Archive for Computers
Windows limits the file size for WebDAV shares to 50MB per file. Weak. Read on and get strong…
You may have encountered an error message that says, “Error 0x800700DF: The file size exceeds the limit allowed and cannot be saved.” Make this change on your client computer, reboot, and you’re good for 4GB per file.
Modify or create the following registry key:
- Right-click on the FileSizeLimitInBytes and click Modify
- Click on Decimal
- In the Value data: box, type 4294967295, and then click OK.
- Exit the registry editor and reboot your computer
This isn’t exactly news, but is still fairly recent, and under-marketed enough to deserve a mention. The folks in Redmond call it DreamSpark, and it’s a pretty sweet deal for high school and college students. They’ll let you use many of their high dollar enterprise products (e.g. Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL 2008, etc.) for free.
The Windows Installer Service is the subsystem that Windows provides for adding or removing software. Many software applications rely upon the Windows Installer Service and they cannot be removed cleanly (or easily) if it’s not working. Most of the time it works fine, but there are always exceptions.
There are many situations that can occur where you may find yourself stuck in “Safe Mode” trying to remove a program (e.g. a program crashes your computer while it’s trying to boot). This is complicated by the Windows Installer Service not running while in “Safe Mode”.
Thankfully, there is a kind gentleman named Harry Bates that wrote a freeware tool called SafeMSI. It will enable the Windows Installer Service to run while Windows is running in “Safe Mode”. The usage of this tool is simple:
- Download the tool
- Extract the contents of the file you downloaded in Step 1 to a memorable place (e.g. your Desktop)
- Run the tool while in Safe Mode
iTunes. It’s the undeniable standard for music playback and management on computers. It’s not a one-trick pony though, as its capabilities enable an entire eco-system of products to obtain content. If a (wagon) wheel in the sky keeps on turning, then iTunes is the hub to which all of the spokes connect.
For being such an important software package, it’s surprisingly light on user customizable features. For example, way back when iTunes 4.5 was released (>5 years ago), a small arrow showed up next the songs in your Library. It looks like this:
Those arrows have, and very well always will, take you to that content in the iTunes Store. Personally, I don’t find that useful. I already have that song in my Library, and would rather see similar content I already have. For example, if you were to click on the arrow for the artist Rush, you would be taken to all of the Rush music in your Library.
The arrow doesn’t behave in a manner that provides the best user experience, but it does behave in a manner that ensures the most user exposure to the iTunes Store. It’s not a show-stopper, but it’s a nuisance.
Thankfully, there is a very unintuitive way to make the arrows capable of working for you. Simply Ctrl-Left click the arrow and it takes you to similar content in your Library. It makes getting around your music Library much easier.
I don’t know of a method to make this the default behavior with iTunes for Windows. If I ever discover one, I’ll be sure to share it here. It would also be great if this could become a preference, but I won’t hold my breath.
Happy Ctrl-Left clicking your way to a more enjoyable iTunes experience!
Addendum on November 14, 2010: iTunes 10.x versions do away with the arrow and replace it with a Ping button. Ctrl-Left Clicking this button offers you the option to jump to various points in your library. Nice improvement on this already useful feature!
Addendum on December 1, 2012: iTunes 11 finally brings sensible UI/UX to market. The arrow now shows you what it should without any additional effort from the user.
Simple answer, Yes.
Why? Windows Home Server (WHS) has a pretty strong value proposition. Over the past holiday season (December 2009 ), HP MediaSmart Servers were available for $199 (USD). That’s a complete computer system to store your files, and do some amazing things…
- Remote computer and file access
- Automatic backup of computers on your network
- Third-party add-ons (free) to enable web serving capabilities, BitTorrent client, and more
- Place to run MagicJack without being bothered
- …only limited by your imagination
How? If you want more performance than a nettop-style HP MediaSmart server, you can do that too. My own WHS is made of spare parts leftover from upgrades to other computers, but still far outclasses the HP MediaSmart servers.
If you go the DIY route, target your hardware to the Windows Server 2003 (32-bit) platform. SBS 2003 (Small Business Server) is at the core of WHS. I gather this is just for the limitations of SBS, as you won’t find Exchange 2003 hiding anywhere.
Moving Windows XP from Intel to AMD will cause a BSOD during startup (STOP 0x07E). Instead of starting over, (i.e. format and reinstall of Windows) spend fifteen minutes following the steps below. You will be rewarded with a working computer.
- Take the hard drive out of the old computer (Intel) and install it in the new computer (AMD).
Place the Windows XP Installation CD in the CD Drive and boot the new computer from it. Some folks have reported success by going to directly to Step 8 from here.
When the initial Windows XP Setup files have been loaded, press Enter to start a Windows XP Installation.
Press F8 if prompted to agree to the Microsoft End User License Agreement (EULA).
- The installer will search for (and find) the Windows installation that already exists on your hard drive.
You be asked if you want to perform a Repair Install. Yes, you do! Press “R” to confirm and begin.
The installation environment is copied to the hard drive, and it automatically reboots to run the rest of the installation.
If you allow the computer to try to boot from the hard drive, it will blue screen. Instead, boot from the XP Setup CD again.
Enter the Recovery Console (press “R” at the first screen)
When you are logged into your Windows installation, and have the command prompt in front of you (C:\Windows), navigate to the following directory:
Your command prompt should now read: C:\Windows\System32\Drivers and be awaiting you to key in a command.
Run the following two commands:
Type exit and press Enter.
Let the computer boot from the hard drive this time and your computer will run through what appears to be a first time Windows XP install. This is actually a repair install. It won’t take long, and your applications/data will not be disturbed.
Install the necessary drivers for any new hardware, install a massive number of Windows Updates, and you should be back in business.
Seriously. If you want to print from a Vista computer but your printer is shared by another computer running Windows XP, then you need to hack up your XP registry a bit. Apparently, no one at Microsoft has yet come to believe this is worth fixing. The Microsoft recommended fix is just to install Vista everywhere, right? Well, that’s wrong. The less obvious (but more productive) fix is for XP.
For a point of reference on what number to land on…I went with 30 (values between 3-50 are valid on XP). The HP LaserJet 1200 (PCL) I was trying to share then worked like a charm.
I’m not fond of anyone using FireWire on Windows computers for routine data transfer (e.g. copying files to/from an external hard drive). IEEE1394a/b drivers (a.k.a. FireWire 400/800) for Windows (Vista back to 98SE) are mediocre at best, and dangerously unreliable far too frequently. Why do you think Apple (the inventors of FireWire) stopped using it with the iPod (and never with the iPhone)? You see, I had professional involvement in the beginning years of the iPod, and I interacted with many people struggling to transfer songs over an unreliable FireWire connection in Windows (a.k.a. “Write-behind CRC error”). Lots of lost music. Not cool.
Sadly, it’s not just an iPod thing. On multiple occasions, I have fallen prey to the inability to reliably perform a basic file transfer with Windows Server 2003 and an external FireWire hard drive. That kind of time sink can be extra frustrating when you’re working after hours to bring a mission-critical server back online.
Take a nickels worth of advice for free; steer clear of FireWire in Windows. Need further convincing? Read this article about the sun-setting of FireWire.
Addendum (March 6, 2010): Windows 7 has implemented a new driver for IEEE1394 Host Controllers, but I have little experience using it with NTFS or FAT32 disks. The experience I have with HFS+ disks in Windows 7 indicates a major improvement. The new driver has not been back-ported to older versions of Windows, and as such I still think FireWire file transfers should be avoided on anything but Windows 7.