CD/DVD drive device missing error

I was installing a fresh copy of Windows 7 on a new Samsung Series 9 laptop this week and as I got a strange error during the install:

A required CD/DVD drive device driver is missing. If you have a driver floppy disk, CD, DVD, or USB flash drive, please insert it now. Note: If the Windows installation media is in the CD/DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step.

The error baffled me, because the Samsung Series 9 does not have a CD or DVD drive and I was installing Windows 7 from a bootable USB flash drive (which was already inserted).  I spent quite a bit of time troubleshooting the error and went down several bad paths.  When you search you find several forums that reference this error, mostly from the Windows 7 Beta or Release Candidate builds.  The collective conventional wisdom from the forums that I landed on said to try one (or more) of the following fixes:

  • Get another copy of the .iso (root cause: bad download)
  • Burn the iso to the DVD at a slower speed (root cause: bad burn)
  • Change the BIOS boot order (root cause: unknown)
  • Update the driver for the Drive (root cause: upgrade advisor not finding hardware)
  • Switch from SATA to AHCI in the BIOS (root cause: Windows 7 installer not supporting SATA – huh?)

One or more of the above might fix the error for you, but none of these fixed my problem and most of them did not apply even apply to my situation.  What was causing the problem for me was I had the USB device plugged into the USB 3.0 port for the machine.  I moved the USB flash drive to the USB 2.0 port (on the other side of the laptop) and the install worked just fine. 

My speculation is that the boot loader for the installer worked fine, but the installer itself had issues with the USB 3.0 device.  Windows 7 itself has no issues with the USB 3.0 port; it seems to be limited to the installer environment.  I am also fairly certain that you would see the same problem on other machines with a USB 3.0 drive- so more than just the Samsung Series Nine.

Note:  This post seems a little off topic for this site; I usually don’t talk about troubleshooting issues and the like.  However I wanted to post this in the hopes that if someone else runs into this issue, they might find this solution mixed in with all the older forum posts.  Hope this helps….

Creative Commons Attribution Dilemma

Screen Shot of

I recently updated my “home page” or “splash screen”:  Among some other changes that I made was the inclusion of a photo of myself; I was on the “fence” about doing this, because I have never been crazy about photos of myself.  However I bit the bullet and included one taken about 3 years ago by John December at a Web414 meeting.  It is shown here in a screen shot and the original is on Flickr.  One of the questions / concerns that I had in using the photo was to make sure that I followed the license of the work, in this case it was a creative commons license: attribution, non commercial, share and share alike.

I love creative commons licenses

I liked the idea of creative commons from the first moment that I heard about it during a conversation with myself, Rocky Lhotka and Matt Bumgardner on how design patterns out to be shared.  All of the blog entries, photos and podcasts that I have created carry some version of the creative commons license.  In addition to creating works with the license, I use works that others have shared as well (see many of the photos on this site).  I wanted to make that clear, because my dilemma / critique has nothing to do with the license itself.

Attribution means different things to different people

In order to comply with the license, you must attribute the work to the original author (along with the other components like non-commercial use and share and share alike).  Attribution is defined in the creative commons license as:

Attribution — You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).

When I decided to include John’s photo on my site I checked to see if he had any particular instructions for how he wanted the photo attributed to him.  I could not really find any (I checked on his Flickr profile and at his website).  John is not unique in providing instructions for how he wanted the photo attributed to him; it is usually the exception to find instructions on how people want to be attributed.  When I have run across specific instructions they are almost always reasonable examples include: it is usually people preferring their name to be used (instead of a Flickr handle) or having the link go to their blog or home page.

So barring specific instructions, I decided to take a look at the detailed version of the license to see if it provided any more guidance (the version above is the “human readable version).  Section 4.d reads:

If you distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, or publicly digitally perform the Work or any Derivative Works or Collective Works, You must keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and give the Original Author credit reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing by conveying the name (or pseudonym if applicable) of the Original Author if supplied; the title of the Work if supplied; to the extent reasonably practicable, the Uniform Resource Identifier, if any, that Licensor specifies to be associated with the Work, unless such URI does not refer to the copyright notice or licensing information for the Work.

I found myself scratching my head and breaking out my “I am not a lawyer card” on that one!  Barring any specific instructions I clearly spelled out “Photo by John December” and linked the name to his website.  Another option would have been to link to the photo page on Flickr or to John’s Flickr Profile.

Other media gets even more complicated

Placing photos on a web page is probably the easiest use case for attribution.  You have hyperlinks and great CSS styling to help you out.  Other media, such as printed photos, sound recordings and video aren’t as robust in their ability to attribute.

Links to help you think more about this

Jeff Atwood on Defending Attribution Required
My article on a Creative Commons And PowerPoint Slides
Pete Prodoehl on One of his run-ins with non-Attribution


  • I talked with John at Photocamp Milwaukee 2 and verbally asked him if the attribution was okay; he agreed that it was.  Thanks again for sharing some of your photos under the creative commons license.
  • I just realized that nowhere have I spelled out my preferred attribution.

Revisionist book covers

For week 2 of my Book-a-week resolution I read Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams.  Instead of doing a full book review on it, I thought I would talk a little about the cover.

Here are the book covers from the two editions that are currently in print.  The first edition is on the left and was published in December, 2006.  The second edition (the one that I read) is on the right hand side and was published in September, 2010.


Might be a little hard to notice the difference with these small thumb nails, but it is a little more obvious on the book when you hold it life size.  I am not talking about the colors, the quotes or the “Expanded edition” added to the cover.  I am talking about how they replaced MySpace on the original edition with Facebook on the second edition.

Don’t blame them, but…

The authors point out in the forward that the book seemed “So 2006….” when they created the next edition and having MySpace listed on the cover is not the only thing that dates the book in that era.  And I don’t begrudge them dropping MySpace from the cover; would you buy a book in 2010 / 2011 that talked about how awesome MySpace is?  My only complaint is that they replaced MySpace with Facebook when Facebook only plays a minor role in the book.  All the references to Facebook are in the last chapter of the book (called Enterprise 2.0) and it does not feel really integrated into the book core tenants.

I do have to wonder what the cover of the 3rd edition of this book (circa 2014) will include on the cover.   Surely Wikipedia and Linux will be on the cover, but will Facebook and Flickr be?  

Note: If you are following along just to see if I have failed miserably in my book-a-week resolution, I am doing okay.  I am technically a couple weeks behind, but I have 2 books that I am almost done reading.  I am reading a lot more than I am blogging about, so I have put up a list of completed books so you can see the progress.

Book Review: Free: The Future of a Radical Price

For week 1 of my Book-a-week resolution I read Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson.  Below is a review of that book.


Quick Review

If you have not read Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail I would read that book instead of Free.  If you have read The Long Tail, then Free is a decent investment of your time.  While Free is not technically a sequel or a continuation of The Long Tail, it is a deeper dive into how shift from physical media (such as CDs, DVDs, etc.) to digital media and distribution is effecting our economy and society.

What I liked about the book

Before I started reading the book and even into the first 20 pages or so I was a little concerned that Free was going to be focused on the mantra of “give everything away” or “figure out the business model later”.  What I quickly found was that Chris Anderson’s study of the “radical price” was clearly about using Free as part of an overall strategy of having a solid business plan.  He actually starts with some historical (going back more than 100 years) examples of how people have used Free in order to gain traction in a market or used it to sell complimentary goods.  He ends the book with many ideas and examples for using Free.

One of the other things that I really enjoyed was the sidebars that Chris Anderson presents on real world examples of companies that use Free as part of their business strategy.  They sidebars, despite being generally a page or less in length, are rich in analysis and often have an interesting graph to illustrate the example.  The Long Tail and the sidebars both made great use of the graphics to add richness to the text.

What I did not like about the book

I alluded to the how much I liked the real world examples and graphics in the sidebars in the last section.  I found that the main text of the book lacked some of the hard data that I am used to in Chris Anderson’s writing style.  In Free he provides lots of examples to support his ideas, but they often seem anecdotal examples.  Contrast this with the rich data-backed examples that he presented in The Long Tail.  I think this is more of a criticism of the research and writing style of the book, rather than me thinking that the ideas he presents are flawed.  I think the ideas that Chris presents are sound and everyone running a business should consider the ideas presented if for no other reason than your competitors might be considering Free at this moment.

An example of Free

This blog is a good example of Free (Chris Anderson identities it as such in the book).  I post my thoughts here to share them with the world and in hopes to raise my reputation as a Software Architect.  I take it a step further a put a Creative Commons License on the work, so that other can take it and do interesting things with it and owe me nothing other than an attribution.

Book-a-week resolution

book shelf

book shelf by hobvias sudoneighm used under Creative Commons

This is the time of the year when people make their resolutions for the New Year.  I have a number of the things that I would like to accomplish in 2011, but I will not bore you with the full list.  Like many people I want to do more of some things and less of others.  One of the things I do want to do more of in 2011 is reading, which as a happy coincidence should lead to watching less television.  I really like reading, but in the last year or two I seem to be reading much less.

I am a big believer in setting measurable goals, so I have decided to set the goal of reading a book a week in 2011.  I have currently have 20 books on my bookshelf that I have not read along with a rather long list of books that I don’t own that I would like to read.  Whenever I hear about a good book I put it up on a list and when I am out at a used book store I see if any of them available.  I am happy (as always) to get suggestions for other books. 

I have a couple of other “rules” for this resolution:

  • The book a week is an “average” if I spend 10 days reading a long book and 4 days reading a short book, that is okay
  • I have a couple books that I have partially read, finishing those will count
  • I want to read a good mix of books for “work” and for “fun”
  • I will post up book reviews when they are “on topic” for this site, but generally not for the “fun” books
  • I reserve the right to fail miserably in getting 52 books read this year

Update – My blogging has been a little slow, so I created a list of the books that I have read so far.

Architecture by Baseball: Conference on the mound



The Conference by Nick Schweitzer, used with permission

This is the twelve in a series of blog posts about how we can learn about software architecture by studying and comparing it to the sport of Baseball.  This series was inspired by the book Management by Baseball.

I noted a couple of years ago that baseball was one of the few or the only sport that allowed coaches on the field of play, referring to the fact that when a team is up to bat, two coaches are allowed on the field in coaches boxes.  In addition, a pitching coach or manager is allowed to visit the pitcher’s mound when his team is in the field of play.  They are almost always joined by the catcher during the conference on the mound, but they can be joined by players from the infield as well (as the photo above shows occasionally you can get all the players from the infield on the mound).  The most common reasons for a manager to visit the mound are to:

  • Remove a pitcher from the game in favor of another pitcher
  • As a stall tactic to allow a pitcher in the bullpen time to warm up
  • Review the pitcher’s approach to the upcoming batter, especially when the batter is coming up as a pinch hitter
  • Coordinate the defense when there are runners on base
  • Calm the nerves of the pitcher in a big game situation

You can sum up all of these specific reasons for visiting the mound as needing to make an adjustment to the game plan.

In this series I have always drawn the parallel between the baseball team’s managers and coaches with the architects on a software development project.  I think of the players as the developers on the software development project.  I don’t mean to say that the architect is a higher level than the developers; it is just that their role is different.  The architect, like the baseball team’s manager, has to do a bunch of work upfront to line up the correct team and prepare them for the game.  The developer, like the baseball players, play just as critical of a role (or maybe more critical) in the success during the game. 

What I have not spent much time discussing in this series is how the architect and the developers actually communicate with each other before and during the software development project.  But the conference on the mound gives us a good chance to discuss how the developers and the architect can adjust the “game plan” during the project.

The team standup

I talked about Scrum a couple of years ago and I am still a fan of it, but the part that I have always liked the best was the daily scrum (sometimes called a team stand-up).  A stand-up got its name from the fact that the meeting was so quick and to the point, that there was no need to even sit down.  Even though traditionalists encourage the no sitting rule, it is often violated.  The “meeting” is a ~10-15 minute check point where all of the team members come together, and when done in the most traditional fashion, it looks a lot like Nick’s photograph above.  The main purpose of the stand-up is to frequently make sure that everyone on the team is on the same page and to identify any issues that need to be addressed.  Quick issues can be addressed in the stand-up, but more complex issues are deferred for a follow-up with just a subset of the team.  Scrum and other agile methodologies encourage this to be done on a daily basis, although in practice it can be adjusted to 3 or 4 times a week.

Not exactly like the conference on the mound

There is one key difference between the team stand-up and the conference on the mound in the game of baseball: frequency.  The strength of the team stand-up is that you are meeting quite frequently (even if it is for just a short amount of time).  That luxury is not afforded in baseball; you are only allowed to visit the mound once per inning.  A subsequent visit to the mound requires the pitcher to be pulled from the game in favor of a relief pitcher.  The purpose of this is to keep the game moving along, the game would get too long if they manager and other players were allowed to visit the mound as often as they wished.  Fortunately as developers and architects we have the luxury of frequency.

Five most stressful things

Erasing Stress

Stress by Alan Cleaver used under Creative Commons

In the early 1990s I took a job working for a medium size consulting company and worked for a guy named Mike Patitucci.  Mike gave me some of the best advice I have ever received and I have shared it with many people along the way.  It was only this morning when I was telling it to someone else that I realized the obvious thing to do would be to share it here.  Mike told me that of the 5 most stressful things that you can do are:

  1. Get Married
  2. Get Divorced
  3. Buy a house
  4. Have a baby
  5. Take a new job

Mike said the “secret” to surviving was to do as few of these things as possible at the same time (so if you are having a baby – don’t buy a house also).  It sounds like pretty simple advice, but I personally know many people who have violated the rule and regretted it (including myself).

Sketch: An idea I have been kicking around


I have been kicking around an idea lately and thought I should capture some sketches of it.  I want to create a few sketches about this idea and use it to get feedback from people before I start committing to actual work.  I don’t spend enough time sketching my ideas out and I would like to fix that.

I used the Expression Blend SketchFlow feature to capture this in about 5 minutes.  I am have been reading about the full (proper) use of SketchFlow in the book Dynamic Prototyping with SketchFlow in Expression Blend by Chris Bernard and Sara Summers.  I used to work with Sara and Chris when I worked as an Evangelist for Microsoft DPE.

Website update for Safari Reader

One of the things that I have been doing as I have been updating my blog template is making sure that it works and looks good in the popular browsers: Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.6 and Safari 5 (yes, I need to test in Chrome as well).  In doing so I finally got to go hands on with new feature of Safari called Reader, which Apple shipped in June with Safari 5.  I had heard good things about Safari Reader from Dave Winer and heard it was the end of the world from Jim Lynch (who writes about advertisements and other things).

What is Safari Reader?

Here is the description of Reader from the Apple site:

With Safari Reader, you no longer have to deal with annoying ads and other visual distractions that get in the way of your online articles. That’s because Safari detects if you’re on a webpage with an article. Click the Reader button in the Smart Address Field, and the article appears instantly in one continuous, clutter-free view.

The best way to see what reader does is to look at a website with reader in use.  My new layout does not have a lot of flair to it, so I figured I would show you a couple screen shots from the blog of my buddy Dave Bost.  Here is one of his recent articles in Safari without the reader view enabled (note you can see the “reader” button in the address bar letting you know you can click it):

reader2Like many blogs, Dave has a header, some navigation, some advertisements, RSS icons and even a Twitter Badge.  Now click on the reader view and this is what you see:

reader3 It is the same article, but all the non-article content is suppressed.  It is hard to tell with the screen shot, but the text is also slightly bigger than the native size on the page aiding the readability just a bit.  As I understand it, if the article is multiple pages long it will pull the content from all the pages (I don’t use Safari as my day to day browser – so I really have not seen that in action).  One last thing to notice is that the Reader icon in the address bar is now a purple color, letting you know it is in reader view.

Have you taken a look at your website(s) in Safari Reader view?

Once I figured out what Reader did I was anxious to see what my site looked like with it turned on.  I figured that there would not be much difference, because my new layout is pretty minimalist (I am proud of that – can you tell?).  So I fired it up and here is what I saw:

reader1 As I figured, there was not too much of a change, but then I looked carefully and noticed something missing.  Did you catch it?  Here is a hint:

reader1a Reader had dropped my title, dismissing it as Flair!  It only took me about a minute of digging to realize the problem and I discovered it in my own markup.  This is how the blogging engine and template were rendering the title of the page (I did shorten the href for display):

<div class="itemTitle">
<a class="TitleLinkStyle" rel="bookmark" href="/MeetTheNewBlog.aspx">Meet the new blog…</a>


I had not marked the title of the post with an <h2> element, but I had used an <h1> element for the title of the site as well as <h3> elements in the body of the article.  Reader is using heuristics to “guess” your markup and heuristics can be quite good, but never perfect given the variability in markup across the Internet (and the Internet is pretty big from what I have heard).  So I updated the template and the corresponding css for layout to add an <h2> element like so:

<div class="itemTitle">
<h2><a class="TitleLinkStyle" rel="bookmark" href="/MeetTheNewBlog.aspx">Meet the new blog…</a><h2>


Here is what the page looks like with the updated mark-up.  Much better, but you will notice that Reader has now dropped the title of the blog; I am okay with that:


Checking my site for how it looked in reader reminded me of an important lesson about the proper use of HTML Heading elements.  <h1>, <h2> and all their friends are more than just for styling, they are giving semantic information about your page.  It is not just that your element look like a heading (you can do that with any old <div> or <span> element), but it should match the use on the page.  It was just plain silly for me to have an <h1> and <h3> and not have a corresponding <h2>.

Hope this helps….

Meet the new blog…

I started quietly working on an update to this blog last week and I hope you like the changes.  If you are reading this in your feed reader, take a moment to go check it out on the site at

Still in Beta

I am not 100% done with the changes that I wanted to make, but the bulk of the plumbing is done.  I really felt that it was a good time to put out the updates and ask for feedback on what I had done so far.  I expect to make minor tweaks and I have no issues doing that in public.

Does it look familiar?

You might have stumbled on a project called “the setup” that is interviews with a bunch of technologist about the equipment that they use to get the job done.  My new site template was inspired by that site (and a bit of the CSS is taken directly from the site).  The creator of that site shared it under a creative commons license and the attribution is on every page of my template.  Lots of love for sharing your work!

Special thanks goes to Matt Gauger who turned me on to the setup and has created his own version of the setup that profiles Wisconsin technologist.  Matt, my answers are done, I just can’t find a picture that I like!

Other changes

In addition to the obvious visual changes I made a number of “behind the scenes” improvements, including:

  • Fixed links that were pointing to so that they 301 redirect to  So pretty much any link on the internet will now find the original post.
  • Fixed internal links to point to a common location and do so in a relative fashion.  This will make back-up and changing hosting providers much easier (not moving, but you never know!)
  • Dropping tables from most of the site; there are still a couple in the formatting of the comments section from the dasBlog software, and I am debating about what to do with those.
  • Cleaned up a number of validation errors that were caused by a combination of the blogging software, original template and my terrible markup skills.

I will be following up with a couple of blog posts on some of the things that I discovered while making the updates to this site, because I think you might find them useful.  Just for reference here is a screen shot of the previous look and feel: