Monthly Archives: February 2008

Borland closes at historic low

Categorized under “just can’t seem to look away” I note that Borland closed at an historic low today, according to Yahoo historical data (charted below), of $1.96 after falling 24.90%. Here’s a link to the earnings call which stated Borland’s management continues to seek the sale CodeGear. I sure hope for a positive outcome for the Delphi team here in Scotts Valley and I wish them all the best, I endured my share of Borland downturns over 15 years and know how difficult times like this can be.

Borland (BORL) historic stock chart

What about you, do you watch BORL stock?

Spelunking my blogs Internet search data

One of the things I like about blogging is looking through the various search terms  people used which lead them to my blog. For example, I just noticed this page from the University of Washington which links to my post on testing ASP.NET applications using Selenium. That’s pretty cool. dasBlog has an Activities page that lists Referrer Urls which is where I found the above link.

On the same page is a list of Internet Search results where I can see what keywords people, mostly from Google, used to find my content. The keywords link back to the original search page so I can click through and view where my content ended up in the search results as well as see other related content. Here is what that list looks like on the admin pages of my blog:

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For example, take the search results for  “setting up delphi build machine“. I can see my post was in the top five.

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Granted, for people who already blog this isn’t likely to be all that exciting as many blog engines includes such features however, I do think it’s interesting to see how other people search for content.

One last point, I find it more than a little spooky how completely Google controls search. I’d guess Google accounts for all but a few percent of Internet searches on my blog which means they could effectively shut my blog down.

Vista display problem returns

It appears the problem with my display not restarting after resuming from a sleep or hibernate state has resurfaced. I thought a reinstall of SP1 had done the “trick” though now that appears not to be the case. Over the weekend the machine had rebooted while unattended which in my case means the desktop was sitting in OSX. I restarted the machine, this time selecting the Vista partition, which presented me the standard boot menu saying the previous shutdown had failed so I selected “Start Windows normally”. At that point, the machine hung on the progress meter on the Vista boot screen and I had to hard reset and reboot again which, with fingers crossed, worked.

I’ve been trying to think what might have sparked all this and all I can come up with is the fact that I switched momentarily into the Aero UI from the Windows Vista Basic color scheme to get a screenshot. I’m now likely to uninstall SP1 for a final time as this close-the-lid-and-pray just doesn’t cut it for me.

What do you use to explorer an MSSQL database?

Having left CodeGear back in July and having now been out in the “real world” doing consulting for awhile I’m wondering what do MS SQL developers use to explore a SQL server database?

If you’re answer is SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) that’s not what I’m looking for and I find it really lacking in numerous areas. I’m looking for something that includes things like:

  • Ability to view details of a table’s structure (column types, size etc.) without having to “design” the table
  • Ability to view the details of a foreign keys without having to “design” the table
  • Provide a “favorites” list where I can tag any entity in the DB as a “favorite”
  • Context menus that include a Copy command for selected items like table names, SPROCs etc.
  • A real Properties window unlike SSMS which displays properties of whatever the selected item is not just what’s in one window. Server explorer in VS.NET works the way I’d like but it’s missing on a table for keys, constraints, triggers, indexes…
  • Counts of objects (tables, fields, indices etc.)

The system I’m working has 100’s of tables, SPROCs etc. and is large which makes spelunking slow and tedious. I know Delphi includes the Database Explorer but that requires a full Delphi license and while I have a licensed copy I don’t want to install the entire IDE just for that.

So, what do you use?

Reinstalling Vista SP1 resolves display problems but was it ReadyBoost?

After reading this comment from Enrico Giordani (Ciao!), whom I worked with back in 1999 while working for Microsoft in Redmond, I decided to try Vista SP1 again though this time with my USB key in my pocket. Guess what? I no longer have the display problem as described in the SP1 readme. I’m at a loss to explain why my machine is now working but I’ll take it! I reconfigured my video card, tried different resolutions, unconnected my external monitor and rebooted at least a dozen times trying to work around the issue but alas nothing worked although all the while my USB key was in its slot with $g(ReadyBoost) enabled. I removed the USB key and reinstalled SP1 from scratch and Sleep is now working as it had with the RTM. I’ve also reconnected my USB key with ReadyBoost enabled as well as with my external monitor attached and all is working just fine.

Go figure!

Anyway, Enrico, thanks for the comment you salvaged SP1 for me! Grazie!

[Update: March 29] Update the link to the release notes since the previous MS link broke.

Vista SP1 resume from sleep black screen of death on my MacBook Pro

I wrestled with Vista SP1 for the better part of Friday night and early Saturday morning and after roughly a dozen or more restarts I’ve uninstalled. I rely on my machine to restore from hibernate and sleep daily and SP1 admittedly broke that functionality. I had higher hopes. This was the shortest amount of time any Windows SP has lasted for me before hitting a problem that was worse than the original, about 15 hours. I tried numerous changes to my video settings to no avail and I don’t have time to mess around with a laptop that can’t “recover” from sleep. In a comment to this post Bill Meyer clued me in to the fact that this isn’t a new problem for Vista which doesn’t bode well when it comes to hoping for a fix. On a positive note, the  uninstalled worked as advertised and I haven’t (yet) noticed any additional problems and sleep now works as it did before.

Any other MacBook Pro/Vista users experiencing this issue?

[Update: March 29, 2008] Update the link to the release notes since the original link to Microsoft’s website no longer works.

Windows Vista SP1 on a MacBook Pro running Boot Camp v1.3 (beta)

I just installed $g(Vista SP1) on my MacBook Pro without any problems. (knock, knock)

So far I haven’t noticed any difference though I’ll be interested to exercise the file copy improvements.

[UPDATE: Feb 15, 2008] I’ve been bitten by the “Display” problem as outlined in the Vista SP1 release notes which states (emphasis mine):

In some cases,
computers that use multiple monitors may display black screens when the
display mode is changed after resuming from sleep. This issue can also
affect laptop computers connected to an external monitor. Display mode
changes may occur in any of the following circumstances:

  • Attaching or detaching a monitor.

  • Accessing the computer remotely.

  • Changing the screen resolution or color depth using the Display Properties dialog box (which you can access in Control Panel) or an application.

  • Logging users on or off.

  • Rotating the display on a tablet computer.

To avoid this, do not use multiple monitors, or do not allow the computer to sleep or change the display mode.

If this has already occurred, restart the computer.

It actually offers these things as ways “to avoid this”! Something is seriously wrong in Redmond when this sort of problem and this list of workarounds is the first item in the relnotes. I’ve been running Windows Vista Ultimate since the day I got this machine and have been impressed that Sleep and Hibernate have worked pretty much flawlessly and had come to rely on it. In my mind, the people who put this item in the relnotes had to be thinking, this is so (pardon me) !#%*ing bad, it’s got to be listed as the first problem item. Definitely not a happy camper at this point.

I now need to try and find out if $g(Boot Camp) v2.0 included with Leopard has this problem.

[UPDATE #2: Feb 15, 2008] The problem of the display not resuming occurs regardless of whether or not a secondary display is connected.

Logoff Remote Desktop Session Remotely

I’ve been working for a client where I’m connected to their VPN much of the day working remotely on machines located at the clients site. Occasionally, I’ll run into a Remote Desktop connection limit where I can’t login and infrequently, one of the logged on sessions will be my own. At that point, I’ll occasionally try using mstsc.exe with a /console switch to try and disconnect an inactive or unused session but in this instance I was getting this error:

This computer can’t connect to the remote computer.

The next thing is to try and logoff the session remotely using two Windows utilities, quser.exe and logoff.exe. With quser you can find out the session names of the logged on users and use that information in a subsequent call to logoff.exe to close the session.

Console output of quser.exe and logoff.exe

At this point, I can successfully log back in using Remote Desktop or my current favorite remote client Terminals.