Adobe CS2 & Windows 7

If you have Adobe CS2 and plan to install to a Windows 7 machine, please note the following:

The installation program will NOT recognize the Program Files (x86) folder and will not allow installation in the Program Files. Through browsing for the folder you may get the program to install. However, when you try to run one of the included apps you will be presented with an error message stating that the
personalization info cannot be found or is invalid.

To correct this, uninstall CS2 and reinstall using Progra~2 for the installation folder.

Thanks to Google for providing the solution.

- habanero_joe

Dell Latitude ST and Windows 8 Wifi connectivity

Installing Windows 8 on this tablet went off without a hitch. For a severely under powered device it is actually running Windows 8 very well. After reading numerous comments around the net about how slow it was running Win8, I was curious to find out for myself.
So far I have only found 2 issues. The first being the Windows 7 N-Trig drivers were not compatible with Win8. Secondly the Dell Atheros Wifi drivers were also not compatible. The N-trig issue was an easy fix. N-Trig has drivers on their site at n-trig.com that are compatible with Win8. The wifi on the other hand took some more tinkering. After a couple hours of learning the new UI and figuring out where everything was I decided to take the time to get Wifi up and running. The Dell A06 driver install package as I mentioned above is not compatible with Win8. However it does have the required driver packaged up inside. Before unpacking the install application I tried to install it under Windows 7 compatibility mode which also did not work.

Here are the steps I took to get the wifi driver installed:
Execute the installer package and it will extract the files into your Temp folder and the Atheros Installer.msi will be located in one of the {insert random number and text here} folders. The installer itself will throw an error stating that you must be using Windows 7.
Before you hit OK, using windows explorer browse to your C:\Users\yourusername\AppData\Local\Temp\ folder and find the Atheros Installer.msi. Copy or move that file to wherever you want, just make sure you remember where you put it. It is now safe to hit OK on the Dell Installer.
The installer will most likely clean up the temp folder automatically and you would not be able to find the file after hitting OK.
Use msiexec to extract the contents of the installer.
Open up a command prompt with administrator privileges. Once there the following command will be used: msiexec /a filepath to MSI file /qb TARGETDIR=filepath to target folder.
Now look in your Device Manager you should have an exclamation point listed next to SDIO Device. Click on that and update driver. Choose the folder you extracted the msi to and Windows will take care of the rest.
If for some reason you already have a driver listed for your dell mini card you will have to uninstall the driver and reboot. Upon reboot follow the above instructions.

HP ProLiant MicroServer Flexibility

I’ve been meaning to put some of my thoughts on the HP MicroServer N40L for quite some time and just haven’t made the time to do it, so here goes.

Long ago I was searching for a reason to purchase and play with HP’s MicroServers and got my chance when a client asked for an affordable backup device. I jumped at the chance and ordered one of the N40L’s. These units are listed as part of the ProLiant family of servers which sounded promising, but being the skeptic that I am, I didn’t expect much for the seemingly measly $350 price tag.

The unit comes with an AMD dual core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 250GB HDD, and a 1Gbps NIC. The system has a mini-PCIe slot for a remote access/iLO/DRAC type card, and a second standard PCIe slot. Although the system ships with only a single drive, all four bays have “hot swap” trays/carriers, making adding additional disks no problem. I say “hot swap” because I am pretty sure that the backplane/controller do not allow actual hot swapping in its true sense, YMMV. Another note on the hardware; the motherboard can be easily removed from the system by disconnecting a few cables and backing out two thumb screws. The board is on a simple and quite brilliant tray assembly which makes removal, upgrade, and insertion simple. Do yourself a favor when you purchase the system by maxing out the RAM at 8GB(DDR3/ECC) and adding the optional iLO/remote access card. For basic NAS and low end Linux server duties the 2GB will work fine and you will have no regrets, but going to 8GB really opens the doors, more on that next.

Before I jump into exactly what it can do, it is worth mentioning what YOU should not do with it. For instance, don’t try and be a hero to your clients by touting this as an ultra affordable server solution. I have read of several people putting SBS on this box and then using it as the primary file and mail server for 20+ users. Don’t be a dummy, if you’re trying to service your clients properly get them a truly redundant system with hardware RAID, dual PSU’s and things of that nature. You are providing a disservice to your clients if you use this in a place it should not be used. Responsibility rant over…

With the remote access card, 8GB of RAM, and a couple of SATA drives, you are ready to play. This is the little server that could and it shows. The thing runs VMware ESXi5, Linux, Windows, FreeBSD(FreeNAS) and many other things. An important thing to remember is that the included disk controller uses fake RAID/driver assisted RAID so don’t expect RAID support outside of Windows. With that limitation in mind, this makes the ideal small business backup device, home virtualization lab, or any other number of roles you can through at it.

Fast forward to today and the device has served me and many others quite nicely. Although not a comprehensive list of installs, I can confirm successful installation on the following operating systems:

  • Debian Lenny (i386/AMD64)
  • Debian Squeeze (i386/AMD64) Currently Debian stable release
  • Debian Wheezy (i386/AMD64) Currently Debian testing release
  • Ubuntu 10.04 (i386/AMD64)
  • FreeNAS 0.7 (i386)
  • FreeNAS 8 (i386/AMD64)
  • VMware ESXi 4.1
  • VMware ESXi 5.0
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows Small Business Server 2001
  • Whew! What a list and that just touches the surface of what you can run. Those just happen to be the configurations that I have tested with success. My current configuration consists of the base system running 8GB of RAM, iLO card, 1x64GB SSD and 4x1TB RAID edition drives. I’ve got Debian stable AMD64 running on / and have 4x1TB RE drives using Linux md RAID in level 5 mounted on /home. This acts as my internal NFS server and virtualization lab. The system runs vm guests well through KVM although you will have to watch the CPU. Being a dual core 1.5GHz, the system will usually run out of CPU before you hit any other bottlenecks.

    In conclusion, if you need a flexible and affordable storage device for most small business or home needs, a cheap virtualization lab in a box, or similar configuration, you will not be disappointed by this device.

    –himuraken

    Windows 8 First Look

    Most of the news from Microsoft these days surrounds Windows 8 desktop OS which is anticipated to be released to the general public as early as October this year.
    In support of the new OS, Microsoft has updated many of its development tools including Visual Studio. This new version of VS allows development of the metro-style apps that make Windows 8 so exciting. One caveat – you need to load Visual Studio on Windows 8 to develop the metro-style apps. The installer identifies the host OS and configures appropriately.
    With Windows 8, Microsoft has really embraced the touch-based functionality. This OS was clearly designed for the tablet space and to compete with the iPad.
    I loaded the Consumer Preview when it released at the end of February. I used an old Mobile Computing pen tablet, Virtual Box vm and a brand new Samsung Series 7 slate. Clearly the Samsung was the winner, but I was impressed that the pen tablet worked as well as it did. All components were detected and configured. The Virtual Box vm performed very well as would be expected.
    At the end of May, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Release Preview. There has clearly been a lot of work under the covers in this latest version. I did an in-place migration and it went very smoothly. The only option was to perform a reload and ‘keep nothing’. As with other Microsoft OS upgrades, the installer moved the previous version to Windows.old folder. I was easily able to retrieve downloads, etc. that had been saved. Initial thoughts are that the latest version is more stable and feels like a finished product. The App Store works well and there are quite a few games, news readers, etc. available. The included Mail app works well connected to Gmail or an Exchange server. Note: annoying feature – the preview of the Mail app does not allow the mail account password to be changed. You must remove the account and re-add. I am sure this will be fixed in the final release.
    As mentioned, Microsoft has updated Visual Studio in parallel with Windows 8. This has now been announced as Visual Studio 2012 and will be available in several favors as in the past. This includes Blend for Visual Studio which is an app design tool focused on creating the UI. Visual designers should find this more friendly than working directly in VS.

    Windows 8 vs. iOS
    To be fair, it is tough to compare all tablet/slate devices to an iPad. I will certainly try…
    First off, this release from Microsoft seems to be the first real touch-based desktop OS. While there is a ‘real’ traditional desktop behind the start screen the real magic is in the metro-style start screen. This has been referred to as NUI or natural user interface. It takes about 5 seconds to get used to the swipe-able start screen. The icons are either static or live tiles. The live tiles show app data, for lack of a better word in the tile before the app is opened. For example, new emails will cycle through on the tile. Kinda cool. Windows 8 is also designed to be more ‘connected’. You can choose the option to associate your Microsoft Live account to the OS login. Users of SkyDrive or OneNote, to name a few apps, will find this helpful.
    I believe where Windows 8 departs from the typical tablet OS is that it is still a fully functioning desktop OS. By selecting the appropriate tablet, corporate IT departments could offer this as a desktop/laptop replacement. While the original Samsung Series 7 Slate does not have 3/4G, other and future models will. There are USB slots available, front and rear cameras, SD card reader, HDMI output and other useful functions that are not available on the iPad (today). iOS 6 which is scheduled to be released this fall appears to offer a lot of new functionality, but the hardware is still what it is. The Samsung Series 7 is also a bit more expensive. A 64GB Samsung is about $950 and a 64GB iPad 3 is $849.

    Bottom line thoughts: for the mobile user that carries a laptop and an iOS device today, a Windows 8 tablet could be a suitable replacement.

    UPDATE:

    Monday (6/18/2012) Microsoft announced that the company will be releasing an in-house developed tablet designed for Windows 8. With this move, MS is officially targeting the iPad market.

    - habanero_joe

    UPDATE: 12/30/2012

    I have been using the Samsung Slate 7 with the general release on Windows 8 since it was released in October. I have MS Office 2013 installed as well. The application performance is very good. I am working to get my hands on tablet hardware designed specifically for Windows 8. I still would not rush out and load it on standard desktop (non-touch screen) hardware. It has been very interesting to be part of a team that is working to develop a mobile touch app.

    - habanero_joe

    Exchange Active Sync Fails After Transition From 2003 to 2010

    The title sums this one up with ease. After transitioning / migrating from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to Exchange 2010 some of the first accounts that we tested with were unable to connect to EAS. Errors on the mobile client ranged from server not found/available, to bad user name and password errors. After much research and troubleshooting I came across a few users that were experiencing the exact same issue. You can read more about the issue and the fix here.

    –himuraken

    Windows Server Licensing for Virtual Environments

    I prefer Linux to Windows for a handful of reasons. One of the obvious benefits is licensing, and with all of the virtualizing I do in production and testing, its nice to never have to think about licensing.  Meanwhile, back in the real world, most of my clients use Windows based servers for their day to day tasks. The Windows OS license is generally licensed per install/server; the notable exception being Data Center Edition which is licensed per CPU.

    With consolidation ratios ever increasing, we are always on the lookout for bottlenecks in systems. What about licensing? If you are running numerous Windows guests, are there ways to make smarter licensing moves? In a nutshell, yes.

    Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, I will steer you to a well written and very informative article detailing some of things you can do. This is well worth the read.

    –himuraken

    .NK2 file locations

    The location of the NK2 AutoCompelete file created by Outlook might be different from one computer to another, depending on the operating system and the version of Outlook.

    • For Outlook 2003/2007 with Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003:
      The location of the nk2 file is C:\Documents and Settings\[User Profile]\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
      The name of the NK2 file is identical to the Outlook profile name, with .nk2 extension.
    • For Outlook 2003/2007 with Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows server 2008:
      The location of the nk2 file is C:\Users\[User Profile]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook
      The name of the NK2 file is identical to the Outlook profile name, with .nk2 extension.
    • For Outlook 2010 with Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows server 2008:
      The nk2 file is located in C:\Users\[User Profile]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache
      The name of the NK2 file is in the following format: Stream_Autocomplete_X_AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.dat The X is the file index (usually 0) and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA is a random 16-byte key in hexadecimal format.
    • For Outlook 2010 with Windows XP:
      The nk2 file is located in C:\Documents and Settings\[User Profile]\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache
      The name of the NK2 file is in the following format: Stream_Autocomplete_X_AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.dat The X is the file index (usually 0) and AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA is a random 16-byte key in hexadecimal format.