Professional Geek
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  • Back In Business

    Finally back in the office after a long period of work

    We completed an SBS2003 installation over the weekend and Monday was left to tidy up the bits and pieces.

    I setup Update Services and was impressed with how easy it was to get going but i’m having a bit from trouble getting it to do it’s thing.

    The computers (and server) are all registered. The updates are scheduled for installation but the computers never seem to get the updates. I tried setting it to manual installation as well and it still doesn’t play ball.

    I’ll go back to the documentation and see if i can figure it out now I’m away from site.

    Had a bit of a nightmare situation with a photocopier engineer but that would be unprofessional of me to comment further…right?  :-p

    Now i just need to work my way through 5000+ RSS posts   🙁

    I’ve been so busy this last week i haven’t had a chance to pick up Gears of War..i’m hoping i can change that over the next few days!

  • Off The Radar

    I haven’t posted for a few days as i’ve been working away from the office

    First part of the week (Mon,Tues,Wed) was spent doing some SharePoint consultancy and the rest of the week (and weekend!) i’m doing an SBS 2003 installation

    I’m currently waiting for the server to reboot as i’m in the process of installation the R2 bits and pieces!

    Biggest downside to being away is that my nice tidy RSS feeds now currently sit at over 3000 un-read feeds 🙁

  • The Connected Home

    When i first moved into my house i had a romantic view of my “connected home”

    I had all sorts of plans and ideas of how my 21st century home would work.

    I wanted to have a PC in the living room that would be connected to the television and display pictures, videos and music from another computer acting as a central store where my other devices (laptop, pocket pc) could all receive these media delights

    I wanted X10 modules that could control my lights, heating system, even my curtains!

    I wanted music being played to follow me around the house

    I thought this is actually quite feasible (and after some research it i think i could have done it) but some events in my life took away the main factors to realising my dream….TIME & MONEY

    So my plans were put on hold

    Fast forward and i actually realised that i have actually put part of this in place purchase ativan online canada without realising

    My XBOX 360 sits downstairs in the living room where it recieves images, videos and music from my PC upstairs.

    The PC currently dual boots between Windows XP and one of the Vista BETAs

    At the weekend i also purchased a set of cordless headphones. The original idea behind this was so that i could play Xbox in the evenings as loud as i like without disturbing my other half or my daughter. The added bonus is that they are FM headphones (as opposed to infrared) so i could listen to music and have it “follow”me around the house.

    I know this is cheating a little but the great thing about this i have all this functionality and it didn’t cost me awful lot of money and was setup in no time at all

    Now all i need are some freebie X10 modules!

  • Multiple Monitors with Windows Vista

    *-* Update *-* I’ve posted about this again here

    I’m a big fan of multiple monitors. Even since i first tried it in Windows 2000 i haven’t looked back.

    I struggle when going back to a single screen as it’s so convenient to be able to view more than one window at a time.

    For example, If im on a support call i can remotely control a server and view a knowledge base article at the same time

    Even now while i’m writing this i have someone elses blog post for me to refer to.

    Anyway the point of this post is something i saw on Download Squad talking about support for multiple cards in Vista

    After reading the post i was a little concerned as couldn’t bear to “downgrade”. The worry is about using cards from different manufacturers as the full Aero interface requires that they have the same drivers. The post says that the Aero interface wont be available. I don’t think this is the case. From what i can gather one of the graphics cards will actually be disabled. You’ll still get your Aero interface….only on one screen though

    The original post that Download Squad links to has a link to an article on the Microsoft site that tries to explain the situation. It’s not immediately clear what the situation is but my take on it is:

    Dual View – One graphics adapter, multiple screens

    The article quite rightly points out most modern graphics cards have multiple outputs so their wont be an issue.

    This is the setup i have. My PC has a standard VGA output and a DVI output which runs my two screens. This wouldn’t cause any issues in Vista as it’s only a single driver.

    Homogeneous Multi-adapter – Multiple adapters, one graphics driver.

    This is where you have two cards that use the same driver. The cards don’t have to be identical. As long as they are running the same driver.So you could use for example:for example,  NVIDIA GeForce 7600 NVIDIA GeForce 6600 with no issues. Slot types are not important either

    Heterogeneous Multi-adapter – Multiple adapters, multiple drivers.

    This is where you use two cards from different companies. An NVIDIA and an ATI card for example. In this situation you would be forced to use the driver model for which ever card was the “POST” adapter (generally VGA)

    In Conclusion 

    I only think this is going to give a problem to people who use LOTS of screens (i.e 4+). As detailed above you can use a single adapter for two screens so the issue doesn’t arise. The cards DONT have to be identical. Just the drivers. So the situation isn’t as restrictive as i first thought!

    Also if you were building/buying a new system then you would just need to think a little more carefully about what your using to drive the screens.

  • Scripts are your friends

    Just reading a post from the “Addicted to IT” blog

    Why SBSers should be writing more scripts!

    The gist of the article is that you don’t need to be a programmer to create scripts and they are so useful that they can help out in all sorts of different ways

    Have to say i complety agree on this one. I do have a slight advantage in that i do have some programming experience (which i’ll post about some other time) but to create scripts (vb or js) isn’t difficult. They are so many resources to get you started and the examples on the Microsoft script centre sometimes means you don’t actually need to write anything..cos it’s already been done for you!

    The post also goes on to talk about re-using scripts.

    This is something i do a lot. I’ll write a script for a specific task then a some point in the future i’ll grap parts of it so dont have to waste time figuring it all out again. For example i was having a problem with a script that copies data from one server to another so created a logging function. Now i drop that code in every new script so i get more detail on whats happening!

    The more scripts you create the easier it gets as you can reuse parts over and over again!

    I have a SharePoint list that i keep all my scripts in. This lets me search for specific tasks. When i get around to it i’ll maybe categorise them for easier access

    Scripts are very powerful and can make lots of boring repetitive tasks nice and easy 

    Visit the Microsoft Script Center and get started!

  • And as if by magic..

    No sooner had a posted about the issues i was having using Sonicwall firewalls with Internet Explorer 7 i received an email from Sonicwall with their take on the problem

    Have a look here

    To fix the problem they are going to be releasing new firmware for all their current (fourth) generation models

    I was pleased to have received an official notice of this, even if it took a little while (how long was IE7 in beta for?!)

    Only thing i find a little strange is their workaround until the firmware release

    (1) remove IE 7.0 and downgrade to IE version 6.0 or

    (2) use Mozilla’s Firefox as an alternative browser

    They don’t mention anywhere the user agent string utility mentioned in my previous post

    It’s not that important i guess as the firmware release will sort everything out…

    No details though as to when the firmware is to be released!

    ** Updated on 19/03/2007 **

    This has been fixed!

    Read my new post here