You won’t find us on Skype Any More

I just want to let everyone know that you won’t find us on Skype any more. Why? Well, it isn’t free software (as in freedom) for one. There is also no way to ensure that it has no back doors. It also doesn’t use open standards for communication. How can you contact us? Well, we have a Gizmo accout. But, I don’t use the Gizmo client (it isn’t free either). I downloaded Wengo Phone (it is GPLd) and use it to use Gizmo VoIP service. If you were using a real VoIP solution, you could call us directly by simply knowing our SIP URI. However, Skype doesn’t allow that.

  • You could talk to Skype about entering into a Voip Peering arrangement and allow you to call SIP numbers.
  • If you want to call via telephone, call one of these numbers then dial *747 + our Gizmo number.
  • Go to the gizmo homepage and sign up for an account. Also download zphone from Phil Zimmerman. It will encrypt your voice over the internet.
  • If you care about using free software (instead of closed software that can contain who knows what), download one of many applications that support SIP. I’m using WengoPhone right now. Don’t like the interface? Choose another. See why open standards are important?!

[Update 08-15-2008 09:09:41I discuss changes to my communication apps here .  I started having problems using Wengo Phone so I switched back to the Gizmo Client and Pidgin.  I also wanted to continue using the Pidgin Encryption plugin.

HP dv9500 (dv9535nr) Boot Problems

My friend was having problems with his HP dv9500 laptop last week and asked me for help.  At first, he just wanted to back everything up and redo it; however, by the time we got together, the computer wouldn’t even boot.  Of course, he didn’t have a good backup already, so we tried to make one.

 I also didn’t bring every single disc I own with me here, so I was missing some.  The only thing I had was a Ubuntu live cd.  Well, that didn’t really help (I couldn’t see the hard drive when I booted it).  I really needed a vista install cd (goofy HP doesn’t think you’ll ever need one) and was just stuck with the recovery partition.

 When I booted into recovery mode, I had an option to back the computer up, so I started it (while I was trying to download a vista cd from MSDN).  It was going to take all night so I let them both run.

The next morning, I woke up and the download failed, but the backup looked complete.  However, when I tried to verify the backup, I couldn’t see any of it.

Well, I had heard about bartpe so i decided to download it and see what would work there.  Well, the first disk I made was a frizbe.  The second didn’t have drivers for the HD controller on it.  It also didn’t have NIC drivers.  So, I ended up getting NIC drivers from here and HDD Controller drivers from here (yes, I just used the whole kit-n-kaboodle).  You also need this.  I found this out in this post.  And read this post to find out how to integrate the NIC drivers.  One wierd thing that happened to me was the filder didn’t get put under my plugins directory like they claimed.  it was in my BARTPE directory.  All I did was jut copy it into the plugins folder where they said it should be.  Don’t ask me why BARTPE doesn’t include these drivers (or better yet, HP not design their systems to need a goofy driver to see the HDD.  That is nuts!)

Well, I tried using the graphical tool to copy files only to have the computer BSOD on me.  ARG.  I’m currently runnign XCOPY to copy the entire HDD to his external HDD.  it doesn’t provide a good logging mechanism so I’m logging everything using the following command:

xcopy <src> <dest> /evcifrhy > <logfile> 2>&1

if you want to find out the switches, just go read this page.  The 2>&1 redirects error output to the same file otherwise it will just display on the screen and not be useful at all (why is that MS?  Why not send the errors to std out do we don’t have to do anything special to get a list of errored files??)

Once that finsihes, my plan is to run the restore on the computer.  Then run this tool to take all of the junk off of it.  ARG!  Why do they do this!?!?!

I expect another 1-2 hrs for the copy to finish then about 1-2 hrs for the restore.  Hopefully I’ll be ready to let the app run over night to take all the junk off the computer and get him his computer back tomorrow.

[Update 07-27-2008 17:29:00] I forgot to mention that I had some issues making my BartPE disk.  When I copied my OEMXP disk to my computer, MFC42.dl_ wouldn’t copy over.  ARG!  i ended up and just snagged it out of the sp2 extraction I did.  Oh, that was another story.  I had to search where to find the xp sp.  I finally downloaded this one from MSFT.  Then, I had to look up how to slipstream sp2 into my cd (I got the ntdll wrong version error).  Only after that did Imake a CD and have to figure out I needed more drivers.

[Update 07-27-2008 18:02:50] xcopy crashed with an out of memory error.  I did some looking and decided I needed to add some excludes to my xcopy command.  I’m excluding the windows directory, the system volume directory, .sys files, the recycle bin ($RECYCLE.BIN), an avg folder ($AVG.VAULT$), and any temp folders.

[Update 07-27-2008 18:10:38] Don’t forget that the exclude flag for xcopy takes a filename.  ARG.  I also added some things to the list:  .exe, .dll (no need to copy those), and I excluded some more directories \boot\, \hp\, \intel\, \msocache\, \swsetup\, \mcpi\, and \opdi\

This is why….

It is worthless to pull information off the internet once it is there. A much better idea is to prevent it in the first place:

I’ve been following this story and went to the Matasano website shortly after the story was published. it wasn’t there for more than 30 min (perhaps a few hours) but the information was out. Even though they have removed it from their website, everyone knows. It is worthless to spend even 30 seconds searching your website(s) for information from the past to remove when something changes. Everyone already knows.

This is like….

Many projects I have worked on in the past. No, I’m not going to mention specifics…..I’m sure many of you have also been on projects like this.

Pray for….

our language teacher, her family, and her grandpa.  Her grandpa isn’t doing well and is in the hospital.  She asked us yesterday if we could move our class one hour later this week.  She hasn’t said it this way, but I can only imagine how stressfull this is for her and her family.

I don’t know how to tell you to pray.  Pray as the Spirit leads for this man, our teacher, and their family.  Also pray that we would know how to respond in the correct ways.

Bike Ride

I went on a 43 km bike ride this morning. How far is that in units I can understand? A bit over 26 miles. I did it in 1 hr 51 min. That works out to an average speed of 14.6 mph. That is pitiful….but, I haven’t really been on a bike since october. Here are some pictures from my ride this morning.

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