Saturday, July 31, 2004

Just this week...

This last week or so I have been evaluating WinZip 9.0 (seriously, with a view to buying it). This is after I gave up on PKZip for Windows version 8.0 after it crashed on me twice, on two successive days. It appears that if a PKZip window is already open it won't reuse it, but open a new window. When a second or third window is opened, PKZip crashes when you try to close the window. (This was with large zip files). WinZip gave none of these problems.

Sometime ago I reviewed a whole bunch of mainly freeware compression utilities (last year!). Among them were 7-Zip and ZipGenius. Just recently I came upon a website which has reviews of free WinZip alternatives. I agree fully with the review of ZipGenius.

IMHO a lot of freeware compression utilities have unusual and sometimes unusable User Interfaces. Power Archiver's look and feel was an exact clone of WinZip, and now it's no longer freeware.

Another interesting website with info and links to Compression Utilities is,
which looks a lot like 's page in disguise.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Linux on Windows

Okay, no big deal I admit, but it was a snap to get Xandros Desktop OS Open Circulation Edition installed into MS Virtual PC 2004.

Here's a screenshot.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Bit different

Downloaded Xandros Desktop OS Open Circulation Edition using BitTorrent - my first experience using this unusual way of downloading.

After checking the MD5 sum of the Xandros BitTorrent download discovered that it was wrong, which means the file was somehow corrupted during download. I'd really be upset if I had a dial-up connection, as the file needs to be re-downloaded - all 500+ Mb..

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Now that Windows XP Professional is working (and continues to work I hope), I've installed Microsoft Virtual PC 2004. That was the whole reason I upgraded to XP Professional - it's a reauirement for MS Virtual PC 2004. I had read somewhere that it would work on Windows XP Home, but figured I'd do it properly.

Why? I hear someone ask. Well, I love fiddling about with new Operating Systems. It gets tiresome creating partitions and having to boot into the latest OS I'm experimenting with. MS's Virtual PC lets me run some of them right on top of Windows XP. Linux is of course not officially supported, but the original Virtual PC from Connectix ran Linux.

So far I've got Windows 98SE and MSDos 6 running - next up is Open BEOS...

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Tech support says 'phone Microsoft'

Since it was still during my eMachines warranty period, I first tried to email Tech Support (and got an ASP error message on their website) then I phoned them.

The wait wasn't long, but I was informed that since I had upgraded the Operating System, I needed to phone Microsoft technical support for Windows XP Professional. I did get it out of the Tech Support person that my desktop should run with Windows XP Professional.

After fiddling with USB Devices, and noticing that one of them did not have a driver, I got the 8-in-1 Media Reader and the USB ports working again.

Monday, July 12, 2004

That non-syncing feeling

My Sony NX60 handheld is not HotSyncing with Windows XP after Pro upgrade. The 8-in-1 Media Reader is not working either...

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Home to Professional

This Saturday afternoon I finally got down to upgrading my eMachines Desktop from Windows XP Home to Windows XP Professional. Here's some extracts from my Palm DayNotez Journal

4:10 PM
Started Windows XP Professional upgrade of Windows XP Home OS on eMachines T2865

4:23 PM
Win XP Pro Setup estimating another 39 minutes

4:28 PM
Win XP Pro Setup halted while I look for NVIDIA audio driver.
Fortunately the driver is in a folder on the C Drive

4:45 PM
Bleeping error ".. Program Entry point in ... MSDART.DLL" during upgrade setup - Error Message with an OK button - press OK and it just keeps coming back (that's the normal thing with looping error messages) - the last thing I want to see during an Operating System upgrade.
Used old machine to search the internet for the error. There were plenty of references to it. One with a solution to Click the OK button 80+ times - I tried it and of course it didn't work . The solution was to shutdown the machine & let it restart, then continue with the installation.

5:51 PM
Even though I only upgraded from Windows XP Home to Windows XP Professional, it appears that the XP versions are so different I have to redo all of the "Critical Updates". I guess some of them may be different. What a pain!

6:06 PM
After half an hour or more of downloading & installing the "Critical Updates", there is one more important one I almost missed - XP Service Pack 1. This one looks like it will take a long time...