Monday, March 26, 2007

Help in Vista Now Available

In an article I posted last December, I bemoaned the lack of WinHlp32.exe in Vista. At that time the updated Winhlp32.exe was not available. This was described in KB 917607.

Re-visiting the KB - and an updated version of WinHlp32 is now available.  This provides a version of WInHlp32.exe for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Vista. Installing the update brings back support for older Windows help files.

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More on SMTP on Vista

In a blog article posted recently, I pointed out that the SMTP service had been removed from Vista.  In an article in one of the IIS Team blogs,  Bill explains this as follows: "The SMTP server has always fit under the 'IIS' umbrella, but wasn't actually owned by the IIS team.  The folks that owned it have decided to no longer ship it in Vista (the Windows client SKU) and instead are only shipping it in Longhorn Server."

So a team decided just to not ship it. Nice to know that this was a conscious decision. Sadly, it's yet another regression from XP, and one more reason to stick with XP on my laptop. For me,  and others, a better answer would have been for IIS to take ownership of the SMTP service.


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Sunday, March 25, 2007

SMTP In Vista (or not)

I'm dual booting my laptop between Vista and our corporate Windows XP SP2 build. On my XP build, I've installed the SMTP service to enable me to send mail on the road. I've had some problems with my existing supplier, and I was looking for a better answer and there it was as part of XP. I installed the SMTP service, and after a bit of configuration, I have it setup to send mail and not to act as a relay agent. This is working great.

I then booted back to Vista after several days using XP, and went to add the SMTP service to my Vista install. But It's not there! The service was removed in Vista's version of IIS 7.

In the meantime, I've found a replacement, a nice shareware SMTP service that works under Vista. This is the 1st SMTP Server, a shareware program. It works free for 30 days, then dies with the ongoing license costing US$49.

The package is small to download (1.2MB for the zipped version) and the installation is trivial.  See the 1st SMTP Server home page for more info on the product.

Once installed, the working  set is around 9.2mb at start, but it grows. The initial handle count also seems quite high (116) and it grows too. Not sure if this is handle or memory leaks, or  just a program getting started. I'll watch the performance over the next day or two. 

It's a shame that the SMTP feature was dropped from Vista. Maybe MS will consider adding it back in SP1. Although by that time, I'll have licensed the 1st SMTP server!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

PowerShell - Format-Graph cmdlet

I just stumbled  over a neat newly created PowerShell Cmdlet, called format-graph. This cmdlet is described on the author's blog.

Format-graph gets the data to be formatted from the pipeline. you can get the source code from SourceForge.


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Thursday, March 08, 2007

PowerShell Community Extensions 1.1 Ships

Some time  ago, a number of PowerShell fans created the PowerShell Community Extensions project up at Codeplex. This provides a number of useful features and is part of my default install!

The team have created a new version, V1.1 which is now available for download. Version 1.1 adds a  lot of new and enhanced features.

New cmdlets include:

  • Get-FileVersionInfo
  • Get-PEHeader
  • Resolve-Assembly
  • Test-Assembly
  • Ping-Host
  • Resolve-Host
  • Select-Xml
  • Write-BZip2
  • Write-GZip
  • Write-Tar
  • Write-Zip

The biggest new features are the two new providers, including an  Active Directory provider that works. COOL!!!

If you work with PowerShell, you should be running these extensions.


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Installing Console with PowerShell

On Monday, I published an article on an open source application called Console. This app creates a better console (cmd.exe) environment,  in which you can run PowerShell.

I got a comment on the blog as to how to install it. Easy - first download the zip file from SourceForge, extract it to a folder on your local system and  run console.exe. Create a shortcut to your desktop. And to get to PowerShell - just type PowerShell


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

PowerShell Analyzer - A Public Beta

PowerShell Analyzer is a rich interactive environment for Windows PowerShell. As described on the web site, Powershell Analyzer has the typical editor and IDE functionality needed by IT Pros and developers alike.  A nice product.

Karl Prosser, super-star author of this cool tool, has released a public beta which you can download the beta from Karl's site.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Console and PowerShell

Console is a open source application, available from SourceForge. You can use it to wrap PowerShell which provides benefits such as Console features include: multiple tabs, text editor-like text selection, different background types, alpha and color-key transparency, configurable fonts, different window styles.

Looks Interesting. Thanks to Sandip for pointing this out.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Bob Dylan Radio Hour

I've been traveling a lot of late. One thing that has been a nice tonic is listening to Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio hour on my iPod shuffle as I drift from airport/cab/train, to site to yet another flight.

I am of an age when I can remember Dylan from his early start. A fokie in NYC, a rebel in Newport, etc were all seminal works for me. I had all his albums and once worked with one of Zimerman's high school colleagues.

Theme Time Radio Hour is a fantastic series. Dylan the DJ takes a theme and spends an hour looking at music that supports it. Most of the music is less than  mainstream, which is what makes it so much fun. This is a real look at American music, and some very interesting narrative. As a DJ, Dylan is a poet, a guru, and has great taste not to mention an incredible knowledge.

As I create this post, I'm listening to the 17th show, Friends and Neighbors (see the playlist on XM's site). The music and musicians are ones I do not know  for the most part. But the music is very good. I have no idea as to the copyright situation, so I won't link to any download site. But If you search for it, there are some downloads you can find.

I  hope that this entire series is sent to the Smithsonian. This is an amazing look at American music of the 20th century. There is some music from outside the US, but the bulk of the tracks are early.