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The Case of the Unexplained, 2010: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich (TechEd 2010)

Having worked in the software support industry for many years, and now even as a software developer, I’ve lost count of the number of times that Mark Russinovich’s Sysinternals tools have helped me solve seemingly impossible problems. From simple application crashes, to complex file security issues – there has always been a tool in the [...]

The Case of the Unexplained, 2010: Troubleshooting with Mark Russinovich (TechEd 2010)

Compiling Open Media Library from source

Now that Open Media Library is coming closer and closer to a functional application people are starting to ask “Where can I download this from!?”, the answer – Because it’s open source you can download the source and compile and use at your discretion. “Source? Compile? What?” Are just some of the questions people are [...]

Compiling Open Media Library from source

How to disable ANTEC Fusion IR Receiver

I recently purchased an ANTEC Fusion home theatre PC enclosure to replace my old noisey media center PC only to discover that the included IR functionality was complete rubbish (you can’t even use the PC on/off button on an MCE remote without connecting an additional cable). Initially this didn’t phase me as I already had [...]

How to disable ANTEC Fusion IR Receiver

Creating & Publishing custom Sharepoint 2007 Web Parts

Recently I was given the task of creating some custom Web Parts for a newly implemented Microsoft Sharepoint 2007 site. Not knowing anything much about Sharepoint, the first step was to figure out how to create a basic Web Part and then figuring out how to publish it for use. Web Parts in SharePoint 2007 [...]

Creating & Publishing custom Sharepoint 2007 Web Parts
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Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch gives you a simpler and faster way to create professional-quality business applications for the desktop, the web, and the cloud. LightSwitch is a new addition to the Visual Studio family. Visit this page often to learn more about this exciting product.

More information available on the Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch page.

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It seems that the latest version of Google Chrome has made the switch to a Gray colour scheme. Personally I think it looks terrible compared the original Blue scheme, and it appears after doing a quick search that I’m not the only one who thinks so.

Google Chrome Gray

Thankfully, somebody has released a Classic Blue theme which will return it to its much nicer looking original state.

Now where’s my http prefix gone to

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Coalition vows to block internet filter
Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says the Coalition will not back the Government’s proposed internet filter.

The Government announced the filter two years ago as part of its cyber safety program to protect children from pornography and offensive material.

Read the full story on ABC News

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Having worked in the software support industry for many years, and now even as a software developer, I’ve lost count of the number of times that Mark Russinovich’s Sysinternals tools have helped me solve seemingly impossible problems. From simple application crashes, to complex file security issues – there has always been a tool in the Sysinternals suite that has at least pointed me in the right direction to solving the problem.

Each tool in the suite has a specific purpose with a plethora of features. My favourites in the suite are:

Process Explorer

Process ExplorerProcess Explorer is a fantastic tool for tracking down DLL-version problems or handle leaks, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.

I find Process Explorer extremely useful for tracking down hung processes that are causing excessive CPU usage and malicious process (Malware/Adware). It will even let you drill down in to specific threads of a process that is causing problems.

A few clicks in Process Explorer can sometimes solve the most annoying problems in a simple way.

Autoruns

AutorunsAnother great tool for getting rid of pesky malicious applications that run on start-up. Also excellent at discovering process of applications that may not have uninstalled correctly.

Autoruns has the most comprehensive knowledge of auto-starting locations of any startup monitor, shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them.

Process Monitor

Process MonitorProcess Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity.

For those more complex issues that deal with things like file/registry permissions, or missing assembly files (and many, many other file or registry related problems).

This tool is definitely the most useful in the suite for investigating unexplainable behaviour.

If you’ve never heard of Sysinternals (Process Explorer, Autoruns, Process Monitor), I highly suggest you take a look at the Sysinternals Technet page.

For an in-depth overview on how you can use these tools to assist you in investigating and troubleshooting unexplainable behaviour with Windows or third party software running on Windows, I would recommend watching the video after the break of one of Mark’s TechEd sessions.

(Read More »)

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Now that Open Media Library is coming closer and closer to a functional application people are starting to ask “Where can I download this from!?”, the answer – Because it’s open source you can download the source and compile and use at your discretion. “Source? Compile? What?” Are just some of the questions people are left with when told to do that. So here goes some step by step instructions on what you need to do to get Open Media Library up and running on Vista Media Center.

First things first – you will need the following applications:

I’m not going to go into how to install them, but i’m sure you can figure that out for yourself.

Create a new folder where you would like to store the source for Open Media Library (you can delete this later if you want).

Right click on the folder, highlight TortoiseSVN and then click Checkout...

TortoiseSVN Checkout Dialog

The TortoiseSVN prompt will then ask for the URL of the repository (which you can find out at http://code.google.com/p/open-media-library/source/checkout), put in http://open-media-library.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ and then click OK.

TortoiseSVN will then download the latest revision of the source and prompt you once it has been completed.

TortoiseSVN Completed Dialog

Now browse to the directory where you saved the source to and double click on OML.sln to open the Open Media Library solution in Visual C# Express. While the solution is opening you may be prompted with a few errors stating that Solution folders are not supported in this version of Visual Studio, just click OK and ignore these.

Usually you could then just click on Build -> Build Solution (or press F6), however due to constant changes to the repository you may get errors and a failed build. To avoid this you can build the OMLEngine and Library projects individually by right clicking on OMLEngine in the Solution Explorer (on the right), click Build and then do the same thing for Library.

Visual Studio Build

Next step is to register the application. This step is likely to cause most people problems depending on whether they’re using Vista 64bit or 32bit.

To note: OMLEngine.dll will register itself when it’s built in Visual Studio.

To register the application with MediaCenter first open up a command prompt and cd to the directory where you saved the source and then cd to \Library.

Type DevInstall.cmd /debug and then press enter. You should get an output much like this:

DevInstall

Provided all has gone well, if you open up Media Center you should be greeted with the Open Media Library menu strip icon.

Vista MediaCenter

Next up, importing your Movies.

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