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December 30, 2005

Microsoft Camera and Scanner Wizard not Working

I've found other people with this problem on the Internet, so it's a safe bet that someone else may need some help. I'll share what my problem is, what caused it, and how I fixed it.

When I plug a memory card into one of my card slots on the front of my computer (behind the scenes, they're USB controlled), I expect it to "autoplay" and for Windows XP to pop up the following menu of options:

Microsoft Storage Device Menu

The top selection, "Copy pictures to a folder on my computer using Microsoft Scanner and Picture Wizard", is the option that I have in mind. Upon selecting it and clicking "OK", I expect for the wizard to launch and to see a screen such as this one (referring to my memory card which Windows has assigned the drive letter "H"):

Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard

Today, when I plugged in my memory card, I was not greeted with that second window. In fact, nothing at all happened. If I attempted to launch the Microsoft Scanner and Camera utility from the programs menu, it would find my webcam and operate it, exclusively. There was no option for change. Thus, I had a problem.

It turns out that my problem was caused by a "registry cleaner" which I used last week in an attempt to optimize my computer. Over time, a computer's registry can grow and grow and grow with many keys remaining long after their usefulness. This slows a computer down significantly. Registry cleaners attempt to remove superfluous registry keys. Unfortunately, sometimes they remove registry keys that should stay. This was one of those times.

The keys which were inappropriately removed were the following. However, before reading the following, be aware that how the characters display on your computer screen may not be how they actually should display. For example, under the "View" menu in Internet Explorer, you'll see a tab for "Encoding". The encoding I.E. chooses when it displays web pages will affect what you see. If I don't deselect the "Auto-Select" option under encoding, my printer (Canon F50 multipass printer, scanner, fax) doesn't work! It gives me all kinds of errors. So, sometimes the encoding used by my Internet Explorer windows doesn't display things correctly (most notoriously, those bizarre open-quote and close-quote characters which look different from one another, and are not the normal ones you'd see on the key [usually] next to your "enter" key).

So, with that in mind, below are the keys which I've had to re-introduce to my system's registry:




So if you're having similar problems, perhaps you may want to check for the existence of these keys. If they're not there, perhaps you may want to introduce them.

If you're not sure how to do that, I'll share with you how I did it:

The registry cleaner which (I think) removed the keys is called "RegClean" and can be downloaded freely from various sites on the Internet. For me, it downloaded as a self-extracting executable called "regclean.exe", which created a folder called "RegClean", within which was another "RegClean.exe" - the actual program. Upon running this program, the cleaner scans the registry for (allegedly) bad keys, prompts you for whether or not you'd like it to remove these keys, and before removing them it places a back-up of the registry within the "RegClean" directory (probably because I left the program in that directory; had I run it from another directory, I'm guessing that it'd have placed the back-up in the directory from which it ran, but I've not tested this).

My method of adding these keys back into the registry was to change the extension of that back-up file, which previously ended in ".reg", to have it end in ".txt" (I did this simply by adding the ".txt" to the end, not by eliminating the ".reg"). I then edited the file in notepad, removing all of the text except for the top REGEDIT4 command (I assume it's a command), the comments, and the 3 missing keys. I then changed the file extension back to a ".reg" extension (by removing the ".txt" which I'd added earlier), double clicked on it, and accepted the prompt from Windows to have the keys added to the registry. Once I did that, I tried my memory card once again and - PRESTO! - everything once again worked fine.

As I said earlier, how you see the text for those keys in this post depends upon your computer's encoding. To deal with that problem, I have uploaded the registry file which I described in the previous paragraph using a ".txt" extension. You may download it at your leisure. Right-click here and select "Save As" and save it to an appropriate place on your computer. (If you haven't figured out what to do with it by reading the above paragraphs, then perhaps you shouldn't be messing with your registry.)

Good luck with whatever problem you're having!

Posted by Jeff at 04:29 PM | Comments (76)

December 24, 2005

The Wife of a Congressman was Involved in a Bar Fight

Wife of congressman involved in bar fight
DETROIT -- The wife of Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers has been accused of punching a woman in the eye during a bar fight.


The spokesman said Rebecca Mews became upset Tuesday during a birthday celebration for an attorney, who Mews says was her date. While [Monica] Conyers was speaking with the man, Mews "came over and literally started spewing obscene names," and shoved Conyers, said Conyers' chief of staff, Sam Riddle.

"This woman was obviously drunk, and the [Monica] vigorously defended herself," he said.

This story has launched quite a diatribe on Capitol Hill. John Kerry has weighed in with, "Monica Conyers should not be blackening the eyes of party goers. Her husband should be doing that." Hillary Clinton said that she stands behind Conyers defending herself, but that Conyers didn't do it in the right way. "Blackmailing behind the scenes,", said Clinton, "is much more effective". Harry Reid commented that "there's a dark cloud hanging over Monica Conyers" who "lied to get into the altercation and now she's lying to mislead the rest of us about how it started and the conditions on the ground". Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle said that Conyers should be indicted on charges of torture, noting that the event "prevented Mews from getting a second helping of birthday cake and another scoop of Haagen Daz". Further, Howard Dean has remarked that "there's no way that Conyers could win such a fight", and Jack Murtha said "she has to run away if she wants to win; it's her presence at the parties which makes her a target". He further noted that Monica Conyers is "utterly broken", and that he hopes "that this will be a lesson to her about attending any parties in the future".

Posted by Jeff at 12:19 PM | Comments (6)

December 21, 2005

Gular Edema Cured

I'm happy to report that the gular edema which affected my chameleon has entirely disappeared. Apologies for the weird photo, below, but she's very camera shy, and this photo from a few days ago when she was shedding is about the best I could come up with to display her neck. Notice that the huge swelling which used to be there before is no longer present:

The chameleon's edema has completely disappeared.

You might also notice that her body and legs look quite a bit different, too. It seems to me that she was actually retaining water all over, not just in the neck.

Before describing what changes I made which (probably) resulted in the elimination of the edema, let me recap her diet prior which led up to the edema (and was likely it's cause):

My chameleon ate almost exclusively crickets. The crickets were gut loaded with a sort of applesauce-ish type of mixture made of near equal parts of: 1) dandelion greens, 2) collard greens, 3) endive, and 4) watercress. That's the main dish. The dandelion greens actually probably represented closer to 30% of the mix, rather than 25%. They're also given two side dishes: 1) bee pollen, and 2) dried egg yolks. For hydration, they received calcium fortified cricket quencher. Two or three times per month, the crickets would be dusted with vitamin powder and calcium powder before being introduced to the chameleon.

For hydration, my chameleon's enclosure is partially showered, 3 times per day, 1 minute per shower, with an automatic showering system. Total, it probably dumps about a quart of water into the enclosure every day, wetting the leaves, most of which drips into the substrate.

The most commonly reported cause which I found on the Internet for gular edema was excessive vitamin A. In all cases that I found where the source was referenced, preformed vitamin A in vitamin powders was referenced as the culprit. I saw no reports of beta carotene being reported as a problem (but I have read advice not to hydrate feeder insects with carrots, though edema was never referenced as a reason to not).

The gut load which I was using for my crickets turned out to be unusually high in vitamin A (I presume beta carotene, but I don't know), due primarily to the presence of the dandelion greens which accounted for at least 58% of the vitamin A in the mix (based upon 25% of the mix coming from dandelion greens). By way of comparison, my gut load contained about 21.4% as much vitamin A as an equivalent amount of pure carrots.

The veterinarian was skeptical that the gut load could be the problem. In her opinion and/or experience, edema caused by hypervitaminosis had always come from supplements, not natural food sources, and further, she was of the opinion that even if the chameleon had been eating the gut load directly, rather than through the crickets, it'd be so healthy of a diet as to not likely cause any problems. In short, she couldn't explain the edema, and said that surgery was the next logical step to finding the problem (a step she neither indicated was preferable to the edema itself, nor the reverse). She pointed out that edema can be caused by many things and that we had no strong evidence to point to any particular cause.

I'd also found reports on the Internet about edema being caused by organ failure due to chronic dehydration. That was a scary prospect, as I seem to remember one report saying that the organ failure would probably be permanent. Nevertheless, I took dehydration to heart as a possible cause for the edema.

The changes I made were these:

1) I introduced superworms to the chameleon's diet. The superworms are kept in a bedding of high calcium and high nutrition worm bedding. The chameleon received about 3-5 superworms per week. The superworms are offered potato slices for hydration.

2) While I continued to provide my previously mentioned gut load to my crickets, I also gave the aforementioned worm food to the crickets as well. They seem to love it (in fact, it's sold as cricket food too, although when sold as cricket food it's ground a bit more finely than it is when sold as worm bedding).

3) I switched from feeding the chameleon few adult crickets to feeding about twice as many smaller crickets (this had nothing to do with trying to solve the problem, but I think the change should be mentioned).

4) I began giving the crickets water and potatoes for hydration, in addition to my original gut load (which is wet) and the aforementioned cricket quencher.

5) I bought a small tree and began giving my chameleon warm showers in the bath tub for 45 minutes to an hour per session, roughly 3 sessions per week, by putting the tree into the shower and the chameleon in the tree. The temperature of the water is just a bit more than lukewarm, certainly not anything like hot, and the chameleon loves it. Well, she does until it begins to run cold, then she heads for parts of the tree which are not being showered.

That's all of the changes that I can think of, and I don't know what, if any of them contributed to the end of the edema. For all I know, it may have just been an illness, like you or I catching a cold, which she eventually got over. Or it may have stemmed from an injury, since healed. But, for someone else who is experiencing problems with neck swelling, i.e., gular edema, this information may be helpful. So good luck!

Posted by Jeff at 02:39 PM | Comments (100)

December 20, 2005

Achieving Peace

I saw this on a message board:

A U.S. Marine squad was marching north of Basra when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist, badly injured and unconscious. On the opposite side of the road was an American Marine in similar but less serious state.

The Marine was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to both men, the squad leader asked the injured Marine what had happened.

The Marine reported, "I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed insurgent. We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along the road.

"I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein is a miserable, lowlife, scumbag, and he yelled back that Senator Ted Kennedy is a good-for-nothing, fat, left wing liberal drunk. So I said that Osama Bin Ladin dresses and acts like a frigid, mean spirited woman!"

He retaliated by yelling, "Oh yeah? Well so does Hillary Clinton!"

"And, there we were, Sir, standing in the middle of the road shaking hands, when a truck hit us."

Posted by Jeff at 09:45 AM | Comments (1)

December 07, 2005

Old Democrats, New Democrats

Great Democrats from History:

Domestic Policy:
"If you want to live like Republicans, you'd better vote for the Democrats!"
--Harry S. Truman

Foreign Policy:

Harry S. Truman, Democrat

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge, and more."
--John F. Kennedy, Democrat

Today's Democrats:

"[Republicans have] never worked an honest day in their lives."
--Howard Dean, Democratic National Committee spokesman

"The idea that the Americans are going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong."
--Howard Dean, Democratic National Committee spokesman

What's different?

Posted by Jeff at 09:41 AM | Comments (2)

December 05, 2005

Shaheen, Sheehan...Whatever

AKRON, Ohio -- An Ohio postal worker faces charges after being accused of putting urine in the coffee of his co-workers.

Authorities said the co-workers caught him by setting up a video camera in their break room after they became suspicious.

Thomas Shaheen, 49, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of adulteration of food or placing harmful objects in food. He's due in court on Monday.

Shaheen works as a mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service in Akron. Prosecutors said he was unhappy at work.

His co-workers believe he poured urine into a coffee pot in a break room on July 5 and July 6. Authorities said no one was harmed.

Shaheen has been a postal employee for 11 years, Cleveland TV station WEWS reported. He is due in court on Monday.


The similarities are remarkable.

Posted by Jeff at 10:00 AM | Comments (1)

December 04, 2005

My Position on the War

This is my position on the Iraq War:

It's going great. The president has things reasonably under control. There's nothing to debate about. Let's move on.

Question: So why does the war seem to be such a hot issue?

Answer: Because the Democrats hate George W. Bush.

That's the underlying reason, anyway. It's their motive. The mechanism, however, is using the press to keep the Iraq War in the national dialogue in an attempt to bash Bush with it. That was the reason for their temper tantrum in the senate when they called a surprise closed session, and that's the motive behind Murtha's withdrawl proposal (which even he didn't vote for):

Murtha Balks at Own Proposal
Late Friday night the House took a vote on Rep. John Murtha's proposal for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. The vote was 403-3 against, with Murtha among the 403. The only congressmen favoring Murtha's idea were three far-left Democrats: Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, Jose Serrano of New York and Robert Wexler of Florida. Six Dems voted "present": Michael Capuano (Mass.), William Clay (Mo.), Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.), Jim McDermott (Wash.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) and Major Owens (N.Y.). Best of the Web Today

And it seems to me that the majority of Americans feel the same way, no matter which side of the aisle they typically vote for. Those who are in the blogosphere need to stop defending against the minutia in the Iraq based attacks against the president, and simply start defending with their bottom line: The Iraq War is going fine. Take the heat out of the discussion, and move on.

Posted by Jeff at 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

December 03, 2005

The Truth Laid Bear

I don't know what this is, really. I think it's a site a bit like that Technorati site out there. Anyway, with regard to site design, I don't know where I want this, so, for the moment, I'll put it here:

I kind of like the idea of declaring my own importance to the buk of the people out there. I've never been a fan of popularity. The judgments of the masses, and the judgments of the Roarks just don't always coincide.

Posted by Jeff at 06:58 AM | Comments (0)

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