# Thursday, 01 July 2010

When I started blogging 3+ years ago, I found Windows Live Writer and really loved it. Since I’ve started blogging again, I’ve switched from blogging on my PC to my Mac. Mainly because I’m trying to use and understand Mono on the Mac. Unfortunately I’ve been unable to find any decent free blogging software on the Mac.

Switching back and forth to my PC to write blog posts isn’t my idea of fun. So, I decided to fire up my Windows VM, installed WLW, and put VMware into Unity mode. I must say, I’m pretty impressed. I was able to write a blog post in WLW, take a screen capture on my Mac, and paste it into WLW with absolutely no issues. Consider me sold :)

Now, if only I could figure out how to get the link that WLW opens after making a post to open in Chrome on my Mac instead of Chrome on my VM :)

Thursday, 01 July 2010 08:25:00 (Alaskan Daylight Time, UTC-08:00)
# Sunday, 27 June 2010

After not blogging for over a year, I decided to get back in the swing of things and write more. I clicked on a link and got the dreaded 404. So I decided to investigate.

About 6-8 months ago I upgraded my server last year to Server 2008 and IIS 7. I checked that my blog loaded, but never checked any links. It turns out that IIS 7 be default blogs "+" in URLs because it can pose security issues. Well, all my blog post links have "+" in them. This broke things :(

After some digging, I figured out how to fix it. Add the following to your Web.config file
<configuration>
  <system.webServer>
    <security>
      <requestFiltering allowDoubleEscaping="True"/>
    </security>
  </system.webServer>
</configuration>

Sunday, 27 June 2010 16:02:31 (Alaskan Daylight Time, UTC-08:00)
# Monday, 19 May 2008

I tried Windows Vista for a week, loved the new Explorer, loved the new visuals and animations, hated the crashes and Explorer would lock up a lot.

A while back, a few bloggers talked about how much faster and better Windows Server 2008 was than Windows Vista; so I figured I would give Server 2008 a shot.  A quick Google search turned up www.Win2008Workstation.com. I followed the guides on that site, and I now have a desktop which looks like Vista, but performs much faster, and I get MUCH fewer lockups of Windows Explorer.

I did have to set DEP to "Essential Windows programs and services only" otherwise some games and programs wouldn't install.  But other than that, its been a great experience! Way to go Windows Server 2008 team!

Server | Vista | Windows
Monday, 19 May 2008 11:55:47 (Alaskan Daylight Time, UTC-08:00)
# Saturday, 03 May 2008

So in my last post, I ranted (well, tried to, but my rant got wiped out when Vista crashed) about what I didn't like about Vista.  Now I'll rant about what I do like about Vista.

Task Manager and Resource Monitor

Both the Task Manager and the Resource Monitor (formally performance monitor) on Vista received a much needed revamp.  The fact that task man now allows you to go to one place and see all your running programs and services, and even allows you to start/stop services from within the task man is a huge improvement.  And with perfmon, being about to see at a glance what is going on with your CPU, disk, network and memory is awesome!  While the old perfmon was OK, the fact that you had to 1) add all those things separately and then try to discern one from another because they were all overlayed on one graph was kind of a pain.

Animations / Eye Candy

In ALL previous version of Microsoft Windows, the first thing I would do is turn off ALL the animations, I always found them to be annoying, distracting, and a waste of my time.  But I've found the animations and eye candy with Vista to actually enhance the experience of using the OS.

Start Menu

The start menu in all previous versions of Microsoft Windows was always a jumbled mess of applications, and God forbid you had more than a dozen or so applications installed, your start menu would become just unwieldy.  I used to organize all my programs by type, Internet, Utilities, Audio & Video, and Development to try and tame the mess that was the start menu.  Now, it really doesn't matter how big a mess it becomes, the fact that I can press the Win key and start typing makes the whole thing more manageable, and a heck of a lot easier to use.

Programs and Features

The abomination that was formally Add/Remove Programs has finally been fixed!  As a developer, with all the software I had to have installed, it would take several minutes for the Add/Remove Programs dialog to come up and populate. Now, it pops up right away, and starts populating.  I haven't had it take more than 10-15 seconds for it to fully populate with all my programs!  And, it even tells me down at the bottom that I have 101 programs installed, for a total of 9.57 GB of space.  Pretty handy. That fact that I can sort all my installed programs by size is really nice as well.

Overall

Overall, when I can get Windows Vista to not lockup, I'm happy with it.  If things continue the way they have been today, I think I'll stick with Windows Vista.  I can say though, that game performance is pretty crappy.  I'm getting a solid 10-15 frames per second less in Half Life 2 :(

Saturday, 03 May 2008 18:44:27 (Alaskan Daylight Time, UTC-08:00)
# Friday, 02 May 2008

I was 3 or 4 paragraphs into what was going to be a very long rant about Windows Vista.  About how some programs were crashing and other programs were losing there settings under Vista, and wouldn't you know it, I was trying to move some files around and Vista locks up.  Not a hard lock (nothing works), but explorer got wedged, and then one by one every process on the laptop got wedged.  I couldn't even use taskman to kill off the offending processes.

If things don't improve dramaticly for me this weekend, then I'm either going back to XP, or switching to Server 2008.

I really wanted to like Vista, but right now, I'm inclined to agree with everyone else out there that Vista sucks

Review | Vista | Windows
Friday, 02 May 2008 21:47:02 (Alaskan Daylight Time, UTC-08:00)
# Wednesday, 30 April 2008

I wanted to blog this mainly for my own edification, but I came across something I thought was very strange in the Windows command cacles.

So what's the difference between these two lines:

cacls "c:\temp" /T /G everyone:F

and

cacls "c:\temp\" /T /G everyone:F

If you were you were to point out that one doesn't have a trailing slash on the path, and one does; you would be correct.  You would also be correct if you pointed out that one works, and one doesn't.

Here is the output from the two commands:

C:\>cacls "c:\temp" /T /G everyone:F
Are you sure (Y/N)?

and

C:\>cacls "c:\temp\" /T /G everyone:F
The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.

Seems like such a silly limitation, maybe there is something I'm not aware of?

Wednesday, 30 April 2008 12:04:38 (Alaskan Daylight Time, UTC-08:00)
# Sunday, 07 October 2007

If you've read Raymond Chen's blog long enough, then you know trying to change system stuff directly in Windows registry is discouraged, if not frowned upon.  So when I kept hacking away at the registry trying to get some Windows Firewall exceptions for XP and Vista created, I decided to take a step back and see what Windows's API's are out there to do this.

Doing some Google searches doesn't reveal much (which is why I decided to blog this), except these two hidden gems Syslog daemon for Windows Eventlog, and Adding a port to the XP Firewall.  Both of these gave me pointers in the right direction to create this gem:

  1 private static void ExceptionToFirewall(bool add, string imageFileName, string name)
  2 {
  3 	Type netFwMgrType = Type.GetTypeFromProgID("HNetCfg.FwMgr");
  4 	INetFwMgr mgr = (INetFwMgr)Activator.CreateInstance(netFwMgrType);
  5 
  6 	INetFwProfile curProfile = mgr.LocalPolicy.CurrentProfile;
  7 	if (add)
  8 	{
  9 		Type NetFwAuthorizedApplicationType = Type.GetTypeFromProgID("HNetCfg.FwAuthorizedApplication", false);
 10 		INetFwAuthorizedApplication app = (INetFwAuthorizedApplication)Activator.CreateInstance(NetFwAuthorizedApplicationType);
 11 
 12 		app.Name = name;
 13 		app.ProcessImageFileName = imageFileName;
 14 		app.Enabled = true;
 15 		app.RemoteAddresses = "*";
 16 		app.Scope = NET_FW_SCOPE_.NET_FW_SCOPE_ALL;
 17 
 18 		curProfile.AuthorizedApplications.Add(app);
 19 	}
 20 	else
 21 	{
 22 		curProfile.AuthorizedApplications.Remove(imageFileName);
 23 	}
 24 }
 

To use this, you'll need to add a reference to COM component HNetCfg.FwMgr (Guid "{304CE942-6E39-40D8-943A-B913C40C9CD4}", file path C:\windows\system32\hnetcfg.dll).

One note, don't use the IpVersion property of INetFwAuthorizedApplication, under Windows Vista it throws a NotImplimentedException.

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C# | Firewall | Windows
Sunday, 07 October 2007 18:50:55 (Alaskan Daylight Time, UTC-08:00)