Shuttersparks

Welcome to my musings on whatever topic catches my eye, plus stories, recipes, handyman tips, welding, photography, and what have you. Oh, and analog/digital hardware design, and software. Please comment on the blog post so everyone who visits can see your comments.

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 10)

Install Fails, Files Out of Date

The other day I was trying to install the software for a digital oscilloscope and ran into a problem.  The software is written in Visual Basic.  The installer said that “certain files are out of date” and offered to update the files before rebooting the system.  If you answer no, the installer quits.  If you answer yes, the system reboots and when you run the installer again it repeats the “files out of date” message.  There’s no way to get past this, but I have found a workaround.  The problem occurs with both the Microsoft and Nullsoft installers, and it happens on Windows 2000 and XP.

How To Fix It

Your installable program will consist of at least a setup program, a CAB file, and a file called SETUP.LST.  SETUP.LST is structured like an INI file so you can open it with a text editor like Notepad.  Don’t use a word processor.  If you open SETUP.LST you’ll see the file organized into sections that look something like this:

[Bootstrap]
SetupTitle=Install
SetupText=Copying Files, please stand by.
CabFile=app.CAB
Spawn=Setup1.exe
Uninstal=st6unst.exe
TmpDir=msftqws.pdw
Cabs=1

[Bootstrap Files]
File1=@VB6STKIT.DLL,$(WinSysPathSysFile),,,7/15/00 12:00:00 AM,101888,6.0.84.50
File2=@COMCAT.DLL,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,5/31/98 12:00:00 AM,22288,4.71.1460.1
File3=@asycfilt.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),,,3/5/10 7:37:40 AM,65536,5.1.2600.5949
File4=@olepro32.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,4/14/08 6:42:04 AM,84992,5.1.2600.5512
File5=@oleaut32.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,4/14/08 6:42:04 AM,551936,5.1.2600.5512
File6=@stdole2.tlb,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(TLBRegister),,4/13/08 10:12:08 PM,16896,5.1.2600.5512
File7=@msvbvm60.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,4/14/08 6:42:02 AM,1384479,6.0.98.2

The problem is in the [Bootstrap Files] section.  Several of the files in that section are unnecessary.  If you comment them out (by putting a semicolon at the start of the line) your install will proceed without any problems.  You may have to experiment with how many files to comment out but in general you should keep the first two or three files in the list and comment out the rest.  The configuration that worked for me is below.  Your SETUP.LST file will probably be slightly different.

[Bootstrap Files]
File1=@VB6STKIT.DLL,$(WinSysPathSysFile),,,7/15/00 12:00:00 AM,101888,6.0.84.50
File2=@COMCAT.DLL,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,5/31/98 12:00:00 AM,22288,4.71.1460.1
;File3=@asycfilt.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),,,3/5/10 7:37:40 AM,65536,5.1.2600.5949
;File4=@olepro32.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,4/14/08 6:42:04 AM,84992,5.1.2600.5512
;File5=@oleaut32.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,4/14/08 6:42:04 AM,551936,5.1.2600.5512
;File6=@stdole2.tlb,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(TLBRegister),,4/13/08 10:12:08 PM,16896,5.1.2600.5512
;File7=@msvbvm60.dll,$(WinSysPathSysFile),$(DLLSelfRegister),,4/14/08 6:42:02 AM,1384479,6.0.98.2

Good luck!

Another Apocalyptic Moment

Actually, it’s an apocalyptic month this time. October of 2010 has five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays, which only happens every 823 years.

Nothing happened during our last apocalyptic moment, No Supernova Today.  Maybe this one will bring Armageddon.

Raise Interest Rates!

Here’s some lateral thinking for you: Since late 2008, the central banks of the world have been pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the world’s banking and financial institutions in order to stimulate economic activity and head off a recession / depression. This is the right thing to do in a fiat money system when faced with this economic situation. (I’m not going to discuss my views on fiat money, but a fiat money system is what we have so that’s what we’ve got to work with.)

However the worldwide money situation is bizarre right now, upside-down. The stimulus money, which is now some trillions of dollars, has not been stimulating like it ought to. Why? Because banks are not lending the money but are hoarding it. The banks of the world are sitting on well over a trillion dollars and are not lending it out. Why? Because interest rates are extremely low, near zero, and have been low for a long time. The banks are waiting for interest rates to go up which will raise the effective value of the cash they are hoarding and they will start lending again.

I propose that the Federal Reserve should raise interest rates and that this will stimulate lending and thus stimulate the economy. This sounds bizarre but given the upside-down state that the world’s money systems are in, I think it would work.

What do you think?

No Supernova Today

An interesting thing occurred early this morning. Shortly after 5 AM, there occurred 05:06:07 08-09-10.

I’m pleased to report there were no major earthquakes, no tsunamis, Yellowstone caldera didn’t blow up, no mass extinction, the methane clathrates at the bottom of the oceans didn’t turn over, the LHC did not produce a planet-eating black hole, the earth’s magnetic poles didn’t reverse, the earth didn’t shift on its axis, and the sun didn’t go nova.

We lived through yet another apocalyptic moment. Imagine that.

Serious Flaw Threatens all Versions of Microsoft Windows

A serious flaw that affects all versions of Microsoft Windows, from Windows 2000 through Windows 7 has been discovered, publicized, and already exploited by hackers. The exploit is especially dangerous because all the user has to do is open a folder containing an infected file with a .LNK extension. The exploit then runs automatically.

Malware already exists that exploits this flaw. At present this malware is programmed to seek out industrial control systems, infrastructure, SCADA systems, and so forth, but versions that spread widely are sure to come soon.

Centers that monitor the health of the Internet are raising the threat level from green to yellow.

The danger remains until Microsoft issues a fix. An additional big problem is that there are still many systems out there running Windows 2000 and Windows XP SP2 and Microsoft no longer issues patches for those operating systems.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/jul/22/microsoft-windows-flaw

Microsoft Bing Is Paying for Users?

Microsoft has now taken to paying people to use their search engine? Is it that bad?

http://www.discoverbing.com/education/searchwithpurpose/?fbid=eU87ehBy_x8&wom=false

It looks a little less blatant framed as a donation but then Microsoft has always been expert at putting lipstick on a pig.

I never did understand why Microsoft would go after the web search market at all. Of all the things they could possibly have done, they chose the one area where they cannot possibly succeed. What were they thinking? I guess the corporate culture in Redmond breeds either blindness, or arrogance, or maybe both.

Look, because of my work I do hundreds of searches every day, often searching for very obscure and hard to find information. I tried Bing. It sucked. From time to time I try it again and it continues to come up less effective than Google. Google is a lean, mean, lightning-fast search engine that almost invariably gets me immediately or almost immediately to the information I seek. It has no unnecessary visual distractions or crap that slows the loading of the page. It’s fine tuned and user friendly. And now Google has added even more cool features that help me a lot such as the timeline search. Fabulous.

Microsoft’s only hope to compete with Google search was to completely clone Google search and re-invent all of the proprietary magic that makes Google what it is, which even as rich as Microsoft is, they cannot afford to do.

Instead I’ll donate three bucks to charity myself and not use Bing.

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