Prescription Meds for Windows Vista Sleep Disorder

Are you experiencing Windows Vista Sleep Disorder syndrome? Does your PC refuse to wake up once you put it to sleep? Does it wake up blind, deaf, and dumb? Does it refuse to connect with others in the family? Groggy eyes? Slow reflexes? Then NeoSmart Technologies has just the thing for you!

Several months ago, we published an article that described all these symptoms and more that happen to Windows Vista x86 and x64 PCs ever since RTM. We brought all these problems to Microsoft’s attention during and after the beta process, and now it’s time to reap the fruits of our work.

We’ve compiled a list of patches and hotfixes that address some (the majority actually) of these issues, you can check it out here at the original article. There is no guarantee that they’ll fix your problem, and you may have to contact Microsoft by phone to get access to these hotfixes. Hope they help!

Dear Windows Vista Firewall…

Dear Windows Vista Firewall,

When I ask you (repeatedly, and on multiple occasions) to turn off, why do you insist on re-activating yourself at random? Please go away.


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Windows Forces you to use UAC to Add a Printer

If you want to use Windows Vista and you want to be able to print to a network printer, you’re going to have to use UAC. You turned it off? Turn it back on. You’re using the in-built “Administrator” account? Log-out and log-in as a normal admin. Microsoft says you have to use UAC to get a printer installed. If you don’t, you get this ugly message:

“Windows cannot connect to the printer. The specified print monitor is unknown.”

Exactly why this message shows up isn’t clear, it has nothing to do with the printer you choose to use or the process you take. This particular message is displayed when trying to add a printer via the wizard:

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Ultimate Tag Warrior and WordPress 2.1

For anyone trying out WordPress and interested in keeping their tags alive: don’t. Ultimate Tag Warrior is completely broken with WordPress 2.1 and you can lose all your tags by upgrading to WordPress 2.1. In the more recent SVN revisions of WordPress 2.1, any time a comment is added, deleted, or unapproved, you lose all the tags for that particular post. It’s a damn shame, because UTW is an excellent plugin, and WordPress 2.1 is a big improvement over 2.0.

Bunny’s Technorati Tags is a more basic tagging solution, but it’s verified working on WordPress 2.1. If you can figure out how to switch from UTW to Bunny’s TT you can easily switch back when Christine releases a new version of UTW that’s compatible with WP 2.1 via her import from custom-field feature. Just be very careful, make database backups, and use Google when you get stuck.

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Windows Vista Forgets its Name – Again

The worst bugs are those that you can’t fix without formatting. Most people – before they knew any better – used to recommend formatting as the “tool” of choice for fixing any bug or issue with the operating system or even a piece of software. But as people learn and experience new things, they find alternative (read: less painful) ways of dealing with these issues and making them go away. But what about the bugs that can’t be dealt with otherwise? Like this one: You install Windows Vista, you give it a computer name, you join a domain and change it. Two weeks later, Vista forgets its name, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

It’s a bit complicated when taken out of context, but just look at the image below (click it for a hi-res screen capture), it might make things more clear.

Basically, Windows Vista reverts to the “automatically determined” computer name internally, while all settings point to the name you gave it. The name it uses is the default name provided during setup, whether or not you accepted it at the time. This was a reported bug during the beta, and it’s still driving us crazy now.

WordPress 2.0.6 and FeedBurner Disconnects

This article provides a workaroud for WordPress 2.0.6 and chronic FeedBurner disconnects. It’s essential that you upgrade to WordPress 2.0.6 immediately in order to prevent your blog from being taken over by hackers! Upgrade, then follow these instructions to get it to play nicely with FeedBurner afterwards.

The Problem

After upgrading to WordPress 2.0.6 or WordPress 2.1 Beta, your FeedBurner feed will, at times, give you an “invalid xml” error, and “FeedMedic” will show you something like this:

Your server disconnected us before sending the full source feed content. If your blogging platform is TextPattern, this is a known bug, and a fix can be found here:

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VMware 6.0 Beta & Visual Studio 2005 SP1

Just a quick warning to anyone officially beta testing VMware 6.0 Beta on a system with Visual Studio 2005 SP1 (final) installed: it doesn’t work.

VMware 6 Beta will install OK, but if, during the setup, you opted to install the (much awaited) Visual Studio IDE plugin, you will no longer be able to use Visual Studio 2005. If you haven’t installed Service Pack 1 for Visual Studio 2005, you’ll be OK. It seems VMware Inc. didn’t test their product out on the recently released SP1 update.

Current workaround is to explicitly set VMware setup to not install the Visual Studio plugin. If you already installed it, just use Add/Remove Programs to “modify” the VMware 6 install, and de-select the IDE plugin from the list of features to be installed.

Windows Vista Crashes, BSODs, and System Failures on Hibernate, Resume, and Wake

While Windows Vista has a whole host of new features to offer, it has one major problem that just won’t go away: it’s totally FUBAR’d after you resume from sleep or hibernate. Unfortunately, many of these issues weren’t present during the beta stage, and were somehow introduced in the RTM build of Windows Vista. This exclusive NeoSmart Technologies report describes some of the symptoms in detail, and we even provide links to possible fixes by Microsoft. All issues have been duly reported and confirmed by Microsoft, so this isn’t just some figment of our imagination. A number of these patches are scheduled to be included in Windows Vista SP1 (Codename Fiji).

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An Argument for Full Disclosure

NeoSmart Technologies is a big proponent of Full Disclosure when dealing with security vulnerabilities. Many coders and general online denizens think that’s not a very nice thing to do – that it creates more harm than it helps; but if you look at the alternatives it becomes obvious that not only is Full Disclosure not an extreme view/course of action but rather the only real middle ground there is for dealing with 0-day flaws.

When a person, group, or company discovers a security flaw in a product or service, they have a range of means to communicate this flaw to the outside world. On one side of the scale, most companies explicitly ask that such discoveries be treated with the utmost confidence and not spoken of until they have released a patch. Then you have Full Disclosure wherein the finders reveal any and all associated information, exploits, fixes, and workarounds. At the the very other end are the self-beneficiaries that attempt to sell or else use the exploits for their own self-aggrandizement.

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And We Thought Java was the Same Everywhere!

Java. It’s that old language that runs code in a highly bloated virtual machine at slow speeds and terrible performance, especially on the Web. On a local PC, a Java’s just pure slow, but on the web Java can be a real headache. However, it has its benefits too — or so we thought. There are only two reasons someone would use Java in a website today: they wanted to write a complex program/script really quick and they needed it to just work regardless of browser or platform. After all, Java is Java, no matter if you’re on Windows, Linux, or Mac; or use Firefox, Opera, or even Internet Explorer… But it’s not!

First, to clarify: this isn’t an article about Java, and it especially isn’t an attack on Java, not today. This is about Opera 9, the wonderful and highly-innovative browser that can do anything and everything with less memory than its competitors and with much less time too. But it breaks Java.

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