ASUS Blu-Ray Recorder and Power2Go   Leave a comment

I recently installed an add-on Blu-Ray Recorder on my Dell desktop machine here at work, and I had some troubles.  You might too.

The physical installation went fine, although they didn’t include a SATA cable in the box with the drive, which I found annoying.  If you’re buying one of these, keep in mind you need to pick up a cable as well unless you’re ditching your existing optical drive.

When I went to install the Power2Go 7.0 software that was pre-packaged with the drive – so that I can actually burn Blu-Ray discs – I got a popup error:

Error 1327.Invalid Drive Y:

“Weird”, thought I.  I have Offline Folders set up on this desktop pointing my documents folder at a server, and that folder is mapped as drive Y.  Well, it can occasionally happen that software developers hard-code a drive letter in their installation (bad practice, boo!) for use as a virtual drive, so I disconnected the mapped drive and tried again.  Still no dice.

It turns out that if you have Offline Folders set up, even if the drive is not connected, the Power2Go installer borks.  Turning off Offline Folders isn’t enough to fix it, because the Offline Folders setup, itself, leaves registry keys in the registry even after you turn off Offline Folders.  You actually have to run the registry editor and remove the legacy entries for the drive mappings to get the installer to not freak out.  Be cautious when you run the registry editor, as you can brick your machine.

Click Start, and then click Run.  In the Open field, type regedit, and then click OK. The Registry Editor opens.

  1. In the Registry Editor, locate the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders
  2. In the right pane, note the values in the Data column of each entry.  Find the legacy entry for your Offline Folder entry and delete it.
  3. Repeat for each of the following registry key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
  4. Close the Registry Editor and run the installation again.

Posted September 13, 2012 by padraic2112 in hardware, software, tech

Win   Leave a comment

Posted September 21, 2011 by padraic2112 in Uncategorized

I Heart Vi Hart   Leave a comment


Check out her YouTube channel, or check out her site.  She is awesome.

Posted August 23, 2011 by padraic2112 in Uncategorized

I’m Over Here   Leave a comment

I’m co-blogging at Mindless Diversions.  I’ll get around to blogging here again someday.

Posted August 18, 2011 by padraic2112 in Uncategorized

Nerdfrontin’   Leave a comment

For Father’s Day, Kitty and I packed Jack and Hannah up in the car and headed over to Silverlake to have brunch at Millie’s (by the way, if you’ve never had brunch at Millie’s and you live in Los Angeles, you have a quest to perform – I recommend the Devil’s Mess).

Millie’s is mostly sidewalk seating, and we’re plunked down on a rickety table next to two guys who are sitting with a couple of young women.  Age pegged right around 32.

Now, these two gentlemen were regaling each other (and to a lesser extent their company) with stories about personal computers in The Elde Days.  Snippets of the conversation included, “Dude, I remember when the Commodore 64 came out, and it rocked the competition on graphics…”

Reality-check time.  The Commodore 64 came out in 1982.  I was 11.  I remember when the Commodore 64 came out.  I’m turning 40 this year.

If these guys were alive when the Commodore 64 came out, they were younger than 5.  Okay, so maybe their big brother had a Commodore 64.  But if these two dudes had the capacity to judge graphics quality at age 5, I’ll eat my Atari 400 Basic cartridge.

So my question is: are these guys fronting their nerd kred to each other… or is this an actual conversation that 32 year-old menfolk can use to get 32 year-old girls?  Because if so, it’s definitely true that nerd has gone mainstream in bad, bad way.

Posted June 20, 2011 by padraic2112 in noise

Thoughts Surfacing   1 comment

Just yesterday, I walked through one of the Borders that is in the process of shuttering its doors as part of their retraction strategy.  Everything in the store was 30%-50% off.

This isn’t a bankruptcy, but it’s close.  When you’re closing a retail outlet of any sort, you have to dispose of the inventory.  At this point, a lot of your normal decision-making is inverted, when it comes to pricing.  In normal business operations, you’ll often sell some very popular items at or below your unit cost (what’s referred to in the retail world as a loss-leader), just to get bodies in the door.  One example germane to the book business is the last Harry Potter book; you could find this brand-new bestseller for %30 off at Borders.  You walk in the door, you browse the new hardback section, you pick up Deathly Hallows, but you browse the magazine rack and the classics and maybe buy a cookbook for Aunt Mabel while you’re there.  Profit!  They don’t make any money off of Harry, but you helped move some of their other inventory.

In a liquidation scenario, though, you’re balancing two opposing factors: you have a strong incentive to sell the *entire* inventory, so that you don’t have to pack it into boxes and ship it elsewhere (in the Pasadena Borders, they’re even selling off the furniture – need a bookshelf?)  However, for the inventory items that have good turnover rates you’re actually less inclined to fire-sale, because if you *do* have to pack some stuff up after you close the doors, the boxes of books that will move anyway are less likely to be a major loss than the 80 copies of The South Beach Diet that you still have in the back, that are likely to just wind up, after shipping, in the back of whichever store they’re destined to live out the rest of their bookish lives.

This leads to a whole different set of economic incentives both for the seller, and the buyer.  The buyer who only buys new releases or bestsellers might hit the store in the first couple of days, looking for a bargain.  But the other new-releases-and-bestseller buyers are also there, so the popular book will be (maybe) 10-15% off.  As you get closer to the “shuttering the doors” deadline, you might drop the price another chunk.  But the books that are unlikely to sell are unlikely to sell everywhere, so the discount will be much higher.

This is a very long winded way of noting the following: in the Pasadena Borders store, the following genres were marked down by the following rate:

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy: 30% off
  • Mystery: 30% off
  • Romance: 40% off
  • Computer Howto/Fix It books: 40% off
  • Fiction/Novels: 40-50% off
  • Philosophy and Classic Literature: 50% off

Pleased that our economic overlords are indicating that the general public likes Mysteries and SF more than Romance Novels, but wryly amused that Homer and Shakespeare and Hobbes are really in the “nobody will buy this unless we dump it” category.

Posted March 15, 2011 by padraic2112 in books, noise

Suppose You Get Hit By A Truck   Leave a comment

Sitting here in class (Crisis Management, so far a fun class!), I was struck by an observation that you, general public, may find useful.

Every competent information technology professional I’ve ever met has uttered the phrase, “So what happens when (foo) gets hit by a truck?”  If your IT people don’t ever ask you that question, you may want to look into hiring some new IT people.

Posted January 25, 2011 by padraic2112 in crisis-response, management, work

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