Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes on Channel 9 - Inside CodePlex.com

October 17, '09 Comments [4] Posted in Channel9 | Open Source
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The CodePlex.com TeamI'm up in Redmond this week and I stopped by to abuse the folks at CodePlex.com. I got to see their hardware, build servers, server room and more. You can even see how they abuse the test team. Lots of fun with Sara, Jonathan and the Whole Codeplex.com Team.

Also, while you're watching, I'd encourage you to check out my other Channel 9 video interviews, including:

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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Hanselminutes Podcast 184: Preview of ASP.NET 4 with Scott Hunter

October 17, '09 Comments [0] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET Ajax | ASP.NET Dynamic Data | ASP.NET MVC | Javascript | Podcast
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image

My one-hundred-and-eighty-forth podcast is up. Scott's in Seattle this week and catches Microsoft Program Manager (and one of 1000 Scott's) Scott Hunter who shares insights in the history and future of ASP.NET 4. What's coming in VS2010?

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Download: MP3 Full Show

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

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate aboutTelerik 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)

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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Obscure Windows Home Server Tip: Restoring when you didn't have Network Drivers installed before

October 15, '09 Comments [12] Posted in Home Server | Tools
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I've blogged about Windows Home Server before. I'm a huge fan. Recently Uncle Ronnie's new Dell computer had a hard drive die. It was under warranty and Dell had a new hard drive mailed to me within days.

The old hard drive is clicking and unhealthy, but after a dozen tries, I get it to boot off the sick drive. I run chkdsk /f /r 4 times until it works and then quickly (don't make it angry, I say) hooked Uncle Ronnie's machine up to my Windows Home Server via it's wireless adapter and did a complete "one click" backup. This backs up the entire machine to the Home Server. He's running Windows XP but uses dial-up for his internet access. Remember this point as it's significant for later.

Then I swap the dead hard drive out for the new one. On another computer I visit \\SERVER\Software and burn the Home Server Recovery CD in a few minutes, then boot off that CD on Uncle Ronnie's machine.

I'm going through the restore process and it says I haven't got network drivers installed. Uh oh. What now?

Well, there's actually a very helpful link right in the Restore Wizard that says Windows Home Server includes all the network and storage drivers from the backed-up machine at the time of the backup in a automatically-created folder that lives in the backup itself.

The instructions say just open the backup from the Home Server Console. This is cool in its own right, as Windows will mount the backup as a new drive and you can copy files off it. During backup an unambiguously named folder called "\Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore" is made that is full of directories with storage and network drivers from your computer. Again, these are the drivers that were installed when you backed up your computer.

I mounted the backup and copied that drivers folder to a USB key. I didn't have to restart the restore, just press Scan and it loads the drivers dynamically. Unfortunately it didn't find the hard-wired network adapter I was planning on using to restore this laptop.

I stared for a while.

Turns out that since Uncle Ronnie uses Dial-Up, he never had the Wired Network Adapter drivers installed, so they we never backed up!

I could probably try to boot up the dying hard drive, install network drivers, then backup the hard drive again hoping that Windows Home Server would find them and  yada yada yada, but seriously, I'd be tempting fate to try and get this drive to spin again.

Instead, I dug around in the USB key and it appeared that the folder structure was folders named with GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers) with .sys driver files and .inf driver info files inside.

I took a change and created my own GUID folder (basically just copy pasted another and changed some numbers). In this screenshot, it's the top folder with a bunch of zeros.

Windows Home Server Drivers for Restore

Now, what to put in it? I went to the Dell Drivers Website and found the download for the Marvel Wired Network Drivers. It was an EXE, but most of these driver downloads are self-extracting ZIP files, so I opened it up directly with 7-Zip (the greatest and best archive utility.)

I poked around in the driver archive looking for .INF files and .SYS files and copied both the Vista and XP drivers into my {GUID} folder on my USB key, hoping that the Windows Home Server Restore that was still waiting on Uncle Ronnie's machine would just scan these drivers and assume it put them there.

{00000000-FC2B-446B-AEF2-CD40874C08DA} (2)

In fact, it worked! I clicked Scan again and the wired network adapter showed up in the list and the restore of Uncle Ronnie's old backup to his new hard drive worked perfectly!

Related Links

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 183: LIVE! Gadgets, Hi-Def, WebCams, 4G and More

October 12, '09 Comments [27] Posted in Podcast | Remote Work | Reviews | Tools
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Scott Hanselman My one-hundred-and-eighty-third podcast is up. This wacky episode of Hanselminutes was recorded at 3am on a sad, sad Saturday morning with an intrepid group of UStream and Twitter users who watched Scott chat about gadgets and technology and ultimate fail to save the video. This is the only artifact. This is fortunate because Scott does an audio podcast.

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Download: MP3 Full Show

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

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate aboutTelerik 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)

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
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Dedicated Windows Server Hosting by SherWeb

Review: Trying Clear from Clearwire - Mobile Broadband Service

October 9, '09 Comments [27] Posted in Remote Work | Reviews
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imageAs a remote worker, I really need decent internet when I'm not in my home office. Sometimes I'll be at the local coffee shop, but more and more restaurants with Wi-Fi are kicking folks out who are leaching their bandwidth. I probably, in aggregate, waste an hour or two a month hunting for Wi-Fi.

Clear Wireless - The Good

One of the newest entries into the mobile wireless internet business in the US is ClearWire from clear.com. It's a WiMAX technology and it's got extremely limited coverage at this point. However, it covers where I am 90% of the time:

Clear Coverage Map

You can go an put your address in, of course. For the Portland/Metro area it's pretty good on paper:

image

Clear just started a new promotion where you get 1/2 your service for the first 6 months. That means about US$22.50 a month for unlimited mobile wireless.

ClearWire Clear Speed TestThey call it "4G WiMAX" and the package I got included:

  • 3-6mb/s download, 1mb/s upload. I got over 6 in my tests around Portland. It does drop off some inside buildings.
  • I paid $49 for a USB modem
  • They have a 2 year contract, but I reject contracts and instead opted for a month-to-month. I paid $35 for the privilege.

So, $100 out of pocket, but $22.50 a month for the next several months. If it's awesome, I'll pay $45 a month. If not, I'll cancel.

Rude Q&A

Some folks might immediately ask these questions. Here's my best answers.

Q. Why not just tether your phone?

A. AT&T's 3G network is not only crappy, but they are threatening to cap their most leachy users. That will no doubt affect me. Most 3G phones max out their bandwidth at about 3.6mb/s depending on radio. Others can do 7.2mb/s, but seriously,when have you EVER seen that kind of sustained throughput on your 3G phone?

Q. Is it faster than 3G?

A. So far it feels faster. I was totally able to hold a two way 640x480 audio/video conference with screensharing and with no lag. I just don't see that happening over a tethered phone connection.

Q. But really, the coverage is non-existent.

A. True, and it bothers me, but I realize that I really *am* in the NW 90% of the time and my hope is that this will open up more places for me to work around the region. I'm tired of hunting for a connection, and as this was a near daily irritation, for the price of $22.50 a month (for the first few months) I've removed that irritation. This seems a reasonable trade-off so far.

Q. What about caps?

A. So, I know that most 3G providers with "unlimited" bandwidth cap at 5gigs. I could barely sync my email with 5 gig. ;) I could use that in a few days of video calls, so I really need more like 30-40 gigs a month...so, I prefer the comfort of an "unlimited" package. It remains to be seen if Clear really means unlimited when they say it, but I certainly don't think they mean 5gigs a month.

Q. Their site seems amateurish.

A. Agreed. Something doesn't "smell" right about ClearWire, and it's likely the lack of good design on their website. Their previous one was WAY better. It's amazing how these kinds of things can really color your impressions of a company. As a company precense, they just don't seem "polished." Their Services Overview page is unnecessarily complex

The Bad

Clear There is no formal support for Windows 7 and their "highly trained support professionals" have no idea what they're talking about.

The installation drivers the Clear-branded Motorola USB WiMax Beweem model that the service came with totally didn't know what to do with Windows 7 x64. Additionally, the online August 2009 drivers for Vista failed to install. What I ended up doing was opening Device Manager in Windows and doing a manual "Update Drivers" and pointing it to the drivers folder on the October 2008 CD that the device came with. So, basically, old drivers and new software. They promised it'll work someday with Windows 7. Maybe it will, but until then, I'm MacGyver.

Conclusion

Too soon to tell. Is it a great idea? Sure. Wireless that works over miles? I'm all over it. However, they've got Comcast, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and everyone else to compete with. If AT&T really gets their tethering act together and starts really pushing it, that could be a problem for Clear. We will see. Until now, I'm going to give it a go.

Dear Reader, post your ClearWire experiences in the comments! I'll update this post as mine observations change.

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.