Nik's Technology Blog

Travels through programming, networks, and computers

Vista Home Premium Upgrade Voucher

I finally received an email yesterday confirming my Vista Home Premium upgrade has been dispatched.

Way back in October 2006 I upgraded my main machine from XP Professional to Windows Media Center Edition in order to be able to stream content to my Xbox 360 in my living room. I bought an OEM version of the operating system with a Vista Home Premium upgrade voucher included.

On receiving it though I discovered what was needed to claim my upgrade. Microsoft don't make it easy I can tell you that now! Firstly the offer was restricted to system builders registered with Microsoft, this wasn't made clear on the site I purchased it from. It didn't phase me though, I registered and now receive lots of system builder spam :-)
I went ahead anyway and fingers crossed it's paid off and I'll get my hands on the new OS shortly.

My next problem is going to be installing it on my aging computer and trying to understand what pieces of hardware I can upgrade without having to re-validate my OEM copy of Vista. Oh what have I got myself in to?? :-)

Peer-to-Peer Software and XP Service Pack 2

After installing Windows XP Service Pack 2 many fans of various peer-to-peer software will find that they no longer function. This is due to changes made to the TCPIP.SYS file in SP 2 effectively limiting the amount of connections a PC can make.

Quite why this change has been made under Windows XP is anyone's guess. A few reasons spring to mind though...

1.) Minimising the effect of SPAM sent out from hijacked computers

2.) Throttling peer-to-peer networks.

I've found a site that purports to have a fix for the problem, but I haven't tried the hack, although I've included the link if you are brave. (I will accept NO responsibility for any concequences of using this hack though.)

All this news will be a blow to the rising number of BitTorrent fans, who use it to legally download Linux distros and other open-source software.

Perhaps this will help Linux gain more ground over Microsoft's Windows?

http://www.lvllord.de/?url=tools#4226patch

XP SP2 and Netgear MA111

I installed XP Service Pack 2 last night for the second time after rolling it back previously.

The first time I installed it I couldn't get my Netgear MAlll wireless 802.11b USB device to work, I've since installed it on various other XP machines and with each install i've had different issues with the device.

I learned fairly early on that the supplied Netgear software wouldn't work under SP2, instead you have to opt for Windows XP wireless configuration, which incidentally has been slightly improved since SP1. Having said that it's still not perfect, since you have to enter your WEP in manually rather than use a password to create it like the Netgear software.

There are also issues with driver installation when you do a fresh install of XP and patch it with SP2 before installing the MA111.

The joy of computing :)

http://www.netgear.com/products/details/MA111.php