Oracle Java 8 (JRE 8) and Windows XP 32-bit failure

So JRE 8 is out, which is probably great for everyone except those running a 32-bit desktop OS.

You see, jre-8-windows-i586.exe (the “Windows x86 Offline” version), nor jre-8-windows-i586-iftw.exe (“Windows x86 Online” version) won’t run. Windows immediately comes back with a missing symbol dialog box that reads:

The procedure entry point RegDeleteKeyExA could not be located in the dynamic link library ADVAPI32.dll.

Why is this? Because RegDeleteKeyExA isn’t available in Windows XP 32-bit, only 64-bit. This brings into question the sanity of whoever built the installer. They should have used RegDeleteKey for 32-bit OSes.

It seems Oracle has dropped Windows XP 32-bit support entirely, except that’s both true and not true (keep reading). If they want to stick to their guns on that, they should stop saying “Windows x86” and start saying “Windows Vista/7/8 x86”, in addition to actually changing the JRE so that it doesn’t use any 32-bit Win32 API calls any longer.

The amusing part is that the issue is only with the installer: JRE 8 itself works fine on XP 32-bit. Thanks, Oracle! Oh, and this isn’t the first time they’ve done this.

EDIT: Amusingly, JRE 7u55 is out, but the Certified Systems Configuration list doesn’t list Windows XP as a supported OS… yet the installer works just fine on XP. Oh Oracle… *facepalm*

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Bitcoin/Dogecoin and large blk0001.dat and blkindex.dat files

I participate in Dogecoin mining, and at one point tried Bitcoin mining (in earlier days) but decided it wasn’t worth the tradeoff (electricity in Silicon Valley is expensive). Regardless of which “coin”, the overall problem I’m about to discuss is the same.

The wallet softwares (ex. dogecoin-qt.exe, bitcoin-qt.exe, etc.) download a massive number block chains. If you’re curious about the innards, see here.

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Asus Xonar DG driver bugs on Windows XP

EDIT: Interestingly enough — and I did report this to Asus — this issue went away after a system reboot. The nature of the problem still implies a driver-level bug, but why a reboot would fix it is still unknown. I’m still looking to figure out if there’s a way to reproduce it consistently/reliably so that Asus can track down the source of the problem and fix it permanently.

EDIT: I should also point out that CCP of EVE Online fame confirms a bug with the “GX” feature of these cards (and it affects all OSes, not just XP). I ran into this as well since I was an EVE player at the time. The workaround for that bug is to disable the GX feature in the Asus control panel — but for the bug discussed below, there does not appear to be a workaround aside from rebooting.

About a week ago I replaced use of my crappy Realtek ALC889 (Azalia) on-board audio with an actual sound card — more specifically, the Asus Xonar DG. This card is deemed “one of the best” by the general Internet community for gaming and general audio use, plus it’s inexpensive (US$25).

It didn’t take me long to start finding bugs in its drivers.

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Dennis Ritchie has passed away

The statement comes from Rob Pike, so I’m inclined to believe it.

If you’re a programmer and don’t know who Dennis Ritchie is, then you should have your programming license revoked permanently.

RIP, dmr. You will never be forgotten.

Firefox 5 and print-related context menus

Since switching to Firefox many years ago I’ve had to deal with the idiocy that is the lack of “Print” and “Print Preview” context menus. For those not familiar with the term “context menu”, I’m referring to what you see when you right-click somewhere on a web page that isn’t a link; you know, Back, Forward, Reload, Stop, Bookmark This Page, etc… Some of the Firefox developers feel that Control-P is sufficient (possibly the same developers who though removing Control-E to switch text input focus to the Search Bar was an intelligent idea?).

Every time there’s a release I have to go through the annoyingly repetitious process of finding an Addon that addresses the lack of said context menu. With the release of Firefox 5, there are absolutely none which work with it — except one, which I’ll save for last.

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SCFH DSF now open-source

As of 2011/04/29, the SCFH DSF software has been made open-source and is available via github:

The translated bullet items on the above page (as of 2011/04/29) read as follows, acting as a “to-do” list:

* Reorganise source code
* Fix audio/video de-sync issue pertaining to timing/timers
* Fix incompatibility with Skype
* Re-write in-line assembler code to work on x64/64-bit OSes
* Fix stencil buffer processing (currently lost when using software resizing, as a result of optimisation)
* Reduce OS/environment load when capturing via DWM (can be managed via DWMCAPsrc.zip (see main page for .zip file))
* Recreate the GUI entirely
* Make the GUI simpler to use

The actual github URL is here:

I hope this will provide much evolution and, eventually, better support for Windows 7. For now, this guy is sticking with XP… :-)