eDNA ODBC setup error

Was seeing the following error when attempting to view the ODBC configuration for eDNA on a particular server that had the User Client and Business Connector installed.

The setup routines for the InStep eDNA Business Connector ODBC driver could not be loaded due to system error code 126: The specified module could not be found (c:\program files (x86)\eDNA\EBC\InStepEBC_64.dll).

Installing the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable Package per this post fixed the problem:


Outbound SFTP from ASO SSH session blocked

ssh: connect to host port 22: Connection timed out
Couldn't read packet: Connection reset by peer

In case anyone who uses ASO is wondering, you can't do outbound SFTP from an SSH session. Just verified with their helpdesk.


Cannot determine the result data type of the CASE or COALESCE function

Encountered the following error in PI OLEDB Tester while running a query using CASE:

"Cannot determine the result data type of the CASE or COALESCE function"

SELECT tag, time, CASE WHEN value < 0 THEN 0 ELSE value END FROM PIavg WHERE ...

Casting the 0 expression fixes this:

THEN CAST(0 AS float64)


Antivirus Pro scamware

Just knocked this one out myself (anti-virus SW didn't find it), but I didn't find much helpful info out there on the variant that affected my laptop. Likely became installed somehow from accessing a web site. Slightly embarrassed to note that I had 49 pending (high priority) Windows updates to apply when this happened... As described elsewhere, this malware repeatedly generates false alerts stating that your files are infected with a virus. Attempts to run task manager or any other programs are thwarted while it is running (new window opens then closes immediately followed by yet another alert).

In my case, logging out of the Windows session and logging back in provided a brief interval in which I could launch other applications before the offending process (rkbisysguard.exe) kicked off. Terminating the process stops the flow of alerts.

I run a limited access user configuration, and logging in as another user (administrative) did not trigger the app. I eventually determined that the application installed itself as

(user dir)\local settings\application data\(random name?)\rkbisysguard.exe

and was launched using this registry setting:


I simply deleted this registry setting and the corresponding executable.


WordPress upgrade

Another (messy) manual upgrade to WordPress (from version 2.7.1 to 2.8.4). Lost track of the number of reinstalls and restores, but I think everything is square, even the configuration in Fantastico. On the plus side, I was forced to free some disk space.


Clear QAM support for Beyond TV

Help us test the latest beta of Beyond TV. Just happened to notice this today. Snapstream has a beta version of Beyond TV that supports recording via Clear QAM. Finally! And I was ready to dump my Hauppauge tuner card back on Ebay. This is exciting news as the occasional signal outages that occur with OTA broadcasts have been forcing me to consider erecting a roof antenna, which carries its own set of challenges. As soon as the Lost season finale is recorded tomorrow night, I plan to install the beta on the DVR and rewire the cable control panel. Yum.

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Entouch and Clear QAM

The second HD experiment... Figured I should do a cheap test before forking over a substantial chunk of change for an HDTV with QAM tuning capabilities. Grabbed a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 off Ebay and plugged the coax cable into the antenna connection. Worked exactly as I had hoped. In addition to getting all of the regular broadcast channels, I was able to pick up CNBC, Discovery, Cartoon, and TV Land, among other channels. Too bad BeyondTV doesn't yet have built-in QAM support for the Hauppauge card. This is, nonetheless, a pleasant discovery.

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Entouch long distance per-minute overage charges

Inexplicably, long distance overage charges are not listed anywhere on the Entouch web site.  I have the 250 LD minutes per month feature ($4/month) and used some extra minutes last month.  Once you hit the limit, expect to pay $0.18 per minute (taxes and surcharges not included).  Yikes!  My prepaid cell (T-Mobile) phone rate is only $0.10 per minute.


Perl, PHP, and the PUC

Finally completed a web-based prototype this evening to replace the functionality previously provided by the Texas PUC Power to Choose web site. This was a programming exercise as well as an opportunity to brush up on my Perl, PHP, and MySql skills. The current provider lookup is rather user-unfriendly with its inability to sort data (download an Excel spreadsheet?!) and inflexible layout. The stylesheet I am using now could use some aesthetic improvements, but otherwise I am pleased with the result.

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Duplicate hold’em poker

In Poker Match Against a Machine, Humans Are Better Bluffers. Aside from the obvious appeal of combining poker and computing, I got a kick out of this story because the Unabomber has made a name in the fashion world.

Unlike computer chess programs, which require immense amounts of computing power to determine every possible future move, the Polaris poker software is largely precomputed, running for weeks before the match to build a series of agents called “bots” that have differing personalities or styles of play, ranging from aggressive to passive.

More info here.