July 2006

Use a Wireless USB 802.11g Belkin USB Dongle with OS X : Solved

Sometimes trial and error is all it takes.

After seeing this post on macosxhints about using a DLink DWL-G122 USB Wifi Network Adapter with OS X using Ralink drivers to get it to work, I decided to try it instead of buying a $98 Apple Airport card for my iMac G5. I bought one for cheap on Tiger Direct, and received a revision A chipset version in the mail, only to find out that only the revision B chipsets use the ralink technology. That dongle is still sitting around my house, lonely and unused. I wrote about my frustration in a comment here.

Then I heard about some users having luck with newer versions of the Belkin Wireless G USB Network adapter. Having not learned my lesson, I put the Belkin F5D7050 on my amazon wishlist, and low and behold my family bought one for me! It says “Ver. 2011” on the box.
Initial trials with the Belkin OS X drivers did not work for me. But thanks to this blog post, I tried the Ralink drivers for 11g-RT2500 10.4.X, and it worked!
Update Drivers were moved here, linked from this page.
Actually these are the same drivers that work on the revision B chipset.

The driver application came up right away when I plugged in the adapter, but the internet did not work. In network settings, it detected a new ethernet port, and setting DHCP and renewing DHCP lease and hitting Apply Now made everything start working. Hurray!

So if you have a Revision B D-link DWL-G122 or a Belkin F5D7050 version 2011, 2000, 2001, 3000, or 3000uk, you can use the Ralink drivers with it and OS X!

Golive CS2: Hyperlink doesn’t show up in image link right click context menu: Solved

Something’s been driving me nuts in golive CS2…

In Golive CS, you could right click on any link or image link, and ‘hyperlink’ would appear as an option in the contextual menu that appears, allowing you to open that page without having to find it in your site window. In CS2, this still seemed to disappear with image links, to be replaced with the fairly useless ‘apply link’ menu.

I just figured this out: If you click on the right side of the image, you will get the apply link menu:

Golive CS2 Apply Link Menu

While if you click on the left side of the image you will get the hyperlink menu:

Golive CS2 Hyperlink Menu

Why this is a feature, I have no idea. The images do not have a visable boundary that would cue you that the behavior would change, nor does the cursor change or any status indicator change. This is kind of infuriating unless you know the secret!

Scripting Errors after Virus with Macafee Firewall : Unsolved

I’m getting lots of errors with mcafee personal firewall. I get this on boot:

An error has occured in the script on this page.

Line: 944
Char: 3
Error: Object doesn’t support this property or method:
Code: 0
URL: mcp://C:\PROGRA~1\McAfee.com\Agent\RegWizUl.dll:default.htm

Do you want to continue running scripts on this page?

I read on this page that I should try running regsvr32 scrrun.dll and try installing Windows Script 5.6 for Windows XP and Windows 2000, but I’m still having problems.

Dreamweaver and other apps are having javscript problems as well. Still unsolved. More later.

Update: This is a common issue for mcafee, which has a page about it here. They have you run a batch file that is supposed to fix internet explorer registry and scripting issues. Unfortunately it still did not fix my problem.

How to get all 8 speakers working in a 7.1 creative inspire set without a creative sound card : Solved

Oh Creative.
I got all excited because I received a Creative Inspire P7800 set of 7.1 surround speakers as a gift yesterday. However when I got everything plugged in, two of the speakers wouldn’t work even though my sound card was 7.1 and the speakers were 7.1 and have a ‘direct 7.1’ setting. My sound card has four outs and the subwoofer has 4 ins, but the cable that comes with the speakers, it turns out, is a proprietary cable designed for Creative sound cards such as the Audigy2. It has four 1/8th inch minijack plugs that go into the subwoofer, and three combined minijack plugs that go into your computer.

Here is a diagram of the cable that comes with the speakers:

Creative 4-3 Cable

It’s not even accurate though; it’s drawn with each plug having three poles (two lines), when really two of them have four poles. Here is what the cable really looks like:

Creative 4-3 Cable Photo

“All I need is a fourth connection,” I thought, and tried hooking up a line-to-line stereo audio cable for the side speakers into the subwoofer. A line-to-line cable is a standard audio cable with a 1/8th inch minijack plug on each end:


But no luck, the side speakers apparently needed a 4-pole connector (three lines on it) and the stereo audio cable didn’t do it.

I sent my poor girlfriend on a trip to best buy looking for “7.1 surround sound cables”, telling her “don’t let them sell you stereo minijack or RCA cables”. She called with a befuddled best buy employee next to her, and neither of them could find one.

A trip to radio shack was also in vein. “That’s a proprietary connector. Try Best Buy,” they suggested. “I just did.” (Well, my girlfriend just did.)

A call to creative sales was useless. I had a part number for another creative cable, hoping that would help, but they said the cable I needed didn’t exist. Doesn’t exist?? In the setup guide that comes with the speakers, there’s a diagram with such a cable, and no one would sell it but Creative!

Creative Supposed 4-4 Cable

That’s sure a tease to have a mythical cable in your setup guide instructions!

“Well what if I just bought another one of these cables, and only used one of them?” I asked. I knew one of the plugs was 4-pole and even though it would be ugly and a waste of most of the cable, at least I could get it to work. “I don’t know,” he said, unhelpfully. They must get asked this question a lot — marketing wants you to think the speakers will work with any system, and design created the cable so it wouldn’t. They must leave it up to their lower-paid support staff to deal with the backlash.

An internet search was more infuriating. Not only does creative offer no help on this issue, other people have run into the same problem—they want to use this speaker system without having to buy a creative sound card! We have perfectly capable 7.1 sound cards; mine has SP/DIF and optical as well. It’s a realtek sound card that came with my MSI Neo3 PE motherboard. “I guess I’ll just go buy another sound card,” wrote one frustrated customer. “That is one of the reasons that I do not like Creative that much anymore. They sell sound cards with weird non-standard outputs so that you buy their speaker systems that have the appropriate cables included with them,” wrote another. What a racket!

Well, by experimenting, I figured it out. The standard line-to-line miniplug audio cable didn’t work for the side speakers, but it did work for the rear speakers. So I unplugged the grey rear speaker plug on both ends, and replaced it with the audio cable, leaving the grey plug on the subwoofer just hanging. Then I used the rear speaker cable for the side speaker channel. It worked! 7.1 8 channel audio without having to buy anything more from Creative!

Here is a thumbnail diagram of my solution, click on it for a larger version:

My 7.1 audio cable solution

It’s such a racket that companies these days try to make their products proprietary but market them as otherwise. On the creative product web page the only requirements say “PC or Mac (desktop or notebook) with 5.1, 6.1 or 7.1 audio outputs”. Then they pretend there’s no solution when in fact there is one with a standard audio cable!

For those of you with a similar MSI mobo, here’s how to set up your software:

It’s a good idea to set your speaker setup in XP’s sounds and audio devices control panel to 8 speakers, 7.1 sound, but the real MSI configuration utility is a control panel called “Sound Effect Manager.”

MSI's speaker configuration utility

I know, it’s not the best name for it. I set my motherboard to “8CH + S/PDIF (Optical & Coaxial), and the speaker dropdown to “8CH Speaker”. For SPDIF, I set it to No output. The diagram on the speaker configuration page is helpful, but on my actual computer it is ROTATED CLOCKWISE 90°, so bear that in mind when you’re connecting.

MSI configuration screenshot

Lastly, set the speaker setting on the p7800 to “7.1 direct” and you should be good to go! Try the “3D audio demo” for full surround effect bliss!

Solving the prevoius post: getting rid of the backdoor.generic2.vlu virus [solved]

So after three virus scans, AVG Free was able to detect the virus wreaking havoc on my computer.

Thanks to this forum on hardwareanalysis.com for helping me solve this problem. Those guys really are experts on XP and have helped me with two very complicated issues for free.
Norton Antivirus didn’t detect this virus and in fact was disabled by it; Trend Micro’s Housecall did not pick it up, and even AVG Antivirus’ Trial Edition didn’t find it! After a full scan with AVG Trial edition, I uninstalled it after hearing about the Free edition, and the free edition detected it immediately!

The error I got was:

“You have a virus!
C:\System Volume Information\restore_1\lsass.exe
Ignore | Info | Move to Vault | Restore access”

Lsass.exe is a legit process to be running, but only if there’s one copy and it’s in c:\windows\system32. Mine was in System Volume Information, which is impossible to access because it is where XP keeps its restore points. AVG’s undocumented ‘restore access’ button opens up XP’s System Restore preference pane, which allows you to turn off system restore, which (for better or for worse) deletes all system restore points. Doing this fixed my computer.

So the repair install was unnecessary and did not fix my computer, and it’s amazing that norton, trend micro and AVG’s pay edition could not pick up this virus. I guess the best things in life really are free!

Here is the letter I wrote to AVG.