Archive for the ‘vista’ category

Task Scheduler 2.0 Email

December 29, 2008

I was originally excited about the new Task Scheduler built into Windows Server 2008 & Vista….I liked the idea of being able to easily select an event from the Event Viewer and schedule a task to trigger when it occurred. I was thinking this would make a really easy way to monitor some simple server stats…for example, anytime a login (failed or successful) occurred I could have an email alert sent. This was nice for servers that I know people shouldn’t be physically logging into on a regular basis.

The part that sucks though is that from everything I’ve read the email is sent using NTLM authentication for Windows SMTP servers. If you’re not using Windows SMTP server the email will still be sent if the server allows anonymous access. Well, if you’re trying to use a non-Windows server on the Internet and it does not allow anonymous access, looks like you’re out of luck.

Time to redo that PowerShell script to email alerts.

For reference, here’s a Technet post with info about the email settings:


Simply option to create a demo

December 23, 2008

I need to create a quick video tutorial for an application and figured it would be much easier to have a little guided demo that shows the actual steps and clicks rather than the long, boring step by step list of what to click. I know there’s tons of apps out there than can create presentations and demos but wasn’t looking for anything fancy. Then I came across this link – How to Create a video Presentation,  which reminded me I could do this from within Windows using the Windows Media Encoder.

After a quick test it looks like it will work…have to see what the end users think to know for sure. If you’re installing on Vista, there’s also a patch available to fix 3 known issues.

Wireless Scanner: inSSIDer

December 9, 2008

I heard about this product recently and keep meening to try it out but since I keep pushing it off I figured I’d at least post it here for future reference and in case it helps anyone else looking for a wireless scanner that works in Vista. I used to use NetStumbler but since Vista came out that really hasn’t been an option. I downloaded some other apps which work but not really the same features as NetStumbler. Then heard about inSSIDer which seems pretty cool and they have some other products as well if you do a lot of wireless deployments that may save you some time & money compared to the high end scanners out there.

Windows Vista and HP 2015 Printers

June 28, 2008

Sometimes it’s best to toss aside the instructions and just do what you think should work. That’s the lesson I learned the hard way recently when trying to get a HP 2015 printer working on Windows Vista. I had just setup the exact same setup a week before that worked fine, now I had spent a couple hours trying every driver I could think of but everything failed.

Long story short, even though the printer says on the box that it works with Vista, the drivers on the CD and that you can download from HP’s site all cause it to fail with various error messages. The trick to get it to work is to not install any of them. If you do…it just won’t work. If you simply connect the USB cable it will detect and work without problems. Of course if you read the directions which tell you not to do this you’re doomed.

A note, if you have already installed the drivers, one way to get them out is to do a system restore to a point just before you installed the drivers…this worked for me and got the printer working again.

Speed up Outlook by Removing RSS Feeds

May 23, 2008

I don’t use Outlook to view my RSS feeds but when I first switched over to Outlook 2007 I was checking out the features and so I selected it to sync with the RSS feed…and then forgot about it. Over time the number of RSS feeds grew and so did the amount of space they took up and time to sync. So here’s the quick steps to turn off the connection to IE RSS feeds…note that this does NOT remove the feeds but just separates the connection.

  1. In Outlook, click on the TOOLS menu
  2. Select OPTIONS
  3. Select the OTHER tab
  4. Click on the ADVANCED OPTIONS button
  6. Click OK.

Now that you’ve removed the sync, you can delete the feeds in Outlook to clear up the space. You should also see a little performance improvement by not having to sync the feeds all the time.

Windows Explorer Filter

May 20, 2008

A cool little feature that I apparently missed in Vista that comes in kinda handy, when you have Explorer open and are looking at a standard list of files, you can sort but name, date, type, etc….the standard options. If you hover over one of the titles, click on the arrow that appears you can choose to filter the results in the list. For example you can quickly filter by the date and choose to just see files from yesterday and today, or filter based on the size of the file, or any of the headers you have selected.

In case you’re wondering why I think this is a great little feature, I look at several reports that are transmitted daily, all go into the same folder on a dedicated system. This lets me, very quickly, show just the reports from yesterday and today regardless of the file name so I can quickly spot and open the ones I want.

Running Applications from Mapped Drive

May 17, 2008

One of the projects I’ve been working on involved choosing between Vista and XP for the desktops. The primary LOB application vendor said they supported and worked fine on Vista except you had to turn off UAC. This took me by surprise so I spoke with their support and engineering departments…the one and only reason they have customers turn off UAC, so you don’t get the prompt when you launch the app off the server over a mapped drive!

After a few more minutes trying to see if there was some other reason that was really the issue it was confirmed, this was the one and only reason for stating to turn off UAC. Ok, maybe I’m missing something here and what I think should work really won’t work….to to the test systems.

I added the server to the Local Intranet Zone and tried launching the app on the test system while logged in as a standard user. Worked like it should, no warning or confirmation prompts. So I now have a bunch of shiny new computers on the way with Vista so I can cut down on the clean up crap that is currently being done regularly with Win2k and XP by running the systems as regular users.

Note, to get to the settings page to add sites open Control Panel -> Network and Internet -> Internet Options -> Select the Security tab -> Highlight the Local Intranet icon and click Sites -> Click the Advanced button-> Add you sites.