Month: June 2007

msizap

If you install some of the CTP (Community Technology Previews) on your dev box and they start screwing with each other, as I had with installing a few in the wrong order to get to the SCSF (Smart Client Software Factory), then you’ll want to uninstall them and try again. Easier said than done.

I couldn’t get rid of the SCSF and I didn’t know what could be preventing its uninstall (you just see an empty dialog box with no text, just an OK button). That’s how I came across msizap.exe. It’s from MS but it’s packaged with the Windows SDK, which is huge, so download it from http://www.huydao.net/setup/msizap.zip. Msizap.exe removes all of the Windows Installer information for a product and also clears any product registry keys.

There’s also msiinv.exe which you can download from http://www.huydao.net/setup/msiinv.zip. It provides information on products installed on your box and would be useful for clean-ups. Certainly if you want to cleanly uninstall the GAX (Guidance Automation Extensions) you first have to uninstall all of the Guidance Packages and you may have some betas lurking in your system.

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Enabling revision of props

It is useful to be able to alter the log messages of SVN revisions but this isn’t possible with a default installation.

By default Subversion disallows the revision of properties on folders. These props aren’t under source control so it makes sense as you could end up with no-blame, uncontrolled alterations. In the ‘hooks’ folder of the repository there are a bunch of templates. Take the pre-revprop-change.tmpl and change the extension to .bat. If it was just left empty then the exit code would allow Subversion to make prop changes to revision. The following DOS batch file, however, limits those changes to log messages only.

@ECHO OFF
REM pre-revprop-change.bat

SET REPOS=%1
SET REV=%2
SET USER=%3
SET PROPNAME=%4

SET SVNLOG=svn:log

IF %PROPNAME% == %SVNLOG% GOTO :LOGEXIT
EXIT 1
:LOGEXIT
EXIT 0

Properties for Subversion folders

More tricky than it appears under Windows, especially if you’re using a network drive path because it’s a guerilla dev installation. You can’t set the props through the command line, it appears, but you can through Tortoise. The correct field for svn:externals was:

tools file:///J:/repo/tools

Setting this prop on the directory that will be the parent of the ‘tools’ directory worked just fine. Now we only need one tools directory in the repo and the export of the source will be much cleaner.

svnserve

The following command line created a useful SVN server:

sc create svnserve binpath= "\"E:\Program Files\Subversion\bin\svnserve.exe\" --service --root F:\SVN\Repository" start= auto depend= Tcpip type= own type= interact displayname= "Subversion Repository"

It can be accessed with:

svn://localhost/

The reason for setting this up was the very poor response time of using a network share over Microsoft Loopback Adapter in a Virtual PC desktop environment [mentioned here].

SQL Server Express Development Databases

Coming into a large corporation where it’s not possible to develop against the databases, perhaps because they’re under the control of another department, it can be useful to load a copy into SQL Server Express (it comes with Visual Studio 2005).

You’ll require all the .mdf files which will require stopping the database. Then you can attach to those from SQL Server Express. From there you can do a backup as a baseline.

HP PSC 2510 and MS WIA

All the time I was thinking the very slow drive explores, which I’d assumed were something to do with my RAID 0 array, would be a problem to investigate. Then I did the obvious and looked in the Event log. Loads of WIA problems that led me to the HP forums for the All-in-One printer I have. I already knew the software for this was bad but I had no idea how bad. After updating to the next version of the software (387MB fer fecks sake!) and then applying 3 patches, then three more under the Software Update tool, it finally seems to have gone away.

Now the scanner doesn’t work …

Tiddlyspot

I’ve created two accounts at Tiddlyspot. The first account is for my monkeyGTD page and the second account is for my Tiddlywiki development notebook. I’ll carry both of these on my USB key and use the Tiddlyspot upload function as a handy backup and synch area. I’d need my Pass2Go on my USB key to get in as the passwords are complex but the only time I’d not be able to use the USB key stored files is when I can’t use TrueCrypt for lack of admin privileges. If I can’t use the USB key at all then I can’t access the pages. So these pages should only be for computer related work, the rest of the project work staying in the moleskineGTD and index cards.

VPC, ICS, ZA

This all started with Subversion throwing a wobbly and not letting me see my repository in my Virtual PC (VPC) shared folder. It reported the file system as RAW even though it would work fine in the host and if I looked at a hotcopy of the repository it was fine. I decided, after the problem “went away”, that I should move away from shared folders (they’re terribly slow).

To do this required installing the Microsoft Loopback Adapter on the host and installing Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) for the new network adapter on the main NIC (currently the WiFi card although I should really bridge that with the ethernet network card). I could ping from host to guest and vice versa but that was all. Finally discovered it was ZoneAlarm (ZA) on the host being an arse. Even after you’ve added the new network as a trusted zone you have to lower the Internet Zone Security to medium. There is a setting in the, almost invisible, Advanced tab on the Firewall config page that is supposed to allow ICS but that doesn’t make any difference.

Anyway, now I have a mapped drive in my guest to my host data drive and it’s a lot faster than before. I’ll have to see if changing the Shared networking (NAT) network adaptor in the VPC settings makes any difference to the Local connection for my virtual network server setup.