A splat of all my blathering.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

A new XP gem 

I ran across this little gem today and thought I'd share it with everyone.
As long as your computer is not a domain member, you don't have to limit the number of user accounts, and you don't need TweakUI to get Windows to skip the welcome screen or prompt the user to logon.

At a command prompt, enter control userpasswords2. This will launch the User Accounts application. On the Users tab, clear the check box for "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" and click OK. (If your computer is part of a domain, this box does not appear). The Automatically Log On dialog box appears. Type your user name and password, and click OK
If you didn't know to look for it, you'd never find this handy dialog, which is available in both XP Professional and XP Home. And it's effective—two readers who found TweakUI didn't work for them were able to bypass the welcome screen using this technique. This dialog also lets you define a particular account as a Standard user, a status in between the Limited user and Administrator user categories available in the Control Panel's normal User Accounts applet.

Posted at 7/15/2004 11:37:00 PM | (0) comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Not all keys are created equal 

Let's take a quick walk in the realm of things that are possibly reasonable but certainly not obvious.

Given the following code, what are the values of b1-b4?

  Hashtable h = new Hashtable();
  h.Add(1, 1);
  h.Add((uint)2, 1);
  bool b1 = h.ContainsKey(1);
  bool b2 = h.ContainsKey((uint)1);
  bool b3 = h.ContainsKey(2);
  bool b4 = h.ContainsKey((uint)2);

b1 is true
b2 is false
b3 is false
b4 is true

Furthermore, consider the following:

  object i = 5;
  object j = (uint)5;
  int h1 = i.GetHashCode();
  int h2 = j.GetHashCode();

The values of h1 and h2 are both 5. What gives?

Posted at 7/14/2004 12:53:00 PM | (1) comments

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Getting Winamp to play RealAudio streams 

I take no credit for this. I just found it very useful but difficult to find so I thought I would re-post it for the masses.

My friend Lars loves to listen to German radio. It could be because he is German but I'm not sure. ;) His favorite station is Fritz.de and he listens to it via a RealAudio stream while he is staying here. That meant of course that he had to install the evil RealPlayer. I hate RealPlayer because it takes over my machine and makes me paranoid so I was compelled to seek another solution. I found a posting on a news forum that describes how to use the RealPlayer codecs by installing the Tara's RealAudio input plug-in. Thanks Tara whoever you are. This plug-in rocks and I appreciate you taking the time to write it. Also thanks to Arman68 for re-posting his older post so I could re-post it. I'm confused.

This is the post unaltered and in its entirety. Enjoy!


Here's a workaround that I found while perusing the Winamp forums. I'm afraid I don't know who came up with it but to them all credit is due. Eventhough it was written with Win 98/ME in mind, it works like a charm with Win2K assuming you do the necessary modifications like changing all references of C:\Windows to C:\WINNT etc. Enjoy.

Real Player Workaround

Winamp Realaudio plugins require Realplayer to be installed, I know that, there has been a lot of discussion about this here. Well, I think Realplayer is a bloated software which puts way too much entries in the registry and I hate those types of softwares.

I found a way to keep the minimal components required in order to hear Realaudio content in winamp. (tested innover's and Tara's plugins, on Winamp 2.76, Win98SE, Realplayer 7 & 8). Tara's plugin even allows playback of realvideo.

Here is what you must do :

1- Install Realplayer (I suggest a registry backup before, if you want to avoid the hundreds of registry entries it puts in your registry when only 3 are needed)

2- Backup those 3 folders :

c:\program files\common files\real\common
c:\program files\common files\real\plugins
c:\program files\common files\real\codecs

* almost forgot, also backup the pncrt.dll file located in c:\windows\system * (or C:\winnt\system) for Win2K

3. Uninstall Realplayer and restore your registry if you did a backup as suggested in #1

4. Copy the 3 folders you backed up to their original locations, and pncrt.dll file to c:\windows\system

5. Paste the text below in notepad and save as a .reg file


@="C:\\Program Files\\Common files\\Real\\Plugins\\"

@="C:\\Program Files\\Common files\\Real\\Codecs\\"

@="C:\\Program Files\\Common files\\Real\\Common\\"

6. Click on the .reg file you just saved.

7. Enjoy, of course you must have one of the winamp realplayer plugins. (For example, Tara 1.0.3.b.exe)

(the post is slightly wrong in that on NT/Win200/WinXp/Win2003 the folder is system32 and not system)

Posted at 7/11/2004 11:15:00 PM | (3) comments

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