Professional Geek
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  • ZTE MF627 and Windows 7

    Just a quick one!

    I recently acquired a 3 Mobile broadband dongle

    The specific model of the dongle is ZTE MF627

    When i ran the installer program on my laptop (which is running Windows 7 Professional) everything seemed to install ok but it refused to pick up the modem

    I tried it on my netbook which is also running Windows 7 and had exactly the same problem

    I then tested it on XP SP3 and Vista SP2 systems and they worked fine

    Having decided it must be something to do with Windows 7 I tried running the connection program as administrator (as helpfully suggested by Vijay via Twitter) but this didn’t seem to make any difference for me either

    So I went back to the beginning, removed the software and when i re-installed and I changed the compatibility settings to run as XP SP3 and to run as administrator (which it would have done anyway, since it was installing a program)

    I did try Vista SP2 initially but this didn’t want to run at all

    On my device the installer program is called “VersionControl.exe”

    It then re-installed and it worked!

    Now that it is installed the connection program doesn’t appear to need any compatibility settings and I’m able to connect ok

    I had about three hours sleep last night though so your milage may vary 😉

    Minor Update:
    When you connect to the Internet the software will automatically update.
    Since the software is an auto-updater there is no way to force compatibility settings. I did an update and promptly couldn’t connect again

    Uninstalled and followed my original method and i reconnected ok

  • Spreading the word

    Slightly off topic but I haven’t posted in a while so why not

    I’ve become quite familiar with the inner workings of WordPress recently. This blog runs on WordPress but I’ve also done a couple of installations for my wife (who is amazing by the way!)

    Photo Blog (

    This is pretty self explanatory. Bryony is a keen amateur photographer so she’s been posting photos and writing about the things she’s been learning as she hones her technique

    I think she’s pretty good but obviously I’m biased

    The Deaf One (

    I’ve mentioned it a few times on here but Bryony is profoundly deaf. She has a type of hearing loss that generally gets worse as the years go by. She has started to look into a Cochlear Implant (the link explains what they are). It’s something that various different doctors have suggested down the years but until recently decided it wasn’t for her

    The blog is a journal that talks about the whole process and a bit of an outlet for all the thoughts and feelings that go with it as such it’s a massively life changing procedure

    Hopefully it will also give friends and family an insight into process and also what it’s actually like to have no hearing

    I just wanted to share so that if you or anyone you know may be interested go take a look!

  • Principal "username" is not able to access the database "db" under the current security context.

    Just to remind me because I always forget about it

    I was trying to do some maintenance on the SQL database that I use for one of my sites.

    I used SQL Management Studio to connect ok but when I tried to expand the database container I got this error (with username and dbname being specific to your site)

    The server principal "username" is not able to access the database "dbname" under the current security context.
    .Net SqlClient Data Provider in SQL Server Management Studio.


    It’s a shared hosting plan so obviously the security is pretty tight but I couldn’t even view my own database

    Fortunately the answer is simple (I found the answer on lots of sites but this the first one i found –thanks!)

    This is because the MS SQL Server is attempting to execute a T-SQL query to retrieve a list of databases along with additional information about those databases. One of those pieces of information is "Collation", which you will not have permission to action for all databases as you’re in a shared hosting environment and you only have access to your database alone.

    Step 1: In Object Explorer, click Databases
    Step 2: Display Object Explorer Details (F7) or View > Object Explorer Details
    Step 3: Right click the column headers and de-select "Collation"
    Step 4: Refresh Databases


    Easy enough – once I’d stopped the collation field from displaying all was well

  • Road to Gold!

    Slightly off topic but it’s my blog 😉

    Even though the London Olympics wont be here until 2012 did you know British athletes are competing in an Olympic event at the moment? Even better they actually stand a chance of bringing some gold medals home!

    Athletes from 60+ countries from around the world are currently in Taipei participating in the 21st summer Deaflympics with the British team being managed by UK Deaf Sport (who are also on twitter as @deafsport and are giving updates on the games)

    The British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust are covering the progress of the British team

    The site has all the results as well as pictures and video (fully subtitled of course)

    We have friends who are competing so hoping they bring back the gold!

    There is also a series of short videos following the experiences of some of the participants

    Our friend Beth who throws the hammer features in programme one (8 minutes in)

    It’s a shame the event isn’t getting a little bit more publicity. That said the England Women’s Football team reached the finals of the European Championships and you wouldn’t really know unless you were looking for it!

    Fingers crossed our team do well

  • Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration and Configuration

    A book review!

    Small Business Server 2008 – Installation, Migration, and Configuration by David Overton

    SBS 2008 image

    While there are some great books for anyone working in the SBS space I’m of the opinion there aren’t enough written in the UK so it was with great anticipation I awaited the release of this book once I’d heard UKSBSGuy, David Overton was penning this title

    I’m pleased to say the book doesn’t disappoint

    The title fully covers exactly what the book is all about


    Getting SBS 2008 up and running as quickly and smoothly as possible on a new system. Even though this is a pretty straight forward situation it fully described and backed up with pictures


    Making the move from SBS 2003 to SBS 2008. The book follows the official Microsoft steps for migration and builds on top of that with lots of pointers and makes you aware of any “gotchas” along the way


    Once SBS 2008 is installed the book then goes through all the steps you need to go from installed to operating in a production environment. This is where you’ll learn about areas such as installation of a 3rd party SSL certificate, working with Office Live and configuring backups


    The book has three other additional areas (it would have been a really long title!)

    Managing User and Computers

    While it may sound a pretty trivial area a chapter is dedicated to creating users and groups and adding computers and ensuring they are kept up-to-date

    Working with SBS Services as a user

    This is a great chapter. When a new server goes in to a business more often than not one of the first questions you’ll get it is

    “What does it do?”

    As a techie it’s then very easy to reel off a long list of things the system can do. This chapter takes that list and steps through it in a simple and easy to understand fashion covering three main areas

    E-mail, Calendar and Contacts – this demonstrates Exchange functionality

    Managing Files – covering SharePoint/Companyweb use, search and file recovery (via Shadow Copies)

    Remote Access – everything you need to know about Remote Web Workplace, OWA, Mobile phones and connecting via VPN

    Introduction to SBS 2008 Management

    A full introduction into looking after SBS 2008 once it is running as expected

    Areas covered include

    Using the admin tools, configuring daily reports, security, backups, storage and event logs

    The last part of this chapter looks at common problems and how to resolve them (e.g checking DNS forwarders, tweaking spam settings and investigating poor performance)


    The book comes in at 380 pages but there are a LOT of screenshots.

    Where needed David has added pictures of every step needed to complete a task which can be a massive help when you are doing something you haven’t seen before.

    The language used is clear and concise and when a new piece of technical language is used an explanation is provided

    The book is pitched in such a way that a tech savvy business owner who wanted to manage their own server will be able to learn from this book but not so simple that people with previous experience wont feel they like being taught old tricks

    The book also breaks out to David’s website when something goes beyond the scope of the book and provides background information and other useful resources (there some very good scripts around file share migration)

    From the perspective of my day job the book is worth buying just for the migration section alone. It’s in depth and covers every area without straying from the Microsoft official migration strategy. 

    Not long after the launch of the book David came to an AMITPRO event where we ran through a live migration. David had never seen either of the servers provided but following the steps in the book a successful migration was completed with a minimum of fuss (Vijay blogged about it at the time here)

    Having spoken to David at the event I know he put a lot of work into it and it certainly shows

    The book is available in either print or e-book formats directly from the Packt website (though it is available in lots of other places too)

    If you work with SBS 2008 this is definitely worth picking up

    Susan Bradley says it’s great too so what other recommendation do you need 🙂


    Disclaimer: A review copy of the book was kindly provided by Packt Publishing – I’ve donated the money I would have spent on the book to Cancer Research UK