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Archive: September, 2006

----- 09.18.2006 --------
Today was a great day. I worked, yet I was out of the office :) Our department (IT) got together with the Accounting group for our first annual line conference. We held it at the Docks. The morning we met on issues and strategic talks, and then the afternoon was devoted to "Team Building" with some obstacle course type stuff. We all had a lot of fun and I feel the event was a big success.

So from my last post, I was just about to wipe out my older build of Vista (5384) and install RC1 (build 5600). "RC1" is the "Release Candidate 1". It's usually the final stage of beta testing where they feel they've worked out the bugs and are ready to unleash the product to the world... for sale (the money's gotta come from somewhere, right!). So far so good.... it seems much more stable and more devices were found without my help. And then a couple, such as my webcam (logitech quickcam 4000 pro), actually works with the latest drivers from logitech, as opposed to last time where I couldn't get it to work at all. I'll continue to update on how I like it and even more importantly, when you finally take the plunge into Vista over the next 1 - 3+ years and run into trouble... I'll have the answers ;) Anyway, I'm off to bed. Cheers all!

----- 09.16.2006 --------
So I sit down to my computer, which is running Beta 2 of Windows Vista and I decide I'm going to wipe everything out and install the new release: RC1 (build 5600). And downloading the new ISO, although rather large at 3 GB, burning it to DVD, and then installing is not something I would consider difficult.... unless of course you're doing it from a flaky beta! By design or not, I found something that can help any of you IT Pro's that may be reading this...

[----GEEK ALERT ----]
I simply go to Microsoft's site, fill out the appropriate "paper work" and I'm ready to download vista's latest release. Since I don't believe in upgrading Beta's, I need to wipe out my drive and start fresh. So where should I download the file to? An external drive. This is where it all began....

Microsoft encourages you to use the Akamai download agent because it can enable resuming of broken downloads. So I click on the link and am promted to install the ActiveX component. Now in IE 7, your environment is virtualized. Or atleast sort of... and this is MS's way of preventing spyware from sticking or infecting your OS. So install the agent and am prompted to save the .iso file. I point to my J: drive (ext. USB drive) and am unable to write due to permission issues. Strange... I didn't think I protected that drive. I am prompted to save it in my profile's document directory (c:\users\USERNAME\documents) so I save it there and then try to figure out why I could not save to J: by enforcing everyone full control on the drive. I wouldn't do this on my root drive, but since this device is usually OFF as to "hacker protect" it, I didn't see any issue.

So the file starts downloading and the permission change is taking FOREVER to rewrite the ACL's across my 135 GB's of existing data. So then I go out to lunch with my girlfriend and when I come back, the download has completed. What's next? Yes... find the file and copy it to my J: drive. One problem: I can't find the file. I was SURE that I saved it to USERNAME\documents but it isn't there. So I do a few things:
1. Start a new download, this time to the desktop.... this will help me in case the file is not there... atleast the retransmit will be started.
2. Start a search. Vista's search SUCKS! I really hate it! After tweaking everything to guarantee I'll see ALL files and search the files, not just the index, I come up blank searching for ISO's. Actually, I didn't come up blank... I found ISO's, just not the right one. STRANGE... I KNOW I SAVED IT!
3. Then I decide to look for the partial file that should be reserving space on my desktop... I can't find it either! What the hell's going on?
4. I go into the "Save Dialog" from the akamai download agent and verify the location is in fact c:\users\USERNAME\documents. But when I explore there, I can't see the file (???).
5. So then, fromt he save as dialog, since I can see my downloaded file, I decided to right-click, copy, then paste to my J: drive. I get an error on pasting that the source file can not be found. What is going on?!?!?!
6. Trust in DOS! I got to a cmd prompt to try my luck there. From the root of C:, I type: dir *.iso /s /a. Finally, I see the ISO file I was looking for. And what's the location? Here it is:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Virtualized\C\Users\USERNAME\documents

I found it! Now.... why did that not come up when searching? It should have!!! And strangely, from the save dialog box, it looked like I was in the root of my C: drive, when really I was in virtualized\C. How come I never ran into this before? I guess that in IE7, the save dialog box can interface direct to your computer. However, since I was in the download agent, and activeX control running within IE's "protected" environment, it can't see the real root. Very strange!

So I copy my ISO and am on my merry way. Right now I am getting ready by making sure any data is on my external drive, which will remain off and disconnected.... too much data to risk on a bad install (worst case scenario). So the moral of the story:
1. Don't trust the search results in Vista. They do not include ALL of your hard drive.
2. If you ever get a call re: missing downloaded files, investigate the Virtualized directory structure. I found other stuff I had lost.... but since the files were smaller, I started the new download via FireFox and avoided the issue.
3. Running Beta's have funny results!
4. IE7 is a different beast then I had thought. And Process Explorer, one of my trust tools, seemed to overlook the virtualized directories too.
5. The virtualized directory acts like a root kit in the sense that the OS can't see ALL of the disk (I don't like this!!!).
6. TRUST CMD !!!!
Anyway, if you happened to stumble upon this post via Google or another search engine and found it helpful in locating your missing downloaded files in vista, please write me. I like to this I'm "giving back to the community" after the web has helped me so much along the way. That's all for now folks....

----- 09.10.2006 --------
Well, it's that time of the year again... my Birthday. September 8th, to be exact. And this year is the big 2-9. Last year to celebrate my 20's. And how have they treated me? Great! :) Surprisingly (or not?), I've spent all of my 20's in the same city, working for the same company, doing mostly the same thing: IT. IT is pretty general though... thoughout the 9 years at work, I've worked on all kinds of things, starting as a co-op working my way up to Manager, Infrastucture Services. Good times... :)

So, what did I do for my birthday this year? Jen was a huge help and organized a party for me at our condo. It was a lot of fun and had a decent turnout of 25 or so. Saturday, I was supposed to go to 2 birthday parties: My cousin 80K's and my buddy Bob's. Unfortunately I never made it to either. Trixie, our dog, had some issues on Saturday. Still unknown to us, we were alarmed to hear her screaming in pain. We weren't sure exactly what it was, but after the 3 round of it, we brought her to the emergency vet clinic. Even in the car she seemed in pain and sure enough, after we get there, she was totally fine. The vet throroughly checked her out from the outside and didn't find anything physically wrong. Maybe it's mental? We just got another foster dog to take care of, Cosmos, and he's an older guy that has left Trixie alone. No terrorizing her like lil Morty did. Is she stressed? We're not sure but even after we got home she had a couple more panic attacks, or whatever they were. In fact she had 4 during the night. For that reason, I stayed in so we could take her back to the vet if need be. THe Vet suggested we video it to help another vet in case we need to. SO I caught her on tape and if it keeps up after Cosmos is gone (Tuesday), then we'll take her to our regular vet. Pretty scary... and the worst is how helpless we feel when she can't tell us what's wrong. Hopefully it's the stress of another dog in the condo. Anyway, I'm sure she's fine. Besides that, it's been a great weekend! Hope you're all doing well and thanks to all of you who could make it on Friday.

----- 09.04.2006 --------

This weekend Jen & I went camping with our friends Dave & Cheralin up in Algonquin. It was some "drive-in camping" at its finest :) We stayed 2 nights in Kearney Lake campground. We expected the worst for the weather because the forecasts had Saturday & Sunday pegged for 90% rain as the remains of Hurricane Ernesto rolling through. With that in mind, any periods of no rain would be a bonus. And we really lucked out! We left Toronto around 2PM on Friday and the weathers stayed great! We didn't see any rain until around 4 or 5 on Saturday afternoon. After that, it rained pretty consitent, but the there wasn't too much wind so it was all quite bareable. Sunday morning, we got up and realized there was a break in the rain so we took advantage of it and got the tents down ASAP. Yes, there were still wet, but atleast we could do it without having to get pissed on at the same time. And it was a good job we put breakfast off and jumped at the opportunity, even though we would have preferred to wait. After 20 minutes later, the rain started back up and never let up again until we were about 75 KM's away in the car.

After having the tents taken down and packed, we made breakfast and then started packing the rest of the gear... under the tarp of course! When it was time to pack the car, we back it right up under the tarp and continued packing while keeping dry. We had a pretty good system going! Finally, when the tarp was the last thing to go, we quickly took it down, folded it & put it in a garbage bag, threw it and our ponchos in the trunk and off we went. Pretty smooth :) Anyway, I should get the pics soon (hopefully tonight, within the next hour or so) and I'll supply the link. I have to warn you, since I got my new camera I was really interested in taking close-ups of stuff... and as you'll see, mushrooms seemed to be my theme. We walked the Beaver Pond trail and the shrooms seemed to catch my eye more then anything else. There are some great shots... if you appreciate mushrooms :) Although this link may not work at the time of posting, CLICK HERE FOR THE PICS.

Today, while sitting at home relaxing, I could hear jet screaming by as the air show continued. I was able to get a couple pretty good shots as they screamed over our condo. Check out this one!

Anyway, that's all for now. Cheers!


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