A passionate programmer’s findings in the world of internet.

Archive for September, 2010

iPad from Singapore

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Apple iPad

Apple products are really tempting. I can't imagine myself being one of those geeks who would travel all the way to another country to purchase an Apple product just because I couldn't get it in my country.

Before I left for Singapore 2 days ago, we (my wife and I) have decided not to get iPad, reasons being:

  1. The first version of everything could potentially has undetected flaws. As a developer myself, I always believe end user testing would be the best testing, and iPad has not been in the market long enough and I don't want to be white rat.
  2. There are much more iPad competitors coming up very soon, mainly the Samsung Galaxy Tab that runs on less restricted Android platform.
  3. There are also rumours saying Apple is going to launch a mini iPad which could be much more convenient to bring around.
  4. There is no reason to get an brand new device and jailbreak it the second day, then lose it warranty. I have subscribed to home broadband, office broadband and BlackBerry unlimited packages, and I will need to get another 3G broadband for my iPad. I need to get iPad to tether with BlackBerry and that is not possible unless you jailbreak it.
  5. There are also rumours saying iPad will be in Malaysian Apple store very soon. Why the hassle?

There are much more reasons for not getting iPad at this moment.

All the reasons suddenly dismissed from our mind when we saw the Singaporeans travelling in MRTs surfing net with iPad. We saw some GeekCamp attendees surf net with iPad.

We also thought it wouldn't be easy to find iPad as it could have been wiped out by the Singaporeans, especially the entry level 16GB wifi units.

However, we really can't deny our luck when we found it at the fourth Apple store, and we have to get ourselves the iPad which damaged us SGD729. Not too expensive but not cheap too.

After owning it for less than 48 hours, I have a mixed feeling with the device.

It really changed the way people uses computer. Apple has done it again. It makes me feel like laptops will not stay for long, or the market share of laptop will drop tremendously.

I believe there are more than 50% of the users who are using computers solely for internet (or Facebook). Big portion of this user group will definitely go for iPad or similar device if they did not fall for netbooks earlier when it hit the market a year ago.

The only downside of the device, is the touch screen keyboard which I was unable to get used to it yet. Although it's hard to type on screen and I keep on getting typos, can see that the iPad is working hard to help me correct the spelling as I type. If much more effort were to be put on typo corrections, users will definitely enjoy the device more.

With all that being said, I don't think it suits me. The problem is not the device, the problem is me.

I do not see it replacing my BlackBerry or MacBook Pro. I'd still prefer to read on my BlackBerry while I commute on public transport because it's not small enough to be carried around. I will still have to use my MacBook to get my work done. There is no point adding a third device into my already heavy bag.

It shall only serve as a device for some light surfing at night, or for some urgent work in the shopping mall, on a non-working day. It's much more for my wife (for her favourite Angry Bird game) than myself.

Windows XP: Troubleshooting Blue Screen (c0000218)

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

If you work as computer support at any place, blue screen is inevitable. Haven't seen any blue screens on Windows 7 yet, but having more than ten Windows XP's in the company, I'm keep getting complaint calls.

The initial problem reported:

The computer cannot go past the Windows start up logo screen, then it restarts automatically. After restart, the computer asks whether to go into Safe Mode or to start computer normally.

In my case, the computer hangs or reboots automatically no matter which option I choose.

To get actual problem:

Keep pressing F8 on start up to get into Windows Advanced Options Menu. Then select Disable automatic restart on system failure.

By doing so, the computer will continue to load until the blue screen shows up. That's the place where you could get the error message.

The error I found:

Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate

The solution for all kinds of registry problem, in short:

Format the damned PC.

The solution for registry recovery, in long:

The five registry files to be recovered are:

  • system
  • software
  • sam
  • security
  • default

Procedures to copy all registry files from C:\windows\repair\ folder to C:\windows\system32\config\ folder:

  1. Using Windows XP installation CD, get into Recovery Mode.
  2. Go to C:\windows\system32\config folder.
  3. Backup the 5 registry files to a temporary folder.
  4. Copy the 5 registry files from C:\windows\repair\ folder to C:\windows\system32\config folder.
  5. Enter exit to restart to computer.

Procedures to get into Safe Mode to copy last known good registry files to be restored:

  1. Upon start up, press F8 and select Safe Mode to get into Windows Safe Mode.
  2. Get into C:\System Volume Information\_restore{XXXX}\RPXX\snapshot\ (Rule: Check the properties of the folder to get the date of the backup. Always take the latest version.)
  3. You will find these files:
  4. Copy the files to another temporary folder, preferably to be in C:\Windows folder.
  5. Rename all the 5 files to its original name, e.g. _REGISTRY_USER_.DEFAULT to default.

Finally, get back to Recovery Mode to replace the files you have found from System Volume Information to registry original folder (C:\windows\system32\config).

Done. You should now be able to start your computer normally.

This same procedure will help you recover all kinds of registry corrupted problem that you ever get.

I am trying to keep this guide simple and short, for myself, because I found that the guide provided by Microsoft is too lengthy. You may refer to the Knowledge Base page if this guide does not make any sense.