Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Why Email to AOLand Mac.COM (Same thing) Bounces - Finally Understood The Reason.

Lukily I have no friends that use AOL Email, so this has never been an issue for me, but my wife has a few friends, and more often than not our email bounces.

Today I got an email from our ISP explaining what is going on, and it finally made it very clear to me the source of the problem.

The source of the problem are occuring in two steps.

(1) Someone in the same email system on my ISP sets up a permanent forward from their own account to their own AOL account.

(2) The forwarded email contains some SPAMS.

(3) The user marks the SPAM on the AOL side. This causes the users' ISP as the spammer.

(4) This shuts down the ALL of the users on the ISP that is using the same SMTP server.

My ISP said that AOL is not going to fix this issue, and cannot ask users from stop forwarding to AOL voluntarily so they said they won't forward anything to AOL.

Now it makes sense.

Monday, November 13, 2006

SCSI - A Dying Interface?

I have been working on some stuff that happen to require legacy SCSI connections. I have noticed through this experience that SCSI, at the level of consumer level PC, has already died and shortly there will be a time that all of our legacy SCSI devices won't have a way to be connected and retrieved. It will be just a matter of time.

Just take a notebook computer and try to find a way to connect it to a Ultra SCSI device you may have.

First you need to find a SCSI controller, presumably in PCMCIA or CardBUS format. Just about only people who still sell those are Adaptec, but if check the SCSI drivers, they basically stopped working on around 2000, and while their drivers would work on XP, there has not been any updates since.

Surely, there are USB and FireWire converters, but there always will be issues of driver compatibilities and your legacy app will also stop working.

And shortly you wont' be able to plug in a SCSI card to your notebooks because new notebooks will be equipped only with ExpressCARD architecture, which is based on PCI Express (not to be confused with PCI extended) architecture. At this time of writing there is no major manufacturer which makes ExpressCARD format SCSI adaptor.

Even in Enterprise class storage field, things are moving to iSCSI SANs for small SANs and the iSCSI RAID boxes themselves are based on SATA disks. I think SCSI will be around the paradigm shift has already occur ed in the industry at least in consumer and medium business market place, since I either cannot buy them or there are abundance of chaper alternatives already out.

Turn On/Off Services and Drivers on Windows XP

This is just a reminder to myself, as services and driver conflicts happen once in a while that needing this software, and I always forget what that was called.

It is msconfig.exe Just run it from the Start menu.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hex Dump of File For Windows (XD)

I often need to decode contents of various file formats as my line of work. It is often good to be able to read both the HEX and ASCII content of the file. I used to work on Digital Equipment line of products and they had a very nice DUMP format like this,

0: 4D 5A 90 00 03 00 00 00 04 00 00 00 FF FF 00 00 | MZ.......... ..
10: B8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 | ╕.......@.......
20: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 | ................
30: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 E0 00 00 00 | ............α...
40: 0E 1F BA 0E 00 B4 09 CD 21 B8 01 4C CD 21 54 68 | ..║..┤.═!╕.L═!Th
50: 69 73 20 70 72 6F 67 72 61 6D 20 63 61 6E 6E 6F | is program canno

But, on Windows I had to some hunting around to find a program that did this. I actually wrote one a long time ago and posted on the web, but the ISP crashed one day, and lost the file forever.

So here it is, there is a freeware called XD from who else, John Walker (of the AutoCAD fame) who now lives in Switzerland and runs The Fourmilab.

I suggest that you just take xd.exe and then drop that into Windows/System32 directory. This way you can call this handy utiliy anywhere (since there is a default path to that directory).

While you are at it, you should try Home Planet. It is really fantastic and free Home Planetarium software that runs on you Windows. Complete with Cookoo clock (since he lives in Switzerland). There are many other stuff there.

Windows XP - How to Set IP Address From Script

You may run into a sitaution where you move your laptop computer around different networks where static address must be configured. This can be accomplished very easily on Windows XP using the "netsh" command. What you do is to write a command similar to the following in a .BAT file then just double click that .BAT file. (Note that due to the browser formatting, following may look like two or three lines but it is supposed to be type in as a single line command.)

netsh interface ip set address name="Local Area Connection" static 1

What they mean:
  • netsh is the command already built into your XP
  • interface ip set address is the command to set a fixed IP.
  • name="Local Area Connection" is the name of the interface. This is the name of the interface that you can see on your Networks window from the Control Panel.
  • static means it is a static IP
  • is an example IP address that I want to assign
  • is the netmask as an example
  • is the gateway as an example
  • 1 is the routing metric, you can almost always leave this as 1
For more information you can type in netsh, hit return then type a ? then hit return.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Visual Studio 2005 C++ Lacking Namespace Issue

After several years of not having had coded in C++, I had to get back and work on some new C++ code on Microsoft Visual Stuido 2005.

When compiling very simple code including a template
... some code...
list theList;

I have started to get a compliler error "error C2143: syntax error : missing ';' before '<'"
Then I started to remember;

You do need to include;

using namespace std;

I am hereby reminding myself to do this.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mac OS X with Windows NTFS USB2/Firewire Drive READ ONLY

To much to my dismay, I have just discovered that if you connect a Windows NTFS formatted external hard-drive via USB-2 or FireWire, you can only READ the file but it does not allow Writing it and here is the technical article.

On a related scheme of things, the Mac OS X "Connect To Server" in the Finder allows you to connect to an FTP server to get the file, butLink again, it does not allow you to write to the FTP server (this is not a feature in the Windows IE nor Expolrer either), but it is something you should be aware of. If you need to write file via FTP on your Mac OS X system, you'd be best off with Fetch software. I like it because it support the Automator.

Update on this issue: 17 October 2006

I have tried a bit more at it. I thought that we could convert the format from NTSF to FAT32 non-destructively. Apparently this is not easy to do without buying some commercial tool.

There is something called NTSF for Mac on Source Forge But I have not given it a shot yet. The Forum there says there are some known bugs...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Max OS X Default Japanese Character Encoding/ Mojibake


When you send email using Macintosh application, email does not show up correctly with your friends Hotmail or other accounts.


In most Japanese language applications, the the character encoding must be Shift-JIS and not Unicode. This will cause a great bit of problem with Web and most of Microsoft applications.


See Apple Technical Note at

But basically you need to set some system defaults manually via the that is not available from the system's control panel. After opening the type in the following string.

defaults write NSPreferredMailCharset "ISO-2022-JP"

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

ASP.NET 2.0 QuickStart Installation Issue

On a newly installed Visual Studio 2005, it is good to have the QuickStart tutorial pages handy.

But you might run into problems.

(1) How to install it.

Assuming that you've installed VS 2005 on the C: drive the installer is located in the following folder.

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\SDK\v2.0\StartHere.htm

This will provide a link to the installer. But you might encounter an issue described in (2).

(2) Virtual Directory Registration Fails.

7:47:16 AM Tuesday, September 05, 2006: [Fail] Config_IIS_Install: IIS (Internet Information Services) Virtual Directory Registration (failed): [Fail] Failed to install ASP.NET Scriptmaps. Command: C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -s W3SVC/1/ROOT/QuickStartv20

Resolution for this one is:

First install and register ASP.NET with IIS:From the SDK command prompt run

aspnet_regiis -ir -enable

Then run C:\WINNT\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727\aspnet_regiis.exe -s W3SVC/1/ROOT/QuickStartv20aspnet_regiis.exe should return a succes message.