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Page 1 of 2 in the Vista category(RSS) Next Page

Don't Tell Me How To Run My Laptop

Posted in General | Live Writer | Vista at Thursday, April 24, 2008 6:51 AM Pacific Daylight Time

I went to install Live Mesh on my Windows Server 2008 Laptop just now and got this lovely message:


I had run with UAC enabled for some time but finally got tired of all the flashing and waiting that goes on whenever I start Hyper-V manager, want to change a network setting, or even when I just want to switch power plans. So I was already quite annoyed at UAC and then I read this article.

"The reason we put UAC into the platform was to annoy users. I'm serious," said Cross.

After reading that I decided that I would turn UAC off, and wow what a difference. Everything was faster. I would click the Hyper-V manager and it would actually open instead of wait, wait, flash, hit ok, wait, flash, wait, wait, open. I could change my power plan just by clicking on the power icon in my tray. It was almost as if I was using Windows Server 2008 as it was designed.

So now I've been a happy non-UAC user for a few weeks and was excited to install Live Mesh but no. Microsoft has decided for me that I can't use it unless I turn on UAC. This is just as bad as when I try to install the Windows Live applications and get this message:


This message is a bunch of BS because if I extract out of actual MSI packages, every single one of the applications will run just fine on my Windows Server 2008 machine (or Windows Server 2003 for that matter), but someone has tried to decide for me where I can run it.

Hey Live Team, just tell me what you support and don't support, but don't make me hack your installers just because you don't like what or how I'm running my machine.

Live Writer - x64 Support Added

Posted in Live Writer | Vista at Friday, November 9, 2007 4:29 AM Pacific Standard Time

A little late, but I'm behind in my blog reading (and posting). From the Writer DevZone:

We have heard from many of you about the pain and frustration in the last beta release when support for installing on x64 systems was not supported.  We're happy to share that this has also been fixed and now installation on Windows Vista x64 is fully supported.

Very nice! Now I can actually install and run it (posting from it now). I really like the new installer and also installed the Live Photo Gallery app on my desktop. The app allows you to upload photos to spaces and also has support for uploading to Flickr. I really would like to extend this for my own custom photo service that I wrote for my family to share photos, anyone know if this is possible?

Screen Saver Doesn't Activate in Vista

Posted in Gadgets | Vista at Wednesday, December 13, 2006 6:06 AM Pacific Standard Time

I had an issue on two of my computers where the screen saver would never start. I could preview the screen saver, but no matter how long I waited it would never come on. I tried a number of things, changing various settings, but nothing seemed to work. Last night I did another search on the topic and finally found an answer:

Anyway, the big problem I've been having with Vista is my screensaver not working since build 5381, it just would not kick in, I Checked everything, made sure there was nothing preventing the system from idling etc..  I was playing around the other day and it hit me.  Right after 5381 was released, I bought a Microsoft Laser Desktop 6000 KB/Mouse combo.  No, it can't be that I thought.  Well just for kicks I plugged the PS/2 portion of the wireless reciever in for the keyboard and left the USB as was (essentially making the keyboard PS/2 and the mouse USB).  Still no screensaver, so I figured, OK let's yank the USB plug.  2 minutes after yanking the cable the screensaver kicked in.  It was the mouse the whole time. 

Sure enough, both machines have a Microsoft mouse.

Chris not only figured out the problem, but found a temporary solution:

And for anyone wondering, I did some research into the problem, apparently this issue affects any machine running Media Center with this keyboard/Mouse combo.  If you kill ehtray.exe, the screensaver will kick in, but then your MCE Remote won't work.

Sure enough, if I kill ehtray.exe on these machines the screen saver kicks in right when it should. I was pretty happy with just finding that out and then today when looking for the post so that I could write this entry I found that Chris had figured even more out about the issue:

It turns out that with this KB/Mouse setup and a few others released around the same time they introduced a new "Microsoft Wireless Desktop Receiver 3.0A".  Previous wireless sets had the 2.0A receiver, and I just happened to have one of these old receivers lying around.  Plugged it in, aquired signal with my devices and walked out of the room.  When I came back 5 minutes later, the screensaver was working as I would expect it to.  So it's the receiver, not the keyboard or the mouse.  When I called Microsoft support about the issue, they said it is known but have no plans to fix the issue and outright refused to send me a working receiver. 

Seems pretty lame that MS knows this is an issue but isn't going to fix it. I wonder how many of these receivers are out there? The bummer thing is that on one of the machines the mouse is part of a keyboard/mouse combo which I paid a lot of money for. Now I have to either get a new one or kill the ehtray.exe process everytime I reboot.

How about a fix for us Microsoft?

Update: A fix has been posted to Windows Update that is called "HID Non-User Input Data Filter" as posted below by RYAN and Fred. Thanks to my readers for keeping an eye on this. I installed the update and it does fix the issue. Thanks Microsoft!

Beta Exam Extravaganza

Posted in Sql and Xml | SharePoint | Certifications | Vista at Tuesday, December 12, 2006 10:28 AM Pacific Standard Time

From LLiu on the SharePoint Team Blog

You are invited to take the following exams in their beta versions. If you pass either or both of the beta exams, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form.

·         Exam 70-542: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 – Application Development

o    Counts as credit towards Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007: Application Development

·         Exam 70-541: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 - Application Development

o    Counts as credit towards Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist: Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0: Application Development

Plus I noticed that both the exams for the MCITP: BI certification are available and a few Windows Vista exams too.

  • 071-445 - TS: Microsoft® SQL Server 2005 Business Intelligence - Implementation and Maintenance
  • 071-446 - PRO: Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure by Using Microsoft® SQL Server 2005
  • 071-621 - UPG: Upgrading your MCDST Certification to MCITP Enterprise Support
  • 071-622 - PRO: Installing, Maintaining, Supporting, and Troubleshooting Applications on the Microsoft® Windows Vista Client - Enterprise
  • 071-624 - TS: Deploying and Maintaining Vista Client and Office 12 System Desktops using the BDD

The promo code for all these exams seems to be BTA + last three digits of the exam number (071-445 would be BTA445). If you've been working with these technologies then the beta exams are a great deal since they are free and even if you don't pass at least you know what you need to study.

Windows Live Search on the HTC MTeoR

Posted in Gadgets | Vista | Windows Mobile at Monday, December 11, 2006 4:19 AM Pacific Standard Time

The Windows Live Search for Mobile got great reviews by Gizmodo. But if you tried to install it on your MTeoR you will find it doesn't install because the MTeoR is locked. Today I found this post which explains how easy it is to unlock the MTeoR. I ran through the steps and then installed the program and I'm very impressed. It is really easy to use even on a SmartPhone like the MTeoR.

Also, if you're running Vista and you're not getting the Mobile Device Center from Windows Update (even though you've connected to your Windows Mobile Device), check out Jason's troubleshooting guide. The trick of turning the connection back to a serial connection worked for me. Now I have the live search client and the mobile device center running.

IntelliType and IntelliPoint for Vista Released

Posted in Gadgets | Vista at Monday, December 11, 2006 3:59 AM Pacific Standard Time

via Tomas:

A new release of the IntelliPoint software for Microsoft Mice as well as the new Vista-compatible software for the MS Fingerprint reader is available now from the MS Hardware site. These were two of the updated set of drivers I was expecting since repaving my laptop with Vista.

You can download them now (which means this mouse now works great in Vista). The IntelliType software is also there. So if you emailed me asking me for the beta drivers, you can now get them.

ECS RC410L/800-M Motherboard BIOS Hell

Posted in General | Vista at Wednesday, November 29, 2006 1:03 PM Pacific Standard Time

My youngest brother-in-law Boogs has a computer that I helped him to build. We have been trying to upgrade it with Windows Vista since RC1 was released but we always ended up with a BSOD. Today I spend some time trying to troubleshoot it and figured out the problem was with the ECS RC410L motherboard. ECS has a BIOS upgrade available on their website so I downloaded it and installed it with their utility. Everything went perfectly, the utility said everything was correct, and we rebooted. After the reboot we were greeted with a message telling us the date/time was not set and to hit F1. I hit F1, set the date/time and other important options and hit F10 to save and exit. Nothing. Hmmm. Clear the CMOS, system boots up, date/time not set, try setting only the date/time. Nothing. Try setting 100 different options different ways. Nothing.

Looks like I'm not the only one with this issue: http://forums.hexus.net/showthread.php?t=83863.

So I contact tech support, tell them my issue, point out that other people have the same issue, and I get the same cut/paste response:

Dear Valued Customer:

If the system doesn't bootup normally after the BIOS flash, the BIOS might have been corrupted, flash with a wrong file or was unsuccessful. Try clearing the CMOS jumper for at least 10 second with AC source unplug, longer time will allow the current or the memory to drain completely, reboot the system. If the system won't bootup on a floppy to re-program the BIOS then you need to contact your vendor for help recovering the BIOS.

Thank you for using ECS products

ECSUSA Technical Support

Now I'm no hardware expert (I used to do a lot of system building, but like Scott those skills have atrophied and I haven't kept up), but how do you clear the CMOS with the AC unplugged? I tried doing this just to test it out and it does nothing. From my experience you need to set the CMOS clearing jumper and turn on the PC with power for it to be cleared (nothing visible happens until you remove the jumper). Anyhow, I already ordered a new motherboard from Newegg and it is not an ECS motherboard as I'm guessing they will not be replacing the board for me. You can bet that I'll never buy an ECS motherboard again nor recommend thier products to anyone based on this really poor customer service. So if you're thinking about buying an ECS product, think again.

Technorati Tags: ECS, Hardware

Vista RTM Thoughts

Posted in Vista at Friday, November 17, 2006 10:24 AM Pacific Standard Time

I installed Vista RTM on my laptop last night and like Sam Gentile, I felt pretty let down. I had a similar experience:

  • NVidia driver didn't install and I was in VGA mode which generated an experience index of 1.
  • I was able to install the driver using windows update which solved the problem after I manually switched to the areo theme.
  • I don't see any UI extras either, in fact the startup screen is still just a plain bar which I thought for sure they would finish in RTM
  • Since installing it I've had more crashes than the entire time I used Pre-RC1/RC1/RC2.
  • The new sounds are nice, but they didn't update the most annoying windows sound: the IE navigate sound.

I don't know what happened, but I am suffering from the same underwhelmedness as Sam. I not even sure if/when I'm going to upgrade my desktop.


Strangely Quiet

Posted in Vista at Thursday, November 16, 2006 6:38 AM Pacific Standard Time

Have you ever played the thumbs game? You might to take a look around to make sure you're not missing out on something big. :)

Update: If you haven't figured it out, Vista is up on MSDN for downloading. I've got my copy so you can start downloading now.

Another New Notebook Mouse

Posted in Gadgets | Vista at Thursday, November 2, 2006 11:13 AM Pacific Standard Time

My last mouse purchase was a real flop. The seem to be well designed, but for some reason when I would plug it into the usb ports on the right side of my M5 it would only work about 10% of the time, but when I used the left side usb port it would always work. Kind of annoying, but not a deal breaker. However, Logitech still hasn't provided the Vista drivers for it so you don't get any usage from all the cool extra buttons. So when I found out the new Microsoft Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 was available I went out and bought it.

In the two months that I had the Logitech mouse, I never got a single comment on it. The first day I had the Microsoft mouse I had people asking me what kind of mouse it was and where I got it from. It is definately a nice looking mouse, size is right, and the features are great. I played around with using the mouse as my presenter with power point today and it worked very well. It also would work great as a remote control while watching movies or listening to music since you can play/pause, navigate, and control the volume all from up to 30 ft away. If your laptop has bluetooth then you don't loose a USB port which is nice. The mouse is well designed in that there is a presentation button on top that puts the mouse into and out of presentation mode which turns on the bottom buttons and turns off the normal mouse features. My only complaint so far is that the clicking is squeaky. I guess this is a common Microsoft Mouse problem.

Look for a Logitech VX to be listed on ebay real soon. :)

Note: If you want to use all the features with Windows Vista you will need to be on the beta program so that you can get access to Intellipoint 6.1 (which doesn't list this mouse during setup, but just choose a random mouse and then change it after you're done with the install, it is there).

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