Where did my files go?

I’ve been running windows 7 for a while now on both my home and work PC’s and all in all I’ve been pretty impressed. However, today I found one feature/bug that I can see will cause no end of pain.

Today I decided to download the R2 of Windows 2008, so after firing up the Microsoft Transfer Manager selecting the C drive as my download location and then waiting for the next couple of hours my transfer was complete.

The problem, the file I had supposedly stored on my C Drive was no where to be seen. I did some checking in the FTM to be sure the transfer hadn’t failed, but still no file to be found.

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So after some much heated clicking around I noticed the following button

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Turns out that the file I told FTM to stored in c:\ was placed in “c:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Local\VirtualStore”

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Not very intuitive place to put things Microsoft

Games missing from XBLA that I wish were there

Tonight a friend and I headed out to see the new Star Trek film at Hoyts in Melbourne. While we waited for the film to start we got to talking/reminiscing about some of the games we spent our youth playing. Some where between our recount of Grim Fandango and X-Wing Alliance we came to the conclusion that there is a lot of IP out there in the games industry that is ripe to be ported to Xbox Live Arcade.

For example Lucas Arts has around 7 titles that I can think of off the top of my head that were great hits back in the 90’s that would be accepted with wide open loving arms if released to XBLA. As mentioned above Grim Fandango and X-Wing Alliance are a great start. But why stop there when Lucas Arts has some great content in games like Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle, Rebel Assault and of course the original space flight sim that I’m sure we all sunk more than a few hours into X-Wing vs Tie Fighter 

Of course Lucas Arts isn’t the only studio out there that I can see is resting on it’s laurels when it comes to classy game IP from yester year. Take Activision or as they were known in the day Sierra, they had a great series of games in the Space Quest, Kings Quest and Gabriel Knight franchises, while these were probably not amazing graphically they had great storylines and humour that gave them a special charm,

Now I can understand people like Activision and Lucas Arts are probably more focused on your big budget games, but it surprises me that Microsoft hasn’t made an attempt to re-release some of it’s older titles and breath some new life into them. Two I can think of that got a lot of my attention gaming wise was Starlancer and Freelancer both games that have some great co-op and multiplayer prospects, and in theory would not be difficult to move across to the Xbox Architecture.

What I’ve listed above is by no means an exhaustive, and I’m sure there are more you could probably think of but the above are a few that I enjoyed completing more than once.

So this is my official call out to each of these developers/publishers time to look at some of those games that made you great and see if you can’t help us gamers in our mid-20’s relive our youth :o)

SharePoint Timer Service issues when upgrading to SP2

Last week I had my first official deployment of SharePoint SP2 in the field. While most of the install succeeded with out any issues I did run into a problem while I was attempting to run the configuration wizard. The error I received indicated that the Timer service failed to start. My first idea was to start the Timer service manually and then re run the configuration wizard.

This approach soon came to a halt, when I started the timer service the service began attempting to run the scheduled update jobs in the background. This caused issues as the configuration wizard would not start as it believed there was an update already in progress.

So now I was stuck with a server that was apparently updating but I had no idea if this was actually happening or not. So after doing some hunting I found I could force the upgrade using STSADM. However I still had the issue that SharePoint thought an upgrade was already in progress.

After a little more hunting I found the following command to reset the Upgrade running status;

STSADM –o setproperty –pn command-line-upgrade-running –pv no

then I ran this command to execute the upgrade using the command line

PSCONFIG –cmd upgrade –inplace b2b –wait –force

10-15 minutes later I was up and running.

Accessing Active Directory from an InfoPath Form

The embedded video below highlights how to load user details from Active Directory into your InfoPath form.

The solution highlighted uses the LDAP Webservice found on codeplex to make the LDAP connection. The best thing about this approach is that the search method included in the service pretty much takes care of returning around 90% of the data you might need to get back from your AD.

 

Once again big shout out to the guys at Camtasia for making this so easy to record

How to calculate the number of days between 2 dates in InfoPath

Recently while helping some people via the Newsgroups I’ve found it easier to build a video of how to solve a problem rather than type pages and pages of instructions.

In addition to giving a big call out to Camtasia studio as an editing platform and the Silverlight Hosting from live I thought it would be useful to also post my videos here.

This solution specifically deals with how to calculate the number of days between 2 selected dates.

How to Calculate the Number of Days between to dates in InfoPath

Office SP2 to release next week

Officially the second service pack for the Office suite will release next week, and while I’m sure there are a whole swag of features, additions and security improvements that will not be immediately visible to the naked eye. There are a couple of things that peaked my interest when reading through the summary of updates on the “Microsoft Update Product Team Blog

The first piece of information that caught my eye was the addition of a new STSADM command for assessing how ready your SharePoint server is for upgrade to O14, and also provides best practice feedback for your current environment.

The second little nugget that I noticed is the mention of “Substantial improvements to Forms-based authentication.” while no more detail is provided for this I can only hope that this means the setup and configuration of FBA has been improved and that its now more compatible with web based InfoPath forms.

The third point that interests me is the Form Server improvement around reducing the load times around large web based forms, I’m not sure on the exact improvements that have been made here but I’ll be very interested in to try this out.

The final improvement that I made note has been a personal bug bear for a while and has finally been addressed. That being when a web based form is rendered that contains a required field the “Cannot be blank” message would render above the field, preventing the user from clicking on the field in question. With this Form Server issue addressed I can start using the “Cannot be blank” option in my InfoPath forms again WooT!

 

For full details on the other updates included be sure to check the link above.

SharePoint 503 Service Unavailable Error

For the last couple of days I’ve been doing some work on a SharePoint event handler which was progressing at a good rate until I started getting a “503 Service unavailable” error after deploying an update.

After some searching it turned out that when WSP builder deployed the update for my Event Handler the App Pools for the SharePoint site failed to start. After restarting these from IIS manager all was good. Not sure exactly why the App Pools decided they didn’t want to come back up as I couldn’t spot any issues in the event logs on the server, but all is well now.

SharePoint Designer at no extra cost

Wow where does the time go I just had a look and my last post was on the 27 of Jan lot has happened since then and lots to tell but this is a quick post before I head back out in to the fray.

I got news the other day that SharePoint Designer that Application we all know and love (and hate at times) will officially be a free download from 1-Apr-2009.

Also any existing licensed SPD users will be upgraded to expression web.

Ok that’s it for now time to get going