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YouTube Music Video - My Bloody Valentine

Sunday 29 June 2008 at 10:26 am My Bloody Valentine has reformed and the initial reviews of their live performances are in - and they're all pretty much awesome.

If you missed them play in the UK then you may as well go stick your head in a blender.

Their musical pinnacle was Soon. Watch and listen to the majestic woozy distortion and chiming guitars over the 'baggy' drums that make this such a timeless track.

Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) Enhanced Security

Sunday 29 June 2008 at 10:25 am This one pissed me off mightily so I thought I'd put something together on the offchance someone else finds this useful:

I created a new Virtual Machine Template to use on our ESX cluster with all the latest patches including IE7 - normally I'm pretty conservative when it comes to browser versions on servers but I figured I'd make sure I'd update everything I could. Just this once I'd give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and update the browser on the server.

I used the excellent ctupdate patch tool to minimise load on our WSUS server and allow me to have an up-to-date patch ISO I could also use on our DMZ systems. Downloading the patches and creating the ISO took about an hour - patching the template took about 30min. All was well.

I deployed about 15 new systems from the template.

Then one of our DBA's popped by with an error when he went to install SQL on one of the new VM's. In true Microsoft style the error was particularly helpful -

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access them"

This error prevented him from installing anything via UNC path and also locally (if he unzipped files no .exe files would unzip; everything else was fine). He had local admin rights - when I logged in as Domain Admin it worked fine; when I logged in as myself with Domain Admin rights I got the same error.

Nasty. I thought all the VM's I'd stamped out were borked. People had already started to deploy to them so I *really* didn't want to have to remove them and redo the VM's from scratch.

Some digging on the interweb revealed the culprit - Internet Explorer Enhanced Security in IE7. What Microsoft donít make very clear is that IE7 includes fancy new Security features to prevent arbitrary code execution (great!) which stops you running .exe/.msi executables locally or from a UNC path even if youíre a local admin (aaarggghh!). And it provides all this extra protection while masking the cause behind the cryptic error message. Running filemon or regmon doesn't help debug the issue because everything is working just the way it should from a Microsoft perspective - no file access or registry errors at all to point the way.

Thank god for google. The third hit set me off looking at IE7 related issues which led me to this WindowsITPro article.

After more digging - it appears you can do one of two things to fix this -

1. Right click the exe/msi and select Properties and at the bottom of the General tab select 'Unblock'. Do this everytime you need to run a new executable.


2. Disable IE7 enhanced security (as per the WindowsITPro article) via Add/Remove Programs -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration -> best to select 'For Administrators groups' only

or (I left this out originally)

3. Don't patch your browser in the first place !


Five Minute Fudge + More

Sunday 29 June 2008 at 10:02 am Mark Pilgrims Five Minute Fudge. Great write up to go along with a simple recipe. Theres definitely a market for a book of simple recipes explained in an amusing way.

Nice graphic - the worlds interweb pipes.

A different command line search utility - Comparing ack & grep.

If you have a hankering for some outdoor cooking try a Rocket Stove. The linked site at the bottom of the page has some other useful lo-fi lifestyle info too.

Interesting write up of the US electrical infrastructure - The Brown Out Future. NZ is in the same boat - its electrical infrastructure dates from the same period and we cope with more power cuts and spikes than a first-world nation should.

How the pervasiveness of the internet means the backroom boys want to meddle more in the activities of the frontline soldiers - IT vs Initiative.

I'm still a vi guy but for those on the darkside - Ten Essential emacs Tips.

A list of under-used Unix command line tools 10 Linux Commands You Probably Donít Use and 10 Linux commands youíve never used. I've used a few but only occasionally.

If you're a serious geek on a nostalgia kick try some Lego goodness - Lego Secret Vault Contains All Sets In History and Lego Employees Have Minifigs as Business Cards. Genius.

Interesting - New York Times: I Freed Myself From E-Mailís Grip which was linked from Ed Brills article which makes a good counter-argument for the ongoing usefulness of email. On a related note Email Free Fridays are gaining in popularity.

Mac Uptime

Saturday 21 June 2008 at 10:39 am I just beat my previous best uptime record and I'm stil going strong.

10:36 up 68 days, 17:27, 3 users, load averages: 0.52 0.39 0.34

I have the Mac OS X 10.5.3 update wanting to reboot in the corner of the screen but I'll see how much longer I can hold out.

Pretty awesome stability for a laptop that sleeps/resumes almost instantly several times a day.

YouTube Music Video - The Clean (Live)

Thursday 19 June 2008 at 08:18 am Seeing as how The Clean are one of the greatest (and yet under-appreciated) Kiwi bands ever to have stumbled from Dunedin I figured I'd link to a live video of their song 'Fish' performed in New York City. Also take a look at 'Whatever I do is right' from the same gig. Between the strange surf-guitar of 'Fish' and the sparkling organ notes of 'Whatever I do is right' you can't help but end up with a smile on your face.

Good to hear they're appreciated internationally 25 years after they failed to find anything other than cult success (which I suspect they're not to worried about).

And lest we forget - in their younger days - 'Tally Ho!' and 'Anything could happen'. Unfortunately I can't find 'Beatnik' which would complete their classic triumvirate of early 80's singles committed to video.

Scenius + More

Wednesday 18 June 2008 at 6:03 pm An interesting concept - Scenius. "Scenius stands for the intelligence and the intuition of a whole cultural scene. It is the communal form of the concept of the genius."

Looks like some interesting apps coming up - Adobe Air and the Corporate Desktop. Still hard to see how anyones going to dictate any kind of interface consistancyor make for better apps - isn't this just like Java but prettier ?

Nice Storage VMotion Plugin. Annoying that Storage VMotion has been implemented with a CLI but no GUI - good to see someone fill the gap.

Sun are onto a real winner - Using Flash in ZFS.

Self publishing really can't get much easier - MagCloud. Upload a PDF and they'll take care of the rest.

Its good to know the mighty intellects of the future are being put to good use. Don't laugh, as someone who knows how big organisations work I can vouch for the validity of this cartoon.

Congrats to Mel on getting published - Thames A Rater Nationals at Bourne End Week.

The Singularity + More

Wednesday 04 June 2008 at 06:54 am Some wonderful articles in IEEE on The Singularity. The technological singularity is a hypothesised point in the future variously characterized by the technological creation of self-improving intelligence, unprecedentedly rapid technological progress, or some combination of the two - according to Wikipedia.

A web based presentation app that mimics Keynote - 280 Slides. Quite a feat of programming.

Self monitoring Virtual Machines via Vertebra. All part of the drive to bring about reliable and robust cloud computing.

Fascinating reading - The Height Gap: Why Europeans are getting taller and taller-and Americans arenít.

Brilliant (if pointless) - TCP/IP via Drums. Two PC's communicate via drums (ie a 'ping' results in a drum sequence the other PC listens to and interprets before responding in kind.

Some nice desktop wallpaper - the Nature themed Desktopography (the earlier ones look better than the more recent IMHO) and the always reliable Pixel Girl.

Green those open spaces and derelict lots - Guerrilla Gardening. Seed bombing looks like a fun activity.

Buy some of the distortion pedals used by A Place to Bury Strangers at Death By Audio. Remember 'Noise Annoys'.

If you need secure browing (ie you live in China or Burma) then you can take advantage of TOR within your Firefox browser via TOR Button.

If you're one of those adventurous souls playing with Windows Server 2008 then this tool might be really useful - its a gui for configuring Server 2008 Core (which doesn't have a gui of its own).

YouTube Music Video - Tindersticks

Tuesday 03 June 2008 at 1:54 pm The godlike genius of the Tindersticks should not be under-estimated.

If you've never heard them before, may I suggest checking out City Sickness followed by Rented Rooms (wait for the radical mood-change 2.05 into the song) and then . . .

Their first two albums are pretty much essential listening.


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