iPhone 3G’s OS 3.0 Initial Thoughts And Impressions

Despite being dead set against the idea, screwing something up today basically thrust me into a position for opting to test out the latest OS release for the older iPhone 3G (not the 3G S). Using my Ubuntu notebook running XP in a VirtualBox installation in the background, I connected the iPhone with iTunes opened. First making sure to back up everything as I had a feeling things might not go very smoothly, I found that I did indeed run into the ever-common Error 1602.

After doing a bit of thinking, I was thanking my lucky stars that I was using a VirtualMachine as I was able to see that the iPhone was not mounting right during part of the update. Turns out other Windows users had similar issues on natively running Windows boxes, but the VirtualMachine was showing me the phone being dismounted. Tried again and, this time, found that mounting the phone through the GUI every so often did the trick. It had something to do with the version of iTunes I was using and how it was installed… nothing to do with the VirtualMachine.

So what is the update like? Honestly, it’s mildly better in a number of areas. While applications seem to run a little faster, other aspects of the phone seem to slow down just a tad. Out of all of the features that are apparently provided, spell check/suggestions remains useless while the copy/paste feature is fantastic.

Adding Spotlight to the 3G is pretty cool, although it is not nearly as useful as the landscape view for typing out email and SMS messages. Oh, and the search box for email is pretty sweet, too. And finally, the last thing that struck me is that the keyboard “feels” a bit more responsive/accurate. Even with my clumsy fingers flying all over the place, I am finding myself making fewer mistakes than with the previous OS. It’s certainly possible that this is just all in my head, but I don’t think so. It honestly feels more responsive.

So what do you think? What about the update to the iPhone 3G has you going nuts? Something you love or something you despise? Whatever it may be, we want to hear about it.


Windows 7 RC Receives Its First Fix

There appears to be a problem with the install process for the 32 bit English version of Windows 7 RC Ultimate. The problem is described as the installer incorrectly setting the access control on the root system drive. The fix from Microsoft is described further as:

In the English version of Windows 7 Release Candidate (build 7100) 32-bit Ultimate, the folder that is created as the root folder of the system drive (%SystemDrive%) is missing entries in its security descriptor. One effect of this problem is that standard users such as non-administrators cannot perform all operations to subfolders that are created directly under the root. Therefore, applications that reference folders under the root may not install successfully or may not uninstall successfully. Additionally, operations or applications that reference these folders may fail.

For example, if a folder is created under the root of the system drive from an elevated command prompt, this folder will not correctly inherit permissions from the root of the drive. Therefore, some specific operations, such as deleting the folder, will fail when they are performed from a non-elevated command prompt.

The fix currently is being provided by Windows update. However, on their site Microsoft also has a manual fix available.

Comments welcome.

Fix from Microsoft is here.

Mozilla Firefox Updated To Version 3.0.7

Just a quick note. If you do not have your Mozilla Firefox browser set to download updates automatically, than you should be aware a new versions is available. Over at Mozilla they state that the new version fixes the following problems:

Firefox 3.0.7 fixes several issues found in Firefox 3.0.6:

  • Fixed several security issues.
  • Fixed several stability issues.
  • Official releases for the Estonian, Kannada, and Telugu languages are now available.
  • Items in the “File” menu show as inactive after using the “Print” item from that menu – switching to a new tab restores them (bug 425844). This issue has been fixed.
  • For some users, cookies would appear to go “missing” after a few days (bug 444600).
  • Mac users of the Flashblock add-on, experienced an issue where sound from the Flash plug-in would continue to play for a short time after closing a tab or window (bug 474022).
  • Fixed several issues related to accessibility features.

I highly recommend you get the update.


Exploding Mobile Phone Kills Man In China

When a man who worked in an electronics store change the battery in his mobile phone, the phone exploded killing him. According to reports neither the make nor model of the phone had been determine by authorities. Exploding batteries are not new and several others have been killed by mobile phone batteries.

The article also states that:

Local reports said that this was the ninth recorded cellphone explosion in China since 2002. In the most high profile recent incident, in June 2007, a 22-year-old welder, Xiao Jinpeng, died from chest wounds when his mobile phone exploded while he was at work at an iron mill in Gansu province.

A local government inquiry found that the mobile phone battery had exploded due to the heat of the iron mill. Lithium batteries are widely used in mobile phones – but if they are overcharged or exposed to heat, the inflammable liquid inside can explode.

Motorola and Nokia, two of the world’s biggest mobile phone makers, denied links to the distributors of problem batteries in China, suggesting they were counterfeit.

After the latest incident, the Shin Min Daily News published advice for consumers on how to avoid mobile phone explosions. The tips included:

– Always use original batteries. Be sure that batteries by the manufacturer are meant for your mobile phone.

– Never modify your phone

– Always use original battery chargers

– Do not expose your mobile phone to high temperatures, and avoid exposing it to direct sunlight

– Avoid long phone conversations

– Do not make or answer calls when the phone is charging

– Try to keep your phone in a bag instead of in a pocket

– Do not use damaged batteries

Good advice for everyone to follow.

Comments welcome.


MS08-030 Re-released for Windows XP SP2 and SP3

The folks over at Microsoft Security Response Center want to make sure that users of Windows XP SP2 and SP3 know about this and are aware of its importance. The team wants to make sure that your system is properly protected. In a statement by  Christopher Budd, he has provided the following information:

I wanted to let folks know that we’ve just re-released MS08-030. This is to let you know there’s a new version of this security update available for Windows XP SP2 and SP3 customers and to encourage them to deploy these new updates. There are no new updates for the other versions of Windows discussed in the bulletin.

After we released MS08-030 we learned that the security updates for Windows XP SP2 and SP3 might not have been fully protecting against the issues discussed in that bulletin. As soon as we learned of that possibility, we mobilized our Software Security Incident Response Process (SSIRP) to investigate the issue.

Our investigation found that while the other security updates were providing protections for the issues discussed in the bulletin, the Windows XP SP2 and SP3 updates were not.

Our engineering teams immediately set to work to address the issue and release new versions of the security updates for Windows XP SP2 and SP3. These are available now and are being delivered through the same detection and deployment tools as the original update.

If you’re running Windows XP SP2 or SP3, you should go ahead and test and deploy these new security updates. If you’ve deployed security updates for MS08-030 for other versions of Windows, you don’t need to take any action for those systems.


I would highly recommend that if you believe that your system is suspect and may not be properly protected, that you read this warning and take the appropriate action.

Comments welcome.


HP Computer With Vista Ultimate Running Slow

A reader responded to an article from back in March 24, 2007 [here], and stated they were having issues with their HP system using Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate edition. This jogged my memory and made me wonder how many others are suffering slow performance because of what we call ‘crapware’. Most notable of the freebie programs that come preinstalled on some systems are security suites that will slow down your system to a crawl.

Reader Desalegn statement indicated slow performance and freezing of their system and that all drivers & BIOS had been updated. My last reply was this:

Hello Desalegn,
I would take a look than at your anti-virus protection or any additional software that either came preinstalled, you installed later, such as security suites.

In particular Norton, McAfee and so forth. Let me know if you have any of these programs. Even 3rd party firewalls can slow or freeze a system. We usually refer to some preinstalled stuff as ‘crapware’ aka ‘crap’

Read this about crap remover:


This Dell user with a slow system until the crap was removed.


These issues are not confined to Windows Vista. Windows XP users also suffered from ‘crapware’ as well. The bloatware installed on most systems was crippling. :-(

I hope that this may help others who are having issuess with their system as well.

Comments welcome.

Windows XP SP3 Final

Over the weekend I decided to go ahead and try the final release of SP3 on my test machine to see how it worked. It is always exciting to try something new, especially when in the back of your mind you are thinking ‘I hope this works right’. Anyway, over at ZD-Net they have a link for the RTM version of SP3 for Windows XP, which is designed to update multiple versions of XP, if you need to do so.

There has been some discussion whether this is the full RTM version or not, but it seems that this issues has been finally put to rest. This does appear to be the final and ready to go. A word of caution. Microsoft has pulled this release since there were some issues with some of their other software, so be careful. You may wish to wait until SP3 is available through Windows update. But that is up to you.

The download was fairly quick running at over 300kbps. I then burned the file to CD and installed it on my test box. The install, with reboots and other standard stuff took about an hour. I really didn’t time it since I was doing other stuff while SP3 installed itself. The installation was a non event and my system booted up normally. I checked some of my apps and all seemed to work well.

Is there any performance increases using SP3? None that I could see. As most have previously reported, this is basically a roll up of all previous fixes and patches released my Microsoft over the past few years since SP2 was released. That’s about it. Nothing Earth shattering to write home about.

Caution: I would wait until Microsoft releases SP3 to the masses. Just my 2 cents.

ZD-Net site is here.

Comments welcome.

PS There is no official date as to when Microsoft will release SP3 to the masses. :-)

[tags]windows xp, sp3, download, install, upgrade, patches, fixes, cd, burn, disk, update, [/tags]

Windows XP SP3 Is Coming – Block It If You Want

According to inside sources from a renown person [possibly a janitor] who is a friend of the consumer, who knew a friend of a friend, this weeks latest rumor is that SP3 for Windows XP is really, really on its way. SP3 is set to be released starting next week with the update feature being activated at the end of April. But what ever the situation if you are one of the folks who would like to sit back and wait for the dust to settle, make sure you install the blocker:

A blocking tool is available for organizations that would like to temporarily prevent installation of Service Pack updates through Windows Update. This tool can be used with:

  • Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (valid through March, 2008)
  • Windows XP Service Pack 3 (valid for 12 months following general availability)
  • Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (valid for 12 months following general availability)

This toolkit contains three components. All of them function primarily to set or clear a specific registry key that is used to detect and block download of Service Packs from Windows Update. You only need to use the component which best serves your organization’s computer management infrastructure.

  • A Microsoft-signed executable
  • A script
  • An ADM template
  1. The executable creates a registry key on the computer on which it is run that blocks or unblocks (depending on the command-line option used) the delivery of a Service Pack to that computer through Windows Update. The key used is HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate.

    When the ‘/B’ command line option is used, the key value name ‘DoNotAllowSP’ is created and its value set to 1. This value blocks delivery of a Service Pack to the computer through Automatic Update or Windows Update.

    When the ‘/U’ command line option is used, the previously created registry value that temporarily blocked the delivery of a Service Pack to the computer through Automatic Update or Windows Update is removed. If the value does not exist on the computer on which it is run, no action is taken.

  2. The script does the same thing as the executable, but allows you to specify the remote machine name on which to block or unblock delivery of Service Packs.
  3. Note that the executable and script have been tested only as a command-line tool and not in conjunction with other systems management tools or remote execution mechanisms.

  4. The ADM template allows administrators to import group policy settings to block or unblock delivery of Service Packs into their Group Policy environment. Administrators can then use Group Policy to centrally execute the action across systems in their environment.

You can download the blocker from here.

Comments welcome.

[tags]windows, xp, sp3, update, block,  [/tags]


Free Spyware Doctor Starter Edition

Over at Google they are offering a free copy of Spyware Doctor Starter Edition as part of their Google Pack package. The software download is about 15.4 MB in size so a broadband connection is recommended. Definition updating should be completed before running a scan of your system. On their web site PC Tools describes their software as:

Best Spyware Protection. Used by Millions World Wide.

Spyware Doctor has been downloaded over 125 million times with millions more downloads every week. People worldwide use and trust Spyware Doctor to protect their PCs from spyware, adware and other online threats.

Spyware Doctor has consistently been awarded Editors’ Choice, by leading PC magazines and testing laboratories around the world, including United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Australia. In addition, after leading the market in 2005, Spyware Doctor was awarded the prestigious Best of the Year at the end of 2005 and again in 2006.

Spyware Doctor continues to be awarded the highest honors by many of the world’s leading PC publications such as PC World, PC Magazine, PC Pro, PC Plus, PC Authority, PC Utilities, PC Advisor, PC Choice, Microdatorn, Computer Bild and PC Answers Magazine.

I ran a scan of my personal laptop system and the Doc found some 88 possible bad guys on my system, all with a low rating. I took a look at the stuff it found and it was basically cookie files that I dumped. I’m going to try the software for the next few weeks and see how it works. So far it seems like a no-brainer to use. I’ll give a full review around the end of the month.

Has anyone else tried this freebie? What’s your opinion?

Comments welcome.

More information and download is here.

[tags]spyware, doctor, free, google, pack, scan, update, cookies, [/tags]

Symantec – Broken Vista Drivers On The Way For SP1

Symantec has announced they are working on updated drivers for Windows Vista after SP1 breaks their enterprise related software. Symantec indicates that both of their Endpoint Protection software and also for Network Access Control, updated drivers would be available in a couple of weeks. In a article about the problem it states:

One irate Windows user claiming to be Howard Terry, a researcher at Berkeley and Stanford universities, said that university professors and students were considering a class action lawsuit if Microsoft did not resolve this problem.

“This is a very serious matter — tell someone in charge that Stanford and… Berkeley professors and students will begin a class action lawsuit very soon if this SP1 update problem is not fixed for Vista [business] users asap,” wrote “drqc terry”. “What have you people done to this new OS…?”


Microsoft had not explained why it had released SP1 in the knowledge that it could break third-party drivers at the time of writing. However, a spokesperson for the company said that Microsoft would ultimately automatically push out updated drivers ahead of SP1 downloads.

“We’ve spent the last couple of months or so investigating the driver issues we shared back in February,” said Microsoft in an email. “Since then, we [have] identified a small set of device drivers that, if installed on a Windows Vista PC that is subsequently updated to SP1, may be problematic. We were pleased to find that many of the reports that caused our original concern were on pre-release builds of the service pack and were addressed by improvements made between the release candidate and final builds. Although many driver issues were addressed, there are a small number of issues around specific device drivers remaining.”

“We want our customers to have the best possible experience with Windows Vista SP1, so we have configured Windows Update to initially delay offering the service pack to PCs with these identified drivers until the issues are resolved,” said Microsoft.

“In order to deliver SP1 to these PCs, we worked with our partners to produce driver updates for the drivers that were reported to be problematic when updating to SP1. Updated drivers for the many of the issues found are available on Windows Update as ‘optional’ updates today. Ultimately, we will be using Windows Update to automatically deliver these updated drivers to PCs in advance of offering them SP1,” added the software giant.

As a reminder, check out Microsoft’s site to determine if your system is using any of the software or hardware that SP1 for Vista could break.

Comments welcome.

SP1 site is here.

Complete article is here.

[tags]windows, vista, sp1, update, drivers, software, hardware, broken, updates, enterprise, fix,  [/tags]

Linspire Changes CNR Policy

For those of you who use Linspire, Freespire or Ubuntu versions of Linux, you should be aware of changes that are happening on the CNR website.  Effective March 10th, 2008 only the following versions will be updated – Freespire 2.0. Linspire 6.0 and Ubuntu versions 7.04 and 7.10. In the alert from Linspire it further states:

We know you will have a number of questions regarding the new CNR Service and we will try to address them here:

1. When is the legacy CNR Warehouse closing?
The legacy CNR Warehouse will be closing on March 10th, 2008 at midnight.

2. Why is the legacy CNR Warehouse closing?
The version of PHP on Linspire.com is being updated and doesn’t warrant the effort required to modify the legacy CNR Warehouse, when the effort can be better used in support of an improved CNR.com. The ultimate goal is to give you a better user experience at CNR.com.

3. Will my Linux operating system work with the NEW CNR Service?
The new CNR Service currently supports the following Linux distributions:
Freespire 2.0,  Linspire 6.0, Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10.

4. What will happen to all my software that I have installed with the legacy CNR Warehouse?
Your CNB software will show up under your new CNR Account however, you will have to re-install them and unfortunately, if you had a CNB that is no longer supported on the new CNR.com, you will not be able to retrieve it. This will affect only a handful of software. We are currently working on discounted upgrades to make the transition smoother and will let you know as soon as they are available.

This may be a good time to upgrade your linux distribution to the latest version.

Comments welcome.

Full Linspire article is here.

[tags] linspire, freespire, ubuntu, cnr, update, changes, march 10,2008, [/tags]

Keep XP Around Until 2009

A recent PC World article indicates that some analysts are recommending to Microsoft that they keep Windows XP available thought out 2008 and into 2009. The assumptions are that Microsoft is going to fast in their conversion of XP users to Vista. The article states:

Microsoft should keep Windows XP available until at least 2009, not end the majority of sales on June 30 as currently planned, said analysts at Gartner and The Burton Group.

“A good rule of thumb in any OS transition is that you have to have the original and new products available for at least two years to handle customer [migration] needs,” said Richard Jones, a Burton Group vice president and service director.

But Microsoft gave customers just 11 months in its original plan, in which new XP licenses would have ended on Dec. 31, and even the additional six months that Microsoft granted when it changed the date to June 30 is not enough, he said.

“It would be wise for XP to be available until the end of 2008,” concurred Michael Silver, a research vice president at Gartner. Even though Microsoft does a good job of addressing application compatibility, those efforts miss homegrown applications and applications from minor and defunct software companies. That’s why a two-year transition period is more sensible, Silver said.

Whether Microsoft will continue the release of Windows XP beyond June 30th, 2008 is unknown at this time. But it does appear that there may be a good chance Windows XP may live on for some time to come.

Comments welcome.

Full article is here.

[tags]windows, xp, microsoft, vista, keep, update, [/tags]

Firefox – New Update – Get It

Over at Mozilla they have posted an update for Firefox version 2 that they recommend users get. The new version is now Firefox There are versions for Windows, Mac as well as Linux. In their statement it says:

As part of Mozilla Corporation’s ongoing stability and security update process, Firefox is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for free download from http://getfirefox.com.

We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release. If you already have Firefox 2.x, you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours. This update can also be applied manually by selecting “Check for Updates…” from the Help menu.

For a list of changes and more information, please review the Firefox Release Notes.

This is a no brainer and I suggest anyone who using Firfox version 2 get it immediately.

Comments welcome.

[tags]firefox, mozilla, version 2, update, new,  [/tags]

Windows Vista SP1 – When, Where, Why & How

During the past few days there have been some mention about the release dates for Windows Vista SP1, including a specific date of March 15th, 2008. Yesterday I received a memo from the boys in Redmond I thought I would share with you that fully explains the when, where, why & how of the release of Service Pack #1 for Windows Vista.

 The RTM announcement today will start a number of processes to deliver Windows Vista SP1 to customers including:

 ·        OEM partners will begin producing PCs with SP1 pre-installed.  We expect these systems to be available to customers in March or April.

·        We will begin producing boxed product (FPP) of Windows Vista that integrates Service Pack 1.  These should start appearing in retail stores in March or April.

·        We will begin manufacturing disks with Windows Vista SP1 for our enterprise customers that get our software via Volume Licensing.  Enterprise customers should start receiving these in early March.

To help ensure that our customers who are already using Windows Vista have a great experience when they go to Service Pack 1, we are going to stage our rollout of SP1 for current Windows Vista users to be approximately concurrent with the availability of Windows Vista SP1 on new PCs and in full packaged product in retail stores. 

We are planning to make SP1 available for current Windows Vista users on the following schedule:

·        In mid-March, we will release Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Update and the download center on microsoft.com.  Customers who visit Windows Update can choose to install Service Pack 1. 

·        In mid-April, we will begin delivering Windows Vista SP1 to Windows Vista customers using Automatic Update.  This means that we will begin automatic downloads of SP1 for customers who have chosen to have updates downloaded automatically. 

 Ultimately, we want to make sure that anyone who can benefit from the Service Pack can get it as soon as possible, and we are working hard to make sure all of our current Windows Vista customers have a smooth upgrade path. 

As you communicate with customers, they should feel confident about buying Windows Vista today, knowing that when everything is ready, SP1 will be available to them via Windows Update.  As we have shared with you in other Windows communications, specific improvements in SP1 can be identified across six key areas including:

    • Device Coverage Continues To Expand
    • Steady Application Compatibility Progress
    • Improved Battery Life
    • Security Enhancements
    • Reliability Improvements
    • Performance Improvements

So there you have it. SP1 is on the way. Be patient.

Comments welcome.

[tags] microsoft, windows, vista, service pack 1, sp1, release, rtm, update, download, [/tags]