Netflix, Silverlight 4, XP, and N8156-6013 Error

Turns out this is remarkably easy to fix. Silverlight 4 apparently has issues under Netflix for users that upgrade after using Silverlight 3. Not sure if this affects users who start with Silverlight 4, but I suspect that it doesn’t. After the upgrade, Netflix is unable to write to a file that needs to be edited frequently. I found the solution at but not directly in the text. Reading down through several comments, the file name is mentioned that is causing the problem. Simply rename this file .old on the end and you’ll be able to resume playback.

This file is actually located at C:Documents and SettingsAll UsersApplication DataMicrosoftPlayReadymspr.hds on XP with SP3 installed, but could be at other locations for other operating systems. To see this file, you must be able to see hidden files (from Windows Explorer, select Tools -> Folder Options -> View and then click Show Hidden Files and Folders. In order to rename it, make sure all Internet Explorer, Firefox, and other browser windows are closed. From the Tools -> Folder Options -> View, uncheck Hide Extensions for Known File Types. Then if you right-click on the file and select rename, then add .old to the end of the existing filename, you will have a nice working installation again.

BTW, for those that might be interested, I use Windows XP SP3 through VirtualBox on my Linux-fied MacBook 6,1. Works fine with Netflix, although I really hate having the Windows license installed. Still, in my line of work, I have to have access to a full-blown Windows machine as well, so this is a good enough option.

MacBook 6,1; Windows XP; and Windows Update

I finished installing Windows XP Pro (32-bit) along with Apple’s 3.0 Boot Camp drivers (included on the main DVD). Everything seemed to be working fine but my XP version was dated, so I ran Windows Update. I mistakenly allowed it to update the NVidia 9400M driver, which completely toasted my video. I had 640×480 resolution at 2-bit color, so had to go into the device manager and completely uninstall the NVidia display device. I’m now running with VESA only, which is pretty slow compared to the built-in graphics. Here’s hoping that running the Boot Camp update 3.1 fixes the issue.

Stop 7B after Moving a Machine with VMWare Converter Tool

I recently had to move a virtual machine from Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 to VMWare ESXi 4.0. The easiest way to perform this seemed to be the VMWare Converter Tool, which worked with no problems. The machine was a Windows Web Server 2008 SP1 (not R2). When the machine was fired up, however, I got a STOP 7B code. Well, the complete code was actually STOP 0x0000007B (0x80599BB0, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000). Looking through various sites, I didn’t see anything specific for this migration, but several references to hard drives not found. Checking the settings, the original system was configured as a generic SCSI device, while VMWare had automatically imported as an SAS device.

To fix the problem, I first made sure the machine was powered off and then right-clicked it in the inventory list. Select Edit Settings and then click on the SCSI controller that is listed. If it’s listed as a LSI Logic Parallel SAS controller, click Change Type and select LSI Logic Parallel instead. Reboot and the machine goes through and sets up the correct drivers with no further problems.

Don’t forget to install VMWare Guest Additions. Even if you remote into your system from another machine most of the time, there are still some good drivers.

Genealogy Update!

Finally, I’ve taken a few moments to add some genealogy content to Unfortunately, it’s not the most recent file; the most recent is currently in storage from our move and will probably be a few weeks before it’s posted. The current content is missing about 50 extended family persons, no direct ancestors or descendants for Henry Garret Hall, Sr., or William Marstella.

Anyone wishing to have an account will need to request one as the old database was lost when was killed.

Stay tuned!

Baking Cakes

I enjoy baking cakes and have had several comments on the fluffiness and moistness of each cake. I attribute this to:

1. Generally, the box recommends mixing at low speed for 30 seconds, which I do. However, I mix the cake for about 5 minutes at medium speed and constantly use a spatula to mix in any mix that is sticking to the walls of the bowl. You have to be careful not to catch the spatula in the mixer, but this gives a more even mixture. The box normally says to mix only 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed, but I find mixing the additional time actually gives a noticeably “fluffier” mix even before it goes into the oven.
2. Use a small amount of oil to grease both the sides and bottom of the cake pan, even if instructed not to. Also, dust a small amount of flour after greasing to help prevent sticking.
3. Cook the cake at about 25 F lower than recommended by the box. If the cake rises a lot more in the middle than along the sides, you might want to reduce by an additional 25 F the next time you cook one.
4. After removing the cake from the oven, move it around carefully (don’t jar it) and allow it to stand for at least 45 minutes or so before attempting to decorate it.

Grilled Corn

We needed grilled corn tonight so I went out looking for a recipe. As it turned out, a nice storm came rumbling through, so I decided to go ahead and cook the corn in the oven instead. The results were much better than I expected. The only reason we have leftovers is because we got too full.

Grilled Corn (still in husk):

1 Ear of Corn, still in husk (won’t work if already shucked)
1 tbsp butter
2-3 tbsp crushed ice

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Place butter and some crushed ice on a piece of aluminum foil and then wrap the corn in the foil. Make sure the butter and ice are in contact with the corn. Also, the foil should wrap at least 2 full times around the corn and should be sealed at the ends so little moisture can escape.
3. Place on baking sheet and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, turning once. I couldn’t really tell a difference in the tenderness of the corn, but you might want to check a few times during cooking. Word is that different types of corn might cook in half the time.
4. Remove corn from foil, clean husk and silk from corn, enjoy!

Systemax 4110 with Ubuntu 10.04, Part 2

Yesterday, I attempted to install Ubuntu 10.04 through the Alternative distribution in the hopes that it would give me more flexibility in selecting or manually editing the graphics driver for X to be used. Unfortunately, the results are less than stellar. In short, it appears that the drivers that come with Ubuntu are not going to function properly and I haven’t even been able to get a stable system boot to manually edit any files. I’ve essentially had to give up on Ubuntu 10.04 on the Systemax 4110 for now as I have too many other pressing concerns. I’ll be trying with Slackware to see how it performs and will try Ubuntu when 10.10 is released in the October-ish time-frame.

Systemax 4110 and AROS (Icaros 1.2.3)

I now have Icaros 1.2.3 setup to dual-boot with Windows XP on a Systemax 4110 (same thing as a Uniwill 223II0). I’m currently using the default VESA graphics and the wireless card (Intel 2200) doesn’t work as there are no wireless drivers available for AROS at this point, but so far the machine seems to be more stable than my desktop machine.

Out-of-the-box, the Intel drivers on the live cd and on the installed version will not work. The 4110 has one of the older Intel chipsets and simply doesn’t work properly. However, the VESA drivers seem to work fine. Sound is improperly detected and will show up under Prefs -> AHI as Unit 0 blah blah blah. Sound doesn’t work on the default. However, if you scroll to the top of the list, you’ll hit the AC’97 sound setting, though, and this one works.

A USB connected (generic) mouse and the touchpad both seemed to work fine, as did the keyboard. Unfortunately, my built-in network card has been busted for several years so I couldn’t test it. However, it’s a Realtek 8139-based unit, so I see no reason why it wouldn’t work.

For those who might not be in the know, Icaros is a ready desktop distribution of the AROS project, which stands for Amiga Research Operating System. One primary goal is to duplicate the API of the Amiga OS 3.1 to the extent that software will cross-compile on either platform with no changes to the source code. There are many other goals and targets involved as well, though, and a full-blown UAE-based (Amiga 68k) emulator is included. Icaros is the preferred distribution as the AROS distributions from the web site are designed primarily for system developers and not for end-users.

AROS brings the look and feel of the Amiga workbench to a standard (x86) PC and is already nicely featured. Missing items include printing (unless you have the proper hardware, i.e., old printer with correct cabling), WiFi networking, and full-featured browsers. However, I’ve found that I can mostly live without oodles of Flash ads and popups, so the OWB browser has been working well. One other missing feature from OWB is the ability to properly login to a WordPress blog. I have to edit this on another machine.

You can find the main AROS site at This is the AROS system development site and is not really intended for end-users. The community site (lots of support, suggestions, bounties for features, etc) can be reached at Another site of interest is where a lot of 3rd-party software is already available. Finally, browse around the search engines and you’ll find many more sites catering to various aspects of AROS and Amigas in general.

Systemax 4110 with Ubuntu 10.04

I’ve been trying to get my trusty old Systemax 4110 (1.7 GHz CPU, 1 GB RAM, 80 GB drive) up and running with Ubuntu. Unfortunately, I have been unable to get 10.04 running so far from CD or USB due to an issue that’s occurring when the boot process switches from the normal splash screen and starts X. It looks like the Intel video driver is not compatible at some point, although Debian 5.05 loads without a hitch. Currently not sure what to make of this but I’m continuing to troubleshoot. I’ll post more when I figure out how to modify the driver being loaded during installation.

I like the 4110 (re-branded Uniwill 223II0) due to its small size and decent power. I’ve run Puppy, Vector, and several other flavors of Linux on the machine since I purchased it (2004) and have had great success with everything. This is actually the first Linux problem that I’ve encountered but rumor has it that there have been issues on certain old Intel GMA-type chipsets that are causing issues. This unit has the 855GM video in it and is probably having compatibility issues.

So far the only other real problem that I’m aware of with these PCs is the lack of SDHC support on the media card slot. I rarely have need of that function anyway, so it isn’t a showstopper for me.