1. v. The act of writing a weblog or 2. n. Toby’s weblog.

Giving me the Vista sign

I have a new client, one who has just bought a new PC from Dell which came with Vista Home Basic. Dell, according to the website for this PC, say they recommend Vista Home Premium. The new client buys the software online, runs the online upgrade plan and waits the couple of hours it takes to upgrade only to find his machine continuously rebooting.

He calls me.

I have a look, find out that even safe mode doesn’t work and turn off the auto-reboot using the magic of F8 on boot and find out the cause of the crash is something called spdt.sys which comes from some software called “Daemon Tools”.

Fortunately the Vista Premium upgrade allows you to roll back. Once I have a working Basic installation I try to run the Daemon Tools uninstall programme, only to find that it doesn’t work. Wow. Colour me nonplussed. I rename the offensive SYS file and try to delete the registry entries which turn out to be write protected. Which idiot decided to do that I don’t know but they deserve a very special place in Hell. Preferably an area that I look after.

Anyway, the renaming of the dll seems to fix it and the next day my friend Theo manages to upgrade it without problem.

Well, I say that.

It turns out that the Dell supplied sound card (Sigmatel STAC 92XX) does not work with Vista Premium. We have a look on the Dell support site for this particular sound card and try the latest driver. No joy. Personally at this point I would send the whole bloody lot back to Dell as not fit for purpose however the client can’t do without a PC so we are going to try to source a Vista Premium compatible sound card.

Basically: don’t get Vista yet; it is clearly not ready. Don’t trust Vendor claims of Vista compatibility, especially for upgrades to Premium; they are different products and the drivers required likewise. If you do plan to buy Basic and then upgrade to Premium don’t bother; the hours that it takes out of your life and the amount of will to live lost just is not worth it.

Published on 2007/04/11 at 17:52 by Toby, tags , , , , ,

We're back!

After a couple of days of pain toblog is back, and it wasn’t the typo upgrade that caused the problem.

A few months ago gentoo removed a patch to their postgresql build. Unfortunately the removal of this patch caused a problem which meant that pretty much any query on the structure of the database returned:

ERROR: did not find ‘}’ at end of input node

This is not good.

I found someone who suggested some database surgery online but this only partly solved the problem. So, having partially updated typo because the upgrade requires structural queries to work, I finally took the plunge and did what was ultimately necessary.

  1. Alert clients to a database / mail outage overnight
  2. Stop the database
  3. Take a backup of the data directory
  4. Downgrade postgresql to the version with the pg-heir patch
  5. Startup postgresql and undo the surgery performed above
  6. Dump all the databases to file using pg_dump -Fc
  7. Stop postgresql
  8. Upgrade postgresql
  9. Remove the old data directory
  10. Reinitialise the postgres database
  11. Start postgresql
  12. Create the required users
  13. Create the required databases
  14. Import all the databases from the files dumped above

This took a good couple of hours, and pg_restore does take a lot longer than pg_dump. That said I now have a properly set up postgresql install that I am happy with and understand a lot more so some good has come from this exercise.

Bring on the 8.2.x upgrade!

Published on 2007/04/04 at 14:54 by Toby, tags , ,

Swapping from Feisar's iSync plugins to Apple's

I was using the Feisar iSync Plugin to sync my k800i with my Mac. Irritatingly this stopped working with the latest version of iSync. Feisar’s site has a page explaining why and what to do about it. Except, for me anyway, it missed out a fairly crucial step.

They suggest that you should remove the plugin and then rerun iSync and it should All Just Work. This did not work for me. What I discovered you have to do after removing the plugin is unpair your phone from the mac and pair it again otherwise iSync won’t sync with your phone.

For safety’s sake I forced my initial sync cleared out all the phone data; you may or may not want to do this.

Published on 2007/03/29 at 12:41 by Toby, tags , , , ,

TCSOTD 2007-03-29

MPs find (vote for) yet another way of scrounging money from the tax payer

Local Sheriff Suspects Al-Qaeda Or Teens

Good point, well made

Should apes have human rights?

Rumours of air attack on Iran on April 6th

Don’t look now, but that Nokia in your pocket means you’re over the hill

Petite Anglaise wins her case!
… Well done, Petite!

TCSOTD 2007-03-28

Dollar Art

Bizarre hexagon circles Saturn’s north pole

3,500 British schools fingerprinting their children
… [20:23] a quick follow up on how these idiot schemes break all four laws of identity

Australia posters ruled offensive
… “should not be seen by children”

One year of unnecessary censorship

Mind how you walk. It could be a crime

John McCain’s MySpace Page ‘Enhanced’

Lords scupper Manchester Casino Plans
… by just three votes

Gizmodo Tokyo Flash Giveaway
… just a competition, and is currently being gizmodo’d, but the watches are cool…

TCSOTD 2007-03-27

BBC: British government advisers backed methodology behind contentious Iraq death toll study
Craig Murray’s take here
BBC report here

Interview with Neal Asher

Dr Rant agrees with me about ‘National Debates’

Victory in Europe: Round up of PS3 Launch

Bystander’s take on Tony’s New Crime Review
… “bollocks”

UK gov says broken passport system justifies ID cards
… er. No.

TCSOTD 2007-03-26

Irish pounce on school fingerprinting

Ninja Turtles top US box office

Tom Reynolds on the dumbing down of ambulance staff

‘Stop CCTV growth’ call by expert
… even Metro is reporting this as front page news now.

Life imitates William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition

Ruth Kelly’s Press complaint is rejected

Metzanine at the Dublin Castle

I walk through the bar and am effusively greeted by a tall man who has been warned I’m about to arrive (“Blue T-shirt, fluffy coat”). This tall man turns out to be Paddy the lead singer and guitarist of the seven piece band Metzanine. He introduces me to the rest of the band and we have a good chat about music, life and everything.

I haven’t listened to the music on the myspace page so I have no idea what to expect. When they walk on stage in the dingy room at the back of the pub, I know it’s going to be good. Any band that counts a percussionist and a violist amongst their players raises my expectations pretty rapidly.

They proceed to play a fantastic and varied set with immensely catchy songs that has me (and the rest of the crowd) rocking out in short order. All of the players are accomplished and obviously passionate about their music: the fun that they have on stage is fantastically infectious.

The set ends with a quick bonus track and there is time for a quick beer and chat with the band before they bundle into a taxi and head off.

Metzanine won’t be gigging for a while as they are in the studio but once they come back make sure you go and see them. They’re great!

[2007-03-27] Apparently they are gigging again:
|Wed 11th April 8pm|Tommy Flynn’s|
|Wed 16th May|Purple Turtle|

[2007-03-28] Bloody hell! Paddy’s added this review to the Metzanine Xfm Uploaded Page

Published on 2007/03/23 at 13:29 by Toby, tags , , ,

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