Thursday, 19 October 2006

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

New album from Weird Al

If anyone's wondering what to get me for Christmas, then here's a suggestion.

Monday, 16 October 2006

Displaying cell location on your Pocket PC Phone Edition device

Frank had also wondered about how to do this, so I found DKToday via his blog.

I then got a bit annoyed that I was getting all these pop-up notifications about what cell I was in.

Further down in the comments of Frank's post, there's a link to an article by Nick Randolph about how you can edit the registry on your Pocket PC device to tell it to not cause the cell name broadcasts to be turned into pop-up notifications.

I might see if I can write my own applet, as DKToday does seem a bit buggy.

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Phone reception for my HP IPAQ rw6828

Optus finally ported my phone number over to a new SIM from my old CDMA phone on Friday.

It all works well, but it does appear that where I live is not such a great place for mobile phone reception.

I'm wondering what options there might be. I can't find anything online about car kits or external antennas/aerials for this model, so it may mean I need to leave the phone up one end of the house that does manage to find a cell (from about 3 suburbs away!)

Or maybe I can convince Optus to install a new base station nearby.

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Active OEM/EISA Partitions confuse upgrading Windows

I've been trialling Vista on a new Dell workstation.

This machine came configured with XP Home and an "OEM Recovery" partition.

I installed Vista onto the main partition by booting from a DVD.

What I didn't realise was that it appears the machine came configured with the OEM partition as the 'active' partition.

This didn't cause a problem until I then when to upgrade the build of Vista to a newer version.

The upgrade then complained that it didn’t have enough room for the temporary files to install Windows – even though my C: had 200 Gig free!

Turns out it was probably looking at the OEM partition, which was full.

How did I resolve this? After some clues about the cause of the problem from Darrell Gorter in the Microsoft Newsgroups, I did the following:

  1. First of all, I used diskpart.exe – a command-line tool to change the active partition to C: (it’ also in XP)
  2. This isn’t the whole solution, as now if you try and reboot the machine, you’ll get a "BOOTMGR is missing" error.
  3. So you boot off the OS media (Vista DVD in this case).
  4. Set the locale/keyboard settings and then choose 'Repair your computer'.
  5. It scans your disks for installs of Windows, then click 'Next'
  6. Then click on 'Startup Repair' - this figures out that BOOTMGR is missing and puts it in the right spot.
  7. The boot manager should now be fixed and you can reboot successfully.

If I'd originally booted XP Home, I suspect this problem would have been avoided. It appears that these machines modify the active partition when they boot the installed OS. As I'd just booted clean off of the DVD, this change never took place. I imagine this problem could affect any OS that tried to install on a similarly supplied workstation.

Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Acronym support - A Windows Live Writer Plugin I'd like to see

I try to make the effort to use the <acronym> element to explain any acronyms used in my posts.

What I'd like is a plugin for Windows Live Writer that lets me select text and add surround it with <acronym> element.

If there was a acronym web service out there somewhere, then it could hook into that to source the definitions of the acronym.

Selenium and AspNetTest

I came across AspNetTest the other day while I was looking at another project on CodePlex.

I have previously used NUnitAsp for doing some unit testing of ASP.NET UI bits, but as it emulates a "noscript" browser, it isn't very good at testing the "scripty" bits - e.g. AJAX, drag/drop stuff. It has also not been developed very much in the last two years.

Anyway, AspNetTest describes itself as being built upon NUnit and Selenium Remote Control.

It appears that it provides a nice way to automate unit testing of the web UI stuff, and I've seen some demos that indicate that it should handle the tricky drag/drop and AJAX kinds of scenarios that are of interest to me.

Add variables to standard CSS stylesheets in ASP.NET

Mads implements a HttpHandler to allow C# to be embedded in CSS files so your stylesheet can be customized.

Monday, 9 October 2006

Microsoft ® Windows Mobile ® Device Center Beta 3 for Windows Vista™ (x86)

"The Microsoft ® Windows Mobile ® Device Center enables data synchronization between Windows Mobile ® powered devices and Windows Vista™"

Don't know much about this - looks a bit like it's ActiveSync for Vista.

I also got my replacement iPAQ today - with buttons that don't fall off, so we're off to a good start already :-)

Friday, 6 October 2006

Skype

Although I've been aware of Skype for quite a while, I've never had occasion to use it until now.

Our friend Jane was able to talk to her sister Ann who is now overseas, and it worked pretty well.

Not as seamless in my opinion as proper VoIP (like we use for our normal phonecalls at home), but it is still free so you can't complain about that.

My new phone

I decided to get the HP iPAQ rw6828. It arrived this week, but I'm wondering.... is it supposed to do this?

Then there's the debarcle that they didn't port my old number over to the new SIM that comes with this phone (my old phone is CDMA so didn't have a SIM).

It now looks like I'll end up with the new number on the SIM just in time to send the new phone back to be fixed. I do wonder if a drop of glue might be an easier solution.

I also noticed that Optus coverage around my house leaves a bit to be desired.

Apart from the falling off button, the technology itself looks good so far.

Wednesday, 4 October 2006

Central Splitter installed

I've finally got the C10100E Central Splitter (from MATS Systems) installed, and I'm pleased to see that the new connection speed is a reasonable amount faster than previously recorded. This also means that I've been able to relocate the modem and VoIP hardware into the storeroom (instead of sitting on the kitchen bench!)
ADSL2+ (After Central Splitter)
Upstream Downstream
SNR Margin 9.0 dB 8.5 dB
Line Attenuation 22.5 dB 33.5 dB
Speed 942,200 12,129,800

Windows Imaging Component RC1

The Windows Imaging Component (WIC) provides WIC-enabled applications to display, edit, and access metadata for any image format for which a WIC-compliant CODEC is installed.

This looks like it might be useful if you need to open or examine graphics files.

It appears that it also comes as part of .NET Framework 3.0.

Analyzing IL for unused code

Here's a useful utility that can find unused code in your compiled .NET assemblies.