Tag Archives: microsoft

Cheese with that Whine?

If you are reading the blog of a Microsoft developer, you shouldn’t be surprised when he posts examples using Bing. While I’m all for open source, and convincing people to switch, an MS blog probably isn’t the place to complain that Bing throws a warning in Konquerer and that Google Maps “just works”, especially when Bing works fine in Firefox, and the only reason you’re seeing that warning is because you are using a somewhat niche browser (yes, I realize that it’s essentially Webkit, and that if Chrome and Safari work, then it should, too).

As he responds to one of the comments – “If I link to Google, people scold me for not linking to Bing. And now, if I link to Bing, people scold me for not linking to Google. …  I guess the only safe thing is to not link to anything.”

Extract MSI files from (some) Microsoft EXEs

Certain files from Microsoft (in particular, things such as PowerPoint Viewer and the Office 2007 Compat. Pack) are provided as .exe files. If you’re looking for something a little easier to roll out via Group Policy, you can extract the archive files to a folder of your choice by adding the /extract or /c command line switches. Which switch to use depends on the package, but you can usually do /? to get an explanation of all the options. The files Microsoft provides usually contain some MSI files you can then add to a Software Policy.

Product Activation and Vista

My installation of Vista just decided to deactivate itself.  One moment, I was happily managing the arcade machine over VNC, and the next, I get a popup message in the corner.  “There has been a signficant hardware change and Windows must be reactivated.”, or something to that effect.  When I clicked on the bubble, the activation screen said I needed to activate today or enter ‘reduced functionality mode’.  My copy of Vista is legit and not OEM, and I hadn’t made any huge hardware changes recently.  So I tried to reactivate and was told my key is already in use.

 After a call to Product Activation Support (aka Microsoft India), I was back up and running, but was left with the question “Why did this happen all of a sudden?”  A couple ideas crossed my mind.  I replaced all 3 hard drives about 3 weeks ago.  However, because of the RAID setup, Windows would have only seen the addition of a single drive, not a replacement.  I also added a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse.  For a while, Windows did see the Bluetooth adapter as a network connection.  But why would it take 3 weeks to deactivate?  I also updated my video card drivers this past weekend.  But driver updates are so routine that it doesn’t seem that would count as a hardware change.

I decided to dig into Event Viewer.  The problem is quickly apparent.  My Application Log is filled with “Hardware changed” errors from the “Security-Licensing-SLC” source.  It reported 4 hardware changes in the 14 seconds leading up to the validation error in Event Viewer.   In fact, it has reported 23 hardware changes today alone.  Which is pretty slick considering I’ve been at work all day.

Why has it started doing this, and does it go back to days or weeks prior?  I’ll have to do a bit more digging to find out.  But if this keeps up, I’m going to be on a first-name basis with the guys from India by the end of the week.

Dinner with the Richest Man

Jeff Maurone is an intern at Microsoft, and had the luck to have dinner at Bill Gates house. After going thru security checks similar to an airport, Jeff describes portions of the house as “beginning to feel like you are in Myst” in relation to the architecture. Even rarer was the chance to see Bills daughter, whose name isnt even published anymore due to security reasons.

First IA64 Windows Virus

(copied from my Slashdot posting)

W64.RugRat.3344 has been released as a proof of concept virus. It is the first virus which will only run on Windows on the IA64 platform, and uses APIs from 3 native DLLs to avoid crashing applications. It infects files that are in the same folder as the virus and in all subfolders. The author of the virus has also written other concept viruses* in the past.

* Corrected from virii, which people were nitpicking over on /.

Windows Source Leak?

If you’ve been keeping up on any forums, sites, or IRC channels, you know there is a rumor going around about a possible leak of WinNT/2K source code. Microsoft is investigating the claims.

This could be a major blow to open source and to Microsoft. MS, because people may discover new security holes to exploit. And to open source, because if any of this code gets into an open source project, Microsoft will make the SCO lawsuit look like a playground fight. Avoid downloading, because either youre going to be logged, or its a hoax file that is empty (Doom3) or malicious.


Microsoft and MikeRoweSoft Settle

(from /. and CNN)

Microsoft has settled with Mike Rowe, who was faced with legal action earlier this month because of his domain, MikeRoweSoft.com. Microsoft will pay for new domain registration and the costs of moving the site to a new domain. In addition, Mike Rowe will be receiving an Xbox, Microsoft training classes, and an invitation to a technology festival at the Microsoft campus.

“We wanted to do this in a way thats going to foster his interest in technology,” MS spokesman Jim Desler said.