Monday, March 24, 2008

Vista SP1 Support

Quick note here for those that might be in need of help with Vista Service Pack 1 . . .

1) If you have not yet installed it, make sure you have the latest device drivers installed for your video and network cards before installing SP1. There have been reports of some people being greeted by a black screen on reboot after SP1 was completed - because their video driver was not compatible. The only solutions in that scenario are a complete clean re-install from the Vista Bootable DVD, or installing a new video card for which Vista has native support.

Among other guilty devices; the embedded graphics card on certain Intel 945 chipset motherboards seems to be causing this problem for people that did not first upgrade to Intel's latest driver before installing SP1.

Same goes for certain embedded network cards, leaving you with no easy way to download a newer driver after SP1 is installed. There's always sneaker-net of course.

2) If you have installed it and are having trouble, here is the "super secret" direct support page from Microsoft - which includes free phone support. Super Secret because they are not advertising the fact that they do provide free support to any legal owner of Vista trying to install SP1.

By "any legal owner" they include full retail purchases, upgrade versions, and now all OEM versions.

Here it is:

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Don't drink the water?

They're getting into our highland watersheds. Deep into our planet's underground natural reserves. Seeping into rural wells from septic tanks and cattle fields. Leaching into your cities reservoirs. Passing through your town's sewage treatment plants and flowing directly back into the source of your drinking water. Very few -- if any -- municipal water suppliers check or filter for them. Same goes for most bottled water companies.


Acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Prescription medications for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems.

Anti-convulsant, anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications.

Metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine.

Antibiotics of all types.

Naproxen, estrone (a human gender hormone) and clofibric acid (a metabolized anti-cholesterol drug byproduct.)

Trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used to make cattle grow faster and illegally used by some athletes to enhance muscle building.

Some key quotes:

"The federal government doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water."

"There’s evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic."

"Recent laboratory research has found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the kidney cells grew too slowly; and the blood cells showed biological activity associated with inflammation."

"Pharmaceuticals also can produce side effects and interact
(me: in sometimes unexpected ways) with other drugs."

"One technology, reverse osmosis, removes virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants but is very expensive for large-scale use and leaves several gallons of polluted water for every one that is made drinkable."

. . . which possibly means that the safest water to drink in our nation may be from the huge reverse osmosis desalination plant on the northwest coast of the big island of Hawaii.

Read on: (first part of three -- the other two are forthcoming.)
AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water.

Friday, March 7, 2008

This guy totally understands cats . . .

Official home of the 'Simon's Cat' films from Tandem director Simon Tofield.

Simon's Cat 'Cat Man Do'

Simon's Cat 'Let Me In!'

That is all. (Isn't it enough?)