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Conflict between MS Access 2000 and security update kb4034775

While I was going to post something about the best random finds I’ve acquired from thrift stores and clearance warehouses, I’ve just discovered something after a security update to my XP desktop. Microsoft Security Update kb4034775, that was part of the August 8, 2017 deployment, broke MS Access 2000: I could open the program but I couldn’t load my old databases or make new ones. The patch does something to the Jet Database Engine to prevent a buffer overflow exploit. That sounds all fine and dandy but it’s useless to me if I can’t get a program that I use daily running.

Diagnosis: After spending some time with the copy of Access on my XP desktop, I copied a few of my databases over to my new Thinkpad X and tried again under Windows 7. Voila! Everything worked except for the lack of my favourite small font, Tw Cen MT. Back to my desktop. After briefly disabling my anti-virus program to see if that was blocking Access, and it wasn’t, I began a thirty minute dive into XP to interrogate each of the recent security updates that I had installed. Fortunately, because I had bought books about deploying Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Server 2000, Commerce Server, when I was a teenager, I knew that the Jet Database Engine was a big part of Access 2000 and that inhibiting it would undoubtedly be bad too for Access.

Anyways, I uninstalled the update via Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Show Updates -> Windows XP – Software Updates -> Security Update for Windows XP (KB4034775)

However, this isn’t a fix, the buffer overflow exploit still exists and I only removed the security update because I use Access 2000—the most perfect version there is—daily for my lists. Unless you have the daily urge to load Access 2000 everyday on your old XP machine or have some other problem related to the Jet Engine, I wouldn’t recommend uninstalling the update.

Now, Microsoft, give me a million bucks.

Link: Jason Schreier on [Mass Effect: Andromeda]

The Story Behind Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Troubled Five-Year Development” by Jason Schreier

Like many stories of difficult or even failed video game development that I’ve read, from the collapse of Ion Storm to Battlecruiser 3000AD to Duke Nukem Forever (DNF) and arguably Half-Life 2 Episode Three/Half-Life 3, it all seems to boil down to trying to do too much when one doesn’t have a firm idea what the final finished product looks like or has no inclination to actually come up with a finished product. Sure, creativity doesn’t work on a timetable, it takes as much time as it—blah, blah, blah—creativity.

Please, our best writers and painters and scientists eventually get work done. Sculptors chisel away at the rock knowing what they’re looking for. Despite a tough time, I eventually wrote 50 short stories and a handful of novels from 2009 to 2012, like, under a thousand pages of literary fiction, because I wouldn’t start until had a beginning, middle and an end. Sadly, in the video game industry, there are a fair bit of developers, mostly on the smaller side, who are just all talk but once the popular support or the development money comes rolling in or come crunch time they’re gone and people are left hanging.

Now, that didn’t necessarily happen with Andromeda but tons of other stuff did. Read Schreier’s article!

My Main Take Aways from Schreier’s Article:

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What a Time to Be a Political Journalist

It must be a gold mine for political journalists in Washington these days, with new twists, turns, and scandals every day.

One day a hastily written health care bill is steamrolled into the House of Representatives. On the next day the US President fires the FBI director in the midst of an investigation within the government. Then, the US President openly mentions the possibility of recordings between him and the ex-FBI director over sensitive issues. Then a presidential photo-op with Henry Kissinger. Then this whole Russian thing and now President Trump has apparently spilled secrets to the Russians.

2017: a gold mine for some and a mine field for others.

Air Miles

When I go to my local Metro, which is rare, I notice little signs that state that only a few products will actually earn a customer Air Miles. And when I receive emails from Air Miles, they tell me that they’re clawing back benefits and services. If profit margins and subscriptions are shrinking, Air Miles should really expand the number of products that are eligible for their miles.

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