Archives

Archives / 2006 / November
  • 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.

    Actuality

    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.

    Software

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

    Synchronization

    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:

    xsl:analyze-string

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

    xsl:output

    This instruction now has xhtml as a valid output parameter

    xsl:perform-sort

    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. Hmmm..is 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="http://www.company.com/sitemap.xml/>

  • 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/vnd.ms-excel), 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

    Relationships

    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="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/officeDocument/2006/relationships/image" 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{        // http://www.linksleeve.org/
        public static bool IsSpam(string text){
            ILinkSleeve proxy = (ILinkSleeve) XmlRpcProxyGen.Create( typeof(ILinkSleeve) );
            return proxy.Check(text) == 0 ? true : false;      }
        [XmlRpcUrl("http://www.linksleeve.org/slv.php")]
        public interface ILinkSleeve{
            //INFO: must be public for .NET 2.0 support
            [XmlRpcMethod("slv")]
            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 switches...you 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 :-)

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About Wictor...

Wictor Wilén is a Director and SharePoint Architect working at Connecta AB. 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 four consecutive years.

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