ATI driver install – less than pleasent experience

I just updated to version 7.9 of the ATI display driver (with Catalyst Control Center (CCC)) today and I have to say, man it leaves a load of unnecessary crap running in the background!
Here’s what I had to do to get rid of them – and that’s after I’ve already unchecked all the crap that came with the driver + CCC installer:
REG DELETE "HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionRun" /v StartCCC /f
REM Unregisters the context menu!
regsvr32 /u "C:Program FilesATI TechnologiesATI.ACECore-Staticatiacmxx.dll"
sc config "ATI Smart" start= disabled
sc config "Ati HotKey Poller" start= disabled
taskkill /f /im ati2evxx.exe
taskkill /f /im MOM.exe
taskkill /f /im CCC.exe
Yes, I know I can just install the driver only version but if I want to configure the card, I have to install the CCC in this version – since ATI made the oh-so-clever decision to take those configurations out of the "advanced" properties window (from desk.cpl), grrrh!
I would love it if someone can explain to me why I have to install the CCC and its full "framework" in order to configure those settings, especially when it was working fine in version 6.x configuring them through the advanced properties window…
Also, what’s up with putting a link to the CCC at the top of every file and folder context menu in explorer.exe?  I ain’t a gamer and I rarely need access to the CCC! – Good job I can unregister that dll Wink !
—- Update —-
2007-09-28 @ 16:21:
On the plus side, I do see improvements in the following area:
  • H.264 decoding seems to be quite a bit better
  • Dragging transparent windows around is a lot more responsive – it really lagged before!

Nightwish – Dark Passion Play

"Nightwish - Dark Passion Play" album cover
Nightwish’s new album is out – you can get it here:
However, I’m only liking the following tracks so far…
Last of the Wilds
The Poet and the Pendulum would have been on the list but it’s just too long and changes too much throughout the track… – but I guess you really should listen to it to make you mind up…
—- Update —-
2007-10-01 @ 15:40:
Ok, after listening to it a few more times, the album had grown on me (songs like The Poet and the Pendulum sounds better now) – but I still wouldn’t say I’m loving it.
(p.s. it sounds better if you listen to it loud…)
—- Update —-
2007-10-12 @ 14:36:
It’s official, I now also like The Poet and the Pendulum!

Office 2003 service pack 3

Oouh, MS Office 2003 service pack 3 is out.
You can get it here:
—- Update —-
2007-09-18 @ 20:04:
If you are working with really old file formats (i.e. pre-office 97 era), you might also want to check out this article about the file formats that will be blocked by default:
Naturally, there are of course workarounds for those restrictions – they are also detailed in the article.

Media Player Classic – Home Cinema

Media Player Classic - Home Cinema screenshot - click to go to author's website
In my previous post, I mentioned there’re currently 2 exploits out there for Media Player Classic (MPC).
Well I came across a mod of MPC today called "Media Player Classic – Home Cinema" that seems to have fixed those exploits, and it also seems to have sorted out some display issues for those of you who’re stick with Vista (btw, I’m just reading the release notes here…).
Anyway, you can check it out at:

Media Player Classic exploits (AVI and FLI)

Oh great, 2 unpatched exploits for Media Player Classic (and below)… just what I need…
Anyway, you can check out the advisories below:
—- Update —-
2007-09-15 @ 02:28:
There’s a mod of Media Player Classic that looks to have fixed those exploits, please see the blog entry below:

Running MSN Messenger 7.0.0820 on XP

After installing MSN Messenger 7.0.0820, if you’re still getting the message saying "A newer version is available.  You must install the newer version in order to continue", like the one below, there’s a simple fix for it.
MSN Messenger new version notification
The fix is simply to run it in Windows 2000 compatibility mode – you can set that in the "Compatibility" tab in file properties of msnmsgr.exe.
Told you it’s simple!

Legit MS office for $60 USD – coming from Microsoft!

Here’s something for those of you who can’t afford to pay the full price on MS office:
Apparently, you can get Office 2007 Ultimate with this promotion for $60 USD.
The promotion is run by Microsoft and is available to anyone still enrolled at an educational institution in Canada, USA and UK.
The story looks to be legit as it’s on the MS PressPass website:
So check it out – it’s not a bad deal for $60 – even though it’s office 2007 with the horrible ribbon crap…