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October 14, 2008

Where is Windows Aero?

I had been struggling for the past few days in trying to get Aero to work again. It was working fine all along, but a few days back it stopped working and since then I could not get it work again. I searched online for answers but without much luck. Most online articles talk about situation where you are trying to get Aero to work for the first time, but not really if you had it working and it stopped to work in between.

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August 6, 2008

Vista - Setting color for desktop icon text

Earlier today I modified the desktop background picture on my Vista machine and realized that the light tone of the image, caused the text of desktop icons to become unreadable due to their default white color. This I thought was easily fixed by modifying the font color, but i was surprised to not find any option to do that within my Aero theme. This was something I could easily do in XP.

Some of the online solutions seemed to point to revert to classic theme and that this text color change wasn't possible in Aero. This was very disappointing. Then I found this. The suggestion here worked. I initially set the desktop background to solid White color. This caused the text color of desktop icons to become black and I then set the picture i had set earlier. Not a very elegant way, but this did get me to the state I wanted to be in.

July 10, 2008

WPF - Text clips on some Vista machines

I love mysteries. So when a project team approached me the other day with an issue with their WPF application, I immediately jumped into it. The issue they were facing was really mysterious. Their WPF application was working and looking fine on all their Vista machines, but when shared with Client, it started to have problems. Text in some controls was clipping.

After trying on multiple machines locally, they found 1 Vista machine where the problem was reproduced. The mystery was that all these machines were using same resolution (1024x768), same dpi (96) and same theme, but text would clip on that 1 machine and work fine on all others. They were about to write this off claiming some issue with Vista.

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June 12, 2008

Migrating Comparis Silverlight Challenge App to Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2

With the Silverlight 2.0 Beta 2 now available, I finally decided to take the plunge. So far, I had been focusing on WPF, but knowing that Silverlight is the next big wave for RIA development, I could not stay away longer.

A few fellow colleagues have been working with Silverlight 2.0 Beta 1 and I heard from them that Beta 2 has been a bit of a challenge considering the various breaking changes from Beta 1 to Beta 2. Fortunately these were mostly functional/API issues with Silverlight controls and not like the interesting issue faced by my colleague Kishore with his attempt to work with .net 3.5 SP1 beta. Since I was new, I started with the Comparis Silverlight Challenge Application and the HOL created by Swiss MSDN Team.

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March 18, 2008

Expression Blend issue with WPF Data binding debugging

Some days back I had pointed to the blog by Beatriz on how to debug WPF data binding errors. I have been using the PresentationTraceSources.TraceLevel feature (available with .NET 3.5) since then and have found it very easy to use and very effective in resolving my data binding errors.

However recently when I opened a XAML, which had this debugging feature enabled, in Expression Blend 2.5 March Preview, I got an error. The XAML won't open in designer and showed "Invalid XAML" with details as 'The member "TraceLevel" is not recognized or is not accessible'.

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February 29, 2008

Expression Blend issue with Globalized WPF Application

Recently while supporting a project on converting their WPF application for globalization and localization support, we faced an issue in being able to work with Expression Blend 2 Dec preview. We used the recommended approach for globalization and localization and after doing all that Expression Blend failed to load the user controls in design view.

You would get an error like this - "MissingSatelliteAssemblyException: The satellite asembly named yourassemblyname for fallback culture 'en-US' either could not be found or could no be loaded. This is generally a setup problem. Please consider reisntalling or repariring the application."

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January 23, 2008

Unit Test Trust Issue on Vista

Further to my unit testing experiments that I have been blogging about in the last few days, I was playing around with the DashCommerce starter kit. After installing and configuring the site, I started by creating some tests for the code in the App_code folder.

The test creation was successful and I was all set to run. But luck was against me and I got compilation errors regarding missing namespace. As I had mentioned in my earlier blog, the testing happens via private accessor and since its creation happened successfully, ideally I shouldn't  have had a need for adding explicit references and namespaces to my test project.

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October 4, 2007

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 on Vista

BizTalk Server 2006 R2 is now available. Introduction paper to this version is available here. Get a trial version of it from here. MSDN Subscribers can download it from the MSDN Subscribers download site. The latest documentation for this version is available here.

I had earlier blogged about getting BizTalk Server 2006 to work in Vista. At that time BizTalk wasn't officially supported on Vista, but I had wanted to test if it worked or not. The current R2 release is now officially supported on Vista. So I decided to give it a try again. I used BizTalk Server 2006 R2 Developer Edition and worked on Windows Vista Ultimate.

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September 13, 2007

Webinar: Leap Ahead with Windows Vista

Lead ahead with Windows Vista, September 19, 2007. Read More

August 10, 2007

VS 2005 Debugging Issue with AJAX Applications on IIS7 on Vista

I wanted to play around with AJAX and hence downloaded the Extensions and the ToolKit. I created a new ASP.NET AJAX Enabled Web Site and after adding the Update Panel to update a label control, I hit F5. Surprisingly, I got an error when trying to debug.

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April 20, 2007

Inside Vista Kernel

Most people, when hear Vista, think about Aero glass affect, great new set of icons and wallpapers and UAC. However there is more to Vista than this. Mark Russinovich in 3 part series on Technet Magazine covers key features of Vista Kernel. Gives good insight into the features and make really interesting reading. Check them out

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3

April 12, 2007

Session 0 and 1 in Vista

Earlier today a colleague asked how do Services and Applications talk to each other in Vista and I said, "the way they used to earlier". I wasn't aware of Session 0 and Session 1 concept till now. He pointed me to this MSDN article that explains what this new concept of Session 0 in Vista is all about.

This essentially is to prevent direct access to services from applications and thus prevent hacker to elevate their own security priviledges. Some information around this is here and on this Channel 9 video. A white paper on impact of session 0 on services and drivers is also available.

[Edited April 16, 2007] Found some tips to communicating with Session 0 services here.

March 13, 2007

"Access Denied" error whuile launching a Softgrid virtualized application on Vista

I am trying to launch an application on Windows Vista which was virtualized previously for Windows XP. However when I launch the deployed shortcut , Softgrid throws following error -

The Softgrid Client could not launch <Application Name>. Access is Denied. Error Code: 410038-0060922C-80070005

Has anyone experienced this error before?

Continue reading ""Access Denied" error whuile launching a Softgrid virtualized application on Vista" »

ZTI of Vista over WAN

We successfully tested Zero Touch Installation of Microsoft Vista on a desktop having Windows XP SP2 installed using SMS OSD Feature pack and BDD over a WAN connection. The lab setup to test this consisted of following components:

 

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March 1, 2007

IIS 7 hosted sites not accessible from remote machines

Recently while working on my Vista machine, I was was working on a ASP.NET Web site and I wanted to have a colleage of mine have a look. Like always, I mailed him the URL and waited for him to view it and get back. To my surprise, he reverted stating he can't view it.

The error he was getting was "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage". This was surprising since I was able to view the site locally on the Vista machine without any issues. This meant that IIS was configured and running properly. 

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February 26, 2007

Roaming Profiles Implementation for SoftGrid-II

In the  "Roaming Profiles Implementation for SoftGrid-I" we discussed the concept of Softgrid roaming profiles for applications and it's contribution in achieving a true roaming user profile.

I will continue the discussion further and discuss a simple procedure to implement Softgrid Roaming profile in a test lab.

 

 

Continue reading "Roaming Profiles Implementation for SoftGrid-II" »

Addressing User Security Elevation on a locked down PC using SoftGrid Virtualized Applications

Normally in a locked down environemnt in order to enable End Users (EU) to customize application specific settings and other customizations application packagers identify and elevate security permissions to secure NTFS and Registry areas. This is often considered as a security risk and also contributes to effort in troublershooting and identifying such areas on the local system.

SoftGrid eliminates the requirement of elevating security permissions to the restricted area. As Softgrid virtualized applications execute within a virtual environement the user has complete access to the virtual environemnt while executing the application. The advantage is that the users have access to the desired functionality withoutaffecting the state of the host system.

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Microsoft Vista: Best Practices recommendation for Zero Touch Deployment using SMS and BDD-II

USMT Customization:

 

User State Migration Tool (USMT) is a small command line utility provided to capture and restore the user’s data and settings from a machine

 

Continue reading "Microsoft Vista: Best Practices recommendation for Zero Touch Deployment using SMS and BDD-II" »

February 22, 2007

Configuring Custom Http Handler in IIS 7

Recently when working on an application, I was playing around with writing custom http handlers. There is nothing new in that lots has been written about how to build and configure custom http handlers. So when after writing this I decided to configure it in IIS 7 on my Vista machine, I was pleasently surprised to see that I was lost !

IIS 7 UI has changed noticeably from its earlier versions and when I wanted to configure the file extension I wanted my custom handler to work with, I didn't know what to do.

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