Its Surface shipping day!

The big day has come. The Microsoft surface is now available but will the preorders arrive today as promised. Who knows. MicrosoftStore on twitter are confident that all will be well, but with so many people not having received shipping details and orders still showing as processing it really will be pot luck. Perhaps we are hard done to here in the UK - we don't even have a Microsoft store. If only Microsoft used a decent online store and was honest with information about orders!!

Microsoft Windows RT Surface delayed shipping?

In the wee hours of this morning I learnt that many shipments of the Microsoft RT Surface have been delayed – now it seems that the bulk of devices will not turn up until around the 2nd of November.

And it doesn’t seem like this has been limited to a specific geography – with people from America and Canada reporting the same notifications. Oddly, it seems to bring it all in line with the Australia shipping details.

Even more oddly, the Microsoft Store (awful design by the way) still indicates that shipping is 1 to 2 weeks – one week puts it on the 26th (launch day), and two puts it on the 2nd November. I wander which is right.

UPDATE: A further update from Microsoft Store indicates that the November 2nd updated date was sent out in error. Its not clear if this is just in error to UK purchases, or if it was the same mistake across the board ...

Getting Windows Mobile 7 Development going on Windows 8

After switching to Windows 8, I have had the fun of reinstalling all my apps. The first annoyance was discovering that the 7.1 (and 7.1.1) versions of the Windows Phone SDK does not work with Visual Studio 2012 (damn), so back to install VS 2008 aswell.

But I then hit another problem – the SDK kept failing to install. A google around lead me to this post. Downloading the app, leads you to another 30 odd Mb of downloads. Fun.

However, installing this update and then running a repair on the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 did eventually get it to install.

Then you need to install the 7.1.1 update, and you should be away.

Don’t forget to ensure you apply the VS 2008 SP 1…

N.B: If, like me, you need to do all this on more than one PC, you might find the download in the middle annoying. Once you have downloaded it, you can grab the files from (on Windows 8 anyway, adapt for your platform): c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\GFWLive\Downloads.

Using the Raspberry Pi as a log forwarder

Following on from my previous post on the Pi, I thought I’d quickly document the process to use it as a log forwarder (well, a syslog forwarder).

The Rasbian distribution already comes with rsyslogd installed, so we only need to make a few tweaks to the /etc/rsyslog.conf file.

First was to uncomment the lines at the start of the file to enable remote reception of events:

# provides UDP syslog reception
$ModLoad imudp
$UDPServerRun 514

# provides TCP syslog reception
$ModLoad imtcp
$InputTCPServerRun 514

Then to add some additional global configuration to enable the caching (in memory, and only resorting to disk when absolutely necessary) of messages:

$ActionQueueType LinkedList   # use asynchronous processing
$ActionQueueFileName srvrfwd  # set file name, also enables disk mode
$ActionResumeRetryCount -1    # infinite retries on insert failure
$ActionQueueSaveOnShutdown on # save in-memory data if rsyslog shuts down

Then to add a rule to forward the entries I’m interested in (IP’s are not real):

#Forwarding
if $fromhost-ip == '192.0.0.0' then @192.0.0.0
& ~
#End forwarding

And that's it. One syslog forwarder. Next I’ll probably post about the app I’ve written to receive, index and allow easy access to the syslog data Smile

The whole reason I did this was to capture data from my router, and move it to a database on my desktop – when it’s on. I don’t want to leave my desktop on all the time, as that’s a massive waste of electricity, and the Pi solves it with a neat and tidy, low power solution.