Search This Blog

To adblock users

Hello! If you see this, you are most likely using an ad blocker. (Or maybe you have JavaScript disabled. Or maybe my web server is down.) I have no problem with ad blockers; in fact I use one myself. If a site tries to deny me access unless I disable it, I just find a way to circumvent that. But if a site politely asks me to do so, but still allows access to the site, I disable it for the site. I am asking you to please do the same for this site. I can't make you, but I would appreciate it. Thank you! :-)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Phallic display at Giant deli

I was at Giant the other day, and as I walked by the deli, I saw a decorative display which struck me instantly as looking quite phallic. If you don't know what that means, look it up. My mom and I both think it was made to look that way as a joke by an employee who has the same sense of humor as me. ;-)

EDIT: I just noticed, the "shaft" even has a picture of a rooster (cock) on it!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Xbox 360 Controller on PC Without Additional Software

Earlier today, I figured out a way to use an Xbox 360 controller on a PC without downloading or installing any additional software. I got the idea when I read (I forgot where) that the controller is a standard HID device, except it sends the wrong class code (0xFF instead of 0x03) so that generic drivers won't automatically connect to it. This is obviously so that Microsoft could require people to use their special software to get it to work. Possibly so they could make you need to use Windows (although this information is written for Windows and, unfortunately, probably won't help if you're not using it.)

But there is a way to tell the generic drivers to connect to it anyway. Simply plug it in and let it install as an unknown device. Then, open Device Manager (Start, right-click My Computer, Properties, Hardware tab, Device Manager) and find your device. Right-click it and click Properties, and then switch to the Details tab. Make sure "Device Instance Id" is selected at the top, and then make note of everything on the top line up to "PID_XXXX" where XXXX can be any four hexadecimal digits (0-9 and A-F). For example, mine says "HID\VID_045E&PID_028E&IG_00\7&29E276DE&0&0000", so I would ignore everything except for the "HID\VID_045E&PID_028E" at the beginning. You can now close out the Properties dialog. Do that, then right-click the device and click Uninstall.

Now it's time to edit your INF file. Go to Start, Run, and type in "c:\windows\inf\input.inf" (without the quotes.) Notepad should open. If not, do the same thing except add "notepad" to the beginning of the string you type into the Run dialog. Scroll down to the section called "[MicrosoftGame]". Now, in a new line in that section, type in "%XXXX.DeviceDesc%=HID_Inst,, XXXX", replacing each instance of XXXX with that hardware ID you wrote down. (And no, I DON'T just mean those four hexadecimal digits I previously referred to in the same way.) Now scroll down to the "[Strings]" section near the bottom, and type in [XXXX.DeviceDesc="Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller"], not including the brackets. (I used brackets instead of quotes since there are quotes in the string itself.) And the XXXX refers to the same thing as it did last time (the hardware ID you wrote down, including but not limited to those four hexadecimal digits.) Now save the file and exit.

If your controller is still plugged in, unplug it and plug it back in. If not, simply plug it in. If a window appears asking if you want to connect to Windows Update, tell it not to. It may also put up a warning about it not having passed Windows Logo testing. Click "Continue Anyway" on any of these warnings. Eventually, it should finish! Now all there is left to do is go into the Game Controllers control panel, select the controller, click Properties, and calibrate it. Have fun!

P.S. I do recommend XBCD. It's another driver, but it's much better than Microsoft's official one. XBCD+ looks promising, but I haven't tried that yet. Oh, and by the way, I'm not referring to xkcd, the popular webcomic. ;-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Half-Life 2: Episode Two Commentary Blooper

Okay, so I was playing Half-Life 2: Episode Two in commentary mode, and I also happened to have the captions on. But when listening to one commentary node after I got off the elevator in the room with the thumper in the cave (if you played it you'd know what I'm talking about) it said, at the end, "[NOTE: good spot to take over the player's camera to swoop down and spawn some antlions and trigger the vort's attack]". Later on, I came across another one (in the area where you fight the two antlion guards shortly after you exit the cave) which said "[It'd be good to show wireframes of the model, and maybe 'Before and after' images.]" By the way, the model they were talking about was that of Alyx. Let me just point out that they didn't actually use either one of those ideas listed there, although I wish they had! These are obviously notes the developers left for themselves or other developers to see later on, but they seem to have forgotten to remove them! By the way, this is on the Xbox 360 version in The Orange Box; although I doubt it's specific to that version, I just want to let you know just in case.
Pretty funny, isn't it?

Monday, July 28, 2008


Just wanted to let you all know today's my birthday...if you want to send me some money as a birthday present, email me and I'll try to arrange it with my dad's PayPal account! ;-)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Convert Windows XP Home to Professional

I recently modified my XP setup to trick my laptop into thinking it was running XP Professional, when in actuality it was running XP Home. This enables several features which were still on my system, but just not enabled. For example, I can now connect to a domain (well, not really, since I don't have a domain controller) and use lusrmgr.msc to configure users and groups. I now also have my Security tab visible in Properties dialogs.
And now for the information you've been dying to hear since you started reading this article: how to do it. First, you must go into c:\windows\i386. On some systems this may simply be c:\i386. Now see if there is a folder called winntupg in there. If there is, you're good to go. Otherwise, get it off another Windows XP CD. It doesn't matter whether it's an OEM copy that came with another computer; it also doesn't matter which edition that disc is. Just get that folder into your i386 directory. Now open up Registry Editor, select HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, and then click File > Load Hive. Select the file called in i386. Type in a temporary name, and then open that new key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. Go to ControlSet001, Services, and then setupdd. Now double-click (Default), and change the 01 and 02 in there to 00's. Click OK, select that key that was created when you loaded the hive, and then go to File > Unload Hive. Click Yes, and then close Registry Editor. Now, look in i386 (on your hard drive) for a program called winnt32.exe. Run this program. When asked, choose to upgrade. Enter your product key (yes, it will be accepted) and install. Now all that's left to do is wait, and then go through that Microsoft Out of Box Experience thing (with the blue question mark icon which moves around the screen giving assistance.) Even if you have an OEM copy of Windows, it will ask you to activate, but don't worry: it will do so just fine. Some features will still be missing, but that's simply because the files for them don't even come with XP Home. If you really want them, copy them off of another computer which runs an honest-to-goodness XP Professional.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Strange bitmaps inside many Windows programs

If you have ever fooled around with Resource Hacker, a free tool to view and edit resources in Windows executables, you may have noticed that many programs contain resources which appear to have been for features which were originally going to be in a program, but then removed. For example, if you look in MSPaint, you can find some removed dialogs, and if you look in that pinball game included with Windows XP, you can find some kind of editor dialog which cannot be opened. But there are a few bitmaps you can find inside of many different executables that I just don't know what they could have been. Look at this one for an example:

I see check boxes, radio buttons, and are those yin-yangs? Whatever this could have been used for, I can't think of. If you want to see for yourself, I took this image from Dependency Walker (DEPENDS.EXE), a tool which comes with Microsoft Visual Studio (and can also be downloaded separately from though I have seen this particular image in several other programs as well.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Download: Alert (command-line message box tool)

I have another program for you: Alert. This program can create message boxes by command line. It is actually an upgrade of another program I had written for my own purposes, which only let you specify text. This one also lets you specify an icon and title text.

Download it at!

Obviously this is intended for batch files and stuff like that. Or I guess you could use it in a scheduled task for a simple reminder system. You could even put a shortcut to it in someone's startup as a prank, to make them think they have a virus or something.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Download: OutCmd

Yes, that's right, another program ending in "Cmd." This one provides functionality similar to the Unix backquote (`) operator. If you don't know what that does, look at the readme.txt file, included along with the program and its source code.

Here's the link:

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Car hidden in vent?

Well I was wondering what it looks like in my vent, so I got out my digital camera, stuck it down in the vent, and took a picture (with the flash, of course!) What I got was certainly not what I was expecting:

Yes, that's right, there's a TOY CAR in the vent! As of now I still haven't retrieved it (I tried using both my bare hand and the vacuum cleaner) and in fact I think I may have even pushed it farther down. But I'm confident I'll get it sometime soon! ;)

But if you aren't the first owners of your house, especially if any of the previous owners had small children, you can be surprised at what you can find in your vents. I found what looks like another toy vehicle (but I can't really see what it is) and three little plastic people. Several years ago I also found some kind of orange thing with a picture of some character or something on it. But so far all I have managed to retrieve are the people (two I could get with my hands; the other one I needed the vacuum) and that orange thing.

But check your vents — you might find something!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another download for you: Run with Parameters (RunCmd)

From the readme.txt file:
[RunCmd] is a small open-source program I wrote to add a feature to Windows
that should have been there already. Have you ever wanted to run a
program with command line parameters using the GUI? Well then this is
the program for you!

Download it from MediaFire at, or from Softpedia using the button below!

Aperture Science desktop theme for Windows XP

I created an Aperture Science desktop theme. For those of you who don't know, it is from a game called Portal. You can look at readme.txt in the file for more information.

Download it here: