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Sat, Dec 29 2001

Most of my time on my computer the last couple of days has been spent in trying to fix an interesting problem. I have a notebook computer and I have Windows XP running on it and a few days ago I decided to install MusicMatch Jukebox on it since I needed to rip my collection into MP3's for the sake of portability since I can fit about ten of my music CD's into one CD-R of MP3's. I've used MusicMatch Jukebox (MMJB) before and I've liked it and so I decided to register since the installer I had on my machine was for a fairly old 6.0 version whereas their site said that version 7.0 was out. Of course, I'd installed 6.0 by this time and I'd upgraded the 6.0 installation by this time with the key I received for registering. Everything was working fine so far. I then proceeded to use their software update option from inside MMJB and upgraded to 7.0 and when I ran the app for the first time, wham! Crash!

I've been trying various combinations since then. I've uninstalled MMJB completely, downloaded their 7.0 installer and tried that - crash! I've installed 6.0 and installed 7.0 over that - crash! Some people would say that since 6.0 works fine that I should leave well enough alone ... but the problem is that 6.0 works but only up to a point <vbg> What I mean is that 6.0 works fine normally but it doesn't detect that I've changed a CD after ripping it - so I need to close MMJB and restart it again each time I change the CD. In addition to that, somewhere along the way this seems to have messed up my Windows setup as well since now I can't shutdown my machine completely - somewhere along the shutdown process it just locks up and I have to power off manually.

I wrote to MusicMatch tech support since their main option of tech support seems to be from inside MMJB itself and I can't use that option with 7.0 and that's where my problems were. Since I registered on Christmas day and all these problems started then, obviously there was no response that day except for a canned message. There was no response the next day or the next day either. I finally heard from them yesterday and they wanted me to send them certain log files from the MMJB installation and describe the problem to them in detail. I'd gone back to 6.0 for the moment since I really needed to get those CD rips done and so I installed 7.0 over that and sent them the info and then went back to 6.0 but the problems still keep bugging me.

I did some further checks last night and suddenly noticed that my CD-RW drive had some new drivers - in addition to the signed XP drivers, there were a few unsigned files as well. A few of them were from Adaptec EasyCD (which I also use) but there was one from MusicMatch named MxlW2k.sys. I was immediately suspicious of that and did a search on Google for the file name and came up with one entry where somebody mentioned that their machine locked up because that file got corrupted. I deleted the file and rebooted and I had no CD-ROM drive because that file had inserted itself into the driver chain and was now missing but my lockups on shutdown problem had disappeared - so MxlW2k.sys must be the culprit! I installed MMJB 7.0 so that I would get the latest MxlW2k.sys file and I got my CD-ROM drive back and the lockups on shutdown were gone as well but still no working MMJB! Today I'm gonna try installing 6.0 over the existing 7.0 and see if that will retain the updated MxlW2k.sys file and let me work with MMJB 6.0 without the CD change detection problems ... Ah the joys of software :p
posted at 09:05:06 AM  link  comment

Thu, Dec 27 2001

Interesting, I read today that Blogger was hacked over Christmas and that they are asking all Blogger users to change their FTP passwords - I guess the main reason that I started coding Blog in the first place (other than for the fact that I can't mirror the same journal to more than one site <g>) has been proven right. I hate having my passwords on a public server and then finding that it has been compromised! Ah well - I guess such is the age we live in. Then again, who is to say that even my machine is secure since we have so many worms, trojans etc. floating around?

Speaking of Blog, I've been thinking of putting my unfinished work on Scope on hold again so that I can get Blog 5.0 released once and for all. I do have lots of ideas for Blog but not enough motivation for Scope :p I have a feature-request list as long as my arm for Scope though :-) What I want to do for Blog 5.0 is to add a search feature and then make that the final release, then I want to start working on Blog 6.0 which will have remote-automation features such as the ability to monitor an e-mail account and automatically make posts based on e-mails received. I also want to add automatic dial-out capabilities (if possible) for 6.0 so that you can have some sort of scheduling ability in Blog and so can set it to dial-out at a specific time daily (or at given time intervals ...) to check your mail and then do the automated publishing. This will basically give you the ability to make entries from anywhere in the world without the need for a central server - plus of course the ability for multiple users to make posts to one journal. Ah so much to do and so little time - especially right now ... but hopefully it will all get done sooner or later :-)
posted at 08:15:19 AM  link  comment

Wed, Dec 26 2001

The weekend was long but extremely busy :p I had movies to watch on TV, stuff that I needed to pack and set up and mail off etc. and on top of it all, I had "Final Fantasy X" to play! Actually, I didn't play as much as I would have liked to ... I played the game once and was very impressed by it - the graphics are reminiscent of "Final Fantasy VIII" but I like the story better because it's magic oriented instead of tech-oriented. I wanted to play the game at my leisure instead of hurrying through it and so decided to set it aside for a while since I really had a lot of other stuff to do over the weekend.

Speaking of doing stuff and time management, I can tell you what the biggest waste of my time this weekend was - Charter Communications and their non-appearing techs! The tech people from Charter were supposed to pay me a visit on Friday since I was told by them that I had broadband access in my area finally (and as I probably mentioned earlier, they'd come over a while back and set up the modem and stuff only to discover that I had no access in my area :p) but of course, I personally had no access. I talked to their tech support on Thursday, they did some checking and said that they didn't know what was wrong and that some of their techs would get over to my place on Friday - sometime in the afternoon. I stayed home on Friday and guess what? Nobody turns up! I was mad as hell and called Charter up in the evening and was told that they'd have somebody over the next day (Saturday) but wouldn't tell me what time and so of course I had to stay home the whole day and surprise, surprise nobody turns up again!! I was really mad by this time and called Charter up and told them what to do with their broadband access but that means that I'll have to continue with dial-up ... Ah well ...
posted at 08:34:35 AM  link  comment

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