Trillian Astra Build 78 and Wine 0.9.61

I installed Trillian Astra Build 78 (I’m an alpha tester as well) via Wine 0.9.61 today and got a couple of errors. I’m using the very latest version of Wine and the very latest release of Trillian in this test. My operating system is Ubuntu 8.04 x86_64.

  1. ALSA seemed to be encountering some problems when I started Trillian since I had Rhythmbox playing in the background. I closed that and then restarted Trillian and got the following:
  2. dwmapi.dll error. I downloaded a copy from and configured Trillian Astra to use Windows XP settings and linked the dwmapi.dll library after placing it in the trillian install folder. The results were, Trillian Astra started and allowed me to sign-in to the astra service and launched the buddy list, but the rendering was terrible. It was un-useable. Then I started getting error pop-ups about explorer.exe that seemed to be related to:fixme:xrender:X11DRV_AlphaBlend not a dibsectionThey would only popup when I would move the mouse over Trillian Astra or the Trillian tray icon.

I’m looking further into this. Maybe there is another library that can be replaced. I’ll be back with some updates and hopefully screenshots of Trillian Astra working under Wine!

I can’t seem to find anything useful searching google about most of these errors that Wine is returning in the console.

I’m still working on getting this running, however, the MSVCP90.dll library that is mentioned in the errors is not easy to understand. The dll is already available, as well as the events.dll library. If anyone has any suggestions feel free to let me know! Here is all I’ve got so far:

The rendering is still off, but at least it is legible. The buddy list window is a mesh of horrible rendering lines. It’s not clear enough to use. That’s the main thing that I’m working towards now. As long as the errors aren’t crashing Trillian, I can work towards getting it to render properly and then focus on catering to the warning errors.

Windows XP SP3 is set to release today!

For those of you who are still using Windows XP (if you haven’t already made the switch to Windows Vista or Ubuntu Linux :D), Service Pack 3 is set to release today. However, contrary to what you may have seen other blogs post about it, it is not set to include Internet Explorer 7. This seems to be floating around the Internet like crazy. I just wanted to get the facts straight on this one.

After digging through Google for a while I came across an official Microsoft document that blatantly states that Internet Explorer 7 will not be included in this update. If you scroll through the document and fine the section labeled “What Is In Service Pack 3“, you’ll see the new changes.

Further, Windows XP SP3 does not include
Windows Internet Explorer 7. For more information about Internet Explorer 7, visit

The source that I retrieved this information from can be found here (pdf).

I’ll just go a head and sum up the changes that you will see in Service Pack 3.

Basically, Service Pack 3 will contain all of the updates that have already been made available to you since the release of Service Pack 2 via Microsoft Update. According to the overview, the updates will include the following:

  • Service Pack 3 will not be adding many brand new feature that were released with the coming of Vista.
  • SP3 will include Network Access Protection (NAP) to help organizations that use Windows XP to take advantage of some of the new features in the Windows Server® 2008 operating system.
  • Windows XP SP3 does not include Windows Internet Explorer 7.
  • Microsoft® Management Console (MMC) 3.0
  • Microsoft Core XML Services 6.0 (MSXML6)
  • Windows XP SP3 also includes a small list of previously unavailable functionality, including NAP and an update of Windows Product Activation. With this update, users will be able to enter their product key after installing Windows XP SP3 instead of during installation.
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 2.5
  • IPsec Simple Policy Update for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP
  • Digital Identity Management Service (DIMS)
  • Peer Name Resolution Protocol (PNRP) 2.1
  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)
  • “Black Hole” Router Detection
  • Descriptive Security Options User Interface
  • Enhanced security for Administrator and Service policy entries
  • Microsoft Kernel Mode Cryptographic Module

Their Summary on the overview is as follows:

Windows XP SP3 combines all previously released performance, security, and stability updates. It also
provides a limited number of new and enhanced functionalities, although it does not significantly change the
Windows XP experience or bring most Windows Vista functionality to Windows XP.

If you don’t see the option to upgrade your system to Service Pack 3 yet, they you can grab the package yourself! If your interested in the links then you can find them all at! The package itself is ~316mb, but if you don’t want to download all of that then you can just wait until it is made live. Chances are, you won’t have to download that much from Windows Update since you probably have most of the older updates installed already.

If you just want to go a head and get it then I say do it! I’m currently installing it myself on my laptop. Enjoy the early links while their early!

Also worth looking at is the article Loopholes keep Windows XP alive.

Just after releasing the service pack this morning, Microsoft removed it from Windows Update temporarily to fix a flaw with the package. Microsoft says it has since uncovered a compatibility issue between Dymanics Retail Management System (RMS) and Windows XP SP3. There was no time estimate on the delay, however, the direct download links are available if you can’t wait! Look above for more information on that.

If you get an error message that says “Access Denied”, then you can get around this using one of a couple different methods. I’ll list them below, but the information that I found came from:

  • Solution 1:

    1. Make a backup of your registry.

    2. Download and install subinacl.exe.

    3. Create a file called reset.cmd with Notepad. Copy the text below into the file reset.cmd and run reset.cmd with administrative rights (it may take a LONG time):

      cd /d “%ProgramFiles%\Windows Resource Kits\Tools”
      subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CURRENT_USER /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subkeyreg HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subdirectories %SystemDrive% /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      subinacl /subdirectories %windir%*.* /grant=administrators=f /grant=system=f
      secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose

    4. Reboot at SAFE MODE and try install SP3 again.

  • Solution 2:

    By installing Sp3 under a a user account you cannot acccess the registery properly. Please use the Adminstrator account instead of a user adminstrator account. Subinacl.exe was created to act as a way to access the registery properly. And the Reset. com to grant FULL adminstrator account.Also the other tips apply here, Turning of and diabling Antivirus, anti-spyware protection programs. Backing up information.What isn’t clear as when we used w2k was the panel showing full adminstrator vs. adminstrator and power user. Then press F8 during boot-up to log-in as Adminstrator is able to install sp3 with out running the subinacl program.

    See here for an clarifacation see here.

    The things that applied to installing sp also apply when attempting to install Sp3

  • Solution 3:

    1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd, and then press ENTER.

    2. For Windows XP, type the following command, and then press ENTER:

      secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose

      You receive a “Task is completed” message, and a warning message that something could not be done. You can safely ignore this message.;EN-US;313222

If these solutions are confusing then I apologise. I simply got them from a forum discussion and didn’t feel like rewriting them. If you’re confused about any of these steps then just ask about them in the comments and I’ll explain them the best I can.


Windows XP Service Pack 3 is available once again via Windows Updates! Go get it!


Endless Reboot after installing SP3
You may already be aware of the problem Service Pack 3 has caused to AMD PCs. If your, not familiar with the problem then it can be summed up by this: Some of the users who installed Service Pack 3 on their AMD Processor based computers reported that their PCs rebooted endlessly and would not allow them to use their computers.

If this sounds like something that has happened to you while installing Service Pack 3 then you will need to complete the following instructions to repair your version of Windows XP SP3.

The fix for the problem…

Jesper Johansson, who was once a program manager for security policy at Microsoft and currently an MVP who works at, has come up with a fix for the problem.

He has created a small 16K VBScript file which checks whether the PC is running an AMD processor, if yes; it examines the Windows registry to find out if a device driver (IntelPPM driver) meant for Intel-based machines is set to load. If it is set to load, it will offer an option in order to disable it.

You will need to download the file from here and run it. To run it just double click on it.

If you need to check many computers on a network you can do it by running the following script from the command line:
removeIntelPPMonAMD.vbs <computer 1> <computer 2>…

For more information have a look at the blog post on Jesper’s blog.

Power Hour


Here is a new app that I’ve been coding in Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition with a couple friends. Pretty much just a party app that DJ’s for you. Check it out and enjoy.


Latest stable: v0.4 – Download

System Requirements:

  • -Windows XP/Vista
  • -.NET Framework 3
  • -1 MB of free space

Known Issues:

  • -Slow adding very large playlists
  • -Slow searching through very large playlists
  • -WMP Plug-in does not play some songs until the play button is pressed
  • Please report any other bugs/problems in the comments section. Feature requests are welcome!


v0.3Download (internal alpha)

  • Initial release/use internally.
  • Major features were completed or near completion.


  • Initial release.
  • Further completion of features.
  • Overall layout was tweaked and polished a little.



  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition


  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition


  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2008 Express Edition

digsby: IM, Email and Social Networks all in one!

digsbyI recently came across a new application called digsby which is basically the Instant Messenger that everyone wants! It’s free! At the moment it is still a private beta product, invite only. However, I have some ways that you can go ahead an get it now!

If you would like to try out the multisystem instant-messaging and social-networking client Digsby before it’s released to the general public, we can help you out. Go ahead and download the application here. Once you do, use the code CNET to unlock it. There are several thousand invitations reserved.

Basically, go to and download the the application. During installation you’ll be prompted to create a new account and also enter an invitation code. After googling for a bit I came across three codes that you can use:

  • CNET
  • techmalaya
  • techzilo

After installation you can add all of your Instant Messenger accounts and chat with all of your friends from one account. You can also add all of your email accounts and keep an eye out for new mail. On top of that you can also add you Facebook and MySpace accounts and keep another eye out for messages and news from those services! It’s great! Give it a try and let me know what you think! You should also let them know what you think if you get a chance. Tell all your friends!


The invitation codes are no longer needed! Digsby is now open to the general public, so just go to and download this awesome application for free!

Microsoft and Eolas make a deal..

internet explorerIf you’re an Internet Explorer user then you will be glad to learn that the annoying “click-to-activate” feature will be removed soon! Microsoft and Eolas recently worked out a licensing agreement which benefits anyone using flash content on the web!

This “click-to-activate” feature has been present in Internet Explorer since March of 2006. That being said.. The update will not take place until “Patch Tuesday” for the month of April 2008, however, a preview release will be made public in December.


Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer..we’ve all seen it develop over the years. Or have we? We’ve seen Internet Explorer release a new version of their browser from time to time, but how much are they really packing under the hood?

You’ll read reviews and cool new features online around Microsoft enthusiast sites, but how many of the new features and updates aren’t already available in an alternative browser? Internet Explorer 7 seems to be the new cool browser of choice among a very large percentage of web surfers, but why are they using it? Is it because of the built-in search box in the upper right corner? Is it the super cool new tabbed browsing? Maybe it’s just the shiny vista-like skin..? Or could it be that it is the most secure browser available?

Basically, all of those questions can be answered with a simple “No”. Many people just aren’t aware that there are better browsers…or to be a little less bias…alternative browsers that can do everything they need! I personally have been using Opera for all of my browsing needs for around nine years now. Around the time that I starting using Opera, Netscape Navigator was a popular choice. However, most people just stuck to what they already had installed, which was Internet Explorer.

acid2Quick facts: A man by the name of Håkon Wium Lie (who is now the CTO of Opera Software ASA) proposed Cascading HTML Style Sheets (CHSS) in October 1994. These style sheets were later used to test browsers compliance to web standards for the first time in 1997. The first test, which was called the Box Acid Test (a.k.a. Acid1 Test), was a simple case test used to help browser developers as they developed and implemented cascading style sheets and accepted it into the web. The next test and probably most famous of the two is know as the Acid2 Test. The purpose of this test was to push developers into implementing new features available through CSS. If a browser passes the test then the page loads fine and looks like a simple little smiley face.

This simple little smiley face is in fact a challenge to reproduce. The test is designed to make the results obvious. Either it passes or it fails. You will see a nasty looking face if it fails (hint: look at it in Internet Explorer here). You should check the Acid2 Test in different browsers that you have installed on your computer and decide for yourself if you want to use a product that has been left behind or if you want to switch to an alternative browser with equal or more features and much better web rendering. Personally I would recommend looking into the following browsers and giving them each a test drive:

The Opera browser has been known for years for it’s record of being the most secure browser available. You are much more likely to get a nasty virus from the web using Internet Explorer than you are while using a browser such as Opera. Opera was also a pioneer in the beginning of tabbed browsing days. Many other browsers saw the potential and jumped to implement the same thing. Opera was also the first browser to include a quick search box at the top of the window. Opera provides a light weight browser with the fasted speeds of any browser from almost every angle and some of the best web standards support. You can’t go wrong with Opera!Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this! Download some of these browsers and give them a try! Any of them are more capable than Internet Explorer. 😉

Vista: Repair with boot disk

vistaIf you ever experience problems with your Vista installation and it fails to boot, you’ll quickly learn that “fixmbr” is no longer used the same way (fixmbr is to be valid for Windows XP and several previous Windows platforms).

If you need to fix your then you may have trouble finding the remedy as I did. I searched for a little while not finding anything helpful. However, not that I’ve found it and had to use it a few times I am going to share it with you (and all just post it so I can reference it later more easily).

The recover steps are as follows:

  1. Power-on your system and immediately insert your installation disk.
  2. Press any key to boot your PC from the installion disk.
  3. Once booting has completed click “Next” after making sure that options such as language are appropriate for you.
  4. From the list of options provided, select repair. (This may take several minutes while the installation disk tries to find supported bootable partitions. Just be patient. 😉 )
  5. If the automatic scan does not detect your windows installation then you may have a lot of trouble regaining any information stored on your drive. If this is not the case for you then move on tot he next step. Otherwise, if this is the case then I suggest the following:
    • Obtain another hard drive, by purchase or borrow from a friend and install Windows on thenew hard drive.
    • Now install some freeware undelete software to recover your important files to the borrowed hard drive so you can use it later to move the files back to your system.
    • After recovering the files that you need to keep, format and reinstall Windows on your old hard drive.
    • Now you are ready to copy and paste the recovered files over.
  6. Now that the install disk has detected your old installation click next to continue.
  7. The next screen offers several things. Go a head and click to repair startup, but don’t count on this fixing anything (it has never fixed anything for me in the past, but it never hurts to try).
  8. Now click on the option to manually repair via the console.
  9. Once in the terminal/console, you will be using “bootrec“. Go a head and type “bootrec” without the quotes into the terminal and press enter to get an idea from the description that it provides for what it does. Now the commands that will fix your system are as follows (without quotes):
    • “bootrec -FixMbr” – this command will rewrite the contents of your master boot record since it is most likely corrupt, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here.
    • “bootrec -FixBoot” – this command may not be necessary, but I use it just incase.
  10. Now that you have enter both of those commands to repair your boot process you just need to restart and see if everything is working again!

I’m not sure how you got into this situation in the first place, but if you have not been trying to install another operating system to dual boot along side Vista then you might want to look into the issue further. You can always use your best friend to find where other people have had similar problems and found solutions. I would suggest looking into this immediately to ensure that your data is not lost in future incidents. It might be that you have corruption in your hard drive and need to run checkdisk to repair any bad places. I hope this has been helpful to someone. If it has helped you at all, please let me know! Post a comment!

Power Hour!

Here is a new app that I’ve been coding in Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition. Pretty much just a party app that DJ’s for you. Check it out and enjoy.

-Download this from the Official Power Hour Download page.

System Requirements:

  • -Windows XP/Vista
  • -.NET Framework 3
  • -1 MB of free space

Known Issues:

  • -Slow adding very large playlists
  • -Slow searching through very large playlists
  • -WMP Plug-in does not play some songs until the play button is pressed
  • Please report any other bugs/problems in the comments section. Feature requests are welcome!

Mac OS X86 and Vista in perfect harmony

So I’ve been looking up some information trying to figure out how to install Mac OS X on my AMD machine which already has Vista Ultimate installed. I came across several helpful sites in my search and although I don’t have it setup successfully just yet..I thought I’d share the information that I found.

mac vista

First off, to install Mac OS X on a regular pc you have to get a *patched* version of the install disk. Please don’t ask me where you can get a hold of a copy of this. 😉

I used a prepatched version called “Mac OS X JaS 10.4.8 Intel/AMD Install DVD”. The steps are pretty easy.

  • Get a pre-patched install disk and burn it with your favorite program.
  • Create a partition on your hard drive at least 6GB..leave it unallocated.
  • Insert your install disk and restart.
  • Make sure that during installation you select all of the appropriate settings to install for your computer’s hardware.
  • After installation completes successfully you will need to restart your computer.

You can play around in OSX for a while if you wish, but you need to configure your boot loader to dual boot Vista and OSX. You can find a guide for this here. There are also plenty of other guides out there that you can use.

It would also be wise to take a look at a compatibility list to make sure that your hardware is supported. You can check that here.

Updates will come soon when I successfully get Mac OS X installed. I’ve heard that a version of 10.4.9 by uphuck is pretty reliable, so I’m in the process of installing it.