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Fuck Black Friday

It started innocently enough – many years ago with the media reporting that the day after Thanksgiving was the busiest shopping day of the year. No news at all really, just a conspiracy of a day off, forced time with family, and boredom; this ‘busiest shopping day’ is now dubbed ‘Black Friday.’ The only thing black about it is that each year, the day fails to deliver on its promise of stemming the decline of our bankrupt society. Well, that and how depressing it is to here the same shit year after year. Expect to hear post-Friday news stories of how disappointing the day was to retailers, because ‘the economy’ and ‘the unemployment.’

Well, I say ‘fuck off, you cunts’ to the whole ritual of boredom. We may be a nation of consumers, but that’s nothing to fucking celebrate, nothing to be proud of.

E-MU 0404 USB Interface Latency

Recently I’ve experienced some serious issues with playback and record with Cubase through my E-MU 0404. As I used the device, the sound would become progressively more distorted and drop out entirely. Resetting the device (using a power cycle) resolved the issue, but only temporarily. After some research I learned that these types of problems are is often due to other devices on your system misbehaving. Using the DPC Latency Checker tool, I was able to single out the culprit, my wireless network card. Updating the driver on the card resolved the issue. If you can’t find an updated driver, you might have to disable the device (at least while recording.)

In place upgrade from Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Professional

I have no idea why Microsoft insists on a clean install when upgrading from Microsoft Vista Home Premium to Microsoft Windows 7 Professional. In fact, I don’t really care. I want to do an in-place upgrade. I’m a busy person and don’t have time to dick around for 8-12 hours installing, moving files, moving settings, and reinstalling all my applications. Using a little ingeniuity – i.e. hacking – I was able to do:

  • an in-place upgrade to Ultimate,
  • a downgrade to Professional,
  • and an activation for Professional

If you are like me, you purchased the Windows 7 Professional ‘upgrade,’ so you have media and a product key. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Hack your install media. It turns out that every edition is included on every installer disk. So no matter what edition you have, you have a full install Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate.  To unlock the capability, create an ISO image of your Windows 7 Professional disk. There are multiple utilities for doing this, most of them are free, use Google to find one. Once you have made the image, convert it to an Ultimate Installer disk using the Windows ISO Image Edition Switcher utility.
  2. Now mount the ISO image and begin the install. Again, there are lot of free utilities for mounting ISO images. Use whatever works for you. (Google)
  3. When you have the option, choose to do an upgrade install. Window 7 Ultimate allows you to upgrade in-place from just about any other edition.
  4. After a few hours, you will have a working version of Windows 7 Ultimate. The problem is, it isn’t activated and you have a Windows 7 Professional product key. You cannot activate Ultimate using this key. You need to take the next step – downgrade it.
  5. Use regedit.exe and go to \\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version hive.
  6. Change the key ‘EditionID’ key from ‘Ultimate’ to ‘Professional’
  7. Change the ‘Product Name’ key from ‘Windows 7 Ultimate’ to ‘Windows 7 Professional’
  8. Now, using your upgrade media (not the ISO) run another install and choose to upgrade.
  9. Several hours later you will have Window 7 Professional.
  10. Now, activate it using your product key. ALL DONE!

Update: an alternative to the above that can save a lot of time: Chris writes (in comments below:)

I had Vista Home Premium (32bit), I made a 7 Home premium disk (from my 7 Pro) and made an in place upgrade. After install, I did not enter a key but went to desktop and did the Anytime Upgrade. I chose that I already had a key, as I have a 7 Pro key already. I entered the key and within 15 minutes, I had a fully activated 7 Pro without losing my settings, programs, etc., etc.

You should do this instead, it will save you several hours!

They were curious Orange

They were invulnerable to cool.

Their horses loved them too.

iTunes gets a watched folder

At last with the new version of iTunes 9.0 contains a special watched folder. On the PC, navigate to your iTunes Music folder and look for the folder titled “Automatically add to iTunes.” Music you place in this folder will be added to your library instantly. Bravo!

12 More Bubbles

Think gold might be a bubble? You are not alone in that.

Bernard Sumner Acoustic

Bernard Sumner does four songs on acoustic guitar, includes links to mp3s.

Harlem is over

If the New York Times says the boom time of Harlem Real Estate is over, you know it’s over.

Worst Financial Gurus

Great roque’s gallery of bad financial gurus. Those ‘gurus’ who give bad advice, get indicted, go bankrupt, or bankrupt others. The post also links to an extensive debunking of Robert Kiyosaki book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. It’s worth a read whether or not you already think Robert Kiyosaki if full of baloney.

Scan and Fix Annoyance

Here’s how put an end to the Vista ‘Scan and Fix’ dialog issue with an iPod.