Vista – it’s the little things that make it so nice.

I’ve been using Vista on my desktop since it was officially released at the consumer level.  I didn’t blog about it, but my upgrade on my desktop workstation did not go well.  Generally, unless you have a large IT department doing the work, my advice is get Vista with a new machine.
 
Yesterday I caved and purchased the new Apple aluminum keyboard and a Mighty Mouse.  These two things are pretty expensive considering that they are both wired, but I absolutely love the feel of the flat keyboard, and I thought I might as well make it a matching set.
 
The important part is that I wasn’t originally planning on using these devices on my Vista laptop.  Rather, I was going to use them on my Mac Mini which I keep around just to be cool like Steve Jobs .  However, at some point last night I decided to plug them into my laptop to see if they would work.  Well, Vista picked them up and they work quite nicely.  Without installing any software the keyboard is working, and the mouse and its weird buttons and scroll ball (on top) are working fine.  The special function keys (volume, etc) aren’t working yet, but I believe Apple has a driver out there somewhere.
 
After that went smoothly, I was playing around with Flip-3D in Vista and I noticed that when I did it, my MSN Live Messenger window automatically indicated that I was ‘busy’.  This isn’t a Vista feature, but it’s a nice bit of integration between Vista and Messenger.  There is a setting that you can turn off that prevents the ‘busy’ flag from being set whenever you are running a full screen app (which Flip-3D apparently counts as) or in presentation mode.
 
Finally, things like the breadcrumbs in Explorer, the search in the start menu (I haven’t organized the start menu ever – no need, just type a few letters), the previews in the task bar and the previews when using Alt-Tab just make Vista a nice place to spend time.
 
Maybe another day and I’ll post about the Vista annoyances… can you say UAC?  I knew you could!

New Sharepoint 2007 Training

The (in)famous Ted Pattison has just announced that The Ted Pattison Group will be hosting a new training class for Sharepoint 2007, starting August 27th.  This class will focus on creating solutions in Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server, without using programming.  See the details at: http://tedpattison.net/Courses/SSE301.aspx.
 
I’ve been to Ted’s training and found it very helpful.  If you use Sharepoint 2007 in your business (either Sharepoint Services, or Sharepoint Server), I strongly recommend you take the time and go to one of his classes.  You will learn a lot, and by taking the four days out of your schedule, you’ll be able to focus on Sharepoint, and not the daily interruptions that plague us all.
 
Have fun!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve found in your hard drive?

When I say "in your hard drive", I mean that quite literally.
 
We are destroying some drives for a medical customer.  Since we do not have the proper SCSI card to actually connect the drives, we’ve decided to physically destroy the drives.  One of them had a stripped screw, and we ended up folding back the metal cover over the drive platters to get access to them. 
 
Amazingly, when we flipped back the cover, we saw that one of the drive platters had a large X written on it with a black marker!  See the attached photo.
 
That’s the strangest thing I’ve ever found *in* a hard drive.
 

Ever had a truly busted SQL Server 2000 install?

Recently, while installing CRM on a client’s server, we discovered a "broken" SQL Server installation.  Enterprise Manager wouldn’t run, and certain SQL Services were no longer working.  In order to clear this up, I tried to do an uninstall and reinstall of SQL Server.  Unfortunately, during the uninstall, it errored out.  So I was left with a SQL Server install that wouldn’t uninstall, and wouldn’t run.  In trying to reinstall it, it would not allow an installation as the default instance.
 
Fortunately, Microsoft has a document on how to repair a disaster of this level.  Take a looksee at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290991 and follow the instructions very carefully.  After doing all those things, you too can have a working SQL Server 2000 installation. 

A great quote!

Once again I went down a rabbit hole on the Internet.  Eventually I ended up at http://www.actsofgord.com and read about a video game store owner’s experiences…  Many of those revolved around being sued, or suing people…
 
Here’s the great quote: "I remember a happier time when people used to threaten to sue because they were in the right.". 
 
Ah so true.  Now people sue just to inflict their will on others, or extort money from them.  These days when I hear about another lawsuit, be it class action or otherwise, the first thing I think of is "who has the most money?".  Chances are, if it’s a lawsuit between individuals or companies whoever has the most money will prevail.  If it’s a class action lawsuit, then the only people who benefit are the lawyers. It’s a very sad state of affairs. 
 
I do like Intel’s policy on lawsuits.  As I recall, they never settle.  That means that the lawyers who are planning on suing know they have to be in it for the long haul, not just hope that Intel will throw them a few hundred thousand dollars to make them go away.
 
Here’s to my next lawsuit!