Fix Windows XP Log On/Log Off Loop

I’ve run into this issue so many times while fixing client computers and it seems like every time I do a search for a fix, I get a different answer each time and sometimes, the fix works, sometimes it doesn’t. Well today, my troubles are over! And hopefully yours as well.

I found this ridiculously organized and thorough tutorial over at that should fix this problem 99% of the time. In fact, if it can’t fix this issue, you’re better off restoring your system. When you’re done with that, give your pc to your little cousin and buy yourself a Mac. 😉

Anyway, moving on…this guide was written by Dan Fischbach way back in 2006, but for all you Vista-haters out there, it’ll still hold up today. I’m not going to re-post the multi-page guide here, but I will provide a mirror for at least one of the large downloads required for the repair to work.

To see the guide, click here. To download the needed disc images, see below.

Windows Vista Recovery Disc (Direct download removed due to Microsoft copyright claim) — 120Mb
Save Me Disc — For good reasons, I won’t be posting a download of the second disc. As it often changes, it would be a much better idea to download it directly from the source.

*If the link above is not there, the mirror is not available at the moment. Try again later.

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Words to live by

I was just watching the movie Unforgiven last night and I was trying to remember the famous line at the end. I wanted to re-write for someone I was chatting with online, but I couldn’t remember the exact wording, so I searched it and I not only found the line, but also a little insight as to what the inference is:

At the end of the film William Munny (Clint Eastwood) is about to kill Little Bill (Gene Hackman) and Little Bill says “I don’t deserve this.”

William Munny says, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

Well I don’t mean to crush your spirit or dash your hopes, but when you’re standing at the car dealership or about to buy that huge plasma screen TV because you work hard and deserve it, remember the words of William Munny, “Deserve’s got nothing to do with it.”

I know you work hard, I do too, but that doesn’t mean I deserve the $300,000 Bentley Continental GT. Sure I want one, sure I’d practically kill for one, but I certainly don’t derserve one.

You see, we can justify almost any purchase, almost any reckless behavior somehow. We always feel we deserve it, or we are entitled, or it’s not hurting anyone. But is it right? Are there better alternatives? When it comes to spending, the alternative is either spending on something else or saving. If you’re already a good saver then whatever purchase you’ve decided to make is probably justified but it isn’t beacause you deserve it, it’s because you’ve planned for it.

The above quote is directly from the website: I found it to be pretty interesting and true.

The future of transportation

Here is it folks…the latest in transportation. Does anyone else agree that our world is starting to look like one big video game?

Kudos to Wired Magazine for this image.

You don’t like walking? Even if it doesn’t require any actual muscle? Well maybe this is your cup of tea then!

Kudos to for the image and Toyota for the concept.

My Custom Home Arcade – Coin Mechs

In the beginning, I was setting each game to be freeplay, but I sooned realized that not every game was accessible in this fashion. This was particularly true with the older games. So the other day, I was on eBay and noticed a seller with some tokens listed. I was able to score 1000 for about $60 after shipping and tax. This beats the $0.24 per token that Suzo/Happ charges!

Anyway, I got the tokens yesterday and followed a tutorial I found on another blog, but I still couldn’t get the tokes to drop properly. I had to make the standard adjustments and then one of my own. Here’s what I added:


If you look at the hole to the left, you’ll see that I added a brass tab in there. I was able to rip out two brass connectors from an old microswitch, bend it slightly in the shape of an ‘L’ and then super glue it into that spot. What this fixed was a problem where the token (slightly lighter in weight than a quarter) was rolling off the coin cradle at the wrong angle and sliding too far into the mech, which caused the coin to be rejected. The only true way to solve this problem without having to buy token-only mechs is to get a heavier coin/token.

Well, for one, I didn’t want to spend any more money on this and two, I wanted to be able to accept quarters without having to undo any mods. So, what my brass tab does, is it actually bounces the coin down the acceptence slot rather than letting it get jammed into the back corner. The only downside I can think of this is that now these mechs will probably accept any coin similar to a quarter in size. Oh well…I’m not running an arcade or anything.

The New Apple MacBook Wheel

I just wanted to share with you the coolest video I have ever seen!


This is seriously the future of laptops my friends. The thing that gets me the most is that two people have messaged me after they saw this video and told me that this product is a stupid idea. And they were serious…

Anyway, my favorite part of the video is when he says that the next gen MacBook Wheel will be 4oz lighter due to it not having a monitor, hard drive or wheel!

I hate PayPal (part 3)

Here’s the latest in the PayPal saga. I recieved an email the other day stating that because the buyer didn’t respond within the “time frame” that the refund was not to be issued! I don’t know if this was a coincidence or not, but shortly before I got that email, I sent PayPal an email of my own telling them that the April 24th deadline had passed (see part 2 of this story) and that I was requesting that they follow their own rules and that they should reinstate my account balance to $0 because the buyer never shipped my product back.

Anyway, so now my account balance has been restored to zero and the buyer who originally claimed that the item sold to him was not properly described is apparently keeping his item and more than likely enjoying it as intended. What irks me now is the fact that I still have a negative point against my eBay profile because of this crap. I attempted to contact eBay to have them remove the point especially now that the case decision has been reversed in my favor, but this is all they had to say:

Thank you for writing eBay in regard to your Feedback concerns. I read your email and took a close look at the feedback you reported. Unfortunately, this comment doesn’t meet our requirements for removal. We’ll be able to reconsider this case if we receive new information or a court order for the removal of the feedback. Thanks for your patience while we reviewed this matter.

Now I’m starting to dislike eBay! Oh well, at least I didn’t lose any money in this fiasco.

Domain Hacking Using International TLDs

Originally, I had my blog located on what they call a “hacked” domain. I acquired the domain ERIO.US (hacked into a few years back. The plan was to create a personal blog space and I liked the name because it sounded rather mysterious. The problem was trying to get people to the site via word-of-mouth!

More often than not, people didn’t remember the little periods and ended up somewhere they didn’t want to be. At any rate, domain hacks were kind of born out of the popular bookmarking site, which was then bought by Yahoo! and subsequently changed to just

Domain Hacks

Originally, domain hacks were simply single words that could be “split” at various breaking points with the final break being between the domain and the domain extension. For example, the domain is nothing more than the word inter, but because it uses the .net extension, it becomes the word internet.
Examples of domain hacks

Here are some other domain hacks that either were or are popular:

  • – The term whois is a networking term that describes a service used to display the ownership records of a domain name.
  • – This site was also purchased by Yahoo! and is a blogroll type of service that allows you to keep tabs on all your favorite blogs.
  • – Google’s own URL shortener service. Basically you take a really long URL and shrink it down to something more manageable.
  • – This domain requires two hacks using a third-level domain (e) to make it spell exploit.
  • – Another third-level domain hack spelling the word crypto.
  • – This hack uses two real English words.

More information about domain hacks can be found at WikiPedia.

International Extensions

None of the above domains would be possible without the use of foreign domain extensions. If you weren’t aware of the many types of extensions available, basically each country in the world has its own 2-character extension for domain registration.

These extensions are popular because they are generally made up of letters that are used at the end of many English words. Some of these extensions are also popular because the two letters actually might spell a word itself or be an existing acronym. A few examples of this would be .FM and .AM (can be used for radio broadcasters) or .IT (if used to mean Information Technology).

One of the most popular international TLDs comes from the country of Montenegro; .ME. Because .me can add a personal touch to any domain name, many people are registering these names for blogs, family websites and even businesses. In fact, I own for obvious reasons! Other uses of a .ME domain could be various phrases such as,,, and

Having a hacked domain like can yield so many other options when you start breaking the domain further up the line. You could create something like:, or The possibilities are only limited to the words contained in the dictionary!

I own the domain and from that, I was able to make and I haven’t decided how I want to use the domain, which is why if you type it in, you’re redirected to this page! I can promise you that one day, I will develop a project around one (or all) of the hacks I can create with this one domain.

Re-building the World Trade Center

As much as I wish that title were coming true, what I really mean is that I’ll be building a model of the World Trade Center. So far in the years since 9/11, I’ve had a wall mural of the famous picture with the Brooklyn Bridge, pictures ranging from desktop size to wall size and also a huge U.S. flag draped on my wall in remembrance.

WTC with Brooklyn bridgeNow, I decided I wanted to have a real, tangible object I could have on display, so after some searching, I finally found a website that has paper models that can be printed out on card stock, folded and glued together to form not only the Twin Towers, but the entire World Trade Center complex as it appeared before that tragic day.

The website I found is and they actually have a pretty good size list of other buildings as well as a few they’re still working on.

I’ve built a paper model before (the old Disneyland marquee), so I’m pretty familiar with this process. Basically, you print out the hi-rez pictures onto thick photo paper or high quality card stock and then you simply follow the directions on how to fold and glue it all together.

Normally this process takes a couple of hours at most, but I tend to make some adjustments as I go along. These are usually added to increase the element of detail or just to make it more sturdy. In any case, I’ll keep this page updated with my progress as well as adding pictures as I go along.

Stay tuned…

I hate PayPal (part 2)

For those who read part 1 of this little saga I’m involved in, here’s the latest:

My case’s status is still in “Product Return” mode. Basically what this means is that the buyer who filed the dispute is supposed to ship back the item that he was refunded for. The best part of this is that PayPal’s own site states the following:

What happens next

The buyer is required to provide tracking information confirming that they shipped the merchandise to you by Apr. 24, 2009. If we don’t receive this information, the claim will be closed and a refund will not be issued.

Now I don’t know when you might be reading this, but if you compare the date mentioned above to the date this was posted, you’d see that two weeks have gone by. TWO WEEKS!!! Also, there’s another status marker that labels this case as “Awaiting other party’s response” which tells me only one thing: that PayPal is still waiting for the buyer to submit proof that the item was shipped back.

So, now here’s how it looks. PayPal debits my account in the amount of the refund and presumably gives it back to the buyer and then leaves the case open to allow for the return of the product. Although I disagree with this practice, that’s the way it is and there’s nothing that can be done about it. But now PayPal is breaking it’s own rules by claiming that the refund will not be issued and the case will be closed if the buyer doesn’t respond by April 24th, 2009!! Does anybody else see the bullshit going on here!!

At this point, I’m out my money and my product! What kind of business practice is this??