Problem with displaying properties of "My Documents"

I am not sure when it started but for some time now, whenever I right click the properties of "My Documents", it just gives me an error message: "The properties for this item are not available".

Anyway, today I decided to look into this, because I am going to move around "my documents" folder. I found the simple solution in a forum:

Go to Start > Run
Type regsvr32 mydocs
hit enter!

That's it! It worked for me and I can now see the properties of my documents folder properly :)


Yet another funny video from Rocketboom

I love to watch daily videos from RocketBoom. Apparently, Amanda Congdon is on vacation to Russia. In this video, you see her dancing in several magnificent places tuning to an Ukranian folk song named pidmanula. Everyone must see this! Oh my God, she's so funny!

Well, while you are at it, you may want to see from where Amanda got the inspiration.

Oh, BTW, CBS news recently had Rocketboom and vlogging in the news. You can check out the news and the video on their site.


Google Talk, MSN Messenger, Audiobooks

News is everywhere: Google finally has its instant messenger application available as a, yes you guessed right, BETA product. It can be downloaded from Don't expect miracles, it lacks a lot of bells and whistles other IMs have.

Some people are already talking about Google Talk Easter Egg in Inside Google blog.

You need to use your gmail account to log on. If you do not have an account, leave me a message for invitation or better yet, get an invitation from Google via SMS. Once you get your invitation on your cell phone, go to step 2 and enter it, there you go!

As reported by NeoWin.Net, MSN Messenger 7.5 (build 299) is out and can be downloaded from
Among the new features are Dymanic Backgrounds and Voice Clips. Dynamic Backgrounds fill your MSN Messenger conversations and subtly animate during the conversation. Voice Clips allow you to send short audio clips (15 secs max) to your friends on MSN Messenger.

New audio improvements mean talking over MSN Messenger is far improved from recent versions.
You can also do the following:
Start a conversation with a contact: msnim:add?
Add a contact to your contact list: msnim:chat?
Send an invitation to start a video conversation: msinm:voice?
Send an invitation to start a voice conversation: msinm:video?

I am so much into Audiobooks these days. I've listened Harry Potter Vol. 4-6 in the last week via my new Rio Carbon. I've seen interesting article about turning a DVD into an Audiobook. I liked the VLC Media Player application, which can be downloaded from It seems like a nice media player (still testing)!

Some crowded audiobook newsgroups:


Back from Jamaica

We got back from Jamaica on Saturday night (8/20/2005) after a wonderful week in Couples Negril Resort. I'll post some pictures tomorrow.


Removed Google Desktop Search Tool

On my WinXP Pro box, I have about 2 hard drives with a total capacity of ~300 GB. That was enough for me for quite sometime. Recently, however, I noticed that I was running out of space. So, I decided to do some clean up last night and noticed an usually large folder: my profile which was taking up about 12.5 GB.

That did not seem right and invited further investigation which made me realize that Google Desktop Seach Tool was the culprit!

The size the folder below
"C:\Documents and Settings\ADIL\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Google Desktop Search" was 11.6 GB! What the gell is going on here?

I also have MSN Desktop Search Tool and "C:\Documents and Settings\ADIL\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Desktop Search" only occupies 600 MB???

I removed Google Desktop Search Tool, as I really did not need it. I checked their search help page but they do not offer any info. What I learnt from there is that For text files, it indexes McAfee Antivirus Scans)...


Yum Update issue in Fedora

In one of my Fedora Core 4 (FC4) installations, I started to have issues with yum

[root@var]# yum -y update
Setting up Update Process
Setting up repositories
updates-released 100% |=========================| 951 B 00:00
extras 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00
base 100% |=========================| 1.1 kB 00:00
Reading repository metadata in from local files
primary.xml.gz 100% |=========================| 553 kB 00:01 [Errno -1] Metadata file does not match checksum
Trying other mirror.
Error: failure: repodata/primary.xml.gz from extras: [Errno 256] No more mirrors to try.

I still could not resolve the issue :(

I tried:
  • yum clean all (which removes the files from yum's cache: /var/cache/yum)
  • yum makecache

Nope! Suspecting proxy could be the issue, I've checked if I could access the file via web browser (successful) & via WGET, no problems there:

[root]# wget
=> `primary.xml.gz'
Resolving {Internal Proxy IP}, {ProxyIP}
Connecting to{Internal Proxy IP}:82... connected.
Proxy request sent, awaiting response... 200 OK
Length: 565,841 [application/x-gzip]

100%[========================================================>] 565,841 473.93K/s

16:26:30 (472.87 KB/s) - `primary.xml.gz' saved [565,841/565,841]

I also tried playing with wget cache as suggested in this article. So, after I clean yum cache, I went into
/var/cache/yum/extras and run the following:
wget --cache=off
wget --cache=off
wget --cache=off

After successfully downloading these files, livna repos started to crap out. I used the same method to fix livna and back to original problem, extras keep on failing. Pretty frustrating...

[UPDATE-1: 8/11/2005]
I edited /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-extras.repo to disable this repository:

I ran yum -y update, it worked!

Economists Join Blogging Frontier

That was the title of an article I read in WSJ today. It mentioned some dominant blogs by well-known economists including:

  • Econbrowser by James D. Hamilton, Professor of Economics at the Univ. of California, San Diego
  • Brad DeLong's Semi-Daily Journal, Professor of Economics at the Univ. of California, Berkeley
  • Vox Baby by Andrew Samwick, Professor of Economics at Dartmouth College
  • RGE Monitor (Roubini Global Economics Monitor) by Nouriel Roubini NYU Stern School of Business
  • Economist's View by Mark Thoma, Assoc. Professor of Economics at Univ. of Oregon, Eugene


Hot or Not Meets Google Maps

Yet another fusion of Google Maps: Hot or Not + Google Maps = Hot people by Zip Code! Hmm, is not that cool. I like the idea...


Microsoft SyncToy Beta 1

My pc is connected to my wife's Pc via my home-network. To back up them, I cross copy the files. Ie. My files to her pc, and her files to my pc. We also have common folders. I use robocopy to sync these folders across the network.

I read about synctoy in "Windows Tip & Tricks July 25 Update" (Click to subscribe) and it looks like a good solution instead of command line based robocopy. Paul Thurrott of WinSuperSite agrees:

New SyncToy Gives Briefcase the BootLike many business travelers, I maintain roughly overlapping sets of data on two PCs--my desktop PC and my notebook. Although various ways exist to synchronize data between two such devices, including the out-of-date Briefcase tool that first appeared in Windows 95, Microsoft recently released a beta version of a free new PowerToy called SyncToy for Windows XP that lets you keep the contents of a folder synchronized between two locations, regardless of where they are.As a PowerToy, SyncToy is unsupported, but if you're looking for a super-simple way to keep data files up-to-date in two different locations, you could do a lot worse.

The SyncToy interface is pure simplicity: You create a folder pair, which represents the two locations you'd like synchronized. After selecting the two folders, simply called Left Folder and Right Folder, you determine how to pair them: Choices include synchronization (new and updated files are copied each way); echo (new and updated files and renamed and deleted files are copied from the Left Folder to the Right Folder); subscribe (updated files from the Right Folder are copied to the Left Folder when a file of the same name already exists); contribute (new and updated files and renamed files are copied from the Left Folder to the Right Folder, but deletions aren't repeated to the Right Folder), and combine (new and updated files are copied both ways, but renamed or deleted files aren't copied either way).The tool is amazingly powerful. You can preview how the synchronization will change things, run synchronizations, and manage existing folder pairs from a simple interface. SyncToy is available from the Microsoft Web site and requires Windows XP. Definitely check it out if you have a need for this kind of functionality.

Fixing Corrupted Desktop Icons in XP

After I logged on to my XP pro with a different user id, some of my desktop icons including My Computer icon & Internet Explorer icon got corrupted. I recalled from my desktop support days that it had something to do with dllcache but could not remember exactly how I used to fix it. So, I googled it and instantly remembered the solution when I saw it here:

To fix the problem:
  • Right click on the desktop
  • Go to properties
  • Select Appearance
  • Click Advanced
  • Select "Icon" from the Items
  • Increase Size from 32 to 33
  • Click OK & Apply
  • Repeat the same procedure to resize icons back to 32.


Installing JRE Plugin for Firefox in FC4

Many web sites need Java Run Time Environment Plugin for Firefox and but it can not be installed automatically and manual installation will direct you to Sun's site. Fedora Core 4 release documents, however, advise against installing the rpm from there as it interferes with FC4 libraries:

6.1.8. Java Package Recommendations

Fedora Core 4 users are advised not to use the Java RPM provided by Sun. It contains Provides that conflict with names used in packages provided as part of Fedora Core 4. Because of this, Sun Java might disappear from an installed system during package upgrade operations.

Fedora Core 4 users should use either the RPM from or manually install the Sun Java tarball into /opt. Sun Java 1.5+ is recommended for stability purposes.

So, here is how I installed it:

  • download the JRE 1.5.0 update 4 (not the rpm version) from Sun Site to "/opt" directory
  • chmod 755 /opt/jre-1_5_0_04-linux-i586.bin (make it executable)
  • ./jre-1_5_0_04-linux-i586.bin (unpack the package)
  • clicked yes; it installed the package to /opt/jre1.5.0_04 directory
  • cd /usr/lib/firefox/plugins
  • ln -s /opt/jre1.5.0_04/plugin/i386/ns7/ (create a symlink)
  • Restart Firefox & Test your installation.


Windows SharePoint Services Templates

Microsoft Download site has been flooded with Windows SharePoint Services Templates today. Something to check out!


Windows Vista Beta 1 - First Impressions

I've downloaded Windows Vista Beta 1, formerly known as "Windows Code Name Longhorn", from MSDN yesterday. I was planning to install it on my pc where I have Fedora Core 4 but this version is picky about file systems and refused to install there. I could have probably tried the suggested method of hitting shift+F10 and use diskpart to get rid of all partitions but decided to install it on my other pc which has 2 disks.

Anyway, I was able to just insert the DVD when I was using XP and install it. Installation was seemless. It just asked me a couple of questions and installed it.

I am not sure how much disk space it actually takes but Windows folder itself is about 3.2GB, Program Files takes less than 200 MB, so does the users and others folders. So, it looks like a 4GB installation.

I've installed on my HP XW6000 workstation with 2x2.8GHz CU, 1 GB memory, nVidia Quadro4 980XGL card, Sony DVD RW 510A, Broadcom NetXtreme Gigabit Ethernet Card. They all work fine with the default drivers but nVidia already has alpha drivers for Windows Vista which according to some NeoWin.Net Vista Forum users works (There are several Vista forums there). It did not, however, recognize my FlashCard when I attached it to SanDisk Reader and claimed that it needs to be formatted.

I have tried to run Yahoo Messenger but it kept on crashing. There does not seem to be windows messenger bundled with this version either :( When I go to, site thinks that I have Windows 98 and offers me to download that version of MSN Messenger. I installed XP version but could not connect yet.

Microsoft has a Windows Vista site up but there is not much content there. MSDN Windows Vista Site has more information about Vista with lots of Screen Shots.

I'm using Free Edition of AVG Antivirus application which sems to work OK for the moment. Vista has not been performance tuned yet, so it is kinda slower than XP.

Vista Beta 1 comes with IE 7.0.5112 which has tabbed browsing and a nice, very clean interface. I have not managed to make RSS feeds work yet though. I will post more info as I find more about it later...

[UPDATE - 08/02/2005]
MSN Messenger finally worked! I also found out how to add a RSS feed to IE7: just right click the RSS/Atom/XML icon and choose "add to favorites", then choose feeds.

[UPDATE - 08/03/2005]
I think I found out why IE7 is painfully slow. It has an option to check the authenticity of the sites you are opening in your browser. When asked, I had selected to check the sites. To turn it off, Go to Tools > Options > Advanced and select "Turn off Phishing Filter". Life is back to normal.



I fell from my mountain bicycle yesterday and hurt myself (I am doing that pretty often these days). Anyway, here is a video that describes how I feel.

MSDN Channel 9

MSDN Channel 9 is probably not news to MS techies but I'll blog it anyway :)

It's a forum/blog etc. where you can talk to MS developers and listen to them. It hosts pretty cool videos with the key people inside MS.

Nowaday, the half an hour video of Chris Jones talking about Windows Vista Beta 1 is quite populer. Check it out.