Copy Outlook Express Emails and Address Book

For Windows XP:


Install the Outlook Express on the new computer. Find the Outlook Express folder on the old computer by selecting 'show hidden files' (under tools, folder options), then navigating to:

C:\documents and settings\username\local settings\application data\identities\(series of numbers and letters)\microsoft\outlook express

Copy the entire Outlook Express folder from the old computer to the new, putting it in the same location.

Address book:

Keep hidden files visible as before. Open Outlook Express, select import and then address book. In the dialogue box navigate to:

C:\documents and settings\username\application data\microsoft\address book

Inside this folder will be a WAB file that, once selected, will populate your new address book with your old contacts.

Play VOB Files in PowerPoint aka Convert VOB to AVI without extra software

Got a batch of VOB files you want to play in PowerPoint? Convert them to a format Power Point can use by doing the following.

1. Open up Windows Movie Maker (included software on XP / Vista machines)

2. Select "Videos" under Import (on left column in Vista)

3. Navigate to folder with your VOB files and change file type to "all" in selection window.

4. Select your VOB file.

5. Drag to storyboard

6. Select "Publish Movie" under File menu

7. Follow the prompts and select "publish movie to this computer", choose name and location for file output, and select "best quality for playback on my computer".

8. After selecting Publish, your computer will process the video

9. You will now have an AVI file

10. Go to PowerPoint, select insert movie and select your AVI movie

If this does not work, an alternative is to download VirtualDub-MPEG2 from:

and use this program to convert VOB to AVI

Install Mac OS 10.3 with no or broken CD/DVD drive using FireWire

To do this, you will need a Mac with a working drive.

1. Use Carbon Copy Cloner (free, donation supported software) and clone Install Disk 1 to FireWire drive. Make sure to format the FireWire drive as an Apple Partition Map using Disk Utility first, and select the 'delete all not on original disk' option in CCC to make sure the drive is an exact, bootable copy.

2. Insert Install Disk 2 into drive and open the Packages folder. There will be ~30 packages. Copy these from their location to the System/Installation/Packages folder on your FireWire drive (created from Install Disk 1). Select the overwrite option. Ignore the InstallCD2.mpkg file at the top level of Install Disk 2 as it is unnecessary.

3. Repeat Step 2 with Install Disk 3.

4. Open OSInstallCache.plist , found in System/Installation/Packages folder, using a text editor.

5. Find and delete every instance of the following:

< key>IFPkgFlagProxyPackageLocation
disc://Mac OS X Install Disc X/Packages/ABC.pkg< /string>

Where X is disk 2 or 3 and ABC is the name of the package. Delete everything between < key> and < /string> including those two tags (ignore spaces after <). There will be thirty-one instances.

6. Save OSInstallCache.plist

7. The FireWire drive now has all the needed modifications. Go to the machine you wish to install 10.3 on, connect the FireWire drive, power it on and boot the computer holding down the option key. After a time you will be given the option to select the FireWire drive as the boot disk. Choose it and proceed with the installation.

Merge or Combine Two Partitions in Mac OSX

it's easy:

1. boot from DVD (10.5 system disk / Leopard)

2. open Disk Utility

3. Select the hard drive from left hand column (NOT partition but drive, eg something like WDBEVE and not s03 etc).

4. Click on Partition tab in main window

5. Select "Current"

6. Select partition you wish to delete

7. Click on minus (-) sign on bottom left

8. Confirm Delete

9. Drag original partition to include full disk

10. Confirm resize

That's it! Reboot and you're done.

Add Language to Simple Machines Forum Install

Can add the language by downloading from SMF site -- no longer includes multiple languages by default.

Ignore User mod can be used with either English or English UTF8 but doesn't work smoothly. Often requires switching back and forth between the two to enable the options, and blank lines remain in control panel.

Wordpress Mu Shared Hosting HostGator Wildcard Domains

It actually really is very easy to set up Wordpress Mu on HostGator Shared Hosting (I have Baby Croc).

I believe all HostGator accounts come with CPanel X3 by default.

So, the steps are:

1. Download Wordpress Mu
2. Upload to public html domain you wish to use
3. Create Mysql database and user w/ full rights
4. Run the installer script by going to the homepage with your browser
5. Setup wildcard domains -- this is the one that had me stumped.

To set up the wildcard domains, select "Subdomains" from Cpanel -- not "Add on domains". For your site, put an an * in the form field and then select the shared website from the drop down box. In the other text field, point it to public_html/domain (or whatever folder you have your wordpress files in). It does take a minute or two to take effect in my experience, so I thought I'd messed it up at first, but it really does work!

That's all there is to it.

Comment with questions and I'll help you out.

XP or Vista login password

When there's only the admin account, and you don't have the password, how do you get back into Windows? You might have forgotten it, you might have had the password put on your computer by a third party, it could appear as the result of a virus, etc. Rather than reformatting, here are a few links to try:

[links removed per request]

How to Delete GPT Partition or EFI from Mac Hard Disks In Vista or XP

Using the traditional GUI of Disk Management doesn't give you the option to delete or reformat, so fire up the command line.

type DISKPART to enter the diskpart utility

at the prompt, enter list disk as below

DISKPART> list disk

take a look at the disk you want to reformat, and select it with the appropriate number, for example:

DISKPART> select disk 1

once selected, you can delete the GPT / EPI by the clean command:


once done, you can then proceed to format the disk the traditional way through disk management and selecting FAT32 or NTFS.

[19/11/09 edited per comments below "clean disk" to "clean"]

WWW Blogger Google Forwarding

Wow, I just lost an entire blog post (curses Drupal)...

Basically, the jist is that it's easy to get free web hosting for your blog through Google. Just go to your DNS settings and set your cname alias to www and point to ghs . google . com. Then make sure to enable a 301 (permanent) forward and put in www . domain . com. That way, when people type in domain . com, they'll still automatically be forwarded to www . domain . com. If you miss this step, the domain will not resolve!

(this post really was a lot better before Droop destroyed it :( -- I should really write posts in Notepad first)

When You Get a Bit Down on People

It's nice to see something like this that gives you a bit of hope in the world...all too often, especially in this insulated world of internet, we forget how similar we all really are. This video kind of reminds me of the "dance" video phenomenon (before learning the back story, which took something away from it for me).

Hal.dll Missing or Corrupted in Windows XP

My uncle called the other day in a panic because his computer had pooped the poop. As it turns out, he was getting the dreaded Hal.dll error message. Not referring to the evil computer from 2001 (kick arse movie), but rather Microsoft's hardware abstraction layer, which is well...abstract. Part of the problem is that when this file goes bad, or more commonly, can't be found, you end up with all kinds of problems, since it's vital for accessing the hard drive. The repair doesn't have to be all kinds of difficult, however. The quintessential fix, from Infoweek:

* Boot from your XP Setup CD and enter the Recovery Console
* Run "Attrib -H -R -S" on the C:\Boot.ini file
* Delete the C:\Boot.ini file
* Run "Bootcfg /Rebuild"
* Run Fixboot

Unfortunately, this didn't work in my uncle's case, since his computer could not find the hard drive. He was unsure if it was a SATA drive -- which can be a pain with XP installs as the drivers aren't present -- or if the problem was because of Hal. In fact, he had no idea even what brand the computer was, or when it was made. In any event, it took a second Windows install to fix his hard drive, since the OS repair was not an option. Hopefully this helps someone, and I'll remember to try the 'quick fix' next time this comes up, since it happens so often and XP boxes are getting up there in years.

Unsend Your Email

For those who use Google Mail (GMail), here's a new feature I wasn't aware of. Through an advanced setting, you can now give yourself the chance to undo Sent emails. How many times have you accidentally hit 'send' when you meant to hit 'save', hit 'reply all' when you meant to just respond to the sender, or how about all those times drunk-emailing all your exes in one wild night of internet debauchery? Well, GMail can't really help with the last one, unless you can click 'undo' in the five seconds it pauses before sending the email. If you can manage that, well then, you should probably have another drink and not worry so much about past loves. In any event, check out the feature here.

Never Invite Your Girlfriend's Dad to Join Your NCAA Bracket

It was about a week ago when my girlfriend came up with the brilliant idea to invite her father into our select group of players for this year's March Madness. Sure, I said, without giving it much thought -- after all, what would be the harm?

My girlfriend often uses this trick -- if she wants something, she'll wait until I'm distracted and then ask me while I'm not paying attention. She usually times it so that I'm watching TV, reading, or drinking...sometimes all three. Anyhow, this invariably results in her getting whatever she wants, whether it means her friends over for dinner (I get to cook -- yay!) or what have you.

So, I said 'yes honey' to the bracket. Now, in hindsight, I can see only two possible outcomes. Number one, which is already happening, is that his bracket is blowing mine out of the water, meaning he's going to crow about it all year. And yes, I've already gotten a couple of emails reminding me of this fact.

The other possible outcome of course, would be me beating him, in which case what am I going to do? I can't rub it in, seeing as he's my girl's dad, so it's basically a lose-lose proposition. Mental note to self: stop agreeing to things without giving them proper thought. Of course, by pretending I even had a choice in the matter is a bit of a lie to myself; I couldn't have said no even if I wanted to! I did briefly flirt with the idea of emailing the bracket invite to the wrong email address and pretending it was an accident, but that would have been a lie. Ah well, it's all in fun :)

Pikachu Lives

Wow, so I was checking out the daily headlines yesterday, and guess who I found?



OK, so it's not really Pikachu, but it sure looks a lot like him, no?

For purposes of comparison:


It's actually a "Dumbo Octopus" from the floor of Monterey Bay.

You can read more about it here

Adobe Flash Player Error Bug

If you're getting the Adobe Flash Player bug / error that reads:

Where is the debugger or host application running?


Other Machine

Enter IP address

Adobe Flash Player error

The solution is to go to and download the newest version of the player, which will update and patch (they're now up to version 10)

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