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ARCHIVE: July, 2007

----- 07.30.2007 --------
Click here for Part I or watch it embedded: Click here for Part II or watch it embedded:

What a relief! I finally got around to putting together a video from the canoe trip I took with Dave down the Missinaibi River. I'm currently uploading it to both Facebook & Youtube. Once it's been fully uploaded & processed, I'll post the links here. It ended up being 2 x 10 minute parts. Now, while it's uploading, onto something related....

This blurb that I'm about to write may appeal to my fellow geeks out there, and hopefully anyone that's looking for answers in their Movie Maker program in Vista... assuming it's broken. You've been warned.

So I fire up my Windows Movie Maker and piece together my masterpiece. I'm ready to publish it, choose my settings, press Publish and BLAM! The program hangs, crashes, then restarts. I started digging for info and found what I needed in the app log. Turns out that one of my audio drivers didn't play nice with Movie Maker. The driver in question was C:\windows\system32\IAC25_32.AX. A long story short.... once I found out that this was the offending driver, I needed to correct the situation. This driver is part of the audio drivers for my Intel motherboard. I believe it was written for XP, which may be why I'm having some compatibility issues in the Vista movie maker. I tried removing the reference to this from the registry, but that didn't work. Then I tried renaming the file, but I had access denied because the file is locked (and not by any specific process.... it was loaded early in the boot process). So, all I needed to do in the end was unregister it from a command prompt: regsvr32 -u iac25_32.ax and Voila! My movie maker was fixed and I could proceed to publish my video.

What if this has happened to you?. First of all, I can't be held accountable to any of the info given here. If you want to try this, it is at your own risk. If you are not sure what you are doing, you could make matters worse. You've been warned.
1. First you need to find more info about the program that crashes. I usually use Sysinternals tools for this (ProcessMonitor - the replacement to RegMon & FileMon for Vista, as well as ProcessExplorer). These are available for free download from www.sysinternals.com.
2. In this case, for Movie Maker, I didn't need to go to these lengths. After finding more info, I found the problem and proceeded to fix it. I used the Event Viewer built into Vista. It's changed quite a bit from XP, so if you're not familiar with it... that's no excuse. Dive in! :) In this case, I made a new Custom View (filter) that showed all logs in the past hour, then looked for the one with the time signature matching the crash.
3. Once I found the offending Module (iac25_32.ax), I looked for it in Options of Movie Maker. If you're lucky, it's one of the codecs listed under the compatibility tab. If that's the case, you can simply uncheck it, restart Movie Maker, and you're good to go. I've read a lot about DivX and others causing compatibility issues.
4. If it's not that easy to remove it ONLY for Movie Maker, then you need to either update to a Vista compatible version, or get rid of it. In my case, it was an extra, unneeded driver put on my system by one of my intel installs for the motherboard. I removed it the hard way, using regsvr32 -u driverfile.
5. I've read on other sites that a utility from Microsoft called the Windows Video Decoder Checkup Utility. Although I personally never needed to use it, you might want to try it before manually disabling drivers.
6. Good luck! I spent quite a bit of time on a lot of dead ends until I came to my solution. If you're googling for answers and this comes up, I hope it was helpful! Cheers! Rob.

----- 07.27.2007 --------
First of all, Happy Sys-Admin Day to all my geek friends out there! I couldn't have asked for a better sys-admin day gift! Today I recieved an offer of employment from an awesome company that I've been interviewing with here in Toronto. 11 interviews later, I was very delighted to get an offer. If you'd like more details on the company, write me and I'll fill you in. As far as Sys-admin days go... this one will be tough to beat! Anyway... looks like I'll be going back to work soon :) And to think, I never even got a chance to get into the job-hunting stage. I was planning on doing that in August. It's amazing how the universe unfolds.... What may appear to be coincidence to some, is not to me. Everything has just naturally unfolded and I couldn't be happier! That's all for now... I wish the same happiness on all of you and hope that you'll all allow your Universes to unfold as well :) Cheers!

----- 07.22.2007 --------
Jen left to visit her Mom in Montreal today... coming back on Thursday. I thought a nice blade down the waterfront would keep me busy. First I spent a bit of time this aft rotating the wheels, which badly needed it. Then I messed around with my watch/computer in an effort to get the speedometer working again. Pretty sure the watch battery needs replacing.... the one in the puck did. And then I hit the path and put in a good 16 KM down to the Humber Bridge & back. Another notch for the blade-o-meter! What a sad display this year... and last.... but the season's not over! Anyway, that's all for now!

----- 07.17.2007 --------
Last week (Thursday), Jen & I drove down to visit my folks in Windsor, as well as go to a charity BBQ out in Leamington to support Jen's dog rescue (Tiny Paws). We came back a little later then expected... Monday instead of Sunday. I guess that's because Sally, our beagle, managed to escape my parents yard. After we got her back, my Dad & I chicken-wired all the areas along the back fence that a small dog might be able to sqeeze through. Although it's not Fort Knox, I'm thinking we can keep the dogs safely contained now.

Lately I've been putting a lot of work into my resume, which is now it decent shape. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!!! Now for the next step, which is the fun part.... research companies and get it out to the ones I'd like to work for. I have a couple in mind already, but this week should prove to be productive in broadening that list. Anyway, I just wanted to post a quick update and let you all know things are going great. Summer is awesome :) I've been outside a lot and staying active. In fact, on Sunday, I swam some lengths of my parents' pool. Their pool is 12.5m long (40 feet), which is half of an Olympic-sized pool I think. My goal was to swim 40 lengths, but since it was going so well... I did a few more. 100 more to be exact! 140 lengths... I felt fantastic!

I also managed to get out blading... another notch for the blade-o-meter! I really should have put a different meter on my site this year... like a paddle-o-meter! I've paddled 405 KM's between my 2 trips in June! And with another coming up in August, it should make for an impressive amount by the time summer's done. Anyway, gotta run... my Digital Photography III class started last week and I have a tricky assignment that's due tomorrow. Ciao!

----- 07.10.2007 --------
Anytime I buy a product and it fails on me, a sense of rage comes over me. Not so much because the product failed, and not so much because I don't think I will get it resolved (refund or exchange). The sense of frustration I feel comes from the hard time I am sure I will get from either the store I bought from, or worse, the manufacturers themselves. Now don't get me wrong, there is good customer service out there, however the norm these days seems to be of "Customer Disservice". Well, I was pleastantly surprised with the service I recieved today, enough that I felt it worth mentioning on my site. Why? Becuase a lot of consumers use search engines to research stores and my hope is that by noting I had great service, someone may end up on my site based on the fact I quoted the store & their website.

Today, that store in question was Taylor's Outdoor Gear, located on Spadina, here in Toronto. Glenn, the guy who helped me out about a month ago before my camping expeditions, greeted me with a smile today. My ulta-lite inflatable mattress I got for my camping expeditions failed on me half-way down the Missanaibi River. Unfortunately, it failed right before all of the gravel bars I had to sleep on! Anyway, I didn't have the receipt and I was sure they'd give me trouble. Not the case! I was very pleased with how helpful they were, trying to look up my purchase in the computer, patient enough to scroll through a few days that I "thought" I bought it on. Finally, they found it in the computer and without further questions, exchanged it for me on the spot. Now that's the kind of service I wish all stores gave!!! Anyway, as I walked home, I was so relieved not to have to jump through the usual hoops in the customer service game, so I thought the least I could do is mention them here, in hopes that if someone's doing their homework on them, they'll run across this recommendation and be sure to include Taylor's in their search for camping gear when they hit up the usuals: MEC, Europe Bound, & Marathon. Thanks Glenn!

----- 07.07.2007 --------
Is today a lucky day? I was just archiving the month of June and copied my index file into 07.07.07.... is there any significance to the 3 lucky 7's? Anyway.... I guess we'll know by the time today is done.

So, what's happened between the last post and now? Lots! I was just up in Algonquin with Jen & my family to do some (more) camping. Unfortunately, my Mom had an accident the first night and broke her hip. So, the rest of camping was pretty weird, mostly because she wasn't with us. And secondly, because we were constantly making plans to figure things out as our lovely Health Care system took their time in finding her a bed and a surgeon to help her out. I guess 2 days isn't too bad, is it? Fortunately, she's back at home safe & sound now. All the best to her in her recoveries!

While up camping, I saw a ton of moose as usual. I took some pics, but because of the low-light, I wasn't very happy with them. If they were clear, they were noisy due to the high ISO setting I needed to use to obtain the clarity. A catch 22! Anyway, far from the best lighting!!! Too bad too, because if it weren't so dark, the rack on these bull Mooses would have looked great! Who knows, maybe after I get a chance to look through the pics I'll be able to salvage a few.

Well, I think it's safe to say I'm done camping for now. Tonight I'm off to a buddy's Birthday Party.... a good ol' city bash :) And tomorrow, we're off to Toronto Island for a picnic. Judging by the weather reports, it should be a hot one! That's all for now... hope everyone's getting outside and having a great summer!


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