Tag Archives: Windows XP

The imminent

The CBC has an article about the prediction that Windows is about to ‘collapse’, because of Microsoft’s inaction towards the marked after the introduction of Windows Vista. Other industry experts say that Microsoft knows it’s Windows days are dwindling, which is why it’s pulling so hard at Yahoo so that it can refocus efforts to reclaim the territory lost on the Internet (services and advertisements, that is).

So, just earlier, I decided to go ahead with the installation of Ubuntu on one of the spare computers: I have my share of experience with Debian and Ubuntu (as a virtual machine, for example), so generally, I didn’t encounter problems I couldn’t fix: for example, every piece of hardware was detected correctly. Mind the following notes:

  • If you’re used to vi, you probably still want to install ‘vim’. The default vi version that comes with Gutsy sucks so hard that, well, if you thought vi already sucked… (so, yes, go ahead and apt-get install vim)
  • KeePass, the password manager that I use, is available too: apt-get install keepassx. I haven’t tested if it’s completely compatible with the Windows variant.
  • Skype is also available: you can download the Debian deb file from Skype.com itself and install it right from your favourite browser.
  • Maybe it’s just me, but I like my terminal session to be white letters on a black background and not the other way around.
  • You still have to go through hoops to get DVD to play, but then, this is basically because this is Linux: after all, on your Mac and Windows PC, someone has already paid for being allowed to play DVDs on those computers.

So, yes: if you have a spare computer in your house and you think you may want to give Linux a try, you can’t go wrong with Ubuntu “Gutsy Gibbon”.

What, technology?

I find myself Uranusbrowsing the web using Ubuntu’s Firefox (in a virtual machine) instead of using Windows’. Yes, but is that the real deal? Yes, it is. Notice that if you requested your free Ubuntu disks, you also get free Ubuntu stickers. Where are Microsoft’s? I hope the Solaris kit comes with free stickers. Bonus link: A CIO reviews Ubuntu.

Talking about Microsoft: you’ve probably read that many companies have their doubts about moving from XP to Vista. And then there are still issues with the XBOX 360 (rumoured price cut, Balmer decribes extra warranty as ‘painful’).

Stepping away from computers: Austrian researchers debunked the notion that full moon causes more (workplace) injuries. A team of astronomers and statisticians analyzed over 500,000 industrial incidents and found no link to lunar activities. Yes, but what about Uranus?

And last but not least, I read the transcript of an online chat with J.K. Rowlings and, well, uh, Potter-fans. Here’s a question: will the Harry Potter series ever make it to the public domain, so that our grand-grand children can enjoy it by printing it using this EBM device?

Your Windows just broke

So, you have a Toshiba laptop and Windows doesn’t want to start anymore and shows a message in the form of ‘system config corrupt’ and ‘please insert the original Windows disk and press ‘r’ to start Windows Recovery Console’.

If you read this, it is already too late (that is, unless you have the original XP disk, but this is highly unlikely since your Windows XP is an OEM one). Your only option is to use the Toshiba Recovery Disk (which should come with your laptop) and that one has several options but all of them lead to the ‘one way': DESTROY UR D474. So: before you run that, use Knoppix to retrieve all your precious data and start the recovery (this is not as hard as it sound: you basically insert the Knoppix disk, insert your USB backup drive and off you go). Or:

If you read this before something bad has happened: most OEM installs don’t include the much needed ‘Windows Recover Console’. This is something you have to install yourself manually and trust me, you will need it.

Most OEMs install basic Windows XP data in the C:\windows\i386 directory: this is the directory you should head for and look for a file called ‘winnt32.exe’. Install the Console by issuing the following command:

YourDriveAndWindowsDirectory:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons

So: if you ran into that error shown above and you did install the recovery console, this is the Microsoft KB article you should read.

That didn’t work

Windows Update downloaded the latest security update (KB925902), but after restart I got the folllowing error message:

RTHDCPL.EXE – Illegal System DLL Relocation. The system DLL user32.dll was relocated in memory. The application will not run properly. The relocation occurred because the DLL…

Alrighty!!! A patch gone wrong, apparently. On today I guess, the same day they released that security patch, Microsoft issued a hotfix (KB 935448). Notice that you may get errors while getting to the actual download: it appears that this fix is quite popular. If you run a RealTek card, you probably ran into the same issue. Particularly, if you own a Toshiba laptop.

Oh: and talking about patches, you may also consider updating your WordPress (see also here for more details).

04/04/07: Slashdot discusion.
04/11/07: A weeks later, the issue brought up over at the BBC.