Archive for November, 2008

skitch screenshots for mac

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Skitch is a great screenshot capturing program for the mac that also has integration with flickr (and skitch.com) to upload the images after they have been taken. Extra features such as watermarking, highlighting of areas of the screen, writing and drawing on the picture with the edits being individual items or layers and therefore movable, make this a very feature rich capturing program. I’m very impressed with it so far in my limited mac experience. My skitch site is at skitch.com/absoblogginlutely. The one photo I have uploaded (and to flickr too) is a picture of some very bad redacting by the army

Kristen’s comments are not working at the moment

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Kristen finally blogged something last night and I went to put a comment on it this morning only to find her comments don’t work anymore. I did a quick comparison between this blog and hers only to find that her templates are completely different. I tried to copy the entry template for this blog over to hers and publish but it uses includes so failed. I think this is because I had to drop the old MovableType templates to get this blog to work and her blog has the old MT templates still.
I know it is going to be quicker moving her to WordPress than trying to fix the template so I may end up doing this – especially as this blog will also move to WordPress soon – I started the migration Wednesday night and it worked fairly well – some entries were lost in the move but they were fairly old so I’m not too bothered. It will take time to test and theme the site so don’t expect a drastic change too soon – especially as I have work revision to do!!

Teched Training online

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

There are some really good (technical) webcasts from TechEd Europe online and I’ve just watched The case of the Unexplained – a very interesting and useful presentation by Mark Russinovich of Microsoft/Sysinternals on analyzing dump files, processes and hanging systems. I’m sure this will come in very handy. One of the tips I learnt was that you can actually use process explorer as a taskmgr replacement by going to options/replace task manager (or restore if you want to put it back again)
A highly recommended presentation if you do any troubleshooting of user desktops (or servers). Note it is pretty long – 74 minutes, and as it is in silverlight I don’t think it’s possible to download for offline viewing and the navigation to skip to a certain part of the clip sucks big time. There is no slider so you have to click randomly in a grey bar (that obscures part of the screen) to guess where you will end up.

TechEd online training

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

There are some really good (technical) webcasts from TechEd Europe online and I’ve just watched The case of the Unexplained – a very interestng and useful presentation by Mark Russinovich of Microsoft/Sysinternals on analyzing dump files, processes and hanging systems. I’m sure this will come in very handy. One of the tips I learnt was that you can actually use process explorer as a taskmgr replacement by going to options/replace task manager (or restore if you want to put it back again)
A highly recommended presentation if you do any troubleshooting of user desktops (or servers). Note it is pretty long – 74 minutes, and as it is in silverlight I don’t think it’s possible to download for offline viewing and the navigation to skip to a certain part of the clip sucks big time. There is no slider so you have to click randomly in a grey bar (that obscures part of the screen) to guess where you will end up.

MT to WordPress Migration.

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

I’ve just migrated the blog from the crusty old MovableType to WordPress. I was getting really fed up of really long build times in MT and only some of my pages keeping the current style. Some documents were just not getting republished. I think there may be some database corruption as I did have a few issues in the migration with Categories not being correct. I figured I could loose a couple of hundred blog posts – they were fairly old so probably out of date now anyway.

I stil have the theming, plugins, rss feed redirection etc to happen so you won’t see this post until I’m ready to switch over.

Kevin Donahue’s Export howto was very helpful but I did have to use a clean export file to get it to work correctly.

Cleanup after Vista sp1 is installed.

Friday, November 14th, 2008

vsp1cln is a useful utility that removes files no longer needed after Vista sp1 has been installed and you are sure that you will not need to remove sp1.  A useful utility but I’m surprised it is needed – after all you just needed to delete the $ntuninstall*$ files in XP

SBS2008 loadfest in Springfield 2008.

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I’ve never been to Springfield (any of them) before and tomorrow is the SBS2008 loadfest in Springfield, Ohio where people bring their machines to load SBS2008 on them and find out ways to automate the installation and demos and discussions about the new features in SBS2008.  I’m really looking forward to this as it will be some great training and also a chance to network with some peers. I’m curious to see how it all works as SBS insists it is the only DHCP server on the network when the connect to internet wizard is run so I’m not sure how it will like all the SBS machines being plugged into the Lan.

I must admit I cheated/was too impatient/needed to test the installation of SBS2008 on my hardware so I kicked off an install before work this morning ,answered the remaining questions at lunch time today and now have an installation on the hardware. I wanted to make sure that the installation would work with my hardware and my disk layout. Now that I know it works I will either reinstall over the top tomorrow or install it into a virtual environment under hyper-v. The latter will enable me to snapshot the machine when playing with various what-if configurations.

This is all really good timing as yesterday I received my “fee” exam voucher from Microsoft for SBS2008 – there was a typo in the subject of the email that gave me the free voucher code for the exam.  The only downside is that this will have to wait until I’ve passed at least one of my Windows2008 exams.

I had the beta of 2008 on my home training machine but it ran really slow as it was a virtual machine and the server didn’t have enough memory. Yesterday I purchased 4GB of ram for $70 (plus tax) and added that to the pc. I had an added bonus in that 1gb of ram had to be removed to make way for the 2gb sticks so I put these two sticks into my normal home pc.

I’m not sure if there are still spaces available – the click to register page still seems to work.

MCSE upgrade time.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

It’s been a while since I got my MCSE qualification and I’m now starting to use Windows 2008 and Exchange 2007 so it is time to update the certifications!  Microsoft has a useful page on the transition path from MCSE on Windows2003 to MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) – looks like a lot more studying to do, although the first exam 70-649 gives me three new MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist )qualifications immediately which is nice. The good thing is that I have until the end of the year to pass with the second shot offer AND to fulfill my annual review goals.

The training book has been ordered from the library and the virtual server has been fired up, updated and my vpn configuration tested to allow remote access back home (I managed to break this when upgrading my dd-wrt router)

SQL2008 installation failed to install with 0x84b30001

Monday, November 10th, 2008

I got the 0x84b30001 error when trying to install the latest Microsoft Assessment and Planning tool (MAP) this evening. Taking a look through the error logs gave me the message “A network error occurred while attempting to read from the file: c:\e….0\x86\setup\x86\sqlncli10.msi”, each time the directory name was different. I tried running the SQL2008 express installation manually and got the same message. However double clicking on the sqlncli10.msi file from the log file would work – or seem to. Trying to do a repair gave me the same message. I then chose to delete the 2008 native client installation (the sqlncli10.msi package) as I knew that a successful installation would result in the client being installed again. The uninstall was successful so I then reran the sql2008 installation with no problems.  MAP then installed successfully. I posted a note on the technet forums here in case anyone else has some follow up comments/questions.  Now that I’m home I can’t actually run the assessment tool, but I’ll be able to do this tomorrow – hopefully it will give me the results I am after.

Dell Open Manage Server Administrator (OMSA) alert setup – updated

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Further to this post on how to set up Dell Open Manage Server Administrator (OMSA) for alerts I have amended the configuration files required to correctly configure OMSA.
I discovered that Dell’s documentation is incorrect and that running a batch file in an alert directly does not work – you need to call it with cmd.exe BUT you do not (normally) need to provide the path to cmd.exe – I have therefore changed the alert commands (shown in the extended entry).
I have also amended the dellalert.bat file as I also found that blat would not always work as there is no working blat profile when called from OMSA and there is no obvious way of setting a profile up. You could add the setup into dellalert.bat, trigger an alert and then remove the setup. Alternatively blat can have the mail server and the sender name provided in the dellalert.bat. This makes installation easier as all you need to do is copy the blat files to the windows directory. Again the updated dellalert.bat is in the extended entry.

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