Internet Explorer 7 User Agent Browser Extension

Astonishingly, some sites reject Internet Explorer 7 as out-of-date, but they accept IE 6.  (Lazy coding, I suppose.)  Microsoft has a utility to make IE lie about its version, but it runs as a wrapper around IE, setting the UA in the registry, running IE, and then setting it back when IE exits.

There is a spiffy browser extension that lets you change the user agent on the fly.  See

While you're there, he's got other good tools, like SlickRun.

On Requests

The Language of the Request

The only important thing is to know that if one works well in a potato field, the potatoes will grow. If one works well among men, they will grow- That's reality. The rest is smoke. It's important to know that words don't move mountains. Work, exacting work, moves mountains.. -Danilo Dolci

VirtualBox Makes VMDK Not Mountable by vmware-vdiskmanager

If you create a virtual disk, using Vmware's vmware-vdiskmanager, SOMETIMES after you use the disk in a VirtualBox VM, vmware-vdiskmanager will refuse to mount the disk. VirtualBox (version 1.6.2) adds entries to the disk header file that "VMware DiskMount Utility version 5.5.0 b­uild-18463" is not prepared to accept.

Oracle ODBC Via Oracle Instant Client

Instead of installing the full Oracle Client plus ODBC drivers, you can use Oracle "Instant Client" plus Instant Client ODBC supplement.  Setting it up is not intuitively obvious, so here's what I did.  Note that you do NOT need a tnsnames.ora or a sqlnet.ora.

Microsoft Office 2003 Demands the Install Disk Even Though It Has Been Installed

Sometimes, Microsoft Office will demand the Office CD,even though it has already been installed.  This usually happens when you start an Office application.

In the particular case of MS Project 2003, it may tell you that it can't find, but with different Office applications, different files will be demanded.

Somewhat Portable VirtualBox 3.x

I'd like to have a zero-install, Windows, virtual machine environment.  In theory, this would let me run my OS and desktop environment on any Windows computer, without installing the VM software.

VirtualBox Mouse Weirdness

When running VirtualBox with a Windows XP client, I ran into a problem where it worked fine before I installed the Virtual Box Client Drivers, and then, any mouse movement resulted in the mouse pointer moving slowly down and to the right.  It turns out this is a known VirtualBox conflict with the SMS mouse driver. (SMS allows the Windows domain managers to manage your PC, including remote control.)

So I uninstalled SMS.  Problem NOT cured.

So I checked Device Manager.  SMS Mouse Driver does not appear.

Device Manager and Invisible Devices

  1. Open a command prompt
  2. set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
  3. devmgmt.msc
  4. In Device Manager, click View/Show Hidden Devices in the menu/>

Windows Live Writer

I thought I'd try Windows Live Writer.  It won't work with Windows 2000, which I use because I despise product activation.  (I do a LOT of PC setup and tear-down, with a lot of OS re-installs.)  Bummer.

Then I read about Windows Live Writer Portable.  It actually works -- under Windows XP. Under Win2K it crashes.  I'm betting it is using DotNet 3, which is a no-go on Win2K.  I do have GDI+ installed on my Win2K, so it isn't that.

Or maybe it has a dependency on IE7?  Good luck getting THAT to run in Win2k!

Quicken to GnuCash

When I learned of the nonsense I would have to go through in order to move from Windows Quicken to Mac Quicken, and if the major loss of functionality, I abandoned my test-drive of Mac OSX.  Then I said, "Hey! I could probably use the same instructions to move to GnuCash and reduce by one my use of paid software.  (Free is a good price, right?)


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