Charlie’s Angel – Farrah Fawcett gets her angels wings.

new-charlie-angelsToday we said goodbye to another icon from the 1970’s. Farrah Fawcett died today at age 62 of Anal cancer. One of the greatest iconic sex symbols of all time has taken flight.

A great beauty taken too soon. Farrah Fawcett played Jill Munroe for only 1 season on the 1976 Hit TV series Charlies Angels. She was subsequently replaced by Cheryl Ladd. However that role is what launched her career.

As an actress she won multiple golden globes. appearing off broadway and in some very good made for TV movies.

I’ll never forget Farrah smiling in a red one piece bathing suit, with very ‘perky’ to say the least breasts. 10 yo fantasies oh my!

She was on my bedroom wall just like most teenage boys from that era. She sold some 12 million copies of that poster setting sales records

In 1995 she posed twice for playboy, causing quite a stir after refusing to pose nude in film for almost 20 years. Even at 50 something she was stunning.

Router Not Running At Full Speed?

This morning I caught a tweet from someone having issues with their Linksys router.

routerguy

I sent a message to Spencer, telling him about my experience as a Road Runner Tech. It is very common service call I used to run that customers were not getting their advertised speed. 95% of the time it was not the ISP’s fault. Most of the time it was due to a router being 3, 4 or even 5 years old. Most older routers do not have the backplane capability in many cases. It is also possible that the router’s firmware is not capable of the 10 Megabit or higher speeds that FIOS and Road Runner are delivering. One top-selling brand in particular is the Linksys WRT-54G. If you have this router a firmware update may be all you need.

Before you run out and buy a new router, that may or may not fix your problem. There is something else you can try. It’s called DD-WRT. That my friend is open source router firmware written for many common routers. There are versions for Linksys, Netgear, Belkin, and a whole bunch more.

It is possible that this may fix your speed issue. It is also possible that it will not fix it, and if you’re not careful you may totally ‘brick’ your router. Although the later is highly unlikely. I am not going to go into great detail on how to do this. If Google is your friend AND you can actually find the correct information on your particular brand of router, your chances of updating it are very good.

Hopefully your outcome will be very similar to this.

routerguy2

Link to DD-WRT

Have fun and good luck to you. If you need expert assistance with this I am available for a fee or barter arrangement.

Vista stuck Configuring Updates Step 3 of 3 – 0% Complete

vistaThis post is a result of a recent repair I did on a Toshiba/Vista laptop. This may or may not help you with your own individual problem. This is the solution that I used to resolve the “Configuring Updates Step 3 of 3 — 0% Complete” infinite reboot cycle:

Requirements: You will need a “live cd” to boot into an environment from which you may delete or rename the “c:\windows\winsxs\pending.xml” file, to do this, I used the free and open source Ubuntu Linux distribution. You may also use a copy of BartPE, Winternals ERD or any other method to boot the machine to a command prompt that will allow you to access the NTFS volume. If you can boot to Safe Mode Command Prompt only. You will not need the Ubuntu CD. Just skip to step 11.

The specs for the laptop are as follows: Toshiba Satellite A205-S4567, Vista Home Ultimate.

Upon initial inspection it was discovered to be in a reboot loop. After post the unit showed a GUI with the message “configuring updates stage 3 of 3 0% complete”. After a moment or two the machine would restart and continue this process.

To fix this issue here is a Step-by-step method:

1) find a friend, relative, neighbor or co-worker with a working computer, and CD-Burner. Get a blank CDROM. Visit the Ubuntu download site: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

2) download the desktop edition ISO.

3) burn the ISO to disk (if you don’t know how to do this do a bit of googling – it’s beyond the scope of this fix)

4) once burnt, boot your broken Windows Vista computer, you will likely have to change the boot settings to tell it to boot from the CDROM.

5) the Ubuntu CD should offer you a language selector and then the option “Try Ubuntu without modifying your computer”

6) Once Ubuntu has booted, go to the “Places” menu in the top menu bar.

7) Within the places menu, you’ll see some “disk drives” listed, you should be able to guess which one might be the one that is your Windows Vista C Drive by it’s size or name, e.g. “75.4GB disk” or “Presario” or “System” etc… it depends upon your computer. Once you’ve figured out which one it is then click it (don’t be scared to try each entry in turn)

9) a disk icon should then appear on the Ubuntu desktop that you can then double click and explore. If you see an error message that says something to the effect of cannot mount, fret not here is a way to get around that. Click on applications, then accessories, then terminal. enter the following command to ‘mount’ your drive.

sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/sda1 /media/ -o force

10) Confirm that it’s the correct disk partition by opening the drive and looking for familiar folder names such as “Users”, “Windows” etc.. (if not try one of the others as described in step 7)

11) navigate to the following folder: windows/winsxs

12) locate the file “pending.xml” and delete it completely.

13) restart the computer via the Ubuntu System -> Quit… Restart options

14) remove the live cd when prompted.

15) let the machine boot up back into Windows Vista, it may go back to the “configuring updates” screen again – but don’t panic – be patient. It should switch after a while to say “Welcome” and eventually take you to your normal Windows Vista desktop.

This worked for me, I hope it works for you too. Keep in mind that there may be other ‘issues’ with the machine. They may be addressed separately. Once you are able to boot into a desktop environment, some additional diagnostics may be needed.
Good luck.