Thursday, December 15, 2005

Just not possible

I do not think the following scenario is possible using the current version of Windows SharePoint Services 2.0:

We need to have end-users open Office documents (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) from a SharePoint site and NOT have IE and Office open the documents from the web server. E.g. have the Office documents opened from the browser cache, which would not require any authentication against the server.

This works as desired if browsing the SharePoint site with Firefox, for example. It also works as desired for non-Office documents like PDF. But IE makes the Office applications open the document from the server, which we do not want.

There are a few reasons we need this to work this way, which I won't go into now. Suffice it to say, I've been on Google, Yahoo, and the newsgroups and none of the solutions that I've found works the way we desire (htmltransinfo.xml, DOCICON.XML, ONET.XML, etc.).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Back to the Basics

I've recently had to reformat and reinstall Windows on my home desktop computer. Something is seriously wrong with that machine, and I don't think my troubles are over.

Anyway, I have been taking the reinstalls very slowly, just to be sure everything is ok before I take the time and effort to reset everything back to normal. So after the most recent reinstall of Windows XP Professional, I let the system run for about two weeks before installing any other programs.

One of the first programs I installed was Real Rhapsody 3.0. For those of you who don't know, it allows you to listen to thousands of tracks of music without buying each one. In essence, you are renting music. It's kinda cool, as it allows you to discover new music before you buy, and also borrow music you may not want to own.

However, I ran into a problem this weekend: Rhapsody won't let me authorize my account on my desktop. It tells me that three computers are already authorized for the Rhapsody service on my account, so I can't authorize a forth. Here's the catch: One of those three computers IS my desktop. I had previously authorized the program on my work laptop, my home laptop, and the home desktop.

Yet, because my home desktop crashed I was unable to "de-authorize" Rhapsody (and, come to think of it, iTunes as well). So, in order to fix this, Rhapsody's answer is to have me call an 800 number, wait for 15 minutes, and convince some service representative that I'm not trying to break the rules.

Well, I may have just had enough with "authorization" and "activation." I think I'm going back to listening to short clips of music on the internet and buying CDs of artists who I like. Plus, I have XM radio, which has free online streaming.

Oh, and that desktop: It is screwed up again. I think there's something seriously wrong with it.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

TCP/IP over...


Check out the The Bongo Project. Some college students in Canada found a novel way to transmit data.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Warren asks...

"Why wouldn't Blogger have blog in its dictionary?"

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Database, Shmatabase

Sometimes, the answer has nothing to do with SharePoint.

I'm doing trial by fire with SharePoint on a project that I inherited. Honestly, it's one of the best ways to learn.

We've been having issues with our WSS test server. It kept showing the following error in the Application Event log:
#50070: Unable to connect to the database CONFIGDB on SQLSERVER. Check the database connection information and make sure that the database server is running.

The site would go down all of the time. It would work, then not work. When it didn't work, it was the generic "Cannot connect to configuration database." We tried all of the fixes suggested online (this, this, this, and others), but nothing worked.

Usually we could connect to the config database using the SharePoint Central Admin, even if the SharePoint site is showing the "Cannot connect to the configuration database" error. Sometimes the Central Admin couldn't find the config database, but usually it worked. Very strange.

We tried changing the domain accounts used, creating new config and content databases and restoring the content, restarting a million times, etc. Nothing fixed it for good.

So, I tried an old trick: Switch the authentication to SQL Authentication. VoilĂ ! It appears that our Active Directory and/or SQL Server connection is flaky. So, this time SharePoint wins.

Win a prize

Whomever gets the reference to the new blog name gets a shiny nickel for the nickelodeon.

Friday, October 07, 2005

It's Alive

In case you're wondering, I am still alive and kicking. I've had a few busy months at work, requiring more of a management focus than a technical edge. I'm getting back into more technical aspects now, finally hopping on to a SharePoint project! (Hallelujah!)

After attending the MVP Summit last week, I was reminded how much I love tinkering in technology. Thanks to the other MCMS MVPs Andrew, Angus, and Spence for helping to ignite my fire.

In other news, Ann-Marie and I are expecting a baby in April!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Chapter 22 is on MSDN

A chapter from Building Websites with Microsoft Content Management Server has been added to MSDN:
Chapter 22: Enhancing Performance with Caching

Mei Ying, Stefan, and I worked together on this chapter, with much thanks to Pat Miller and Jason Ren for their input on MCMS caching.

Monday, May 23, 2005

CherryOS is Dead

Well, it looks like CherryOS, the supposed PearPC knockoff, is dead.

Anyone heard of Skype?

I just discovered Skype. Yeah, I know, a little late to the party. But it's really, really cool and very easy to use, so it deserves the attention.

I even got it running on my PocketPC and it works near flawlessly over my home WiFi network!

Check it out.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Finally, a Mac Virtual Machine Emulator for the PC

Well, apparantly there are two Macintosh emulators for Windows now: PearPC and CherryPC. In a nutshell, this is good news.

The bad news is that, apparantly, the PearPC folks are a little unhappy, and maybe even angry, that CherryOS has "borrowed" some of their work without their knowledge.

Either way, though, the advent of a Mac emulator for Windows is encouraged and welcome!

Thanks to Angus for the reminder!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Idea for Windows Server Home Edition

Rick Hallihan recently wrote about his idea for a version of Windows Server for the home, aka Windows Server Home Edition. He got lots of feedback. I think it's a great idea.

We are moving into the era of multi-computer homes, computer-savvy kids, multimedia everywhere, and even grandma using the internet. The decentralized layout of most homes still works fine if you use just one computer. But many people, including myself, like being able to move around and still be connected, but without the burden of carrying a laptop or handheld everywhere. So the ability to share settings and data around the house and around the world is becoming more and more important.

For example, if my wife needs the better computer to do work, I can still use the older system to surf the internet. Which brings up another point--what to do with old computers. With a Windows Server Home System, maybe those older Windows XP/2000 and even 98/Me systems can be hooked in and be used for something, like surfing in the kitchen or supplying streaming media to the living room. The Server could help allocate the tasks and resources. So those old systems don't have to be tossed into the recycle bin so early. (Though, it's still a good thing to recycle systems into charity organizations!)

And, hmmm, what about Mac and Linux? Maybe they could throw a contender or two in this arena.

Anyway, it sounds like Rick has got a buzz going.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Book Out!

Building Websites with Microsoft Content Management Server is out!

Order it here!

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Table Inspector

This is cool. This bookmarklet can work on any page you are browsing. It shows you if the data tables on the current page are accessible. Nifty!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

MCMS Standard Edition and non-subscriber users

Last fall, my team finished its first MCMS 2002 Standard Edition deployment. As we were deploying to production, we came across a user management issue that baffled us.

Now, the license for MCMS SE states that 15 unique non-subscriber users can be assigned to rights groups in Author, Editor, Moderator, Resource Manager, Template Designer, and Administrator roles. However, no matter what we did we could not have more than 14 non-subscriber users unless they were in all in the same rights group.

Well, it turns out that this is a little bug! We contacted Microsoft and they developed a patch for this particular problem, which only really applies to MCMS 2002 Standard Edition, not the Developer or Enterprise editions.

Check out KB890334 for more information, and contact Microsoft Product Support for the free patch.

Apparantly, there's also a related patch, KB883638, that has to do with fixing the ability to add Active Directory groups to subscriber rights groups in MCMS SE.

Thanks to Angus for bringing this up in the microsoft.public.cmserver.general newsgroup today! I've been meaning to post this for the past few weeks.