Archives / 2006
  • Change Your Windows Live ID Primary Email

    Prior to Windows Live ID you were able to change the primary email address on your Passport account (assuming your primary email address was a non-Hotmail address). This feature was missing from the new Windows Live ID system and once you migrated from Passport to Windows Live ID there was no going back.

    Some people (like me) who changed jobs were stuck with either creating a new Windows Live ID (and chucking everything associated with the old one) or continuing to use the old account with an old email address. The later option was a bit scary if, like me, your old email was being forwarded to someone else; allowing them to retrieve your password and access your account.

    On a whim I checked today and it looks like the Live team has rolled out the ability to change your email address. Simply go to and select a new one (either a Hotmail or another external email address).

    Thanks to whomever pushed this one though.

  • Mounting ISO Images with Vista

    After installing Vista this weekend I started searching for a good tool for mounting ISO images. This is actually one of the few head-scratching moment I've had with Vista so far - why didn't they bake this in?

    I tried several that either didn't install, didn't work, or were in some way flaky. Finally I found a post from Arian Kulp on Virtual CloneDrive from Elby.

    Virtual CloneDrive is a free utility to mount ISO images on Windows (including Vista). One thing I really liked was that it associates itself with the ISO images so you can simply right-click on a .ISO file and mount it directly.

  • Office 2007 Product Key Problems

    Seems there is a bit of an issue with the MSDN Product Keys for Office 2007.

    Several of the Office products share the same Product Key issued by MSDN; "Office 2007 Desktop Programs" is used for Groove. InfoPath, and OneNote and both Project and Visio share another one.

    When I went to activate the assorted application on my workstation it failed for InfoPath, OneNote, and Project (Groove and Visio activated without a hitch). After some looking around I was able to find a thread in the managed MSDN newsgroups on this topic. Looks like several users have reported this problem.

    My guess is that the licensing servers are unable to recognize which product is being activated and it assumes that you are trying to re-activate the same product again and again. They also don't seem to know these are MSDN keys that should be allowed several installations (see MSDN Licensing FAQ)

    I was able to get OneNote activated over the phone (it was the only application I needed ASAP) after I explained the problem. Of course your mileage may vary.

    Update: This seems to have been fixed. Also, I've turned comments off due to people using the comments to request and publish product keys. Go pirate somewhere else guys.

  • Outlook 2007 Doesn't Work with Exchange 5.5

    Not that I'm really very surprised but Outlook 2007 will not connect to Exchange 5.5. I found a note about this on the TechNet Forums:

    "Microsoft continuously strives to provide a consistent and predictable end-of-life-cycle experience for all of its products.  In accordance with standard Microsoft life-cycle policies Exchange 5.5 ended extended life-cycle support on January 10, 2006.  As a result, Outlook 2007 will not support Exchange 5.5.  Because neither the Outlook or Exchange team is supporting this combination we will not discover and/or fix issues that crop up as the result of innovations in both products .  Rather than subjecting customers to potential serious issues like data loss or frequent server downtime we choose to prevent Outlook from connecting to these older and now unsupported servers.  Our research has shown that there is a relatively small set of customers who want to upgrade their desktops to the latest and greatest versions of Office and run server technology as old as Exchange 5.5.  There are clearly exceptions but they don't seem to be the norm."

    Something to keep in mind if, like me, you need to connect to an Exchange 5.5 email server.

  • Foxit Reader 2.0

    I just noticed that Foxit Reader 2.0 was release last month. For those of you not familiar with Foxit Reader then you should really check it out. Foxit is a free PDF reader that fixes almost all of my gripes with Adobe Reader - namely that it starts instantly and uses as little memory as possible.

    Check it out -

  • .NET 3.0 Drops pre-XP Support

    I was looking at the .NET 3.0 site today and noticed something I had previously missed. Under Supported Operating Systems it lists the following:

    • Microsoft Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1 (SP1)
    • Windows XP SP2
    • Windows Vista Release Candidate

    The removal of 9x and NT from the mix was expected. But the removal of Windows 2000 SP3 surprised me quite a bit.

    A lot of people are just now starting to cycle out their Windows 2000 servers. I wonder if rather than leading to faster server replacement this lead to slower adoption of .Net 3.0.

    I fully understand why they want to focus on the new platforms but I was a bit surprised by it. Especially when you consider that .NET 3.0 is - from my understanding of it - really just 2.0 with WinFX support.

  • Web Search with Lucene.NET

    I've been working with Lucene.NET and a project called Seekafile based on it for the last few days.

    Seekafile runs as a windows service that builds a Lucene index in the background. You can then use it to build Windows and Web clients that search that index.

    Using a few lines of code I was able to quickly build an index of our intranet (including text, html, Word documents, etc) and a simple web site to search it.

    This all started after I tried to use the Microsoft Index Service. I was able to get it up and running quick enough but the search capabilities were pretty limiting. What I wanted was "Google" style searching and the Index Service doesn't seem capable of doing it (at least not without more of a development effort invested into it).

    There were a few issues with Seekafile, namely that the management UI is somewhat limited (adding index directories is tedious for example) and you cannot exclude directories or filter what is added to the index. But other than that it does exactly what I needed - add a simple searchable index to our intranet.

    Overall I though it worked really well and it has running without incident for 24 hours.

  • Visual Studio 2005 SDK - August 2006

    I while back I notices that there was going to be an August release of the VS2005 SDK. There was a a nice blurb on the Microsoft website about it

    The August 2006 v3 RTM is the next milestone in the VS 2005 SDK. This RTM release contains updated VS Integration sample and documentation content, including updates to the Team System SDK bits to make them more usable ( including whitepapers in the Doc-set, exploding all the sample zips so the files are all installed ), the IronPython end-end integration sample with Web Projects support for both web site and web application projects, updated wizards ( using the new Editor reference code from v2 ) new and Powertoys including the Extensibility Explorer in-memory hierarchy sample that browses installed Packages, Services, ToolWindows, Editors, and Project Systems..

    But so far the link for this version has remained dead. I'm not sure if this is an oversight or not.

    Thanks to Gabriel Lozano-Morán however I was able to download it anyway. Turns out that while the link isn't working, the file is. You get get instructions on download it from here.

  • Swollen Capacitors

    My PC at work was exhibiting some odd behavior; namely it was turning of abruptly. Occasionally when this happened it exhibited a secondary symptom - it emulated the sound of a Boeing 747 at take off.

    Turns out that it was caused by "swollen capacitors". I'd never heard of such a thing. Neither had the head of IT who thought the Dell support tech must be drinking on the job when he suggest it. Turns out this is a great description, the tops of several capacitors on the motherboard were noticeably "swollen".

    I found a page that talks about this problem at Trend IT.

    Who'da thunk.

  • New Job

    It seems I'm one of those "lame bloggers who doesn’t say much". Truth be told, I've just never had much of interest to say. But maybe that will change now.

    This month I accepted a job with Parlance Corporation. Their flagship product is called nameConnector. It is a managed appliance that - among a number other things - integrates with a company's phone system allowing you to reach people by simply stating a person's name or a location ("Conference Room One" or "John Smith").

    I'll be working with some exciting technology including speech recognition and VoiceXML. And I'll be building a number of internal and customer-facing tools using C#, Windows Forms, ASP.NET, and Python (including Iron Python). It has been awhile since I was this excited about writing software. I've missed this feeling.

    So who knows, maybe now I'll have some more interesting things to talk about.


    Don't hold your breath though... :)

  • Mushy Kid Story

    Yes, I'm sharing a mushy story about my kids. But hey, it has technical content. Think of it as a study in youth UI design...

    My wife and I often chat during the day using IM. Whenever my daughter asks what my wife is doing, she typically replies "talking to your father". Sometimes she even tells my wife to relay a message to me.

    Well today my wife walked into the home office and found my daughter saying "are you there daddy". When my wife asked what she was doing she responded with a huff, "trying to talk to daddy on the computer".

    That made my day. There, I shared.

  • Shinny New HelpSpot

    We just purchased HelpSpot and are getting it up and running today. If you're looking for a customer support solution, especially for small to mid-sized ISVs, I would highly recommend checking them out.

  • Community Server 2.0 Roll-out

    This is my first post using the new CS 2.0 that was just rolled out here. All I can say is wow. There is quite a difference between the old .Text and this puppy. I now understand what they mean by "leapfrogging technology".

    Big props to the guys at Telligent for this.

  • Promises Promises

    I got a only of those "low rater mortgage loan" spam messages today. The first line said the following:

    "This will be our 4th and last final attempt to reach you regarding your low rate approval."

    Really? Do you promise?