough. Either that, or the switches were just sticking. I’m unsure which it was. The final straw was during a particularly heated session of Pac-Man: Championship Edition. I was almost certain that the MagStick had resulted in my demise via ghost touch on a few occasions, but never more-so than during the specific game in question. I hit down, I know I did, and the MagStick Plus didn’t register. As any gamer would do, I forcefully “punched” the stick in the direction it had missed. Lo and behold, the stick no longer registered the downward direction at all. That’s it. I have to do something about these crap microswitches.

This modificiation will make your MagStick Plus perform much better (in my opinion) with a lighter throw and a perceived greater responsiveness. Click on “More…” to see the full detail.


Custom Icons for Removable and Fixed Drives in Windows

I have a bunch of removable drives. USB Thumb/Flash drives, external hard drives in 2.5 and 3.5 inch sizes, portable media players, etc… When I’ve got them wired up to the mothership, sometimes the “My Computer” window can be a bit confusing. Hmm… Which one mapped to what drive letter again? You can use Volume Labels to differentiate the devices, but what’s the fun in that?!

I prefer to make custom icons. You’ll notice Drive I below has a Microcenter logo (it’s a private label Microcenter-brand drive).
Custom Drive Icons in My Computer

How’d I do that? Simple… Just click on More for all the details!

Dang!!! Wired got CLOSE! (to the MacBook Air)

Wired’s Photoshop Mock-Up of the MacBook Air:
Wired Mock-Up of the MacBook Air from the Side

Wired Mock-Up of the MacBook Air

What Apple actually released:
Apple's MacBook Air

Apple's MacBook Air

All I have to say is… Well done!  You guys almost NAILED it!

Apple’s Beautiful New Keyboard (MB110LL/A) on Windows

Now THAT'S a nice keyboard!

(This post may also be useful for people interested in the MB167LL/A BlueTooth wireless keyboard.)

Immediately upon seeing it, I was in love with the new Apple desktop keyboard. I wanted one, but the only place I use a desktop keyboard is at work… on a Windows machine. At home, I’m a laptop user and currently have no need for external keyboards. I will, once I have my office set up the way I want it. But until then, I’m an internal keyboard user.

I knew, thanks to the USB HID protocol, that this thing would likely work, which it did. I didn’t realize I’d run into issues with the keys that are missing. Apple doesn’t have Print Screen (PrtSc), Scroll Lock, Pause/Break, or Insert on their keyboards. The biggest issue I have is the missing Print Screen button.

Fixing this issue is a simple matter of hacking the registry, or alternatively installing and using the wonderful RandyRants.com SharpKeys utility. This utility helps with installing the proper registry tweaks to get this keyboard operational.

More after the jump… (more…)

Finding Duplicate MP3’s in your Mac OSX iTunes Library

I recently ran into a problem in my ongoing process of switching to Mac OSX from Windows. I decided that I wanted to jump fully into using iTunes as my central music repository. In my manually organized MP3 folders, I had MP3’s in folders by Artist then Album along with a playlist (M3U) file for each Album folder. This is a carry-over from using WinAmp in Windows. To play a whole album in correct order, I found it easy to just have an M3U file in each directory. Anyway, when importing my whole collection into iTunes under Mac OSX Leopard, it created duplicates of all of the files that had an associated playlist/M3U file. Ugh.

Correcting this issue is either a manual process (with some help from the View/Show Duplicates option in iTunes), or something that you can get shareware programs to deal with. The manual process wasn’t an option for me, as I have quite a number of MP3’s, and now quite a number of duplicates. I’m not sure why Apple hasn’t created a little better routine to deal with this issue, or an option to ignore M3U files on importing. iTunes is free, and for this reason, I disagree with the idea of paying for the solution. I also had an issue with the amount of money some of the shareware authors were asking.

I found a few freebie solutions to the problem, but didn’t like the way they worked. With all credit to Adam Kalsey (who incidentally looks a lot like Adam Corrola in the picture on his blog), I was able to use the following method to fix the problem.

More info and full details on how to do this after the jump… (more…)

More Drive Imaging Woes, Registry Error This Time

I ran another image of my HTPC to another drive (long, long story). I was using the Seagate’s DiscWizard tool (VERY nice OEM/free version of Acronis Drive Image), similar to last time (see prior blog entry) and this time ran into another error on the resulting “destination” drive upon boot. Again, the error I ran into has very little info on the web, so I figured I’d post the fix here.
The error is a pop-up upon boot/login which states: “Windows – Registry Recovery, One of the files containing the system’s Registry data had to be recovered by use of a log or alternate copy. The recovery was successful.”

Ugh Windows

Click More for the solution… (more…)

Drive Imaging then Odd Error

I just imaged a drive from a smaller partition to a larger partition, and ran into an error that I haven’t seen before. The error was a stop-style error on boot that said the following:

Windows could not start because of the following ARC firmware boot configuration problem: did not properly generate ARC name for HAL and system paths. Please check the Windows documentation about ARC configuration options and your hardware reference manuals for additional information.

Full story continues… (more…)

New Hotness, Old Busted Joint

I was pondering the iPod Touch.  I decided to get the Archos 605 WiFi 160GB Instead.  A few of the reasons it beats out the iPod Touch (and iPhone for that matter)?  160 GB, 800 x 480 screen, and it supports DivX right out of the box (and all of my current content is formatted for my old AV480, so I don’t want to have to re-encode for a new gadget).  I’m definitely an Archos fanboy, and this furthers me in that direction.  I’m all ordered-up, and just waiting for it to arrive!!

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