Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh, life and news readers

I've been finding hard lately to find something to blog about. It's part shame, part confusion and part simply lack of time to consider anything. But I'm here and still alive. I feel like the world is a confusion right now. The stock market is maddening, and even vitamins that people thought were good for you, don't seem to be. Actually, after reading In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, you learn to question everything that science is saying about nutrition.

Also, I've been disappointed with Google Reader. I don't like the fact that Google tracks all the links I click on it and, in general, I thought the UI is a little sluggish sometimes. So I moved back to Bloglines, which I found confusing because it just marks everything as read before I scroll through all the feeds. But they have a Beta interface that looks very much like Google Reader. I've used it for some time but realized it seemed not to work for some feeds sometimes. But the most annoying thing is that it had no "refresh this feed" button, so if I was reading one feed and when I finished going through it there were more articles, I'd have to navigate out and back in to read them.

That's when I decided to move onto something new and started trying what seemed to be number 3 for news readers (actually this is probably quite skewed, but it's interesting to see Outlook showing as number 1 biggest news reader somewhere - maybe it has a bigger refresh rate?): NewsGator. It's not as AJAX-y as the previous two. It paginates the feeds, so that you have to keep pressing "Mark All Posts On This Page As Read" to move on, but it's snappy, has no link tracking and it mostly works. The only annoyances that I've found so far is that the list of feeds on the left with counts of unread items sometimes doesn't get updated and you have to click on "Refresh feed list". But at least you don't have to navigate in and out of things.

Well, I guess that's it. Time to start my day!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The pain...

After battling for another couple of hours with NTRootKit-AC and Generic FakeAlert.a and Generic FakeAlert.d, I decided to give up and reinstall Windows. I moved all my data files to my data partition (E). I wasn't able to access anything external, but I was fairly confident that it would be easy to just clean up my program partitions (C & D).

Well... Things didn't go as well as planned. When I tried to clean up the first two partitions of my disk, for some reason the format procedure thought that the first partition had the full disk size and destroyed all partitions in the process. Including the one with all my data!

So what did I lose, you might ask. Well, besides multiple save games from multiple games I've started and haven't yet finished, including Spore and Fallout 3, and everything that I've added to Quicken since about 6 months ago (when I did the last CD backup) - including all the budgeting that I have been doing in the last couple of weeks, the thing that I'm mostly sad about is that I've lost multiple of my personal projects. That was probably about 80-100 hours of designing and coding. Surely I will take less time to redo it than it took me to go through the first version, but it's just depressing. It's like I'm starting a lot of things from scratch again.

And what doesn't help is that I've already rebooted my computer since I've reinstalled Windows 10 times (and installation took many reboots too because of the mess with the partitions that I've mentioned above). And Windows Update still says that I have 23 updates to install after SP3.

Lesson learned? Maybe quit using Windows? ;-)

When things just don't work

Last night I was working until a little late trying to get some reports to work. To generate these reports, it takes about 5 hours. But the surprise I was getting was that after about 5 hours the report generation tool would crash mysteriously. Nothing logged, just simply apparently the application would stop responding correctly. Very painful. But that wasn't all...

While I was in this pain and running multiple tests on this service, I was playing around on my windows box looking at random sites to see if there was anything close to a project I want to work on. While I was going through this almost-random search, I came across some very fishy sites. But I was in the middle of lots of things going on and, by accident, I clicked on download/open (which was by reflex) an .exe file! ARGH!

Note that I do have an anti-virus running on that computer. But it didn't quite work. It detected that something was wrong, but too late. Next thing I knew, my computer auto-rebooted. Then when it came back up, the antivirus was off. Not long after that, I got popups from Windows Security saying that my computer was contaminated but they could help. They scanned my computer for me and said that I had 37 infected files and I only needed to pay something like $60 to fix it. Even if I really wanted to pay, of course I wouldn't be that idiotic to enter credit card information when there is some sort of trojan installed on my computer.

So I went to McAfee, which the antivirus I use, and turned on full firewall to isolate myself from the web. Ran a full scan. Found 17 infected files and quarantined them. But I kept getting the warning from Windows Security. So I've restarted the computer.

Everything seemed normal. No more messages, my antivirus was turned back on. I was starting to be less worried... When... Another reboot. And we are back to the previous state.

Now I'm running another virus scan, but ready to get all the user files I have on that computer and start over. I don't use it for much more than games, but game files are huge! It's late, so I guess I'll have to wait until tonight to continue fighting the good fight. Right now I've even disconnected the computer physically from the network.

Oh, joy...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Oblong Glove

I think this is what Microsoft had in mind with its "Surface" plan:

oblong industries, inc.

Pretty-looking, but you probably need a huge computer behind it to handle all the interactivity, a very expensive setup of screens and... I'm not sure to what benefit. Throw letters around the room?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Antarctica Mystery

Apparently they are still trying to figure out the mystery of the Antarctic mountains. They probably should look for answers in past literature

Yes, that's all I have to post today... I'm fighting a cold right now, as well as a lot of small details at work. Haven't had time to play Fallout 3 since last week. Quite sad.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Still here

I know I haven't been blogging much lately. I have multiple posts in draft right now and I can't seem to be able to finish them. So I'll keep this simple.

I'm back to Seattle after a short-ish trip to Brazil for my sister's wedding. The trip was generally good. The only thing I was a little sad about this trip is that the schedule was quite tight and it's not that I didn't have free time to meet with friends, it's that I didn't know when I would have free time to meet with them. The result of that is that I've ended up not doing much besides the wedding events. Oh, well. I kept my mind away from work (something that was helped by my blackberry not wanting to sync with my mail) and it's always good to get back with a fresher perspective on things.

Since I'm back I can't say I've done too much. I was exhausted on Thursday, went to work on Friday to find Amy sick at home. I've played some Fallout 3 until I realized it was going to consume my next few weeks so I've been controlling myself. And it also crashed on me twice.

Today we tried to get out of the house a little, going to Lunchbox Laboratory (a quite expensive burger place with somehow different burgers - quite good) and the Ballard Market to walk around a little under the rain (it started raining while we were walking at the market). And now I'm here finishing this post and preparing myself to get back to cleaning my room and finishing folding laundry and ironing my shirts. Lots of fun ahead!

Oh, and I am annoyed that the connector to the suction cup on my GPS broke and it will cost US$50 to get a new one. Considering that a new GPS (with the suction cup) costs $200, it's silly that this is this expensive.