Tag Archives: microsoft

How Far We’ve Come with Linux – Part 1

Last week my wife’s laptop started dying; for the record, it still is. In the interest of full disclosure, I love Linux. I don’t have a computer in this house running windows natively, though I do use windows on a virtual box to run Photoshop CS4  and Adobe Camera Raw. I also have countless virtual machines of windows (and other linux distros) for testing purposes–as a consultant I work a lot with windows, but it’s not the OS for me. I’m not a apple fanboy either, I’m a red hat guy: servers run CentOS, desktops run Fedora.

My wife doesn’t mind Fedora, but she’s switched to Ubuntu for the last few years on her laptop. She’s an English teacher at a state college and uses Linux and Open office, how great is that? How many College English teachers do you know that accept papers in Open Document format? Oh and the other day when I was watching the trailers for the new Halo 3 ODST, she may have been more excited then I was. I think we’ll end up playing ALL of the other Halo games through again before ODST comes out. For those of you who were wondering, no, my wife playing Halo has nothing to do with any of this… My wife chooses to use Linux and Open Office, she LOVES Halo… Just wanted you to know how lucky I am. If you were in my shoes wouldn’t you tell everyone?

Anyway, her part time job is online tutoring. So when her laptop started dying I needed to get her a desktop up and running as a backup. She had the choice between two computers I also gave her the choice of Windows XP, Ubuntu or Fedora and assuming she chose Linux the choice between Gnome and KDE. Continue reading »

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Zune Fail – programming bug on 30GB units

Many of you probably heard about the Zune leap year bug. I saw a couple of Zunes with the problem before Microsoft released the official “fix.” On December 31st anyone with a 30GB Zune was annoyed to find it would freeze during start up and become totally unresponsive.  Late in the day Microsoft released a “fix” I hesitate to use that word. They suggested leaving the Zune on the frozen screen (you didn’t have much choice) and letting the battery run dead. Once it ran dead, wait till January 1st to turn it back on and sync it with your computer.

The source for the offending code showed up on several websites last night and I pulled out the function that has the problem. Unless your a programmer (I’m not) or can at least read most code (like me) then it won’t mean anything to you (just smile and nod). But basically on December 31st in a leap year there are 366 days, this code gets stuck in a loop when days equal 366 and there isn’t a graceful error exit. It just keeps telling itself that days equal 366 and it doesn’t know what to do.

This code is for a chip made by a third party, not Microsoft. I keep wondering if other devices have had the same problem.

//----------------------------------------------------------
//
// Function: ConvertDays
//
// Local helper function that split total days since Jan 1, ORIGINYEAR into 
// year, month and day
//
// Parameters:
//
// Returns:
//      Returns TRUE if successful, otherwise returns FALSE.
//
//----------------------------------------------------------
BOOL ConvertDays(UINT32 days, SYSTEMTIME* lpTime)
{
    int dayofweek, month, year;
    UINT8 *month_tab;

    //Calculate current day of the week
    dayofweek = GetDayOfWeek(days);

    year = ORIGINYEAR;

    while (days > 365)
    {
        if (IsLeapYear(year))
        {
            if (days > 366)
            {
                days -= 366;
                year += 1;
            }
        }
        else
        {
            days -= 365;
            year += 1;
        }
    }
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