David Overton's Blog and Discussion Site
This site is my way to share my views and general business and IT information with you about Microsoft, IT solutions for ISVs, technologists and businesses, large and small.  

December 2007 - David Overton's Blog

  • Happy Christmas - see the Santa Cam to see where he has been

    I Love Santa Claus!! I was thrilled to hear Jonathan Ross announce that he had entered British air space. You can see all the Santa cam videos at http://youtube.com/view_play_list?p=26B9B2ACB4AAC849 . One that caught my eye was his visit to the International Space Station: ttfn and a Merry Christmas David Technorati Tags: Christmas , Santa Cam , Santa Claus
  • Silverlight, the UK PR company and Christmas greetings

    I'm enjoying the festive spirit at the moment - the home is well lit and I am officially off from work (officially because I still do a bit here and there). I'm off to the cinema with one of my daughters today and plan to spend some of the afternoon wrapping presents too. What more could one ask for? Well, how about Mason Zimbler writing their seasons greeting card in Silverlight? Well, if it was, then another of my Christmas wishes has been granted . It is quite nice to see a PR company taking the mickey out of themselves a bit, but they are British I suppose!! http://mason-zimbler.com/festivegreetings/ As always, enjoy the holidays David Technorati Tags: Silverlight , Christmas , Personal
  • Happy Christmas / Seasons Greetings - The Overton house is once again lit up for all to see

    I am lucky enough to have understanding neighbours and a family that understands that while I work hard all year, come Christmas I take time off and this includes the house being decorated in Christmas lights. To see them this year, have a look at the photo album - http://uksbsguy.com/photos/doverton/tags/Christmas/default.aspx . I will be posting some comments to the blog, but outside of that, have a GREAT holiday no matter how you celebrate it. See you in 2008. David and Family Technorati Tags: Christmas , Holiday , Personal , Christmas lights
  • Samba developers can now see the Windows Protocols, make their products more interoperable with Microsoft Windows and see where Patents are to then choose to avoid or license

    I have never been known to sugar coat my opinion and one that has been forming recently is that much of the EU work on opening the Windows Media player is undesired by the consumers or the industry. This is my opinion, but I've seen no evidence to the contra. However, the licensing of protocols, while I don't wholly agree with the pricing structure, I see it as a good thing. This is a classic example of a de-facto standard working how it should. Today yet another organisation licensed the protocols, this time for the Samba community (with restrictions on redistribution and patent awareness) and this should deliver the reality of "interoperability, not standards" that I personally feel is the true desire of the world. Update: Microsoft to hand over Windows secrets to Samba team | InfoWorld | News | 2007-12-20 | By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service Developers of open-source Samba software will find their work a little easier thanks to an agreement with Microsoft, signed Thursday, that will give...
  • How to Disable Internet features of Office 2007

    I saw this go around on a thread at work and I have seen it requested for those security conscious partners, so here is the answer (courtesy of Eric Ellis): 1) Via the Office Customisation Tool (OCT) and a custom MSP: — or — 2) Via Group Policy: The difference between the two is that using the OCT will preset the desired configuration during the initial installation (or in a maintenance mode change), but users can change the settings if they desire. Group policy enforces the desired configuration, and if a user makes a change to the setting, they will revert back to the settings defined in the policy during the next application session. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Office 2007 , Security , Internet , Group Policy , Office Customisation Tool , OCT
  • Internet Explorer 8 (yep, not yet released) does standards (well Acid anyway)

    Earlier this month on the IE blog there was some discussion about IE8, almost the 1st discussion about this - Internet Explorer 8 . Now they talk about the "Standards Mode" and how for those who want near 100% standards based web sites can live happily together. It is worth saying that it might end up 100% standards based, but since I don't think such a thing exists, all I will say is that is passes all the standards tests. Acid is one of these tests. I strongly recommend you read the the whole blog Internet Explorer 8 and Acid2: A Milestone As a team, we’ve spent the last year heads down working hard on IE8. Last week, we achieved an important milestone that should interest web developers. IE8 now renders the “ Acid2 Face ” correctly in IE8 standards mode. If you’re not a web developer, the details of this blog post probably aren’t all that interesting for you. I’d like you to know that we’re building IE8 for many different customers (consumers, web service providers, independent software vendors...
  • Happy Christmas from Microsoft UK and me (ok, so it says Seasons Greetings, but I think we all can take it to be something about having a nice break if you choose to celebrate it)

    The card itself can be found at the site http://www.seasonal-greetings.com/ , but since this is a nice little Silverlight card I thought I would try my hand at embedding it too, so below is an embedded version of the card. If this gives you problems, let me know. If you feel inclined you can click the NSPCC link and think about how to support them (I do, but so could you) [updated to change Silverlight embedded card to a link since this is now post Christmas] ttfn David Technorati Tags: Seasons Greatings , Happy Christmas , NSPCC , Microsoft
  • Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) - Internet Explorer 6 crashes on launch

    Just a quick one for those of you on XP SP2 with the latest security updates. There is a risk of seeing IE start crashing following this update. You have two choices: Don't install the security update - always a bad idea Install the update and deploy a registry fix to solve the problem. The IE team have documented it at Post Install Issues with MS07-069 (IE6 on XPSP2) After downloading the Internet Explorer Cumulative Security Update for December 2007, some customers using IE6 on Windows XP Service Pack 2 have experienced an unexpected crash or hang upon launching Internet Explorer. This might occur while navigating to a website hosting considerable media content (for example: http://msn.com ) resulting in Internet Explorer displaying a dialog that states “Internet Explorer has experienced a problem and needs to close”. If you experience this issue, implement the applicable workaround provided in the following knowledge base article: Microsoft Knowledge Base article 946627 For your security, we strongly recommend...
  • Mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in SharePoint Server 2007

    I saw this pointed out today and had to share. With SharePoint Service v3 & 2007 you can enable simple mobile access. This is covered in the Knowledge Base article Mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in SharePoint Server 2007 of which the key items are: INTRODUCTION This article discusses the mobile browsers and devices that are supported in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. Mobile pages refer to the pages that you can access by using any of the following URLs: http://URL/m/ http://URL/_layouts/mobile/default.aspx Note To use the http://URL/m/ URL, you must enable it by using the following command: stsadm -o activatefeature -name MobilityRedirect -URL http://URL By default, the http://URL/_layouts/mobile/default.aspx URL works without any additional enabling. I saw this when David Copeland posted this to a question on an internal alias, so thanks to David for pointing it out. ttfn David Technorati Tags...
  • Service Availability and what it mean, or have a consumer broadband line and get consumer availability (10 hours downtime)

    The UKSBSGUY.com server is on my home broadband connection and this means it does not get business availability. Last night I had another 10 hours downtime and 8 hours earlier in the month. This all sounds bad, but here is where you need to understand SLAs and what availability statistics mean. If I have a 24x7 contract and I want high availability then this is how much downtime I can have through the year: Availability 365 days 31 days 1 day 99% 3.65 days 7.44 hours 14.4 minutes 99.9% 8.76 hours 44.64 minutes 1.44 minutes 99.99% 52.56 minutes 4.46 minutes 0.14 minutes 99.999% 5.26 minutes 0.45 minutes 0.01 minutes From this you can see that I am somewhere between 99% and 99.9%. If I assume 24 hours downtime this year then I am at about 99.7%, which on a consumer service is pretty amazing. Now, if someone offers you a service rebate then you need to consider the service period. For example, if someone offers 99.9% every day and you have a whole days outage, that is 1 day in 365 that they have failed, so any rebate...
  • WSS v3 Search and Search Server - how to mix the two and fix the error "The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service"

    I got this e-mail the other day: Hi David,From your posting "How to install Microsoft Search Server 2008 Express - including how to install on Windows Home Server" it seems that you had some similar problems that I am experiencing regarding running wss3 and ssx on the same server. In my case it effectively broke the "search this site" option and I'm trying to find a solution to this do you by any chance now what is my problem? I keep getting the error message: The search request was unable to connect to the Search Service . Regards Peter After a bit of research the answer can be found at http://wss.asaris.de/sites/walsh/Lists/WSSv3%20FAQ/DispForm.aspx?ID=1256 . While I have not used this, the feedback from Peter was excellent "Thanks a bundle, This was the solution to my problem.", so I feel confident sharing it. ttfn David Technorati Tags: Search Server Express Edition 2008 , Search Server , Windows SharePoint Server , WSS , SSX
  • SBS 2003, Virtual Server and / or Terminal Services and why use virtualisation and the risks to consider

    I need to take my hat off to the PSS guys in India. I "met" Girish on the Microsoft internal aliases and then delivering a Technet chat. I've since seen him post some great blog posts, but also answer key questions in various SBS forums. Alex recently asked the question: They (well I) think it is time to virtualise the three SBS servers that support their three micro businesses (plus a terminal server each). Lower energy costs (down to 1 server from 3), quieter in their office. Girish has recently blogged something that would help implement this: Content Released: Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment Deploying Terminal Services in a Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 Environment This document updates and replaces both "Deploying Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server to Host User Desktops in a Windows Small Business Server Environment" and "Installing Virtual Server 2005 R2 on Windows Small Business Server 2003 with SP1." Kudos to...
  • How to buy Microsoft products - for businesses up to 250 PCs

    I saw this ( How to buy Microsoft products ) and thought I should share. Not only does the site have some very simple information on what solution may well be right for each customer and how to choose, but if you are still confused there is a good questionnaire to help you and a link to find your local SBSC partner. Find the right purchasing option for you Volume Licensing Best option for companies that would like to save money on software by buying in bulk. If you are buying more than 5 licences for any mix of Microsoft products, you could save money in comparison to buying boxed software. Learn more Hosted software Best option for businesses that want to outsource IT. You can rent the right to use Microsoft products through an IT provider who offers Software as a Service (SaaS). Learn more Software in a box from a retailer Best option for companies that only need one or two copies of software, or that want the convenience of an instant purchase. You can buy software in a box that contains a licensed software...
  • Do you want a Microsoft Architecture Poster?

    I saw this at Chris's site and thought I would share: Chris Bowen's Blog : Got Tech Posters? There are plenty of technology posters and charts for developers available on MSDN. I didn't realize just how many until I searched for "poster" on MSDN downloads . Here's a list of the more recent ones: [Edited list by David - more on Chris's blog] .NET 3.5 Namespaces Poster The .NET Framework 3.5 Common Namespaces and Types Poster Exchange Component Architecture Poster This poster highlights the architecture and feature set of Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. Visual Basic 2008 Keybinding Poster Printable wall poster containing list of useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual Basic 2008 developers Visual C++ 2008 Keybinding Poster List of keybindings for Visual C++ language within Visual Studio and Visual C++ Express 2008 Visual C# 2008 Poster Wall chart showing useful keyboard shortcuts for Visual C# programming language 2007 Office System: Developer Posters Download these posters to learn more...
  • If you are a developer, what can Windows 2008 do for your developments... lots maybe

    Sorry to sound so vague, but I have to start by saying that Windows Server 2008 is a server platform, not a cure for cancer, so lets put it in perspective and set our expectations high, but not stupidly high expecting it to be revolution. Server 2008 is a quality evolution of Windows Server 2003 and extends and enhanced the Server 2003 offerings. However, if you plan on building applications for the future then Server 2008 will be the place to be. Microsoft have released a document called the "Windows Server 2008 Developer Story" that has a wealth of information on Server 2008 developer directions and how they combine to offer something greater than the sum of the parts. The download site describes itself as: Windows Server 2008 Developer Story An executable containing the Windows Server 2008 Developer Story The Windows Server 2008 Developer Story introduces users to new features of the Windows Server 2008 operating system by providing a cohesive story about how the features fit together to make a compelling...
  • Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals - download details

    If you do plan to deploy Windows Vista then you need to be aware of the information that these guides can give you: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals These guides will assist IT Professionals in evaluating and deploying Windows Vista SP1 and are downloadable versions of the SP1 guides found in the Windows Vista Technical Library . (http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/90a564b9-34af-4a6b-937f-324e1862244b1033.mspx) Files in This Download The links in this section correspond to separate files available in this download. Download the files most appropriate for you. Deployment_Guide_for_the_Release_Candidate_Version_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Enterprise_Guidance_for_Application_Compatibility_Testing_and_Windows_Vista_SP1.doc Hotfixes_and_Security_Updates_included_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Notable_Changes_in_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1_Release_Candidate.doc Overview_of_Windows_Vista_Service_Pack_1.doc Download details: Windows Vista SP1 Guides for IT Professionals ttfn...
  • How to get Windows Vista Service Pack 1 RC (legitimately) via the Public Availability Program

    I knew this was coming, but I've not seen it shouted too much. My machine feels more responsive and some operations as mentioned before are faster. If you read the Windows Vista team blog Windows Vista SP1 RC now available for public download you would think it is only available to MSDN and Technet customers. It does have some good pointers though. We're making available today the RC release of Windows Vista SP1, found here on MSDN and here on TechNet , with an FAQ here . I invite you to download, install and use the SP1 RC and let us know about your experience by providing your feedback here . Before you install SP1 RC, please bear in mind the following points of advice, detailed in this short article : If you have a prior version of SP1 Beta installed, you must uninstall it prior to installing RC. This is pre-release code and will change before the final release. This pre-release software is provided for testing purposes only. Microsoft does not recommend installing this software on primary or mission...
  • More on how to use / develop with Silverlight 1.0 and the fact that users are itching for Silverlight 2.0

    I love content produced in Silverlight, in fact, not enough is happening with this technology in my personal opinion inside Microsoft (or at least, inside and coming out), however I have found a few resources worth mentioning. 1st up we have information on Silverlight 1.0 development by Dan Wahlin - My Latest Silverlight Articles - Dan Wahlin's WebLog : My Latest Silverlight Articles Over the past few months I've been writing articles for the .NET Insight insight newsletter covering various ASP.NET AJAX concepts. You can read those article here . I've wrapped up that series and have started writing about Silverlight 1.0. Each week a new article will be published and I'll update them here so check back. The articles are designed to be focused and concise and get straight to the topic without a lot of fluff. Getting Started with Silverlight Using Microsoft's Silverlight Control in a Web Site Understanding Silverlight's createObject and createObjectEx Methods Silverlight XAML Primer 1: Exploring...
  • Office 2007 SP1 is here and it does more than just update the desktop - SharePoint gets AJAX for example

    I'm sure you have heard that the Office 2007 Service Pack is here. Darren Strange has documented what is in it and how to get it at Office 2007 sp1 ready for download today and OfficeRocker! : More detail about sp1 . In answer to Susanne's post at here , hopefully this post has some more info in it One of the little things he puts that I like is: Some other factoids about sp1 There are roughly 2500 fixes in SP1. This an average size for a service pack, but the issues fixed are very important to our customers. Almost 20% of those fixes are direct result of customer requests. Over 500 of those fixes focused on security. There are a total of 24 different releases in 38 languages. There are 683 distinct packages. All have released simultaneously today. If you get the whitepaper then you would be keen to see the information below. Notice that SharePoint amongst other things a developer update to support Ajax and that other server products (Groove and Project Server) are also updated. Stability Microsoft continues...
  • SharePoint continues to grow - now being considered "viral" in it's take up and what you can do about it.

    From a Microsoft and Microsoft Partner point of view the press article below is great news. IT departments are finding users who are deploying SharePoint to get the benefits and the easy of use that SharePoint offers as well as developers who are building on SharePoint as an application Platform. I recently had a partner who told me that their belief was that Windows 32/64 was the desktop and server operating system, but they saw SharePoint as the web OS. Given the benefits that SP1 provides to SharePoint this is even more the case. http://napps.networkworld.com/news/2007/120707-microsoft-sharepoint.html The analyst firm CMS Watch is claiming the newest version of Microsoft ’s SharePoint is spreading “virally” throughout enterprises, catching IT departments off guard and introducing risks related to uncontrolled content and regulatory compliance . […] CMS Watch says viral proliferation of SharePoint is nothing new, going back to the 2003 version. But Pelz-Sharpe says the “problem is becoming acute now” with the...
  • Windows platform documentation (Windows Server System Reference Architecture, Planning VM Manager deployment, Installing and configuring VM Manager, Windows HPC Server 2008 Technical Overview, Windows Server 2008 Developer and App Compat testing)

    The TRM blog can be found here December 2007 - Technical Rollup Mail - Platforms Infrastructure Planning and Design The Infrastructure Planning and Design (IPD) guides are the next version of Windows Server System Reference Architecture. The guides in this series help clarify and streamline design processes for Microsoft infrastructure technologies, with each guide addressing a unique infrastructure technology or scenario. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=5&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3dad3921fb-8224-4681-9064-075fdf042b0c%26DisplayLang%3den Planning a Virtual Machine Manager 2007 Deployment This content provides an introduction to System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2007 and practical guidance for planning a VMM deployment. http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/info.aspx?na=22&p=15&SrcDisplayLang=en&SrcCategoryId=&SrcFamilyId=&u=%2fdownloads%2fdetails.aspx%3fFamilyID%3d3e674bc0-bb85-47ae...
  • Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash

    I saw this and had to share - I want flash drives for my laptops - fast, low power... me, me, me!! Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash The memory chip maker is seeking to create new sources of demand for flash memory chips. TOKYO (Reuters)—Japanese memory chip maker Toshiba Corp. said on Monday it would make flash-based solid state drives for notebook PCs, as it seeks to create new sources of demand for flash memory chips. The world's No. 2 maker of NAND-type flash memory said its solid state drives would range in capacity from 32 gigabytes to 128 gigabytes, and that it will mass produce the 1.8-inch and 2.5 inch drives in May 2008. Much more info at Toshiba to Make Solid-State Drives in Push for Flash ttfn David Technorati Tags: Storage
  • More on the differences between real world Vista performance and that of a benchmark

    Following up on my articles that discuss Vista performance (I still stick by my statement that it is reasonable to expect Vista to need more resources) at More on Vista vs XP performance - why doesn't everyone want a racing car, but instead do they opt for safety, comfort or even the ability to have more than one passenger? and Vista SP1 beta vs XP SP3 beta and performance - what a load of old <insert your favourite derogatory term here> I saw this and thought it was worth sharing - especially worth watching the video!! The right time to assess Windows Vista's performance Posted by Nick White on Friday, November 30, 2007 4:29 PM Measuring the performance of an operating system is a tricky thing. At the same time, it's the right and necessary thing to do, because performance is one of many criteria important to customers. Part of the trick of measuring performance is to time testing execution with the product cycle such that the results are as meaningful as possible for customers; this helps them...
  • How to modify the Windows Vista Aurora, bubbles, mystify and ribbons screensaver hidden settings

    I saw this and thought I would share it for those who want to customise the screen savers that ship with Vista. Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings For those of you who are using Windows Vista, you may have noticed that the screen savers that are included do not contain any settings. Actually, they do , but Microsoft didn't include options dialogs for them. Long Zheng posted the settings for the Bubbles, Mystify, and Ribbons screensavers back in September before Windows Vista officially shipped. But he didn't post the settings for Aurora . Through a little bit of digging and guess work, I've uncovered one registry key that actually works for customizing the Aurora screensaver. Let's get started, shall we? Kristan Kenney: Confessions of a Windows Enthusiast : Windows Vista Aurora Screensaver Hidden Settings ttfn David Technorati Tags: Vista Tweaks , Windows Vista , Vista
  • Mummy, why is there a server in the house (I had to change it for the UK audiences)

    This is a funny campaign from the Home Server team who have been blogging about their new marketing campaign. It made me smile. Have a look at the "book" and the "videos"!! Earlier I posted about our new ad campaign " Stay at Home Servers " and pointed you at the videos (the first of which are getting rave reviews ). Yesterday we posted the full contents of the hit Children's book " Mommy, Why is there a Server in the House? " for your online reading pleasure. Windows Home Server Blog ttfn David Technorati Tags: fun , Home Server
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(c)David Overton 2006-17