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Peter Stathakos - Stack Of Toast

Microsoft, .NET and Life in General

Copyright: Peter Stathakos

New XBox Items for Spring

Wed, 02 Apr 2008 00:56:29 GMT

Originally posted on:

Another April fool's site. The helmet had me going for a bit though...


Clearing Tag Suggestions in Windows Live Photo Gallery

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 00:03:52 GMT

Originally posted on:

Courtesy of the Windows Live Digital Memories Experience blog come instructions on clearing tag suggestions in Windows Live Photo Gallery.


I'm glad for this because I've fat fingered a few tags into WLPG and have wanted to remove them for a while. It's basically an instruction for digging into the registry to delete the key(s) you wish to remove. I'm sure this will be cleaned up in a future release to make it easy to remove tag suggestions via the UI.


BTW, I love Windows Live Photo Gallery and have been using it as my photo organizing tool for months now. More to come on this in future posts...


The Time Has Come...

Thu, 20 Mar 2008 23:50:52 GMT

Originally posted on:

Sad story. Funny headline.

Australian Man Gunned Down in Driveway by Killer Robot


Link from BoingBoing


Worldwide Telescope Announced

Thu, 28 Feb 2008 21:04:07 GMT

Originally posted on:

So, now we officially know What brought Scoble to tears a few weeks ago. As has been speculated it is the Worldwide Telescope which will revolutionize the way we look at the universe.

I am really looking forward to playing with this, it looks gorgeous. Congratulations to everyone who is involved.


BTW, I have to second Robert on his review of Building 99. It really is a great building with lots of glass and open workspaces. It is a bit weird to have the meeting rooms so exposed but I think it works really well.


Life at Microsoft

Mon, 18 Feb 2008 21:12:31 GMT

Originally posted on:


I got a huge laugh at this video from On10. Yup, it's really like that here ;-) ...

Life At Microsoft, The Truth Revealed

I've got to say that I did have to stop using Google as a verb and use search a lot more, as in or course.


Thanks to Rory for the link...


Geek Dinner Tonight

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 07:59:44 GMT

Originally posted on:

Are you in the Bellevue/Seattle/Redmond area and looking for something to do tonight? One last geeky blast before you make it all up to the significant other via chocolates and flowers tomorrow?

Well then head on down to the Crossroads Mall in Bellevue where Scott Hanselman is hosting a Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond nerd dinner, come one come all!


Details on Scott's blog...


The New Zunes Are Coming Tomorrow

Tue, 13 Nov 2007 00:31:56 GMT

Originally posted on:

The Zune 2.0 will be available tomorrow, as well as the upgraded software for the original Zune 1.0 and the new Zune software. One of the coolest things for the new Zunes is the option to get free laser engraved artwork and custom text on the back of the Zune.

Check out the details at Zune Insider and Cool Hunting.



Lots of other cool info at Zune Insider.



Fri, 17 Aug 2007 15:13:41 GMT

Originally posted on:

Well, it's been a while since I last posted, it's been a crazy couple of months involving a move and a change of jobs.

This should be the last move for a long time...

Details to come.


Windows Live Hotmail Videos

Sat, 12 May 2007 05:04:59 GMT

Originally posted on:

Here are some funny videos about the new Windows Live Hotmail that has been released. I've been using it for a while it's it's very cool, and uptime is much better than what I've been seeing with Gmail lately.


SuperHappyDevHouse Vancouver Tonight

Fri, 11 May 2007 16:04:08 GMT

Originally posted on:




I'm a bit late in posting this but check out the SuperHappyDevHouse Vancouver Edition tonight at Bryght headquarters. I'm not sure I can make it but if you're in Vancouver and up for some geek out fun, check it out... Nice gang those Bryght guys.


More info here.


What's Wrong With Gmail?

Thu, 03 May 2007 11:53:47 GMT

Originally posted on:

It's been a long time since I last posted, I have been really bad lately I know. Work, life, changes on the horizon. You know how it is...

Every once in a while for the past two years I have been getting comments about Gmail problems which I wrote about in the past. However, in the past few weeks I have been getting hammered with comments and mail concerning Gmail. It seems like people are having connectivity problems that last for days(!) and it's not only affecting overseas users but lots of people in the U.S. as well.

This is crazy in my opinion. People really do depend on Gmail for all sorts of business and personal communications. I know in the past I've replied to comments with things like "it's a Beta, what do you expect" but to be in Beta for three years and still have these kind of outages? I mean come on people! If this was Microsoft, you'd never hear the end of it. But that's just the thing. Microsoft has been serving up Hotmail (now MSN Hotmail) for years. Sure there have been some issues, but Hotmail has been much more stable as far as my unscientific polls can tell.

I seriously think that Google needs to take a step back and really fix Gmail and stop hiding behind the Beta badge. As for me.. I think I'll be moving everything over to my Hotmail account once and for all...


Daylight Savings Time Changes for Windows and Java

Thu, 22 Feb 2007 10:20:00 GMT

Originally posted on: many of you may know, this year involves a change to the Daylight Savings Time system in the US and by extension, Canada and other countries worldwide. These changes are due to the US Energy Policy Act of 2005. The basic theory of all these changes is that by extending the DST window by four weeks, we will all save a little more energy by having an hour more darkness in the morning and an hour less in the evening (when consumption is higher). I guess we'll see in 2008.   So, how does this affect computer systems you ask? Nowadays, all systems adjust for DST automatically. a simple patch needs to be applied to Windows system in order to ensure that the clock changes properly according to the new schedule. The patch can be found here: Windows 2007 Daylight Savings Time Updates   However, one of the applications which I currently own at work happens to run inside a Java environment. The update for Java is a bit trickier. First start of by checking out this link on Guidance on updating Java SDKs and JREs for Daylight Saving Time (DST) changes. Once I downloaded the JTZU utility, I used the following procedure: 1. Save and extract I obtained the file from 2. Save the file to a temp directory of your choice, ideally one with no spaces in the name (you'll thank me for this) and extract the contents of the zip file. Let's call this directory D:\temp, just for fun. 3. If the JRE is for a WebSphere installation, as mine was, run the file ..\WebSphere\AppServer\bin\setupCmdLine.bat. This sets the JAVA_HOME variable, although I'm not sure it is necessary to do so, I did anyway.4. Edit D:\temp\DST Updates\jtzu-1.2.7a\DirectorySearch.txt to only contain the word "all", without quotes. This is used if the update utility is set to locate installed instances of Java on the server.5. Edit D:\temp\DST Updates\jtzu-1.2.7a\runjtzuenv.bat.Set up the JAVA_HOME variable to the directory of the Java JRE.ex: JAVA_HOME="D:\Progra~1\WebSphere\AppServer\java\jre"Note: On a Windows 2003 system, the patch worked fine with the path as above, including the quotes. On a Windows 2000 system I had to remove the quotation marks in order to get it to run properly.Set NOGUI=falseThis will use a GUI for the installation process.6. Run the file D:\temp\DST Updates\jtzu-1.2.7a\runjtzu.bat.7. Using the GUI select a particular JRE location, or have the utility search for all instances. If there are only one or two JRE instances on the server, it's probably better to pick them up manually rather than waste time having the utility search the entire system for them.The update (in my case) took less than two minutes to run.The big problem I had with this tool is having to set the JRE in multiple places when I would have expected to just have to set it twice. Once to choose which JRE I wished to use to run the utility, and the other to point to the JRE to patch. Compared to Microsoft patches which are basically seamless (download, run, and done) this patch was a real pain. Oh, and don't get me started on the documentation for the JTZU patch. Can you please cram some more junk onto one page with very few examples? IBM did not make this an easy or pleasant experience. Hopefully this post will help you out should you have to go through this too. Good luck. [...]

Photo on Beyond Robson

Wed, 07 Feb 2007 10:45:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

A picture of Chipis' was selected for today's photo feature on the blog Beyond Robson, which is a totally cool honour. You can check out the page here, the original photo is this one:




If you're living in or visiting Vancouver Beyond Robson is a great resource for all the goings on around town, upcoming events, restaurant reviews and all sorts of fun stuff. Check it out and stuff.


A Cure For Cancer?

Thu, 01 Feb 2007 01:25:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Holy cow! This is potentially very huge. Of course, since the drug is not under patent it does not appear like the drug companies are interested in funding clinical trials and this may need to be funded publicly instead.

Who cares. Pull some money out of "defense" budgets and throw it towards some trials. We'll be saving allot of pain and suffering in both patients and war zones.

And now for the science:

Article from the New Scientist Magazine

Wikipedia article

Article in the Toronto Star

Nothing on Snopes about this yet, but it appears to be true... Here's hoping.


Thanks to Carl for the link.



Sun, 21 Jan 2007 22:19:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

So it looks like the dome on BC place has been repaired and inflated once again.

Here are some before and after shots that I took recently.