BluetoothEver since formatting my laptop (Dell Lattitude D820), I’ve been trying to get my Bluetooth working.  Although XP SP2 has bluetooth support built in, it’s pretty lame and doesn’t support the headset profile, which means I can’t use my bluetooth headset with Skype.

The Dell D820 comes with a Dell Wireless 350 card, with the Bluetooth component manufactured by Toshiba.  Unfortunately, their Bluetooth stack isn’t digitally signed, and it’s a bit flaky.  It used to work before, but not anymore.  After a few hours of idling, it causes my machine down the blue screen of death route, moaning about an error with tosrfusb.sys.

Initially, I thought this might be a memory problem, and took Jeff’s advice, using both Prime95 and Memtest86+ to check my hardware, neither of which revealed anything strange.  The hardware is fine, and this is definitely a software problem.

I’ve tried uninstalling and re-installing, without any joy – the blue screen of death still appears, so for now, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I can’t use my Bluetooth headset with Skype.  Not until Toshiba release a new version or Microsoft sort out their act and add the bluetooth headset profile into their bluetooth stack.

[tags]toshiba,dell, bluetooth, tosrfusb.sys, blue screen of death[/tags]

P910_operaSince abandoning my Samsung t809 and returning to the Sony Ericsson p910i, I’ve been experiencing a strange issue where the mobile edition of Opera would no longer be able to access the web.

But Opera worked fine when I was in the UK with Orange, and the standard browser works with T-Mobile, so it would seem like this issue is something specific to do with the combination of Opera 6.32 and T-Mobile (USA).

After some scouting around, it appears that the T-Mobile OTA (over-the-air) configuration tool configures some proxy settings with the TZones WAP account.

For reasons unknown, Opera ignores these settings, so the browser cannot access the web.  However, even when the proxy settings within Opera are configured the same way, it still doesn’t work, with Opera flatly refusing to connect to any websites.

The problem seems to be with the port.  The auto configuration tool sets the port to 9201 which works fine with the standard browser, though for Opera to work, this needs to be set to 8080 [within Opera’s settings, under the proxy tab].  All this info and more is at HowardForums.

Finally I can access GMail on my phone again!

[tags]t-mobile, p910i, gmail, proxy[/tags]

Samsung-t809-ripI’ve been struggling to get the grips with the Samsung t809 since I got my T-Mobile plan a few months ago.

Today, I finally decided enough was enough and have reverted back to my Sony Ericsson p910i for a while.

The t809 is one of the worst phones I’ve come across, and I wish I stuck with something by Nokia or Sony Ericsson, who clearly have a lot more experience with the mobile market and produce better products.

As well as the crappy interface and poor battery life, the t809 has niggling faults like being unable to vibrate and ring simultanously, or use mp3’s as ringtones, or use the snooze function on anything but one alarm, or… the list goes on.

It feels very much like Samsung have put a lot of work into the way the phone looks, and it does look stylish.  But, just about everything else is terrible.  I’m sure it’ll be useful to someone else though, so I’ll just put it on eBay.

Maybe now is a good time to get the m600 :-)

[tags]samsung, t809, nokia, sony ericsson[/tags]

FirefoxFirefox has been getting slower and slower on my machine.  Didn’t realise how slow  become until I stumbled across Portable Firefox and fired it up.  Whoa!  Lightning fast!

Not surprising, given all the extensions I have installed…

Went through the list and disabled some, but the Firefox still feels a little slow and bloated.  It’s a pity that Firefox and Portable Firefox can’t run simultaneously.  That would be handy.  I’m probably going to move over to the portable version completely, eventually (once I’ve figured out which extensions really are critical and insalled them).  It’s a lot of hassle to re-install all extensions and personalisations after a system format.

Haven’t even bothered with IE7, and don’t plan to either.  I’m perfectly happy with Firefox.

[tags]firefox, portable firefox, extensions[/tags]

I’m using Carbonite for backup (which is brilliant), though for people just wanting to backup their digital photos, ProtectMyPhotos seems like a good choice.  Like Carbonite, it sits in the system tray quietly backing up photos to a secure server.

The main benefits I can see of using this service over Carbonite are:

  • Easy sharing of photos.  Ideal for sharing photos with family and friends without having to manually upload them to a photo sharing service (like Flickr).
  • Versioning, so that if you modify a photograph, you can restore a previous version from the backup at any time
  • Facility to view photos online, in a web-based explorer-like Ajax driven interface (not sure if this also allows files other than photos to be downloaded though)

Personally, these are a features I’d like to see Carbonite add to its service, as I’m sure the vast majority of users are using it to backup digital photographs, and being able to easily share them would make life a lot easier, as would a web-based file browser to download files remotely.

There’s some confusion about whether the service offers unlimited service, or is capped at 40gb.  The website says unlimited, though I’ve seen references to the 40gb limit elsewhere, including the product sheet I received from Jim Wells (from RLM PR, who represent ProtectMyPhotos).

Jim also pointed out that the service also allows users to backup up music files and other documents in addition to digital photographs.  However, I think their focus on digital photographs (probably to differentiate them from all the other similar backup services out there).

Carbonite integrates directly with Internet Explorer, adding a new item to control panel and an item to the right click menu, whereas ProtectMyPhotos doesn’t.  Furthermore, there doesn’t appear to be any way to force ProtectMyPhotos to backup certain files, and the types of documents it can backup are restricted to those listed.

ProtectMyPhotos is $40 per year, and Carbonite, $50.  Unless you’re going to use the sharing and versioning features, I think the latter is the better option as it allows you to backup all your important files, rather than just your images, and has unlimited storage, though 40gb will go a long way!  My backup is only 20gb.

[tags]backup, carbonite, protectmyphotos[/tags]

Ever needed to grant a restricted user execute access to all stored procedures?  It can be a pain to do manually, especially if you have a lot of them.  This information also seems to get lost when restoring from a backup.

Found a great tip on sqldbatips.com on granting execute permissions to all stored procedures in a database.  It automates most of the task.

In Query Analyzer, change the output to text (Query -> Results to Text).  Then run the following SQL code (changing [username] to the user in your database):

SELECT 'grant exec on ' + QUOTENAME(ROUTINE_SCHEMA) + '.' +
QUOTENAME(ROUTINE_NAME) + ' TO [username]' FROM INFORMATION_SCHEMA.ROUTINES
WHERE OBJECTPROPERTY(OBJECT_ID(ROUTINE_NAME),'IsMSShipped') = 0

This will generate something like the following:

grant exec on [dbo].[uspDoSomething] TO my_user
grant exec on [dbo].[uspDoSomethingElse] TO my_user
grant exec on [dbo].[uspDoSomethingElseAgain] TO my_user

You can then copy this output, paste it back into the code window [in Query Analyzer] and execute it.

This is a helpful batch file to make the development cycle a little easier when building COM components for use with web applications.  Going through all the steps manually of having to stop IIS, unregister your component, recompile the component, re-register it, and re-start IIS can get quite tedious.

@echo off

echo Stopping IIS…
iisreset /stop

echo Unregistering COM…
d:
cd \MyProject\COM
Regsvr32 /s /u MyComponent.dll

echo Deleting old COM…
del “d:\MyProject\MyComponent.dll”

echo Building COM…
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio\VB98\VB6.EXE” /MAKE “E:\MyProject\Source\MyProject.vbp” /OUTDIR “d:\MyProject\COM”

echo Registering COM…
d:
cd \MyProject\COM
Regsvr32 /s MyComponent.dll

echo Starting IIS….
iisreset /start

echo Deleting old files
del MyComponent.exp
del MyComponent.lib
del MyComponent.pdb

echo Done!

Just update the paths to your project and output folders, and you’re good to go.  It saved me a lot of time and hassle.

[tags]COM, component, activex, VB6[/tags]

Found out about this from Fred’s blog. There’s a great new feature on Indeed.com.  They’ve made the salary information from millions of job postings searchable, so it’s now easily possible to find out what the difference in salary between different areas is.

More info about why Indeed’s salary survey is unique on the Indeed blog.

As an ASP.NET developer, I tried doing a search for ASP.NET.

Aspnetgraph

Although Orlando is a cheap place to live, ASP.NET developers can expect to earn a whopping 49% less than their counterparts in New York, though I imagine we still have a better standard of living (not to mention the good weather).

It would be nice to see how this correlates with cost of living data, so that users could do a search for something like ‘Where would I have the best quality of life as an ASP.NET developer?’.

[tags]job search, indeed, asp.net[/tags]

Just found out about this.  Red-Gate have released SQL Refactor Beta.

  • SQL Lay Out reformats your T-SQL scripts. You can select this feature from the top level SQL Refactor menu. There are over 30 options to control this feature, these you can access from the top level SQL Refactor menu.
  • Smart Rename renames functions, views, stored procedures and tables, and updates all the references to these renamed objects. You can select this feature from the context menu in Management Studio’s Object Explorer.
  • Smart Rename parameters and columns renames parameters of stored procedures and functions, and columns of tables and views. You can select this feature from the context menu in Management Studio’s Object Explorer.
  • Table Split splits a table into two tables, and automatically rewrites the referencing stored procedures, views, and so on. You can also use this refactoring to introduce referential integrity tables. You can select this feature from the context menu in Management Studio’s Object Explorer.
  • Uppercase keywords turns keywords in your script or selection to uppercase.
  • Summarize Script provides you with an overview of your script. By highlighting items in this overview you can see the corresponding statements highlighted in your script.
  • Encapsulate as stored procedure turns your selection into a new stored procedure, and if requested, introduces a reference to it in your script.
  • Expand wildcards expands SELECT * statements to include a full list of columns in the select part.
  • Find unused variables and parameters shows you the variables and parameters in you script that are not used, or that are only assigned to.
  • Qualify Object Names modifies the script so that all object names are qualified. You can select this feature from the top level SQL Refactor menu.

It requires Microsoft Management Studio, which is part of SQL Server 2005, though it can connect to SQL Server 2000.  Bit of a bummer though, as I find it runs a lot slower than Enterprise Manager, so I don’t use it that much.

The SQL Layout feature looks helpful, like Resharper’s Reformat Code option.  Good to use when multiple developers are working on projects, to keep code formatting consistent across the board. The smart rename and find unused variables functions also look good.

Better grab the beta while it’s still free!

[tags]sql server, red-gate, refactor[/tags]

These are springing up all over the place, but a contact of mine, Christian Mayaud, recently added a big list on his blog a while ago: everything Web 2.0.  This has evolved into a community maintained directory, which should help keep the list up-to-date.

It’s worth checking out.  I’ve found lots of web 2.0 companies I didn’t know about, some which look quite helpful (like BitBomb).

If yor favourite web 2.0 app isn’t in the directory, register and add it.  If your web 2.0 application is in there but grossly misrepresented, register, claim it, and fix it.  Help keep the list current.

Thanks, Christian.  I think this is a good idea.

[tags]web 2.0, directory[/tags]