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M40's Complaints, Issues, and General Disgruntled Ramblings

Disclaimer: This site is my own little corner of the worldwide web. It is, and will continue to be under constant construction. It is built solely for my own amusement, so if you don't like it for any reason, you can feel free to "change the channel" so to speak. Any views, opinions, and any and all content is my own unless otherwise labeled. Most, if not all of the tools, bits of code, etc are credited where deserved (See the "About This Site" link below). There is also a link by which you can contact me. Suggestions and inquiries are welcome. I have attempted to keep file sizes small enough for the 56k crowd, but some areas may be slow for dialup users.

I used to have a LOT of ranting and raving about a variety of unscrupulous businesses and people on this page. I have recently started up a new wing of the site dedicated to bashing those who so richly deserve it!!

M40 proudly presents...




The following Topics do not warrant mention on the Asshole Files. I have included links to them here as a collection of assorted rants and raves...

Some Products Should NEVER Fail

Thank You Hollywood

Bad American

M40 Attempts to Explain Liberalism

Bill Gates Strikes Again ...


Messenger Popups all of a sudden?

The RIGHT Way to Deal With Lawyers



Thank You Hollywood
 I was recently watching a Discovery Channel special called, "Reporters at War", and something struck me. I watched all this footage from ass-of-the-Earth places like like Bosnia, Cuba, Lebanon, Chechnya, Angola, etc etc etc. What I quickly realized was that it was a rare moment that I saw anyone actually put a rifle to shoulder and aim it. What I did see was idiots running around playing the Hollywood idea of a soldier, but it seemed to be a rare moment that I saw what I would consider an actual soldier. One of the funniest videos I have ever seen was the Al Qaida training camp videos showing the "intense training" given to their "commandos". These guys look like the Keystone Cops (well... a slightly dumber, dirtier, diaper-head version of the Keystone Cops).
 I thought about this for a bit, and I realized that American military forces owe Hollywood a vast debt of gratitude. By convincing most of the third world that weapon sights are for pussies, Hollywood has rendered much of the world impotent. This is one of the reasons that we were able to walk, roll and fly straight into one of the world's most heavily armed countries (Iraq) and conduct the most one-sided battle the world has ever seen.

Hey, I'm not saying that the laser guided bombs and the smart weapons didn't help. Of course they helped, but when it came right down to the men on the ground, each straight shooting United States Marine was effectively worth about a thousand hip-firing Iraqi posers. It has been much the same in both Gulf wars, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Panama, Grenada, Cuba, and every other third-world outhouse that American boots have landed in for the past 20 years.  

In my humble opinion, Hollywood should continue to despise U.S. forces and everything they stand for. Hollywood dolts should continue to spout granola-head ideas at every awards ceremony. Hollywood should continue to send Jane Fonda and Sean Penn types out to befriend our enemies, because in doing so, they have earned the trust of every zipperhead terrorist and pinko revolutionary worldwide. The average third world dictator's inherent trust of Hollywood shows in how they train their ground forces. This has given the US and our allies such a huge advantage in wartime, that it almost makes me want to hug some self-aggrandizing dumbass like Streisand or Sarandon. Well... not really... whatever brain eating bacteria they seem to be suffering from could be contagious.

Messenger Popups all of a sudden?

Anyone Suddenly Having Problems with a whole load of popup messenger windows (ads and such)?

This one got me pretty good. I never use messengers of any kind, but all of a sudden I recently had these windows appearing, mostly with advertisements for software to block popup advertisements!!! This happened in conjunction with a recent Windows update, and had me going for a few. I was trying to uninstall messenger. I wiped several of the latest software bits I had put in, etc etc. No luck. Yet again.... thanks Mr. Gates, you sellout scumbag. First he leaves a bunch of holes in the system, Explorer, etc so that all the slimy ad agencies can track you online. Then when hackers exploit those holes, Microsoft acts like they didn't know they were there. Yeah Right!

A little reading, and I figured it out. Go to your Start Menu -> Programs -> Administrative Tools -> Services

From Services, scroll down to Messenger, and double click it to show its Properties panel.

First, Stop the bugger, then Disable it from starting. Hit apply, and you're done with annoying popups... (at least until Microsoft tries to open another spy-ware loophole) !!!

PS - From my links page, you can find your way to SpyBot, which kills spyware better than the rest!


WINDOZE XP -  Fix yer shite, Bill

Windows XP has reared it's ugly head yet again, and in it's never ending quest to "help" me, it has gone and royally screwed me!
I had been having some crash problems, and it took me a bit, but I isolated the issue. I ran a benchmark on the memory, and found it to be bad. I isolated which stick was bad, and replaced it. I benchmarked again, and confirmed that the memory was good... crash problem solved.... HOWEVER... everything was still seemingly limping along at a snails pace.

The problem of slowdowns is relatively foreign to me, as I run a 2.4Ghz P4 on a high end Asus MB with a Gig of RAM, a 128Mb Nvidia Graphics card, a decent SoundBlaster card, and two 120Gb 7200RPM Western Dig's.

I waded around in the system for quite some time, and couldn't isolate what the heck was happening, except that the hard drives seemed to be very slow. Things opened slowly, and I had problems capturing live DV, etc. I downloaded a test tool from WD, which said that both drives were fine, but I didn't trust it. Finally I found a decent benchmarking tool (see for their Fresh Diagnose Software which is FREE to private users, and is a very professional tool), and went to work. It wound up telling me that my write speeds were about 2.5Mb/sec, which is at about 1/10 of where they should be. I started searching some knowledge bases online, and after a lot of wading around, discovered the problem...

Apparently, XP doesn't know the difference between memory errors and drive errors!! Bad memory can (of course) cause a drive to write bad data. Each time XP finds corrupted data, it assumes a drive error. After 6 "drive errors" it will then try to "help" you by slowing down the drive. If your system was Ultra DMA Mode 5, it will slow to DMA Mode 4. After another 6 "errors" it will slow to DMA Mode 3, and so forth, until it reaches "PIO ONLY".  You are not allowed to change this... the setting is grayed out, as XP knows better than you, right?

The only way to speed things back up is to UNINSTALL both the primary and secondary IDE's (from Hardware Manager), and then reboot the system.  XP will then find this "new hardware" upon boot up and reinstall the drivers, which will then reset the DMA to whatever your drive supports. You will then have to reboot once more to complete. Do make sure your RAM is good before you do this, as it will happen all over again otherwise.

Isn't it great when XP decides to "help" us... especially when it does this with absolutely ZERO prompts to tell us it is doing so?? Maybe they'll create a cartoon character for this in the future.... I suggest a cartoon turtle that says, "It looks like your hard drives are running fast. I'll slow them down for you, hmmm?"

In short… I HIGHLY recommend buying or downloading a decent system benchmark tool like Fresh Diagnose to help diagnose what is actually going on in your system, because obviously Windoze is not going to. Otherwise, you’ll keep crashing, only to have Microsoft’s Online Crash Recovery tool point to an imaginary “Driver Error".... pure BS.


Bill Gates Strikes Again ...

Outlook 2003 issue causes explorer.exe to consume at or near 100% CPU resources

One of my systems has been bogging down a lot lately. In particular, whenever Outlook 2003 was running the system was consuming at or near 100% CPU resources (task manager usually attributed the usage to explorer.exe, but I could find no reason for the high resource demand).

I did a bit of research, and found that a few others have had similar issues when Outlook 2003 was running. A bit of digging, and I found the fix. Microsoft has provided it with Outlook, but for some reason it is not something that runs automatically. They have buried it in an obscure subdirectory here:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033

The tool is called “ SCANPST.EXE ”, and you simply run it, and then navigate it to each of however many .pst files you have. When I ran it, it found errors in every single one of my mail archives. I ran the tool’s “fix errors” function on each of the .pst’s, and my system is now running very clean. At the moment, with multiple apps running, I’m averaging between 3% and 30% CPU usage depending on what I’m doing at the time (ie: the system is running as it should).

My guess is that the “errors” cause explorer to continuously scan these directories. The tool doesn’t tell you what the errors were or how to avoid them in the future, but it sure does FIX the issue. Why this doesn’t run automatically upon the occurrence of these "errors", I don’t know but at least there’s a fix.   

Ain’t Microsoft grand?