Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Windows Vista User Profile Service Failed

I recently could not login to my account on an old laptop with Windows Vista and was presented with this message: "The User Profile Service service failed the logon. User profile cannot be loaded." Fortunately, this was easily remedied by following the steps outlined in Microsoft Article 947215 ("You receive a 'The User Profile Service failed the logon' error message"). That article outlines three methods for resolving the issue (fixing the user account profile, copying data to different profile, and deleting the error SID and creating a new profile).

I used the first approach (fixing the user account profile) by following the steps on that article:

  1. Restart machine and enter "Safe Mode"
    • Typically done by clicking F8 while restarting and selecting "Safe Mode"
  2. Run the Registry Editor (regedit)
    • The registry can optionally be backed up before editing it.
  3. Access "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList" folder and then the "S-1-5" subfolders with really long names and containing ProfileImagePath in registry
  4. Rename the folder with .bak to not have that extension and rename the one that started without extenson to have .bak extension.
  5. Change RefCount's value to zero and change State's value to 0.

After following those steps (which are explained in more detail and illustrated with screen snapshots in the Microsoft Article 947215), closing Registry Editor, and restarting the laptop, I was able to log in again. I took this opportunity to create a separate Administrator account as advised in this Microsoft Community Question.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Multi-Player Minecraft on XBox 360

It was a bit more involved than I would have guessed to get multi-player Minecraft on a single local television (split screen) working for us on the XBox 360, so I thought I'd write this blog post summarizing what we needed to do to get it to work.

Two online forums together (Xbox Forum thread Cannot play minecraft on multiplayer setting. and Ask.com thread How do i play 2 player split screen in minecraft Xbox 360 edition?) describe what needs to be done to play multi-player Minecraft.

  1. Connect XBox 360 directly to television with HDMI cable (would probably work through high definition receiver, but we did not try that yet).
  2. Change general display settings in XBox 360 (Settings -> System -> Console Settings -> Display -> HDTV Settings and select desired resolution (or choose "Optimal Resolution" to let XBox 360 decide) to specify high definition display setting (720 or better).
  3. Make sure that Split Screen option is enabled in Minecraft settings. You also need to make sure that, for local multiple player mode on the same television, the "Online game" option is not checked.
  4. Each player should connect their remote control to the console (meaning hold the center button down until the remote control and console are synched) and once each remote control is associated with the console, the players can each press "Start" to enter the game. Note that for local multi-player games, only a Local XBox Live account is required. An XBox Live Gold or XBox Live Silver account is required for online multi-player play.

With the XBox 360 console connected to the television with an HDMI cable, with the XBox 360 Console display settings configured for high definition, and with the appropriate options set in the Minecraft game itself ("Online game" unchecked and "Split Screen" checked), Minecraft worked on a split screen for multiple players. When two players played, the screen could be split horizontally or vertically.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Colorado National Monument: Canyon Rim Trail

I was surprised at the impressive sights and magnitude of Colorado National Monument when I first visited it. The idea of it being a national monument rather than a national park led to significantly lesser expectations of what it has to offer. In my opinion, Colorado National Monument has the "outstanding scenic feature or natural phenomena" that is part of the distinction between national park and national monument.

In this post, I include some brief text about and photographs taken from the Colorado National Monument's Canyon Rim Trail.

The previous photograph was taken very near the Canyon Rim Trail trail head which is very close to the Saddlehorn Visitor Center.

The Saddlehorn Vistor Center and Canyon Rim Trail are much closer to the Fruita Entrance (west entrance) of the Colorado National Monument than to the Grand Junction Entrance (east entrance).

The 23-mile Rim Rock Drive connects the Fruita entrance of Colorado National Monument to the Grand Junction entrance. It is described as, "one of the grandest scenic drives in the American West" that "offers redrock canyons, crisp blue skies, and glorious views along the way for motorists and bicyclists." I also agree with that page's assessment that "the road is inseparable from the identity of the Monument."

Many of the trails at Colorado National Monument are short and easy and many are easily accessible from Rim Rock Drive. Canyon Rim Trail is very accessible, especially from the Fruita entrance, and provides spectacular views of some of the canyon's most notable features.

There has been recent renewed interest in making this a national park as described in the 2 April 2014 Denver Post article Colorado National Monument in new effort to become national park. The current proposal is to name it Rim Rock Canyons National Park.

Colorado National Monument is located near Grand Junction and Fruita in western Colorado off of Interstate 70. Photographs are not nearly as dramatic as seeing Colorado National Monument firsthand.