Armen Chakmakjian

Archive for October, 2009|Monthly archive page

Windows 7 is pretty stable a week into it…here’s how I got there…

In technology on October 31, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I did my upgrade last week from that abysmal Vista 64 to Windows 7 64. First I’d like to recount how long it took. For that, I will show you my tweets from last Friday night/Saturday morning.  Let me say that I started the upgrade at about 10:30 PM on Friday night:

  1. @alexbarnett was stuck in a damn loop that kept saying uninstall logitech, itunes and norton. after the 3rd tim it gave up and started
    • 11:23 PM Oct 23rd from TweetDeck in reply to alexbarnett
  2. @alexbarnett now I’m just waiting for it to do its thing
    • 11:24 PM Oct 23rd from TweetDeck in reply to alexbarnett
  3. This windows 7 Ultimate 64 upgrade is taking FOREVER…this is ridiculous
    • 11:56 PM Oct 23rd from TweetDeck
  4. 1AM and Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit is STILL installing…brutal
    • 12:59 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  5. This is why I use my mac for important things.
    • 1:02 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  6. @jeffmc this may be the last PC I use. Vista 64 was a disaster. Let see if w7 cleans it up…oh btw, still installing…
    • 1:52 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck in reply to jeffmc
  7. OK Windows 7 is up…now I have to go through and get iTunes to install…just uninstalled the logitech driver that was uninstallable for 2y
    • 2:41 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  8. un-uninstallible that is
    • 2:42 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  9. yay! first time I’ve been able to install itunes on the pc since the 8.00 release.thank you windows 7. now can iPod touch can be upgraded?
    • 3:06 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  10. That’s been stuck with rev 1.0 software because I couldn’t install itunes after 8.00
    • 3:07 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  11. O & 1 more windows 7 test. The driver & software 4 my HP allinone printer wld not install on ths PC w/ Vista (crashed). lets see
    • 3:15 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  12. Printer driver up, printer software up…phew
    • 3:34 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  13. The ipod touch upgrade did not go well
    • 4:22 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck
  14. Done, everything is working now (I think). Touch, printer, itunes, windows, outlook…Yes I did sleep in between
    • 10:25 AM Oct 24th from TweetDeck


So I started at 10:30 PM or so, got stuck in loop that took about 10 minutes as it barfed at me that I couldn’t do the install until I uninstalled logitech, itunes and something else that escapes me now.  After the 3rd attempt to boot off the DVD, it relented (like a GPS that finally gives up when you go on a different path) and started installing.

At about 11:30 I started getting impatient.  My upgrade of Tiger to Leopard on my powerbook only took about a hour.  What was this?

At 1:00 (Tweet 4 above) it was still marking and verifying files.  Mind you my machine is a relatively healthy quad 64bit with 4 gig of ram with a 3g clock so it isn’t underpowered.

At about 2:30 Windows 7 was up.  So that was approximately 4 hours to do the upgrade.  Then the fun part started.

The first thing I needed to know was if I could uninstall software.  Yes, uninstall on my vista 64 bit machine did not work.  I couldn’t take anything off.  It’d tell me that I didn’t have privs.  I’d even run control panel in admin mode and it’d still barf on me.  Drove me nuts.  First to go was logitech for the camera that never worked on this machine (even with the 64 bit driver).  Whap.   then I uninstalled something else can’t remember what now.  Then the real test came.   iTunes.

For over a year I could not upgrade itunes on vista 64 even with the apple vista 64 version of itunes. it would bomb during install and tell me that the windows installer wasn’t installed correctly.  Really?  so since my wife’s ipod touch and my apple TV were primarily used to connect to this machine, I couldn’t take advantage of new functionality (or even download new versions of the ipod touch firmware) because I couldn’t get to itunes 8.02  OR itunes 9.0

So I took a chance there.  I brought up itunes and then asked it to look for an upgrade.  Several minutes later, itunes was up.  YAY!  So at 3:00 I could have stopped and left work till another time…but there was real crime…no not the touch upgrade (which in my sleep deprived mode I was still willing to skip till the morning).  No, we bought a printer last year, an HP 5550c all in one.  But we could not install the drivers or the HP software.  It’d bomb 3/4ths of the way through the install and tell us to try again.  This seemed to be a manifestation of the itunes install issue.  In frustration we figured out how to use the windows photo viewer to do scans and installed the printer driver by hand to get printing working.  But I needed to know.  So I went to the HP site and got the Windows 7 software for this class of printer and Voi La! it installed.  yay…(tweet 12)

Now at this point I could have given up, but I figured since I was up, and I wouldn’t get this much concentrated time ever again, I started to do the iPod touch upgrade.  I paid apple 5 buck for the 3.0 software and hooked up the ipod, it backed itself up and then it started to upgrade.  About 4:00am the upgrade crashed.  Now the ipod touch was stuck looking for something to connect to and would not come up.  The software was wiped out.   I went to the apple site, hit the power and menu buttons simultaneously, cursed in colorful language, ascribed the situation to the scatological nature of all the connected  technologies and their famous steve’s and bill’s…and then I remembered that my macbook was at the other end of the desk.

“Aha!” I said to myself.  “I can to reinstall the old software from my mac, and then reattach it to windows and have it wipe it out…maybe that’d work”

So as I was doing this, about 4:10 am or so, my wife comes downstairs and says “What are you doing? Are you crazy?”   I said, “Look, with my schedule, this is the only way I’d get all this done.  When am i going to have 7 hours of concentrated time to do this?” So she grumbled and went back upstairs.  So I did hook the touch to my mac, put the the 2.2 software back on.  Then I attached it to the windows machine.  The windows machine would make the USB device connected sound, then nada.  I was almost beside myself at this point.  I grabbed the can with the remains of my second diet coke of the evening/morning and said “Damn windows pos…I’ll reboot it.”   So I did a restart of windows (which of course wouldn’t go down on its own, so I finally succumbed holding the power button down for 10 seconds).  I then hooked up the ipod touch, doink sound, itunes came up, recognized that this was a wiped out version of the ipod touch and asked me if I wanted to reinstall my wife’s profile.  YES DAMMIT

So it did, then it reminded me that there was new software needing to be installed for the touch…did I want to do that?  YES DAMMIT

and then it installed. When it reinstalled it shut down all the sync settings for everything…so now I had to figure out what the touch’s sync settings were which took about 10 minutes and several syncs of calendars and music and podcasts et cetera till I got it right and didn’t overflow the 8G of memory.

And at 5:00am I was done.  I was going to tweet that I was done.  In fact the last tweet at 10 am (tweet 14), was actually what I had typed in on tweetdeck on my mac and forgot to hit return.

So the whole thing (remember an upgrade isn’t just installing the OS it is making sure that your machine and all peripherals are functional) too 7hours.

There’s my story…

Apple Time Capsule

In technology on October 23, 2009 at 3:24 am

So as I tweeted tonight, I received my 1TB Apple Time Capsule today and installed it to replace my aging Linksys router and to capture my dream of having a network disk mounted that all my machines could use (and maybe do some backups).  The real reason is that I need to back up all my important data on my Windows vista 64 bit machine that is just not cutting it.  Vista sucks and I have a W7 disk waiting, but I do NOT trust that microsoft with not destroy something (no matter what Walt Mossberg and Steve Ballmer say).  So I have a 24 hour backup going on to get 226G of important information copied to the time capsule and then I will feel safe to do the upgrade.  Why am I doing this?  Well Vista 64 sucks and my wife has an iPod touch that I cannot upgrade to the latest OS because windows vista is so screwed that I can’t upgrade iTunes (trust me I’ve done everyting including a bare metal install of iTunes…I’ve followed every web suggestion to play with the registry and msconfig, I’m done going down that path)

So rather than do the CNet thing and show how I opened the box, I’m going to cut to the chase.

    1. The software loaded flawlessly on my mac
    2. I set up the Time Capsule as both a disk and as a router
    3. I set up both a regular network as well as a guest network, both wpa2 et cetera et cetera
    4. My macbook pro connected to it.
    5. I went to connect my old powerbook (running osx) and it would NOT connect.
    6. I noticed that I had lost my connection on my macbook, and tried to reconnect to no avail (including the airport software that I just used to configure the device.  its scan button did NOTHING.
    7. I could not get the airport utility to see the time capsule anymore.
    8. My wired connection through it was working (my pc is wired to the router)
    9. In frustration I hit the reset button on the time capsule and saw that I was again able to see the time capsule on my macbook
    10. I reset all the stuff I did from steps 2-5 again and again all my machines got dropped.
    11. at this point I was so frustrated that even the reset again and did it again
    12. In desperation I connected my macbook pro to the “guest” network.  voi la a connection.
    13. I then asked to connect to the primary network…voi la again a connection
    14. did the same thing on my powerbook
    15. did the same thing on my G1
    16. did the same thing on my wife’s macbook
    17. What do I mean the same?  I connected to the guest network first then the private network
    18. Being the engineer, I reset the time capsule again, and re-setup the whole thing again and go the same results.
    19. Then I reset the time capsule and set up everything EXCEPT the guest network.
    20. Now everything connected to the private network first time…all 6 wireless devices.  No connection timeouts, nothing went wrong.

Being an Apple promoter, more technical than the average consumer, and persistent because of both an engineering background and Armenian DNA, I kept with it.  My conclusion?

Apple, you blew it with this device.    The fact that it not only dropped all the ancillary devices but the macbookpro with the airport software installed…

Well anyway, its up, i’m backing up my PC onto it AND I’m about to install windows 7-64 on my PC (probably tomorrow night at this point).  I’ve forwent the guest network for now since it just seems to complicate things.

It’s working and doing most of what I expected (including the dual band network for my apple TV to connect to) So I guess I’ll keep it.

Famous and Self-Abuse…

In Literature on October 15, 2009 at 11:55 pm

I’m reading Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir on the Craft on my Kindle.  I thought it appropriate since I’m trying to be a writer, why not get advice from arguably the most successful fiction writer of the last 30 years.   Now mind you I didn’t say the best, I just said most successful.  Truly, he is the Mark Twain of our generation, more on the fear side anyway.  Anyway, I’m about one-third of the way through the book and I just spent that 3rd learning about how poor he was, how much people in Maine smoke and drink, and how he became famous during a time he engaged in serious substance abuse.

I’ll admit, on those late nights 3 years ago when I wrote my book I sometimes had a glass of wine or a scotch on the rocks but to read his story, he doesn’t even remember writing Cujo.  Damn!

The reason I thought of this was that he finally started to get to the craft of writing about this third of the way through the book.  I was wondering if he was going to tell me at all.   Then my mind wandered to Michael Jackson and Oprah and Jim Morrison and CSN and Ringo and Barbara Bach and I started thinking:  Are there any famous people who don’t have a sordid or pitiful past?  Is it a pre-requisite to notoriety to engage in self destructive behavior, or live a lie for many years?

I wonder.  I’m also simultaneously reading a biography on Andrew Carnegie.  It’s fascinating also.  He was close to the richest and close to the most famous person at the close of the 19th Century.  But his story doesn’t sound the same.   I don’t know.

Hemingway is another notorious drinker.   What is it?

So as I sit here reading about these guys, looking for inspiration to write, sometimes play my guitar, do this and that and maybe school…I wonder, are they all so exceptional that they (unlike lots of other people who fail miserably) rose above their self-abuse, their sordid past…or was that past necessary for them to have nothing to lose so they could excel (aka not care about failure).

Just sitting here philosophizing…

Google Wave…WHY?

In Random, Social Media, technology, web 2.0 on October 14, 2009 at 5:15 pm

OK so I got my precious invitation to Google Wave and I went in, and started experimenting.  There’s some cool stuff in there.  It seems like a mashup of Friendfeed, Utterli and IM, with a sort of email feel to it.

My best description of what it feels like to use it is, if you ever watched that show “The Woodwright’s Shop” on PBS with Roy Underhill, with no power tools and all those chisels and planes and saws and the big workbench…all tools sitting there in one shop looking for a job to do.    Roy would appear with his little toolbox and build a barrel using the oddest plane to shape the boards into a curve…or a hand cut dovetails.   But without him, those tools are just sitting there looking for a purpose.

I just don’t get it.  I can use it.  I could see whipping up some widget for fun for it.   But I don’t know the answer to the following question:


Obama gets the Nobel Peace Prize? Give me a break!

In history, humor, politics on October 9, 2009 at 9:49 pm

First off, I can say this because

  • I voted for him
  • I have a right to free expression
  • I have to laugh

So lets get this straight.  Nominations were due on Jan 30, 10 days after the inauguration…so singlehandedly without most of his transition done, in 10 days Barack Obama changed the world peace situation.   What did he do wave his wand?

The Nobel Peace prize has been won by significant people AFTER they did something significant to change world peace…like Begin and Sadat, like Mandela, Martin Luther King, et cetera et cetera…Heck Mahatma Gandhi DIDN’T GET ONE!…it makes no sense to award one to a newly elected leader just for showing up and warming the chair!

What’s next?

  • Obama wins an Oscar for his inaugural address?
  • Obama gets the Baldridge award for running and efficient Campaign?
  • Obama wins the congressional Medal of Honor because a some congressman noticed we had 1 extra in the drawer for 2009?
  • Obama wins the Charlie’s Angels award for best imitiation of John Forsythe saying “Bosley”
  • Obama awards himself the Presidential Medal of Freedom, because, well, he can?
  • Obama wins the Silvio Berlousconi award for best swooning attitude?
  • Obama wins on the Price is Right (except he had to play from the Oval Office)?
  • Pope to issue an encyclical that called “Barack Obama est valde , es vos?”
  • Barack Obama is awarded Stigmata by God for his service to humanity.

I like the guy.  I don’t agree with everything he’s doing, but he’s ok.  But that doesn’t mean I give him a medal for just showing up!

Amazon to sell kindle globally!

In Armenia, Business & Finance, Kindle, Literature, Science Fiction, Social Media, technology on October 7, 2009 at 4:36 am

This is freakin’ awesome!  Those who have been following my blog posts and tweets know that my book, Urtaru, has a sort of international edge to it.  I’m hoping that the new markets that are being opened up!

A reuters article outlines it very well.  but on the amazon splash screen they have a long letter to customers about the new plan.

Can you tell that I’m excited.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about visit my book site