October 2004 - Posts
Today, I should be at home preparing for 4 SBS installs over the next 2 weeks. Unfortunately, due to the incompetence of Continental Airlines, I am stuck in Newark airport with no assistance from the rudest and most unhelpful people I have ever had to deal with.
We arrived from Orlando after a 4 hour delay only to find that our international flight to Shannon had left without us. Not only us, but 40+ other passengers… No food slip, no drink slip, no hotel room, nothing…. The staff were rude, unhelpful, and worse… checked off to go home. Leaving 40 people standing with no-one to talk to. Not only that, but they would not let us have our baggage. I felt really bad, but we did get checked onto Sunday evening’s flight to Shannon. I have since found out that some have to wait until the 5th November! How insane is that!
The “cherry on the cake” was the poor unfortunate family I found, with two children, one less than 14 months. You had left them with nothing, taken away even the toddlers nappies and clothing in the baggage and left them with a mother in tears. We helped this family to a hotel, but guess what… it was not our job – but yours!
Continental… I hope you are reading this. You HAVE to work harder on customer relations. Your staff needs training on how to handle people who are angry and not threaten them with your security staff just because your own staff are incompetent.
I fly often in Europe with another Airline – Ryanair. This airline is also known to be “problematic” at best. However, you made a trip with them look like a walk in the park.
This afternoon, I picked up on two new tips at Winconnections. Both for Exchange 2003.
OWA Public computer and Private computer session timeouts:
Control timeout values for Private computer, Public or Shared Computer
You cannot make Public or Shared Computer less secure than Trusted Computer
Action: Add the following DWORD values to override timeout settings (values in minutes) and restart W3SVC service
Inactivity timeout for Public or Shared clients
PublicClientTimeout Inactivity timeout for Trusted (Private) clients
Suppressing Out of Office Notifications for BCC’d Distribution Lists
By default, OOFs are sent to folks on To and Cc lines, and anyone who is a member of a DL on the Bcc line.
When set to 1, suppresses OOFS to members of BCC’d DLs
A tap on the shoulder... "Hey Nick... been a while"...
Who is this strange man looking at me...? Ah... It is Mark without a beard! The "professor" look has gone... here is the new and improved Mark Minasi :)
Brunch was good, it did not take long to get into tech discussion, so my wife soon left the table to sun herself. I found myself, yet again, trying to convince him to use SBS... that conversation seems to be going on forever. But, at least he started to understand the licencing for SBS. We may yet see a SBS box somewhere on the Minasi network.
Two other side notes... First, I aim to win the Harley Davidson that is on show at Winconnections. Man that would be so cool. Second, Winconnections looks like it will not be in Orlando next year, but California. Urgh... that is tooo far to travel.
And for those who want the picture: (Sorry Mark, the only one I had that was not blurred)
Last night I came back from Disney's MGM and proceeded to collapse on the bed with exhaustion. This morning I awoke to an onslaught of new and cool blogs. So, here they all are:
Two new SBS MVP Blogs:
A Gem of a post from Charles Anthe Here
Finally... from Dana and Susan...
Which File Extension are You?
So, here I am in Sunny Orlando. Life is good. The Winconnections conference starts on Sunday... expect more news then.
In the mean time... if you see a baggage handler going around with 400 cigarettes in his mouth, slap him from me as he pinched them from my bag.
Today, Susan Bradley posted about Media Centre PC / SBS in the home... Take a read
As you can see by my response on that post, I am also not happy with the fact I cannot network Media Centre into my house SBS network. Jeeze... that really sucks Microsoft!
Anyway, I am holding off for the moment. Once Microsoft allow us to join a domain and support European cable and satellite providers, I will go out and spend my hard earned money on one of these fancy systems. Whilst I am not taking away from the move MS is making on these Media Centre PC's, I think they have a long way to go.
For the moment, I am saving up for a Pluto home control system.... Running on Linux. This system is self updating, phone, security, networking, TV solution and ROCK's.
Today, I have received from no less that three sources, two different versions of a no-cd crack for the FS9.EXE file.
What concerns me, is that from a quick binary comparison, the only thing that has changed on both of these EXE's is the version number. In other words, I have two "cracked" EXE's that are apparently for version 9.1. From what I can see they are nothing more that 9.0 EXE's with the version number changed. I am sure another will turn up soon that is actually the right version.
I should clarify that I am not a reverse engineering expert... but I would like the opinion of someone who is, to give me a clear picture.
This brings me to another point.... and this is a rant. Could whomever in Microsoft who made the decision to include the SafeDisk protection on the CD for FS ensure that it is removed for any future versions of Flight Simulator. People will always hack it, and it seems illogical to me to have this protection.
What I would like to see instead is the activation method, like we have for Office and Windows already. This must be a better option.
This week has been a busy one... three SBS2003 installs / migrations, and on Monday - I am in Galway doing a "modified" SBS2003 Hands on Lab for some partners. On Wednesday, I fly to Shannon to catch the plane to Orlando for the Winconnections Conference
This is an excellent conference, and over the years I have met some great people at it. However, there is one product that really does not get talked about at this conference.... you guessed it. Small Business Server.
At last years event, my friend Mark Minasi was half way through explaining that you do not install everything on one box, when he made it very clear to everyone that "Nick Whittome and his SBS gang" actually do. This year I intend on being available for anyone who is interested in how this little box is doing all of these wonderful things for such a good price :) and why it is "flying off the shelf".
Anyway... Fancy a Pint? Ill be in the Hyatt.
Thanks to Chad Gross for finally getting a direct answer on this.
The ASP.NET Vulnerability does apply to SBS boxes. Remote Web Workspace and Sharepoint require the patch that you can find here.
This has been tested on SBS.
For those that read my blog regarding the table fog fix for the Parhelia card this fix was included in the FS9 9.1 Patch.
Great News Flight Simmers! The 9.1 Patch for FS9 (Flight Simulator 2004) has this very second been released.
I have been waiting up this evening to post this, as there are some very important things that you need to know about this patch (outside of the outstanding updates included). They are:
- I would suggest a backup if you have the capability to do so easily.
- The Installer WILL NOT display the readme before you install. You will be given all the important information regarding beta findings before you download. So you must read them!
- You MUST be running FSUIPC 3.40 or later if you are using that module from Pete Dowson.
- If you are running ActiveCamera, you may run into CTD issues with version 1.x. The latest version is, I believe, available on the site now
- Some install tests on my systems have been seen to look like they have stopped installing, when in fact they are working, but slowly. This happens on some machines, but not others. Walk away from your machine for a couple of hours and come back. Some other people have reported waiting a few hours for the install to complete.
- If you decide to uninstall the update, using the FS9UpdateUninstall.exe you should note that this IS uninstalling when you see the command screen and it appears to be doing nothing. It has a lot of work to do. Again, go and have a cup of tea and come back later so you are not tempted to click the X :)
- IF YOU HAVE THE NO-CD Patch, you MUST install the original FS9.EXE File for the patch to work.
- If you have modified any of the original FS files THAT MICROSOFT MENTION in their readme, the installer will fail. The original files can be obtained from the original CD's if you need to copy them back in.
- Those looking for the original gps_export.dll file, that dont want to muck around with getting it off the CD, can download it here
- DO NOT copy back any old version of the FS9.EXE file. The FS9.EXE file had updates made to it that correct CTD issues.
The update is available on the FS9 Website. Enjoy it! It includes a lot of fixes and updates that the MS team have been working hard on for a long time to make your simming experience better.
I keep on getting emails about the gate tutorial I did a while back that explains how to link objects and ensure things like the start and end keyframes in GMAX so that MakeMDL.exe exports correctly for Flight simulator.
Well, the links for the two tutorials are:
Linking the object
Animating the object
However, they need updating (if only to fix my error in the middle of one of them!). What I do not explain is how you can keep the ASM source code and use the hopefully soon to be released CAT tool that Arno Gerretsen and I have been working on and testing. As soon as Arno has released the tool, I will do another video on how to use it to create controlled animations.
I was implementing and checking out an improved SQL Indexed search over on Mark Minasi's forum, and found this post with a great RIS link. It may interest some of you:
For those that read this post:
Now you can go to the messagestats site and download the demo.
This morning I arrived to the office to find to my delight that my new Firewire Iomega REV drive had arrived. I have been waiting for this for a while now as the amount of data on my system is beyond my 80GB DLT backup and mostly personal MP3's etc.
I quickly open the package, and set about installing the hardware. I can now copy items quickly to my REV drive, but then the problems start.
First problem. I start to copy about 20GB of mp3's over to the drive and it starts quickly.... about half way though however the thing starts crawling to a halt. I call Iomega about this, and after the now 5 calls on the subject, they are still unable to give me an answer :( Apparently the firewire version "is very new" I am told. Umm... ok... what exactly does that mean?
I am soon to find out that my problems are only beginning. It seems that for some reason. The Norton Ghost (that comes packaged for the REV) also does not correctly load the Firewire DOS drivers and therefore makes that redundant. Again... I am waiting on an update.
Oh... one more... it will not boot from the BIOS as advertised. I really feel let down.
So, I finally got hold of someone in the USA this evening with straight answers. Here they are:
You cannot boot from the firewire version.
You can use the CD to boot, but they are having issues with many firewire ports. I ended up getting mine working on the Soundblaster port and disabling the Dell onboard one.
The slow copy is a known issue if you are copying files to the REV from the local drive and the network at the same time.
The backup software they provide (not the windows backup or Norton Ghost, but the image backup software does not work with the firewire version).
Moral of story: Purchase the USB version.
So today, I was clearing out a couple of "orphaned" uninstalls that were listed in Add/Remove programs and I come across a small, but amusing, entry in the Sage Line 50 uninstall.
Take a look
As you know, Microsoft are soon to release a patch for FS9. This will bring you up to version 9.1
If you use FSUIPC by the skilled Pete Dowson, make sure to visit his site to download version 3.4x of FSUIPC so that your add-ons continue to work.
Also, if you have ActiveCamera installed, you will also need an update. I am not certain if this is ready yet, but when I get an update I will be sure to post it.