Scott Hanselman

Windows Vista and the Uniden Win1200 Live Messenger Dual-Model Phone

April 9, '07 Comments [8] Posted in Reviews
Sponsored By

I've been trying to get the Uniden Win1200 Phone to work. FYI - It doesn't work on Vista. It so totally doesn't work on Vista that you need to email Uniden and exchange the phone. No firmware upgrades on this one. Bummer.

Uniden is aware of the problem, and they are willing to exchange your phone free of charge for one that does work with Vista. If you send email to Uniden at e-scanner@uniden.com and provide them with the following, they’ll email you a prepaid Fed-Ex voucher so that you can ship them your phone to be replaced.

  • Full name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Serial # of Win1200
  • Date of purchase

The serial number information can be found on a sticker inside the battery compartment of the handset and on the bottom of the charging base.

It does work pretty well, however, on Windows XP (while I wait for the RMA label to send in this one for a replacement).

When you plug it in, a quasi-familiar dialog pops up.

This is the kind of dialog I'm used to seeing when I put in a Removable Device. Other than the very poorly anti-aliased phone icon and the odd overlap with the text it seems straightforward, although I don't know what exactly I'm doing here. I'm granting the phone permission to call? OK. Granted.

Ah, another Tray Icon. That's all I needed. Even better, one with out a menu or right click option that serves no purpose at all. Good stuff.

Ok, let's dig. Looks like it shows up as it's own USB Controller? Odd. I was kind hoping it would show up as a standard audio device. Let's see if it does by running Skype - another phone calling service, one that I dig greatly.

Looks like the phone DOES show up, oddly enough, inside Skype as a device with the potential to send and receive audio...this could be promising if I can use this phone for multiple things.

But, alas, no. It doesn't work. Folks on the other end of the Skype call couldn't hear me. The phone didn't ring or grunt when a Skype call was placed or received.

As a Windows Messenger specific phone, it works exactly as advertised. Some nits - the screen is color, but very dim. No real reason for it to be color because it's not color with cool graphics, it's washed out color with, like, two graphics. As a regular phone - this IS a dual mode phone - it works just fine. It's a passable POTS phone. Nothing bad and nothing interesting.

As a messenger phone, for me, it's unusable. I have over 300 folks in my Messenger List, and no way to scroll down fast, so I ended up calling folks whose names start with "A" and "B" if you know what I mean. Sorry Yohannes and Zach, I can't call you. Takes too much time. This phone is a good attempt, but it isn't fast enough, isn't generic enough - it's a messenger phone, from what I can tell, and little else. It does seem to install a lot of drivers and appear all over the audio device sections within Windows so my gut tells me that it IS possible to get this to work with Skype or as a generic audio device, but I haven't figured it out.

For now, chalk this one up as a curiosity.

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Hanselminutes Podcast 58 - Synchronizing Internet Calendars

April 9, '07 Comments [7] Posted in Podcast
Sponsored By

My fifty-eighth podcast is up. Scott and Carl chat about the pain of the DST change and how they manage their calendars over the Internet with things like SyncMyCal and Google Calendars, and the mysterious ICS file format.


UPDATE: An interesting comment in the comments of this post leads to me to add one little bit of extra info. The comment was:

"However I couldn't help thinking that you can purchase great calendars in Borders and other places which with a "version control" pencil and eraser you can write in all your important family events for the month / year and hang on the wall in the kitchen. Lets face it you can even create your own with some software and use family pictures for each month. No data corruption issue, no battery issues and no synchronization issues and its a pleasure to look at."

And I totally agree. We use the Boone "Week over Week" Rolling Whiteboard Calendar" for our kitchen refrigerator for most large-scale life planning. It's SO much more useful than a Monthly Whiteboard. You move each week - Week Over Week - so you don't have to update it every month. We have two, so we've got 8 weeks of life on our fridge.

To be clear, the electronic version works famously. Perfectly. We're always traveling and distributed, and being able to schedule each other with ICS Meeting Requests is a fantastic way to stay in touch. We've done more family events and visited more friends in the last month since we started this system than in the previous year. We each know when we're free and when we're not. It's brilliant.
The Boone board is for "big picture" stuff.


Links from the Show

SyncMyCal (nmz)
Sync Google and your Smart Phone (nn3)
The Holy Grail of Calendar Sync (nn6)
Google Calendar (nn0)
Another PocketPC to Google Calendar (nn4)
Outlook 2007 and iCal (nn7)
OggSync (nn1)
RemoteCalendar (Sync Outlook 2003 to iCal) (nn5)
Syncing Google and Outlook (nn8)
Plaxo (nn2)

ACTION: Please vote for us on Podcast Alley! Digg us at Digg Podcasts!

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

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.

Our sponsors are Telerik and /n software.

Telerik is a new sponsor. Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Vista BOOTMGR is Missing and the Importance of the UPS

April 7, '07 Comments [4] Posted in
Sponsored By

Some folks are passionate about Power. I know that Power Supplies for PCs vary greatly in quality and I could buy smoother/more powerful/quieter supplies, but that's more effort that I'm willing to expend. Now, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, that's a whole other things for me.

Mo's machine died last night, in the middle of a complete power outage that lasted about 1 minute. It apparently happened "between heartbeats" on her computer because now it says "BOOTMGR is Missing."

Hers was the only machine that didn't have a UPS connected. We were watching a show at the time and the HDTV and DVR - connected to a UPS - didn't blink. My mistake, and that's what I get, eh? Time for the every-3-years refresh of UPS's and Batteries for the Hanselman house. I like APC, they are inexpensive and have replaceable batteries. Off to Circuit City.

Now I've got a UPS for every computer in the house, our TV setup and DVR, and the Network Wiring Closet.

  • Mo's small computer and LCD - APC 550VA
  • My beefy computer along with the Cable Modem and Vonage Router - APC 750VA
  • Home Server running headless with 3 external drives - APC 550VA
  • Router and Wireless Router - APC350VA
  • LCD HDTV, DVR and Stereo in the Living Room - APC 750VA

I'm less interested in a super-powered UPS that will keep me running and working for hours, and more interested in one that will keep spikes down, clean up power dips (brown-outs) and deal with complete power outages that last less than 10 minutes.

Do yourself, and your parents, a favor, and go get UPS's for all.

Oh, how did I fixed that BOOTMGR thing? I booted off the original Vista DVD, selected Repair and was guided through a VERY slick and intensive repair process that worked famously. Kudos Vista FIXBOOT team.

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Fix: Windows Vista Media Center missing photos and pictures

April 7, '07 Comments [2] Posted in Musings | Tools
Sponsored By

I was having a heck of a time. I had a freshly installed Vista system and I pointed the Pictures folder to my giant cache of family photos. The photos showed up fine in Windows Media Player and in Windows Photo Gallery, but when I opened up Windows Media Center, either locally or on the Xbox360 I could only see the folders but the images didn't appear!

Turns out the JPEG extensions got an important and Media Center-specific registry setting squashed, probably by some Paint program I installed.

If you go into the Registry via RegEdit and go into the .JPEG (and .JPG, and .JPG) keys under HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT and make a new String Value called "PerceivedType" and make it equal to "image" then things will magically work again!

Seems to me that Media Center was smart enough to install those keys initially, and should be smart enough to notice when they are gone. Smart defaults and all, you know?

If you're not THAT technical, download this Registry Fix File I've assembled and double-click on it. Right click on that link and save it with a .REG extension, or make sure you rename it before double clicking.

You can also set your MP4 files to PerceivedType="video" as well as PNGs, etc, if you like.

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Naming a File a Reserved Name in the Windows Vista Operating System

April 6, '07 Comments [7] Posted in Musings | Programming
Sponsored By

Ah, the Compatibility Sins of the Father. Does anyone else think it's a hoot that you can't have a file called lpt1.png on your system? Or a folder called con?

There's a old story about the .NET CLR team - before they took over an entire Top-Level-Domain as their name, thereby effectively thwarting my own .ORG world domination strategy - where they wanted to call the successor to COM and COM++, "COM3."

Apparently it didn't take long for them to realize that this was a sub-optimal name. Probably about this long:

C:\Users\Scott>md com3
The directory name is invalid.

I'm still not clear, however, why this would be a problem in Vista. It's no doubt "compassionate conservative compatibilityism" (my new phrase of the day) on the part of Microsoft.

Of course, it's because the underlying Win32 APIs for opening a file STILL will accept "COM1" as a file name, as in:

portHandle = CreateFile("COM1",
                  EFileAccess.GenericWrite,
                  EFileShare.None,
                  IntPtr.Zero,
                  ECreationDisposition.OpenExisting,
                  EFileAttributes.Device | EFileAttributes.Overlapped, IntPtr.Zero);

There's even a special way in Windows to refer to Serial Ports larger than COM9 in your code, like this -\\.\COM10.

You see, they only choose to oppress us 9 times, for COM1 to COM9. From then on, we can live footloose and fancy-free.

C:\Users\Scott>md com9
The directory name is invalid.

C:\Users\Scott>md com10

C:\Users\Scott>dir com10
Volume in drive C is 70 GIGS SYSTEM
Volume Serial Number is 98A2-64B2

Directory of C:\Users\Scott\com10

From MSDN:

Do not use the following reserved device names for the name of a file: CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, and LPT9. Also avoid these names followed by an extension, for example, NUL.tx7.

CLOCK$ is also a reserved device name.

Good times.

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.

facebook twitter subscribe
About   Newsletter
Sponsored By
Hosting By
Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

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