Professional Geek
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  • Screensaver does start with a wireless mouse plugged in

    Very strange one today

    I took a call a few days ago from a client who “wasn’t asked for her password anymore when she’d been away from her desk”

    My initial thought was that her screensaver had been disabled or the password option had been turned off

    I logged in and everything was as I’d expected it be

    I asked her when it had started happening and if anything had changed and she said she wasn’t sure but thinks it was about the time she got her new wireless mouse

    I initially dismissed it and tried one or two other things with little success

    I was on site today for another reason so thought I’d take another look

    Turns out the screensaver wasn’t starting at all. Hence the reason why it wasn’t asking for a password

    It did a quick search and I found this knowledge base article

    The screen saver does not start after you install a wireless pointing device

    Basically if your using a wireless mouse AND CyberLink PowerDVD or CyberLink PowerCinema it will stop the screensaver from starting

    From what I can figure out it’s a piece of software that can used with a remote control so you can pause, rewind DVD’s

    The software think the wireless mouse is the remote control so tries to communicate with it (the KB article itself is very vague as to WHY?)

    Anyway there are two workarounds and a fix

    Workaround 1: Stop the service from running

    Workaround 2: Remove PowerDVD (drastic!)

    Fix: Use windows update to install the latest “Microsoft HID Non-User Input Data Filter”

    To to make sure this was the problem I used MSConfig to figure out which program is was (it was different to the one reported in the article) and I shut it down using Task Manager

    After I’d done this the screensaver started ok..WHOOP!

    Never seen anything like this before

    Was also a spooky coincidence that the mouse she purchased was the exact same one I’ve just picked up to replace the ailing HP mouse that came with my PC

  • Every had one of those days?

    It’s said a picture says more than a thousand words and I thought this picture says an awful lot about why the blog has been so quiet lately


    I have a select few blogs that I keep up with religiously but recently the others have been left for when I have time to go back and read them (it’s ok though but there was a point I’d worry about missing something!)

    A combination of a busy period, followed by some time off (during which I actually turned the mobile off for a whole day, ok an afternoon, shock horror!) and straight back in the deep end hasn’t helped with a bit of a general downturn in my blogging enthusiasm

    I had an email conversation with someone recently who had lost their "mojo" and I pointed out that some people have peaks and troughs when it comes to blogging…I’ve never a trough this deep!

    Anyway, yesterday I got to do a lot of thinking.

    I’d been doing some work in Doncaster and left for the day. Turns out there had been a massive accident on the M1 between junction 24 and 25

    I hit the queues at junction 29 so decided to jump into the first motorway services I could find (which ended up being Tibshelf)

    I was pleasantly surprised to find that RoadChef were providing complimentary wireless access and their branch of Costa Coffee had a "business lounge" with lots of tables and power sockets to plug my gadgets into

    From here I was then able to use various websites to help me make a decision on when to jump back into the traffic

    The obvious one is the Highways Agency which has a map of the UK with data overlaid showing where the problems were, updates on the incident and how long it would be until they expected the road to be fully operational again

    After that I used the BBC website (specifically the Nottingham regional site)

    The regional BBC sites have had traffic information for some time. But what was especially useful was the fact I was able to view snapshots of the cameras that the highway’s agency uses to monitor the road network (Nottingham’s are here)


    I couldn’t view all of them (I’m  presuming they turned off any that showed pictures of the accident scene) but it meant I could see when the traffic was flowing well enough for me to get off at a junction that would take me home and I could have something to eat (really bad fish and chips for £10?The only bad part!), do some work and browse the web at my leisure as opposed to sitting in the queues getting frustrated

    It was when I tried to download Live Writer for my laptop I realised I hadn’t blogged in some time!

    I eventually arrived home at 9pm which made for a very long day and not the ideal way to celebrate your birthday – which was also yesterday, birthday’s naturally make me take stock of the previous year and what I’d like to do in the coming year hence all the thinking!

    Hopefully my blogging will be back up on the up and I’m looking forward to the rest of the year

  • Geek Fiction

    I like reading.

    We learn an awful lot through reading, the invention of RSS was like some sort of geek miracle!"

    As well as all the technical material I read I also like to read fiction. The problem I have is finding stuff I’m interested in. Even though it’s not a reference book I still like it to have a geek angle (it’s the way I’m wired unfortunately)

    The trouble I have is there is no genre that caters for this.

    Science fiction & fantasy is usually space travel or elves and goblins which is not what I’m looking for

    But you search for “computer” or “Internet” (or anything tech related) on a book site you get mostly reference material

    Here are some books I have found interesting:

    Stealing the Network: How to Own a Continent (Cyber-Fiction)  very cool book. The story tracks a “cyber terrorist” as he tries to “own the continent”.(Though the ending left me quite confused). There are a couple of others books in this series that I’ve been meaning to pick up

    The Cuckoo’s Egg- Tracking a Spy Through the Maze of Computer Espionage (Paperback) – Based on a true story of an astronomer turned network admin who discovers his network has been hacked but struggles to get the authorities on his side

    buy ativan online india Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers” href=”″>The Art of Intrusion- The Real Stories Behind the Exploits of Hackers, Intruders and Deceivers – Not sure if this counts as fiction? Anyway, Kevin Mitnick recounts stories of various computer security “incidents”. I enjoyed this much more than his “art of deception” book which was interesting but got repetitive after a while

    Springboard (Tom Clancy’s Net Force) – One of a series of books involving Tom Clancy under the “net force” banner. This was pretty much the sort of thing I was looking for but is a bit too military for me and not quite geek enough. Was enjoyable enough though and I’ll probably read some more net force books. Though I do already have a couple of them which I haven’t started yet

    Digital FortressDan Brown is well known for the Da Vinci Code but this was his first book I read. I picked it up while I was away on training course and read the whole thing in one night. Thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is about the NSA’s “invincible code machine” that comes across a code it can’t break

    On a slightly different track I have also read four of the Halo novels (Fall of reach, The Flood, First Strike and Ghosts of Onyx). While looking on Amazon for the links to those turns out there are a couple more I didn’t know were out (or coming out)

    Do you have any recommendations?