Friday, July 28, 2006

New Office Communicator 2005 hotfix

Microsoft has released a new hotfix for Office Communicator 2005 as described in KB921348. It contains the following fixes -
  • Advanced VoIP calling features are unavailable in Office Communicator 2005
  • Internet Explorer unexpectedly closes when you refresh a Web page
  • A telephone number may contain a clock icon instead of the number zero in Communicator 2005
  • Error message when you try to shut down Windows: "End Program-WMS Idle"
  • You experience poor video quality in Communicator 2005 running through a multipoint control unit
  • Communicator 2005 responds to invitations to conversations with a "Busy" reply
  • Communicator 2005 stops responding during a video conversation with Communicator 2007

I guess it must be cumulative and include the updates from the February 10th hotfix(KB903928) as it also updates Communicator.exe, now updated to build 183 (From 121).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Internet Anonymity, TOR and Scatterchat

Came across an article about the Scatterchat tool, recently released in the Danish Computerworld. The article is in Danish - sorry. Anyway, it is not that important as the important stuff can be found on the EFF web site. EFF has a good article on the TOR network. The aim of TOR is to provide anonymous communication on the internet. Some researchers claim that more money is put into making statistically analyses of the network traffic than trying to decrypt encrypted traffic. Read more about TOR here - and read this research paper on why networks like TOR are very problematic to establish and run. Parts of the paper can be hard to read - but I think I got the most out of it without needing to understand all the formulas therein.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Virtual PC fix for laptops

I'm using VPC on my laptop and after suspends/hibernations, the screen goes blank and I have to restart VPC to get it back in shape. Well, according to Virtual PC Guy a laptop hotfix was just released. Fine, but versioning is to say at least weird for Virtual PC 2004 as I have written about earlier. This time, you have to download SP1 (again). calls this version 582.27 but with a release date of July 12th 2006. Downloading the zip and opening it, reveals a subfolder called Laptop Hotfix. This folder contains the MSP-file, that you want to apply to you laptop. The hotfix has an associated KB 889677.

After applying the hotfix, my version is now called (5.3.)582.32...

The Hypervisor term

Hi. Now that my summer vacation is approching the end (bad, bad), I just catched up on a few blogs including Virtual PC Guy. Ben has a good article on what the Hypervisor term actually is.

And while being there, I also followed his link to Wolfenstein 3D and took a little stroll down memory lane...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Windows VistaBootPRO 2.0 Beta

PROnetworks has released their second version of VistaBootPRO. Its an editor for the Boot Configuration Store (BCD) store that replaces boot.ini in Windows and it works with Beta 2 and Build 5456 (Corrected build # - Reminds me not to blog while my wife is shouting "Dinner is ready" ;-) .

Designed for both beginners and advanced users, VistaBootPRO can be used to make "cosmetic" changes to the Windows Vista boot Menu such as changing the name of the Operating Systems shown in the boot menu and make advanced "functional" changes like adding an Operating System to the boot menu and repairing the Windows Vista boot configuration data. Advanced settings include backing up and exporting your boot loader configuration and modifying various details for the entries. Included in this latest release are additional features, including a built-in help file and more advanced boot configuration options. VistaBootPRO 2.0 has been completely rewritten using Microsoft C# for improved stability and performance.

In my multiboot environment I have three partitions, one for Windows XP, one for Vista builds and one for my Data (Documents, redirected shell folders, my source code, drivers/applications etc.) and at one time I had to recover my system entirely from ground up after a failed install of an older build of Vista. The Vista version of the editor called Bcdedit is a pain in the .. to work with - at least when you need to have a working machine by the next day and don't have the time to research how its working (So VistaBootPRO comes to the rescue as a real life saver ;-)

Information on the new version found at

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Service Level of Public Instant Messaging Connectivity (PIC) in LCS

When deploying Instant Messaging with Live Communications Server in your company you of course expect to get enterprise degree service levels out of it.

But what happens when you mix a consumer based service (Like Yahoo, MSN and AOL) with an enterprise level deployment of LCS with PIC federation?
Well for me the answer is obvious you get a Consumer degree service level out of it - and this is also what my experience shows me.
What is important here is that if you are a customer or a consultant talking to customers/decision makers, then its worth to emphasize the point that PIC isn't an enterprise level service.

Also if you are implementing and/or troubleshooting PIC then its worth to look at at the LCS PIC troubleshooting posting.

Yahoo! and Microsoft Instant Messaging connectivity

Microsoft has just announced their integration between Yahoo! and Live Messenger. You can sign up for the beta at either or - Not avilable for Denmark though :-(

Read more at at the Inside Windows Live Messenger blog Talk to your Yahoo! friends from Windows Live Messenger or at the Press release Yahoo! and Microsoft Bridge Global Instant Messaging Communities.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

LCS Federation information

Microsoft has published a whitepaper with details on how both federation has been implemented in LCS. It includes details on how the proposed IETF standard "Best Current Practices for Interdomain Instant Messaging using SIP/SIMPLE" has been used as a model for federation in LCS. It includes which standards are followed and which aren't and how PIDF documents are used.

Some of the details of the implementation hasn't been described though as they are subject to "licensing" :-(

Thursday, July 06, 2006

ActiveSync 4.2 ready for download

You can find it here. The fixes include -

  • Microsoft Outlook Improvements: Resolves issues relating to error code 85010014.
  • Proxy/DTPT interaction Improvements: Improved auto configuration of device Connection Manager settings when desktop has no proxy path to the internet.
  • Improved Desktop Pass Thru behavior with ISA proxy failures.
  • Partnership improvements: Better resolution of multiple devices with the same name syncing with the same desktop.
  • Connectivity Improvements: Better handling of VPN clients (resolve unbinding of protocols from our RNDIS adapter). New auto detection of connectivity failure with user diagnostic alerts.

Also there's a nice little troubleshooter tool, that will check your computer for problems and, given the pemission to do so, send the results to Microsoft.

It still seem to have a problem with setting up the synchronization of tasks directly with the Exchange Server from ActiveSync, this still needs to be setup from the device itself (On a new/wiped device that is, if it already has been setup, it recognizes it correctly).

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Remote Desktop goodies in Vista

When you use multiple monitors (Like I do) then this is nice little trick.

In Vista (Build 5456) there's a commandline switch called /span that will allow the remote desktop to span across multiple monitors (I often help Service Providers or manage our own network by using a single server/workstation as a jump-host to the rest of the systems, sometimes doing it while writing documentation in a Wordpad document or the like in the same Remote Desktop session, so this is a very useful addition to mstsc).

Other enhancements are two-way pre-authentication when connecting to Vista/Longhorn Terminal Services and the possibility of using a TS Gateway, that will allow you to connect through HTTPS/443 to a Gateway server, that again will connect to Terminal Services inside the network (Thereby avoiding the use of VPN and 3389 in and outgoing on the network - the latter being a real advantage when you are connected to e.g. a customers network).