The Pop Singer’s Love of Web 2.0

I’ve listened to Mel’s music for a while, and just found out that not only does she have a presence in Second Life, but that she’s about the most online-y musician I’ve met, having a presence on Facebook as well where you can listen to her tunes via iLike and YouTube.

Do your ears a favour, and listen to this welsh chanteuse. Better yet, attend one of her gigs, buy her CD, and support real independent music.

A yummy mummy. Now if only I still had my drumkit.

More moosic

The Eagles are, in my opinion, a seminal American Rock band. They epitomise the genre, and the following solo track from Don Henley is also fantastic. They are right up there with Steve Earle on influence of the genre, and you can hear the Pittsburgh steelworkers, the california sunshine, and a new york minute’s worth of blues in their songs.

Always tempting to do a Simon Bates and dedicate songs like this to exes, but you know who you are.

I woke up this morning thinking “I must look up ‘Bridge‘ on Wikipedia“. Now I have done so, and I’m none the wiser.

Joke for you:
Why are pirates cool?
Because they yarr.

WGA (Windows Installer 3.1) not working

I recently ran a Belarc scan of my computer so I could tell my friend the toasty loveliness that sits beneath my system cabinet (well I think its lovely). I noticed that I had 85 security hot fixes missing.

Wondering what Automatic Updates was doing, I fired up Microsoft Update, and it gnomically told me that the WGA had “failed to install” with a variety of bizarre errors, but the root cause turned out to be 0×80070005. Not to be deterred by what is a pretty obscure error message, I tracked this down to the permissions on the registry, and discovered the following fix (since a Google search revealed this to be a pretty widespread issue, I thought it worth documenting this, as Microsoft’s website is not clear).

  1. Download and install SubInACL. Make sure its in your command line PATH (I put mine in %windir%/System32). SubInACL is a command-line tool that enables administrators to obtain security information about files, registry keys, and services, and transfer this information from user to user, from local or global group to group, and from domain to domain.
  2. Create the following script (I called mine c:\reset.cmd):
  3. @echo off
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=systems=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=system=f
    subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=system=f
    @Echo =========================
    @Echo Finished.
    @Echo =========================
    @pause

  4. Run this script. Go and do something else, it will take a while, as it will crawl all over your hard disk. Windows Installer will then work.

Windows permissions are not simple, especially not compared to the nice’n’easy -rwxr-xr-x that Unix gives. However they are powerful.

Other geeky things for the evening:

  • Installing powerline ethernet, so I can link up a media streamer to my TV easily.
  • Installing and using VLC. It just works, and doesn’t contain any spyware, bloatware, adware, or other sillyware.
  • Installing a Griffin Roadtrip in my car. Ipod music a go go.

Thanks to Geek Girl for the fix.

Useful tools

I’m fed up with backups. Its unarguably true that they are one of the most important linchpins in computer security – providing support for integrity, availability and (if done correctly), not compromising confidentiality. However, no one likes to do them, and without the kind services of a small army of people to backup my data for me, I know I’ll forget.

Carbonite appears to provide that function. I’ve been using it for about a month now, to back up files on my PC, and it sits in my system tray, and copies anything changed to my own private vaultspace in their datacentre. They assure me its encrypted – not strongly, admittedly, as the keys are my email address, and a password, but in a risk reduction scenario, I’m happier having my stuff safe somewhere else, especially as the drive in the PC is showing S.M.A.R.T. failure, and I’m waiting for the new one to arrive from dabs.

I’m also a fan of Outlook (although many people aren’t). I like it because its flexible, simple to use, and I’m fairly confident that with the addition of Avast antivirus and spamfighter, that not too many nasties get into my inbox. Mail to me goes through AV services at Versatilia, then Google, and then finally gets to my Outlook inbox. However, one thing I would like is to be able to check my google calendar, and have that automatically sync’d up with my Outlook calendar.

I tried RemoteCalendars, but to be frank, its got a lot of bugs in it. It crashed frequently, and stubbornly refused to talk to the Google Calendar API (which is still in beta, but still). The only success I had was wiping out my Google calendar, which then gave me an opportunity to test the restore feature on my mobile. I have found SyncMyCal, which just works, and is available in a freebie or pay-for version, for only $25, which seems well worth it for such a handy little tool.

Music is handled by Last.FM, which yesterday was tricking Coltrane jazz over my ears like warm oil. Actually, it was a lot nicer than having warm oil trickled over my ears. Please don’t do that. I’m also trying the potentially quite amazing Jajah, which trunks VOIP calls between me and the other person, without requiring me to have a (yuk!) BT Softphone, SkypeIn/SkypeOut services, or other complicated animals. And yes, the pricing is equivalent to what you get from Skype, or possibly even a little better.

And finally, for when my family call me up for PC support[1], I’ve got a LogMeIn connection so I can jump onto her laptop without her trying to navigate Messenger to send me a remote assistance request.

[1] If you discover how to make a career in IT without people calling you asking you to fix their computers, let me know how.