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another sign i'm getting older wiser

Back in my teens and early 20's, I read nothing but Four Wheeler and Motor Trend magazine. Every month I would read them cover to cover. I knew everything there was to know about new cars and trucks. And I wanted them all.

Lately I've been getting bit by the car bug. I want another car. Something small, sporty and too fast for its own good.

But then I look at the truck I drive now. It looks good. It runs good. I can afford it. Mileage is excellent. Has the utility I need. With the sunroof I had installed, it's Florida-friendly.

Maybe someday I'll get another "toy" car, but I don't want it to live the life my Camaro did. I owned that car for five years and barely drove it. There's really no point to owning a car if you can't.. y'know.. drive it.

I said to Pop today that I bet I'll be able to get 200,000 miles out of my truck, especially considering FL weather is very friendly on cars. He agreed.

In short, I was reminded once again of the difference between want and need.

I want a new car.

But I don't need one.

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angry cat

I got attacked by a cat. Seriously.

Yesterday I was over at my boss' house. His wife had to take the cat to the vet. The cat loves those two, but hates everyone else - literally. Whenever anyone comes over, she runs to the bedroom and hides under the bed, and remains there until whoever she doesn't know leaves (the cat, not Dave's wife).

While I was there the cat had to be caught. Cat was caught. I took the cat. Sat down with her for a moment while the cage was being acquired. Then in a flying rage she started clawing everywhere. She ripped me under my ear, twice on my arm, once on my other arm and once on my leg (don't ask me about the leg, don't know how that happened).

I make it sound worse than it is, but all I got was some scrapes. That cat even swiped my boss' wife in the face. Fortunately it was just a little scrape.

Talk about rude.

As far as I'm concerned, that lil' bugger can stay under the bed whenever I come over there.

lite-on LH-18A1P fix

Warning: Tech post. I'm making this one an extended entry.

I'm purposely titling this post with the model number of my DVD burner in the hopes it will help other people out once indexed in the search engines.

Situation: You install a brand new Lite-On LH-18A1P DVD burner. It plays DVD movies great. It reads DVD data discs just fine. But it absolutely will not burn (as in write) any DVD's at all. For every blank DVD you insert, no matter what brand, Windows XP "sees" it as a CD and not a DVD. On attempt to burn in a program like Nero Burning ROM, you get the error "disc changed" every single time. Nothing is ever physically written to a DVD.

I confirmed that this is not a problem with the drive itself, nor it is a problem with the firmware. You can update that if you want but it's really not necessary.

So what's the problem?

The IDE controller driver.

Yeah, I know. Weird. It seems that the older nVidia nForce controller driver causes some DVD burners not to work correctly - and the LH-18AP is one of them.

Here's how I got the drive to work correctly. It was actually really easy.

Note before continuing: Yes, I have Windows XP Service Pack 2 with all the Microsoft updates installed.

Warning: Proceed at your own risk. I won't be held responsible if you screw up your computer.

1. Go to the Device Manager in Windows XP. That's Control Panel / System (icon) / Hardware (tab) / Device Manager (button).

2. Expand IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers.

3. If you see nVidia nForce controller or something similar and it's the only one there, right click that, left click Properties, click the Driver tab, then click the Update Driver button.

4. If asked "Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for software?", select "Yes, this time only" or "Yes, now and every time I connect a device". Your choice.

After updating, it should update to "Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller".

After rebooting, the three controllers should be listed as Primary IDE Channel, Secondary IDE Channel and Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller.

After that, your LH-18A1P will re-detect itself. Once done, try burning a DVD. It should work. Mine now does everything just like it should.

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