Month: December 2009

HP Image Zone and Printer Software causing svchost.exe error

I have always disliked HP. Their new computers, sold under both HP and Compaq names, arrive out of box up to their eyeballs in crapware. Now I have one more reason to hate them. In a Windows XP Pro computer, an error: “svchost.exe: Application ERROR: the instruction at 0xXXXXXXXX referenced memory at ‘0x00000000 the memory could be read ” Would pop up persistently when logging on or opening up “My Computer”. “My Computer”, in addition to throwing the error, would take several minutes to load, after which it would function normally. Long story short, it was caused by an HP software suite that came with a printer. “HP Image Zone”, […]

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More XP Activation Hell: Activation Wizard will not appear

Recently performed a repair install on a netbook (which is enough of an ordeal to deserve its own post). After performing the repair install, instead of being dumped into the desktop like before, I was greeted with the message: “This copy of windows has not been activated. Would you like to activate it now? y/n” Ignore the polite tone of voice. What it’s really saying is: “Microsoft trusts nobody, and until you jump through our hoops you can’t use this computer.” Clicking “no” dumps you back at the login screen, so really you only have one choice. Clicking “yes” closes the prompt and brings you to an empty screen where […]

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Case Study: Digital Fish Tank

We received a request from a residential customer to rig up an electronic fish tank.  She noted that the massive HDTV on her living room wall went unused when she was playing music, and wondered if there was a way to show an aquarium.

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What right looks like: Your Office Workstation

In this example, I’ll talk a bit about the very workstation I am writing this blog post from.  I’ll tell you how it’s configured, what’s running on it, why, how much it cost, and why it works for us. 1-The box The box itself is a second hand Dell OptiPlex GX270 with a Pentium 4 processor running at 2.4 Ghz.  Some of you out there will gawk at a technology company using a 4 year old workstation, but I’ll be the first to tell you that these boxes are dirt cheap ($90-$100), can come with a valid Windows XP license, and will run all the office software, load all the […]

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