Archives / 2006
  • Happy new year!

    Tags: Personal

    Happy new year to all of you and thanks to all readers of my blog. The number of readers is increasing and I hope it will continue on the other side of the bell tolls tonight.


    See you in 2007!

  • New Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack 1.0 - beta 2 released

    Tags: .NET, XML, Windows XP, Windows Vista, XPS

    Microsoft yesterday released the second beta of the Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack 1.0 (build 5715). 

    The pack contains the following:

    • XML Paper Specification (XPS) Viewer
    • XPS metadata and thumbnail handlers for Windows Explorer
    • XPS rich-preview provider
    • XPS IFilter

    You need Windows XP SP2 or later and the Microsoft Core XML Services 6.0 to be installed on your system.

  • msfeedicon utility 1.1 released

    Tags: Internet Explorer, Software, msfeedicon

    I had just finished msfeedicon 1.0 when I decided to make an update, version 1.1, with some functionality I would like to see and some bugfixes.

    This 1.1 update contains:

    • New feature: Refresh feeds option in the context menu
    • New feature: greenish icons when the RSS platform downloads/refreshes feeds
    • Update: better icons
    • Bug fix: correct number of unread posts when a feed is removed

    You can download the update here, hope you like it...

  • Announcing: msfeedicon utility

    Tags: Windows XP, Internet Explorer, Software, msfeedicon

    For a while I have been annoyed that there is no good notification in Internet Explorer 7 when you have unread posts in your subscribed feeds. You have to have the Favorites Center opened to be notified of any feed updates, which may take up useful space on your screen.

    Therefore I created a small utility that takes advantage of the Windows RSS platform and shows an icon in the system tray which notifies you of any unread feed posts - called msfeedicon.


    • Uses the feed you have subscribed to using Internet Explorer 7
    • Installs in the Startup folder so it starts when you log on to Windows
    • Shows the number of unread items
    • Baloon tip when a feed is updated and has new posts
    • Checks for updates to the application

    You can download the msfeedicon utility from here.

    You need Microsoft.NET 2.0 or higher and Internet Explorer 7 to run this utility, and I have only tested it on Windows XP so far (Update an hour later - works on Vista).

    If you have any suggestions or find anything that does not work, please post a comment to this post.

  • Office 2007 icons to SharePoint 2003 cont.

    Tags: SharePoint, Microsoft Office

    A few months back I showed how you could add the new Office 2007 icons to a SharePoint 2003 or Windows SharePoint Services 2.0 site. The Right Stuff has made a complete post on how to add the complete set of icons for the different Office 2007 applications. The post also contains a few different sets of Office 2007 icons so you can choose the one that suits your site best.

  • The year of constant betas

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Microsoft, .NET, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, WinFX, Windows Vista, Windows Media Center, Windows Live

    Today I start my two weeks vacation and I thought I should summarize this year. The year of 2006 has been characterized, for me, as the year of Betas and Technology Previews. I have been trying to involve myself as much as possible in the all the goodies flowing out of Redmond.

    Microsoft has released numerous amount of new applications and upgrades.

    Internet Explorer 7

    The new version of Internet Explorer is the application this year that will have most impact in the short run on users. More standardized and a slicker interface with support of for example blogs.

    Windows Vista

    Windows Vista, the long awaited new operating system from Microsoft was released in November. I have been fiddling with the different betas, mostly on Virtual PC's. Short after the RTM I decided to replace my XP Media Center with Vista Ultimate. I'm not that satisfied yet due to lack of drivers; NVIDIA have not yet released a Vista driver that works fine, like the ones on XP.

    Vista is overall pretty good, it has some nice features like the new Media Center, DVD writer software, a better photo management application... The interface has intensively discussed but I think it's not that revolutionary. I think the Explorer interface is really bad, navigation is not that good. I'll stick with Total Commander!

    I will not upgrade my development laptop for a couple of months until all the issues with development in Visual Studio is sorted out, and I have no need for it - XP works fine.

    Microsoft.NET Framework

    The .NET Framework, has come in a new version - 3.0. But it's not a complete new .NET Framework, it's "just" .NET 2.0 with WinFX. But it's good - really good. You now can create really awesome appliactions with a nice user interface.

    Office System 2007

    The Office System 2007 with the client applications such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint and the server applications like SharePoint is by far the most interesting new applications this year for me. I have been into the betas and release candidates and been satisified since the first install. A complete new interface of the client applications that really impress and a SharePoint that finally allows us developers to do some nice stuff. SharePoint 2003, the previous version, was not that good for us developers and lacked a lot of functionality in the first version which has now come back. Someone said that Microsoft need at least three versions before they get it right :-)

    The new Outlook 2007 and OneNote 2007 are two really impressive applications.

    Developer tools

    Microsoft has been really nice to us developers this year with a new and improved MSDN, more samples and tutorials than ever. Visual Studio 2005 has finally gotten an upgrade, Service Pack 1, that fixes most of the random crashes and hang-ups.

    The Visual Studio 2005 SDK has also evolved with the support for making your own designers using the DSL Tools - I think that ISV's will now have the opportunity to make their applications more customizable.

    The Microsoft Expression Suite

    The Expression Suite from Microsoft was from my view the most surprising set of applications from Redmond. The Expression programs is applications for design, design of applications and design of web sites. The Commuity Technology Previews that has been released during the year has been really good, except for the last one this december, in which the removed some of the nice and interesting stuff from Expression Design.

    Microsoft Live

    The Microsoft Live approach has been interesting, with a new portal (never fancied MSN), a new search engine and a whole set of web based applications. Most of them are still in beta and it will be really nice to see where this path leads.

    There has been a lot more that has been installed and uninstalled on my machines during this year, like Exchange 2007 and the Live applications, and it has been really exciting. You can find some of them on Codeplex, the Microsoft open source site.

    What about next year?

    Yes, what about next year? I will not predict too much but for me the focus will be on SharePoint 2007, which will open up a whole new set of opportunities for my company. I really loook forward to see what will happen to the Expression suite and I will start to nibble on the Longhorn Server.

    To all of you:

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year


  • Watch DVDs in VIDEO_TS folders on Vista Media Center

    Tags: Windows Vista, Windows Media Center

    Windows Vista Media Center Here is a small tip to all of you that have DVD movies on your hard drives, like me. I have copied most of our kids DVD's to the hard drives so there is no need to change DVD every fifth minute and as all of you with kids know - they are not that gentle to the DVD discs nor the cradle of the player.

    Windows Vista Media Center does not initially allow you to watch ripped DVD movies using the Video Library, it only shows an empty VIDEO_TS folder. What you have to do is enable the DVD Gallery in Media Center, this is done through a small registry tweak.

    Change the data of the ShowGallery value of the following key from Play to Gallery  and you will have the DVD Library enabled instead of the Play DVD option.

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Media Center\Settings\DvdSettings

    Now you can add the folders containg the copied DVD discs to the gallery and have fast access to your DVD movies.

    Disclaimer: All changes to the Windows Vista registry is done at your own risk.

  • WiX version 2 close to completion

    Tags: WiX

    Rob Mensching blogs that the WiX version 2 is nearly done, just a few more bugs to slay. Two of the remaining bugs, about dropping/overwriting Sql databases, are important to me so when they are done I will be really happy!

    I have been using it for some time now and it is really easy making installers for Windows and Microsoft.NET based applications.

    I really look forward to the final release of version 2, and of course the upcoming version 3.

  • When will NVIDIA release drivers for Windows Vista RTM?

    Tags: Windows Vista, Upset posts, Hardware

    It has gone several weeks since the launch of Windows Vista and I am still waiting for a non-beta release of the NVIDIA ForceWare drivers!

    What are you guys doing? Are you waiting for the release to the general public in January?

    On the NVIDIA website only drivers for RC2, from october 17th, are available. These drivers do not contain the functionality to fine tune my plasma TV, nor does the standard drivers in Vista, like it can be done in Windows XP.

  • Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack1 released

    Tags: Visual Studio, Windows Vista

    Microsoft has now released the first Service Pack for Visual Studio 2005 and the Team Foundation Server. The Service Pack comes in several versions, depending on which version of Visual Studio 2005 you have.

    Here are the downloads:

    What I look forward is that the Service Pack addresses theses issues:

    • The random crashes
    • The random unresponsiveness in the user interface
    • Support for Intel Core Duo processors when compiling code

    There will be a separate Service Pack 1 for Windows Vista during the first half of 2007, but you can find a beta of it here.

  • Announcing

    Tags: .NET, XML, Internet and the Web, WinFX, XPS

    I have created a free web application that converts an RSS feed into an XPS document at

    Click here to go to

    You are free to use it and test it. The application is in beta and will continously improve over the time. I would appriciate any feedback or feeds that will not just work.

    Update: if the .com address does not work for, you can use instead.

  • Read up on Domain-Specific Languages

    Tags: Visual Studio, Software

    The Architecture Journal, an online magazine by Microsoft with focus on software architecture, have posted two articles on Domain-Specific Languages, DSL.

    Domain-Specific Modeling

    A five page article on what Domain-Specific Languages and Modeling is about and when to use it.

    Bare Naked Languages or What Not to Model

    An seven page article on how DSL fits into the software factories methodology.

  • Updated: Even better encapsulation of getting a value from XmlNode

    Tags: .NET, C#, XML

    I previously suggested a better method for getting attributes for an System.Xml.XmlNode in a response to an post by Marcus. Craig Nicholson highlighted in a comment that the code i provided can be even further optimized.

    private static string GetAttribute(XmlNode node, string name) {     XmlElement elm = node as XmlElement;     return (elm == null) ? string.Empty : elm.GetAttribute(name); } 

    Craig's first improvement includes using string.Empty instead of "". When using "" a new empty string will be allocated in the memory, but the string.Empty will return a reference to an empty string. This will affect garbace collecting performance, since it will have less objects to clean up if you use string.Empty.

    The second improvement Craig supplied was to use the C# conditional ?: operator, to have it on a single line. This will not affect performance since it will be expanded to an if-else statement by the compiler, but the code looks cleaner.

    This is what I really like; clean looking and optimized code!

  • Microsoft the Panel - what is this?

    Tags: Microsoft, .NET, WinFX, Windows Vista

    The Panel is a site, by Microsoft, with projects focused on the Windows Vista Presentation Foundation and XAML. The site will feature applications and source code for these techniques to show how you can design and implement nice applications for Windows and Live Gadgets.

    Currently there are some Live Gadgets available as well as a nice 3D RSS Reader called UniveRSS. Feeds are displayed as rotating boxes in a "galaxy" in which you can move around. The feeds are retrieved from your Internet Explorer 7 feeds. Register and download it to try it out.

    The Panel will continue to improve the applications and publish new ones over the next few months.

  • Expression Design no longer a Photoshop contender!

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Upset posts

    Expression Design was released yesterday as the December 2006 CTP . The major change was a brand new user interface and a lot of missing functionality from earlier previews.

    According to the Expression team at the Microsoft newsgroups it just seems that the missing functionality in Design is simply gone due to lack of time.

    Currently I have noticed that the Live Effects are not present in this CTP, but they are documented in the help files. Pixel layers seems to be completely gone and no reference in the help file - so I doubt they will be back :-(

    Expression Design will also not be able as a single product and only available in the Expression Studio bundle - this is really awkward I think. It seems like Microsoft are making Expression Design as a vector graphics editor for Expression Blend - not the Adobe Photoshop contender as I hoped when it was still called Acrylic!

  • Big changes in the Microsoft Expression Suite

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Internet Explorer, WinFX

    Microsoft today announced huge changes to the Microsoft Expression suite.

    Expression Studio

    Expression Studio is a new member of the Expression suite and is a suite of tools for building web sites and Windows client programs and rich media content. The Expression Studio consits of the four core Expression products; Web, Blend, Design and Media.

    Expression Design

    Expression Design, formerly known as Graphics Designer, has come in yet another CTP. The big news here is a complete new user interface, at first glance it looks much better than the old one.

    BUT: What have you done to the pixel layers!!! No pixel editing anymore really sucks! Expression Design is now a purely vector based designer. It was the combination that really made me get it on!

    Expression Blend

    Expression Blend, formerly known as Interactive Designer, is now in beta 1, and also has the new nice interface. WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere) is also available for Windows Vista and XP and Apple Max OS X as extensiosn to the most common browsers.

    Epression Media

    Expression Media, a new member to the family, is a tool for managing, editing and presenting your digital assets (photos, sounds, movies, music...). No download here, however you can download the original; iVew MediaPro here.

    Expression Web

    Expression Web is now shipping for real! Free trial available here.

    You might also check out the Microsoft Design page.

  • How to do when having installed Internet Explorer 7 but you need to test on Internet Explorer 6?

    Tags: Windows XP, Internet Explorer, Windows Vista, Virtual Server

    Since Internet Explorer 7 is on Windows Update and installed as a high-priority update a lot of users have Internet Explorer 7 installed or you are using the brand new Windows Vista, but how do you do when you are a web application developer and have to test it on Internet Explorer 6. Yes, Internet Explorer 6 will be with us for a long time.

    You have three options:

    1) Have a secondary machine stand by with Internet Explorer 6. An easy but expensive solution.

    2) Install IE7 and IE6 side-by-side. Not that easy and not recommended but it can be done.

    3) Use Virtual PC to set up a virtual machine with Internet Explorer 6.

    Fortunatley Microsoft has released another VPC image with a hard disk containing a pre-activated Windows XP SP2 and Internet Explorer 6. Download it here.

    Microsoft is doing a great job with all these new VPC images for us developers and testers so we can test new software, betas and now older software in our own sandbox.

  • Total Commander 7.0 in beta

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Downloads

    Screenshot of Total Commander 7.0 beta 2 My favorite Windows Explorer replacement Total Commander is in beta for version 7.0.

    Total Commander is a great tool for managing files and folders and totally replaces the Windows Explorer for me since it is so much faster in managing files and folders in just one simple window.

    Version 7.0 contains mostly a nicer interface but includes some highlights such as:

    • Show the drive names in the tabs
    • Alternating background colors on files and folders
    • Nicer overwrite dialog with thumbnail preview
    • Run as administrator when privileges are insufficient

    I have been a huge fan of the application since I first discovered it years ago (when it was called Windows Commander). When DOS was the primary interface of the PC I used the ASCII based Norton Commander for DOS.

  • Abandoning Sony-Ericsson in favor of HTC

    Tags: Microsoft, Personal, .NET, Hardware, Windows Mobile

    Yesterday I abandoned my streak of Sony-Ericsson mobile phones which started many years ago. In fact it started when I was studying and working for the summer at one of Ericssons mobile phone assembly lines with the GH-688. Since 1996 I have been using them, except for a short period when my employer forced me to use a Nokia.

    I was choosing between upgrading my Sony-Ericsson P910i to a Sony-Ericsson P990 or the HTC TyTN. After some consideration I went to the mobile phone store and made a deal with the salesman.

    Sony-Ericsson P990 HTC TyTN

    So now I'm in posession of a brand new HTC TyTN a Windows Mobile 5.0 based Pocket PC phone and I really like it so far!

    The reason for purchasing the TyTN was:

    Operating System

    The TyTN uses Windows Mobile 5.0, which should suite me better since I now can use the .NET Compact Framework to develop applications. The Sony-Ericsson P-series uses Symbian-OS with the UIQ platform. UIQ is not bad, but has it's limits in programmability (compared to the well known .NET world). Unfortunatley Sony-Ericsson aquired UIQ Technology AB a few weeks ago, which I think is troublesome since UIQ will probably not appear in other phones than Sony-Ericsson phones.


    The TyTN feels much more modern than the (really long delayed) P990. If P990 appeared a year ago, when first promised, I think I would have got one.

    Keyboard and screen

    I'm pretty convenient with and fast writer of the P910 keyboard so the P990 keyboard is okey, but the TyTN keyboard is so much better. It's larger and you flip it out on the side and the screen rotates 90 degrees, so you have a much more better screen to read and write on.


    Since the Pocket PC/Windows Mobile world is larger than the UIQ, there are more software available.


    The Sony-Ericsson synchronization suite is really bad. It has always been troublesome getting it to synch correctly and you always get doubles of all appointments in your phone. The TyTN uses the Microsoft Active Sync which works really smooth with the Microsoft products (Outlook, OneNote etc). Active Sync also acts Active compared to the SE synchronization suite which you manually have to synchronize.

    Only about a day and a half has gone since I got it so I guess there is more to discover.

  • Bredbansbolaget - Telenor has an extremely bad password policy

    Tags: Personal, Internet and the Web, Upset posts

    Bredbansbolaget, one of swedens largest broadband provider owned by Telenor, has a remarkable lousy password policy.

    The password has to be between 5 and 8 characters, and valid characters are a-z, A-Z, 0-9 and _ (underscore).

    With your username and password you can access your personal information, your e-mail, buy music, videos and lots of stuff and have it all on you internet bill.

    Having this bad password policy goes against all recommendations nowadays and I think they really should consider changing it. Of course I am aware of that they will have less consumer support of people forgetting their password and things like that, but as a customer - should I feel safe? Guess not!

    Worht mentioning is that a few months ago they sent out a flyer using regular mail with some information on their new online music shop. The flyer was a folded paper with a small piece of tape holding it folded. The flyer contained your username and password easily visible by just opening the corner of the flyer!

  • XSLT 2.0 is now a Proposed Recommendation by W3C

    Tags: XML

    W3C has announced Proposed Recommendations of XSLT 2.0, XPath 2.0 and XML Query 1.0. It has been seven years since XSLT 1.0 was published and I think it is great that XSLT has been updated.

    Some features that I find interesting in XSLT 2.0 is:


    This instruction let's you match a string to a regular expression


    This instruction now has xhtml as a valid output parameter


    With this you can create sorted sequences

    But the real question is: when can we expect support from our vendors for this?

  • Windows Vista installation experiences

    Tags: Windows Vista

    After years and months and weeks of waiting it was time to finally install Windows Vista RTM.

    I downloaded the ISO image from MSDN and burned it on a DVD, the download was fast but it took me hours of retries to get my hands on the license key, I guess the license servers was overloaded with requests.

    After making one of my hard drives ready I started the installation. This will take me an hour or so maximum I thought after reading all about the new and fast installation and of my experiences with installing the release candidates on Virtual PC's. All went pretty fine, except that it felt soooo slow, until Vista started the installation. It took minutes between the different screens.

    Then the real problems started.

    After a few minutes of looking at the Expanding Files (0%) message an error dialog popped up with the message stating that the installation files may be corrupt - please retry. And I did - several times. After a few times I burned a new DVD - same problem. So I tried to download a new image from MSDN.

    The first informational messages shown when Windows Vista completes the setup and checks performance says:Time is precious... :-)

    Suddenly there was no trace of Vista on the MSDN subscription site and I went over to TechNet where I could find it listed in the recent downloads. But when I clicked on the link it said Access denied. there something strange with this build so they (Microsoft) decided to withdraw the RTM?

    Then I decided to give it another try and I let the setup program format the drive on which I should setup Vista, and it worked! Strange, I did format the disk just before restarting the machine and starting the setup. One reboot, some waiting (approx. 15 minutes), another reboot and I was up and running. 

    Now I am up and running now and updating all the Unknown Devices on the machine - found all of them so far. Read more about it in Jim Allchins post.

    It's 2:41 AM here, and I have to get up early tomorrow...

  • Quintura - see and find

    Tags: Internet and the Web

    My previous post was about the search web site Snap and here is another nice and interesting way to search the net: Quintura - see & find.

    Quintura uses a nice concept in which you start with a search term and the get a cloud in which you can include or exclude matchings to refine your search, all is done visually so you can see how your cloud evolves when you're refining your search.

    The image shows a search for SharePoint and then server was highlighted.

  • Snap Preview

    Tags: Internet and the Web

    Snap is really nice new search tool, that tries to enrich the search experience. A nice intuituve web interface with previews of the search results.

    Scott Watermasysk made me aware of the new Snap preview function - Snap Anywhere, that you now can see on this site when hovering a link.

    I really like all these new and upcoming services that makes your life and website easier...

  • Google, Yahoo and Microsoft teams up on Sitemap protocol

    Tags: Microsoft, Business, XML, Internet and the Web

    According to CNET News Google, Yahoo and Microsoft teams up on using the Sitemap protocol. The Sitemap protocol is an XML standard for describing the site content and the update frequency to make it easier for search engines to crawl a site.

    This is great news for all site developers and owners to have their sites crawled correctly.

    The only problem so far is that you have to submit the Sitemap to each and every crawler that supports the Sitemap protocol.

    I think there should be a HTML LINK rel option, so that you can use HTML like this on your site and have the crawlers check for the tag:

    link rel="Sitemap0.90" title="Sitemap" href=">

  • Announcing: MSDN Locator plugin for Windows Live Writer

    Tags: Windows Live Writer, Downloads, Windows Live

    When writing blog posts I once in a while link to classes and methods in the MSDN Library. So why not simplify this job a bit by writing yet another Windows Live Writer plugin - MSDN Locator plugin for Windows Live Writer.

    Screenshot of the plugin

    The plugin allows you to search for a class, namespace, method or property using the full name and then inserts a link tag with a description (title attribute).

    Here are some samples:

    System.Console.WriteLine, System.IO.Packaging, System.Windows.Xps

    This is just the first version so please report any problems and/or any suggestions for improvements.

    Download the plugin here, it will shortly be available at the Windows Live Gallery.

  • When is the time to install Vista?

    Tags: Windows Vista

    This is a question that I have asked myself, collegaues and clients now for a while. Next week Vista will be available on MSDN Subscriptions and TechNet and I guess that everyone will be there to download it - me too! I have been running the different betas and release candidates for a while and have waited long for this RTM.

    I will not install it on my main work laptop, since I have to use Visual Studio.NET 2003 for a while more, and there are no support for Vista and VS.NET 2003. Vista will instead be installed on a Virtual PC so I can test it there. If I get the time I will do the opposite; XP on a Virtual PC with and Vista as host.

    At home, where I use XP Media Center Edition, the upgrade to Vista Ultimate is a sure thing and I think this is where I will get the most out of Vista for now, and I have already pre-ordered it! I can't wait for it to arrive in january.

    Waiting until january will also result in a number of fixes for Vista and some more device drivers to function properly, there are still some of the drivers for my media center hardware that are in beta.

    What amazes me are all those people downloading, illegal copies of, Vista from the different file sharing sites. $295 is not much for a system like this! Imagine all the time you will spend reinstalling and patching it since you will not recieve security updates and I bet that most of the cracks and patches contains virueses and trojans. Order it the right way and wait until january - it will be worth it!

  • Installing Office 2007 RTM

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    After downloading the latest bits of the Office 2007 RTM ISO's it was time to install it. There are no changes in the installation as I can see at first sight from the latest beta, everything worked fine and smooth and was without much interaction, just the serial key and some optional customization and then about 10 minutes of waiting and I was up and running.

    Before installing make sure that you remove all betas and updates to them including any add-ins such as the Save as PDF or XPS , otherwise the setup will exit.

    When you are done you can go to the Offce site to find the updated add-ins such as the Save as PDF or XPS.

  • MSDN Subscriber Downloads site planned maintenance

    Tags: SharePoint, Microsoft Office, Windows Vista, Downloads

    The MSDN Subscriber Downloads site will be unavailable this friday

    "...from 7:00PM to 9:00PM Pacific time on Friday, November 10, 2006,for planned maintenance and upgrades. Both downloads and product keys will be unavailable..."

    I guess that they are making an update to handle the heavy download request for all the RTM:ed products this week such as Office System 2007 and Vista.

  • Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth rocks!

    Tags: Microsoft, Windows Vista

    A few months ago I saw a video from Microsoft Live Labs in which they presented something called Photosynth; an advanced image collection viewer that combined the images into a 3D view in which you could zoom in and out and walk around it. I really loved the application I saw as a demo.

    Today the team behind Photosynth announced a Technology Preview of the application as an ActiveX control which works really nice!

    Screenshot of Photosynth

    You can sweep around in an environment and zoom into specific targets. I really like the smooth way a photo gets rendered and and more detailed when you zoom into it.

    Imagine the future; Photosynth is integrated in your Vista Media Center application and you take all the photos of your house, summer house or similar and bring them up and and walk around it! I guess that this is a bit far, first off will be some kind of integration with Live Local Search and Virtual Earth where everyone can add their photos of a specific locations or targets.

    Do we ever have to travel anywhere soon? Just put up the heat in your dark apartment, buy some solarium light bulbs, buy some pina colada mix to get into mood and you will soon be walking around in Colloseum in Rome sitting in your old worn out underwear...

  • Visual Studio support on Windows Vista

    Tags: Visual Studio, Windows Vista

    Aaron Brethorst, Program Manager for the Visual Studio - IDE team informed me about a new article on MSDN that explains the Visual Studio Support on Windows Vista.

    The FAQ contains good answers to the common questions on why there is no Visual Studio.NET 2003 support and how to run Visual Studio 2005 with elevated privileges. There are several questions and workarounds worth reading.

    I'm still considering wating for the non-beta version of the Visual Studio 2005 SP1 before migrating to Windows Vista.

  • Microsoft.NET Framework 3.0 released

    Tags: Microsoft, .NET, Visual Studio, Windows XP, WinFX, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003

    The Microsoft.NET Framework 3.0, or just .NET 3.0, has been released by Microsoft as well as the Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET 3.0 and the .NET 3.0 SDK. The downloads are available for Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Vista where applicable.

    The .NET 3.0 is .NET 2.0 extended with new technologies such as Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation and Windows CardSpace.

  • VHD downloads from Microsoft

    Tags: Microsoft, SharePoint, SQL Server, Virtual Server, Windows Server 2003, Downloads

    Microsoft offers a number of VHD downloads at Microsoft Download Center. You can find ready to go/test virtual hard disk images of:

    The Dynamics CRM demo VHD contains a complete server with Windows Server 2003, Active Directory, SQL Server 2005, Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft CRM and Visual Studio 2005.

    This is a great step forward and will make testing of beta server products more efficient. I guess there will be a MOSS 2007 VHD available soon...

  • About Microsoft Open Office Xml document format

    Tags: Microsoft, XML, Microsoft Office, Software

    The new Office document format present in the new Microsoft Office 2007 suite is completely new and open and based on XML. This opens up a lot of possibilites for us developers; there is now an easy way to create your own Word or Excel documents from an application. The file format used is called Ecma Office Open Xml format.

    Previously it has been very difficult or expensive to provide the customers with nice Word or Excel output from an application. For example when delivering an Excel sheet from a website it has been done by creating a table in html and then sending it to the browser with the correct content type (application/, the same thing for Word. But when it came to embedding images or attachments or creating advanced layouts (headers or footers) it has been troublesome. It can be done; for example I created a web application that had a Word document as output, nicely formatted using the mht format.

    Basically zipped Xml files

    The file types that are using this format have extensions like;

    • .docx - Word 2007
    • .xlsx - Excel 2007
    • .xps - XPS files

    These files are essentially a ZIP file, just rename your file or document to .ZIP, and open it with your favorite ZIP manager.

    You will then find a number of files and folders within the compressed file.

    Content of the compressed file

    If you decompress the Open Office file then you will get a set of folders and files, called a package which is divided into parts.

    [Content_Types].xml describes the actual parts of the Microsoft Open Office XML package .

    The _rels folder and .rels file contains the Relationships between the root part and other parts in the package. A folder within a package can contain a _rels folder which contains that folders releationships

    The docProps contains files that describes the document propertes. It should contain a file called core.xml which contains the core properties of the file; such as subject, author etc. It can also contain an app.xml which describes the properties for the file for the application that created the file.

    The word folder, in thic case, contains the actual Word document in a file called document.xml as well as files for fonts, styles and themes.  Other filetypes, such as an .XPS file can contain a folder called Documents in which the document information is found.

    The word folder or other content parts can contain a folder called media, which will contain images or other binary files included in the document


    An example of a relationship in this part is that the media folder contains an image with the filename image1.png which are embedded in the document. The _rels folder contains a file called document.xml.rels which contains this Xml:

    Relationship Id="rId4" Type="" Target="media/image1.png"/> 

    The document.xml file contains an image element (a:Graphic) which contains this Xml element which references the Id of the relationship:

    a:blip r:embed="rId4"/>

    This cannot be more easier, so get your app ready for Office 2007!

    But, what if I nor my clients have Office 2007?

    Don't worry. Instead of making it into a Word 2007 or Excel 2007 document, make a XPS document. The XPS reader is free for download. Read more about it here.

    More reading

    If you would like to read some more on this or if you would like to test it here are some starting points:

    Introducing the Office (2007) Open Xml File Formats - MSDN

    Server-Side Generation of Word 2007 Docs - Ted Pattison

    Walkthrough: Word 2007 XML format - MSDN

    XMl Paper specification - Microsoft

    Sample XPS documents - Microsoft

  • Preventing comment spam using LinkSleeve

    Tags: .NET, C#, XML, Website

    I have a lot of problem with comment spam on the blog as well as spamming on the trackbacks and the problem is spread widely over the blogging world. A lot of you turn off comments or have registration or other methods to get rid of the comment spamming.

    LinkSleeve (SLV - Spam Link Verification) is a link spam solution that checks a text for well-known URL's in a text and tells if it contains any known spam addresses. This service is provided via an XML-RPC service without any licensing.

    This service is ideal for you out there who have built their own blog application, and here is a simple implementation of it in C#:

    public class LinkSleeve{        //
        public static bool IsSpam(string text){
            ILinkSleeve proxy = (ILinkSleeve) XmlRpcProxyGen.Create( typeof(ILinkSleeve) );
            return proxy.Check(text) == 0 ? true : false;      }
        public interface ILinkSleeve{
            //INFO: must be public for .NET 2.0 support
            int Check(string text);

    The Check method returns true if the text seems to contain spam and otherwise false.

    To be able to use this you need to have XML-RPC.NET library.

  • Updates on this blog

    Tags: Website

    I have made some updates to this site, the most noticeable are the new addresses (URL's) to the posts which now should be more descriptive than just an id-number. The permalinks in the feeds should be the same though.

    If you notice anything annoying or wrong, please leave a comment.

  • Convert a feed to PDF

    Tags: Internet and the Web

    RSS 2 PDF is a nice web application that turns an RSS into a PDF file, which can be useful when you would like to store a feed. The result is a PDF document with bookmarks to all posts in the feed.

    Try it out for my feed here.

  • Zune desktop theme aka Royale Noir theme

    Tags: Microsoft, Windows XP, Microsoft Office

    A few days ago Microsoft officially released a modified Royale theme in black. The Royale theme is the one used in Windows XP Media Center. Now there is an updated variant of that theme called Zune desktop theme, download it here. This theme looks really great and matches the black and silver themes in the new Office 2007 and the default theme for Windows Media Player 11.

  • Reset the experimental hive of Visual Studio 2005

    Tags: .NET, Visual Studio

    When developing applications and/or integrations for Visual Studio 2005 with the Visual Studio 2005 SDK, for example using the DSL Tools, the testing and debugging is done using a Visual Studio Instance that are running with a special registry hive, instead of the normal so you don't mess up your normal Visual Studio operations.

    After a while, when you have created a lot of testing applications the Visual Studio interface is bloated with messed up toolbars, menus and templates you will need clear this experimental hive. Fortunatley the VS SDK comes with a utility called VsRegEx.exe which will reset the hive to the original state or to the Last Known Good state.

    To reset it to the original state, just use the following command:

    c:\Program Files\Visual Studio 2005 SDK\2006.09\VisualStudioIntegration\Tools\Bin>VsRegEx.exe getorig 

  • Snow in Sweden!

    Tags: Personal

    A view from the window of the train It's snow in Sweden to everyones surprise! Yesterday Stockholm in Sweden received a few centimeters of snow and the quicksilver reached a few knots below zero degrees Celsius and the whole town went crazy. Cars in the ditches, cars in the wrong lane, busses burning rubber on the ice, frozen train name it!

    The thing that amazes me is that it comes as a surprise every year, we have been having snow and winter here in Sweden for the last 10.000 years!

    Me sitting on the train Today I'm sitting on a train, going to Gothenburg for a meeting. I am lucky this train is only an hour late, but crowded with people from other cancelled trains. The trains are supposed to have Internet access but the wireless network and the gateway is overloaded of everyone trying to do something useful instead of watching out and look at the beatiful landscape; the sun is shining and the trees are white of snow.

    I'm going back to Stockholm later this day, and I really hope that I will get home before I'ts time to go up again, and change to winter tires :-)

  • Comments now working

    Tags: Website

    The comments on this blog should now be working. I had some glitch in my spam detection, which should now be fixed.

  • Even better encapsulation of getting a value from XmlNode

    Tags: .NET, C#, XML

    Marcus writes in his blog how he often ends up with a method that reads an attribute from an XmlNode object. He has optimized his method so that the exception handling will be minimal, since that is pretty expensive.

    This is a pretty common scenario for me and I have an even better solution, that does'nt involve exception handling at all.

    private static string GetAttribute(XmlNode node, string name)
        XmlElement elm = node as XmlElement;
        if (elm == null) {
            return "";
        return elm.GetAttribute(name);

    This method uses the C# as operator which cast the XmlNode to an XmlElement, if it fails it will return null instead of invoking exception handling.

    If you compare the performance of this and Marcus it's about the same using all three of them when there is an attribute with that name on the XmlNode object, but if it is not then this method is faster. 10.000 iterations of these three different implementations with an attribute that does not exist on the Xml node then we get these results:

    • Marcus first method (try/catch): 0,878 seconds
    • Marcus optimized method (foreach): 0,877 seconds
    • My implementation (cast): 0,001 seconds

    Comparisons when hitting a correct attribute looks like this for 1.000.000 iterations:

    • Marcus first method (try/catch): 0,200 - 0,240 seconds
    • Marcus optimized method (foreach): 0,133 - 0,284 seconds
    • My implementation (cast): 0,112 - 0,257 seconds

    If you have more attributes on the Xml node then Marcus optimized method will start to suffer. These timings are for 1.000.000 iterations and 6 attributes:

    • Marcus first method (try/catch): 0,323 - 0,342 seconds
    • Marcus optimized method (foreach): 0,523 - 0,533 seconds
    • My implementation (cast): 0,309 - 0,310 seconds

    You can also write this code inline (and allocate the XmlElement outside the loop so it's only allocated once), i.e. don't create a method for it, and you will have about 10% performance increase on a lot of iterations.

    This is what I really like, you may call me an optimization nerd, but that is the beauty of programming...

    Anyone have an even better implementation?

    Note: The times was measured with QueryPerformanceCounter in Kernel32.dll

  • Microsoft XPS Essentials Pack

    Tags: Microsoft, .NET, XML, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, Software, Downloads

    To view XPS files, if you do not have Windows Vista or Microsoft.NET Framework 3.0, you can download the Microsoft XML Paper Specification Essentials Pack Version 1.0. The download contains an XPS Reader, very much like the Adobe PDF reader and an XPS Document writer, which allow you to print to XPS files.

    There are other goodies in this pack such as:

    • an XPS IFilter that will help you index XPS files, with Windows Desktop Search for example
    • Windows shell handlers for thumbnail views in Windows Explorer

    The pack requires Windows 2000, 2003 or XP with the latest service packs and Microsoft Core XML Services 6.0. It's still a beta, but worth a shot.

    Read more about the XML Paper specification here where you also can find the specification and sample files.

  • Custom search engines - samples

    Tags: .NET, SharePoint, Internet and the Web, Windows Live

    Yesterday I wrote a quick post on Google Co-op and Windows Live Search Macros and i thought that I should provide you with two great samples.

    Lawrence Liu has set up a custom search on Windows Live Search called SharePoint Community Search. The search focuses on SharePoint related sites and blogs.

    Gavin Joyce, the man behind, has created a .NET Search Engine using Google Co-op. Gavin invites everyone to contribute with .NET releated sites that should be in the search scope.

  • Windows Desktop Search 3.0 RTW

    Tags: Microsoft, SharePoint, Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Windows Live

    Microsoft has released Windows Desktop Search 3.0 RTW and it's available for download here (XP x86, other versions are available at Microsoft Download Center). I have been using the beta 2 extensively since the release, and the betas before that. It's a great desktop search application and integrates incredibly nice with the upcoming Office 2007. Finding e-mails in Outlook 2007, documents on your harddrive or captured images in OneNote 2007 is really easy and fast. Give it a try!

    Windows Desktop Search is the desktop part of the Microsoft search commitment. The other two main parts are the Live Search, for searching the Internet, and SharePoint Server 2007 for the enterprise search.

    Windows Live Gallery provides you with a number of great plugins for WDS, you can find plugins for Notes, .MSG files and others here.

  • Custom search engines

    Tags: Microsoft, Internet and the Web, Windows Live

    Both Google and Microsoft have released custom searches which allows you to create your own specialized searches. Microsoft call it Windows Live Search Macros and Google Google Co-Op. They are basically the same and allows you to create search engines that are specialized for a certain interests, sites or set of keywords.

    livesearchMicrosoft Search Macros is the easiest one to start with and with a few simple clicks and forms you are done. Before saving a macro you have to have a valid Windows Live account and then create a Creator ID, which will identify your search macros. For example I have registered wictorwilen as a creator id and my macros will appear under  You have the ability to share your searches or keep them for yourself.

    googlecoopGoogle Co-Op is basically the same, you have to have a valid Google account and then you can create and share your search enginge just as with Windows Live Search Macros. Co-op requires that you have a keyword to search for but Search Macros allows you to just specify a set of sites, but Co-op have to option to search all sites for the keyword an emphasize on specified sites. The Url to the custom search is not that user friendly in Co-Op, it will be something like this:

    Both of them have the option to customize the user interface of you search engine.

    Googles Co-Op includes a number of additional features that I find really interesting especially the function to refine results of searches. You can help improving the searches of certain topics, which means that you have the possibility, if you think of yourself as en expert in a certain topic, to add annotations and sites that should be relevant to the topics so the search will be more accurate.

    In the end choosing your custom search provider is highly a matter of taste and feeling. As of now I find the Google search index more interesting and better, but the custom search from Live Search is easier and have a better user interface.

  • Why do things always fail when doing a demo?

    Tags: Personal, Business, Internet Explorer

    Demonstrating applications for customers is a haunted task. When doing a demo for a customer at least one thing will fail or result in an unexpected result; a brand new error, a debug dialog box with unwanted text, test content that should not be read by the ones you are demoing for etc. If it's not the application then you have some other things messing up; no connection between the laptop or projector or no connection to the network.

    This will happen even if you thoroughy go through your demo before and prepare everything, and you know that the application is working as it should.

    It happened me today; for some reason the laptop decided to zoom down to 10% in Internet Explorer 7 ,when I should demo our application, as soon as I moved the mouse in the Internet Explorer window. When returning back to the office I found out that the ctrl-key for some reason was stuck.

    But, since you know that something always will happen the real art of doing a demo is the knowledge of this and talking your way out of it or having a good backup plan.

    Do you have any nice stories to share on this subject?

  • Winternals resurrected in Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack

    Tags: Business, XML, Windows Vista, Software

    The Windows Vista blog announces the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a desktop solution that will help Windows desktop users tune their applications and operating systems. It will include applications and features that will enhance:

    • desktop deployment
    • application comaptibility
    • diagnostics and repair

    This pack is a result of Microsoft aquiring a handful of nice companies, such as the great Winternals.

    You can read all about it at the Desktop Optimization Pack site.

    When I first read through that page something caught my attention:

    Why are all the downloadable files .PDF 's? Why don't Microsoft use their own .XPS file format as an alternative?

    I don't mean that they should skip PDF, but if Microsoft would like to promote XPS they should really use it on their site.

  • Update your feeds!

    Tags: Personal, Website

    From now on my feeds are published through FeedBurner to get better statistics, yeah I'm a fan of stats. I've been using Google Anlytics for this site and others for some long time now and are very satisfied with it - but the lack of tracking feeds or any other type non-script-enabled stuff annoys me. From what I can understand Urchin (the company Google turned into Google Analytics) had that possibility before when making e-mail campaings, but I can't get it to work. If you have any idea how to I'd be glad.

    So you out there who already subscribes, please update your feed and point to the new feed at:


  • Dell XPS M1210

    Tags: Personal

    Last week I recieved my brand new laptop, an Dell XPS M1210. The time had come to throw my Dell Inspiron 9100 through the window!

    The 9100 has been a great laptop through the last two and a half years but my machine was a monday sample. I was on my third power adapter, one blew up with the smell of gun powder and the second stopped working. I had to switch battery once, when the old one could last for nine minutes. The last 7-8 months I got a BSOD each time I booted it and several times in a row if the laptop was cold, due to some error in the graphics card. I have reinstalled it numerous times and switched hard drive once, since the earlier one started trashing my files. I  have not been able to listen to music for a year, since the speaker output only gives my the left channel (oh, I replaced that part once) and when I was using it as a laptop I got burn marks on my thighs. On the positive side I have walked around with a nuclear powerplant - both in power and in weight!

    Dell Inspiron XPS M1210 vs 9100

    The XSP M1210 is smaller, lighter and faster but lack the great screen of the 9100, but I most often use an external monitor so I don't care that much about that. Now I can be on the road for 4-5 hours with the third of the weight. The screen is really good and the keyboard works fine. It has a small built-in camera, so Skyping is really smooth. The M1210 is equipped wiht four USB and one Firewire port but it lacks DVI output. It has 2 GB RAM and a Intel Core 2 Duo processor and a 256 MB NVIDIA GeForce Go 7400 graphics card.

    I read a lot of reviews before ordering it and I really think that this is the piece of hardware that will fit me! I have not put it through any extensive testing yet, but the performance is really good when developing and running Virtual Server or Virtual PC (I'm trying out 2007 beta now) works really smooth. I don't hope this one will cause as much headache as the last one :-), but there is one reinstall coming up really soon - Vista!

  • Task Manager in Windows Vista

    Tags: Windows Vista

    The Task Manager in Windows Vista (RC2) has improved somewhat since Windows XP. There are some really nice new features that makes the Task Manager more useful.

    Task Manager in Windows Vista

    First of all the Processes tab has been split into two: Processes and Services. This will makes it more easier to find the processes in the lists and the lists has also been improved with descriptions of the processes. On the Services tab you will also find a shortcut to the Services Management Console.

    Task Manager in Windows Vista

    The Performance tab has gotten a facelift with a shortcut to the Resource Monitor which will give you much more information on the usage of the resources of your machine and is far more useful for measuring performance (which Task Manager never was intended to be used for).

     Task Manager in Windows Vista

    Resource Monitor in Windows Vista

  • Simple List Extensions in my feed

    Tags: XML, Internet Explorer, Website

    Simple List Extensions (SLE) is a set of extensions to RSS 2.0 and Atom feeds created by Microsoft to make it easier to exposing ordered lists through the feeds.

    Simple List Extension contains a set of tags that tells the feed readers how to sort or filter the items in the feed. It also contains a tag that instructs the reader to interpret the feed as a list. If the feed is marked as a list the reader should treat the feed as the complete ordered list which means that readers must remove any cached items not present in the feed.

    I did a test om my RSS feed with the extensions and when you watch it through a SLE enabled reader, Internet Explorer 7 for instance, you will now see the possibility to sort the items based on the number of comments each item has.

    Note that when inserting the SLE tags the default Sort by and Filter by functions in IE7 is removed. I had to add the filter by category and sort by date and title to my feed.

    This is how the feed looks like:

    <rss version="2.0" xmlns:cf=""><channel> ... <cf:listinfo><cf:sort element="pubDate" label="Date" data-type="date" default="true"/><cf:sort element="comments" label="Comments" ns="" data-type="number"/><cf:sort element="title" label="Title" data-type="text"/><cf:group element="category" label="Category/tag"/></cf:listinfo> ... </channel>

  • Language problems with

    Tags: Windows Live Writer, Windows Live

    Yesterday I sat at home using my XP Media Center and decided to check out the Windows Live Gallery if ther were any new interesting Writer Plugins. I fired up Internet Explorer and browsed to the gallery via the link from one of my earlier posts to my Acronyms Plugin.Windows Live Gallery menu in swedish

    I ended up in an error page that said that the request could not be handled, pleas try again in five minutes. The page was in swedish and provided a link to the Gallery start page, which also was in swedish and there were no links to the Writer Plugins. To bad for people in sweden! But, it all worked fine on my laptop a few hours ago and my first guess, which was right, was that Internet Explorer was defaulting to the Swedish language (found under Internet Options - Languages), and my laptop used English (United States).

    This, of course, made me to test some stuff - how do I change it to the english version without changing the browser!

    This seemed more problematic than I expected! I tried to search for the plugin and found nothing, even when I specified to search in Enligsh.

    I tried to sign in using my Windows Live account - did not matter. I tried to find some Settings on that could change the market for the Gallery (this only worked on not The help instructed me to change the IE settings.

    I think not having the option to change language or as it is right now, you get an error when trying to reach a page that don't exist in your language is embarrassing. I have worked with a lot of content management tools and they have at least a link to the page in the original language.

    Please team: implement an change language/market function for the different sites and a better exception handling for languages.

  • Add Office 2007 icons to SharePoint 2003

    Tags: SharePoint, Microsoft Office

    Here is a quick instruction on how to install the Microsoft Excel 2007 and Microsoft Word 2007 default icons to your SharePoint 2003 site.

    First of all you need these two icons, right-click them and choose Save Picture As.

    Copy the two .gif files into the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\IMAGES\ folder.

    Then open the file C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\60\TEMPLATE\XML\docicon.xml with your favorite XML editor and add these two lines under the ByExtension element:

    <Mapping OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments" EditText="Microsoft Office Word 2007" Value="icdocx.gif" Key="docx" />

    <Mapping OpenControl="SharePoint.OpenDocuments" EditText="Microsoft Office Excel 2007" Value="icxlsx.gif" Key="xlsx" />

    Save the file and reset the IIS and you're done.

  • Windows Live Writer 1.0 beta and Metaweblog API

    Tags: Windows Live Writer

    Windows Live Writer has been upgraded and I wrote a post on the Metaweblog standard conformance of WLW in a previously.

    The metaWeblog.getCategories I suggested to use to get it to work with Windows Live Writer will now fail since Writer expects that a description is passed in the response.

    That is your response has to look like this, watch the lines 18-21 and 32-35.

    1 <?xml version="1.0"?> 2 <methodResponse> 3 <params> 4 <param> 5 <value> 6 <array> 7 <data> 8 <value> 9 <struct>10 <member>11 <name>categoryid<name>12 <value>1</value>13 <member>14 <member>15 <name>title< span="">name>16 <value>Category 1< span="">value>17 <member>18 <member>19 <name>description< span="">name>20 <value>Description 1< span="">value>21 <member>22 </struct>23 <struct>24 <member>25 <name>categoryid< span="">name>26 <value>2</value>27 <member>28 <member>29 <name>title< span="">name>30 <value>Category 2< span="">value>31 <member>32 <member>33 <name>description< span="">name>34 <value>Description 2</value>35 </member>36 </struct>37 </value>38 </data>39 </array>40 </value>41 </param>42 </params>43 </methodResponse>

  • No Visual Studio support in Windows Vista...

    Tags: Microsoft, Visual Studio, Windows Vista, Virtual Server, Upset posts

    Windows Vista will be released later this year to partners and volume license customers and in the beginning of 2007 to the masses. A successful release of a software product such as Windows Vista requires that a lot of consultants use it and can recommend it to the companies.

    The last few days it has come out in the open that Windows Vista will not support Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 until the first service pack is released, during the first half of 2007, and even then it will be compatibility issues. Visual Studio.NET 2002 and 2003 will definitley not be supported on the Windows Vista platform!

    I think this is outrageous, and I'm not alone!

    Visual Studio.NET 2003 is one of the most used development platforms today, and the lack of support for it in Windows Vista will result in that a lot of developers will not use Windows Vista as their primary development platform.

    Of course you can use Virtual PC or Virtual Server on Windows Vista and have all of you development done in them. But this requires that you have a good hardware platform and makes the development more lengthy.

    I really want to use Windows Vista on my development machine and therefore I ask Microsoft to tell us exactly what is not supported when using Visual Studio 2005, pre and post SP1 and what exactly is not supported when using Visual Studio.NET 2003.

    Sure, I can try it for myself, but that will not calm my clients nor myself!

    Last week I met with a company that the next year will change/upgrade their whole PC platform, more than 1.000 PCs, and they will probably not go with Windows Vista directly and they will definitly not go with it if not their suppliers and consultants don't.

  • Acronyms Plugin for Windows Live Writer updated and added to Windows Live Gallery

    Tags: .NET, Windows Live Writer

    Today the Windows Live Gallery was updated with a plugin gallery for Windows Live Writer and my plugin for Windows Live Writer is updated with a new and improved interface and functionality. The Windows Live Writer team has gone through the plugin and given me good feedback, which now are implemented.

    • Implementation as a simple content source
    • Possible to write your own custom description of an acronym
    • Improved user interface

    If you want to download it do it here or from the Windows Live Gallery.

    Acronyms plugin for Windows Live Writer

  • Delay write failed on Virtual Server 2005

    Tags: Virtual Server, Windows Server 2003

    I ran into some problems, that I thought I would share - with the reason, on one of our Virtual Server 2005 R2 machines, running Windows 2003 R2. We had problems copying files to the machine and recieved Delay Write Failed application popups, and it recorded the following event in the Event Log.

    Event Type: ErrorEvent Source: DiskEvent Category: NoneEvent ID: 11Date: 9/26/2006Time: 1:30:05 PMUser: N/AComputer: SERVERDescription:The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1.

    The reason for this was that the Virtual Server host disk was running out of space and the harddisks were running dynamically expanding virtual disks.

  • Outlook 2007 Ribbon annoyance

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    Outlook 2007 RibbonI have been running Microsoft Outlook 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh now for a while and it's a great improvement to the Beta 2 but. There have been a lot of changes to the user interface in this release.

    One thing that annoys me is the location of the Send button in a mail that you are composing. The most natural place should be where the Paste button is placed today.

    My suggestion is to insert a slot for the Send button to the left of the Clipboard in the Ribbon bar.

    What do you think?

  • Removing cached NTLM passwords in Internet Explorer

    Tags: Security, Windows XP, Internet Explorer

    I recently ran into a problem where I had by mistake checked the Remember password checkbox in Internet Explorer 7 (RC) when visiting a NTLM based website, then I wanted to get back to use my currently logged on user to access this website. There is no way to clear these usernames and passwords using the standard ways in Internet Explorer.

    First of all I tried to turn off the Automatic logon only in Intranet Zone and entering a new but faulty password for the user and checking the remember password checkbox. This cleared the old password but after resetting the automatic logon Internet Explorer always asked for my password for that site and I didn't want to enter my current logon information and save the password (this would only ask me for a new password whenever I change it).

    After some searching on the Internet I found no other solution than the one I tried above. But after digging into the problem for some time I found out where Internet Explorer 7 RC stores the cached credentials. They are stored in file (Documents and Settings\\Application Data\Microsoft\Credentials\SID>\Credentials) that I removed (of course after making a backup). Then I rebooted the computer and the automatic logon worked fine.

    If you are interested in what usernames and passwords that are stored on your machine you can check out Nir Sofers Password Recovery Utilities.

  • DSL Tools V1 Released!

    Tags: .NET, Visual Studio, Downloads

    I'm so happy, the DSL Tools V1 is shipped as a part of the Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 SDK V3. I've been waiting for such a long time, now we can finish up our designers and make them available to our developers, partners and clients so they will be able to develop more easily.

    I'm currently downloading it, so I'll have to see how much has changed since the last beta version, hopefully not that much.

    The Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 SDK Version 3 can be donwloaded from the VSIP Program site.

    Update: Remove all previous CTP versions of the V3 SDK before installing this release

  • Open Microsoft Office 2007 documents in Office 2000, XP or 2003

    Tags: Microsoft Office, Downloads

    Microsoft just released the Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh (download here) to the masses. One of the interesting parts Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats, are also updated as B2TR

    With this download (available in English, Japanese, French, German and Spanish) you can open, edit, save and create  Microsoft Office 2007 files using Microsoft Office 200, Microsoft Office XP or Microsoft Office 2003.

    The following formats are supported:

    • Word - .docx, .docm
    • PowerPoint - .pptx, .pptm, .potm, .ppsx, .ppsm
    • Excel - .xlsb, .xlsx, .xslm, .xltx, .xltm, .xlam

    Great, this makes it more easy to deploy Microsoft Office 2007 within an organisation.

    Since the native PDF and XPS support is dropped in this release here are the downloads to the separate downloads for these addins

  • McAfee Security Center installation sucks

    Tags: Software, Upset posts, Network

    Here goes a post, in which I am really upset!

    One of our customers has implemented a new VPN solution that requires us to have McAfee or Symantecs anti-virus programs. I have been using Grisoft AVG for a long time and are very satisified with that one, but they don't accept it so I had to change. If you have not tried AVG out, then do it, it's free for personal use.

    Since I live in Sweden I wen't to the swedish McAfee site, signed up for the software and payed with my credit card, good rebates and everyting was fine. Then I logged in to my McAfee account and clicked on the link to start the installation.

    First annoyance: no option for a separate download only a direct in-browser installation was available.

    Second annoyance: I'm using Internet Explorer 7 and the menu appeared to far away from the link that it came out of focus when trying to click it so it disappeared. Solution: use the tab key and enter key.

    After a few blocked pop-ups and ActiveX control warnings it started downloading.

    Third annoyance: to many ActiveX controls were involved!

    The download started out fine; downloading virus signatures, program and setup script. Then it asked me to save a shortcut on the desktop to be able to continue installation after a reboot, I clicked yes. Then an actual program started and the installation continued. Bang - a dialog appeared stating that the installation cannot continue without reason why. The recommendation was to reboot and try again.

    I rebooted and looked for the shortcut on the desktop to continue, no shortcut but there were a lot of files remaining in the Program Files folder.

    Fourth annoyance: should not a failed installation remove all of the remains?

    I uninstalled my previous AV software and made sure all applications was shut down and redid the procedure again - same error.

    I booted into safe mode redid the procedure once again - same error.

    Okey, let's try Firefox: "please upgrade your internet browser" with a link to the Microsoft Internet Explorer site.

    Fifth annoyance: not supporting Firefox!

    By now I am furious, I have to get connected to my client since they have an urgent support incident! I took a walk around the office to calm down and went back to my computer.

    I went to the US McAfee site and logged into my account and there I finally found a normal download link in which I could download a small program that did the installation and after a while (while writing this post and rebooting once) I was up and running!

    But, yes a but, the ActiveShield features was not installed!

    Searched through the McAfee support database with no luck and finally came to the McAfee Virtual Technician (another ActiveX control) that scans your machine for problems with the McAfee software. It found some problems and fixed them. Now I could see a menu with the Virus Scan options but all of them led to a dialog stating that The feature is not install, please reinstall!

    This led med to uninstall McAfee Security Center. Control Panel -> Add Remove Programs! After uninstalling some of the components and restarting again (not everything could be removed at once) I tried to uninstall the last bits, the Security Center, it stated Legacy programs must be removed first. What the heck!

    After some fiddling I managed to find a folder under Program Files called that I removed and then I was able to remove the last bits and of course reboot once more.

    Sixth annoynace: Uninstall programs should be able to uninstall and requiring at the most one reboot and should not include any manual removal not mentioned anywhere!!

    So I downloaded it once more and proceded with the installation. This time it went fine! Phew...

    This costed me almost a whole day to figure out, to bad that our client won't be compensated by McAfee nor me for the lousy ActiveX based installation program used on the Swedish site. I feel sorry for all people trying to install an Anti-Virus program and are not that experienced with computers...

  • IPSEC Services could not be started

    Tags: Windows XP, Network

    I ran into some troubles with the IPSec Services on my Windows XP SP2 machine today. This service was needed by a VPN application that I installed to connect to one of our customers. But during the last re-install of my machine, I set this service to manual startup, and now when I tried to start it It could not start. I recieved the following error message when trying to start it:

    Error message 10048: Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted.  

    The Event Viewer displayed the following:

    Event Type: ErrorEvent Source: Service Control ManagerEvent Category: NoneEvent ID: 7023Date: 2006-09-11Time: 10:08:10User: N/AComputer: LAPTOPWWDescription:The IPSEC Services service terminated with the following error: Only one usage of each socket address (protocol/network address/port) is normally permitted.

    To find out which application that used the ports that the IPSEC Services needed I started up a command prompt and used netstat, as below, to find out the PID of the process. This command below will display all the active UDP connections and the PID (-o). The findstr function searches the output from the netstat and shows the lines containing the text "500" - which is the UDP port the IKE uses.

    c:\> netstat -p UDP -n -a -o | findstr 500UDP *:* 316UDP *:* 316

    Using the Task Manager I found out that PID 316 was used by the Cisco VPN Service and I shut it down and then IPSEC services started fine!

  • XML Notepad 2006 - what's the fuzz about?

    Tags: .NET, C#, XML, Visual Studio, Windows Live Writer

    There seems to be some kind of software release frenzy at Redmond right now. Microsoft are spitting out application after application and I don't mean the two huge ones; MIcrosoft Windows Vista and Microsoft Office (Server) System. Applications, small and big, like Internet Explorer 7, Windows Live Writer, XNA Game Studios, different Microsoft Live applications, Windows Desktop Search and now XML Notepad 2006 are dropping out from the software factory. It's fun, but it takes me so much time reading and catching up on the releases.

    XML Notepad 2006 is a small Windows application, built upon the Microsoft.NET 2.0 framework using the C# language by Chris Lovett, that provides "a simple and intuitive User Interface for browsning and editing XML documents". My first reaction, before I downloaded it, was  - yeah, great - finally a structured XML editor. But after installing it and running it for just few minutes I realized that this was not the software I was waiting for. It has a lot of good things;

    • Strucutred view of an
    • Schema validation
    • XSL
    • Find and replace functionality

    Ok, this looks fine at the first glance, but what I really wanted was a structured XML tree view with some kind of synchronized XML-source view. If you try to view the source then it just fires up Notepad. I think the current Tree View of XML Notepad 2006 with just the XML node text''s are pretty useless.

    I work a lot with XML documents of all types and usually use Visual Studio 2005 (or the Express products) to edit them, it works fine and I think I will still use VS2005 to edit XML documents or plain ol' Notepad.

    It's not all bad, it can be a good application if this is adressed as well as an intellisense based XML source editor. If I see to myself I find it somewhat easier to work with a text editor, but having the tree view at hand will allow me to navigate through the documents faster.

    You should give it a try and download it here.

  • Custom implementation of the Metaweblog API and Windows Live Writer

    Tags: XML, Windows Live Writer

    This blog has been powered by my own custom implementation of the Metaweblog


    , because I wanted to test Windows Live Writer. As I posted before the current implementation of the Metaweblog API by WLW is not correct in the beta. According to the WLW newsgroup, on this issue, the team are taking a second look at the Metaweblog specifications. Funny thing is that WLW does not even follow the specifications found at MSDN.

    The big problem is the metaWeblog.getCategories method which should return the categories of a specific blog. The response should, according to the Metaweblog specs, contain description, htmlUrl and rssUrl, but Windows Live Writer wants a response with categoryid and title. It seems like all of the different blog providers implemented by WLW has this issue; Movable Type (mt.getCategoryList expects categoryId and categoryName) and even Windows Live Spaces (which uses the metaWeblog.getCategories).

    Today I got a comment on a previous post from Michael Ekegren who also stumbled upon the same problem as I did. So, if you would like to use WLW to your own homebrewed Metaweblog API, you have to return a response like this to the metaWeblog.getCategoris XML-RPC call.

    Disclaimer: This is just how I got it to work on the current beta of Windows Live Writer and this will probably get fixed in the future and it is not the way it should be done according to the Metaweblog specifications.

    1 <?xml version="1.0"?> 2 <methodResponse> 3 <params> 4 <param> 5 <value> 6 <array> 7 <data> 8 <value> 9 <struct>10 <member>11 <name>categoryid</name>12 <value>1</value>13 </member>14 <member>15 <name>title</name>16 <value>Category 1</value>17 </member>18 </struct>19 <struct>20 <member>21 <name>categoryid</name>22 <value>2</value>23 </member>24 <member>25 <name>title</name>26 <value>Category 2</value>27 </member>28 </struct>29 </value>30 </data>31 </array>32 </value>33 </param>34 </params>35 </methodResponse>

    Another problem with the categories in WLW is that the metaWeblog.getPost and  metaWeblog.getRecentPosts shall return an XML-RPC struct for the categories for each post. Accordning to the specification the struct should contain an array of the titles of the catgeories as below:

    1 <member> 2 <name>categories</name> 3 <value> 4 <array> 5 <data> 6 <value>Category 1</value> 7 <value>Category 2</value> 8 </data> 9 </array>10 </value>11 </member>

    But Windows Live Writer expects it to be an array of the id's of the categories instead, like this:

    1 <member> 2 <name>categories</name> 3 <value> 4 <array> 5 <data> 6 <value>1</value> 7 <value>2</value> 8 </data> 9 </array>10 </value>11 </member>

    Hope this helped someone out there :-). If not I have it all documented so I know why I did this when there is a new version of Windows Live Writer out...

  • DSL Tools version 1 soon here!

    Tags: .NET, XML, Visual Studio

    Finally! According to Stuart Kent, program manager at Microsoft, the DSL Tools V1 will be a part of the Visual Studio 2005 SDK Version 3 at the first part of september.

    I have now a long time waited for this release so we can build our own designers for Visual Studio 2005. Currently my company have a huge demand from our customers that our application should be more easily customized, and the DSL tools will really help us out.

    I have been trying the CTP's for DSL tools throughout this last year, and I have big hopes for this part of the SDK. The CTP's required a lot of XML editing and some really hard-to-understand error messages. So, let's wait a few more weeks and see what the DSL team has come up with.

  • Windows Vista startup sound

    Tags: Personal, Windows Vista, Windows Media Center

    There has been a lot of discussions around the net on the non-customizable and non-removable Windows Vista startup sound. Robert Scoble has a post that explains why the Vista team decided to design it like that.

    My personal opinion, like Roberts, is that I would like to decide for myself if I wan't a startup sound when I turn my computer on. For example; at home I have Windows XP Media Center which would benefit from having that sound, it lets me calibrate the volume before I put on a movie and it makes me aware of when the machine is up and running.

    But when I'm on the road, especially on trains, or in areas where people get pissed if someone even whispers like lectures, seminars etc it is so embarrassing turning on a machine and have a high volume Tadaaaaa telling everyone that you just booted your computer.

    On the Windows Vista Team Blog they justify and compares the sound to the startup sound of Xbox 360. We are talking about a device that you normally don't have with you on the road and when you fire it up you really want some nasty sound!

    So - Vista guys - make it an option for us to turn the sound on or off.

    On a side note the startup sound has been a pain in the ass for me. A few years back when I was running NT4 Workstation I could not get any kind of sound from it for the first few hours it was running, then suddenly the startup sound started and everything was fine...

  • Announcing: Acronyms Plugin for Windows Live Writer

    Tags: Windows Live Writer, Downloads

    To kill some spare time I decided to create a plugin for Windows Live Writer that is named Acronyms Plugin for Windows Live Writer. It's a small and simple plugin that let you search for the meaning of an acronym and insert into you post. Acronyms Plugin for Windows Live WriterYou have to option to insert the acronym with the description inline or as a tooltip. When using the tooltip option the acronym will be inserted with a

    -class called acronym, this can be customized with the properties sidebar of the plugin, so you can easily mark up your acronyms.

    You can download the setup file here:Download Acronyms plugin for Windows Live Writer.

    If you have any suggestions or comments or find anything unusual don't hesitate to contact me at wictor [a] wictorwilen [dot] se.

  • The user interface of Visual Studio

    Tags: Visual Studio, Microsoft Office

    I spend a lot of time using mainly two applications; Microsoft Visual Studio (2003 and 2005) and Microsoft Office (2007). Microsoft Office 2007 introduces a new user interface that simplifies the usage a lot.

    I am a devoted reader to Jensen Harris Office User Interface blog and it has taught me a lot and given me influences on how user interfaces should be built and I try to take his advices in account.

    Normally I would never design a user interface except administration interfaces since I am to technical and I personally believe that it should be done by experts...

    Visual Studio vs Office

    When it comes to how the interface should be designed for usability I think heavily depends on the application but that should only be parameters for the rules of interface design. If you compare Visual Studio and Word - two really different applications but in both you, most of the time, write a lot of text/code. In Visual Studio you use a lot of tool windows and in Office the task panes becomes more and more useful (I really hated them in the beginning). So the basics are pretty common.

    Office 2007 is a revolution in interface design

    • The adaptive Ribbon works really smooth.
    • The Mini Toolbar
    • The Quick Access - fast acess to your

    I really these three would fit just perfect into the next big upgrade of Visual Studio, and I'm not alone, it will not be in Visual Studio 2007 (Orcas) but I wish and hope for the next version, perhaps 2009?

    Yes, I know that a lot of programmers use keyboard shortcuts instead of a mouse and would not gain as much of this as others, but to my experience (did a fast check at work) about 50% of the developers use the mouse to build a solution or project.

    Perfect for the Ribbon...

    I think Visual Studio, now with all the different designers, and even the possibility to create your own designers, would gain a lot from getting a the Ribbon.

    Aaron Brethorst, Program Manager at Microsoft, has his thoughts on the Ribbon in Visual Studio, in the post Sprinkle on a Little Ribbon and You're Good to...Oh Wait. I might agree with him that it would not be that easy to get it into Visual Studio. There might be something in between of the myriads of toolbars in todays Visual Studio and the Ribbon.

    Refactoring should gain a lot from having a Mini Toolbar. Just select the code with mouse and have a Mini Toolbar pop-up with refactoring functions, comment out possibility, create a region and others.

    An example of bad design in Visual Studio

    Here is an example of bad design in Visual Studio when you use the mouse. Let's say that you are writing code and would like to create a new function.


     When you have written the code a small box appears under the first character of the function and you have to hover the mouse to that position and then you will get a small box in which you can click.

    Generate stub 3

    When hovering this box it will expand with a drop down arrow.

    Generate stub 3

    Then clicking it will give you a number of choices.

    Generate stub 1

    In this case the possibility to generate the stub I wanted.

    Would'nt a Mini Toolbar be prefferred here? I gues that Fitt's Law was not used when this interface feature was designed. Jensen Harris: run on over to the building where the Visual Studio interface team members are sitting and give them a few lessons in user interface design.

  • Internet Explorer 7 RC1 - first reactions and bugs

    Tags: Internet Explorer, Windows Vista

    The posts are everywhere that Internet Explorer 7 RC1 is out, and I'm not late to test it out. The download of 15 Mb was fast and the installation was easy; it did uninstall the previous beta of IE7, rebooted and installed the RC1.

    The first think I noticed was that I think it is still a slow-starter, when you open it as the first application after the first boot (it may be my hogging Dell Inspirion 9100?)

    But then the experience was really nice. I checked out a few known bugs which were corrected. I have used IE7 as my primary feed reader since beta 1 and in my opinion it was far from good from the beginning but now it's fast, much faster, easier to navigate (I'm a space bar scroller, which did'nt work in previous betas) and it renders large collections of posts faster.

    Rendering bugg on for Internet Explorer 7 RC1The rendering also seems more stable and fast, I did a quick check on to see the known rendering problem there (the logn/profile part was positioned wrong previously) and it seems gone. Instead we there seems to be trouble with the Google Ads at the top.

    Overall, I think we are getting closer to the final product...

    PS. Windows Vista Build 5536 is out on Microsoft Connect...

  • Testing Windows Live Writer and MetaWeblog API

    Tags: Personal, .NET, C#, Internet and the Web, Windows Live Writer

    This is just me testing my own implementation of MetaWeblog API made in C# and ASP.NET 2.0.

    This post is created using the Windows Live Writer (beta) which of course did not work directly. I had to do some special fixes to get the MetaWeblog API to work according to the specifications I read through. I'll get back about that another day. Now I got to go home to put my daughter to bed.

  • Microsoft Office Server System 2007 demo virtual machine

    Tags: SharePoint, Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Virtual Server

    According to Lawrence Liu Microsoft will release a a demo with Microsoft Office Server System 2007 for Virtual Server as a .VMC and a virtual harddisk for Microsoft Certified Partners as a part of the Techinical demonstration toolkit during the next 4-6 weeks.

    This is great, I guess that it will contain the latest build, and gives us a good opportunity to test and show the new functionlity of MOSS without having to set up new servers or VM's.

    I'd like to see more of this: ready-to-run virtual machines for betas and especially a ready-to-run and optimized setup for Windows 2003 R2 with and/or without SQL Server 2005.

  • Jensen Harris on Office 2007 Fitt's Law

    Tags: Windows XP, Microsoft Office

    The incredible Jensen Harris gives you all the details on how to use Fitt's Law to improve the user interface of your application in the post Giving You Fitts.

    The article gives you a good insight on how to create a great interface using a mathematical approach instead of just lettting a art/creative director making the job. It explains why the northwest corner (as Jensen told us it should be named) has changed so dramatically.

    Can't wait to get my hands on the technical refresh of Office 2007 beta...

  • Optimize Virtual Server hard disks, part II

    Tags: Virtual Server

    This is a follow up post to my last about optimizing the Microsoft Virtual Server hard disks.

    If you use dynamically expanding disks, don't forget to once in a while compact them using the built-in tools or schedule a script that does it for you. Check out Microsoft TechNet Script Center and these scripts and the rest is up to you :-)

    John Howard, program manager of Windows Virtualization, have a post on how to reduce the size of a VHD: VHD Size Reduction that is worth checking out.

  • Scott Dart writes about metadata in Windows Vista Photo Gallery

    Tags: Windows Vista, Windows Media Center

    Scott Dart (Program Manager) has a good blog post on Metadata and the Windows Vista Photo Gallery.

    An interesting article on how Windows Vista Photo Gallery reads and handles the metadata in photos. Since I am a Media Center freak with a lots of digital photos I really hope that Media Center uses the most of this metadata, as I wrote in previous posts; here and here.

  • Optimize Virtual Server hard disks

    Tags: Windows XP, Virtual Server

    Here is a tip and some help for you out there who are using Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 for optimizing the hard disk of the virtual machines.

    Virtual Server 2005 configuration

    First of all make sure that you hard disks are fixed size, that means that they don't have to expand during runtime.

    Then take advantage of the Virtual SCSI adapters, when the Virtual Machine Add-Ons are installed on the virtual server you will have a significant performance increase of up to 20 %.

    This is how you change your IDE disks into SCSI ones:

    1. Shut down the Virtual Server
    2. Add a SCSI adapter to your Virtual Server
    3. Start the server and uninstall the Virtual Machine Add-ons
    4. Restart the server and install the Virtual Machine Add-ons (to be sure that the accelerated SCSI drivers are installed)
    5. Shut down the server
    6. Move the hard disk(s) from the IDE interface to the SCSI interface
    7. Start the server and you are done!


  • Missing Groups link in Google menu

    Tags: Personal, Business, Internet and the Web

    Google has introduced a new Video Search which can be reached from the menu at the Google web site, read about it in the Google Blog.

    This is a nice new feature in which you can upload and share your videos but this post is not about that feature it is about that the Video link has replaced the nice Groups search link!!

    The menuWhen stumbling upon a problem or whenever I try to find help on something I Google for it, and browse throught the first ten hits - then I just click on the Groups link to make the same search in the news groups, where most of your questions are answered. Now I have to click the more link and then select Groups which gives me one click more.

    Please Google put the Groups search back as soon as possible!

  • Never set Windows Update to automatic!

    Tags: Security, Windows XP

    Automatic Update DialogYesterday I wrote about our new server which is now up and running nicely hosting a number of Virtual Server, this morning none of them was up and a few sites and applications was down. This was due to that the server had Windows Update set to Automatic which is recommended by the OS - which had led to that the server rebooted. I've seen it before so this time I found the resolution quick, but the last time it caused me a headache!

    So my recommendation is to never have Windows Update set to automatic! This is not new but take it as a reminder, especially for your servers. The workstations may not suffer that much but imagine that you have left your machine on over the night and you have unsaved data...

  • You need a floppy disk driver when installing Windows Server 2003

    Tags: Microsoft, Windows XP, Windows Vista

    Ok, this may not be new to a lot of you or you have never even thought about it - me neither until a few days ago when I was happily unpacking our brand new Dell PowerEdge 2950.

    I assemled it fast and inserted the Dell OpenManage Server Assistant CD and followed the instructions to install it, this is usually the fastest method and involves so little interaction, everything went fine and it started configuring the RAID and copying files. But after an hour or so I checked it and it was complete at 42%, and I thought lets eat lunch and give it some more time. When I got back it was still stuck at 42%. I rebooted and took the same procedure - and it stalled at 42 again.

    The I tried to get old-school and do it manually, reboot and in with the W2K3 CD and I hit F6 to install 3rd party drivers and it asked for the drivers and then it said it could not locate a floppy disk driver, which I ofcourse did not install or order to the server! What is this, it's now 2006, and I am trying to install Windows Server 2003 R2 and it still asks me to use a floppy disk!!! You can't use a USB memory or a CD or anyting else but a floppy disk!

    After an hour or so searching the internet and running around my colleagues trying to find a floppy disk with an USB interface (which should work according to Microsoft Support) I was back to square one. In a desperate mood I tried the Server Assistand CD again and it still got stuck at 42% even after waiting for a few hours. A side note here is that when it was stuck the mouse worked but the CD-tray could not be ejected.

    When I was so close to give up and throw the server out of the window, I downloaded an old version of the Server Assistand software and tried it! Tadaaa - an hour later I was up and running!

    You learn stuff every day and this time I learned that floppy disks is still a vital part of a modern operating system. Let's see how it is in Longhorn Server and does anybody know how it is in Windows Vista?

  • Tags in Media Center photos

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Media Center

    A few days ago I complained about not being able to categorize photos in Vista Media Center using metadata. I was using the 5384 (beta 2) build!

    mediacentertagsBut in the most recent builds there are a new pivot called Tags, in which you can watch the photos organized by keywords instead of only by date and folders.

    The tags can be edited through the Windows Photo Gallery and is persisted in the image.

    Read more at Matt Goyer's Media Center Blog.

  • The lack of metadata on pictures in Vista Media Center

    Tags: Personal, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Media Center

    Microsoft Windows Vista contains Windows Media Center (in Home Premium and Ultimate) which is a great upate from the Windows XP Media Center Edition. Finally the user interface is taking advantage of widescreen and the navigation is faster and smoother.

    But I think one big thing is still missing in the Media Center interface - editing, sorting and searching pictures using metadata; today you can sort them on date taken! I would find it more useful to search for all images containg images of my family, my vacation in Spain or winter images from our summer house.

    Jpeg images can contain EXIF metadata which can be edited through the normal Windows Explorer interface or other programs. Take a look at Adobes Photoshop Elements in which you can drag and drop the images into categories that is stored in the EXIF information.

    Wouldn't it be great to have that built into Media Center - anyone hearing me up in Redmond?! When viewing an image you press the (i) button on the MCE hand control and select Edit Metadata (or similar) then you can check which categories it should be in or add a new one. Then when viewing the images you could select which category to view.


  • Microsoft Acquires Winternals Software

    Tags: Microsoft, Business, Windows XP

    Winternals Software LP is aquired by Microsoft! Winternal (previously known as NTInternals) is most known by their freeware site Sysinternals a site containing numerous awesome and crucial applications to be used with Windows operating systems such as; RegMon, FileMon, Debug Viewer etc.

    The aquisition is great for Microsoft as they will get their hands on Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell and their knowledge in how to create small, efficient and safe applications. Microsoft really knows how to get the best people and tools...

    I really hope that the Sysinternals applications still will be available to the general public; either as a separate download or integrated in the next generation of Windows operating systems. I don't know how meny times these applications saved my day...


  • Microsoft Partner site does not support Internet Explorer 7

    Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer

    My company is partners with Microsoft and I am the one responsible for managing the partnership and now and then have to log in to the Microsoft partner site to manage the partnership (check out the status of references, products and MCP's). Since I have been using Internet Explorer 7 (beta) for a few months I have not been able to use the site with the browser, unless I fire up my test machine with W2K and IE6.

    A few weeks ago there was an error message saying that I had a non supported browser, but today I discovered that the message says that I have to use the most recent non-beta version of Internet Explorer. Progress! I suspect that the development team of this site is planning an upgrade of the partnership management pages.

  • JavaScript closures

    Tags: Scripting, AJAX

    Ever wondered what JavaScript closures are? Morris Johns has put togehter a nice introduction to the mysterious closures - JavaScript closures for dummies. Make sure to read it before you do any more JavaScripting.

    Understanding JavaScript closures will make your JS programming more efficient and you can avoid the dreaded memory leaks in Internet Explorer especially when making home brewed Ajax applications. And of course learning this stuff is fun for us developers...

  • Microsoft Ultimate Keyboard

    Tags: Microsoft, Windows XP

    Microsoft Ultimate Keyboard

    Microsoft Hardware will later this year release a new keyboard - Ultimate Keyboard. The keyboard is a wireless (bluetooth) and ergonomical keyboard with backlight functionality that senses the light in the room and when you use the keyboard.

    The keyboard are designed for Windows Vista and the Microsoft Live services (Messenger etc).

    I really like the design and that it is an ergonomical layout of the keys. I use that kind of keyboard at work but at home or when sitting at my laptop my fingers more thatn often slip. The Ultimate Keyboard seems to be working fine when not sitting at a desk - like when you are sitting in you sofa with Windows XP Media Center or soon Windows Vista Ultimate!

    I miss the numeric keyboard though, and it took me some time before I learned to use my current (the home, end, pgup etc was changed from 3x2 to 2x3 design) but it always painful (but fun) adapting to new stuff.

    This piece will not be a mainstream gamers device, but more for the plain workstation or sofa sitting Media Center users. It would be fun to watch the employees at finance department working with this keyboard :-)

    Sign me up for one...

  • Outlook 2007 feature: Quick Click

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    Quick Click in Outlook 2007The Outlook 2007 feature Quick Click is a really nice feature; a Quick Click is a defined action to be done when you are single clicking a column on a mail item. You can define Quick Clicks in the mail item views for the columns Categories and Flag Status. Right click the column and select Set Quick Click... to change the action.

    For example; you can define the Quick Click in the Flag column to add a flag with a Tomorrow reminder (default is today).

  • Outlook 2007 Calendar

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    I use the Outlook calendar for everything - the calendar is a central part of my life :-)

    Outlook 2007 has some great features in the calendar view and my favorite is that you see all your completed and upcoming tasks in the calendar view. I normally flag all the incoming e-mails, when I don't have time to read them or when I have to take some action with them. This automatically creates a task in Outlook. From the Calendar view you can then easily see all tasks for the current week or day and you can also easy go back in time and see exactly when you did what and perhaps why.

    OL2K7-create-appointment-1But it's a beta product and one thing really annoys me with the calendar. I am so used to marking a time for an appointment by selecting the time in the calendar and then right-click and select create new appointment.

    OL2K7-create-appointment-2In Outlook 2007 your selection is removed when right-clicking your selection and only the 15 minutes just where you clicked is selected so you have to enter the time and duration manually. I really hope this is a bug and not a feature.

    Tomorrow we have midsummer eve here in Sweden; and it's time for sill and nubbe (herring and schnapps)...

  • Summary of Q2 2006 Microsoft betas

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Windows XP, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Windows Vista

    For me this second quarter of 2006 has been so interesting with all these beta and CTP products from Microsoft. The summer will be a long wait for the Release Candidates and the autumn a huge and shaky wait for the gold products. Here is a short summary of what i think so far;

    Microsoft Expression Graphics DesignerAn interesting product which I have big hopes for, I really like, and have just adjusted, to the vector way of doing my graphics.

    Microsoft Internet Explorer 7The long awaited update of the most popular webbrowser; tabbed interface and integrated RSS reader and a lot of security improvements. Lot of stuff here to implement for Microsoft though; I lack the native support for text/xhtml+xml.

    Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 SDK - Domain Specific LanguagesFor me the most enticing stuff and for my company. We really need this in Visual Studio to get our application development more Visual.

    Microsoft Office 2007 - Word, Excel, PowerPoint...The best improvements in user interface design the last decade. After working with the applications I don't see any reason not to upgrade. The suite is extremely slow - but I hope it's all beta related.

    Microsoft Outlook 2007A great new version of the best PIM product!

    Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007Finally a good product to work with; 2001 was a real buggy fast hack and 2003 lacked the document management features in 2001.

    Windows VistaSecurity, User Interface, Media Center and more memory needed!

  • Do not install Outlook 2003 updates if you have Outlook 2007 beta

    Tags: Windows XP, Microsoft Office

    Just a friendly reminder to all of you that have the Office 2007 beta installed and still have Office 2003 installed: do not install the Office 2003 updates available through Windows Update. I did - stupid me I had the update service on automatic and when turning off the computer I said ok let's install the patches.

    After installing the latest patches, Update for Outlook 2003 Junk Email Filter (KB917149) and a few others, I started to receive the following errors in Outlook:

    Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. MAPI32.DLL is corrupt or the wrong version. This could have been caused by installing other messaging software. Please reinstall Outlook.

    I have seen several mentions of this problem in the newsgroups, and I this is probably the reason.

    It did not help reinstalling Office 2007, so I did a system restore. And of course, don't try this at home (or at work) if you don't have a backup!

  • Microsoft Soccer Scoreboard

    Tags: Microsoft, Personal, XML, Internet and the Web

    Microsoft Soccer ScorecardSitting here in the halftime of the Brazil vs Croatia World Cup Soccer game and enjoying a good game.

    During this FIFA World Cup tournament a must have application is the Microsoft Soccer Scoreboard. It's a nice little application with direct results, standings and schedule of all games and teams. You can also use the application to be your football news RSS reader and Microsoft provides us with a number of interesting football feeds.

    The scorecard is based on a number of XML based feeds that can be found at

    Download it from Microsoft Downloads.

    More help on Soccer Scoreboard can be found at this address.

  • Anatomy of a blog - part II: What is a TrackBack?

    Tags: XML, Internet and the Web, Website

    This is the second part of my dissection of a blog and I will try to explain what a TrackBack is.TrackBack is a way to communicate between blogs; for example when a blogger writes a post with comments/links to another blog the blogger can inform the blog that is being commented with a TrackBack ping. This ping will normally be fetched by the commented blog and appended as a comment.To get this to work, both the commenting blog and commented blog has to support the TrackBack protocol, see below.

    And here is how it works when doing a TrackBack automatically.The commenting blog tool searches through all the URL's in the new blog entry and performs an HTTP GET request to retrieve the TrackBack ping address. The TrackBack ping address is normally included in the posts HTML code as a embedded RDF. The HTML code should be parsed and if a RDF section is found extract the value of the trackback:ping attribute, which contains the URL to which the TrackBack ping should be sent.

    Example of embedded RDF<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf=""xmlns:dc=""xmlns:trackback=""><rdf:Descriptionrdf:about=""dc:identifier=""dc:title="Sending mail with Ctrl+Enter in Outlook 2007"trackback:ping="" /></rdf:RDF>

    If the RDF and the trackback:ping attribute is found, a TrackBack ping should be sent to the URL. The ping is done using the REST model. The client sends a normal HTTP POST request with a Content-Type header with the value application/x-www-form-urlencoded and a few parameters; title, excerpt, url and blog_name. Only the url parameter is required and should contain the permalink for the blog entry sending the ping.

    Example of a TrackBack pingPOST  application/x-www-form-urlencoded; charset=utf-8


    The pinged server returns an XML formatted response which indicates failure or success.Example of successfull ping<?xml version="1.0"?><response><error>0</error></response>If the ping failed, the error element should contain a non-zero value and a message element with the error message should be included in the response.

    That's it! If you are implementing your own blog engine, this may be of use but if you use a blog tool like blogger, Movable Type etc this will be done for you behind the scenes.

    Note: A TrackBack ping should only be sent once!

    Full technical specification can be found at

  • Sending mail with Ctrl+Enter in Outlook 2007

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    Ctrl + Enter in Outlook 2007Microsoft Outlook 2007 is great and it has really improved on a lot of things for this version.

    One of the things that have been messing with me is the possibility to send e-mails using Ctrl+Enter. I have accidentaly sent away a number of emails, maybe due to my thick fingers :-) when pressing Ctrl+Enter.

    Outlook 2007 issues a warning when you press Ctrl+Enter and allows you to enable or disable this function. Isn't it great - small things does matter!

  • How to read .xps documents

    Tags: Microsoft, XML, Windows XP, Microsoft Office, WinFX

    XPS (XML Paper Specification) is an electronic paper format and is competing with Adobes PDF. Since Microsoft is forced to withdraw the function of publishing to PDF from Office 2007 the XPS will be more widely adopted. Read more about it here; Adobe PDF vs Microsoft XPS.

    Windows Vista will include a XPS reader, but if you already now get XPS files you can download either the WinFX runtime components or the XPS Essentials Pack (beta).

    Here is the Windows Vista product guide in XPS format, 12 MB, if you feel like trying it out.

  • Windows Vista Beta 2 Public download

    Tags: Windows XP reports that the public beta of Windows Vista 2 will be available soon. Here are the download links (the links will work shortly):

    Download here: - (English x86) (English x64) (German (x86) (German (x64) (Japanese (x86) (Japanese (x64)

  • No Ribbon in OneNote 2007

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    I've asked the OneNote 2007 team about why the Ribbon is not implemented for OneNote 2007, which I would find very useful, and they answered me that they considered it but it will not get into the 2007 release but they will think about it for the next release (OneNote 2011?).

    Please help me out here and post a comment if you would like to see the Ribbon in OneNote or not and if you do how would you like it?

    I would like to have it adjust to what kind of notes you are taking; is it a meeting, regular notes, or a class you are taking. And of course the Ribbon would adjust to what kind of tools you are using; drawing, text, audio or video.

  • I am a "Windows 3.1 lover" and I use Office 2007!

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    MIcrosoft Word 2007 button

    Jensen Harris, the Office 2007 User Interface guru, writes about what will happen to Office 2007 beta until the final release which contains a number of interesting gems.

    One of the first stuff I found out when using Office 2007 (Word, Excel and PowerPoint) was that the system menu was gone from the upper-left corner, sorry Jensen I mean Northwest corner, so I could not double-click to shut the application down, and that I had to use the cross in the Northeast (upper-right) corner, introduced in Windows 95. This feel like a big issue to me, since I am used to it, and my mouse cursor is most often located to the left part of the screen, so I am a Windows 3.1 lover, according to Jensen Harris.Instead of opening the system menu you get the new Office File menu in the new user interface.

    But almost every story has a good ending; the Microsoft Office 2007 team has decided to put that function back. But.. what will now happen if I accidently double-click the file menu?

    So I probably still be able to use the Windows 3.1 style of closing applications.

  • Outlook 2007 Business Cards

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    Business Card in Outlook 2007Microsoft Outlook 2007 introduces a new view for the contacts called Business Cards. It's a view, much like the old Adress Cards view, but the business cards view lets you customize how the different contacts look - just like a business card. You can customize the business cards and give each one a unique look. This can make finding contacts easier, if the business cards resembles the real ones.

    Nice looking e-mail signaturesWhen sending messages you can attach your business card to the message, as a signature, which attaches a .vcf file and attaches an image of the business card. This will make your e-mails look really nice.

    Useful or not?The view could be useful to get a nice overview of your contacts, but at it's present functional level, I think it will be pretty useless. Of course if you like a lot of fancy user interfaces you certainly will like it or if you have the time to edit the business cards of all your contacts you will get something out of it.

    The business cards view is the default view for contacts in Outlook 2007, but I have switched over the the Address Cards view, since it gives you a better view over the contacts.

    Suggestion to the Outlook 2007 teamSo what I would like the Outlook 2007 team to do is include a function that let's you save the layout of a business card as a template and the be able to apply that template to other business cards.There are templates on the Office Online site, but they are just dummy contacts.

  • Ed Bott: What do you think of Office 2007.

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    Ed Bott's Microsoft Report blogs about What do you think of Office 2007 so far?

    I've been using it, mostly OneNote, Outlook and Word, since the release of the latest beta, and I like the most of it.

    The Ribbon bar and the User InterfaceThe most significant change is the user interface and I like what I see. I took a while for me to be aquainted with the new shortcuts and the Ribbon bar, I am a keyboard user. But I think it's working fine. I only wish OneNote 2007 had the Ribbon bar, as I wrote before. Outlook does not have it either, but Jensen Harris explains why.Previewing works really fine and is great.

    New document formatsIt works fine using the new document formats (.docx etc) and it also works fine using the old ones (.doc etc). Publishing as PDF is also great, a feature I lacked before. But now Microsoft has decided to withdraw that function from the final release, after being haunted by Adobe. Wasn't PDF supposed to be an "open format"?

    PerformanceIt's a beta, so what can you expect. It's not that fast as I hoped and it consumes a lot of memory. Outlook should be really fast, and I hope they optimize it before the final release. Outlook 2003 was fast enough, and one of the first applications from Microsoft that was faster than it's predecessors.

    Head over to Ed Bott's site and tell him what you think?

  • I wish I had OneNote 2007 when I was a student!

    Tags: Personal, Microsoft Office

    As Microsoft OneNote 2007 will be a part of the Office Home and Student 2007 suite OneNote will and can be used by students. And it's a great tool for that!

    I remember when I studied for my M.Sc. and all the notebooks and pens I used, making notes was very important for me and helped me remember things better. And it still is, I have used OneNote for a few years and been satisified with that, but the new OneNote is so great.

    Imagine that you are a student and listening to a lecture; you write your notes down (even cooler if you as a student can afford a Tablet-PC and use handwriting), draw your sketches and graphs, organize it all by moving the objects around (that part was tricky with pen and paper :-), use the builtin calculator, organize it all in nice tables, recording audio or even video and why not take photo with your mobile phone and send the images over to OneNote using Bluetooth.Then when you get home you have it all indexed and easy to find; text, images and audio is searchable!

    So congratulations to all of you students out there - stand in line to get OneNote, whenever it comes out on the shelves - or why not try out the beta and help Microsoft improve it even more.

    The only negative thing I have to say about OneNote is that why does not it have the nice new Office 2007 Ribbon? Read more about the Ribbon in Jensen Harris excellent Office UI blog.

  • Outlook 2007 Instant Search and Windows Desktop Search

    Tags: Windows XP, Microsoft Office

    I have installed the Office 2007 beta, including Outlook 2007, and I wanted to enable the Instant Search functionality and followed the instructions in the dialog that popped up in Outlook. It said that I had to go and download the Windows Desktop Search Beta 3.0 Engine Preview, read about it in Microsoft Help and Support. I did, but I had a previous version of Windows Desktop Search installed. There was no warning and when I tried to search in Outlook I recieved a message saying that Outlook cannot perform your search. And when I tried to use the Windows Desktop user interface that was still there (the 3.0 beta has no UI yet) the explorer.exe crashed.

    So, I went for an uninstall of the Windows Desktop Search. Same problems as before.And then I did a reinstall of the 3.0 beta - same problems!Another uninstall, just to get back to where I started - same problems!

    After a lot of fiddling and looking in the event viewer I gave up and started the System Restore (first time I ever had to use it) and restored to the point before where Windows Desktop Search 3.0 was installed.

    Then I uninstalled the 2.6 (I think it was) version of Desktop Search, and rebooted. Then I fired up Outlook 2007 answered yes to the question that I wanted to enable Instant Search and followed the instructions and installed the 3.0 beta.

    Woohaa - it worked! So uninstall any previous versions of Windows Desktop Search before installing Windows Desktop Search 3.0 Beta Engine Preview.

    It's worth installing - it is fast and the indexing of texts in images is really nice. When doing a search in OneNote 2007 I could find a lot of more information from my screen clippings.

  • Anatomy of a blog: What is a ping and how does it work?

    Tags: .NET, XML, Internet and the Web, Website

    During the creation of this site I wanted to know more about how the blog world works behind the scenes. I will make a few articles about my findings in this matter and what I have done to create this blog.

    The first article will describe on how you inform other sources and parties that your blog is updated. This is done through a Ping. You should ping whenever you have created or updated a post on your feed. Pinging is either done automatically or manually. Manual pinging is done by finding a site with a Ping interface, like, and then enter the Url to your feed. You can find some more on the Blog Ping List at AYWE

    If you would like to do an automatic Ping then the Pinging is done through an XML-RPC procedure, which is sending XML over and HTTP request. The XML contains information of your feed and the URL to which you send the request is called the endpoint. Read more about the specification here:

    In my implementation used an implementation like the one described by John in a post. For more exponation I set up my blog to ping a few other feeds using these endpoints:

    My site is implmented using .NET 2.0 and the sample I started from uses the XML-RPC.NET library which is based on .NET 1.1. To be able to create an implementation like John has you have to make your interface public, like this:

    [XmlRpcUrl("")] public interface IWeblogsUpdate {     [XmlRpcMethod("")]     WeblogsUpdateResponse ping(string weblogName, string weblogUrl); }

    That's it. I'll get back with some more articles on this matter.

  • Public release of Windows Live Gadgets SDK

    Tags: SharePoint, Windows XP, Internet and the Web, AJAX

    Microsoft has release the first public release of the Windows Live Gadgets SDK, you can find it You can also find the Gadgets Development Overview for Microsoft Sidebar for Windows Vista Beta 2 on the site.

    Developing Gadgets for both and Microsoft Sidebar will be really easy and fun. But I see a problem with only having as the only web-based Gadget host (host meaning where the Gadget can execute). I would like to see an implementation in either Microsoft SharePoint Services or as a standalone product, so you can host Gadgets in an Intranet scenario. There are some examples on how to host your own Gadgets; for example Donovan West has an example using an iframe solution. The problem is still that the Gadgets are hosted externally which is not that great if you think about security issues.

    Do you know of any other solutions or implementations of web-based Gadget hostings?

  • Internet Explorer Anti-Phising feature

    Tags: Business, Security, Internet Explorer, Internet and the Web

    I have been using Microsof Internet Explorer 7 beta for a while and I have noticed that some sites are reported as suspicious phising websites. The address bar turns yellow and a big popup informs you about it. A few days ago the popup appeard on one of my blog entries. The popup includes a link to a site in which you may inform Microsoft that you are the owner of the site and the site is not a phising site. I gave it a try and reported the site not to be phising site and that I am the owner. Within 24 ours I recieved a response from Microsoft that they had reviewd my request and a few ours later the warning was gone. Phew! I think it all worked very smoothly and I think it is a great feature of IE7. If you would like more information on the IE anti-phising filter, read about it here.

  • OneNote 2007 beta and Windows Desktop Search

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    When starting OneNote 2007 beta you will get a warning that informs you that OneNote 2007 requires Windows Desktop Search to fully support Instant Search and Searchable images and audio. This warning will pop up until you install the Windows Desktop Search 3.0 or until you edit the registry, which then will inform OneNote to use Slow Search.

    Here is how to modify the registryCreate a new text file called onenoteindex.reg and copy and paste below this text into it. Then double click the file and answer yes to the question.

    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\OneNote\Options\Other]"EnableWDSIndexing" = dword:00000000"ShowWDSUpdateWarning" = dword:00000000


  • More nice OneNote 2007 features

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    I walked through the OneNote Guide for beta 2 and found even more interesting stuff, here are some of the nice ones:

    • Win+N creates a new sidenote
    • Writing and pressing the Tab key automatically creates a table

    Read through the guidelines before starting to use OneNote 2007

  • Built-In Calculator in Office OneNote 2007

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    The new Office OneNote 2007 has a built-in Calculator, really nice stuff!

    To try it out, just write a mathematic formula in a page and end with an equals sign followed by enter or space, for example:3+2=This will result in a row like this:3+2=5

    It is quite powerful, it can handle operations like:

    • +, -, /, *
    • parenthesis so you can do formulas like this (3+3)*3=18
    • ^, for example 10^3=1 000
    • sqrt(n) for square root
    • sin(n), asin(n), cos(n), acos(n), tan(n), atan(n)
    • mod for modulus

    And I'm sure there are more...

  • Office OneNote 2007

    Tags: Microsoft Office

    I'm a huge fan of Microsoft OneNote since a few years back and I use it to store anything about everything. It all started 10 years ago with a simple Notepad document in which i kept all important notes; such as programming tips, important Urls etc. When OneNote came I felt that I was a few years behind :-)

    The new Microsoft Office OneNote 2007 (beta 2) is such a nice upgrade to the 2003 version. The most interesting things I found after using it for a day is:

    • Easier to sketch using the new shapes - creating sketches using non-tablet laptop was a mess
    • The nice integration with Outlook - and yes it works with Outlook 2003. Read more about it in Chris Pratley's OneNote Blog.
    • The new and improved left navigation - moving between notebooks (top-level sections) and section was very inefficient in the 2003 version
    • Tables! Yes! Now you can create tables in your pages!

    But, it's a beta and there are some annoying things:

    • There seems to be some loss of data when importing your old Notebooks, espescially text that has been copied from a website. Make sure to backup your Notebook folder, because the upgrade is not reversible.
    • The background images/themes on imported Notebooks disappear and the background is by default white. So pages that have white text or sketches can be hard to read..

    Now it's time to get some more of the Office 2007 beta programs...

  • Windows Vista Beta 2 for MSDN and TechNet subscribers

    Tags: Windows XP, Windows Vista

    Microsoft announced at WinHEC 2006 that Windows Vista Beta 2 is available for MSDN and TechNet subscribers. The beta will be more broadly available through the Windows Vista Customer Preview Program in the next few weeks.

    The timeline is still November 2006 for business and January 2007 for consumers.

    You can find some more information about the release in this Fact Sheet.

    Go to the Windows Vista Get Ready site to check if you are ready for Windows Vista. You can find the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor program there to test if your Windows XP supports Vista.

    We have a few days off here in Sweden, so I'll have to play around with all the new betas and CTPs from Microsoft this weekend!

  • Microsoft Office 2007 Preview

    Tags: Microsoft, SharePoint, Windows XP, Microsoft Office

    So, Microsoft Office 2007, applications and servers, are finally here for download at

    Expect some huge downloads; Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services is at 75 MB and the SharePoint Server at 1.000 MB. The Office Suite and programs is a tiny download of 2.049 MB. That would be a massive hive of 3.5" disks :-). I think a lot of bandwidth will be used on the backbones tonight, and this is just a faint hint of what will happen in a few weeks when the new public Vista beta will arrive.I still remember when I installed Visual C years ago, that was somwhere around 40 disks, thats about 60 MB!

  • Great hosting site - DotNetPark

    Tags: Personal, SharePoint, Visual Studio, SQL Server, Website

    I have moved this blog to my own domain, and I decided to have it hosted at DotNetPark.

    DotNetPark has an excellent service at great prices. For me it was important to have ASP.NET and Microsoft SQL Server where I hosted my site and they have all that and more. I can easily publish the site using FTP from Visual Studio and connect to the SQL Server using the Enterprise Manager or Visual Studio. Their interface, called DotNetPanel, provides you with everything you need to host your site.You can also have a number of services installed at your request, for example how about Windows SharePoint Services!

    I just want to say thanks to DotNetPark!

  • Welcome to my new space

    Tags: Personal, Website

    Welcome to my new space and domain at This new place will host my blog (previously at the next few days all old posts and comments will be moved to this location.

    Having my own place will make it more easy for me to create what I want and to present and blog about more stuff. This site will be an experimental playground for me and I will blog about some of the interesting stuff that I stumble upon. So expect some changes to the site and functionality.The site is just a hobby, besides my work and family, which both takes a lot of time, but it is fun to have something to rest your mind on.

    This site is based on ASP.NET 2.0 and SQL Server 2000 hosted at DotNetPark. All code is custom made and experimental. Currently I have implemented a simple blog interface with pingback, trackback and comments functionality.

    If you find any troubles with this new site, please contact me at



  • First Impression of Microsoft Expression Web Designer

    Tags: Microsoft Expression, Personal, .NET, C#

    So, after some installation trouble the Microsoft Expression Web Designer was installed, read more about it in the EWD Discussion group.The Expression Web Designer is for me a new and improved FrontPage more focused on the layout. I made some initial pages/sites and I feel that it works pretty smoothly to work with. The target group for this product is purely front-end/html programmers.The EWD will complement the Visual Studio development but the lack of source control integration is not just irritating - it's a "application breaker". I think the usage of EWD when building large and complex projects will not be that high if this is not implmented. I think my company will still be using Visual Studio for editing webpages for a while....I also lack a nice integration with the Expression Graphics Designer, it would be nice to right-click an image and open the EGD editor within EWD! (When is the next CTP/beta/Gold for EGD coming???) But, I think I'll give it a shot and try to use it some more before I give it my final judgement. Do you agree or disagree?       

  • Microsoft Expression Web Designer CTP - finally!

    Tags: Microsoft Expression

    Finally there is a CTP of Microsoft Expression Web Designer.I have been working with the Microsoft Expression softwares now for a while and I like what I see and use. I really hopes that this version of the Expression suite really fits my needs, since I work a lot with web development. The Expression Graphics Designer, which is the one i have used a lot the last few months is really nice, but I think making (small) pixelbased images which are used for web is not that smooth.Download is complete, time to install it. I will get back with some more Impressions of Expression in a while.Update: The download from the Microsoft download site did not work out correctly, but the download from installed fine!

  • The 0xe0434f4d code

    Tags: .NET, Windows XP

    Have you ever experienced the 0xe0434f4d exit code and thought, what the heck is that!Tess has a nice blog If broken it is, fix it you should which in a post explains how to interpret the exit code which is very good. 0xe0434f4d means that it is an exception from the CLR, ie any managed exception is referred to with this code. And she also explains what the funny 0xe0434f4d means:0x43 0x4f 0x4d are the ASCII codes for COM!

  • Internet Explorer 7, beta 2

    Tags: Microsoft, Internet Explorer

    Wow, thats my opinion of Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, beta 2. I have been running the preview of the beta 2 for a while and I am so pleased with the upgrade (ahem - new) browser. I have been faithful to Internet Explorer through the last years and I sure will be one truly loyal user for a few more years - if they will speed up the adaptation to new techniques in the upcoming releases. The tabbed interface works smoothly, rendering feels faster, RSS reader is really good and simple, and it feels pretty compatible with older sites (except my internet bank and the community server version that dotnetjunkies run on :-). I really recommend everyone to take part of the beta and evaluate the beta - which Microsoft even have phone support on (in US and some other contries).

  • WIX - accessing properties in script CustomActions

    Tags: WiX

    My last post showed how to use VBScript functions as CustomActions. More than often you need to access some of the properties you have defined in your WIX files, for example an installation directory, a connection string etc.To access these properties just use the Session object and it's a Property property.Here's an example with two properties used:set adam = GetObject(Session.Property("ADSERVER") & "/" & Session.Property("ADSPATH")) The WIX file should contain two properties:<Property Id="ADSERVER" Admin="yes" >LDAP://server</Property><Property Id="ADSPATH" Admin="yes" ></Property> The Property property is read/write so you can manipulate the properties within your code.

  • WIX - CustomActions using VBScript

    Tags: WiX, Scripting

    Here are some small tips when using VBScript CustomActions using WIX.Creating a script CustomActionFirst of all you have to create a CustomAction in your WXS file:<CustomAction Id="Id_Of_ScriptAction" BinaryKey="Id_of_binary" VBScriptCall="Script_Name" /> Id_Of_ScriptAction is a unique Id of your CustomActionID_of_binary is the unique Id of the binary that contains the vbs file.Script_Name is the name of the Sub or Function in your vbs file. Creating the VBS fileCreate a .VBS file with a function or sub that should be executed.Sub DoThis   MsgBox "Hello there..."End Sub Add a Binary to the WXS fileAfter creating the script you have to include it into your WXS file. This is done by creating a Binary element like this: <Binary Id="Id_of_binary" src="Local_Path" /> Id_of_binary is a unique idLocal_Path is a local path (relative to the wxs file) Add the action to the install sequenceAfter doing all this you have to tell the installer when and where to execute the custom action, this is done by adding the action to the InstallExecuteSequence element<InstallExecuteSequence>...<Custom Action="Id_Of_ScriptAction" [After|Before|Sequence]="..." >Condition</Custom>...</InstallExecuteSequence> Id_Of_ScriptAction is your custom action.For more information on the Custom element and the After/Before/Sequence attributes, check out the WIX help file and/or this tutorial.Note: The Execute attribute of the Custom element should be Deferred to execute during the install sequence or Immediate to execute it while the install script is executed, see MSDN for more information on this.

  • Microsoft Windows Installer Xml - WIX

    Tags: WiX, Visual Studio

    I have for a few interesting weeks been using Microsoft Windows Installer Xml, aka WIX, to create an MSI installer for our software solution (finally the number of installation has increased so it was worth it :-).Our software is higly configurable and modularized so I needed to use a tool more advanced that the built-in installers in Visual Studio.Net - and the choice was to use WIX. For you out there who doesn't know what WIX is then the short story is that; WIX is toolset that builds Windows installation packages from XML source code. The source code and binaries to WIX can be found on SourceForge.To create an MSI you just tap in some XML code and use the provided compilers and linkers and you are up and running in a few minutes - with a simple installation package.Bur, when making a more complex installer you will probably run into trouble due to the lack of documentation on the subject, even if it contains a nice help file I found out that Google was the best source of documentation.I ran into some troubles when I was creating CustomActions and I thought I would write a more thorough article about that in a near future. I found out that making CustomActions using scripts (VB and JavaScript) was really successfull.Are you interested in reading more about WIX check out the blog of Rob Mensching or this great tutorial by Gábor Deák Jahn. What do you think about WIX?And finally: congratulations to the WIX project which celebrates two year anniversary today.

  • Concerned about the Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation and the new UI looks

    Tags: Windows XP, Microsoft Office

    I'm a bit concerned about all the new user interfaces and layouts that will appear when application developers starts taking use of the Windows® Presentation Foundation (formerly code named "Avalon"). This "tecnology" is awesome but it has it's drawbacks. With the WPF you can create applications that are really neat looking and have high usability, just take a look at Microsoft Expression Interactive Designer. I saw a really nice demo, on a Microsoft Partner event, of a medical journal application looking like a "medical journal" - not the old fashioned MDI interface with a File, Edit... menu. And I guess most of you have seen the Microsoft Max application and the new Office 2007 interface. But what will happen to the usability between applications? As of today almost all Windows applications has a user interface with a menu bar with the File, Edit etc menus, a toolbar with icons and either one document (SDI) or multiple documents (MDI) in the window area. This is very good when adapting to new applications, you know where to find the functionality you want, not in all cases but the most vital functions are easily found. You know how to save a document or to paste something in to your application. Windows Presentation Foundation does not prohibit this usage but it allows developers to create really cool looking applications with a nice user interface. But when it comes to recognizing functions and behaviours I think this will cause a lot of trouble. Let's take an example of a hospital, where I have seen similar troubles, having several applications from several vendors; they have Microsoft Office 2007, some kind of medical journal system, a financial report system, an intranet etc. Most of the employees use more than one application. It will be very problematic if these applications doesn't share the same user interface guidelines. This is the point of my entry! Where is the guidelines for these new awesome user interfaces? Do you have the same opinion or experience as I do?Where can I find information on how to make these new applications run smoothly togheter using common guidelines?

  • How to restore (clone) an ADAM instance to another computer

    Tags: Microsoft, Windows XP

    Today I had to move (make an exact copy of) an ADAM (Active Directory In Application Mode) installation to a new server. It was not that trivial and therefore I thought I would share on how to do it.

    1. Add the BUILTIN\Administrators group to the Administrators Role in the Adam instanceThis group has a well known SID and therefore can be moved to any server. Se picture below.
    2. Make a backup of the Adam data files folder, using Microsoft BackupThe files can not just be copied because they are locked
    3. Create the exactly same installation on the new serverUse the same ports, service name, application directory partition etc
    4. Stop the newly created serviceSo the files won't be locked
    5. Restore from the backup you created in 2)Make sure that you specify to overwrite all files, which is not by default
    6. Start the service and test it

    Adding the BUILTIN\Administrators group to the Administrators Role in Adam

    This worked for me and if you have problems or other tips, please contact me.

    Update 9/3-06: Note that you have to reset the passwords on all users!

About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is the Nordic Digital Workplace Lead working at Avanade. Wictor has achieved the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) - SharePoint 2010, Microsoft Certified Solutions Master (MCSM) - SharePoint  and Microsoft Certified Master (MCM) - SharePoint 2010 certifications. He has also been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for seven consecutive years.

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