Try this if you fail to (re)install Google Picasa on Windows

Today I lost quite some time figuring out why Google Picasa did not work correctly. Even though the latest version *was* installed already it proposed to download and install an update.

So the recommended way to fix Picasa issues is to uninstall and reinstall. Unfortunately the uninstall went fine, but it wouldn't reinstall. Even when every possible Picasa directory was (temporarily for the sake of hypothesis) removed. To no avail.

How I stumbled into Linux

Today I had an interesting conversation with a colleague about the Linux provisioning (how I dislike that word) deployment system we are developing at a customer. And in the midst of things he brought up how he started with Linux.

Apparently we share the same story, and I wondered how many other people were driven to Linux by frustration over some unexplained Windows bug at the time.

My story goes back to 1995, involved Windows 95 and an expensive CD burner I bought. I was already using Linux on a 80386, but that one was slower and did not have an internet connection.

Windows XP silliness

Another strange problem today while trying to install Firefox 3 RC3 on a Windows XP SP2 on a corporate laptop. Almost immediately after I run the installer:

"Sorry, Firefox can’t be installed. This version of Firefox requires Microsoft Windows 2000 or newer.”

WTF? This is a Windows XP SP2, you moron !

I remember having the exact error with one of the Beta releases. A reboot does not make a difference, I have administrator privileges, so it must be the braindead anti-virus, right ?

Improving Putty settings on Windows

Since I started contract work for a new customer and have been offered a Windows Thinkpad to connect to the internal network, I have been looking at ways to make my life more comfortable. Putty is now my window to the world work so let's look at how I can make Putty nicer to work with by tweaking its configuration.

PS: Some of these options work equally well for Putty on Linux, put there is little use for that combination.

Scratched DVD playback: Windows vs Linux

Few things are as frustrating as watching a DVD and suddenly the sound stops and the screen freezes. Well, the last few months we have been lucky in this area, but yesterday evening it was that time again.

VideoLAN on Windows yesterday skipped a lot of frames when I invoked it (no idea why?), so I went with PowerDVD to watch this rented DVD. We already watched two episodes of Desperate Housewives Season 3 disc 5 and suddenly playback froze.

Citrix (ICA) Client on CentOS

My sister's laptop harddisk crashed recently and turned the Windows laptop in a blue screen generating device. When reinstalling her system with the official Windows XP Professional CD, the installation process failed on what I think was a damaged CD.

Having no Windows media at home (I do not want to support a convicted monopolist and I fear the BSA raiding my home) I decided to put CentOS on it and return it like that. Everything installed fine on this Toshiba Satellite A10 laptop, even the wifi required a 'yum install madwifi' that pulled in DKMS nice and easy.