Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I hate iTunes / iPod

Music transfer from iPod to PC

I Hate iTunes / iPod

Hate is a harsh word, but Apple has made it very difficult to change music players. Don’t get me wrong iTunes does have a nice layout, and I do like Cover Flow. But come on Apple prefers their .m4p layout over .mp3, my phone will not play .m4p and neither will any of my other music players.

So, another Christmas has come and gone and a new iPod nano has joined the family. Last year both the Wife and the oldest Daughter were blessed (cough, cough) with iPods. Wife received an iPod classic 80GB from yours truly and daughter a 4GB nano I guess 3rd gen (I think, am not so sure about the "generations" of these) from Santa (yours truly also). Things weren’t much of an issue last year because most everything was new, and did not have to transfer music or save stuff off of one. But this year when she received the new 16GB nano-chromatic I had some music to reclaim off of the old 4GB nano. Some of the music my daughter had purchased had gotten deleted off of the main computer some how and the only place it resided was on the nano.

Here is the dilemma how do I get her music on to the new iPod? I am not really familiar with iTunes, but I do know there is no option to go from iPod to iTunes their transfer is a one way street. Hop on the good old internet and search iPod to PC millions of hits (ouch! this is going to take a while), most of the programs are pay for use or if they are free or share ware they are riddled with spyware or viruses at best. After about the 10th page of search results on Google eureka found something worth looking at, it was a thread with good reports on a program SharePod with a link to

You could also try Cucusoft iPhone/iTouch/iPod to Computer Transfer which is a Shareware title that also does a very good job of getting the music transfered.

Downloaded SharePod 3.8.7 unzipped it (ran virus scan) plugged in the iPod ran the .exe voila there is all of her music. This is a very simple program easy to use neat and clean, once the music shows in the left column you can just click on backup iPod and dump the entire contents in to a folder of your choice (no installer just run from where you extracted it to). After all of the music was ripped off plugged in the new iPod and there is the option to copy to iPod with the exception of a few little glitches everything loaded to the new one. And now I can place all of the music in the back up folder in to iTunes folder every thing is back to normal.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ntldr missing

Ntldr Missing

Well in the last post I had a computer half way across the States infested with a nasty little bit of malware/spyware that was corrected with malwarebytes (great program). I also noted that that I had a bit of an issue with my personal (45 dollar laptop) rebooting with an NTLDR missing on boot. Well unfortunately I found out why I am getting this error. Apparently the hard drive ate it self, tis now toast, tango uniform, has seen its last huraaa. And so on and so on... well I do have most of the stuff backed up on an external hard drive but the most recent blog notes and some pictures are gone. I did try trusty SpinRite and it could not even start the disk check, also tried the Ultimate Boot CD 4.1.1 which has gotten me out of jam's be for. (this is a bootable linux iso cd that has a bunch and I mean a bunch of tools including NTFS tools check it out) But all of this to no avail, so I have consigned myself to giving up .. I am trying one last ditch effort to at least retrieve some of the info off by freezing it over night in my mini refrigerator at work. (secret place I keep my stash of Bluemoon) will have to see what happens in the morning if I can pull any info off will let you know.

Update: I have tried every thing in my tool kit of software, hardware, and even Hammer time!! To no avail the hard drive is DEAD.... Freezing the drive did nothing it will show up in Windows but showing I/O error. Well time to find a different hard drive for the laptop and start over with a ghost image I had be for .. THIS IS ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO ENSURE YOUR BACKUPS ARE GOOD... as I have said be for backup backup backup.

Monday, December 15, 2008

360 antivirus, Ntldr missing

General computer issues, NTldr, Malware Antivirus 360.

How to fix Antivirus 360
How to clean Antivirus 360, How to delete Antivirus 360

Yesterday was Sunday, I get to sleep in on Sunday's (usualy) seeing that it is my only day off. Still on the 6 day work week (will be for a long time). Got a txt msg round 9:30 a.m. “computer problems again call me when you can!!”

This has nothing to do with the NTldr error that comes later. So I call her,
M: “I’m getting a message stating that I have a virus!”
Me: “ok which computer is it?”
M : “My work Laptop”

Side note when we were searching for new computers for the business we decided on Dell at the time the D620’s and D420 for her cause she hates carrying bulky items and for that reason she would never carry her Toshiba cause its way too big and bulky. The D420 is a great computer for her in fact I wish I had gone for it. Its 12 inch screen is still big enough to read everything the keyboard is good enough so that you can type on it for a long time with no issues .. and it is still very fast even with the slower processor.

Me: “OH no that’s not good what exactly does it say”
M: “360 antivirus found virus avg8.0.87.exe is infected and won’t let me close it”

Not good .. I have not loaded Norton on this machine.. I know that for sure .. to me sounds like a bit of Malware .. but you don’t dare ask where she got it .. just fix it right? And I know AVG is a good virus software and that file is good.

Me: “it’s ok everything will be fine can you open another IE window? If so go to”

Here is another good reason to atleast add if not use all the time FOXFIRE IMO best possible browser ever and I don't get paid referals on for it I just use it.

M:“ok I’m there. Now what?
Me: “type in Malwarebytes download it and let it run.”

Now I had to walk her through the entire process of installing and running the updates and running the scan .. but it did take care of this nasty little bit of code like it has for me when I have accidently installed something that I should not have. This process did take a couple of hours to complete, and did require a reboot to fully clear things out. It did get it handled for me .. and she’s happy.

Here is where the NTldr issue comes in … so later that night I’m blogging away (ok not much blogging more surfing than anything) had my normal 15 tabs open in foxfire and 5 tabs in IE. Something started slowing down.

*** Second side note here: This laptop is a Toshiba A95 if memory serves correctly. I paid 40 bucks for it to some guy off craigslist. Great laptop after I cleaned out the soda pop they spilled in to the keyboard and fried a couple of things. The DVD still did not work but did not need that at all anyways. ***

So tried the normal shut down restart… But it would not go down.. AAARRRRGGG

Well after 5 min of waiting tried 3 finger salute (ctrl, alt, del) to no avail. Fine hit the power button and try a cold reboot. Got up went to get a drink came back, DOH missing NTldr recover off the install cd. Sometimes things like this get to me so turned it off and put it in my bag got my other laptop and started all over again… Well now I have another project to share with you in the next post of how to recover from this issue. To be Continued. Just like the Ran out of hard drive space post I still have to complete..

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

XV6700 and XV6800

Verizon wireless phone internet settings, original EV-DO settings. Pda Phone XV6700 and XV6800
Also know as HTC Apache, ppc 6700, ppc 6800

I know, I still have to finish the post Help, ran out of hard drive space. But things like this and many more keep me from finishing the series. Oh well, ok so here we are a co. worker comes to me this a.m. “I can’t get on the internet can you fix it?” yes as usual I can give me a couple of min.
Not as easy as I thought .. I use a few sites to help me out when I run in to issues like this one is ppcgeeks and the other is pdaphone. Unfortunately, both of these sites have millions of posts and is difficult to navigate and search quickly. Don’t get me wrong they are great sites with tons of valuable information and the folks who post are willing to help on anything or anyone.

So on to the issue, the XV6800 had lost the settings for #777 here is what settings I had to adjust to get the internet back.

Click on start>settings>connections then click on the connections icon.
If the #777 connection is there edit it if not you will have to

click on add a new connection Name the connection whatever you want (i.e. EVDO) if its not already there
Modem drop down should be "Cellular Line".
Click next and in the box for the number to be dialed put #777
Click next and in username put and in password put vzw
Click finished and your done.

Inet should be working now
*** Warning *** if you don’t have a data contract with Verizon and you use the internet and email.. you will be charged an exorbitant amount of $$ per kilobit.. not Meg’s bits.. so don’t use it if you don’t have it .. fair warning given.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

How To: Blogger Expandable Post "Yet Again"

Blogger or Blogspot Expandable post, yes I know there are tons of sites that have How To's for this but for some reason I had to use no less than three (3) of those sites and compile their information to create something that would (A.) work for me, and (B.) do things the way I wanted them done.

If for some reason you don't know what expandable post is .. it is the teaser first paragraph with a read more link that will take you to the rest of the article.

I am using a modified layout and I don't know if this will work for every one (classic templates, or beta) so use at your own risk.

The best help so far was from but I still could not get the size of READ MORE that I wanted. The reason I want it bigger is due to some of the feed back I have received, "Great information on your site, but your articles are really short and leave you hanging" well thats because they are only reading the teaser, and not the full post. And I can verify this with the tracking metrics I use showing only first page read .. and a very high bounce rate from the front page.

Ok nuf ranting. Here is how I have done this and how it works for me and for the advanced users ummm.. sorry going step by step for all folks:

Go to your blogger Dashboard

Find the Blog you want to edit and click on Layout

Once there click on Edit HTML

****Warning, Warning, DANGER Will Robinson*****

SAVE YOUR TEMPLATE be for you do any editing so that if something does not work right you can always upload the old one and you are back in biz.

Find this bit of code ]]></b:skin> in your template HTML and paste the following piece of code in between ]]></b:skin> and </head>

Now this sounds difficult to non-html (web geeks that know all of this stuff I'm not one of them yet) but its easy if you use exploder .. umm mean Explorer click on the Edit drop down and find on this page or press the ctrl button and <crtl> +f this will bring up a search box or a search down at the bottom of the page.

type in the search it should take you directly to where you want to insert your code.

Go to the beginning of </head> and press return to make some space to work

copy this code and paste it in to the space you just made

<!-- Style to implement "Read more on this Article" link in all the posts (Start) -->
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
span.fullpost {display:inline;}
span.fullpost {display:none;}
<!-- Style to implement "Read more on this Article" link in all the posts (End) -->

Ok what this did is defined a class for the Read more link

Save your template.

Now Click on the Expand Widgets Template checkbox at the top right.

Using your search box find <data:post.body/>

copy and past this bit of code imediately after the <data:post.body/>

<!-- Code to show "Read more on this article..." Link (Begin) -->
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType != "item"'>
<a expr:href='data:post.url' style='color:#0000FF; text-align:right; font-weight:bold; font-size:140%; text-decoration:none' >Read more on this article...</a>
<!-- Code to show "Read more on this article..." Link (End) -->

Ok what this did is defined a class for the Read more link
with a color of blue thats what color:0000FF defines
text will align right
font will be bold
font size will be 40 times bigger than the normal text in the blog

Save the template ...

If you get errors
XML elements are closed properly.
XML error message: Open quote is expected for attribute “{1}” associated with an element type “cond”.

This is why I created this article cause after 5 tries getting that error I had to search more sites.. Like I said it might not work for all.

Ok if you were able to save with out errors the last thing you need to do is add the last bit of code to

at the bottom of Formatting
Post Template box

paste this:

Here is the beginning of my post. <span class="fullpost">And here is the rest of it.</span>


Hi, this is my test post.<span class="fullpost">This line is not shown in the main page</span>

now the next time you create a post where it says I, this is my test post. Here is where you put the teaser. And the rest of the post should go where it says This line is not shown in the main page.

If you have any questions shoot me a comment, Hope this helps at least one person

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