WCF, Web Farms and Context

One thing that I have recently encountered is mixing WCF and Web Farms while maintaining context.

It seems the only way of doing this is  to use the ASP.Net Compatibility layer, which, to say the least, is far from elegant.

More research needed …

Installing SQL Server Express 2008 - 'Cross Language' Error

While trying to install SQL Express 2008 today, I hit a block during the install – SQL was complaining that I was trying to install a different language verses what was already installed.

Odd. SQL was not installed anyway – or so I thought.

Turned out it was detecting the compact edition, although it was english too.

Google turned up this blog post, which contains the key to getting it moving again!

http://www.arguingwithmyself.com/archives/106-how-to-install-sql-server-2008-express-with-visual-web-developer-2008-express

Twitter .. oops

It always make me smile when the Web 2.0 developments decide to throw up a more interesting error page. Gone are the days of seeing a typical 500 Server Error (thankfully!).

Twitter has this one, which I quite like :)

twitter technical

I suppose we will have to think of something suitable for the work project too!

Shocking ISP Technical Support

After my switch to Tiscali, I have unfortunately been forced to use their technical support services. Through (hopefully) no fault of my own I should add – my ADSL service is yo-yoing – up and down every couple of minutes. Seems to be a line fault or a card fault in the exchange – maybe this relates to my ongoing problems with Caller ID, but hey, we will see.

I submitted a support request last night detailing lots and lots of stuff from my Cisco 877 – lots of diagnostic information proving that the SNR on the line is great, and that it keeps going down (280 + activations in a 2 1/2 day period – thats daft!).

And what do I get back?

Boiler plate blooming response which proves that no-one has read the message to start with. Sigh.

Here we go …

I wonder if Tiscali monitor twitter and blogs … I wonder if they have a service status twitter …

The carbon cost of our electronic persona's

I was reading this earlier this week on the BBC website, and it’s only really hit me. [Link]

I don’t know about you lot, but I do tend to run a lot of searches, and I typically use Google. I run, according to iGoogle, between 30 and 40 searches a day – so this is the fair addition to my personal carbon emissions just to find a few things on the internet.

And it would all be more efficient if they were not clustering the query handling, although it would (of course) be slower.

Do we continue down this path of pushing for continual performance increases while ignoring the ecological impact? Maybe this is going to be the computational “turn down your thermostat by a degree” type campaign? Surely we could live with a search that took another half second to execute?

Google Chrome

Over the last few days I’ve been playing about with Google Chrome – and I must say, it is an excellent browser. It is greased lightning. Perfect for surfing the web, and is exceptionally light weight with minimal plugins being loaded – unlike Internet Explorer, and even Firefox these days.

There are a few problems though.

For one, things like Microsoft’s Card Spaces does not work – although these only work in Internet Explorer, so nothing new there.

Next up, lack of major functions to aid developers – Internet Explorer and Firefox both have well developed aids for assisting developers with css, header monitoring etc. These will appear for Chrome, but will take time.

Finally, some sites really don’t support it. Case in point is my bank – NatWest. In actual fact, there is no real technical reason why they do NOT support it, and I’ve actually e-mailed them on  this fact, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Conclusion: Download Chrome now. You will (probably) not be disappointed.

Creating an ISO under Windows Server 2008

Quite often you find yourself looking for that tool you know exists, but can’t remember the name of. This morning I was in such a position.

Setting up a Windows Server 2003 x64 Virtual Machine under HyperV, and upon booting it you have no network. And only on Service Pack 1, so you can not install the Virtual Machine Integration tools (and give you the drivers). Catch 22 :)

So, off I go, and download this handy utility: http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/Vista.htm. Install, create ISO, mount it under HyperV and bingo we can install SP2 on the VM without difficulty :).

On the subject of creating ISOs, another handy tool for you kit is: http://www.minidvdsoft.com/isocreator/

Error Installing HyperV Integration on Windows Server 2003

Just thought I would throw this up quickly – I just hit a problem when installing the HyperV Integration tools on a new Windows Server 2003 Virtual Machine.

HyperV threw:

Error (13233)
Unable to install Virtual Guest Services on virtual machine Win NAS. The Hyper-V Integration Services setup exited with error code 60001.

Recommended Action
For more information, refer to the Hyper-V documentation for virtual machine integration services at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=118036 and then try the operation again.

The solution is simple – install Service Pack 2 on the Windows Server 2003 VM and try again. Would be nice if the HyperV toolkit checked the SP level and gave you a decent error however (and the above link is pretty ambiguous too).

Installing Microsoft Zune on Windows Server 2008

I run Windows Server 2008 as my desktop operating system at home.

Why?

Simple really :)

It’s more responsive than Vista, it handles my development better, and it natively runs Hyper-V.

And it means I can work as if I were in the office with multiple machines easily.

I know I can do all this under Vista, with a few tweaks, but I truly do find Server nicer.

The only snag is that some software doesn’t install properly – although it works fine once installed. One of these apps is the Microsoft Zune application. However, here is a good work around to get it to install: http://blogs.msdn.com/dzazzo/archive/2008/09/16/installing-zune-3-0-on-windows-server-2008.aspx