Thursday, November 6, 2008

Flash player under Windows Server 2008

I decided to move to the Server OS because of many reasons. I hope that I will not regret soon.
What's going on ?
Have you ever heart of Adobe Acrobat Connect (AAC) ? It is an Adobe online software designed to bring presentations and desktops to the web (a descendant of Breeze). It is Flash based (Flex may be, at least you need a flash player on the browser to participate).
So, I had to participate an online presentation hosted on AAC, and I was surprised to see the following window:You can hardly see, but in short: It says: "Adobe Acrobat Connect requires Flash Player or newer".
The funny thing is that all that message is displayed inside a flash player, and I made this screen-shot to show you that I actually have Adobe Flash Player 10 installed.
But wait it becomes funnier. When I clicked the "GetFlash Player" button (Also a flash button!) I went to a page that showed out the next interesting screen:
Which says: Sorry, your platform is not supported.

Funny, ah ?
But I could not participated that connect meeting.

Hyper-V lives in US! (Part 2)

Earlier today I described a problem that is known to MS and has no solution yet.
In short - you can install (mean really install a working version) Hyper-V under Windows Server 2008, only if you set all locale settings to EN-US / USA Location. Every other attempt will lead to a broken installation.
I also promised that after this installation I will revert back to desired location settings to check if everything is going on well.
And the answer is ....
After installing the Hyper-V Role under EN-US Locale / USA Location forced to all system accounts also, you can safely revert back to the desired locale settings and the Hyper-V will continue working.

Tough one!

New user group in Bulgaria!

Did you know? A brand new baby is being born here in Bulgaria. It's name is Sharepoint Usergroup Bulgaria.
I already registered there. And if you are interested in developing for/with Sharepoint, and also happen to be in the neighborhood, go for it!
The first presenter will the Sahil Malik, a MOSS MVP and INETA speaker.

Thanks to Martin Kulov who is giving so much to the local community!

Live writer on Server OS ? Help !

Have you ever tried the Windows Live Writer ?
It is really nice and handy application that helps you with posts. I used to make my posts with it. But after the upgrade to Windows Server 2008 guess what ?

Windows Live Installer
Sorry, Windows Live programs cannot be installed on Windows Server, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, or Windows operating systems earlier than Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Why ???
So, please, if anybody has a solution to this behavior, please help!

P.S. No, I don not think that it is a solution to use a virtual machine with Windows XP just to use Live Writer. No way!

HEELP ! :)

Determining Hyper-V version

Hi again,
In my last post I informed you about the version of Hyper-V. But how to check it?
It is as simple as executing a command line in elevated command prompt:
wmic datafile where name="c:\\windows\\system32\\vmms.exe" get version
This sill give you the version. And here is also a brief list of versions:

Version Version Released on
Beta 1 (Windows Server 2008 Built-in) 6.0.6001.17101 December 13, 2007
Release Candidate 0 6.0.6001.18004 March 19, 2008
Release Candidate 1 6.0.6001.18010 May 21, 2008
Release to Manufacturing (RTM) 6.0.6001.18016 June 26, 2008

Thanks to this post.


Hyper-V lives in US ! AKA Virtual Machine Management Service entered stopped state.

Imagine you decided to upgrade to Windows 2008 Server and want to try it's new sexy Hyper-V hypervisor. Imagine also that you appear not to live in America (USA) and you set your locale settings to something different than EN-US.
Guess what!
You will never make Hyper-V running! You end up with:
Virtual Machine Management Service (vmms) failed to start.
Virtual Machine Management Service entered stopped state.
No additional info.
No related entries in the event log.
OK. Now what ?
You will go for:
My CPU DOES support Virtualization (double checking with manufacturer web site and BIOS settings).
I aslo made sure that the No Execution bit or DEP is set to enable from the BIOS.
I also went for latest updates from windows update.
What am I doing wrong ?

Well. The point is that you are not doing wrong. but Microsoft is doing wrong. You will google the problem, and may you will find this thread, or that post. And you will realize that you now must (you must not reinstall the Server OS!):
  1. Remove (uninstall) the Hyper-V role.
  2. Set locale settings to EN-US
  3. Set location to USA
  4. Force locale settings to be applied to all system accounts
  5. Restart
  6. Install the Hyper-V role
  7. Restart
  8. Go and create your virtual machines
Come on! Do we really need to do this ? And what if I change back the locale settings? Well I still do not know what will happen if I do this, but I am going to check in the next couple of hours or days. So stay tuned for updates!

P.S. And NO, this is not because I am with pre-release beta of HyperV. My Version is: 6.0.6001.18125 !


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

So important that needs to be shared

Yesterday I received an interesting mail from REGISER.BG - the registrar for .BG TLD.
As for long time it was the only one (monopoly) registrar for that kind of domains. Thus making registration almost impossible. For years they were requiring tons of documents, legal notices, trade mark certificate, and whatever document you can imagine, in order to process your request for registering .BG domain.

So, the mail that they sent is so amazing that I will share with you all. Here it is:

Dear clients,

We would like to let you know that on 25/08/2008 Register.BG extended the possibilities for domain name registration in the .bg zone, allowing the registrants on their own risk to register domain names without providing grounds for the name. In order to solve potential disputes between registrants and domain name applicants, Register.BG establishes a Dispute committee. The updated Terms and Conditions are published at

In addition, Register.BG extended the possibilities for domain name setup in the .bg zone and the sub-zones, allowing the DNS setup to be realized with IP addresses in IPv6 format as well.



So, since 25.08.2008 we can normally register a .BG domain and be proud to be Bulgarians.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Master of science

Oh yeah,
Since today (18th of June 2008) you call officially call me "Master of Science in Software Engineering" :)

I should go to a deserved vacation ;)


Friday, June 6, 2008

Data Mining by Rafal Lukawiecki

Microsoft has recently published a series of video sessions on Data Mining by Rafal Lukawiecki on their TechNet Spotlight.

This is, in my opinion, a vast and interesting subject which was partially covered by Rafal when he came to Sofia on 25th of January this year. As he promised a series of video sessions are already on the TechNet Spotlight, so anyone who hadn't chance to be here and listen to Rafal live, can go and watch the videos online. Once more - really, really amazing subject and incredible speaker!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Database Server ?

It's the question that drives discussions for decades. Recently I ended up with very interesting article. It's called "The real difference between SQL Server and Oracle".

The Intro:

For years now there's been a constant war between Microsoft supporters and Oracle supporters. Oracle has these features, SQL Server has these features, etc. But that's not really where the real importance lies. Sure, functionality is a part of it because your database should be able to do what you need it to do. However, do you want to know what the real difference between the two companies is and why Microsoft has made such a strong impact in the industry?

You can read the full story here. I hope you also find it interesting :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vista SP 1 LIVE at last!

I'm glad to see that it is indeed a fact.

You can download the long awaited update here. Microsoft has published also a stand alone package installer (and the x64 version) as well as it will be published to the regular Windows Update.

I am eager to see the difference :)


Thursday, March 20, 2008

VS2008 bug crashes the IDE

Hello again.
I was playing with WPF last couple of days and I discovered a strange bug in the VS 2008 IDE. It crashes the whole IDE (devenv.exe) with just single line of XAML !

So, here is the bug report:

And this is short description how to reproduce:

  1. Create a simple "WPF Windows Application" project.
  2. Open the Window1.xaml
  3. In the XAML view, put TextBlock control
  4. After adding the TextBlock control, the XAML should be like this:
    <Window x:Class="WpfApp.Window1" xmlns=""
    Title="Window1" Height="300" Width="300">
    <TextBlock Text="DummyTextBlock">
    <!-- put ToolTip here -->
  5. Now replace the "<!-- put ToolTip here -->" with this:
    And let VS IDE to auto-complete the closing tag.
    1. Caution! Indeed we should have:
      <TextBlock Text="DummyTextBlock">
    2. But not (which is the correct syntax):
      <TextBlock Text="DummyTextBlock">

Now, by the moment the VS auto completes your ToolTip tag and underscores it, the IDE will crash.

Please, if you can confirm the bug, go to and click "Validate".


Friday, March 7, 2008

First impression on Silverlight 2.0

As I told there is a fresh new build of Silverlight - Silverlight 2.0. Happy to hear that I downloaded and install ....

Now what - cannot open the old Silverlight 1.1 projects. The VS gives the following error:
The imported project "C:\Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v9.0\Silverlight\Microsoft.Silverlight.CSharp.targets" was not found. Confirm that the path in the <Import> declaration is correct and that the file exists on the disk

The hint/solution is here: and it appears that we, as developers should not be afraid to edit the .csproj files - why should we ?

Just curious - if I am forced to uninstall any previous versions of Silverlight along with SDKs and VS tools (it is a prerequisite and the installation does not continue until you install them), why then the new Silverlight is put into new folder and there is no automatic backward compatibility.

Looking forward for the next release :)


New releases from Microsoft

Just to inform you that Microsoft has just released the new Beta 1 of Silverlight 2, as well as ASP.NET MVC Preview 2.

Great information about these technologies, as well as many others you can find at:

For those of you who would ask - To install the Silverlight 2 Beta 1 you will need uninstall any previous versions of Silverlight, Silverlight tools for Visual Studio and Silverlight SDK. And for the MVC Preview 2 it is recommended that you uninstall first the ASP.NET MVC December preview.


Friday, February 22, 2008

VISTA series - Digital IDs, Adobe Acrobat, BER error ...

Hi again,
I'm continuing to post VISTA problems and resolutions.

Actually I'm not sure whether the problem I am going to describe is specific to VISTA only, but it appeared to me after migrating to VISTA.

So, who does not have a Digital ID (Digital signature) nowadays. I am using one since last year. I'm used to use the electronic services provided by the government, as well as digitally signing different kind of documents. I had no problems for more than an year. Until I got VISTA.

Suddenly the Adobe Acrobat (7.0.0) under VISTA did not see my digital ID. It sees some other self-signed IDs, but not the one that I really need. The strange thing is that it does see it in the "Advanced -> Security -> My digital IDs", but when I want to see details, the Acrobat errors with something like:

Certificate parsing error:
x.509 parsing error
Error encounted while BER decoding


After some googling, I found that it is a common, well-known by Adobe problem, with no patch/update yet (the problem seems to exists in Adobe Acrobat 8.0, too).

The problem seemed to be that there is some "peer-to-peer" certificate in the Windows Certificate Store. It is issued by [my windows login] to [my windows login], and I don't know why and when.

The solution:

  • Open the Windows Certificate Manager (Start->run / search->certmgr.msc)
  • Locate any "peer-to-peer certificate" you may have (the "peer-to-peer" you will see in the column "Intended purposes").
  • Remove it (all of "peer-to-peer")
  • Restart Adobe Acrobat

Now I think you will be able to use your digital ID with Adobe Acrobat again.

Hope this helps,

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

VISTA :) SP1 Prerequisites

I found an interesting article on the net:

Vista SP1 prerequisite updates send some PCs into endless reboot...

And I am happy to find that I have installed these updates without any problems ;)

VISTA networking sometimes blocks outbound traffic

Strange things happen all the time ;) That's the funniest.

So, I have (hopefully to put that into the PAST) some strange problem under VISTA with my Marvell Yukon Ethernet NIC and my Linksys' WRT54GL.

From time to time it appears that I don't outbound traffic to ports like HTTP, FTP, POP, IMAP, etc. But I have outbound traffic via ICMP like PING, TRACE, ECHO. What is going on ?

I did a little research over the Internet and a number of posts came out. The most descriptive one I found is here.

It appears that VISTA is trying to impress us and play hard with the network adapters on some lower layers of the OSI model.

And so, I disable the "IPv4 Checksum offload", the "TCP Checksum Offload (IPv4)" and the "UDP Checksum Offload (IPv4)", restarted and looking forward to see the change. This you can do from:

  • Control Panel -> Network Connections
  • Right click on the desired network connection
  • Select PROPERTIES (you will be prompted from the UAC that this requires administrative permission)
  • Click on "CONFIGURE" button just bellow the name of the Network Adapter used for the connection
  • Go to "Advanced" tab
  • Find all the "[something] Offload (IPv4)" and select "DISABLED"

OK, I'm sure we are all impatient for the SERVICE PACK 1, which is expected to come with Windows Update in mid-March.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Calculating time to copy files, or how to speed up file copying under VISTA

Hi there,
I'm sure that most of you, guys who are using Windows VISTA already hate the "smart feature" that is "Calculating time remaining to copy files", which takes more time than the actual copy itself. Well, may be under some circumstances it may speed-up networked copy of files, but in the common scenario it just slows down the whole process.

Thanks to this post, I've found the way to remove the irritating feature and go normal again.

The culprit seems to be the "Remote Differential Compression" feature, which is introduced in VISTA for the first time. To turn it off go in Control Panel / Programs and features / Turn on or turn off Windows features and uncheck "Remote Differential Compression".

Another feature that might slow the network traffic is the TCP/IP "Receive Window Auto-Tuning", which can be turned off via elevated command prompt:

netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

After these changes you might want to reboot the system and look for improvements.

Note: I also have read somewhere that Microsoft has promised to fix this issue with Service Pak 1 for VISTA. And the Service Pack 1 is already released to manufacturing, as of 04 February 2008.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

String.Format - the quick reference

I just found this post very usefull for a quick reference of the formatting strings:

Just post it here to keep a track ;)

Monday, January 21, 2008

PHP and .NET

Hm, recently I came to a strange site:
It's an enthusiastic project to make PHP compiler for .NET and to make possible write PHP applications in the .NET environment and ASP.NET 2.0. It is still in BETA stage, but they already have Project templates for VS2005 SP1.

I shall investigate and make further posts about this one ;)

Regular Expressions

A quick search with not wasting much time just showed me this nice site: where you can test your Regular Expressions.

You might find it usefull.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

MySQL - my (Un)Favourite Database

In my last project I decided to go out with MySQL. Why - do not ask why ;)


In the process of building, debugging, developing I noticed that some of the searches does not return a correct result. A search in a VARCHAR field (for Cyrillic characters). I looked for the table encoding - it was UTF8; I looked for the column encoding - it was UTF8 (both collations utf8_general_ci); I looked for the server default encoding - UTF8; I looked for the encoding passed by the client application - again it was UTF8.

Suddenly, by incident I noticed - the encoding of the database was cp1251 (the Cyrillic one). It killed me.

A simple command solved the problem:


But I was inserting correct values, when I was browsing the table I could see the right values, but when I search for specific values in the STORED PROCEDURE with AD-HOC SQL built dynamically in the procedure, I could not get the results ...

No Idea ... but I begin to look more and more to the MS SQL server ... and its EXPRESS edition...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Network printing with VISTA and XP / print spooler hangs

Merry Christmas and Happy New 2008 !!

So, May be you have heard a lot of "Print Spooler hangs" using Windows Vista and sharing a printer. I had a terrible couple of days looking for solution of the problem. Including online chat with HP support and posting on Microsoft TechNet forums.

Problem anatomy:

  1. Desktop station with Vista 64. HP LaserJet 1018 connected to it (have full support for VISTA 64 and print local jobs just fine, latest drivers installed from the HP site). Shared.
  2. Laptop with XP SP2 x86.
  3. Successfully browsed from the XP to the shared printer. Installed as a local printer on the Laptop using new local port (\\vista-pc\printerName).

Now, the only way I got this printer to print job from the XP is the following:

  1. In VISTA: Turn the UAC OFF.
  2. In XP: Authenticate to the VISTA with the username that is the OWNER of the printer.

Any other attempts to print (i.e. authenticate with different name, that has full access to the printer /SECURITY TAB/, or UAC ON) just sends the print job to the Queue and nothing happens until restart of print spooler service on the VISTA.

Here is the solution:
What do you need to make it work?

  1. Lots of patience;
  2. Correct drivers for correct OS (i.e. VISTA or XP) and platform (i.e. x86 or x64)
  3. First install the printer locally and make sure everything's fine (note: there are still number of printers that currently do not have VISTA drivers)
  4. Share the printer

The tricky part - change the following policies in the VISTA host:

  1. Local Computer Policies\Administrative Templates\Printers:
    Allow print spooler to accept client connections > to enabled
  2. User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Control Panel\Printers:
    Point and Print Restrictions > to disabled

Note: To change local policies you can click the "START" and then in the search box type in: gpedit.msc

The drivers part - install the additional drivers on the VISTA box:

  1. On your VISTA box open printer and faxes
  2. right click blank field
  3. Run as administrator
  4. Server Properties
  5. Drivers Tab
  6. Add the additional drivers (i.e. x86 drivers or x64 drivers)

The next trick (optional if the above scenario still does not solve the problem):

  1. Again open printers and faxes on your VISTA
  2. Locate the installed printer
  3. Right click
  4. Run as administrator
  5. Properties
  6. Ports tab
  7. UNCHECK the "Bidirectional support" checkmark
  8. Apply
  9. OK

The funniest:

  1. Go to the client (that will use the shared printer)
  2. Open Printers and faxes
  3. Right click on an empty space
  4. Add printer
  5. Choose add LOCAL PRINTER and UNCHECK the "Automatically detect plug & play printer connected ..."
  6. Choose to Create a new port
  7. Choose Local port
  8. The port name - be very careful, the name should be as follows: \\VISTA-PC-NAME\Shared-printer-name
  9. Next
  10. Choose the type of the printer (at that point you must have the appropriate drivers for the that printer)
  11. Finish the installation of the printer

Hope this will work out for you.

The original forum posts are here: