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May 2006 - Posts

Windows Vista Training at Singapore - Day 3...


Today's session in the morning got some focuses on the developer side.

First we got Matthew Hardman, APAC DPE Evangelist, to show us things about Windows Vista Media Center, and how developers write programs for this edition of Vista.


Basically some apporaches to write programs for Vista Media Center, one is through Hosted HTML , another is through XBAP (WinFX XAML Browser Application), the other is through MCML (Media Center Markup Language). using Hosted HTML and XBAP can write programs that's not only able to run on Vista Media Center, but also can run on other versions of Windows Vista. If the application needs features that comes only from Vista Media Center (visual effect , Aero glass, etc), using MCML is the only way to leverage all of them.

According to Matthew, all the stuffs will be available in Vista Media Center SDK. Matthew's blog here. and a blog dedicate to Vista Media Center development is here at

I was impressed by the UI design and interaction ways of Vista Media Center (via remote control device), definately will dig into the development details!

the next session we got Chiwei Che, Development Lead of Microsoft Advanced Technology Center at China, to present to us Speech Recognition and Text to Speech technologies and how they are integrated into new development object models as well as new Server and Client products, including Windows Vista.


Speech Recognition and Text to Speech abilities are now in Vista Beta 2 bits, so everyone with Beta 2 copy can try that. I was impressed by the way they integrate Speech Recognition into Office Applications as well as Command Navigation.

after lunch, we got MS Singapore Senior TS Kok Leong Lim to present to us Business Deployment of Vista. He pointed out many tools and places inside Vista to tweak, to let client machine interact with SMSv4 , it should be really useful for IT Pros in companies to learn and use those things to minimize engineering time as well as TCO of company.


The last session we got Ravi Sankar from Microsoft India to present to us Vista Security. lots of security features were added to Vista as well as IE 7 , also the amount of GP (Group Policy) IT Pros can control is doubled as well compared with what it had in Windows XP.

That ends up the whole 2 days Windows Vista training sessions here at Singapore. As a developer, I do interested in those new programming models that will make developers do things easier. for the IT Pro side, I do got many information I was not known about by just installing Vista in my Virtual Enviroment (VMWare Workstation actually). also I noticed that there indeed have many functions, especially those graphic functions, do only run if people install Vista at a real machine. but even it's like that, Microsoft Windows Vista Team do managed to confront and success the mission to make Vista OS core runs at any machine without problems, and I do think that's a very good practice for a OS design should be.

Well, I just want to say thanks to Microsoft Community and MVP team (special thanks to the help from Cally Ko and TW MVP Lead Cathy Lee) to give me the chance to join this wonderful sessions and meet lots of cool IT Pros and developers who have passion of Windows Vista. It's nice to know and meet you all and I am looking forward to see you at next summit or training or meetings.

Heading back to Taiwan today as the time I am finishing this post, and am going to start my new job by flying to Tokyo tomorrow.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , mvp , event


Windows Vista Training at Singapore - Day 2...


As day 1 and day 4 serve as travelling day, the actual sessions started at day 2. I've borrowed pics from HK MVP Ken Lin's blog post to have those pics I didn't get for this blog post.

Today is the first day of sessions about Windows Vista, we've got Eddy, the event owner for us for the opening and coordination (pic from Ken).


then we had GM of APAC Windows Client, Kenneth Ludin to have a talk of business view of Windows Vista (pic from Ken).


later we got Asia MVP and Community RD Cally Ko introducing MVP program for us.


after Cally we officially started training sessions. first got Tjeerd Hoek, the director of user experience design dept., to explain to us how and why the UI had been re-designed at Windows Vista (pic from Ken).


After lunch, got Michel Gambier, APAC GM of Information Worker dept., to get a brief introduction of Office 2007 beta 2. well, it's impressive, but seems just in a demo fashion. not have a chance to try it on. must get the bits myself I guess.

the next session we got Tariq Sharif, Lead Program Manager of IE, to give us a little bit technical view of Internet Explorer 7.

and today's sessions ended up with a Windows Client Community Roundtable with Nick White and Aaron Coldiron as the hosts.


that's basically all about today's sessions. something impressive to me, as a developer and counted as half IT Pro guy, is Tjeerd's UI design explainations, and Tariq's Internet Explorer 7 session about new features added to IE 7 and how it will help developers to develop more rich functional web applications.

Some timelines, according to the other attendee MVP Jabez Gan from Malaysia,

  • IE7 Beta 3 will be released this summer 06
  • IE7 RTM will be released by December 06.
  • IE8 will better support networking and re-rendering
  • IE will be released in a yearly basis

After today's session we got a group dinner together to have more understanding of each others. the weather was nice, food was delicious, and most of all, it's really a great pleasure to see MVPs of different places around Asia (pics from Ken).





after the dinner, I went out to meet my Singapore friend known 6 years ago and later just hanging out with her and Ken Lin, and TW MVPs to the clubs of Singapore. something is worth to mention here in case someone may go to Singapore to have some fun. 5 years ago when I was working here, there is a street named "Moham Soutern Street" that is full of clubs all the steet and was so crowded every weekend. every club was all long queue and had to wait a long time just to get into the room and have a drink. but 5 years later, things changed a lot. this steet has few people even at the weekend time, not hot like before.

I was told by my friend that recently there was just a new open big disco pub call MOS (Ministry of Sound) that is gaining attentions of local people as well as tourists. As Taiwan also got a MOS disco at Taipei, we decided not to go there tonight and finally went to another hot disco here called Zouk. well, this is another important mission to finish during this trip, to see old friends and meet up!

It's been a busy first day sessions and schedule to meet people, I ended up back to hotel at midnight and go sleep soon for tomorrow's sessions.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , mvp , event


Posted: 2006/5/27 22:18 by rextangtw | with no comments
Filed under: , just switched to CommunityServer 2.0...


As I am just about to talk Windows Vista beta 2 training in those 2 days at Singapore, found that website, a website for MSMVPs around the world to have a blog there, is just switching / upgrading to CommunityServer 2.0 .

Nice things to have on CommunityServer 2.0 blog / forum site are many addition to AJAX like rich UI and the support of file archives. the design of the system is improving and should be a nice one for all the MVPs to write a blog there.

I should've considering upgrade my own blog site to CommunityServer 2.0 also...

Technorati Tags: dottext , blog , programming , dotnet , communityserver


Windows Vista Beta 2 Build 5384 on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 (build 19175)...


Vista beta 2...

Took some time in hotel room of Windows Vista Lab helding at Singapore to wait for the stop of afternoon thundershower, I did a install of the beta 2 version of Windows Vista Ultimate Beta (build 5384) on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 build 19175.

Some things did arranged and changed after build 5381. Thanks for the reminder of MVP Kelvin Wu, things need to be brought back by manual settings now.

First of all, Sidebar is gone. well, it's not gone, but now default not start when windows start. People will have to manually open sidebar.exe file to bring it back. the sidebar.exe file is located at "C:\Program Files\Windows Sidebar\sidebar.exe" , needs a cmd.exe to execute it.

Second, when people trying to run the well-known Run command on start menu, it's also gone. by default Vista beta 2 is not enable the Run feature, should be easy understood as that now Vista OS feature designers don't want normal people to use Run command in case they run some improper programs easily. To re-open the Run command in start menu, go to desktop properties dialog page, re-check up the "Run command" to let it show, as shown in above picture. after letting "Run command" back, run the sidebar.exe, and remember also to set sidebar properties to let it run when Windows starts.

Thrid, Clock gadget now have multiple skins to choose. not bad the visual effect!

for IT aspects, Windows Vista builds initial install should cost disk size around 9GB. but as time goes by (about 2 days without turning this Vista copy off, the total disk space usage will increase to about 12GB. it's the problem of paging file. it just kept growing by appending more memory swap bits on the hard disk and delete the front end bytes of paging file on the disk before the whole disk size exceeds pre-set size (scenario working at VMWare Workstation 5.5.1). to try to ease this. it's recommanded to take a snapshot, which is one of the lovely functions provided by VMWare, to establish the back starting point once the disk is growing too large.

The second way for solving above problem is to limit hard disk size for Vista around 12 GB and no more. when Vista determined that it is running out the total disk space, if should clear those deleted sectors resided inside the virtual harddisk and hopefully becoming a rounded-queue-like page swap file to prevent the space grow.

It's all I found and reminded by other MVP today. let's see what will also be mentioned tomorrow on the training sessions.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , windows , os 


Arriving Singapore for Windows Vista Lab...


Skyline from Mandarin Oriental Hotel...

It's been 5 years since last time I've been in Singapore! I was here working for about 2 months around year 2000 and 2001, and now I am here again, for Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 Lab held at Singapore...

The skyline of this city seems not change very much. but after a walk of the city today I did find something changed, a lot...

First of all, the MRT system is sort of different from 5 years ago, now they got RFID-like ticket card, and when people buy the ticket, some on-hold money (S$ 1) will be chaged first. when people arrived the destination station, they need to put the card back to the machine to refund the on-hold money. It's not like 5 years ago that people just buy simple magnetic card and can have it for memory (something tourists to Singapore will do).

Second, The amount of residence here can be felt grown. It feels like that here are getting more and more people and the street become more croweded than 5 years ago. it should be due to one of the many reasons that in this time Singapore government is helding a special sell festival to help the travel business here, for example, people can buy a iPod nano 1gb here at 50% off price, but according to some people said that it's only limited to the first 50 iPod nano to sell in this price.

Because there are more people then I experienced 5 years ago, it feels like that it's so hard to find a taxi that is welling to take you to the destination of interests. most of Taxi are all like at "On Call" or "Busy" mode with the light on top of the car and just ignore people waving hands on the side of road. This is not a very good experience here anyway.

Well, it's still a glad thing that I am here again, since I LOVE summer hot place, and I love this country, time goes by and place have to change, what can I say about that.

Vista Lab starting tomorrow and I'll try to post something if I have chance to use the internet...

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , windows , os , Singapore , lab 


Posted: 2006/5/26 0:40 by rextangtw | with 4 comment(s)
Filed under:
IIS7 Beta and site...

[via Tobin Titus]

since Vista and Longhorn beta 2 was announced, saw from Tobin's blog that the IIS team also launched new IIS portal, and announced IIS7 for beta testers. site also got IIS team blogs, team pictures, forums, etc. should be a nice resource for IIS lovers...

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , www , iis 


Windows Vista and Server Longhorn Beta 2 is out for download...


Beta 2 launch...

Look at Technorati site for now, Microsoft tag got many posts about the avalibilities of Windows Vista Beta 2 (Build 5384), Windows Server Longhorn Beta 2 (build 5384), as well as Office System 2007 Beta 2, all are available for download now via MSDN download.

Office System 2007 Beta 2 contains 3 DVDs, one is the program disk (Word, Excel, etc), another is Office Project Server 2007, and the last is Office SharePoint Server 2007.

Windows Server Longhorn and Windows Vista Beta 2 both got 1 DVD to download, available both in x86 and x64 versions.

According to eWeek's report, they've already tested both Vista and Longhorn server beta 2 and having their report here and here, also got pics here and here. I am still waiting my download manager to finish the download. News site always run faster for the reports...

Today is also the start of 2006 WinHEC at Seattle (official press release here), according to Robert Scoble, got some fresh reports from there, including videos.

As Vista do consuming high performance 3D video cards, it's easy to understand why Microsoft chooses to unleash beta 2 at this date. and I am sure that year 2007 will be a very busy year both on software and IT hardware industries. Who can have this kind of power to move the whole trend of IT industry around the globe, it's still Microsoft who is able to do so...

I am paticular interesting in server OS so I might also keep an eye on the progress of Longhorn Server...

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , windows , os 


Windows Vista CTP Build 5381 (Beta 2?) on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 (build 19175)...


Vista build 5381...

As I just installed Windows Vista CTP Build 5365, soon found that there is a newer version (build 5381) that's available, so I also had a install of Vista build 5381 today, still installing on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 build 19175. The installation process was just as smooth as like what I've done in installing 5365, simple and fast this time.

Comparing the differences of those 2 builds, one obvious thing is that the sidebar is transparent to background wallpaper now. which was told by my friend Clay Chang (glad that he is also now doing his blog posts...). I also have a try to the new Windows Media Player 11, since the sound card emulation is working. well, it's nice to see the versions are evolving, although the functions seem like the same by just looking the surface.

Couple weeks ago rumors said that this build 5381 would be the version of Vista Beta 2, although not confirmed by official Microsoft, but I did heard about that Vista beta 2 is out for download, just right before the Vista Lab at Singapore 2 days later.

anyway, I'll just test Vista features on my VMWare virtual machine, not going to install in a physical partition and am going to see whole functioning Vista beta 2 build at Singapore Vista Lab ( or if I am able to finish my download of beta 2 today I'll also do a VMWare VM install of beta 2).

Flying to Singapore soon, will update once I got there.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , windows , os 


Multi Login of Windows Live Messenger beta / MSN Messenger 8.0.0689...


Finally released the patch for Windows Live Messenger beta (a.k.a. MSN Messenger 8.0). the things I always like form patch is the ability of multi-login of MSN Messenger in the same windows session since I did use 3 msn accounts at the same time. guys now called multi-login feature as "polygamy", so in case you can't find the info via Google search, try that keyword to find out.

For MSN Messenger 8.0.0689 downloads, find it in Traditional Chinese version here, English version here, as well as Japanese version here.

For patch for MSN Messenger 8.0.0689, download the patch here or go to website to find out.

Technorati Tags: msn , messenger


Posted: 2006/5/20 0:33 by rextangtw | with 4 comment(s)
Filed under: ,
Windows Vista CTP Build 5365 on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 (build 19175)


Windows Vista CTP build 5365

It's been busy days since my work changed and I'll go working at Tokyo on the start of June this year. for this job change first I have to move from Taipei back to my home town and then relocate to Tokyo with simple packs. I HATE move! but still have to do that. so this week I was basically doing the move things, packing / unpacking, blah blah blah. it tooks me 4 days to get the relocation done. and now I got some time to start doing some work.

I am going to Microsoft Vista Beta 2 Lab helding at Singapore next week. so I am thinking about doing some check out of the latest build of Vista CTP. the one I got is build 5365 and this build seemed out for about a month already (the first news of this build seems around 4/25, while it's only build 5308 on Microsoft download site, except you are a vista beta tester).

I got previous experience installing build 5342 on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 build 19175. it CAN NOT install! the installation won't start and it will always gave you BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). so I gave up that build for a while and also thought that maybe this build 5365 will get into the same problem.

It turns out... it's not the story I thought!

I must say that I love this build! it's more smooth then what I've installed build 5231 before! just open a new VM on VMWare Workstation, specify guest OS as Windows Vista Experimental, and accept the default settings of devices. Point the CD-ROM to the Vista ISO image and just run the VM. you can also specify sound card as well as USB devices on guest VM. the initial setup time is a little bit long (takes about 3~5 mins) and then the setup page appeared. just accept the default, enter the serial key, keep clicking next, and it will install all the rest parts. I don't know exactly how long the installation was going since when I have that installing page, I went to bed and it's done when I woke up the next morning.

After Vista installation, just install VMWare Tools for this Vista VM, it will warn you that this is not a certified copy but it's ok to continue. VMWare Tools will have you the Video driver, mouse driver, as well as others, but no sound card. it will need a reboot after VMWare tools installed. after the reboot. Vista will launch the updating service (in the background, only see the taskbar icon) and download necessary tools for you, including Windows Defender beta version and a SoundBlaster driver. install both of these updates and the sound card will working properly (although it will alert that it detected a Game Port and no driver to install).

Although Windows Defender beta was installed while update service, it is not integrated to security center, therefore security center will still notify you that it have no proper anti-virus program. it's up to you to turn off this monitor or not.

After all these installation, change the screen resolution to 1152x864 32bit color (my own resolution preference), I got a running Vista build 5365 on VMWare Workstation 5.5.1 build 19175.

Finally, I see the Sidebar, pretty exciting about it! although that the feed reader got no convenient UI to add my own feeds. Also all the 3D effects seems not enabled inside VM, including glass view or Aurora effect. DigitalFive blog got a post of some tips and tricks of running Vista build 5365 that's nice to have while  using Vista. Running Vista build 5365 on VMWare Workstation is faster then what I had imagine (to be a slow one), except that the start up of VM is quite slow and normally takes up to 5 mins. after the start up the interaction is smooth and I have to say, it's fast just like what I usually run of my 2003 server dev VMs. nice!!

I am thinking about using a real disk partition to run Vista to see the real 3D effect, I'll post about it once I got the installation done.

Technorati Tags: microsoft , longhorn , windows vista , windows , os 


Nice Web 2.0 Chat Application -


[via cqd] [via 廢業青年日記]

Embeded chat room application , let you chat with anyone who is browsing the same page as you did. A nice Web 2.0 idea of application.

Possible usage:

put in front of your url, e.g.: . this will generate a floating chat window in the website you assigned, enabling people who are browsing the same site to chat while navigate the site.[your_url] . to generate a chat window with your url as the room name. iframe can be used to embed this chat window into the page.[any_chat_room_name] . to generate a chat window with any chat topic as chat room name. iframe can be used to embed this chat window into the page.

It's a nice application to have and nice idea to think about others.

Technorati Tags: ajax , web 2.0 , gabbly 


Posted: 2006/5/10 1:33 by rextangtw | with no comments
Filed under:
Subversion admin - moving repository around...


Some tips while moving / copying Subversion repository around...

It happened to my case that I have to move one project repository from my subversion server back to other office. here is the sequences of processes, just for reference.

(server-side operations...)

1. dump (all the) revisions.

using dump command to dump all the revisions or revisions one needs to a plan dump file.

[home]$ svnadmin dump /repo/root/path > repo-dump-file

dump command usage:

[home]$ svnadmin dump --help
dump: usage: svnadmin dump REPOS_PATH [-r LOWER[:UPPER]] [--incremental]

Dump the contents of filesystem to stdout in a 'dumpfile'
portable format, sending feedback to stderr.  Dump revisions
LOWER rev through UPPER rev.  If no revisions are given, dump all
revision trees.  If only LOWER is given, dump that one revision tree.
If --incremental is passed, then the first revision dumped will be
a diff against the previous revision, instead of the usual fulltext.

Valid options:
  -r [--revision] arg      : specify revision number ARG (or X:Y range)
  --incremental            : dump incrementally
  --deltas                 : use deltas in dump output
  -q [--quiet]             : no progress (only errors) to stderr

2. copy dump file to other subversion server for restore. (remember to zip it before putting it to a url for download or ftp, it's plan text and normally got 60% compression rate).

3. on destination subversion server, first create a new repository for this restore (svn book page 68).

[home]$ svnadmin create /path/to/repos

svnadmin create usage:

[home]$ svnadmin create --help
create: usage: svnadmin create REPOS_PATH

Create a new, empty repository at REPOS_PATH.

Valid options:
  --bdb-txn-nosync         : disable fsync at transaction commit [Berkeley DB]
  --bdb-log-keep           : disable automatic log file removal [Berkeley DB]
  --config-dir arg         : read user configuration files from directory ARG
  --fs-type arg            : type of repository: 'fsfs' (default) or 'bdb'

4. now load back the dump file, be SURE to include "--force-uuid" parameter.

[home]$ svnadmin load --force-uuid /new/repo/path < repo-dump-file

svnadmin load usage:

[home]$ svnadmin load --help
load: usage: svnadmin load REPOS_PATH

Read a 'dumpfile'-formatted stream from stdin, committing
new revisions into the repository's filesystem.  If the repository
was previously empty, its UUID will, by default, be changed to the
one specified in the stream.  Progress feedback is sent to stdout.

Valid options:
  -q [--quiet]             : no progress (only errors) to stderr
  --ignore-uuid            : ignore any repos UUID found in the stream
  --force-uuid             : set repos UUID to that found in stream, if any
  --use-pre-commit-hook    : call pre-commit hook before committing revisions
  --use-post-commit-hook   : call post-commit hook after committing revisions
  --parent-dir arg         : load at specified directory in repository

5. set proper svn.access and svn.passwd file to protect new repository, if any.

This complete server-side operations.

the reason of using "--force-uuid" at "svnadmin load" command is that while creating new repository at new server place, it will generate a new uuid for the generated repository. if load the dump file without forcing the uuid of the dump stream, the new repository will contain new uuid and client operation will fail by using "svn switch --relocate" operation.

so, after server-side opeations, it's now easy to switch one's working copy.

at client-side's pc containing the working copy of original repository, if using command line, enter following command:

svn switch --relocate

svn switch usage:

[home]$ svn switch --help
switch (sw): Update the working copy to a different URL.
usage: 1. switch URL [PATH]
       2. switch --relocate FROM TO [PATH...]

  1. Update the working copy to mirror a new URL within the repository.
     This behaviour is similar to 'svn update', and is the way to
     move a working copy to a branch or tag within the same repository.

  2. Rewrite working copy URL metadata to reflect a syntactic change only.
     This is used when repository's root URL changes (such as a scheme
     or hostname change) but your working copy still reflects the same
     directory within the same repository.

Valid options:
  -r [--revision] arg      : ARG (some commands also take ARG1:ARG2 range)
                             A revision argument can be one of:
                                NUMBER       revision number
                                "{" DATE "}" revision at start of the date
                                "HEAD"       latest in repository
                                "BASE"       base rev of item's working copy
                                "COMMITTED"  last commit at or before BASE
                                "PREV"       revision just before COMMITTED
  -N [--non-recursive]     : operate on single directory only
  -q [--quiet]             : print as little as possible
  --diff3-cmd arg          : use ARG as merge command
  --relocate               : relocate via URL-rewriting
  --username arg           : specify a username ARG
  --password arg           : specify a password ARG
  --no-auth-cache          : do not cache authentication tokens
  --non-interactive        : do no interactive prompting
  --config-dir arg         : read user configuration files from directory ARG

or just using TortoiseSVN to let it do that for you:

Relocate usage...

if one has new login credentials on new repository, it will ask again for the login.

most of processes are just like what described in svn book, the only conclusion is that be sure to include "--force-uuid" while "svnadmin load" operation to prevent client "svn switch --relocate" operation error because of different uuid between original and new repositories.

Technorati Tags: admin , subversion


Subversion admin - change message locale...


This happened in running Subversion on Windows server.

If the server OS is not English version, by default subversion will use OS locale to display messages while running command at cmd.exe. it's good for subversion to adopt OS locale like this, but sometimes one may only like to read English messages no matter what locale the OS is (e.g. my OS is in Traditional Chinese locale, zh-TW).

To solve this, refer to svn book page 158, which states:

Understanding locales
Most modern operating systems have a notion of the “current locale”—that is, the region or country whose localization
conventions are honored. These conventions—typically chosen by some runtime configuration mechanism on
the computer—affect the way in which programs present data to the user, as well as the way in which they accept
user input.
On Unix-like systems, you can check the values of the locale-related runtime configuration options by running the
locale command:
$ locale
The output is a list of locale-related environment variables and their current values. In this example, the variables are
all set to the default C locale, but users can set these variables to specific country/language code combinations. For
example, if one were to set the LC_TIME variable to fr_CA, then programs would know to present time and date
information formatted according a French-speaking Canadian's expectations. And if one were to set the
LC_MESSAGES variable to zh_TW, then programs would know to present human-readable messages in Traditional
Chinese. Setting the LC_ALL variable has the effect of changing every locale variable to the same value. The value
of LANG is used as a default value for any locale variable that is unset. To see the list of available locales on a Unix
system, run the command locale -a.
On Windows, locale configuration is done via the “Regional and Language Options” control panel item. There you
can view and select the values of individual settings from the available locales, and even customize (at a sickening
level of detail) several of the display formatting conventions.

so, just put a system-wide environment variable to set LC_MESSAGES to en-US will do, like this:

Change System-Wide Env variable...

then, close current using cmd.exe window and open a new one, new env variables will take effects, and messages of subversion will show in desired locale.

Technorati Tags: admin , subversion