Vista’s Annoying RDP Prompt

If you use Windows Vista, you will probably receive the following prompt when you try to connect to a pre-Windows Vista computer using Remote Desktop Connection:

Remote Desktop cannot verify the identity of the computer you want to connect to.  This problem can occur if:

1) The remote computer is running a version of Windows that is earlier than Windows Vista.
2) The remote computer is configured to support only the RDP security layer.

Contact your network administrator or the owner of the remote computer for assistance.

Do you want to connect anyway?

This prompt appears every… single… time you try to connect to a Windows XP, Windows 2000 Server, or Windows 2003 Server computer, no matter how often you connect to it. And clicking “OK” gets really old, not because it’s hard to do, but because it’s just one extra step that Microsoft added to save us from ourselves.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to make this message go away:

  1. Make sure that “Show hidden files and folders” is enabled on your system.
  2. Go to your “Documents” folder.
  3. Open the DEFAULT.RDP file within the Documents folder with Notepad (or any other text editor).
  4. Look for the string of text that says “authentication level:i:2”.
  5. Change the “2” to a zero (“authentication level:i:0”).
  6. Save the file and exit Notepad.

The next time you try to connect via RDP, that annoying prompt should be gone!

NOTE: If you have multiple .RDP files, you will need to make this change to all of them to kill that annoying prompt.

NOTICE: Comment Line Number Changed

Hey everybody! I just wanted to let you know that the comment line has changed to a new, dedicated phone number. If you’d prefer to leave a comment via voice message instead of email, instant message or WordPress, all you need to do is pick up the phone and dial



The comment line is available 24 hours a day.

NOTE: Long distance charges may apply. There are no fees to dial the comment line (it is not a “900” or “976” number), but your long distance carrier might charge you for the call. The comment line is a local phone call for readers in the Charlotte, NC area .

COOL PROGRAM: iTunes Library Updater

One thing a lot of Windows users hate about iTunes is that it wants to be your “everything” media player. When you first install iTunes it scans your computer for digital music files; from that point on, the only way to add music to your iTunes library is to buy it from the iTunes online store or rip it from CD (using iTunes, of course). If you’d prefer to use some other program to rip your music, or if you download music from somewhere other than iTunes (legitimately or not), there’s simply no way to add those new files to your library from within the iTunes program itself*. This is unacceptable for those of us that prefer using some other program (such as WinAMP) for listening to music and only use iTunes to copy files to their iPods.

That’s where the iTunes Library Updater (iTLU) comes in. This free program will scan any folder or folders you point it to (and their subfolders, if you wish). It will then add any music files it finds to your iTunes library. It can also delete any missing files (“orphaned entries”) from your iTunes library, so if you delete a bunch of music files via Windows Explorer, it can remove them from iTunes as well. That’s about all that iTLU does, and it does it well. I’ve been using this program for over six months now, and it’s never crashed or screwed up anything in my iTunes library. It does all I ask for, and that’s all I want from it. However, be advised that the program is a little slow on computers with large music libraries. It takes around 15 minutes to update my iTunes library, and I have around 13,500 songs – I expect that it’ll be much faster on systems with smaller collections.

iTunes Library Updater is free and is for Windows only. It worked fine for me in XP and works just as well in Windows Vista.

* – There actually is an option within iTunes called “Consolidate Library” that will do what iTLU does, but (as I understand it) it only works for users that let iTunes control their music libraries. For people like me – who have their music libraries set up in a certain way and do not want iTunes moving and renaming files – iTLU isthe only option.

REVIEW: DiGiorno Ultimate Pizza

I am a sucker for food descriptions. When I go out to eat and am handed a menu, my brain instantly clicks off and I’m almost unable to decide between the “juicy USDA Prime ribeye steak, topped with melted bleu cheese” and the “grilled boneless chicken breast marinated in lime juice and tequila and topped with a Monterey Jack sauce”. Everything sounds so good that I focus on how it would taste. I lose all of my rational thinking and revert back to some primal state . It’s bizarre, I know. Most people probably do it to some degree, by I always seem to go overboard with it.

So, as you might imagine, my “eatin’ brain” went in to hyperdrive when I found out about DiGiorno’s new line of “Ultimate Pizzas”. I found out about it from a food website, and my mouth started watering the instant I read the description for the “Four Meat” pie:

Capicolla ham, julienne-cut Genoa Salami, sausage and pepperoni, along with a sauce made from crushed vine-ripened tomatoes, as well as whole-milk mozzarella cheese…

I just about couldn’t stand it! I had to find one of these pizzas, and I had to do it soon! Sadly, though , they simply weren’t to be found here in the Charlotte area. I checked the local Bi-Lo and Wal Mart stores and even had the missus check the Harris Teeter close to her work during her lunch break one day. No dice. I had almost given up hope, but then the missus decided to buy a chest freezer one weekend. Although the main reason we got it was to have more room in the kitchen freezer, we had plenty of space for new stuff, so we went to Wal Mart to see what kind of frozen foods we could fill the new freezer with. And lo and behold… there in the pizza section… was the new DiGiorno Ultimate Pizza!

Continue reading “REVIEW: DiGiorno Ultimate Pizza”

How To Register For This Site

It just occurred to me the other day that I haven’t given you good folks any information about how to register for my new site!

So here’s the skinny: you can leave a comment for almost any post on this site. But in order to do that, you’ve gotta create an account. Creating an account is easy – just scroll down the page to the “Meta” section in the right-hand sidebar. Click on the “Register” link, and you’ll be taken to an account creation page. All you have to do here is enter the user name you’d like to use for this site, along with a valid email address. In a couple of minutes you’ll get an email confirming your user name; the email will also come with a password and a link to login to this site (this link is for convenience only; it’s not one of those “you are required to click here to validate your account” kind of things). Once you log in to the site using your user name and password, you’ll be taken to your “Profile page”, where you can enter any contact information you’d like (such as your own website’s address or instant messaging nicknames), or you can change your password to something that suits you better.

From this point on, you can leave comments for almost any post on this site (by my decision, leaving comments is disabled for some posts). Note that all comments on are moderated, so I’ll have to approve what you write before it’s posted publicly (you will be able to see your own comments, approved or not).

So… enjoy and comment away!

COOL WEB SITE: is a free website that allows you to log on to almost any instant messaging service using only a web browser. You don’t need to have AIM or Yahoo! Messenger installed on the computer you use to access Meebo, so you can easily chat with your friends from work or a friend’s house. You don’t even have to sign up for anything – all you do is enter your AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, GoogleTalk, ICQ and\or Jabber user name and password into the appropriate box. However, if you use more than one instant messaging service you’ll find it’s easier to just to sign up for a Meebo account, since it will remember all your different account(s)  and automatically log in to them each time you log in with your Meebo account. Meebo also offers its own chat rooms, however to be honest I’ve never used them, so I can’t tell you good or bad they are. It’s a great service though… you should check it out!

The Tragic Fate of the Man Who Discovered Dinosaurs

Gideon MantellTo most people born after 1920, the existence of dinosaurs is a given. Folks in our modern age don’t even question the fact that 300 million or so years ago, huge reptile-like beasts roamed around in a world devoid of humans. That Tyrannosaurus Rex and Brontosaurus once existed is as natural to us as the sun coming up, or rain falling from clouds.

Stop for a moment, though, and consider how downright bizarre the whole concept would have sounded to someone born in, say 1720. The only information most people at that time had about ancient animals came from the Bible or the works of classic Greek or Roman writers. And all those sources mention lions, tigers, bears and many other types of animals still very much in existence. It seemed logical to assume that if tigers existed in the time of the Old Testament, they’d always existed. If you could travel back to the 18th century and tell them that at one point, long in the past, gigantic, lizard-like creatures dozens of feet long roamed the earth, they’d probably burn you at the stake for witchcraft… and I can’t say that I’d blame them.

There was one thing that troubled people back then though, and that was the existence of fossils. At the time, most of the fossils people were familiar with were of ancient sea creatures like fish or bivalves. And what bothered the 18th century mind was why those fossils would turn up in the middle of the English countryside or high atop mountains deep in the heart of France.

Several schools of thought developed as “gentlemen scientists” investigated the matter further. Those investigations continued quietly on for some time, but the entire world seemed to turn upside down in 1811, when an uneducated young girl named Mary Anning found the remains of an ichthyosaur in Dorset, on the English coast. But rather than clearly making the case for the existence of dinosaurs, Annin’s fossil only made things even murkier. Since the fossil resembled a gigantic crocodile, the question wasn’t “what was this prehistoric beast?” but rather “what are the bones of a huge crocodile doing in England?”

Continue reading “The Tragic Fate of the Man Who Discovered Dinosaurs”

DOWNLOAD: Deskview

One of my favorite programs of the Windows 2000 era was a utility called SetShellView. This little app tweaked the Windows desktop, making your icons appear as “large icons”, “small icons” or as “list view” or “detailed view” – just like any other folder in Windows.

Sadly, this program was not updated for Windows XP.

I searched high and low for a replacement. And for the longest time I couldn’t find one. But one day I found a post at some now-forgotten message board. Someone else loved SetShellView too, and was asking about a replacement. One reply to that post was the cryptic, two-word “Try this:”, with a direct link to a program called deskview.exe. I downloaded it and used it for the rest of my Windows XP days.

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Hot off the presses:

In a gut-busting showdown that combined drama, daring and indigestion, Joey Chestnut emerged Wednesday as the world’s hot dog eating champion, knocking off six-time titlist Takeru Kobayashi in a rousing triumph. Chestnut, the great red, white and blue hope in the annual Fourth of July competition, broke his own world record by inhaling 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes — a staggering one every 10.9 seconds before a screaming crowd in Coney Island.

Hell yeah! USA! USA! USA! USA!

Read all about it here, and have a safe and happy July 4th!