Archive for July, 2005

xp as terminal server

July 20, 2005

This one has come in pretty handy a couple of times for me, although I doubt it complies 100% with the Microsoft EULA. At one point in the development of SP2, they released a public version that gave XP the functionality of a full terminal server allowing multiple remote desktop connections. This program uses files from that release to re-enable that functionality.
Only works on workgroup computers with fast user switching enabled. Terminal Server Patch download

redhat summer gear?

July 19, 2005

Got a kick out of this one. I got an email trying to get me to go to a Red Hat training and get $100 in “cool gear.” Red Hat swag

  • Red Hat boogie board
  • Shadowman beach towel
  • Flip-flops
  • Visor
  • Frisbee
  • Red Hat kite

That is supposed to be incentive? Looks like some crappy swag to me.

norton bloatware

July 18, 2005

I stopped installing Symantec anti-virus products when Norton Internet Security began grinding PC’s with less than 512MB of RAM to a halt and the corporate edition‘s new licensing began requiring annual subscription fees that cost as much as the initial purchase.

When I setup new soho PC’s now, I pull off whatever trial version of AV they come with and install CA EZtrust anti-virus. It is what anti-virus software should be without all the added on crap. If you use the Microsoft link (click on Computer Associates), you get a year free trial, no credit card necessary.

CA’s eTrust AV is just as good for the enterprise/smb. It’s cheap and updates are free for the life of the product. They also offer a great tool that can automate the removal of almost any common anti-virus program you might be running, rmcompt.exe.

3 pixel offset in ie

July 13, 2005

I setup a pretty standard css/xhtml 2-column website with a left floating sidebar for the navigation menu and a main div to the right with all the text. I noticed in IE, when the main div got longer than the sidebar, it would slide back to the left a couple of pixels. Hardly noticeable, but just enough to drive you crazy. I must of spent an hour or two trying to work around it until I came across IE Three Pixel Gap.

The hack to make IE render the page properly is to use this css on the main section:
* html p {
height: 1%;
margin-left: 0;

revert outlook 2003 pst to 2000/xp

July 12, 2005

Outlook 2003’s new PST format is not backwards compatible with previous versions of Outlook. To import a 2003 PST into the older versions, you can:

  1. Create a new PST on the PC with 2003 installed in the old format.
    Control Panel > Mail > Data Files... > Add > Outlook 97-2002 Personal Folders File
  2. Open Outlook 2003 and export the existing PST to the new one you just created
  3. Close Outlook and move or import the new PST into the old version of Outlook.

welcome to wordpress

July 10, 2005

I have been planning to switch to an xhtml compliant blog for a while. I finally had some time in the last few days to look around. I really wanted to use typo, but my web host won’t install ruby on rails until it is incorporated into cPanel.

My second choice was WordPress. So far I have been very impressed. The migration from Movable Type was a cinch using these instructions. I used mod_rewrite to redirect all the existing MT links to WP using these instructions. I tweaked them a little bit to fit my MT naming scheme:
header('Content-type: text/plain');?>
<mtentries lastn="999999">
Redirect Permanent /files/< $MTArchiveDate format="%Y/%m"$>/< ?php echo sanitize_title("<$MTEntryTitle$>");<?php; $MTArchiveDate format="%Y/%m/%d"$>/<?php echo sanitize_title("<$MTEntryTitle$>"); ?>

I then had to go through and truncate all the MT filenames to be 15 characters without the extension. Thus,
became /files/2004/12/linux_on_the_ac.php. I’m sure there is a way to set this up to happen automatically, but I didn’t have too many entries so I just did it manually.

I’m looking forward to having a sane template to skin, so you should see a lot of changes to the design of this site soon.

memory leak in tcserver.exe fixed

July 7, 2005

I rarely reboot my tablet when I am running the XP Tablet Edition side of it. I almost always use hibernate instead. After a while, it would start running slow and I’ll notice that tcserver.exe is taking up 50-60MB of RAM. I used to just kill off the process, but it appears MS has released a fix.
Download it here.

centos 4 mythtv

July 6, 2005

ATrpms has all the packages necessary for Myth online. I needed to install kakasi, kakasi-dict, qt, and qt-MySQL from the bleeding section. The rest was in stable. It did not resolve all the perl dependencies for xmltv, but manually apt-get installing them worked fine. It is on a secondary system at my office, so I didn’t get a chance to get everything else setup, but I’ll post when I do.

acer travelmate c300 on suse?

July 5, 2005

I have been reading Nat Friedman’s weblog for a while and keeping an eye on the Hula Project. Both had me impressed with what Novell has been doing since their acquisition of Suse Linux.

Today I got this email:


I read website about the Acer TravelMate C301.

I working on better support of Tablet PCs for SUSE. Because I don’t have a
C301 for testing here, I would ask you if you can send me the
output of the following commands from this machine and your full
X-config-file ?

– dmidecode
(Not sure, but you must maybe install the dmidecode package)
– setserial -g /dev/ttyS*
– lspci -nv

Thanks for your help and the nice site about the Acer C300.

With kind regards,

Danny Kukawka

Danny Kukawka
[email removed]
Mobile Devices SUSE LINUX a Novell Business
Maxfeldstr. 5, D-90409 Nuernberg, Germany

Pretty cool. I can’t imagine getting an email like this from someone at RedHat. I’m going to make the switch from FC4 to Suse when I get the chance. Novell seems to really be embracing the open source community. I’ll let you know how it goes.

knopp-fu on 2K SBS

July 4, 2005

I took over administration for a client with an old generation 1 Compaq Proliant ML350 running 2K Small Business Server. The previous admin had put all their network data including the Exchange store into compressed folders. Needless to say, things weren’t running well and they were running out of disk space.

I upgraded a 2 disk 18GB RAID 1 to a 3 disk 36GB RAID 5 on with a Compaq Smart Array 431 RAID controller. I called Compaq tech support to verify the procedure so I didn’t hose the whole thing in the process. It was pretty simple, update drivers and firmware, shutdown, insert new drive, boot to Compaq Smart Start CD, go to configure array and it automatically tells you there is a new disc and you will be upgraded to RAID 5. The whole process took about 3 hours.

Once it finished, it asked what to do with the free space. I was hoping to end up with one big logical disk, but it made a note not to do this on Windows 2000. So I ended up with two 18GB logical disks. Here is where I started to get into trouble. I figured I would convert them both to dynamic disks and span the storage partition across both disks. I ran into this once before but, forgot that a disk that has been upgraded from basic to dynamic cannot be spanned. Crap.

Well, I had a copy of Partition Commander, so I figured I would see what it could do. Booted into Partition Commander and all I saw were two big dynamic disks. Obviously PC can’t work with partitions on dynamic disks. I should have left it here, but I did something really stupid instead. I saw there was an option to convert dynamic back to basic disks. DON’T DO THIS ON A SYSTEM DISK!! What can I say, it was Saturday and I wasn’t thinking straight and clicked the OK button. It was going to take 2 hours to run. I left, went kayaking for a while and came back.

Upon return, it had completed and I rebooted the system. Windows started up, whew, that was a relief. At the logon screen, however, I get this:
Directory Services could not start because of the following error: The system cannot find the file specified. Error Status: 0xc000000f. Please click OK to shutdown the system and reboot into the Directory Services Restore Mode, check the event log for more detailed information.

Reboot into directory services restore mode to see what I can do. Log on, loading settings screen pops-up, then immediately logs off. This is not good. Time for google. It found one page.
Looks promising. Similar problem, maybe an easy solution. Little did I know what a PITA it is to get to the registry.

  • Could not connect over network
  • Neither the Windows 2000 or 2003 drivers for the Smart Array 431 would work BartPE or Winternals ERD Commander which are both XP based.
  • Windows 2000 Recovery Console saw the drive, but has no access to registry editing and despite requiring logon credentials will not let you copy files from the system by default (are you kidding me??). Also, the registry files would have been too big to fit on a floppy.

Knoppix to the rescue! Booted to Knoppix. Mounted system partition mount -t ntfs /dev/ida/c0d0p0 /ntfs. Copied /ntfs/WINNT.SBS/system32/config/system to my USB key. Loaded the hive off my USB key onto my laptop via regedit -> Load Hive.... Deleted the items under the key system/MountedDevices and unloaded the hive. I am halfway there. Now how do I get them back on the drive? I burned the file from my usb key to a CD and booted to the 2K recovery console off the CD again. It wouldn’t let me eject the 2k disk, so I broke out the trusty paper clip and forced it. I copied the system file from the burned CD into the old directory, rebooted and kept my fingers crossed.

Low and behold it worked! It did a chkdsk, rebooted, and started up with only an error about WINS failing. I trashed the WINS DB and it started up fine. The disk manager still sees the old dynamic disk as offline, but I’m not going to touch that one with a 10 ft. pole. Other than that, all is well except the 5 hours of wasted unbillable time, but better than attempting a rebuild with no media or license keys. Thank god its a long weekend!