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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Visual Studio 2010 Installation Problems

You'd think that this would be fairly easy considering the company that makes the IDE also makes the operating system. Unfortunately not.

As I (and others) have discovered there are times when you'll need to manually download and install sub-components from the Microsoft Download Centre (http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/default.aspx) because the installer is unable to do so by itself if there happens to be a problem with the ISO that you have downloaded.

Funnily enough, based on research into other people's problems, manual extraction and installation from the subsequent file has been a constant theme. Complete re-installs (of Windows) have been mentioned as well as removals and re-installs of some components.

Download problems seem to occur on a particularly regular basis with their http://www.dreamspark.com website. It seems the VS2010 download seems to have continual problems when being downloaded as a single whole file. Funny thing is that while the actual Microsoft website has the option to download as seperate large files that are later combined they don't seem to offer this option on the http://www.dreamspark.com website. Just like Windows 7 though there seems to be some evidence to suggest that it may be possible to convert from one version to another (including trial versions) using minimal modification of key files.


All this being said, once installed the program is actually quite good. On an mid-spec i3 laptop it was perfectly responsive and quite functional.

Friday, June 24, 2011

IT Cheat Sheets

Over time, I've found that shorter resources can be just as useful as having a reference book around you. To this end I've developed a list of short resources for this exact purpose. To make this list the reference must be short (one page is ideal), it must be clear, and it must provide shortcuts on commands and or aspects of a piece of a relevant piece of software that you would end up using. It will be updated over time.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Short Yet Useful IT Books

There are a number of different categories to allow you to show up on this list. The book needs to be about the same of your palm, it needs to be small and light enough to fit in your bag, and of course it needs to be useful. This list will be updated over time.

Building a Server With FreeBSD, http://nostarch.com/freebsdserver.htm
C# 4.0 How-To - Real Solutions for C# 4.0 Programmers, http://www.amazon.com/C-4-0-How-Ben-Watson/dp/0672330636

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cheap UTM Solutions

Once upon a time I worked at for a company with a limited budget for a new UTM device but desired all of its capabilities. The following represents an overview of the results of an evaluation of various pieces of software. Note that it was based on an evaluation of these pieces of software about a year ago.

Endian: Does simplistic QoS, VPN, does possess some functionality issues such as restrictions on hostname, limitation on password, some odd issues with particular users when using NTLM authentication, etc...
pfSense: BSD based. Does everything we need, is free, stable but handling of QoS is very difficult, http://www.pfsense.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=40&Item...
m0n0wall: a limited feature set. Basically nothing more than an embedded firewall/router that is able to be installed on a PC, http://m0n0.ch/wall/features.php
Vyatta: basically a Cisco copy. Does a lot but can be difficult to administer and has a non-intuitive interface, http://www.vyatta.com/downloads/index.php
IPCop: Like m0n0wall an limited feature set. Basically nothing more than an embedded firewall/router that is able to be installed on a PC, http://www.ipcop.org/
Astaro: Slick interface, does everything we need but is too expensive for our budget even with the software only version, http://www.astaro.com/our_products/product_overview
CheckPoint, NetGear ProSafe, D-Link NetDefend, WatchGuard appliances are sort of within our price range once you factor in hardware costs but are also subject to support/warranty issues.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Imate 8502 Quirks

Once upon a time this device was considered state of the art. In fact, it was one of the first smart phones to be available from Telstra in Australia. However, it does have a quirk that seems to be also present on other Imate branded phones. Namely, over time a pin on the headphone socket seems to get permanently bent that is used to detect the presence of a headset. Eventually, you'll only be able to use the headset to be able to talk to people. Hence, you only have two choices. Use it only with a handset and/or fix it.


Note, there are four screws to open the device. One of them is under the area where the stylus is installed while another is underneath the a rubber stopper in the exact opposite corner. Once it is opened push down on the pin and put the phone back together and reboot it to see whether it detects the lack of presence of a headset. Still, you'll note that the problem does seem to recur. Hence, it may be worth your time investigating the possibility of changing the socket itself?

While Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional is installed on the device, it does seem somewhat slow. Moreover, based on existing information there does not seem to be any upgrades in the pipeline available for this device. If you desire a more modern operating system you'll probably have to rely on the Open Source/Linux world such as Ubuntu or Android.

Luckily, it uses the ARM based Qualcomm MSM7200-400 which is also used in other devices which means that hardware support is likely to be good although I will leave experimentation for a later time...





Bible Codes, Random Stuff, and More

On Bible Codes: Obviously, I am somewhat curious about the origin of religion... Recently, I came across a book called 'Bible Code...