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Amazon Cell Phones - Deal or No Deal?

I'm was looking at getting an AT&T Tilt and Amazon.com at first glance has the most compelling offer but I'm not sure about working through Amazon.   While they have many high-end phones for 1 penny, they do have a catch...if you drop your data plan or are late on a payment in the first 6 months, they'll auto charge you $250 per phone.  Since I was getting two phones on a family plan, that scared me.  So, instead, I went with LetsTalk.com.  Their catch is you have to remember to send in your rebate info at a certain time frame but I felt a little better with that and their turn around time was awesome.  I'd be curious if others have had good experience or bad experience with Amazon.com.  Feel free to post your comments and let me know.  I'll update you in time on how Let's Talk handles their rebates.

 




Turning MP3's into Ringtones

Would you like to turn your favorite MP3's into ringtones without paying $3 per pop?  Of course you would.  Plus, sometimes the mp3's you want aren't available for purchase.  For instance, I wanted clips from The Office for my ringtone...the opening theme song, Andy singing Rainbow Connection or "Take a Chance on Me".  I'm sure you get the point.

Well, just go to Mobile17 and sign up.  There you can upload any MP3 and they'll give you several options for getting it to your phone.  There is a wait period for the free version but you can upgrade to their Express version with "no line no waiting".  For me, I'm never in that big of a rush to get my ring tone. :)

And if you're interested in getting those favorite Office clips, just head over to What's the Scuttlebutt to search for Office clips.




Disable file and folder transfers in RWW

You may have noticed in Small Business Servers Remote Web Workplace that when you go to "Connect to my computer at work" that if users click "Optional Settings", one of the options is "

The key was figuring out that rapLinks.userLogonName returned the username of the logged on user.  If it matches what's in the aUsers array then it hides the checkDrives checkbox.  I wanted to hide the label but I haven't figured that one out yet.  The label doesn't have an ID but instead uses <label for="checkDrive...  If you know of a way to hide that programattically, please let me know.  Since it only hides the checkbox, it's sort of an ugly solution but since "Optional Settings" is a somewhat obscure option for most users and since it is functional, I'm okay with it.  I hope it helps you out.  It took me almost 1/2 a day to figure it out.




Change SBS Company Name

Had one today that I just haven't bumped in before...how do you change the SBS 2003 company name?  During the install process, you tell SBS your company name and this is displayed when users get to the login page for Remote Workplace.  Turns out, a simple registry change is required to make the change.  Just edit the following...

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ RegisteredOrganization

I found this in the SBS 2003 troubleshooting guide but it took me some Googling to get to it so I thought I'd post it in the hopes of helping others.




Vista UAC Print Issue

I am not a big fan of Vista User Account Control (UAC).  It causes me issues and I'm a techie.  For non-techies, this thing is just a nightmare.  I grew tired of dealing with it, so I just disabled it.  Then I tried to map to a network printer and received the error message "Windows cannot connect to the printer.  The specified print monitor is unknown.

The specified printer monitor is unknown

Weird.  I installed the latest drivers on the print server and specifically installed Vista drivers but that didn't help.  Then I googled and found Trevin Chow's blog post explaining that the problem was UAC was disabled.  Believe it or not, the fix is to 're-enable UAC', add the printer, and then disable UAC (if you want to...which of course I do).

If you don't remember, to re-enable UAC you have couple of easy options.  Just go to Control Panel, User Accounts, click User Accounts again, and then select "Turn UAC on of off".  The other option is MSCONFIG and then the Tools tab, select Enable UAC and then click Launch.  Either way, it requires a reboot after each change so for me that means two reboots just to install a printer!




SourceSafe 2005 - filename not legal

With Vista running Visual Studio 2005 and Source Safe 2005, I continue to get the error below trying to open a solution/project directly from Source Safe.... "The filename selected is not recognized as legal.  Please select another file or rename the selected file."  Based on the title of the pop-up error, this is a Visual Studio error.

Source Safe error message

Searching for just that error, I couldn't find much more than a couple of MSDN forum threads with unfortunately no solution.  I usually don't post with out a fix but so far I haven't found a fix for this one. 

The only work around I've found is to open the Source Safe client and "get latest" to a local directory.  Once you have everything local, open that local solution/project in VS 2005.  Now VS shows all the Source Safe bindings and it's integrated from the point of checking out and checking in files.  Once you do this, it's not a problem but just trying to open directly from Source Safe through VS 2005 won't work for me.




External URL on SiteMap node

I had a SiteMap node that I wanted to link to an external URL rather than just a internal page.  I found many articles such as Joe Audette's post stating that you need to turn of SecurityTrimming and assign the node to a local page and then afterwards reassign it to your external URL and it would work.  Then I got lucky and found a forum reply from on of the ASP.net team members saying all you needed to do was add roles="*" to your SiteMapNode.  I tried it and sure enough it works.  Below is a sample..

<siteMapnode title="Google" url="http://www.google.com" roles="*" />

It's amazing how simple things can be once you know what to do.




Vista Explorer showing music columns for files

I had one folder that suddenly wouldn't show file details in Explorer view.  Instead, it treated it like it was a folder with music and my columns all where all music details like 'album', 'artist', 'rating'.  I wasn't even sure how to phrase the problem so searching was a challenge.  Was it 'album view', 'music view', 'media view'.  'Album', 'Music' and 'Explorer' aren't very unique words. Finally, on the properties for the folder I saw that it was set to "Music Details" for the template and this helped me find a solution.  Unfortunately Vista won't let us change the template being used for a folder.  All Vista lets me do is save my current folder as the settings for that template.  Thanks Microsoft!  But with 'Music Details' as a search word I was able to Google and find a fix in a forum thread.

To clear this up, you need to delete a couple of registry keys...

  • Open regedit, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\Local Settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell
  • Delete the BagMRU subkey
  • Delete the Bags subkey

I've read that this will "reoccur" later so you'll probably need to delete this keys again at some point.  Hopefully all the paid installs of Vista being pushed out right now will help fund SP1 fixing problems like this and the host of other issues I've had that have made Vista an absolute pain.




SSL on IIS 7.0 - Vista Self Signed Certificate

You've been working with IIS for years and thought you knew your way around the settings didn't you?  Then Vista came along with IIS 7.0 and now you feel lost.  Join the club!  I recently needed to get a self-signed SSL cert going on my development desktop and was stumped.  Then I found Govind's Web Log post and it turned out to be a quick setup.

  1. Open IIS 7.0 Manager.
  2. Click in the left pane on your server (or desktop) name.  This is what stumped me.  Now, the options you need will appear on the right.
  3. Double click on Server Certificates in the middle pane (or main pane).
  4. Now in the right pane, you'll have the options you need to Create Self-Signed Certificate or you can start the process for a real cert.  Click on that link.
  5. Give the cert a name, any name will do...(i.e. LocalDesktopCert)

So now you have the cert created but you need to assign it to your site.  Scott Guthrie has a great blog post (lot's of pictures <g>) that shows you step by step how to bind the cert to your site.  In fact, Scott's article really walks you through the whole process.  Here's the short version but your really should check out his post for the full 'visual'.

  1. Click on your web site in IIS 7.0 Manager.
  2. In the right pane, click Bindings.
  3. Click Add
  4. Change the Type to HTTPS
  5. Select your previously created cert from the drop down and click OK

It's really not that hard...in fact it's quite easy with Vista.   It just takes a while to find where things are and making sure you click on the correct thing on the left column to bring up the desired options in the middle or right pane.




Creating a custom list form with Sharepoint 2007

Today I ran in to an oddity with Sharepoint 2007.  Since the upgrade, users said the flow of creating a new entry for one of our lists wasn't very easy as everything was in a different order.  I went into the List Settings and updated the "column ordering" to match what they wanted.  However, this didn't update the order of fields when the users clicked on "new entry".  Isn't this how it worked in Sharepoint 2003?  I couldn't find an easy way to control the field order on NewForm.aspx so I started searching for how to customize it.  This took me to Jan Tielson's blog post which was a reference to Kristian Kalsing's great blog post.  This was exactly what I needed but I did hit a few parts that stumped me for a bit so I thought I'd post essentially the same steps with just a few warnings and extra details.

  1. Open your site in SharePoint Designer.
  2. Browse to your list and open the 'NewForm.aspx' web form.
  3. Go File > Save As... and give the form a new name such as 'NewForm2.aspx'.
  4. Delete the default List Form Web Part from the page.   So delete everything starting at and including <WebPartPages:ListFormWebPart......> down through and including </WebPartPages:ListFormWebPart>.  This should leave you with... 

    <WebPartPages:WebPartZone runat="server" FrameType="None" ID="Main" Title="loc:Main">
    <ZoneTemplate>


    </ZoneTemplate>
    </WebPartPages:WebPartZone>


  5. Save...(otherwise you'll be missing the "Custom List Form" option in the next step. )
  6. Put your cursor between <ZoneTemplate> and </ZoneTemplate> and then click Insert > SharePoint Controls > Custom List Form. (Note: Make sure you pick "Custom List Form" and not "List Form" or you won't be able to customize your form and then what's the point? <grin> )
  7. In the List or Document Library Form dialog, select the appropriate list, content type and type of form.
  8. Click OK. Now you'll have a new Data Form Web Part added with controls representing all the fields from the list
  9. Now you can make the customizations you want and Save your NewForm2.aspx.

That's it.  I found it's easier to me to change the view to "Code" and make my changes via HTML rather than the designer.  It's always stopping to update real-time and that left me waiting a lot.  You'll see that now it's really easy to cut and paste to reorder table rows.  After testing out your new form, if you want to make this the new default then...

  1. Right click on the root of your List  and select Properties.
  2. Click the Supporting Files tab and click Browse for the "New Item Form" value.
  3. Select "NewForm2.aspx", click OK
  4. Change the "Content type specific forms:" from Folder to "Item".  If you don't make this change, then "Supporting Files" changes won't actually save! 
  5. Click OK.

List Properties

That should do it.  Now when someone clicks on 'New Entry' it'll use your new custom form. This of course is the same process to update the Edit and Display forms as well. Thanks to Jan and Kristian for their blogs to get me going.  Hopefully this will help someone else if you're stuck.  Since all I wanted to do was change the order of the fields on a "New Entry", I'm not sure why all this was necessary and there's probably some easy way in the "settings" somewhere but until I find it...I hope this helps.