MS KB2539636 Error

Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade

Today at work, I had someone ask me about an update that wouldn’t install.  It kept downloading and trying to install from Windows Update but always failed. The update was for KB2539636.

After searching, I came across this MS post describing the same problem.  So, I downloaded the update manually and tried to install it.  When I did this, I got told it did not apply.  ARG….if it didn’t apply, why did WU download the goofy thing.

I went searching again….I went searching again.  Found this MS post where people suggested uninstalling and re-installing.  No sweat.  Head to Add/Remove programs and try to remove the app.  HUGE ERROR!  I got told that this update couldn’t run on a 64bit system.  So how did the stupid thing get installed in the first place?!?!  So now I can’t uninstall the thing.

I went searching again and found this MS tool to remove .Net. Download it and force the uninstall.  That worked.  Reboot and try Windows Update.  No updates found.

I head over to MS Silverlight’s site to check.  WOW….it was already installed.

Root cause:  Somehow a 32bit ONLY app was installed on this 64 bit system and was causing conflicts.  The installer checked for this when I tried to uninstall it but not when it was installed.  Ok…that is really goofy but whatever.

And people wonder why I don’t think normal people should have 64bit OSes on their computers.  There are too many problems that can happen when people don’t know and don’t understand what is going on.

Image from Chris Fritz via flickr

WD TV Live Hub


The last time we came overseas, we saved space by simply ripping DVDs and putting them on a hard drive.  This time, I didn’t want to have to either watch the movies on a computer or figure out how to hook the computer up to a TV.  So I went looking for alternatives.

At first, I stumbled across Roku.  I was going to do it just for the online functionality; however, then I saw the Western Digital WD TV Live Hubalt in a store.  In addition to the online functionality, it included a hard drive.  Ahh!  It even has 2 USB ports you can hook other hard drives up to.  My initial thought was to get it and use it for online streaming as well as a backup hub (it comes with a 1 TB hard drive).

After being here and using it for a bit, I thought I would write about it.  The quality is excellent.  I have it hooked up with an HDMI cable and it looks good.  The movies I’ve put on it…no so good.  Some of them are encoded in a low quality so this isn’t the fault of the WD box.  In fact, the one movie I have that is decent quality looks really good.  The remote is simple and easy to figure out.  You can rate your movies and do tons more I haven’t figured out yet.

There are two things I don’t like about it.  First, it doesn’t have wireless built-in.  That isn’t a problem in our temporary home now; however, it means that I will have to make sure the ADSL modem is installed close to the TV.  Second, the built-in categories (movies, pictures, etc…) don’t seem to actually filter anything.  When I pick movies, I have to browse on the device to where my movies are located.  Either I haven’t figured something out or it doesn’t do it.

I haven’t yet hooked another hard drive up to it.  I think this will be a task for once we move into our permanent house in a few weeks.  Once I do that, I’ll update this post with information about that.

I can’t speak for things like the Roku or Apple TV, but I would recommend the Western Digital WD TV Live Hubalt to anyone looking for an IPTV solution.  The hard drive is a good bonus and comes in quite handy too.

Full disclosure:  The links in this article are through my Amazon Affiliate account.  if you order the device from that page, I’ll get credit and a small kickback from Amazon. 

Paddock War Bunker


This post is more of a placeholder/reminder for me; however, I stumbled across some pictures on the Internet of a place called Paddock.  This got me searching and I found this Wikipedia article on Paddock and these pictures.  Turns out it was an underground bunker that was made for Churchill’s War Cabinet as a refuge of last resort during WW2.  It still exists but is privately owned.  It also was only used twice for meetings (and those were trial runs).  It is open two days per year for the public to view.  Paddock’s opening schedule can be found here.

I’m going to try to go next year. 

P.S.  The image isn’t mine but it is a public domain image I got from wikicommons.


Passwords are like Pants...

I assume this is ok to mention (meaning I don’t think the bad guys can get anywhere with it).  At the start of 2011, Google introduced two-factor authentication.  Over the summer, I enabled it for my Google account.  What’s the difference or extra?  I’m glad you asked.

Basically, two-factor authentication is based on two “things.”  In my case, it is something I know–my password–and something I have–a code from Google.  When I attempt to login using a google account, I am not only asked for my id and password, but I get prompted for a verification code.  Where do I get the code?  Google has an app that I installed on my phone that generates them.  So, not only do I have to have my keypass (what I use to generate strong passwords) but I also have to have my mobile phone.

So far, the only problem this has caused was when I tried to sign-on using Google’s stand-alone talk application.  I spent a good 30 min trying to figure out why I couldn’t log in.  I was trying to sign-on with a google app account so at first I thought that was the problem (it looked like it was stripping off my domain).  After some Googling, I decided I needed to give up and get back to work.  The next day, I decided to give it another go.  This time, I remembered that Google offers to generate application specific passwords for things that aren’t two-factor compliant.  I generated a new one and, sure enough, it connected straightaway.

If you want to know what I did to enable two-factor authentication, let me know, and I’ll post a HOWTO.

Image from Richard Parmiter via flickr

I’ve got….

funky toe

…an ingrown toenail.  I had poked around at it but it wasn’t getting better.  So, after asking a few people here, I gave up and called our surgery for an appointment.  I wasn’t hopeful, but after talking to people, I thought they would numb my toe and take off part of my toenail….in otherwords, I wouldn’t waste my time going.

So, I went yesterday.  And then came home with…..antibiotics….and instructions printed off the internet about how to soak the toe and push the skin back.  The odd thing about this is that as a general rule you won’t get antibiotics if you turn up with a sinus infection or something, but I got them for an infection in my toe.  crazy.

While there, I asked about things you could buy at the chemist (aka drugstore) like outgrow.  The dr said the closest thing she knew of was iodine liquid but you couldn’t get that any more here.  ARG.  So, For the next 5 days I’m taking my antibiotics and using a cotton bud (aka qtip) to poke around at it.

Image from ksbuehler via flickr

Pumpkin Pie, Canned Pumpkin, and Pumpkin Mash


Cyndi and I did a first over the weekend….we made pumpkin pie but didn’t use canned pumpkin.  I’ll post some pictures of the process the next time we do it, but here is what we did:

peeled the pumpkin
cut up the pumpkin (like you are making mashed potatoes)
steamed it for about 20 min
mashed it with a potato masher
pureed it
let the water drain out overnight (with some help from a small weight)

At this point, we had about 1.5 cups of pumpkin puree.  We then followed the recipe below (it is from this website) to make the pie.

1 cup sugar (metric: 200 grams)
1.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon (metric: 3.8 grams)
1 teaspoon ground cloves (metric: 2 grams)
1 teaspoon ground allspice (metric: 2 grams)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (metric: 1.25 grams)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract (metric: 20 grams)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
3 cups pumpkin puree (metric: 0.7 litre)
1.5 cans (12oz each) of evaporated milk

Bake at 425 F (210 C ) for the first 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350 F ( 175 C ) and bake another 45 to 60 minutes, until a clean knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

BTW, the pumpkin pie was the best ever.  I think we are going to continue doing this in the future.  It wasn’t difficult to cook the pumpkin.  From past experience, we know we can freeze the puree and use it later.  As I said, I’ll update the blog with pictures of cutting up the pumpkin and the cooking process.

Image from meercatbaby via flickr

Synthetic Fuel


I was reading this article on Fox News about alternative fuel.  Towards the bottom, I saw this

Wood chips can be used to heat your home, but why not use them to propel your car? That’s the idea behind the Wood Powered SUV, developed by Beaver Energy. The company’s converted 1988 Isuzu Trooper turns wood chips into an organic fuel, and can drive about 20 miles on 25 pounds of chips. The truck uses a process called pyrolization, which converts any organic compound (including wood chips, grass clippings, and even garbage) into hydrogen and carbon molecules. The fuel, produced in a contraption on the back of the SUV, is then used in a modified internal combustion engine.

I then thought of the video below I had seen a couple of years ago.

Direct Link 

There are 2 more parts to the video linked above.  Part 2 and Part 3.

Why not make the car just run on woodgas?  Sound crazy?  Read the whole article….there were about a million cars converted to run on the stuff during WW2.  My guess is that woodgas isn’t popular because it burns the wood.  And then you have the whole deforestation thing.  But we can farm trees just like any other crop (corn, wheat, etc…).  When you cut one down, plant a new one.  Then, in 10 years you can cut that one down too.  Burning wood is also carbon neutral (the carbon released when you burn it is the same carbon it absorbed when alive).

[Update 2012-12-26 15:33:45] The videos were taken down so I’ve removed the dead links to youtube

Image from moosicorn via flickr


US / BRIT with a love of Bavaria - need I say more...?

English.  The heart language (native language) of most people in the US.  It is also the heart language of many people in the UK.  But they aren’t the same.  Oh no.  I would say there is 70% (or more) overlap; however, there are differences.  In fact, there is a whole page on wikipedia about AME and BE differences.

I’ve been reading it today and it has been so long since my English classes that I don’t understand lots of it.  Verb tenses are hard.  Sure, I understand past, present, and future; however, it gets harder when speaking about past-perfect, etc….  This section was especially difficult to understand.

I’m thinking about coming up with a quiz for kids at youth group….along the lines of:  What are braces called in the US or something (btw, they are suspenders.  Suspenders in the UK mean a garter belt).  But that may take some time.

[Update 2011-10-15 15:54:51] I wonder if this might help?

Image from richard cawood via flickr