Archive for December, 2007

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Outlook 2007 Connection Status for RPC/HTTP problems

December 17, 2007

Lots of people aren’t aware of this little “trick” and it is very handy when debugging a temperamental RPC over HTTP connection. Normally, the “Connection Status” dialog box only shows up if you launch Outlook with “/rpcdiag”.

If you hold down [Ctrl], and then right click on the Outlook tray icon, with Outlook 2007, “Connection Status” and “Test E-mail AutoConfiguration” appear. E-mail AutoConfiguration testing is handy for Exchange 2007 setups.
Just passing this along as an FYI because whenever I show it to people, 9 times out of 10, they have never seen those options before.

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Vista SP1 Release Candidate released

December 16, 2007

(thanks Slashdot)

Microsoft has made available the release candidate for Vista SP1, after a limited beta begun last September. Informationweek points out white papers telling business users that if they were waiting for SP1 to solve application compatibility issues, they needn’t bother waiting: SP1 won’t solve them, and in fact might cause applications to break that were running under Vista. Techworld outlines the hoops users will have to jump through to get SP1 installed.

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Edit your Outlook AutoComplete files

December 14, 2007

A fellow engineer at work passed this around the other day. A neat little utility that allows you to edit the contents of an Outlook 2000/XP/2003/2007  AutoComplete (.NK2) file. It’s called NK2.INFO.

It’s free and contains no spyware. It’s updated quite often. It can recover email addresses and names from a corrupted AutoComplete file as well. What more could you ask for?

Windows 2000/XP NK2 default location: drive:\Documents and Settings\user name\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows Vista NK2 default location:  drive:\Users\{username}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

LINK: http://www.nk2.info/

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The Best Internet Radio site to date

December 8, 2007

I’ve been searching for a good Internet radio site; not only for something to listen to, but to discover new music.

I came across this site today. Pandora. Just what is Pandora? Pandora is not quite like any other Internet radio site. It was derived from the Music Genome Project (the MGP captures the essence of music at the fundamental level” using over 400 attributes to describe songs and a complex mathematical algorithm to organize them). Pandora lets you listen to and discover new music based on deep analysis of the artist or song.

For example, this morning I signed up and typed in “muddy waters”. From there, I got to hear several new (well in this case, old!) artists I have never been subjected to before; all with the same style and feel as Muddy Waters. I heard harmonica-based blues artists such as Elmore James, Lightnin’ Hopkins and a few others. The mix was perfect.

My second query was my new favorite band, the Black Keys. It started out by playing a real obscure (but excellent) Black Keys song, “The Moan”. Next up was Jimmy Page and the Black Crows doing the Led Zeppelin classic “Custard Pie”. Next was Robin Trower’s “Living Out Of Time”. I have never heard that song before, but holy shit, it was incredible. And all of the songs fit so well together. The sound quality is incredible as well.

You can also search by song. Let’s say you want to hear songs that sound like “Rockin’ Is Ma Business” by Alabama Thunderpussy (excellent cover of the Four Horsemen classic). I got tunes by Clutch, Hellraiser, etc. It was awesome.

There are other sites out there that let you customize radio stations, such as Napster (pay service, which I use to download tunes), Slacker, etc. But nothing compares to this. You can rate songs with thumbs up or thumbs down, but sadly, no way to purchase tracks. Oh well, that’s what Napster and Google are for, no? 🙂

May I add this a free service? There are a few ads embedded in the page, but no popups. They have a paid-for service that you can play on Sprint phones and some home Internet Radio devices.