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

Archive for November, 2006

The Big eBay Logo at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Big eBay Logo

Well, they have a nice logo when I was there last weekend for eBay Explained! 2006. Jim Griff has provided a very good guide on becoming a better eBayer and to make money from eBay.

However, I'm sad that they have not addressed Malaysian PayPal issue. Although there are alternative ways out there, it will still be better and more reliable to have PayPal letting us withdraw money directly from them!

eGenting Programming Competition 2006: Sample Answer

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Like previous year, I went to the yearly eGenting Programming Competition to help around. Compared to previous years we can see that more people are participating in the competition, although the number of participants in new professional category is quite low.

Anyway, whether you have participated, or interested to participate next year, it would be nice to take a look at the sample answer for this year's competition: eGenting Programming Competition 2006 - Answer

Update: For your information, the winners of the competition will be announced at a prize presentation ceremony on 3 February 2007 in Genting Highlands Resort.

Lock Firefox Preferences

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

It is interesting to know that Mozilla provides a mechanism for us to lock any preferences in the option menu. If you would like to play with it, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Tools > Options...
  2. Change the setting of the preference you want to lock.
    e.g. lock General > Home Page Location to "about:blank".
  3. Open "about:config" to find the key of the preference. Use the filter field to save your time from scrolling up and down.
    e.g. Type in "homepage" and you can find "browser.startup.homepage".
  4. Open a notepad and write in the following lines:
    lockPref("browser.startup.homepage", "about:blank");
  5. Save it as Mozilla.txt and do byte shift with an offset of 13. Use this byte shift service. You will receive a file "mozilla.cfg", which you must save it at the location of firefox.exe.
  6. Add the following line to "C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\greprefs\all.js" file:
    pref("general.config.filename", "mozilla.cfg");

You will find your homepage field in options uneditable after that.

Locking Mozilla Firefox Settings

General Guide to Save Partition with Partition Saving (NTFS)

Monday, November 6th, 2006

I was requested to backup a partition of a PC, which will be very troublesome, if were to be reinstalled. The first thing that came to my mind was Norton Ghost. Since I was required to get a license for it, I search for open source alternative and I found Partition Saving. Here's how I did the backup, which I hope it would act as a general guide for you (and also for me to refer in the future).

PC Configuration:

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Pro
  • Filesystem: NTFS
  • Number of Partitions: 2 (1 for OS, 1 for Backup)
  • Hard disk size: Approx. 80GB in each partition


  1. Go to windows explorer and rename your hard disk partitions to clearly differentiate them. I renamed my C: to "OS" and D: to "BAK".
  2. Download partition saving. Choose language, then find download link at side bar.
  3. Create a boot disk using format function in Windows XP.
  4. Unzip the downloaded savepart.zip.
  5. Copy the savepart files into the boot disk, except the "doc" folder.

Create blank files (only for NTFS):

  1. Run savepart.exe from your desktop (it would be slower to run from floppy disk).
  2. Choose "Create some files on NTFS drive." and then "Ok".
  3. Create as many files you want at your backup partition (e.g. backup01, backup02 ... backup15). The maximum file size for each backup file is 2GB. So, I created 15 blank files to backup 25GB of data in my OS partition. With 15 blank files, I can backup up to 30GB of data.

Save partition:

  1. Boot your PC with the boot disk you created.
  2. When the system show you "A:>", launch "savepart".
  3. Choose "Save an element".
  4. Select the partition you want to save, see the last column. I choose the partition labeled "OS".
  5. Then, go for "Occupied sectors".
  6. When you were requested to choose save file location, you must mount the drive first if you are using NTFS at backup partition.
  7. After mounting, select the file in the drive, e.g. backup01 that you have created. Then "OK" to overwrite.
  8. Select the maximum size. I go for the default, 2GB.
  9. Compression ratio, go for 2, as recommended in the long user manual.
  10. You will be prompted to choose file 2, 3... n until the backup ends.
  11. In the end, the program will prompt you whether you want to save a config file to future ease save/restore. Choose "Yes" then select a file.

That's it. You have completed your backup. I wrote this with what I still have in my mind, without much verifications. If you found something is missing, please update me.

How about restoration? Not now!

MSI BToes Bluetooth Dongle Problems

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Few months ago, I bought my Sony Ericsson z520i. Since it's not too expensive to get a bluetooth dongle, I bought myself a MSI Btoes bluetooth dongle, to try on some synchronizing from my phone to my PC.

Everything was OK until one day, the few-month-old dongle stopped working and I sent it to MSI for warranty. After a few weeks, when I got it back, I notice that the dongle is not the same one I sent to them. They said it is normal for them to replace with a different one. I accept it although the replacement unit looks dirty and fully scratched.

I believe the new one should be working and it stayed at my desk for weeks until few days ago, I formatted my PC and I plan to reinstall the bluetooth software.

I tried to install from CD and download the latest drivers from MSI website but with no sucess. I keep getting responses such as "Bluetooth devices not found" or probably "Bluetooth license check fail".

After spending a lot of time looking at this, I found that this is an issue with WIDCOMM drivers (MSI is using WIDCOMM's driver) that lots of people are facing. I think I don't have the correct license file for the replacement unit I've gotten. And, the link that MSI gave me to obtain license file is not working anymore!

I thought I'll have to throw the stupid dongle away until I found a forum thread that solves the problem. Here's how I solve it:

  1. Download WIDCOMM driver with license patcher. (Hopefully this link lasts)
  2. Run the license patcher and save the license file to replace the license.dat in the installation folder.
  3. Install the driver like how you would normally install a driver.
  4. Press 'Cancel' the skip device detection during the installation process, if the installer failed to detect it.

My bluetooth is working after that. For details, please refer to GSM-FORUM. Some of the users had other problems such as windows driver issues. I'm sure you can solve your problem if you read the whole thread.

Although it might illegal to use license patcher, but I guess that's the only option that I have. Hope it works for you too.