Urge, what are you doing with my hard drive?

I’ve been experimenting with subscription music services.  A while ago I started with Rhapsody, and while I despised their darn application (why not just be an add in in Windows Media Player?!), I enjoyed their service.  Unfortunately, after I converted to Windows Vista (super duper edition), I discovered that Rhapsody didn’t work with Vista.
So I cancelled my Rhapsody subscription which was a painless process, but it did require a phone call.  Kudo’s for Real (<shiver>) for making it easy to leave the services – it makes me more willing to go back to it.
I then joined Urge.  After a while, I kind of got used to the interface, but I still haven’t found an easy way to "tag" music that I want to listen to again, short of putting it into a big messy playlist.  Rhapsody had this part down pat.
Over the past month or so, I’ve noticed that my hard drive has been getting accessed nonstop.  At first I thought it was Vista doing some indexing stuff, but even after leaving the machine alone for 24 hours, the hard drive was still clicking.  I finally narrowed it down to Urge causing the problem.  A few seconds after I close Windows Meda Player, the hard drive quiets down.  I reopen WMP and it goes nuts again.  I uninstalled Urge and the problem went away.  I reinstalled Urge and it came back.
I have a fairly noisy 10,000 RPM drive, so having it clicking all the time is quite annoying.  I wish I knew if this is a problem that is going to be cleared up soon, or if I need to move back to Rhapsody…

Changing CRM server IP address resulted in massive slowdown

On Monday we moved our offices.  As part of the move, we changed the IP addressing scheme in our office.  As we started using CRM, we noticed that certain things were running quite slowly.  For example, if you attempted to open an Account window, it could take up to 15 seconds, even if you had just opened the same one a moment before!
At first I was ready to blame my desktop for this problem.  In troubleshooting it, I remoted into the server as administrator and tried opening some screens, and they opened quickly, making me think that it was my machine.
I then tried opening the screens from another computer, and found that they were opening slowly there too, which told me it was not my desktop, but server related.
It turns out that the IP address of the reporting server that CRM was pointed to was hardcoded as an IP address, rather than a DNS name.  The result of this was that every time a form was opened that referred to the reporting server, it was timing out waiting for the reporting server.  The reason the administrator wasn’t running into that problem was because as a "limited user" within CRM, none of the screens it has access to (or that I tested in any case) were tied to the reporting server.
The solution is to go into the following location in the registry: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\MSCRM and correct the value in the SQLRSServerURL key.  In our case, I changed it from a hardcoded to the proper DNS name (which is top secret :)).  Then I did a quick IISRESET and everything was golden.
Hope this helps someone! – Eric.

XBox 360 – so much love, so much hate

It happened *again*.  Our XBox 360 died with the ring of 3 red lights.  This is the second time in six months this has happened.  Unfortunately, this time it was out of warranty, so I’m out $139 to get it repaired.
We use the XBox 360 pretty much every day.  Not so much as a game machine, but as a media center extender.  Our primary PVR is an HP Media Center equipped PC.  When we watch TV in the living room, we use the XBox 360 as an extender for it.  Due to this hardware failure, we’re going to have to use another extender while the 360 is off getting repaired.
Amazingly, when going through the process of getting the RMA, I was told that I was doing something wrong by plugging in the 360 into a UPS! The friendly tech support lady said that when you plug into a UPS, the 360 can not get enough power to drive the fans fast enough.  Why would they say this?  In the real world, you plug your valuable electronics into a UPS, especially when you live in the lightning capital of the world!  It’s pretty funny as I have my development workstation plugged into a UPS.  I’m pretty sure it draws a lot more power than a 360 does, and yet, it continues to run just fine.
Word is that later this year, a new revision of the 360 will be out.  It will feature a smaller die processor, which should help reduce heat.  If our 360 dies again after the renewed warranty expires (we get another year for paying for the repair), we’ll probably get a new revision model. If it isn’t out after that, I’m not sure we’ll get another one or repair this one if it breaks again.