Science

Problems transferring digital music via iTunes

My sister and a few of my co-workers have mentioned to me about the problems that have had with moving their digital music collections, that are usually played through iTunes, between devices.

I usually give one of two answers:

  1. Don’t use iTunes (I don’t)
  2. Google it (this is probably the solution)

Sometimes, I am also then asked about what I use instead:

  • foobar2000
  • Windows Media Player
  • CDs
  • Audacity
  • WinAmp 2.95
  • RealJukebox 1.0
  • cassette tapes
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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.

Channel 4 Equinox: Srinivasa Ramanujan

I first read Robert Kanigel’s The Man Who Knew Infinity, a biography of Srinivasa Ramanujan, one Halloween on an evening shuttle bus that ploughed through rush-hour traffic between York University, where I did my undergrad, and Glendon College, where I worked as a research assistant and copy-editor. The cultural and intellectual struggles of a man of great promise, who spent the majority of his life as an unknown in a backwater and who died young on the cusp of achievement and fame resonated with the romantic in me. I devoured that book and Ramanujan’s life story, like medicine for my then disappointments, on that bus and then at a bus stop on Bayview along with zombies and vampires, and later still that night as I had passed the 300 page mark in my bed. It was then that I keenly felt that the truth will out, that promises such as Ramanujan’s will go on to be fulfilled, despite the infinitesimal odds of success, as the cosmos willed it. The truth is true because it is true. 1 + 1 = 2.

For those unable to summon the energies to read the +400 pages of Kanigel’s biography, the recent biopic of the same name, with Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons, is a pretty good primer.