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FIX: iTunes Not Working on XP? It's Quicktime's Fault
Wednesday, 04 June 2008
So, you're one of the poor souls out there scouring Google for a solution to the problem of iTunes not running on Windows XP. Either you get an error prompt with the option to send an error report, or you get nothing, and the iTunes process hangs and eats resources in the background.

Sometimes, the problem is nLite related, with missing DLL's and all. You can find help for that elsewhere. I'd try this fix first, though, as it is much easier to accomplish.

If you still have iTunes installed, go ahead and uninstall Quicktime Only! If you get an error and can't, delete the QuickTime folder in C:\Program Files and try it again. Then, go download QTAlternative (not the lite version), the opensource clone of Quicktime. Install that puppy, and try to start iTunes...success?

If you have already removed iTunes, grab the installer and extract it with WinRar or 7zip. Then, only run the iTunes installer, after you have installed QTAlternative.

With this setup,  iTunes runs, and I don't have to see those annoying Quicktime ads every time I watch a .mov file.
 
apt-fast and Axel: Roughly 26x Faster apt-get Installations and Upgrades
Monday, 02 June 2008
Updated 12/22/2011

apt-fast Development is now on GitHub:

https://github.com/ilikenwf/apt-fast



About apt-fast:

The apt-fast script I have created is a little shellscript that increases the speed of apt-get by many times. You need to have axel or aria2c installed as a download manager, which is a simple, short process, but everything else is extremely straight forward. I started out downloading the upgrades for Kubuntu, at 32kb/s. Not terrible, but not that great. When I was done with the script here, I was getting up to ~850kb/s. That is great!

Once you've setup apt-fast, you can use it like apt-get. To install a single package, make sure your database is up to date (apt-fast update), and run apt-fast install packagenamehere. Watch it download with incredible speed, and install your requested packages. To upgrade or dist-upgrade, do the same thing. Just use apt-fast dist-upgrade or apt-fast upgrade. That's all there is to it!

Should your download stall for any number of reasons, you'll need to do an apt-fast clean.

This is a fully opensource script, of course, under the GPLv3, so please improve upon it and modify it as you will. If you do something cool with it, or make a useful mod to the code, please pastebin it or put it in a forum somewhere and put a link in the comments below. I'll give you credit and add it to the script here on mattparnell.com.
Read more...
 
Unseen TechTV and ZDTV Episodes On the Way
Sunday, 01 June 2008
I have been digging around all over the place, and have found between the Internet Archive and other sources, hundreds of previously lost episodes, clips, and other media from TechTV and ZDTV. I have around 5 gigabytes of video, which is growing, and am going to release a sequel to my TechTV and ZDTV zip file of other media, which is considerably smaller. It will contain more images, internal documents, and other interesting files that you wouldn't think still exist.

I still have some other things to sort out, as I am going to be working, getting back in the swing of kernel compilation, and putting up many websites, while maintaining the 12 or so I'm already responsible for. Whatever the case, the episodes and videos I have found will be released in a torrent, eventually.

Keep checking back!
 
Still Alive
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
I am still here, I have just been busy. I can't compile kernels right now, as I am between distros. The same goes for writing new articles, guides, hacks, etc, as I am on a 3 week tour with my college choir. That said, I should be back grinding away on all the good stuff I'm known for very soon, since this is my last week of the tour. If you're in the New York City area on Labor Day, come to the performance at Carnegie Hall. My choir does a pre-concert performance, followed by the performance of Brahms' Requiem. It should be some really good music!

Whatever the case, I'm still here! Linux and hacking stuff will be coming at you again soon!
 
Ethanol Factsheet, and Gas Saving Measures
Thursday, 24 April 2008
I have created an ethanol factsheet (PDF) that contains all of the information you could possibly want to know about the farce known as ethanol. Celluosic ethanol isn't mentioned, as the R&D dollars that are going into it are likely government subsidy, so it falls into the same category as all ethanol. Please read the sheet before you jump to any conclusions and start posting heated comments here. Feel free to share it with anyone, just don't modify it.

Speak up, and write your government officials to get ethanol and corn subsidization to be eliminated! Our pocketbooks are hurting, and it's time for it to stop!

If you would like to increase your fuel milage, and possibly even add hydrogen/oxygen gas boosting cells to your vehicle, see MPGResearch for all the mods you can think of, and see Water Powered Car for more information regarding home built hydrogen cell boosters. I'll have to write an article regarding these once I have tried some of them. The information there, as it is here, is all free.

Some simple gas saving measures include using a low viscosity oil, such as 5w-30 or 5w-20. Furthermore, keep your tires aired up, at the max if you can stand the rougher ride. Make sure they are balanced and rotated on a regular basis. Use a microlube if possible on the bearings, rear differential, and mix it in with your oil and transmission. You can also use fuel additives for a good boost. You should also modify your driving habits, don't go over the speed limit, and do progressive acceleration versus 0-60 in 3 seconds acceleration. Other than that, there are many good ideas at MPGResearch. Between hydrogen and those mods, many people have gotten standard 4-cylynder engines to get 60-100mpg.
 
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