Messenger on Zune HD

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Engadget tipped me off that in addition to Microsoft Windows Live Essentials 2011 having released yesterday, the team also released Messenger for Zune HD. So since I have to wait until H1 2011 (whatever that means) to get my Windows Phone 7 with Verizon, I can use all the cool new social features in Messenger on my snappy Zune HD. And if that’s anything like Windows Phone 7 – and it’s supposed to be better – I’m even more excited!


Moved to WordPress

October 1, 2010 Leave a comment

As reported on CNET et. al. Microsoft will be closing down Windows Live Spaces where I’ve kept my personal musings for a few years now. Microsoft has, however, made migrating a Live Space to a breeze that carries over most everything including posts, images, and categories no matter how old.

It’s a good platform and I’m looking forward to playing around with it. Definitely an improvement, which I’m sure is one reason Microsoft chose to focus their efforts on other projects and leave WordPress handle what it does best.

Picking a name wasn’t easy. When I signed up for Spaces, it was still beta so I could get the name I wanted easily. However, WordPress has been around for a long time so a lot of ideas were taken. I considered a few like “heathing” which my old doctor, mentor, Scout master, and friend used to say I was doing when whatever I was doing was otherwise undefined. Like other ideas, it looked word as a URL. Sorry, Doc.

So in honor of Monty Python – which I my wife just loves (not really) – I chose “lifeofheath”. Unfortunately squatters took several more reasonable names, but what can one do?

So while I continue to post work-related posts about deployment, Visual Studio, .NET and other such topics to; here I’ll post things about what’s going in life with my family and me. It’s not the most exciting life, but I’ve got a wonderful wife, sweet daughter, and joyful (and not always annoying) dog that make it fun.

Categories: Family

Drive Icon for Seagate Expansion External Drives

February 7, 2010 6 comments

I saw some posts where people were asking for the icon and Autorun.inf files that shipped with the following drives from Seagate.

  • ST305004EXA101-RK – 500 GB
  • ST310005EXA101-RK – 1 TB
  • ST315005EXA101-RK – 1.5 TB
  • ST320005EXA101-RK – 2 TB

If you formatted your drive or are otherwise missing these files, just extract the contents of the following ZIP archive to the root of your expansion drive. Changes may not appear right away. You may need to unplug and re-plug in your drive.


Fixing connection issues when is set as the default gateway

May 18, 2009 16 comments

I’ve been happily using various Windows 7 builds for a while now, including the recent release of Windows 7 RC (build 7100). There are many UI improvement that help me be productive – especially on a laptop when not connected to external monitors. The Shell has made significant performance improvements, and while I never found UAC prompts to be an issue I do like that there’s far fewer of them when I’m changing configuration settings while exploring the possibilities.

At home I decided to update our Vista SP1 Media Center to Win7 RC. Almost everything went smoothly except that on boot my machine couldn’t connect to the Internet. When I looked at the Network and Sharing Center, “Unidentified network” showed up. To check my network configuration I dropped into a command prompt and ran “ipconfig /all” only to find that I had a new default gateway address:”. Disabling and re-enabling the NIC fixed the issue until the next reboot.

Then I was pointed at KB970313. It seems there’s a race condition at startup – which also seems to have gained a boost with Win7 – where if the Apply Bonjour service starts before my NIC retrieves settings from my router, the default gateway is added. And while their web page claims, “Thanks to Bonjour technology, getting computers and smart devices to work together is as easy as connecting them”, it had quite the opposite effect for me: no connectivity to the outside world.

If you’re having issues connecting and see “Unidentified network”, fixing the issue is fairly easy: disable the service, then disable and re-enable your NIC. Alternatively you can reboot your machine.

  1. Click on Start.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter. On Vista you may need to confirm the UAC prompt.
  3. Find the Bonjour service. This may be tricky since it’s open source and may not display the same. But you can check suspected services for the typical path “C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mdnsresponder.exe”.
  4. Right click on the service and select Properties.
  5. Change the Startup type to Disabled.
  6. Click the Stop button. You can then close the Services window.
  7. Reboot the machine.

But what installed it? A disabled service begs the question, why even have it installed?

While perhaps not as impressive as Process Monitor, I have my own set of tools I’ve been working on occasionally. The Windows Installer PowerShell Module exposes Windows Installer APIs to PowerShell. By combining a few cmdlets I can examine objects through a pipeline to find what product installed “C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mdnsresponder.exe”.

PS> get-wicomponentinfo | where { $_.path -ieq 'C:\Program Files\Bonjour\mDNSResponder.exe'} | get-wiproductinfo

ProductCode                            ProductVersion      ProductName
———–                            ————–      ———–
{D0DFF92A-492E-4C40-B862-A74A173C25C5} 3.0                 Adobe Version Cue CS3 Client

Unfortunately I can’t remove the product without breaking the Photoshop CS3, but having disabled the service I shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to connect to the Internet.

So much thatch

May 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Yesterday I rented a dethatching machine for the front lawn. It looks as if it hasn’t been dethatched in so many years, and in our second year here I figured it was time to give the lawn some TLC.

I was able to kick up about 320 gallons of densely packed thatch! That’s a lot of thatch.

I didn’t do the backyard because about 1/3 of it is entirely moss and we have a slight drainage problem anyway: much of the rain water collects under the south fence and is rotting the bottom away. I want to till it up and landscape it, giving me a chance to re-contour it and put a French drain under the fence.

Today I’ll be over-seeding and fertilizing the lawn and in the next week or two I’ll aerate.

Categories: Home

When it rains, it pours

April 28, 2009 Leave a comment

When it rains, it pours. And news media is the weatherman who embellishes every rain drop. As if the current financial crisis wasn’t bad enough now there’s the swine flu outbreak.

But what’s worse – so worse – is that the news media has been so incredibly negative and reporting the absolute worse through all this. What contributed to the cause of the current financial crisis was bad, yes, but when the news media began reporting on it they painted a much more grim picture. As a result, many more people dumped their stock which sent us further down the spiral. And the news grew worse. Further and further we go.

And now we have the swine flu. It’s serious, but very few people who have contracted the virus have actually died from it. Now tonight they are reporting a global outbreak. But what’s real is that 2 people returning home from Mexico to the UK have the virus and are recovering in isolation rooms in hospitals.

Already the virus is having a disastrous effect on airline travel and their stock, so further down the spiral we go.

News media needs to drop the charade of reporting what they think people want to hear, and start actually reporting good news that people actually do want to hear.

Categories: Rants

Still no Color Wheel

March 25, 2009 Leave a comment
It’s been quite a while since the color wheel in our DLP died and it still hasn’t shipped. We’ve grown quite accustomed to Hulu but they really need new commercials. I hope it arrives soon, though. My laptop doesn’t have the best screen for viewing nor can I work on it while watching, say, Lost.
Categories: Home