Computers blog postings

Computers Postings

Earliest: June 12, 2003Latest: April 29, 2017Total: 100
October 2, 2007


In case you haven't notice, Walgreen is quietly getting into the consumer media business. No they aren't setting up a Music store to compete with Apple and Amazon. What they are doing is selling blank DVDs cheaper than Staples and Circuit City.

I know Walgreens isn't the first place you would think of when you shopping for DVD-R disks. When you think of Walgreens you usually think of a drug store that sells various items such as Tylenol, Band-Aid, and Shampoos. Well it appears that Walgreens wants your electronic business too!

Last week Walgreens had 50 packs of TDK for $14, or $.26 a disk. Not a bad deal on quality DVDs. This week Walgreens has 25 pack Sony DVD-R or DVD+R for only $8.99. Yet another good deal!

Compare this what the large electronic stores are selling:
Best Buy -(No advertise deal this week.)
Circuit City - Memorex 25pk $6.99
Staples - Memorex 100pk $24.99

September 27, 2007

DVD Shopping tips

If you are looking to purchase blank DVDs you should check out the Digital Media FAQ. They have a list of the various dvd manufactors and the quality of their DVDs media. A very useful shopping guide for consumers.

This is important since poor quality DVDs may result in a lot of "coasters," which are DVDs that didn't get burn correctly. So, are you really saving money when you buy cheap DVDs if 20% of them don't burn right? What's the reliability of the ones that did burn?

Also better quality DVDs will last longer than cheaper counterparts. I have been burning CDs since October 1999 when my laptop first crashed and I lost almost all my data. Since then, I do regular backups of computer files and photos. Occasionally I'll do a "double backup" on really important files since as Photos or Documents that I don't want to loose. This is because while I might be using a good DVD/CD the disk might get damage because I didn't store it correctly.

The "best" DVD manufactor is Taiyo Yuden and you can usually find a good deal at or at Most people don't need to have to highest quality DVDs, but it might be good to use these for photos or to back up online music purchases. I would suggest ordering a 50 pack and having it available.

With hard drive media being so cheap, does it really make sense to burn DVDs any more? That's a question someone posted in the dealmac forums. Well, that's a topic for another blog. In short, it depends on what you are backing up, how frequently you need to access it and how you plan on using the data.

August 29, 2007

Play Live Golf

The following is a SQL Query I wrote on April 27, 1999 for This was single sql query was designed to determine a tie breaker in an 18-hole online golf tournament.

The results of this query is important since the difference between winning and being in second could cost someone several thousand dollars.

This was never fully tested since never was launch since the founders were caught up with some legal issues with the SIC

SELECT a.user_id,b.username, a.t_game_score FROM tour_instance a, golf_user b WHERE a.tournament_id= 2 AND a.user_id=b.user_id ORDER BY a.t_game_score,a.hole18_score, a.hole17_score, a.hole16_score, a.hole15_score, a.hole14_score, a.hole13_score, a.hole12_score, a.hole11_score, a.hole10_score, a.hole9_score, a.hole8_score, a.hole7_score, a.hole6_score, a.hole5_score, a.hole4_score, a.hole3_score, a.hole2_score, a.hole1_score, a.hole18_putt, a.hole17_putt, hole16_putt, hole15_putt, hole14_putt, hole13_putt, hole12_putt, a.hole11_putt, a.hole10_putt, a.hole9_putt, a.hole8_putt, a.hole7_putt, a.hole6_putt, a.hole5_putt, a.hole4_putt, a.hole3_putt, a.hole2_putt, a.hole1_putt, a.hole18_drivedist, a.hole17_drivedist, hole16_drivedist, hole15_drivedist, hole14_drivedist, hole13_drivedist, a.hole12_drivedist, a.hole11_drivedist, a.hole10_drivedist, a.hole9_drivedist, a.hole8_drivedist, a.hole7_drivedist, a.hole6_drivedist, a.hole5_drivedist, a.hole4_drivedist, a.hole3_drivedist, a.hole2_drivedist , a.hole1_drivedist
August 17, 2007

Summer of Rails

I put a "Summer of Rails" graphic on the homepage. I did this so people know what I am working on this summer.

I recently purchased Agile Web Development with Rails and should be finished with the book this week.

I plan on converting the Quicktime Gallery to a Rails project, to improve performance and to get a little more experience with programing in Rails. I don't plan on converting other parts of this site to use Rails, unless there's some real benefit.

Should be a fun project! I'll let you know if there's any problems with the migration.

August 14, 2007

Sogudi Bug with Safari Beta

If you are experience problems with Safari, in particular if you are unable goto a URL by hitting return the problem is with an exetention that is not compatible with the latest version of Safari.

The follow error appears in the console:

Safari[310] Exception raised during posting of notification. Ignored. exception: *** -[BrowserWindowController searchField]: selector not recognized [self = 0x4aebb0]

The solution is to disable the Sogudi Utility.

Simple Uninstall Instructions:

  • Remove the "Sogudi" folder from "~/Library/InputManagers".

August 13, 2007

PHP Install Problem

If you are getting the following error using ADODB with PHP:

Fatal error: Call to undefined function mssql_get_last_message() in on line 496

Suggested Solution:

  • Install MS SQL Server Client libraries on the machine that has the adodb
  • Verify that the ntwdblib.dll file is in the ...system32 directory. If not, copy it there
  • edit your ...apachephp.ini file and uncomment the line extension=php_mssql.dll
  • Make sure that the php_mssql.dll is in the PHP Extensions folder.
  • Stop and Restart Apache or IIS
July 31, 2007

Time Provider NtpClient

Sometimes error messages get a little too technical, like this one I found in the System Event log:

Time Provider NtpClient: This machine is configured to use the domain hierarchy to determine its time source, but it is the PDC emulator for the domain at the root of the forest, so there is no machine above it in the domain hierarchy to use as a time source. It is recommended that you either configure a reliable time service in the root domain, or manually configure the PDC to synchronize with an external time source. Otherwise, this machine will function as the authoritative time source in the domain hierarchy. If an external time source is not configured or used for this computer, you may choose to disable the NtpClient.

Makes me think of the caveman in the GIECO commercial, that just says "WHAT?"

June 21, 2007


I found the following hint yesterday when searching the internet for tips on using Microsoft Remote Desktop:

For advanced users there is a trick that you can use. All attached drives appear as SMB-like shares from the computer TSCLIENT. So, you can see all attached drivers by using the Start Menu, selecting the Run option and in the Open: field type:
\tsclient And then press OK.

I frequently type in the following:


This translate to:


The is only the first 7 characters of the hard drive name.

May 25, 2007

Terminal Connections

Terminal Connections

If you use Microsoft Terminal Services, every once in a while you see the above message. The problem is that it doesn't tell the administrator any solution to fix this problem. In fact, the Administrator isn't even notified that a problem exists! Users have to contact an Administrator of the machine to let them know that they can't get access using RDC.

A more effective solution would be to "ask for the order", let the administrators know that the Remote Desktop connections exceeded the licenses and what steps they need to do to can get new licenses.

If you do get the above message and you want more Microsoft Remote Desktop Licenses, check out this technet. An alternative solution would be to look an Linux solutions, including Apple Remote Destop, which offers unlimited icenses.

March 15, 2007

ColdFusion Function

If you are looking for a function like ifDefined for ColdFusion, you won't find it! Its not called IfDefined, its called isDefined. Here's an example code:
<cfif isDefined("Session.login") and EmptySession eq 0 >

Incidently the above code is one way to reset a ColdFusion session. You should experiment to what works best in your enviroment!