September 2008 Entries

Benchmarking my external 2.5" drive (laptop) - USB 2.0 versus eSATA

When I bought a new laptop, I immediately replaced the hard drive with something bigger, and not wanting to see a SATA notebook drive go to waste I bought an Akasa ENP2NES P2 series external enclosure. I've used their 3.5" enclosures for some time, but this was the first 2.5" version. Even better, the enclosure had both eSATA and USB 2.0 ports. My Shuttle SD37-P2 barebones desktop includes an eSATA port, although combined with Intel Matrix RAID on that box, the 3.5" enclosures never got on with it. ......

Multiple monitors, quick tip to get missing apps on primary display

I run two PCs on dual monitor - by which I mean each PC is connected to the same two monitors. So much of the time, although they are dual monitor configurations I live only on a single monitor. This means that every now and then, when you run an app it appears on the taskbar but not on screen, because it's on the other monitor currently viewing the other PC. Here's my quick trick to get items on screen without switching monitor inputs; Right click on program name on taskbar. Click on Restore if ......

DLL hell on Windows 2000 - or, how not to install an app five years ago

A client recently contacted me regarding a legacy application, written when I was at a previous company, that was now refusing to save customer records due to a failure to validate e-mail addresses. The application runs on Windows Professional 2000, and is a web application with minimal ASP content, and a HTML generation engine written in Visual Basic 6.0. From the Application Log error messages the client provided it was clear that the issue was with a COM object, VBScript Regular Expressions v5.5. ......

Want to test apps against IE6, IE7, IE8 on XP SP2, XP SP3, Vista ? - Microsoft has VMs for you

Reading Virtual PC Guys' blog, http://blogs.msdn.com/virtu... and discovered that Microsoft has made available Virtual PC hard drive images (VHDs) for various version of IE and various operating systems, all enabled until January 2009. They are available here, http://www.microsoft.com/do... ......

Old school batch file for logging broadband connectivity

Recently the BT Broadband ADSL line at our shared office has been having problems. Slow speeds but more importantly regularly dropping out. We moved over to a second broadband connection but wanted to monitor the state of the original broadband connection so we could confirm the fault had been fixed. Should I code it in C#, thrash out some PowerShell scripts, pah! No, an old fashioned .cmd file and some batch commands will do ..... need to know the time, try a ping, and then wait for 10 seconds before ......

Excellent example of Windows Mobile smartphone use and 3G today

I received a support call from a client today, for which I provide a moderation system for viewer text messages for broadcast on a television channel. The engineer said messages weren't getting through, and I was leaving the office within 30 minutes to travel by tube and bus to a meeting in Chelsea, West London. So here's the busy day for the TyTN II Windows Mobile 6.0 smartphone. 12:00 -12:30 Kew office Various voice calls to client and SMS gateway provider. Initial sms messages to SMS gateway provider. ......

Little known Explorer feature in Vista

I was chatting to someone last night about how they liked Vista as their dad hadn't rung him for months since he got a new laptop with Vista on it. I concurred that there are some good new features such as the option to multi select files without the nightmare of Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click, which is really hard for my dad to master. However, the guy I was talking to didn't know about the option as it is off by default, so here is how to enable it. In explorer, go to Tools Options, View tab, and tick ......