Skip navigation

So a while back another department at Portland State University asked to deploy iTunes via SCCM. The reason for this is staff/faculty buy iPad’s – and the iPad doesn’t seem to be able to operate independent of the PC. On install iTunes 10 deploys all of its settings to the current user profile, and it supports very little first launch customization. So if you want to surpress the EULA, and that prompt about Bonjour missing you have to copy files to the user who launched the iTunes 10 installer from Run Advertised. Now SCCM installs everything as SYSTEM – and so out of the box I don’t actually know immediately who clicked the install button. So how to figure out who is actually at the PC?

In Windows 7 this is trivial via Powershell:

( Get-WmiObject -class win32_computerSystem -computerName .).username

On Windows XP however the Win32_ComputerSystem class doesn’t even exist in WMI. This was introduced with Windows Vista SP1. On Windows XP you can get this info from the SCCM Advanced Client:

$CPAppletMgr = New-Object -ComObject CPApplet.CPAppletMgr -> Sets up the SCCM com object

$UserName = $cpAppletMgr.GetClientProperties() | Where-Object {$_.Name -eq “UserName”}

Then $UserName.Value returns


Yay :).


Interesting quote I read here:

IN 1973 RLDS HISTORIAN PAUL M. EDWARDS identified a fundamental deficiency of Mormon historical studies: “We have not allowed,” says Edwards speaking of Mormon historians, “the revolutionary nature of the movement from which we have sprung to make us revolutionaries.” He continued:

The one thing about which we might all agree concerning Joseph Smith is that he was not the usual sort of person. He did not approach life itself–or his religious commitment–in a usual way. Yet the character of our historical investigation of Joseph Smith and his times has been primarily traditional, unimaginative, and lacking in any effort to find or create an epistemological methodology revolutionary enough to deal with the paradox of our movement. The irony of our position is that many of our methods and interpretations have become so traditional that they can only reinforce the fears of yesterday rather than nurture the seeds of tomorrow’s dreams.

Indeed – the church is based on someone asking some of the most difficult questions theology has to offer “what is real, what is true etc”, but as they say with all things like this – the truth will set you free.

Mike Morhaime makes a statement that they are not going to impliment RealID features on the forums anytime soon. I wonder if this is because they decided like most of their players that it was a dumb idea, or the fact that a lot of people have canceled their subscriptions over this. I suspect the latter.

It would be Blizzard themselves. Lum at Broken Toys quotes several Blizzard employees and bloggers response to change the way the forums there work to basically make it so that instead of your characters name being displayed in a post or a question – the name on the billing statement is posted (may be your parents, or friend who pays for the account).

I think the immediate result will be that people will stop using the forums completely and revert back to 3rd party forums. Blizzard would then lose a lot of valuable feedback and in some cases have to use 3rd party forums to deal with a lot of the existing issues that are solved on Blizzard’s own forums (an issue Aion has). The other thing is I think people will lose trust in Blizzard themselves – which as I’ve said before is a far more serious issue.

Favorite quote from the link above:

Syncaine, blogger:

Can this thing launch already? This is like watching a car accident, only instead of seeing the flaming wreck after it happens, you’re like Nicolas Cage in that movie no one saw where he can predict the future, and you actually get to wait for the car wreck to happen right in front of you.

Train wreck indeed. Based on the backlash I’ve seen so far – it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they delayed launching this.

And if you don’t think its so bad – someone has already tested the waters – with hilarious results. – “After using so much aluminum in recent hardware designs, it’s interesting that they’re using stainless steel for the iPhone 4. Update:  Stainless steel can be used as an antenna; aluminum can’t. That’s the explanation.”

Don’t tell that to these guys:

More likely explanation is that stainless steel is far more rigid.

Basically you get a really tiny HD camera that records onto a flash card (SD, and it works ok with mini-SD if you have an adapter). It does things like take still photos too or quick action photo’s too.

The video quality itself is quite good – especially for its size. See below:

One of the reasons however I cannot recommend this camera outright is because of the numerous firmware bugs in the camera software and the build quality itself. The build I guess is ok, but it feels like cheap plastic, and the audio quality is so bad I’m not even sure why it bothers recording sound. The firmware bugs are far more annoying.

Bug 1) USB connection is flakey. On more than one PC I switch the camera on while its connected to the PC it connects, disconnects, connects and finally disconnects – and the camera is still on displaying “USB” on the LCD, however you cannot do anything with it (including switch it off) unless you pull the battery out to reset it. The only PC this seems to work on (tested on 3 different machines) is my laptop… In most cases its less painful to just connect the card reader and pop the SD card out of the camera to copy the videos over. Otherwise you’ll find you have to pop the battery out of the camera, turn it back on and try again.

Bug 2) The files it creates are continuous. This by itself isn’t so bad, except most editing apps on Windows will only import files less than 2 gigabytes. In order to edit a 2.5 gig clip (tested on Windows Movie Maker and Adobe Premier CS4) I had to use a tool to split the file into 2 gig chunks.

If there is a better camera out there (I don’t know of any really) – wonderful, if not – buy this. – has a pretty good article on why a sport bike isn’t a good beginners motorcycle. I happen to agree with a lot of the points made, but oddly enough it wasn’t how I started – and I wouldn’t recommend you take that bit of text at face value. My first bike was a Yamaha YZF-600R – which is quite a beast actually. It was fast enough that you really had to hold on if you were accelerating at not even 30-40% of top throttle.

And make no mistake – sport bikes are really just street legal racing bikes. The article mentions how you could buy a bike in a dealership and make it race worthy and win races in one afternoon – which seems plausible.

Ego does get in the way of recommendation – I’d be hesitant to recommend the GSX 650F I ride now to anyone new at this. It’s a very powerful bike, and without a lot of attention on the road I can see myself getting into trouble. Honestly though – if you were a responsible lad, had done all the safety classes, what genuinely interested in motor biking (not just because you saw some cool video of someone doing tricks and decided it was for you) I would totally recommend a 600-1000cc bike.

Every now and then I hear about some kid locally who bought a bike (or more likely his parents bought a bike) didn’t realize that 1/16th of a inch on the throttle can mean about 4k more RPM ran it off the road and messed himself up. I think someone posted on that same forum that he finds salvage bikes all the time at a store near where he works and that one had 2 miles on it before it was wrecked. That’s a bike that didn’t even make it home from the dealership.

I’m one of those people who liked Symbian OS. It was an elegant OS with open development model – which meant if you wanted to write it – Symbian would run it – despite what Nokia said. This was a stark contrast to Apple who to this day maintains strict control over what apps can run on their phones. So I really liked all my Nokia phones, until the N97 came along. I bought it without question – however I admit to regretting that decision.

This article I spotted confirms that notion:

"The N97 has been a tremendous success for us when it comes to how many we have shipped and how much money we did collect, but it has been a tremendous disappointment in terms of the experience quality for the consumers and something we did not anticipate. It happens every now and then in a big company, like Nokia, even if you have the most stringent quality control mechanisms. Something slips, and you notice one thing, [it] leads to another thing, you fix that, and actually you make things worse and so forth… and this has been an unbelievable cycle of things for us that has taken far too long to repair and mitigate.”

I guess thanks for being honest with us. I’ll tell you what’s worse though – losing a customer by losing trust in a brand or a product. There was a time when you could buy a Nokia flagship product and know that it was solid. The UI (like all things Symbia) probably wasn’t perfect, but it never crashed, had lots of cool features and tons of talk time. I probably couldn’t buy another Nokia phone unless every single review knocked it out of the park.

I’m pretty much convinced Derek Smart’s elevator doesn’t go to the top floor. I had my doubts back in the Battle Cruiser 3000 vs. the Internet saga, but these recent rants confirm it.

Which begs the question – how does he keep getting investors to give him money? The more insane the pitch – the more money? I still can’t say his name with out saying “Desktop Commander”: