Archive for July, 2010

Don’t buy Watchguard products

Call it a review, call it opinion, call it the truth…

Overpriced pieces of steaming dung they be…yes, I’m running on a “old” Firebox but I’ve finally hit my limit with them…whole reason we bought was because they promised software upgrades. Soooo when we needed to upgrade to add QoS the answer was “you need to buy new hardware, we don’t support those (2 year old) ones!”

And today I spent lots of time baffled as to why one system all of the sudden lost connectivity outside of the local area. Answer – the firebox “user” count is based on every address it’s ever handed out, and that went over 12 users so it just shuts off any “new” user. WTF it shouldn’t even limit just plain old NAT – I always thought the user limit was something tied to the VPN use.

And their VPN sucks. So no other way to describe it.

So while it all looked good on paper, the reality is they are a bad deal.

So when some says Watchguard just so no.

Thursday, July 29th, 2010 Servers & Internet No Comments

Video Tools list

Things for analyzing/processing video files (excludes editing unless it happens to do that too)


VLC – everything player/streamer

SMPlayer – player, IMHO better than VLC if it’s just playback needed (which is weird since they’re both based on ffmpeg, etc)

MPEG tools

(mostly free ones, get Elecard StreamEye for any real work).

Tsviatko Jongov’s tools page (multiple useful utilities that he developed)

Mediainfo Just like the name says, Media info…

tsMuxeR (was tsMuxRGUI) – split combine media

StaxRip – another muxer/converter

AVIDemux – more of an editor but can do a lot of useful conversions too

meGUI – an encoder front end

MKVToolNix – Matroska tools

Cypheros – assortment of TS related tools – purchased TSDoctor (was cheap) to have some sort of error checker, but it doesn’t do much in terms of displaying ‘decoded’ h264 fields, etc.

VirtualDub no explanation needed? –  test clips raw and mpeg2

Stuff looked at but really don’t use

TSReaderLite – freebie version to look at mpeg2 TS (need full version to be useful for h264)

MPEG TS Stream analyzer – shareware – have not tried it

Maybe someday this will be something:

Not quite software

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 Engineering, Video Tools No Comments

Random link to blues music

Raulin de los Bosques found when poking around Jamendo.  Licensed under Creative Commons. Yes, I’ve branched out of Pandora, even though it plays a lot of stuff there’s also a lot it doesn’t know about.

Monday, July 26th, 2010 Uncategorized No Comments

Windows 7 file delete “trusted installer” error

Well in another move of sheer brilliance Windows 7 creates files that require voodoo to delete…in this case my backup program copied my C drive, but I am redoing the backup and was faced with dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of files that required “trusted installer” to delete them.

Answer here:

Except there are still a few files (ok, 7926 files) where even though I’m now the owner, it still says I can’t delete them!  However I could at least rename the top level dir to fubar so I know to get rid of it someday.

Sunday, July 11th, 2010 Windows 7 system No Comments

Windows 7 problem detail list

This post is a list of all the problems I have not found a solution too – see the summary and articles tagged “Windows 7 system”

  1. Fast and reliable backup software that can restore the system volume (C:) and all data (D: and E: on my system). ioMega drive came with various software: the “Never Down” being what sounded like the right thing but it’s not for Win7-64. Retrospect Express HD seems OK though it doesn’t say it can restore a boot volume (C:)/windows.  It doesn’t show any progress indication and seems to hang.  It can’t handle long paths. It must keep a log somewhere, but I can’t find it. Maybe the paid version? I looked at Win 7’s built in backup, but there’s so many issues with that that I didn’t even waste my time trying it.
  2. clip path – requires hitting shift right click, lacks \ and / option, adds ” ” which breaks anything that wants to use it
  3. explore from here doesn’t work, left pane isn’t rooted at “here”
  4. program files menu too small, need ‘old style’ version? Seriously, what moron thought a tiny window that you have to scroll/click every time you want to run a program was a good idea?
  5. nfs client – well micro$oft “removed” this in Win 7, I can upgrade for $199 to get it back. Screw that, what type of OS doesn’t support basic networking (rhetorical question). Found some $50 or so add ons, but they give server capability and a bunch of stuff I don’t need.
  6. command prompt here on right click, not shift right click – I’m guessing I just need to edit the registry. But really I want “shift right click” to go away and have all things always in one right click menu in explorer
  7. setup wake-on-LAN for remote VNC access (vs. leaving the machine powered up, since this machine supports it would like to be ‘green’ and make this work. plus less wear and tear on the system). Something I know nothing about, doesn’t seem like it would be too hard, main question is how does one prevent randoms from waking up the computer?
  8. In many cases, for programs with “stock” help, the  windows help font too small, instructions to change don’t work
  9. Older programs don’t retain their settings between runs.  Set them to XP mode hoping that would help, but it doesn’t, and now double clicking on a file doesn’t always work, and security warnings pop up. Excel and Codewright are the two I use most and find this a huge problem
  10. Some programs, when launched, but up the “Danger Danger Wil Robinson” prompt. There is no way that I have found to tell Windoze to not ask me every freaking time I run a program if I want to run a program.
  11. Latest UVNC (  doesn’t work in Win 7 with dual monitors – and this is running a special version which does let at least one monitor show up/be controlled.  Looks like maybe one of the older versions might work?
  12. leading spaces aren’t preserved when you copy files. Apparently this is a “feature”, not a bug. Except of course programs that use dirs to store stuff and stick a space up front to make it sort first get trashed. Thank you micro$oft for wasting more of my time…
Saturday, July 10th, 2010 Windows 7 system No Comments

Windows 7 file search

Basically wanted a file search like in XP – specify a file name pattern and optional text pattern. Search all files in all sub dirs.

Not in Win 7. After trying things and googling a bit its clear file search just doesn’t work in Win 7.

Found/had suggested two good alternatives, each has its stronger points so will probably use both.

I also have google desktop installed, but I can’t find anyway to force it to index nor get a status of what it thinks it has indexed – I even added some dirs explicitly but after a week I question if it’s indexed much of anything. All the drive’s status just say “Crawl not yet started”

Too bad, as it was pretty good at finding “relevant” things when I only had a rough idea what I was searching for.

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 Windows 7 system No Comments

Windows 7 won’t find XP, Samba, or other windows servers

IMHO Win 7 is very confusing about file sharing/networking. It needs some sort of “Expert” mode where you can see what it’s trying to do.

From what I understand, Win 7 implements “new stuff” for file sharing that makes it not work out of the box with other non -win 7 systems.

See this article for enabling Win 7 file sharing:

The other thing needed was to put entries in the hosts file (see problem about no way to edit the file!) for all servers on the other side of the VPN. Looking at my older XP systems some had some in them, others not. But as those were setup 5+ years ago I really can’t remember if it was required.

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 Windows 7 system No Comments

Windows 7 WM player stutter during streaming playback

Again, not solved, just convinced enough that it’s a bug in WMplayer (12.0.7600.16415 – WTF type of version number is that?)

I can live without wmplayer but was wondering if there’s a more fundamental problem that could affect use of other tools for media playback, Wmplayer statistics (yeah, good luck figuring out how to get WMplayer out of brain dead mode to the point where you can get to the statistics menu) would show no dropped/lost frames, but the sounds was skips/jumps maybe averaging 1/minute.

Everything else (VLC, Quintessential, Nero) plays fine.

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 Windows 7 system No Comments

Windows 7 DHCP problem

Not really fixed, just gave up on it.

The Firebox was set to reserve a specific IP address for the MAC address of the system (and yeah, there are two enet adapters but I’m only using one and AFAIK I used the right one…)

For whatever reason the FB failed to give it the assigned address – and while the FB is a piec eof junk it works for everything else for reserved address (even the VMWare systems on the PC get the reserved address)

Someday maybe I’ll fire up Wireshark on another system and see what’s going on but for now just forcing the address in Win 7 is simpler.

One idea was that IPv6 was cofnusing the FB, shut that off, no difference. Turned it back on, no real reason why…

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 Windows 7 system No Comments

Windows 7 problems – summary

Yeah, 1st post in ages…that’s blogs are for, to sit unedited, right?)

Recently got a new PC with Windows 7 (64 bit) running on it.  System is an Asus P6X58D 2.6 GHx i7, 6 GB ddr, 80 GB ssd for c:, and 1TB dual drive (RAID) for a D: and E: (to keep things in the same place as the old system). ioMega 1 TB eSata drive for backup.

A number of people both inside of MDS and outside are looking over my shoulder on this so decided to put this up here instead of emailing it around, just subscribe to the RSS feed it you want to see how progress is going (hopefully that works in my install of WP…)

There are actually two lists, one is the “current problems” the other is the “solved”. There’s one post for the list of problems which I’ll edit as things (hopefully) move off of it. Individual posts will provide the solved ones.

Posts will be tagged with Windows 7 system

Saturday, July 10th, 2010 Windows 7 system No Comments