Windows 10 Microsoft Money Has Stopped Working

If you are one of the few still using MS Money for personal finance tracking, the last bunch of years have been trying. Microsoft ceased development on the product releasing the Microsoft Money Plus Sunset Deluxe Edition that stops trying to connect to their non-existent servers (more information available here).

Recent upgrades to Windows 10 caused issues for MS Money users with the error Money requires Internet Explorer 6 to function properly. Please reinstall Internet Explorer 6 so these components can be added. which requires updating of a registry key. The short version is the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Version needs to be updated to 9.11.10240.0.

That had me successfully working on Windows 10 with MS Money. I then encountered a strange issue where when loading an OFX or QIF file retrieved from an online bank I would get the message Microsoft Money Has Stopped Working and then the application would crash. As I was thinking I was finally going to be forced to switch to Quicken, I came across a forum post mentioning the issue had to do with a bad piece of code in the mnyob99.dll.

The original issue was identified and patched long ago by the amazing technical wizard Raymond Chen in this post Microsoft Money crashes during import of account transactions or when changing a payee of a downloaded transaction where he talks about patching code beginning at the offset 003FACE8. His process of diagnosing and resolving the issue all without access to the source code is a work of technical artistry. Well worth checking out.

This led to many folks posting patched versions of the dll for download (which isn’t that appealing to any security conscious folks). User Cal Learner on the forum though posted a zipped up concise little Python script that handles replacing the byte sequence in the dll. I have listed his nice short little script below: 2013-1-5 Cal Learner. Maybe has bugs.
#Experimental code for advanced patch-oriented users.
#You are free to use this in any helpful way.

import os, sys,string, hashlib

if __name__=="__main__":

f = open("mnyob99.dll.orig",'rb') # file we are opening.
data =  #as-found file in

bad_bytes= b'\x85\x1C\xFD\xFF\xFF\x50\x6A\x5C\xFF\xB5\x1C\xFD\xFF\xFF\xE8'
data_bad_spot =data.find(bad_bytes)
print "String offset in file:", data_bad_spot, "hex:",hex(data_bad_spot)

print "Diagnostics: " ,len(data),', ',bad_finds,', ',good_finds,'.'
#print hashlib.md5(data).hexdigest
m = hashlib.md5()
print "MD5 for mnyob99.dll.orig: ", m.hexdigest()

if (data_bad_spot <0):
#did not find the bad string

print "I don't find the problem target string. Doing nothing."

else: # found a bad spot..
print "Patching the file"

f = open("mnyob99.dll.fix",'wb') # file we are opening.

fixed_data=data.replace(bad_bytes, good_bytes,1) #replace the first instance
m2= hashlib.md5()
print "MD5 for mnyob99.dll.fix: ", m2.hexdigest()


After using his script to patch my file, I’m once again back in business with my old antiquated (but perfectly functioning) version of MS Money running on Windows 10. Many thanks to Raymond Chen and Cal Learner for putting their information out there for other users to benefit from.

Posted in Finance, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

2005 Mini Cooper Convertible Stock Radio and Stock Rear Speaker Upgrade

The wife recently acquired a used 2005 Mini Cooper Convertible

2005 Mini Cooper Convertible

and she really wanted satellite radio in it like her primary car. After reading up on what others had done, I ended up removing the stock stereo and going with these components:

Kenwood KDC-BT555U – $140

This radio had a special with Crutchfield where you could get a set of speakers for only $10 so I went with these for my rear speakers (can’t beat it for $10):

Kenwood KFC-G1620 6-1/2″ Speaker – $10

Axxess Metra ASWC-1 Steering Wheel Control Interface – $50

SiriusXM SXV200v1 Tuner – $50

I also picked up these Torx wrenches to use ($16)

and this Micro B USB cable so I could update the Axxess Metra steering wheel control device to the latest firmware before installing ($6)

The nice thing about ordering the receiver and speakers from Crutchfield was they included the receiver installation kit, wiring harness, antenna connector adapter, speaker installation kit, and instructions specific to my Mini.

First I went with the speaker upgrade. The convertible top had to be down so I did it this morning before the sun was overhead. The instructions had me remove the back seat bottom and both seat backs completely. Then I had to remove the side panels. Unfortunately on both side panels, when sliding them towards the front it seemed to have sheered off the upholstery clips (or a previous owner had already done that). It wasn’t an issue after reassembly, but annoying anyway to have pieces break.

The speakers required installing them to the Crutchfield supplied mounting bracket and then drilling some new holes to match the mounting bracket. I didn’t like drilling holes in the car but it was a necessary evil and went smoothly with a 1/8″ drill bit. I used the Crutchfield supplied wiring adapter to plug into the stock plug and had both speakers installed and reassembled in about 2 hours. Not sure I can tell much of a difference, but hey, they are new.

Took a break for lunch and then started wiring up the receiver wires to the Crutchfield supplied wiring harness. Also wired up the Axxess Metra to the harness as well. After doing that, there were 2 wires that would have to be handled on their own. For the switched power, a separate wire was included and instructions were given to run it to the fuse panel and tap the #10 fuse on the non-powered side. For the Axxess Metra device it needed to be wired in to the #9 pin on the stock Mini wiring harness for the steering wheel controls.

Disassembly to remove the stock radio was very straightforward. The instructions from Crutchfield were clear and made it pretty easy. After removing the old radio, I used the installation kit to mount the new receiver mounting bracket (it blends in very well to the stock opening). I then ran the power wire to the fuse panel (through the stock radio opening, and then to the left under the steering wheel, behind the panel beneath the steering wheel). I used my multimeter (set to 20v DC) to determine which side of the fuse was unpowered – it was the left side when looking at the fuse panel (towards the rear of the car). Tapping the fuse was easy except that the blade they sent me to tap it with was too short. I was able to make it work but I’ll eventually want to pick up the correctly sized tap. For the steering wheel control, I had to pull the #9 wire from the stock radio plug and splice it to the pink wire on the Metra.

Then I plugged the new wiring harness into the stock plug, hooked up the new radio, steering wheel control box, and satellite radio box and turned on the car to make sure everything was working.

It took me 2 tries to get the steering wheel control box programmed correctly. Once I did, it automatically recognized the car and programmed for these functions: volume up/down, station up/down, R/T was programmed as change source to cycle through FM, Satellite, USB etc. The phone button was programmed as a quasi mute, it attenuates the sound down on the radio.

I was planning on putting the satellite radio antenna on the dash at the base of the windshield instead of mounting it outside the car. I was happy to see that the satellite signal came in fine in this location. Next, I had to run the satellite antenna wire in a way to hide it. I ended up running it along the windshield/dash where it slid beneath the dash plastic nicely and isn’t visible. I ran it towards the drivers side and under the edge of the dash by the windshield pillar. I had to take off the side panel of the dash to get it fished under. Then I ran it back under the steering wheel (behind the under steering wheel plastic panel) to the satellite receiver box. I also had to run the radio’s bluetooth microphone up to the steering wheel. I put it right beside the tachometer on the steering wheel and ran it down the side of the steering wheel behind the plastic dash piece.

It was a bit tricky shoving all of those new wires, plugs, and control modules back into the dash so that I could push the new radio all the way into position but finally after lots of manipulating it went all the way in.

Reassembly was very smooth and I’m thrilled with how it turned out. It took about 3 hours to do the radio portion. More importantly the wife is happy that she can now listen to her SiriusXM and iPod. Not a bad upgrade for about $250.

Bluetooth Microphone

Satellite Antenna on Dash

Finished Install

Now to see if anyone on Ebay wants the stock radio/rear speakers.

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Bone Marrow Donor Registration

I have been meaning for a long time to sign up for the bone marrow donor registry. A friend of mine was in the registry since college and was selected a couple years ago as a match for a patient in need. He had nothing but positive things to say about the experience, but for some reason I never got around to joining. Today I finally took that step and completed my registration and dropped it back in the mail.

Now one thing I wasn’t aware of prior to his experience being selected as a donor was that donating bone marrow these days involves one of two methods. There is still the old standard method where they sedate the donor and use a needle to draw marrow from the hipbone, but a majority of the time they can use a newer less invasive method. This new method involves giving the donor medicine that causes an overproduction of bone marrow cells such that the cells end up in the blood stream. Then the donor is hooked to a machine that draws out blood from one arm, processes it to separate and store the marrow cells, and then restores the blood back via the other arm. No sedation or needles in the bone required.

Unfortunately for many patients in need, the chances of finding a match are low, so as a potential donor on the registry, being selected is really a small miracle. But if you are selected, you have the opportunity to change that individual’s life forever.

What finally got me off the fence was a video posted last week on Michael Pusateri’s Cruftbox blog here: How to test for being a bone marrow donor. After seeing how simple it was I had no reason not to finally get signed up.

Take 2 minutes to watch the video and then head over to the National Marrow Donor Program website and signup to be a donor. It costs no money (though you can donate if you like) and they will mail you everything you need in a couple of days. You swab your cheeks, put the swabs in the envelope, and drop it in the mail. You could literally end up saving someone’s life.

Also, for the expectant mothers out there, you can also make a huge difference by donating umbilical cord blood after the birth. Find out more info at the Marrow Donor site here: Donate Cord Blood

Posted in Health, Misc | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Yugoslavs in Louisiana

Below is an excerpt from a book detailing an experience of the Yugoslavian people in Louisiana back in 1893 during the Chenière Caminada hurricane (also called the Great October Storm). It mentions one of my wife Casey’s relatives, Matthew Kuluz, whose sons (one of which was her grandfather) eventually moved to Biloxi. The book appears to be Yugoslavs in Louisiana by Milos M. Vujnovich ( Book Link). The version on Google Books contains different text than what is on the pages I was given and have transcribed so I’m guessing I have text from an earlier version (searching the Google Books page for Kuluz yields and index showing him on pages 141, 142, and 143). I wanted to go ahead and post it here in digital form for posterity since it does detail her family’s history. I have fixed simple grammar and spelling issues in the text, but otherwise left it intact and added a couple of hyperlinks.

Yugoslavs in Louisiana

The hurricane of October 1-2, 1893, came from the Antilles unrecorded by the Cuban or the Miami weather station so that no warnings were given to the Louisiana residents. It came upon them like a thief in the night, robbing them of their homes, their belongings, their dear ones, and in many cases their own lives. It came with winds averaging 140 miles per hour and a tidal wave estimated at 20 feet, leveling everything in its path.

October 1 was a Sunday, a day of rest and get together for the folks of Bayou Cook and vicinity. They spent the day socializing, and some remembering that it was the Sabbath, said a prayer. Toward evening menacing black clouds darkened the skies, followed by gusty rain, increased winds, and rising tides. By the time darkness fell, the experienced oystermen realized that a hurricane was blowing somewhere in the Gulf, and, without alarming their families, they hoped and prayed that it would pass them by as many storms had done before or that it would blow itself out during the night, without doing heavy damage to their homes and luggers. But it struck the Bayou Cook area at about eleven o’clock that night. The tidal wave flooded the marshes, crushed the camps, smashed the luggers, and destroyed everything in its path. Many were drowned by the wave; others were killed or injured by the falling and flying timbers. In the confusion of the onslaught of wind and water, all in complete darkness, families were torn apart, children separated from their parents, and parents from each other. The hysterical cries of desperate mothers and fathers and frightened children calling out for each other mingled with the howling wind, rain, and rushing waters. The storm raged through the night, and when daylight came it revealed a sight of destruction, desolation, and death. The timber from the wrecked camps was mixed with logs, torn trees, smashed boats, boats’ rigging, furniture, and other debris floating on the surface of the murky water. The strong wooden pilings remained fast, pointing above the water the locations of camps and happy homes which they supported a few hours before. Here and there human forms could be distinguished, some dead, others dying, and some clinging to the pilings and the debris, hoping and praying to be rescued. Most of the living were rescued before nightfall and, with the dead, were taken to higher ground. Not all the bodies were recovered, however, and not all the living and the injured were saved. Many, before the rescue parties could reach them, were swept away into the Gulf by receding waters.

All of the oystermen were seasoned sailors, and many, before settling in Louisiana to fish oysters, had navigated the oceans of the world and experienced storms on the high seas. Unhesitatingly many of them credited their survival on this night to a miracle. As they narrated later, they prayed fervently – reciting prayers they learned from their village priests – to St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors, and to the Almighty; they made promises of sacrifices and became “believers.”

Many near miraculous escapes and many hardships were experienced by the sturdy oystermen during this hurricane, and one of the most outstanding was the survival of two immigrants from Sucuraj, Matthew Kumarich and Matthew Kuluz. They had a lugger named St. Nicolo and a camp on Razor Island in Grand Lake and worked as partners. That Sunday evening they retired to their camp to weather the storm but soon realized that this was not a mere storm but a hurricane. As the water rose they tore up some floorboards to let the water rise into the camp without severing the camp from its foundation. But the water rose so rapidly, and they climbed to the rafters hoping that it would rise no higher and that the camp would withstand the wind and waves. About midnight the camp was torn to pieces, and they were thrown amid the debris, some of which each managed to grab onto. As they were carried from the campsite they spotted an overturned submerged skiff and caught hold of it. When the morning came they realized that they had drifted out into the Gulf, miles from Razor Island. They held on to the sides of the skiff hoping a rescue boat would save them. They drifted with the skiff in open Gulf waters for four days, the hot sun beating down on their peeling skin, which was further irritated by the salty waves washing over their sore bodies. They encouraged each other as best as they could under the circumstances. Thursday passed, and sometime during the night Kumarich exclaimed: “Hvala Bogu, no svijetlo” (“Thank God, there is a light”). They recognized the Southwest Pass lighthouse. As they drifted nearer, expecting to touch the bottom at any moment, the wind suddenly shifted, and they were once more driven out to the sea.

Alternating between complete despair and faint hope, they knew that neither could hold on much longer, but as experienced sailors they also knew that their only hope lay in staying with the submerged skiff. Drifting thus for the fifth day, early Friday morning their feet touched the bottom and soon after, exhausted, and half dead, they pulled themselves ashore. Some distance away they saw a light on a boat and Kuluz, weak as he was, managed to swim to the boat and explain their situation. The lugger took them to the rescue vessel Louisiana by which they were taken to the Grand Isle railroad which took them to New Orleans. The rescue committee of the Slavonian Association took charge of them and supplied them with shelter, food, clothing and medical care. The Times-Democrat reporter interviewed them at Michael Baccich’s store on Decatur Street. Bewildered and unsure of their future, the oystermen were glad to see their compatriots Kuluz and Kumarich whom they lost. Kumarich, the larger and sturdier of the two, survived the ordeal without noticeable change, but Kuluz was not recognized by his own friends, so much had he suffered. His weight had decreased from 165 pounds to 132 pounds in six days. Kumarich later returned to his native Sucuraj and died at a very old age. Kuluz continued fishing oysters in Louisiana waters. Later, his sons moved to nearby Biloxi where they established an oyster canning factory.

After the storm passed and the waters abated completely, most of the oystermen returned to the sites of their homes. They constructed new camps and larger, safer, swifter boats, and they rebuilt and restocked their reefs.

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The 4-Hour Body Book Links

About a year ago I read the The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss and even with the hokie title thought it was a very interesting book with lots of great information. I became a reader of Ferriss’s blog and was pleased to learn he was working on a second book on fitness. Since I read the first book from the public library, I figured I would actually purchase the next book. His new book is The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.

Unfortunately his pre-order for the book was via Barnes and Noble, thus I had to wait almost a full week after the book came out for it to arrive (Amazon tries to time arrival with the book release date). I found it to be a very enjoyable read. It is meant to be read A-La-Carte based on your specific goals (weight loss, strength, speed, etc). This is a good recommendation because if you read it straight through (like I did) it comes across very ADD. One chapter may contradict the information given in a previous chapter (because the goals are different). Ferriss has a very enjoyable writing style and the chapters really come across as a series of blog posts (in fact many of them stem from blog posts he had written previously). While many of the recommendations are based on Ferriss’s and a small group of volunteers’s own experience, the information is rooted in research and many links and references are provided in the book. While I have not tried many of the techniques in the book (I tend to shy away from taking supplements I have never heard of at the recommendation of random authors) the information is quite interesting. I would recommend anyone that enjoys Ferriss’s blog to check out this book. It is like a collection of well written blog posts. You will go through the almost 600 pages in record time.

At the end of each chapter, Ferriss gives links to more information. I went through and collected them all here for my own reference since I didn’t visit them during reading. Some of the links are NSFW (Not Safe For Work) so click at your own risk. Also I noticed that all of the URL’s that redirect to use Ferriss’s affiliate links (in case that kind of thing bothers you).

4-Hour Body Website

Update: Tim has put the links with extended descriptions up on his site here: 4 Hour Body Links

Table of Contents

Start Here
Thinner, Bigger, Faster, Stronger? How to Use This Book

Fundamentals – First and Foremost
The Minimum Effective Dose: From Microwaves to Fat-loss
Rules That Change the Rules: Everything Popular Is Wrong
-Page 34

Ground Zero-Getting Started and Swaraj
The Harajuku Moment: The Decision to Become a Complete Human
-Page 43

Elusive Bodyfat: Where Are You Really?
-Page 53

From Photos to Fear: Making Failure Impossible
-Page 64

Subtracting Fat: Basics
The Slow- Carb Diet I: How to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days Without Exercise
-Page 78

The Slow-Carb Diet II: The Finer Points and Common Questions
Damage Control: Preventing Fat Gain When You Binge
-Page 113

The Four Horsemen of Fat-Loss
-Page 120

Subtracting Fat: Advanced
Ice Age: Mastering Temperature to Manipulate Weight
-Page 132

The Glucose Switch: Beautiful Number 100
-Page 148

The Last Mile: Losing the Final 5-10 Pounds
-Page 156

Adding Muscle
Building the Perfect Posterior (or Losing 100+ Pounds)
-Page 170

Six-Minute Abs: Two Exercises That Actually Work
-Page 180

From Geek to Freak: How to Gain 34 Pounds in 28 Days
-Page 192

Occam’s Protocol I: A Minimalist Approach to Mass
-Page 210

Occam’s Protocol II: The Finer Points

Improving Sex
The 15-Minute Female Orgasm-Part Un
-Page 236

The 15-Minute Female Orgasm-Part Deux
-Page 251

Violet’s Recommended Reading

Violet’s Recommended Tools

Sex Machine I: Adventures in Tripling Testosterone
-Page 260

Happy Endings and Doubling Sperm Count
-Page 273

Perfecting Sleep
Engineering the Perfect Night’s Sleep
-Page 285

Becoming Uberman: Sleeping Less with Polyphasic Sleep
-Page 292

Reversing Injuries
Reversing “Permanent” Injuries
-Page 317

How to Pay for a Beach Vacation with One Hospital Visit
-Page 323

Pre-Hab: Injury-Proofing the Body
-Page 345

Running Faster and Farther
Hacking the NFL Combine I: Preliminaries-Jumping Higher
-Page 353

Hacking the NFL Combine II: Running Faster
-Page 366

Ultraendurance I: Going from 5K to 50K in 12 Weeks-Phase I
Ultraendurance II: Going from 5K to 50K in 12 Weeks-Phase II
-Page 403

-Page 401
Favorite 5 U.S. Marathons
New York City
Marine Corps Marathon
Rock ‘N’ Roll San Diego

Top 5 Picks For First-Timers
Napa Valley
Dallas White Rock

5 Most Beautiful U.S. Marathons
Big Sur
Boulder Backroads
Myrtle Beach
St. George

Marathon Search Engines

Triathlon Search Engine

Getting Stronger
Effortless Superhuman: Breaking World Records with Barry Ross
-Page 423

Eating the Elephant: How to Add 100 Pounds to Your Bench Press
-Page 430

From Swimming to Swinging
How I Learned to Swim Effortlessly in 10 Days
-Page 443

The Architecture of Babe Ruth
-Page 452

How to Hold Your Breath Longer Than Houdini
-Page 457

On Longer and Better Life
Living Forever: Vaccines, Bleeding, and Other Fun
-Page 468

Closing Thoughts
Closing Thoughts: The Trojan Horse

Appendices and Extras
Helpful Measurements and Conversions
Getting Tested-From Nutrients to Muscle Fibers
-Page 480

Muscles of the Body
The Value of Self-Experimentation
-Page 490

Spotting Bad Science 101: How Not to Trick Yourself
-Page 500

Spotting Bad Science 102: So You Have a Pill . . .
The Slow-Carb Diet-194 People
Sex Machine II: Details and Dangers
The Meatless Machine I: Reasons to Try a Plant-Based Diet for Two Weeks
The Meatless Machine II: A 28-Day Experiment
-Page 549

Bonus Material (with additional info at Ferriss’s site)
Spot Reduction Revisited: Removing Stubborn Thigh Fat
Becoming Brad Pitt: Uses and Abuses of DNA
The China Study: A Well-Intentioned Critique
Heavy Metal: Your Personal Toxin Map
The Top 10 Reasons Why BMI Is Bogus
Hyperclocking and Related Mischief: How to Increase Strength 10% in One Workout
Creativity on Demand: The Promises and Dangers of Smart Drugs
An Alternative to Dieting: The Bodyfat Set Point and Tricking the Hypothalamus

Posted in Book, Health, Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment