12 Cats and holding...
12 Cats, 4 Parrots, 2 Rabbits, 2 Dogs, 1 Ferret, 1 Wife and 1 Daughter, what more could a man want?


So the other day I developed a problem with my laptop. Whenever I had a large Windows Explorer, Shell window open with a lot of files showing, or I had an Internet Browser window open that contained a horizontal or vertical scrollbar showing, my scrollbar went nuts. [e digicons]X|[/e] Now I had noticed some odd behavior from the PC recently. I put the errors down to my recent experience of downgrading the PC from Windows Vista to Windows XP. I say this because, Hewlett Packard did not provide all the needed drivers for the downgrade. I had to cobble the drivers from many different sources, and despite the Device Manager showing no missing drivers, some of the versions I used might be suspect, until vetted by time and testing. Despite the aforementioned driver issue, I thought the odd behavior might be caused by the usual suspects in this kind of a problem. I Googled the issue and tried several different solutions, and none of them seemed to stop the problem. I tried removing the mouse drivers and reinstalling the mouse. That was no help. I tried disabling some of my theme enhancing software; again that was not the solution. I tried reloading the video drivers. I also pursued the virus, spyware and Trojan track. None of these seemed to cure the problem. I disconnected my wireless mouse and keyboard and used the on board laptop features. As you can guess, the problem was still present. I was at my wits end. What was I to do? Eventually I took the route that all Microsoft Windows [e digicons]:borg:[/e] users take in this situation. I pulled the band aid off, and I formatted the PC and reloaded the operating system.


Since this was a recent downgrade, and since I had not completed the entire process, I had not yet made an image of the PCs' hard drive. I was waiting to finish the software installation process, before I imaged the machine. I was up until 3:15 am in the morning; I toiled at the reload. [e digicons]<_<[/e] Once a Windows user gets started on the dreaded reload, it can be a cathartic experience. We start the reload talk. You know the little talk computer geeks give themselves, to bring solace to their souls, because their operating system has gone belly up, and they have been unable to resolve the issue, using their God like skills to save the machine. It a little mantra that starts out with the simple thing. Things like “Well it was time anyways.” and “Every six months it's time to sweep out the cobwebs.” and the old chestnut, “This time I'll make the perfect image, and get the machine the way I really want it to be.” of the last but not least, “Well I meant to get this done and have been putting it off.” All of these are valid reasons to reload a PC, but we all know, if we were going to do it, it would have already been done, and we wouldn't be in the current mess, we have found ourselves. [e digicons]:waaaa:[/e]


Needless to say I managed to get the PC into a fairly stable state before I fell asleep. I was able to get all the drivers reloaded, and moved a lot of the core programs I rely upon, installed. All in all, I had the PC in a fairly usable state. I even managed to get my wallpapers back and moved a lot of my files back, where they belong. I was content enough with the machines progress. I could go to sleep, for the night. [e digicons]:zzz:[/e]


Now you would not be reading this, if that were the end of my problem. [e digicons]XO[/e] Of course that is not where we stop, on this trip. When I awoke the next morning, lo and behold, my PC was acting the same buggy way. My scrollbars were going bananas. I kid you not! Whip! [e digicons];)[/e] Zip! [e digicons];P[/e] Back and Forth they went! [e digicons]*_*[/e] I was besides myself. [e digicons]}:)[/e] I was angry. I felt betrayed by my skills. My wife was sitting beside me, trying to offer comforting words, but this was not helping the situation. I was depressed... I felt I had wasted all the night before, solving nothing. Also, to make matters worse, I really didn't need the reload, now did I? If I had not solved the problem by reloading, then my last image, in process was wasted. All that previous work was wasted. What is even worse is I began to contemplate the worse case scenario. I had a problem with my laptop. [e digicons]:banhammer:[/e]


Now if there is one thing a Geek hates is to come to the point where they have hardware issues with a laptop. Hardware issues on a desktop PC are bad, but can be mitigated by replacing hardware. This is not so bad on a desktop PC, but on a laptop it is catastrophic. [e digicons]#:([/e]

There are two basic parts to replace on a laptop. One is the hard drive, and the other is the memory. Most of the other parts in a laptop are replaceable, but at a prohibitive cost. Normally people will simply replace a laptop, rather than replace a laptop motherboard, or a screen, or some other major part.

Like it or not, I was at the point I felt there might be a keyboard error, or an error with the laptops mouse, track pad combination. I proceeded systematically though. I first thought of resetting the BIOS to defaults, and also I toyed with the idea of flashing the motherboard BIOS. One of the last things I tried was the old Compaq, HP reset trick. This is where you disconnect everything, take the laptop battery from the PC, and disconnect the AC adapter. Hold the power button in for 20 seconds and presto, the PC resets the motherboard to some hidden settings, or truly discards the garbage you were using for fresh settings. I then reinserted the battery and powered up the laptop. Holy, crimeny! The issue was gone! [e digicons]\o/[/e]


I proceeded to do a little dance around my room. My faith in my skills reestablished. I was a contented Geek again, and I had a clean PC image to perfect. Yahoo, for me! Who's a good boy? [e digicons]:dog:[/e] You are! You are! Yes, He is!


This was short lived. I connected my peripherals to the PC again and WHAM! [e digicons]X([/e] [e digicons]8C[/e] ; the issue returned. I was livid. [e digicons]XO[/e] I was confused. I was flabbergasted. I sat there looking at my external hard drive. There's the culprit for sure. I bet there is a virus lurking there, or a rogue .exe file wrapped Trojan. Something on that drive is making my life miserable. I unplugged the drive and rebooted. Problem gone? NO! I do not think so... not even in the slightest. I disconnect the power connector from the AC wall adapter, thinking it might be a voltage issue. Nope, not there. That's not the problem. I am looking at the last connection to the PC, my cooler pad, that sits beneath the laptop. I think to myself. Maybe this is the culprit? Maybe the cooler pad is drawing voltage and causing the motherboard to act crazy. Then it dawns on me.


I am a fool. [e digicons]:omg:[/e] I am a very big fool. [e digicons]:pout:[/e] In order to save a USB slot on the actual laptop, I slipped a powered four port USB hub into the laptops connector. I connected the cooler pad to the powered USB hub. Here is the foolish part. I also had an older and forgotten wireless mouse, keyboard dongle attached to the USB hub. I glanced over at my desk, and there winking its' little laser light at me was the problem. [e digicons]:ninja:[/e] I reached out and pulled the batteries from the mouse and my problem went away. I have been using a program called Synergy to control my laptop from my desktop PC. Normally all I did was boot the laptop, use a different wireless mouse (I carry in my bag) and start Synergy. I never thought about the older mouse and keyboard I had connected to the USB hub.  [e digicons]:-"[/e]


I guess the golden rule here is disconnect everything and start from scratch. Never overlook the obvious, and never take things for granted. Sometimes a simple problem has a simple answer. Sometimes a Virus is not a virus, and a hardware issue is not a virus. In all of the problems we encounter, we should look for the hidden mouse and keyboard, and not assume it is something else, entirely.


“If it was a snake, it would have bit me!” [e digicons]:blush:[/e] “I feel really dumb today!”


I wonder what's on the Agenda for tomorrow? [e digicons]:annoyed:[/e]

1 Reply Reply 6 Referrals
Hello All,
        I thought given the holiday spirit and all the frantic scurrying for gift buying,
I'd post a list of often used uttilities, I use that do not cost a dime. I know we all are
feeling the pinch of the economy and want to maximize our resources, so I have scoured the
Net over the years and come up with a stable of good program, that help me make it through
the day, and thought others might benefit from what I use on a daily basis. I know this list is
not all inclusive, I have tried to throw together the basics. Please feel free to add you own
personal favorites, and locations to the list. Remember though, keep them FREE, not Warez,
limited Shareware trials, or containing other limitations.

Mozilla Firefox Web Browser
Simply the safest and best Web Browser around.
Portable Edition: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable
Installer Edition: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/

Why pay hundreds of dollars for a commercial defragmentation tool?

Winroll 2.0
Make a window roll into its title bar, send it to the back or make it stay on top.

Portable Applications Suite
PortableApps.com Suite™ is a collection of portable apps all preconfigured to work
portably.Just drop it on your portable device and you're ready to go.

CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool.

Ad-Aware Anti Spyware
Ad-Aware is no ordinary anti-spyware, it is the original anti-spyware product

Spybot Search and Destroy

Spybot Run Analyzer

Spybot File Analyzer

Spybot Registry Analyzer

Spybot Net Analyzer

HijackThis™ is a free utility which quickly scans your Windows computer to find settings
that may have been changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs.

Why Pay for Winzip, when &-zip is free and does so, so much more.

K-Lite codec Pack
When you just don't know which codec a movie or file uses. Here's a good start.

Apple QuickTime Player

G6 Utilities
G6 Utilities can rename many file at once, but also apply "functions" on it
(like ID3 removal, zipping, SFV making ...)
Program Location: http://www.gene6.com/files/g6utilities-setup.zip
Free License Key: http://www.gene6.com/files/g6utilities-license.zip

This ebook reading software is to provide a 'paper book' experience on the PC.

SysInternals Complete Suite of Utilities By Mark Russinovich
This suite includes many utilities, like Process Monitor, Regmon, Filemon etc...

Audacity Audio Editor
Also be sure to get the Lame Encoder Dll, and the other plugins available.

A multi tabbed free, expanded notepad replacement. Once you're tabbed, you
never go back.

Paint.NET is free image and photo editing software for computers that run Windows.

The GiMP for Windows
A free Image Editor, with some nice features.
Installer: http://gimp-win.sourceforge.net/
Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/graphics_pictures/gimp_portable

Irfan is a very good, free image viewer, and thumbnail program
Program: http://www.irfanview.com/main_download_engl.htm
Plugins: http://www.irfanview.com/plugins.htm

Miranda Multi Protocol Instant Messenger Program
Installer: http://www.miranda-im.org/download/
Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/miranda_portable

Pidgin Multi Protocol Instant Messenger Program
Installer: http://www.pidgin.im/download/windows/
Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/pidgin_portable

Media Player Classic
A no nonsense Multi Format media player replacement

Magic Jellybean
A windows Keyfinder application, for Office Keys, and other Installed Item Keys

A very good FTP Client / Client Manager / Server
Installer: http://filezilla-project.org/
Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/filezilla_portable

Open Office
A very good alternative to Microsoft Office
Installer: http://download.openoffice.org/2.3.0/index.html
Portable: http://portableapps.com/apps/office/openoffice_portable

A windows based Macro building Utility.

Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between
multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display
4 Replies Reply 42 Referrals

Attaboy Nod from a Reviewer

Mar 28, 2006 2:26 AM by Discussion: WindowBlinds
Here's a good review of one of Alienwares Machines. The reviewer throws a freebie, Stardocks way.
Nothing better than a little word of mouth advertising. Exspecially when it concerns a good product on
a decent machine, and proffered by a good review site.

Look towards the middle of the page for the quote...
"One actual freebie that we did get was the "Exclusive AlienGUIse Theme Manager" – which is basically a modified Alienware branded version of Stardock’s Window Blinds program.

I personally purchased and used the Window Blinds program on my home computer, and I think it’s a good program. The registered version costs $20. "
1 Reply Reply 13 Referrals

What to do in Alaska when bored and at 30+ below Zero

Feb 11, 2005 8:15 PM by Discussion: WinCustomize Talk
Here's an interesting Site and read, for those of us that like the out of the way, or more Bizzare Stories. It seems somebody decided to create a piece of Artwork entirely out of Ice, in Alaska. He jury rigged a system to spray water, and at below 0 degree temperatures it froze into a free form sculpture.

The Following is Quoted from the Sites and Sculptures' Creator
1 February. 106 feet high. "It did not warm up. It is 30 below 0. To climb hard brittle ice at 30 below, is to get better stories than this one. But I had a brilliant idea. This was gonna make things easy. I got an old crossbow from a friend who found it in the dumpster. I made a bolt (a crossbow arrow) from an old broken ski pole section. I glued a carriage bolt in the tip for weight. The ski pole had been broken by Tyson Flaharty, a hot local, University of Alaska, get-out-of-the-way ski racer who does international races and breaks poles. I taped some 550 cord (parachute suspension line, little cord) onto it, to shoot over the top of the ice, to pull a climbing rope over, to anchor it, to climb the rope with ascenders, to get to the top even at 30 below, and add more pipe. This was gonna be too easy. "

ALSO "You should see what that particular array of icicles does to the onboard radar in military jets known to prowl the pipeline corridor. The flight pattern for over-the-pole commercial airliners landing at Fairbanks International crosses directly overhead. At least they figured it out, and have the good sense to veer off course when they get close. The news media is only looking at the website."

Please follow the link, to see some breath taking Pictures of this Ice Sculpture, and read the rest of the story behind it.
4 Replies Reply 5 Referrals
Once again, there is a GRML SPAM Message thread. Can we not get this under control?
Would someone please stop this from happening?

http://tinyurl.com/6on5r WoodSixs' Latest Affiliate tripe
7 Replies Reply 4 Referrals

From: Is this for Real Dept

Jan 16, 2005 10:11 PM by Discussion: WinCustomize Talk
"Yes, folks! It's that time of year again. The BIG Cygya Expo, here at Area51!"
"The rumour this year, is the Area51 Vapour Suite. Finally some light on the subject. It has been rumoured, that the Area51 Vapour Suite is nearing completion. I want to confirm that this wicked rumour, is actually just a rumour, and that there is no shred of evidence that the Area51 Vapour Suite is near completion. However the much anticipated Jabberwocky Multifaceted holistic interface Improver, is nearing completion." Now I know you are sitting there wetting your undies, in anticipation, the panoptic features of Area51 Vapour Suite. It's amazing features include such items, as integrated, word processing, cheese grater and tummy scratcher, html editor, lumber stretcher and doubles as a left handed monkey wrentch (in a pinch.)
"But why STOP there, you ask?"
Well we here at Cygya Software couldn't leave our loyal Customers in the lurch! As an added incentive, for waiting patiently, while the Area51 Suite is completed, we have decided to throw in a wonderfull, set of Ginsuey Knives on purchase (once the Suite is actually completed.)Also we have worked a deal with Ron Popeele, to include his patented Spray Paint Hair in a can as an added bonus.

This was written as a satire of someones' prior promotional efforts, no actual products exist and if it actually does, then GOD Help us all. ;)
11 Replies Reply 3 Referrals

Jan 8, 2005 2:28 AM by Discussion: WinCustomize Talk
Hey there gang, I am looking for the Animator Tool, reff'ed on the CursorXP page.
If someone could post it to me, I would be greatful. CygnusXII@Gmail.com
This would be great or if someone has a working link to it, as the WebPage says, it doesn't exist.
Thanks Again
22 Replies Reply 15 Referrals

WTH! Now this is weird..?

Dec 31, 2004 4:14 PM by Discussion: WinCustomize Site Issues
OK, so I popped into my account, to make an Article, and get referred to get a Wincustomize Subscription, or Create a Personal Webpage, but I am at my Personal Webpage.? WTH!? SO I click create a Personal Webpage (anyways) and of course am told, you already have a webpage. So I just popped over to JoeUser and created it there, and it showed up in my WC Webpage. Isn't there some corrolation betwixt the two? Is there some freakishness going on? Have I fallen into a crack? Help!!! I've fallen and I can't get up!!! also, this is kind of defeatist, if you must have a WC Subscription to post Articles, when an option of the Forum Post.
1.Also post this as an article
2.Plain Text Mode
3.Pure Html Mode

See Choice #1 Post as an Article, shouldn't this be tied to the same block I am running into, as well.? or is this an undiscovered logic bomb?
2 Replies Reply 1 Referral

Nov 6, 2004 12:49 AM by Discussion: WinCustomize Talk
News.com Story Link
SlashDot Threaded Discussion

Well, looks like the AquaSoft crowd will really be in a Pickle, and another widget app comes to the field to play. I thought this was interesting to read and that the crowd might be interested. Since I am Object Desktop subscriber, my vote is exercised via my pocket. But I think this is interesting, as it will deal a blow to AveDesk, as it is a copy or of similar Ilk as Konfabulator. what do you Guys and gals think?
16 Replies Reply 3 Referrals
Since the Dot.com collapse, and the Tech Sector fallout, rising Gas prices, Mortgage rates and other economics Hardships. What do you do when times get hard? I mean beyond the cut back on the Extras, and trim the Lifestye Fat (so to speak.) I am talking about the nitty gritty, facts. Putting the Top Ramens in the cupboard for the needed Calories, going generic, Eating lots of Bologna Sandwitches and Mac n Cheese, Pasta tonight, tommorrow and the day after, Making sure your kids get the high Cal meals, on a shoestring? How do the folks at WC stretch the old semolians? I and alot in my area are hard pressed economically, several plants have gone under (I am in a heavy textile region) and was curious as to how the WC Folks are making it through, what they do (maybe I can learn something new) or just are coping with the economic turn down. I know things are getting to a point where, even though it is said a depression is over or the economy is coming back, that alot of folks are still hard pressed, or feeling the pinch. Feel free to talk about it and share the knowledge, I am curious to hear others experiences.
14 Replies Reply 3 Referrals

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