Scott Hanselman

Getting FinePrint to work on Vista RC1

September 21, '06 Comments [1] Posted in Musings | Reviews
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Good news for FinePrint owners and lovers. The v5.55 build mostly works under Vista with the caveat that it doesn't print under IE7 Protected Mode, but that's coming soon.

Hi Scott, I did some work on Vista support last week.  if you install the latest FinePrint build (v5.55) it should work pretty well.  The "only" problem (which is obviously quite significant) is that it doesn't yet work with IE7 Protected Mode.  everything else should be OK though. I don't know if you are a pdfFactory user, but the same comments apply to pdfFactory--I fixed some Vista-related problems in the latest build (v3.02).

Here are direct download links for FinePrint 5.55. You may have the Print Spooler Service shut down during the installation but you should be cool after that.

As with all things on this blog, YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary). Enjoy

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Vista and ReadyBoost

September 21, '06 Comments [3] Posted in Musings | Reviews | Tools
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Readyboost1I've had some problems with Vista over the last week, but I'm in communication with a few folks at Microsoft who are helping me work through them.

I've also got word that the FinePrint guys are actively working on getting FP to work under Vista. More on that soon.

But what I'm really digging is ReadyBoost. My wife has a little machine we got for $399 that has 512megs of RAM I think. It has a Windows Experience Index of 1.0 if that gives you some kind of idea of what we're dealing with.

It was doing OK, acting like a slightly slower XP machine. It's had no crashes, blue screens or driver troubles. It's beating on the hard drive though.

I'm loving the idea of ReadyBoost. I told my wife I added more memory to the system, but that's not correct. ReadyBoost takes a FAST (keyword: FAST) USB Flash Drive and adds it into the SuperFetch/PreFetch mix.

According to the ReadyBoost FAQ, a RANDOM 4k read from flash is about 10x faster than from the HDD. Remember we're adding a storage device that isn't as fast as the Hard Drive for big linear files, but it can SEEK around faster than the HDD. When the system is under pressure - that means, in part, disk contention - the system is more responsive.

This is brilliant for me because I'm all about multitasking...I regularly have 100+ things going in Task Manager and I'm whipping between them. However, my machine has 2GIGs of RAM and I'm not necessarily the ideal candidate. My wife, however, runs Excel, Word, IE, and Solitaire on a slower machine and already she's noticed a difference with a 2 gig USB drive connected. My gut says that under load with 4-5 big apps running her system is probably 20-30% faster and the disk is noticeably faster. Again, this is a 512 meg machine with a 2 gig USB disk.

Check out Grant Gibson's growing database of USB Flash Drives/Keys that are compatible with ReadyBoost.

I went over to MWAVE.COM and picked up three Apacer Handy Steno 2gig USB Flash Drives for under $48 each and have them running in my Tablet, Desktop and my wife's machine. I haven't noticed a different in my machine, but my wife's machine . The Apacer Steno is reportedly the USB Drive that Microsoft uses internally for testing, so it's a "reference ideal." It IS wicked fast.

Do be aware of these gotchas I experienced on Vista RC1:

  • You MAY need to run the Speed Test from the ReadyBoost tab in the Properties window more than once to get success. Make sure your system is as quiescent as possible while the few second long test runs.
  • Don't RENAME (change the Volume Label) on your USB Drive once you've set it up. You'll confuse Windows and while the SuperFetch cache file will still exist, it won't be used.
    • I inserted the USB key, and got the "AutoPlay" option to "Speed up your system."
    • I clicked and configured.
    • Then I said to myself, "self, let's rename this drive 'READYBOOST' so I won't mess with it."
    • So I did, and went back to the Properties dialog for the drive and it had forgotten that it was READYBOOSTIFIED. I changed the name back and things worked again.
    • Moral: Change your drive's name before you boostify.

I'll post some speed comparisons as we use these machines more. However, if you have less than a gig of ram, getting a fast USB key should just be compulsory.

THOUGHT: It'd be cool to have a USB port facing straight up in the air on the motherboard inside the case. Of course, one day someone will release motherboards with this built in, just like ReadyDrive.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Hanselminutes Podcast 33 - Windows Vista RC1

September 20, '06 Comments [0] Posted in Podcast | Reviews
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My thirty-third Podcast is up. This episode is about Windows Vista RC1, the pain and the potential.

We're listed in the iTunes Podcast Directory, so I encourage you to subscribe with a single click (two in Firefox) with the button below. For those of you on slower connections there are lo-fi and torrent-based versions as well.

Subscribe: Feed-icon-16x16 Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Links from the show are also always on the show site. Do also remember the archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Links from the Show

A MSFT DE on the Vista Platform (ie7)
File Versioning (iei)
How to install CardSpaces (iec)
Paul Thurrott's Vista Site (ieg)
Vista RC1 - Top 5 Improvements (ie8)
Vista on Wikipedia (ied)
Application Compatibility on Vista (iem)
Kim Cameron's Identity Weblog (ie9)
.NET 3.0 (iee)
Vista Promotional Flash (iel)
Windows Workflow Screencasts (iea)
IE7 Protected Mode (ief)
Windows Vista Portal (iek)
Classic SimCity in your browser (ieh)
dnrTV WWF Series Part 1
Vista and MacOSX (iek)
InfoCard (now CardSpaces) Demo (ieb)

We have a new sponsor for Hanselminutes, Aspose, the .NET and Java Component Publisher. They produce a wide variety of components with versions in both .NET and Java. Do check out their Aspose Demo Downloads as they have a huge catalog of tools to explore.

Our sponsors are Xceed, Apose, CodeSmith Tools and the .NET Dev Journal.

There's a $100 off CodeSmith coupon for Hanselminutes listeners - it's coupon code HM100. Spread the word, now's the time to buy. This coupon is good for the CodeSmith Professional With 1 Year Premier Support option.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

  • The basic MP3 feed is here, and the iPod friendly one is here. There's a number of other ways you can get it (streaming, straight download, etc) that are all up on the site just below the fold. I use iTunes, myself, to listen to most podcasts, but I also use FeedDemon and it's built in support.
  • Note that for now, because of bandwidth constraints, the feeds always have just the current show. If you want to get an old show (and because many Podcasting Clients aren't smart enough to not download the file more than once) you can always find them at http://www.hanselminutes.com.
  • I have, and will, also include the enclosures to this feed you're reading, so if you're already subscribed to ComputerZen and you're not interested in cluttering your life with another feed, you have the choice to get the 'cast as well.
  • If there's a topic you'd like to hear, perhaps one that is better spoken than presented on a blog, or a great tool you can't live without, contact me and I'll get it in the queue!

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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An Error occured during the installation of assembly component - 98cb24ad-52fb-db5f-a01f-c8b3b9a1e18e

September 20, '06 Comments [2] Posted in Musings
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This is a lousy error message for a number of reasons:

An Error occurred during the installation of assembly component - 98cb24ad-52fb-db5f-a01f-c8b3b9a1e18e

  • It doesn't tell me the file name.
  • It gives me a GUID that sends me into the registry looking for COM stuff only to find nothing
  • It uses the word "assembly" that implies .NET and sends me into the GAC only to find nothing

Instead this is an error from deep in the underbelly of Windows in a section that dare not speaks its name - Side-By-Side or WinSXS.

This says that something horribly wrong while installing the VC++ 8.0 C Runtime into the WinSXS 'subsystem' folder under C:\windows.

I'm getting this error while installing TortoiseSVN4 on a Windows Vista RC1 machine. This is what my WORKING system looks like:

Winsxs

This is the non-working system:

Winsxs1

Now I'm not sure what to do. No one is allowed to install files into c:\windows\winsxs\manifests except the TrustedInstaller user...not even Administrator. Je suis screwed.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Downloading Audible Content under Vista using IE7 in Protected Mode

September 20, '06 Comments [3] Posted in Musings
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PbkI just hate Googling for stuff that SHOULD be out there (given the keywords I chose) and finding nothing. SURELY I'm not the first guy to try to download an Audible book under Vista RC1 using IE7 in Protected Mode (its default mode.) Well, it doesn't work.

I was trying to download the audio book for John Hodgeman's "The Areas of my Expertise" today - the first book since the Vista upgrade (free excerpts here).

When Audible downloads audiobooks into iTunes, it uses a helper creatively called ADHELPER.EXE that grabs a specific extension registered to it and without prompting, downloads the file into the Temporary Internet Files then moves that file over to your iTunes Library and adds it. It's usually a VERY simple one-click process. Except today, using Filemon from Sysinternals I noticed that IE7 and ADHELPER are fighting over the downloaded file and a Sharing Violation is happening.

I'm not sure if this is a bug in ADHELPER fo grabbing into Temporary Internet Files so quickly, or if it's a bug in IE7 for doing something different than it did before, but it's broken now.

(ASIDE: I just realized that my Harmony Remote Control does similar things with a small application registered for a custom extension...I should test that too...)

Solution for downloading Audible content into iTunes on Vista RC1? Use Firefox, works great.

Hodgeman is a nut. He's the "PC" in the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" ads. He also has notably collected illustrations of 700 Hobos. The book should be hilarious.

 

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.