Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bill Gates is the Devil - 0xc0000005

Windows is cranky, unstable, proprietary, a resource hog, and generally a pain. It is also essentially unavoidable for anyone wanting to use a personal computer on the internet. In a few years, there will be a critical mass of people sick of MicroSloth and a sufficiently big player to make linux an actual usuable alternative. Someday.

My next OS will probably be Linux, and then I'll never look back to Microsoft. But Linux isn't ready for prime time, for a general consumer public. So, we all must wrestle with the evil Mr. Gates until that time.

One value in keeping a blog is that I can now make information available to the global least, to anyone desperate enough to wade through the details of a Google search for a solution. You'd think I'd have to put this information on some topic-specific site for it to be findable and useful for any fellow Windows sufferers. No, Google catalogs everything on the internet, and will direct people to this page, even though it's in a personal blog. That is, as long as the person enters a carefully-designed set of search criteria.

I recently fixed Internet Explorer ver 6 (IE6) on a PC running Windows 2000. Symptom: upon trying to start the program, one gets only a little grey error message box, saying: The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005). No details otherwise forthcoming from the Idiot Operating System from Redmond.

Re-install IE6: no change. Perform three different adware/spyware/virus scans: a few mangy mongrels ejected from the hard drive, but no change in IE behavior. Diligent search on the support pages from Microsoft: nothing. Diligent Google search: a vast number of red herrings, a few possibilities, but not a single description of a successful repair of this specific problem. Grrr.

My hero of the day, however, is Tom Keefer of Portland, OR. He posts occasionally on In reply to another condemned soul (also plagued by the same, exact IE problem) he made the brilliantly concise suggestion: "I'm not sure this will help in your case, but it's worth a try: download and run IEFix." He kindly included a link to the download site, the URL is: You get an file. You have to know how to unzip a .zip file. If you don't have an unzipper, I recommend WinZip 8.1, available at

Now, IEFix does what Mr. Gates should have forseen a need for. It simply makes sure all the needed IE files are on the PC drive, in the right places, all properly registered in the registry, and that the necessary registry "keys" are there, with the proper values.

Outstanding resource. It's capable of fixing not just this error, but a whole host of IE problems on Windows machines, not just Win2000 or XP. But to be perfect, IEFix ought to be available as a self-extracting archive (a *.exe file), and ought to be available by FTP download. See, if you don't have a working browswer, you can still download by FTP from a command prompt. This program is to fix a non-working browser, so why distribute by a method that requires a browswer?

Anyway, IEFix lived up to its name. IE6 is up and running on this PC.

Executive Summary:
Problem: Internet Explorer won't start. Error Message: The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000005).

Solution:, which explains and then points to

Happy Browsing!


Thursday, January 26, 2006

IM Chat Jan 26, 2006

IM Chat Jan 26, 2006-- my chat partner's screen name is changed ... to protect the innocent!

GirlOfGold9: hello
SteveMDFP: hello
GirlOfGold9: sorry if I interupted anything, its just that you seem normal.
GirlOfGold9: but then again, I could be
GirlOfGold9: well goodnight
SteveMDFP: sorry...still there?
SteveMDFP: I was in the middle of something. Probably assumed you were a bot at first.
SteveMDFP: I like to think of myself as normal. But who knows for sure. The weird ones probably think they're the normal ones.
GirlOfGold9: whats a bot???
SteveMDFP: oh...
SteveMDFP: computer program disguised to look like a human user. To direct people to paid sites...usually porn.SteveMDFP: like this IM I just received: barbara_blasia461: 502dfd 35q3 click that blue link to see me naked qn2
GirlOfGold9: hey I got that too.
GirlOfGold9: that is what a bot is????
SteveMDFP: yep
SteveMDFP: they infest chat rooms and IM services. The IM equivalent of spam e-mail.
SteveMDFP: short for "robot"
GirlOfGold9: oh I see
SteveMDFP: how are you?
GirlOfGold9: so...just killing sometime before bed and thought I check out the MD rooms. They don't seem as.....raw as NY far
SteveMDFP: oh....well, the humans tend to be normal-ish.
GirlOfGold9: so why r u up so late??
SteveMDFP: slept earlier
GirlOfGold9: oh
SteveMDFP: I'll go back to bed again in a bit
SteveMDFP: Trying to figure out some blog technology stuff.
GirlOfGold9: oh, well I could not sleep and just need to wine down, not sure why, do have things on the brain I supose
SteveMDFP: I've been messing around IM and chat rooms for a few years. I think the online world has gotten progressively more jaded and suspicious. Mostly in concert with all the spam and bots and commercialization.
SteveMDFP: most of us do.
GirlOfGold9: I see, its a shame. Years ago I made some decent friends, whom I have kept in touch with, and now, can't even do that. My mom started her own chat sight, with rules, lol. I think thats cute.
SteveMDFP: that is
GirlOfGold9: that is what????
SteveMDFP: cute
GirlOfGold9: oh, sorry
SteveMDFP: it would be helpful if yahoo would get serious about reducing the bot infestation. It wouldn't be hard.
SteveMDFP: possibly AOL chat rooms are still worth visiting....but you have to be an AOL subscriber for that.
SteveMDFP: there are only a handful of AIM rooms available...all are dreadful.
SteveMDFP: MSN shut down its free chat rooms.
GirlOfGold9: or perhaps....make a trash room for trash instead of the mix, I know some enjoy it but I have girls hitting on me too
SteveMDFP: liability concerns.
SteveMDFP: ah
GirlOfGold9: yep, anything always tries to write me. It's pretty sad, lol
SteveMDFP: There's the original internet chat rooms, IRC. Totally non-commercial and I think they have some anti-bot technology for it. But it's only used by geeks.
SteveMDFP: I was thinking of trying to be a one-man advertising machine for a DC area IRC chat room.
SteveMDFP: irc://
SteveMDFP: would you try cutting and pasting that into your browser address window, and see if it takes you there?
GirlOfGold9: oh ok hang on, I will try.....but have you tried it yet?
SteveMDFP: yes...but what it does will depend some on what browser you're using.
SteveMDFP: Like in Opera, it has a built-in IRC program.
GirlOfGold9: you know I just had the nices, cleanest chat with some one and a total gentleman when I wanted to say goodnight...I just think it's maybe the NY rooms, lol
SteveMDFP: Jerks are everywhere. Decent people are everywhere, too. Just have to be careful without being too paranoid. Difficult balance.
GirlOfGold9: yep, true
SteveMDFP: I try to err more on the side of being trusting than suspicious, without being totally foolhardy. Works for me....I think it's a minority of people who are genuinely nasty or dangerous.
GirlOfGold9: yes but if you would visit a ny room it is alittle on the harsh side for some reason
GirlOfGold9: just how they aproach the conversation is an emediate ignore button I go for
SteveMDFP: yeah, of course, NY has that reputation of the people being in-your-face. A grain of truth to that, I think.
SteveMDFP: Of course, you might not know the famous description of Washington, DC.....
SteveMDFP: "The city that combines all the charm of the North, with all the efficiency of the South."
GirlOfGold9: lol, yes... too funny. Never heard that one
GirlOfGold9: see, I keep getting these girls popping up here to see them....but not as often as if I were in the ny room, but still very anoying
SteveMDFP: all bots
SteveMDFP: real women don't IM aggressively. More like what you did.
GirlOfGold9: your not in Washington???
SteveMDFP: Just north of DC
SteveMDFP: I'm on the Metro system, but in MD
GirlOfGold9: me.... just a simple hello after I have read a profile. And for those who write me, well no profile, I don't bother.
GirlOfGold9: does the metro system mean trains and buses??
GirlOfGold9: excuse me for lack of knowledge
SteveMDFP: practice, it means the subway system in DC...
GirlOfGold9: oh ok
SteveMDFP: technically, the term includes some of the bus service. In practice "Metro" means subway, if people mean bus, it's "Metro bus"
SteveMDFP: downtown, it runs these outlying areas, above ground. I think NYC's system is above-ground outside of manhattan, mostly, if memory serves.
SteveMDFP: I grew up in part in the NJ suburbs.
GirlOfGold9: so you live close to the train is what you are saying, or you work for the system?
SteveMDFP: live close to the train.
GirlOfGold9: no, we have the subway, which is underground. We have the long island rail road, above ground
GirlOfGold9: me too, live close to it too
GirlOfGold9: I took my daughter to visit DC, some time back now, lol, anyway I remember to train system, they had swipe cards way before we did.
GirlOfGold9: I remember being impressed
SteveMDFP: yes...the system here was built to use them from the start.
GirlOfGold9: oh
SteveMDFP: It's clean and quiet, definitely.
GirlOfGold9: oh yes
SteveMDFP: The system wasn't built until like the 1970s.
GirlOfGold9: oh, did'nt know that
SteveMDFP: DC used to be a pretty sleepy city, not too long ago. The growth has been steady.
GirlOfGold9: I thought Virginia was close to DC, not MD
SteveMDFP: DC was carved out of both states. The part that came from VA was given back. All of modern DC used to be Maryland.
GirlOfGold9: no shit..
SteveMDFP: so DC is bordered by the Potomac river along the west side, then maryland along all the other sides.
SteveMDFP: live on one side of the street, in Maryland, and you have representation in congress. Live on the other side of the street, in DC, and you have no Senator or Representative in congress.
GirlOfGold9: Now, I have been to MD, with a girlfriend and we went to Ocean City for a mini Vacation and also stayed in .....? Hang on I will remember
SteveMDFP: Annapolis?
GirlOfGold9: wow, that interesting, why is that?
SteveMDFP: or smaller town on the shore? Rehoboth? Dewey Beach?
GirlOfGold9: no it began with a B I think
GirlOfGold9: no been to Dewy but it's a state
SteveMDFP: it's in the constitution...the states get representation in congress, the District itself does not.
GirlOfGold9: next to MD
SteveMDFP: Delaware
GirlOfGold9: YES! Delaware
SteveMDFP: DELaware - MARyland - VirginiA all are part of the Delmarva penninsula.
GirlOfGold9: If I close out of this chat room, will I loose you?
SteveMDFP: Go a little north of Ocean City, you're in Delaware. A ways south, you're in Va.
SteveMDFP: yes.
SteveMDFP: unless you buddy-list me.
GirlOfGold9: well I may be in still but I hit the X and your still here
GirlOfGold9: ok there ya go
SteveMDFP: oh "this chat" ... you meant the chat room...I thought you meant this IM window.
GirlOfGold9: NO, the room. I have alittle dog I am going let go to the bathroom fast. BRB.OK???
SteveMDFP: Do me a favor? go to my blog page, and just click ONE ad, ONE time?
SteveMDFP: ok
GirlOfGold9: ok, can I do it when I return?
SteveMDFP: sure
GirlOfGold9: ok back , let me check out this site now. Then I should get to bed.
SteveMDFP: OK. Much appreciated.
SteveMDFP: thank you, and sleep well.
GirlOfGold9: uhm....interesting. I tried to save to my favarites folder but could not. I wanted more time to read it. Are you a raised Catholic?
SteveMDFP: I was raised Catholic, yes.
GirlOfGold9: I can see your point then, lol
SteveMDFP: That essay was a long way of stating that I consider myself more or less an agnostic.
GirlOfGold9: I was raised with much guilt that it took into my recent years, well not so recent, to enjoy what life has to offer and have somewhat anger towards the Catholic beliefs, excuse my spelling , it is late, but anyway I would like to further read you blog
GirlOfGold9: never heard of agnostic
SteveMDFP: usually means "I do not know if there is a God"
SteveMDFP: Technically, I believe the term means "nobody can possibly know if there is a God"
GirlOfGold9: oh I see, is there many like you who think like this that you know of
GirlOfGold9: do you believe in the devil???
SteveMDFP: Many, certainly. Believe in the devil? Not at all. Evil is the absence of good. Like darkness is the absence of light, not a thing in itself. Like ignorance is the absence of knowledge.
GirlOfGold9: wow...who are you?
SteveMDFP: I'm just me. You saw my profile?
GirlOfGold9: and what r you doing on a chat site, you seem so......different than anyone I talk to
SteveMDFP: Yeah. I'm different from anyone I talk to, too.
GirlOfGold9: yes, so whats you story? I don't mean to be nosy, but are you married with children, and do you have a job, lol. Your very interesting, I mean from a human being point of view. NOt trying to make a pass, just...different, is all.
SteveMDFP: That would be a very long-distance pass, anyway.
SteveMDFP: And I don't object to being flirted with.
SteveMDFP: I'm divorced. Three children. They live with their mom, my ex.
SteveMDFP: I'm an alcoholic in recovery. I haven't had a drink in almost 2 years now.
GirlOfGold9: cool!
GirlOfGold9: is that the cause for divorce? Are the children small?
SteveMDFP: the children are a little taller than average
GirlOfGold9: lol, Mine is 20 yrs old and slightly shorter than me, lol
SteveMDFP: no, my drinking took off after the separation. As the divorce got heated, so did my drinking.
GirlOfGold9: sorry
SteveMDFP: I have three children, all daughters, ages 13, 11, and 11.
GirlOfGold9: at least you did something about it
GirlOfGold9: twins??
SteveMDFP: or stopped drinking, anyway. I suppose you could say I stopped doing something with it.
SteveMDFP: Yes, twins.
SteveMDFP: Hey! I just claimed a new spot of web cyberspace for my own!
SteveMDFP: Cool, eh?
GirlOfGold9: cool, I am in it now
GirlOfGold9: how so though?
GirlOfGold9: hey its REALLY late. I had a nice time chatting and lost track of time. Do you have to get up early?
SteveMDFP: not so early...and I've already slept should hit the hay.
SteveMDFP: the sack
SteveMDFP: anything that won't hit back!
GirlOfGold9: yep, I need some hours before I start my day.
GirlOfGold9: hope to chat again
SteveMDFP: chatch some z's, honey.
SteveMDFP: me, too.
SteveMDFP: you're quite nice
GirlOfGold9: ok, have a good night
GirlOfGold9: you so so nice too
GirlOfGold9: glad I met you
SteveMDFP: ah, until my evil twin comes out.
GirlOfGold9: lol
GirlOfGold9: goodnight buddy

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

On God

By request: SteveMDFP on God

It's occurred to me that when people speak of "God" they mean one or more of at least three different aspects of divinity. The ancient Hebrews had at least three different words for God, to convey this concept.

There's "God the creator." In Genesis, it's "Elohim." We live in a universe; it got here somehow. Yes, certainly forces of some sort, vast and complex beyond human comprehension, are responsible. Whether this is a being who resembles humans in thought or functioning seems doubtful to me. Who could possibly pretend to know anything about the nature of such forces, of such a being? It seems clear to me that nobody could possibly have a clear and meaningful knowledge of such a thing. On this aspect of "God," call me an agnostic.

There's "God the source of miracles." I don't believe in this God. People point to fortunate coincidences or wonderful-but-mysterious phenomena and say it must be from God. But with the unfortunate coincidences or awful-but-mysterious phenomena, they don't give God credit.

It seems to me that if a God created the universe with its laws of nature, rules of probability, he wouldn't go willy-nilly around and suspend those laws here and there to perform miracles. If he set it up right from the beginning, he wouldn't have to. I've never witnessed anything I'd consider a true miracle, and what people say about miracles seems to me to convey more about that person than anything about the universe. Perhaps irreverently, I call this "The God of the Lucky Rabbit's Foot." It's a personification of the magical. It's anthropomorphizing coincidence. For this God, call me an atheist.

Finally, there's the God of spiritual inspiration. In the Bible, this is referred to as "the Holy Spirit." I believe human conceptions of right and wrong, good and evil, virtuous and vain derive from some kind of inspiration or guidance, not just social norms. Else, how can we explain spiritual individuals inspire populations to be better than they have been? The precise nature of this guidance-from-within-that-doesn't-seem-like-self isn't clear to me. I do know, however, that to live a worthwhile life, I have to stay attuned to this guidance. Indeed, the whole conception of some things being "worthwhile" comes from here. For this God, this giver-of-values, call me a firm believer.

Namaste and

best wishes,


This from:

SteveMDFP ... Testing.....Initial post

This is a test of the blogger system.
This is only a test.
If this were a real nuclear war, you'd be toast by now.

Have a nice day,