Archive for December, 2008

Migration to STRATO

Well, it’s almost the new year, and I now officially have a new hosting provider.

The promise of an automatic migration from Lycos Web hosting to STRATO never materialised, resulting in a few days, possibly three of downtime.

I’ve now got things back in order and normal service can resume - in the new year :-)


By SpittingCAML in Uncategorized  .::. (Add your comment)

Microsoft Support Lifecycle - .Net Framework 1.1, 2, 3 and SharePoint 2007 etc.

Just thought I’d post one last time before the new year as I want to be as far away from a computer as possible until the new year after today!

Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy provides consistent and predictable guidelines for product support availability at the time of product release. Microsoft will offer a minimum of 10 years support (5 years of Mainstream support and 5 years of Extended) for Business and Developer products.

For more detailed information on the policy or on lifecycle of a specific product, please go to the following web site:

Figure 1: the typical Microsoft application/product lifecycle

Microsoft publishes a document every quarter along with an excel spreadsheet.

The objective is to highlight the next main support deadlines (end of support and change of support phase) affecting the major products along with the updated MSL.xls file.

Key points:

Action you should have already taken:

.Net Framework 1.1 RTM and SP1 were officially mainstream retired on October 14th, 2008, however it has extended support until October 8th, 2013

Immediate action required:

Office 2007 RTM, SharePoint Portal Server 2007 RTM, Project Server 2007 RTM, Visio 2007 RTM will NO longer be supported from January 13, 2009. It is recommended to upgrade to Service Pack 1 as soon as possible before this date. I am not sure on the situation with WSS 3.0, if you know the score can you post it as a comment on this post :-)

.Net Framework 2.0 RTM will NO longer be supported from January 13, 2009. It is recommended to upgrade to Service Pack 1 as soon as possible before this date.

.Net Framework 3.0 RTM will NO longer be supported from January 13, 2009. It is recommended to upgrade to Service Pack 1 as soon as possible before this date.

Short term action required:

Windows Server 2003 SP1 and Windows Server 2003 R2 RTM (based on SP1) will NO longer be supported from April 14, 2009. It is recommended to upgrade to Service Pack 2 as soon as possible before this date.

All this information is delivered via a subscription that you can sign up for! As you can see, some of this information is really good to know to plan your future architectures and development strategies.

You can subscribe: here

There is also an excellent blog: here

Once again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.


Internet Explorer - Critical Security Update

I guess I’m only posting this due to the mass hysteria in the media at the moment.

I know lots of people are using IE in corporate environments, I would like to hope that the guys in charge of your work machine will roll this patch out for you ASAP.

For those of you like me, who use IE in a development environment and/or a Virtual Machine, you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft have released a ‘quick’ fix for the issue.

You can get the patch from Microsoft: here

Read the mass hysteria (from the BBC): here

I think that it is obvious to the average user, that the Internet can never be 100% safe, even if you are running other browsers.

My advice (for what it’s worth) is:

  • If possible (and I can’t believe I’m about to say this!) run a *nix based Operating System (e.g. Linux, MacOS, Solaris). (Read this Whitepaper - registration required)
  • Keep anti virus software up-to-date - remember some of the best packages are free, such as Avast! and AVG
  • Ensure your browser security settings are set to ‘High’ in the ‘Internet Zone’ (Shown in Figure 1 below)

Figure 1: High setting for the Internet zone

  • Run the protected mode in IE provided if running Windows Vista
  • Browse the internet as a non-admin user (i.e. a user that is not classed as an administrator!)
  • Use Windows Defender (if running Windows)
  • Don’t store passwords and personal information on your hard drive in an unencrypted form - if you must store it, ENCRYPT it!
  • Delete all those emails you get from various companies that contains your username and the password you forgot but needed reminding about!
  • Sign out of your online banking as soon as you’ve finished using it
  • Use a spy ware detective, such as SpyBot - Search and Destroy

Even doing all above, and by being ultra paranoid, you can never be 100% safe. Just remember, ALL of the technologies that are out there to protect you are written by people, not super humans, they can make mistakes, and source code can be released into the community for devious individuals to take advantage of.

You are in control of which sites you visit, what emails you open and what software you install!

There’s lots of great advice out there, just look for information on how to remain safe online :-) DON’T PANIC!

Remember, that you might not be able to install and/or do many of the things I’ve suggested here at your place of work due to restrictions on what you are allowed to do. Don’t give your engineers a headache!


VMware - expanding a virtual disk

Traditionally (.. well until ESX server and other more expensive VMware toolkits came along), you haven’t been able to resize a virtual disk, once you’ve created it.

Well, now you can (as shown in Figure 1).

Figure 1: Expanding VMware workstation virtual disk using the vmware-vdiskmanager utility.

The brilliant blog goes into more detail on the topic, but it is something I will be using lots in the future!… well until I can be bothered to install VMware converter, but I don’t know enough about that product to install it on our corporate servers.


Stuff we should know, but always have to look up: SQL Server 2005 - setting the default directory for the mdf/ldf

Technology Yogi has done an easy to follow article on it: here

Essentially, run the following commands, assuming ‘D:\SQL_Data’ is where you want to place the mdf and ldf files.

USE [master]
EXEC xp_instance_regwrite N’HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE’, N’Software\Microsoft\MSSQLServer\MSSQLServer’, N’DefaultData’, REG_SZ, N’D:\SQL_Data’
EXEC xp_instance_regwrite N’HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE’, N’Software\Microsoft\MSSQLServer\MSSQLServer’, N’DefaultLog’, REG_SZ, N’D:\SQL_Data’


By SpittingCAML in SQL Server 2005  .::. (Add your comment)

Installing VMware Server 1.0.6-91891 on Vista x64 SP1

VMware unfortunately requires the installation of unsigned drivers.

Figure 1: vmnetbridge.sys

It also requires

  1. vmnewuserif.sys
  2. vmx86.sys
  3. hcmon.sys

There appear to be numerous fixes for this on the web

Reading between the lines, the only fix for SP1, is to click the ‘ignore driver signing’ option by mashing F8 on bootup, however I’ve tried this as still can’t get VMware server installed.

I will continue to investigate


Intel Core i7 Processor

I took delivery of my new toy this morning, it features the new Intel Core i7 (64 bit) processor. This is the successor to the Core 2 processors that hit the market in the last couple of years.

Key features include a replacement for the (Pentium) northbridge, meaning the processor has direct access to your triple channel DDR3, running at an obscene MHZ!

I don’t claim to be any kind of hardware expert, so if you are interested, check out these links:

As a software engineer, I enjoy looking at all those processing threads I can be running, with four cores, hyperthreading! Shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: four cores, hyperthreaded! :-D

Looks like I might be able to run multiple virtual machine images now, so I can test out a distributed SharePoint, BizTalk or K2 farm without giving the guys a work resource overload!


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