How to get mobi files into the Android Kindle app

I got a free .mobi file today and it took a couple of minutes to get the file working in the Kindle app on the android. First of all, download the mobi file to the android. By default it will save it in the download file on the SD card. Then using your application of choice, move the file to the kindle directory. If you have the kindle application running, you will need to kill it and then relaunch it so that the kindle app restarts and realizes the file has been loaded.
I use the OI File Manager app for moving files on the android, and Advanced Task Killer to kill applications when required. The other android apps I use can be seen at my Absoblogginlutely appbrain page

Blat crashes when an email is sent – fixed.

I had an issue with blat yesterday with a new script I was working on. Every time I sent an email, it would crash and I would get “A Win32 command line eMail tool has stopped working.” As this was also running on a Windows2008 server this was also affecting the reliability index on the server – one of the things we check as part of our checkups.
I spent a good while trying to work out what was wrong, typed out the command to send mail and it worked – so I knew the issue was not blat itself. After calling over a colleague to help, demonstrating the (reproducible) problem of pasting the script line and crashing blat I asked what was wrong. The two of us still took a couple of minutes before he realised I had mistyped the server name used to send the mail. Instead of domain.com.s6a1.psmtp.com I had entered domain.com.s6a1.pmstp.com
Sure enough – if the mail server hostname can not be resolved by blat – it will crash. I was also able to reproduce this on my Windows7 machine at home too.

A simple fix but difficult to find after looking at code for a long time – getting someone else to look at your code often does wonders.

Live Communicator 2005 fails to install – fixed

I had a client’s LiveCommunicator 2005 stop working and part of the troubleshooting was to remove the software and reinstall. Unfortunately, when I went to reinstall the software, the installation was interrupted and did not complete. No errors were logged in the event log but by looking at the install log file and searching for “return value 3” (standard practise when debugging msi installs) I found the following “ActivateTimeBomb. Return value 3”.  A google  search only pulled back 3 results, all for Live Communicator which was a good  sign, but I did find a posting on the appdeploy forums that offered a solution.  I had already applied this patch to the server but had not needed to apply it to the client before, but doing so fixed the problem. The patch file can be found from the kb article 974571 or a direct download.

I was suprised to see how little information was available on google and how useless the install process was. The timebomb information was hidden away in the install log and  knowing that “Return Value 3” was the key to a successful troubleshooting session.

Imagemaps (navigation) broken in IE8 – fix

We rolled out IE8 to a customer earlier this week and promptly found their company website didn’t work in ie8 (despite some users having had IE8 for several months). An imagemap that they use for navigation did not show up in IE8 on internal computers. The weirdest thing is that all the computers at their office had the problem yet none of our computers or some other computers we tried could reproduce the problem.

After trying many technical solutions I passed it to our web developer who very quickly came up with a bug in ie8 and content produced by Publisher

“Publisher HTML output uses some very large numbers for object coordinates. This behavior has worked in the past. However, Internet Explorer 8 does not support such large coordinates. This is because some precision was moved from the most significant end to the least significant end of the coordinate variables to allow for sub-pixel layouts. Therefore, when large coordinate values in Publisher HTML output are run through Microsoft Dynamic HTML, the values are truncated. This behavior causes significant problems when Publisher HTML is rendered in Internet Explorer 8.”

Sure enough – saving the files within Publisher 2007 sp2 fixed the issue.

Firefox slow, especially gmail? – remove skype extension.

Ever since I updated the home computer to run the RTM version of Windows7 my gmail and greader experience has been very frustrating in Firefox. GReader just had no idea what data to display in the right hand side of the screen and gmail would just stick in the “please wait”, “loading” or “still working” status after sending an email (but would actually send the email).

Rebooting firefox into safe mode, or running ie8 worked fine so I knew it was not the computer but had to be an extension. Fortunately this was 100% reproducible so I was able to do some diagnostic tests.

I disabled all the likely culprits – flashblock, adblock,greasemonkey, better gmail, web developer, noscript but I still had the same problem. It wasn’t until I disabled the skype extension that the performance of google reader was back to normal and I could now send mail again.  Seeing as though I only really use Skype to call my parents I don’t need the extension so it is now disabled. For some reason the uninstall button is disabled.

I did find a thread on the Google Help forums with the same solution which was nice to know that I wasn’t the only one with the problem and I came up with the same solution.