Professional Geek
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  • Still Having WSS Email Workflow Problems

    I posted a while back about a problem I was having with my WSS workflow’s not working when I used an email to initiate them

    I’ve been looking at it on and off since then and I’m still getting nowhere

    I can confirm that other automatic workflows fire ok. The problem is to do with receiving emails

    Interestingly I found a post on the MSDN Forums that describes exactly the problem I’m having

    The author (J.Amen) managed to prove it was the service pack by creating two virtual machines with identical setups expect one system had SP1 and one didn’t

    The thread then goes on to say Microsoft have been looking at it and it has “officially been verified as a bug” (that was on the 25th Feb 2008) and the thread is then filled up with lots “is the hotfix available” questions

    I think I’ll perform the same experiment over the weekend with two different setups just for my own piece of mind

    The problem I have now is that I don’t know if the MSDN thread is correct and I’ve got to wait for a hotfix or is there still something I need to do to my configuration

    I wish I knew either way!

    UPDATE:

    Found another thread that confirms the same thing

    Some very angry developers on the thread

  • Credit Where Credit Is Due

    I’m probably not the first person to say this but i’d like to publicly applaud Susan “SBS Diva” Bradley for sharing the full details of her recent security incident

    It would have been very easy for her to have attributed the downtime to anything other that what actually happened, flattened the machine and start over – especially since she is so passionate about patching and security

    Fortunately for the rest of us she’s shared her experience for the benefit of all – thank you!

    Not much elase to say really so go read what happened and think about how your managing your patches!

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2008/06/24/so-how-did-they-break-in.aspx

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2008/06/20/point-and-counterpoint.aspx

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2008/06/19/so-what-happened.aspx

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2008/06/16/offline-for-a-couple-of-days.aspx

    http://msmvps.com/blogs/bradley/archive/2008/06/16/houston-we-have-a-problem.aspx

  • Trend Worry Free Remote Manager – Version Mismatch

    Been quite on here again after my hols then jumping straight into an install!

    The install has given me plenty to blog about though :-)

    On this server we installed brand spanking new “Worry-Free Business Security – Advanced” (i wish they’d left it as Client Server Messaging Suite – it explained very clearly what you were getting!)

    The setup of the software went fine and i installed the agent so that it would communicate with the “Worry Free Remote Manager” (this gives us an overview of all our client sites in one easy to use portal)

    During the agent configuration it reported that it was able to communicate to the server ok

    However, when trying to view the details in the remote manager i was getting an error telling me communication was unsuccessful and it was offline

    When i looked on the SBS it reported

    “Agent does not match Client Server Messaging Security (CSM) version. Install the correct version”

    Very strange i thought. I’d installed the only version of the agent i could find and i there were no updates offered when trying to send the agent an upgrade command

    I went through all the support documents i could find for the Remote Manager and the product itself with no joy

    I then found a link that let me search the knowledgebase which turned up this article

    Basically the Worry Free Remote Manager doesn’t yet support Worry Free Business Security

    There is an upgrade schedule in the article which i’ve reproduced below. I’ve got a couple of weeks to wait until it’ll start working. Bit surprised at this the product was released a few weeks ago now. Hopefully once the work has completed it should all just start working!

    For NABU, APAC and LAR
       
      o System maintenance period (no access for partners): June 28 and 29 (PST).
      o WFRM 1.6 agent upgrade and WFBS Standard / Advanced 5.0 support: July 1
       
    EMEA
       
      o System maintenance period (no access for partners): July 9
      o WFRM 1.6 agent upgrade and WFBS Standard / Advanced 5.0 support: July 10

    Now that i think about i do remember getting an email about downtime to the Remote Manager but for some reason i thought that was last month….oh well

  • What The Web Should Be Like – Number 2

    So this is number two in an endless series of posts (ok it’s probably more like two of two) about websites that are maturing very nicely in "Web 2.0 era”

    The BBC website had a bit of a facelift not that long ago to help make the most of modern screen resolutions (nice post by Ric Shreves about the history of the visual look is here) and to accommodate the various types of media the BBC are now pushing

    The sports section of the site is a great example

    If you have any interest in Football (soccer) you’ll know it’s the European Championships at the moment. They has always been match results, reports, etc but it was the recent inclusion of video I’ve been impressed with.

    image

    The site has included various audio clips for some time (and more recently video interviews) on articles but actual video footage of matches has been missing. As well as technical reasons I’m guessing there have been broadcast rights issues but it always struck me as weird in this day and age that if you didn’t catch a live broadcast or a scheduled highlights show that was it…you’d missed out!

    Fortunately now you can watch the live match online as well getting highlights and interviews as part of the match report and the design and layout of page works well so that the videos “flow” with the page

    The page also has the social bookmarking buttons you see on lots of pages now (digg, delicious, facebook, etc)

    Coupled with the recent success of the iPlayer and last week’s announcement to create web pages for over 80 years worth of broadcasting (with clips i imagine!) it certainly shows where our licensing fee is going!

    That said though it’s great to see such a rich media experience online…it’s the way the web should be :-)

  • What The Web Should Be Like – Number 1

    We all know Internet usage is on the increase. The term Web 2.0 has showcased how changed technology is helping the Web become more and more useful

    We all look at various social-type websites (Facebook,etc) and the ability to create our own content (blogging, YouTube,etc) but I’m a big fan of sites that allow you get a task done easily and quickly in a much easier way than doing it “the old fashioned way”

    A great example of this is the new look Travelodge website

    We were planning on visiting some friends on the way back from our holiday and wanted to stop somewhere halfway between there and home to help break up the journey so decided to stop in Cambridge

    First up was the “auto-complete” style search that is very common now but very useful in this situation

    image 

    I just did a search on Cambridge and got this initial results screen

     image

    Lot’s of great information here. It shows me all the nearby hotels, how far away they are from my destination, it asks if i actually meant another location, allows me to compare different hotels and also plots them onto a map so i can check location vs price

    I did a comparison first (the fonts look squashed because of my setup)

    image

    Once again lots of useful information including how many rooms are left, parking details and what other facilities are available

    Then I switched to the map view and it allowed me to click on each location to get at that hotel information again

    image

    Once I’d chosen the hotel it was a few further clicks to enter my payment details and that was it. All booked in about ten minutes and the extra information provided by the site would have saved me money due to the details it gave about parking which may have been difficult to find out otherwise

    Imagine if I’d needed to do that without using the Internet? How long would it have taken? Would I have got enough information to make sure I was happy with my decision to book?

    Just as to show how difficult it might be it turned out i needed to cancel the reservations. If I’d had access to the Internet while i was away it would have been a two minute job to cancel once i’d logged into my account on the site

    Since i didn’t have this luxury i had to make do with the phone.

    I didn’t have a number for the hotel we were staying at (I didn’t think I’d need it and normally would have looked it up using my phone) so phoned a general customer services number i managed to find.

    They couldn’t deal with the cancellation so gave me the number for the hotel itself.

    I called them and i was told they couldn’t cancel as i’d need to speak to the reservation team so i was given another number. I called that and after using the automated phone system lottery i eventually managed to cancel the booking 40 minutes later!

    While the site is exactly the next best thing it shows how web applications be created for a specific task

    One of the other features on the site is called “Explore the UK”

    This part of the site allows you search for things to do (family trips,etc), events (festivals and the like) or store locations of family and friends who you would like to go and see as well as a route planner. Obviously they show nearby hotels in the search results but it’s slightly different twist that impressed me

    It’s the way the web should be!

  • Technology Addiction or just a bit of a geek?

    Today is my first day back in the office after a week’s holiday

    We spent a quiet week in Norfolk just outside Hunstanton, me, my wife and my little girl (who is still in a plaster cast….it was heart breaking watching her run around on her first trip to the beach with a plastic bag wrapped around her arm to keep sand and water away) had a great time on our first proper family holiday

    However, the mobile phone signal was dreadful and making phone calls or sending text messages was impossible, let alone trying to browse any web pages

    I’d planned on finally giving Twitter a go while I was away but this was a no go.

    While “switching off” from work is one thing, when your a “lifestyle geek” getting totally disconnected is something else altogether

    Some people see these as the same thing where to take a break from work while on holiday you have to turn off your phone/laptop/etc off whereas I don’t. I see them as separate things (and let’s be honest if your running a business do you really ever completely switch off?)

    But what do I mean by lifestyle geek?

    I remember on family holidays as a child my dad would usually be first up in the mornings and disappear to the closest shop to pick up a newspaper to read while he was getting his day started

    Fast forward to my first proper family holiday and one of my first instincts was to go to the mobile version of the BBC News site to check out the latest headlines followed by a trip to the mobile version of Google reader

    I do these sort of things automatically without thinking.

    My wife reports I was fidgety and grouchy for the first couple of days and that when we needed to resort to my laptop to watch a DVD after putting the little one to bed my eyes I was like a different person

    Bit like an addict going cold turkey?

    It reminded of reports you see all the time of people who are addicted to technology

    Luckily to help get me back into the swing of things I’m doing a new SBS installation this week with plenty of other techie stuff to get buried in

    The holiday was good and helped recharge my batteries so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in again!

    Not really sure about point of this post now but it’s got me back on the “blogging horse” :-)

  • iGizmo

    Not entirely sure how i stumbled across this but thought it was worth mentioning

    Here’s the intro from the website

    iGIZMO is the WORLD’S FIRST fully interactive digital magazine dedicated to bringing you the very latest and best in consumer technology straight to your inbox – in stunning detail. Published every fortnight, iGIZMO is like a print magazine, a website and TV show all wrapped up in one shiny package, with unbiased verdicts on all the latest kit.

    I’m quite impressed with the way you navigate around the “magazine”

    image

    Certain hotspots on the page fire off certain actions depending on the content. On one page clicking somewhere zooms you in for a closer look where another will open up a panel with extra information. Extra details such as external web links, product info (specs,price, etc) are moved away to clickable areas away from the description to help stop the page getting too bogged down in content

    Other features include embedded videos, the ability to take “clippings to send to a friend” and real page turning style animations

    The only downside was thought I thought the content itself didn’t dig as much as I’d like but I guess there are other place to get that sort of info

    It’s free to sign and supposedly emails you once a fortnight when it gets updated