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Welcome to The blog of whall

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Hi, This is Wayne. This is my site, my stuff, my blog, blahblahblah. The site itself is powered by WordPress and the Scary Little theme. I thought it was cool, and I still do.

Who knows, maybe you will want to MISC this week’s edition.  How could I possibly know? (psst: I’ll tell you: I’m psychic!)  I’ve had Guitar Hero III on the brain a LOT this week, so I’m going to do a Guitar Hero post in the next couple of days.  I stuck one GH3 tidbit in here though…

Funny Kids Tag

I’ll be the first to call foul on myself and say this tag is only family friendly to the purely innocent. 🙂

I went to my godson’s 1st birthday party over the weekend and as part of my “pitching in” I decided I’d offer to put together the toys he raked in – you know, take them out of the boxes, remove the annoying wiring and screws and locking pieces and actually follow whatever instructions to make the toy eligible for play once the day was over.

Attached to one of the toys was the following tag:

remove & discard screw & tag

And all I could think was – are there 4 verbs there, or 2 verbs and 2 nouns?  Or is it possibly hunting related?

March Guitar Hero Madness

Guitarhero.com is combining collegiate loyalty, regional player ability and a catchy logo to bring the “Madness Tournament” to the masses.  Basically you join a team based on your college and then you play in a huge guitar hero III tournament.  Cash prices and a trip to San Antonio for some big guitar Hero tournament is up for grabs, but frankly I just feel like I could use the practice.

So I signed up (I think sign-up stops today or tomorrow) – there are a whopping 920 923 933 940 people entered so far in the qualifying round!  (the number kept going up as I composed this entry)

guitar hero madness

Yeah, yeah, I know you can’t read it very well.  It just shows that I’m registered and I have 100 groupies.  How come I never meet any of these groupies?!?!?  (I think the answer is I couldn’t afford $4000/hr).

Now for the kicker – I don’t have GHIII for the Wii or PS3 or XBOX, so I can’t play online.  I use PS2 only.  So I’m going to have to beg a friend of mine who DOES have it to let me borrow it. PLEASE? 

I can has wii-tar hero?  Or is that Guitar Wii-ro?

Evidenly the first round (qualifying round) is medium only, and what they do is take the highest score from your team and use it to try to beat the other team.  I’m sure there are millions of small print annoyances that someone will complain about, but for the most part, I’m pumped!

The Move to Vista

I think I’ll make a post dedicated just to the move to Vista later on, but suffice it to say, I spent many hours this week learning, imaging, testing, playing and getting my rear into Microsoft Windows Vista.  Currently, I’m using the Vista install as my primary operating system on a kick-butt laptop, and I’m in it enough that I have Office, Picasa, and my tools (vim, snagit, some others).  I can print, I can scan, I can email, I can blog and browse and that’s enough for now.

In short, this is what I did:

  • My laptop was running XP Pro before, and it was HIGHLY customized.
  • I installed VMWare Converter tool (this takes an image of a physical drive and creates a virtual machine file)
  • I attached a 500GB USB drive and ran the converter tool to create the virtual machine on that drive
  • I got a 2nd hard drive, swapped it out, and installed Vista w/SP1 from scratch.
  • VMWare Server was then installed on the Vista machine, and I imported the virtual machine (the old XP image) into it.
  • Now I can run my old XP Pro image any time I want inside the virtual machine, and be free to slide nice and easy into the new Vista environment

I’ve learned a lot, but the real benefit is that I can understand Vista more so we can plan a deployment to ~500 systems.  There’s nothing like trying to support something you know NOTHING about.  I’m just glad we’re a Microsoft Software Assurance customer and we get some great deployment and training tools, not to mention special version of Vista (Vista Enterprise)

I’m trying to keep a running tab of my questions, but invariably I forget to write them down.  Here are a few:

  1. I386 directory?
    In XP, a good idea was to copy the I386 directory to C:\.  Do we need to do something similar with Vista?
  2. Start –> Run
    Where did Start–> Run go??!?!?  Thank goodness Windows+R still works!
  3. Global “the way things were” setting?
    I see here and there “Classic View” or ways to set Windows Vista to work like XP from a user interface perspective, but is there one big hammer you can use to knock Vista back to normality?  Or a video guide on where everything is?  Man this is frustrating sometimes.
  4. USB Headsets
    I don’t like how it supports USB headsets, because it looks like you have to go into the control panel to switch from system speakers to USB, and in XP, it auto-switched for you.
  5. UAC
    The whole ruckus about PC vs Mac commercials and how Vista is so annoying popping up and asking “is it ok to do this?” and “is it ok to pick my nose?” and such… actually, I don’t mind it so much.  I’m actually liking it.  I know a lot of people disable UAC quickly when they get on a box, but frankly I’m glad it’s there.  I’m sure it’s going to stop a lot of spyware and nastiness on systems for normal end users because most of the time they shouldn’t be doing things very often that would cause it to pop up.
  6. Don’t switch OS’s when you’re stressed
    Most change isn’t very good when you’re dealing with issues.  I chose to take the Vista plunge when I didn’t have anything major going on at work or at home, so the last 3-4 days has been great, being able to take my time getting to know my new friend.  I know I’d be frustrated out of my gourd if I was dealing with “where the HECK is (x)?!?!?” when I had something due or was dealing with a crisis.  That’s also why I took such lengths to go the VM route because I didn’t want to get a 2nd laptop and make it a “trial” thing – I needed to actually immerse myself into the Vista world but not lose touch with my old familiar setup in the XP world.

Essential tools that help me in this transition are VIM (vi improved, a unix-based text editor), SnagIt, and Treesize.

Best of LOLcats 

It’s late and I want to go to bed.  So I’m just giving you one.  I actually haven’t even looked at blogs hardly at all this week so I’m behind getting the collection.


And lo, the people did comment thus:


  1. Dave2 says:

    I tried moving to Vista three times, because I don’t want to be left out when XP goes unsupported (it’s like a domino effect, because once Microsoft makes it DOA, all the software publishers tend to do the same). Problem is… I loathe Vista. As bad as XP is compared to MacOS X, Vista is ten times worse. I want an OS that’s transparent and lets me get to work, and that ain’t Vista. It feels as though I’m constantly fighting the OS because it’s always in the way. At least with XP I can get things done.

  2. Avitable says:

    I’ll stick with XP for a while until I’m dragged to Vista kicking and screaming.

  3. Raganator says:

    I HATE Vista. I wish I could get rid of it and use regular windows.
    None of the games I like are vista compatible which is the main reason I have a laptop other than email!

    Ugh… I am NOT a techie!

  4. Mr. Fabulous says:


    So that means you’re…The Godfather?

    I just got a chill.

  5. sourpuss says:

    I’m not a techie by any stretch of the imagination but I really like Vista. Not only is it pretty & simple for me to use, I also appreciate the “allow or reject?” pop-ups.

    Before, when using XP, I never really knew when my computer was accessing the net behind the scenes for certain programs, or why it even had to… but now I’m aware of (hopefully) every move it makes, and when other things are trying to access my computer.

    I usually take a long time to make a switch* but I haven’t regretted Vista at all and I’ve been using it for many months now.

    * I also only recently switched to Firefox because someone told me I’d be less likely to run into malware/spyware/virus problems.

  6. whall says:

    Dave2, I hear what you’re saying – it’s like when I tried to switch from SunOS 4.x to SunOS 5.x (solaris 2.x) – or when I tried to use SCO Unix. It’s just not the same and at every turn, you find something STUPID. But in my case I’m really enjoying Vista and the minor annoyances A) have an answer somewhere and B) are overshadowed by the new features

    Avi but why? Is it what you’ve heard, or have you actually tried it out?

    Raganator, I use the Wii and PS2 for games and don’t care if my computer plays them, but that’s just me.

    Mr. Fab you’ll get more than a chill if you keep buggin’ be about it. You’ll get a horsehead in your bed.

    sourpuss, now that’s more like it. All those same reasons go for me too.

    Today was a big Vista day for me because it was the first full work day I used Vista all day long and didn’t go back to my old XP instance once. I got tons of things installed (Trillian, AutoHotKeys, VIM/GVIM, LogMeIn, SnagIt, Canon scanner, PuTTY, Picasa 2 (and bringing my 30GB pictures with database), RoboForm) and was able to get all my documents restored easily. I learned about Aero (which I like a lot so far) and am getting way used to tabbed browsing.

    Probably the most useful thing all day was the built-in windows desktop search for office and documents and boy do I use the heck out of that. I had it installed in XP, but somehow this is better, faster.

    Next on the list is NewsGator, but I just haven’t had time to blog from the computer, so I’ve been using the blackberry for that when I can.

  7. Avitable says:

    It’s what I’ve heard and read. I’m happy and comfortable with XP, so I see no reason to bother switching yet.

  8. Jennefer says:

    Yep, Win – R still works or you can permanently add the “run” command back in. I set mine up a a couple days ago: – Right Click Start > Properties > Customize (start menu tab) > look for Run Command and select the box and it shows up.

  9. Absurdist says:

    I am guessing you want to borrow my Wii. Would that be correct?

  10. whall says:

    Avi, that sentence could be used for so many different things, a la

    It’s what I’ve heard and read. I’m happy and comfortable with (something), so I see no reason to bother switching yet.

    It’s what I’ve heard and read. I’m happy and comfortable with President Bush, so I see no reason to bother switching yet.

    It’s what I’ve heard and read. I’m happy and comfortable with being heterosexual, so I see no reason to bother switching yet.

    It’s what I’ve heard and read. I’m happy and comfortable with VHS, so I see no reason to bother switching yet.

    It’s what I’ve heard and read. I’m happy and comfortable with slavery, so I see no reason to bother switching yet.

    It’s what I’ve heard and read. I’m happy and comfortable with vanilla, so I see no reason to bother switching yet.

    Jen, good tip! I found the same goes for the Printers Control panel. btw, glad to see you come back around to the blog – we miss you and your comments.

    Abs, Thanx for being so sweet. I actually already have a Wii, but I’ll use my super enhanced psychic powers and assume you mean Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii and a controller. And thanx for being so sweet. But we splurged and picked up GH3 for the Wii last night at HEB. So now I’m on guitarhero.com (I borrowed a friend’s GH3 game back in January and played 4 songs)

    But when you come visit for family or work, bring your guitar controller so we can hook up our Wii remote in it and play multiplayer.

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