Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Handbrake

All things Handbrake


This post is in the process of having content transferred that was originally on my website www.tempusfugit.ca

The main thrust of this page is the discussion of using Handbrake to make conversions for the iPad and Touch. The issue of using a decrypting DVD's and BD is discussed but only gives pointers to where libdvdcss.dll and libaacs.dll can be obtained and implemented.

As far as decryption I still use DVD43 (on a 64 Windows computer) and anyDVD HD (by Slysoft)  for my occasional ripping needs.


Friday, March 25, 2011

The Dichotomy of MP3 and HiFi

It is strange how the concept of Hi-Fi (High Fidelity) went out of the window when the iPod came along.

Or maybe it was Alan Sugar and his Amstrad amplifier that started the rot?


I have spent a lot of time in the past (long distant!), analyzing audio distortion and the subjective effects on how audio is heard.

Roger Adair (the guy on the right) was working on the concept of making a digital tape deck at this time (1976).

  • The Death of High Fidelity
  • The Texan Amplifier
  • Linsley Hood - An Audio Legacy
  • PCL - The Polytechinic of Central London - University of Westminster

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Windows 7 SP1 rollout

kb976932

0x80070643 kb976932 Windows 7 SP1

If you are seeing the error 0x80070643 then it is a generic error that is telling you that the update failed.

You already know this as the update failed!

To determine what the cause is you will need to enable logging of the progress of the Windows Update and supply that information to Microsoft who then will be able to advise your further.

Alternatively, you could install a fresh Windows 7 image (using the Windows install DVD) and then apply the Service Pack to that.

If you purchased your computer without the Windows Install DVD, and most will have, you will have to obtain a DVD from somewhere. A fresh install of Windows is likely to be much quicker than trying to get an answer from Microsoft Support.

You can recover your data from your drive if you use a new drive for the fresh install.

Links:


Citrix Systems

Citrix Systems - Virtualization, Networking and Cloud. Virtual Computing, Simplified.

Citrix offer a range of products for all sizes of business from Desktop Vitualization, Networking, Cloud Infrastructure to Collaboration and Support.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)



Collaboration and Support:



This was the exposure that I was presented with w.r.t. VT-d (directed I/O) - it seemed that this was a requirement for the operation of the remote assistance software from Citrix.

Monday, March 21, 2011

SP1 Failures

It would appear that the "early adopters" of Windows 7, the ones that downloaded and beta tested (from Microsoft for free and then tested for free) are the ones that seem to be having the most problems with kb976932.

The error: 0x800f0904 - CBS_E_MORE_THAN_ONE_ACTIVE_EDITION This can be due to the release candidate failing to uninstall properly. is being seen.

These are the Windows users that are more likely to be installing SP1.

The users of normally purchased copies of Windows 7 are less likely to run into problems. Builds 7600 and later should be ok. (RC1 was 7100)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Death of High Fidelity

Title title of a Rolling Stone article and a posting on my website tempusfugit.ca

The original page on Rolling Stone by Robert Levine has long gone - unlike others that "feed" off what he wrote and quote bits from the original article - I will just make my own comment.


You can perform your own Internet search and find bits (or all of the original text - attribution sometimes given) but I would concur
    with a lot of what Robert was saying. The same thing is happening with Video Media (HD and the quality of the subject matter)

  • The Death of High Fidelity - Producers using compression to make things sound better on portable devices - Article by Robert Levine - Rolling Stone - Dec 26, 2007

             Article by Robert Levine - Rolling Stone - Dec 26, 2007

SNAFU Windows 7 SP1 kb976932


Looks like the Windows Service Guy (WSG) has it under control:

  • 0xc0000034
  • language packs problems
  • 0xC000022
  • 0x800f0a13 or 0x800f0826
  • 0x800f0904
  • 0x8004a029
  • CheckSUR has been updated
If you can't find him by making an Internet search then you shouldn't be playing with SP1

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What is "Genuine" copy of Windows 7?


A copy of Windows 7 that has been installed on multiple computers using a BIOS modifying "loader" technique is just as non-genuine as a bootleg copy purchased on the Asian blackmarket.

In fact, it is Microsoft's interest to have copies of Windows available for sale in these markets with malware on the DVDs. That way they can perpetuate the myth that all bootleg software is ridden with malware and simply not worth the risk.

If you activate multiple copies of your Windows DVD you are in violation of Microsoft's EULA but NOT at risk from malware.

WD Live Wire Windows Shares fail on application of SP 1

The fact that network shares seem to have been seen to be failing after SP1 was installed could be explained by the version of Windows loosing its Activation status and becoming "Non Genuine".

I had a pc on which the Windows Update was broken, not from the fact that it has been removed by a program such as RemoveWAT but it just failed due some corruption of the Windows System files.
UPDATE: This was fixed - I think that the system date and time were way off - I can join a Homegroup Share on all my computers now.

The consequence is that it no longer received updates and as the process never completed it halted in an error. One of the outcomes of this is that the computer was not able to join a HomeGroup, due to the fact that the HomeGroup time cannot be synchronized with the other computers in the group.

My theory is that those that are reporting that their Windows shares are failing after they applied kb976932 could be due to the fact that these cases were related to "pirated" copies of Windows 7. This subject is still on on-going topic on the WD Live Wire forum.

WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit CPL - WDBABY0000NBK-NESN

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Home Theatre PC - HTPC

A Home Theater PC as opposed to a Media Server.

An HTPC has all the capabilities of a PC that will play all forms of HD content. It may or may not be equipped with a BD drive and a TV tuner. It may be capable of recording program material and function as a PVR.

A Media Server is purely the source of digital media that can be distributed to any number of HTPCs on a local network. A Media Server can also function as an HTPC but this is not necessarily the case. The power, in terms of CPU and memory speed do not have to be the same for a Media Server as for a HTPC. A Media Server is likely to feature mass storage in the region of 1T Bytes or more. There is no reason why a Media Server cannot be built with a computer such as the Raspberry Pi and it need not run Windows even though the HTPCs on the network are Windows computers.


  • The distinction between a Media Sever and a Media Centre

The Hacker Ethos

What makes the activity of Hacking so attractive to technical wizards.

When I was at the University of New South Wales studying for a Masters in Computer Science I had a acquaintance that was a fellow student that spent much of his time installing key-loggers on may of the campus's terminals and PCs. The passwords that he managed to obtain from this was then used to access other resources of the Universities systems.
I feel sure that he would be one of the visitors that continue to find this website in the search for ways to break into wireless networks.

The use of programs such as aircrack-ng have long been a study for me. This along with other methods used by hackers to gain access to systems such as web-servers, including my own.

I remain to be convinced that programs such as aircrack can be made to work in a simple and effective manner, especially on Windows 7 machines. There are other tools that I am pretty certain can be and are used to test the security and in some cases penetrate wireless systems. These programs are in most part too complex for the idle hacker to use. Also the fact that a system is penetrated does not mean that data or user security is put at risk if the users have taken precautions to keep their identities safe by other means. I believe that the case for wireless security, and many other forms of security, have been grossly over-blown.

I am not saying that programs such as Firesheep do not work - I am simply stating that it far more lucrative for companies to make you think that you are at risk and then sell you a solution to fix it.

I am also not saying that the "Security Profession" is not a noble cause, it is just too easy to spread fear that you are at risk when you possibly not.

In addition, when I see a list of the companies that "sponsor" Hacker Conventions I cannot help question the business models and feel that this is a case of modern-day McCarthyism.

When are Windows Updates "Pushed" to computers?


With respect to Windows 7 SP1 (kb976932) here is a screen-shot resulting from this Tuesdays Update.

As we can see the SP 1 update is still not being automatically selected and must be done manually by the computer owner.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

THD and IMD (Harmonic and Inter-modulation Distortion)

A topic that I studied for my thesis.

This page is in progress  - June 2012


Cross-over distortion
 The effects of bias on the setup of output pair transistors and quiescent current.

Laplace transform - Fourier Series and the Heaviside Step Function.


Links:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Removing WAT

This can refer to either removing WAT completely from your computer or simply disabling it.


The WAT Validation Task was introduced by Microsoft with kb971033 and added this task to the Windows Scheduler so that it would run every 90 days.
It was not clear whether there was a "validation" method before the introduction of kb971033 but it was still a requirement that you needed to activate your computer within 30 days of installing Windows 7.
This 30 day period could be viewed as an "evaluation period" and there are command-line commands that will allow you to reset this evaluation period a fixed number of times. Thus extending the 30 days to 60, 90 and beyond (if you re-installed Windows from scratch)

The validation task may also be introduced on your computer by SP1 even if kb971033 was not allowed to be installed and run on your Windows 7 computer.
The Daz loader seems to install certificates that are immune to the WAT Validation checks and as such the tasks do not need to be removed or disabled.

Curiously the WAT tasks that can be found in Windows Task Scheduler have a description "Microsoft Update KB971033".

The consolidation of all the updates into SP1 may still add this task with this description as it relates to when the task was first introduced.

If you have removed or disabled it prior to the application of kb976932 (aka SP1) it may well return and need to be addressed again. to say: "WAT update is unlikely to be separable nor uninstallable." is not relevant as it is easily identified and handled in anyway that you desire.

Links:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Understanding WAT

WAT is the acronym for Windows Activation Technologies.

This is the collective name for the processes that Microsoft use to determine whether you are running a "genuine" licensed copy of Windows.

When Windows is "Activated" the "Validation" Task (part of the WAT collective) checks the certificate installed on your computer with the one registered at Microsoft for the copy of Windows that you are using.

This certificate can be assigned to a single copy of Windows or it can be part of a "Mass Activation" that is assigned to a particular manufacturer.

There are levels of activation techniques employed by Microsoft including: Key Management Service (KMS) and Multiple Activation Key (MAK) - descriptions of these can be found on the Microsoft website.

Microsoft primarily use scare techniques to persuade users to install "genuine" software.
There is no reason why you cannot install a single "genuine" copy of Windows 7 on multiple computers with a mass activation certificate.
This then negates Microsoft's argument that you are running a risk by using counterfeit software.

If you are knowledgeable enough to contemplate the use of a method to bypass their efforts (Daz or other) you are more than capable of installing an OEM copy of Windows on all your computers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Windows 7 XP-Mode

XP-Mode was introduced by Microsoft to allow computer users the ability to migrate from 32 bit XP systems to the predominantly 64 bit Windows 7 operating system.

This was to allow "legacy" programs, such as DVD43, to operate on the newer 64 bit machines. What they didn't do was to explain the operation very well.

I purchased a computer that had a processor and operating system that would support XP-Mode so that I could experiment with running DVD43 in XP-Mode.
The computer was also running 64 bit Windows Professional, this was to confirm that DVD43 would not run natively. It also gave me a chance to test other virtualization solutions, other than XP-Mode, such as VirtualBox and VMWare.

Links related to posts about XP-Mode on this blog:

VMWare

Reposted information from www.tempusfugit.com

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Does Peerblock block my IP?

No, Peerblock only blocks the IP addresses of supposed Anti P2P Organizations (AP2P) from obtaining parts of files from the torrent downloads on your computer.

In any case Peerblock does not stop ap2p companies from participating in a file sharing download it is just you that will not see them in the peer list and they will not have access to your computer.

They, the APOs, are perfectly able to inject "bad" data into a torrent and that will be available for you to download from another peer that is not using Peerblock.

The only way Peerblock can work is if EVERYONE who is downloading a file from a p2p site is using it (and their block lists are up-to-date)

In fact, if an APO wanted to track your downloading activity they would not participate in a file sharing scheme using an IP address that is in any known blocklist.

Links: