2007 — 4 Apr: it's that time again

A gang of delightful gentlemen with large, noisy tools has decided it's time for me to wake up, heedless of the fact that I didn't even clamber into bed until 01:50 this morning owing to an extended misunderstanding about how best to rewire the scaler part of the video stack after yesterday's shenanigans. It seems whenever a different video input signal arrives (and the definition of "different" includes different resolution even over the same wire) all bets are off as to which audio input gets associated with the video. When (probably because you're tired) you also fail to notice that you've pressed the input selector of the A/V amp for a second or third time and it's switched from (say) Dolby Digital AC-3 to (say) DTS and the audio isn't (say) a DTS bitstream — well, they do say silence is golden.

No good deed goes unpunished

Why do you suppose Junior's bedroom radiator (here, that is, not the one in his London flat) should choose today to start micturating all over his carpet when the plumber was here yesterday but gone today? Was it because I read an article covering a debate whose motion was We'd be better off without religion last night? Or did one of the Fates simply decide we'd like nothing better than to chat to an insurance call-centre operator in sunny India?

Things are not (yet) as bad as the ever cheerful Bill McGuire would have us believe. He's the chirpy merchant of doom and gloom on a global scale whose day job is Director of the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre. Oddly, this research centre is sponsored by a reinsurance intermediary and risk advisory business. I've always felt that the insurance industry thrives by spreading FUD and encouraging paranoia. Of course, I shall feel differently if we manage to get a Post-Deluvian replacement carpet!1

That new fire in situ(ation)

In thumbnail form...

Small fire

And if you need a bigger view.

Falklands 25

Isn't it fascinating what comes out after quarter of a century has elapsed? Once again, it devolves into who knew what, and when did they know it? Another hammer blow against the conspiracy theory of History. "President Reagan ran a very loose ship (of state)" and, of course, Sir Humphrey told us that the ship of state is the only vessel that leaks from the top! Wonderful archive interviews on BBC Radio 4.

Other disasters in the making

I don't like Microsoft "critical" updates that, when installed, promptly rat on something else saying that the dll was trying to load itself in an address range reserved for Windows components and that I should contact the makers of said dll, which I don't know from Adam (of course). Since I run a very tight ship (see above) and refrain from upsetting the system with random goodies from gawd-knows-where, I will now have to keep rebooting until I can track down the offending item and ask Mrs Google about it. Remind me why I'm still using Windows at all when I've got the iMac sitting alongside?!

Trouble started after last night's / this morning's critical security Windows update. That crippled the RealTek HD audio control panel (KB 925902) but I got Microsoft's hotfix, dated yesterday, and that fixed that. But what kills a USB-connected printer that's been working perfectly?

Getting desperate here! My HP Laserjet 1320 works fine in self-print. It no longer works under XP. I've uninstalled and re-installed printer and its driver. Rebooted. Restarted. Downloaded latest driver package from HP and installed that. It reports the printer is installed, as the default, and ready for action. But nuffin prints. Every job hangs showing "Error" in the printer queue.

Second clue: MS update also shows an optional update for precisely this printer and, being an idiot, I attempted (twice) to install it. It's failed twice according to my "Update History" and is, I assume, the most likely cause of my printer woes. Q: how do I get rid of the failed install and start afresh? I've tried deleting the printer driver, unplugging the printer, re-installing as if anew from the HP CDROM. I imagine there's a Registry entry telling porkies, as it always thinks it already has a driver installed for the device. Any advice, please?

As I say, the printer does pushbutton self tests fine. But is totally dead for any software controlled printing. Yes I've checked all cables etc. No I haven't changed the port I'm using. If this continues, I shall have to switch to my Mac!

Day 152  


1  Not only the plumber is out. The Web jury opinions vary on whether that should be "deluvian" or "diluvian". "Dripping" will suffice.