Getting Older Code to Run on Windows 7 (Problems with cscript and wscript)

So I have a bunch of cscript I've written in vbscript and some of it updates databases.

The database connection is done through ODBC (32-bit) drivers, for example with PostgreSQL.

As I've migrated over to 64-bit on a few systems, I haven't run into problems until I have to start dealing with ODBC not seeing 32-bit drivers. This happens a lot, actually.

Anyway, my 32-bit scripts would choke with an error about not finding my connection or driver, even though I could see it fine in the ODBC manager.

The trick was to understand that I wasn't running 32-bit scripts, I was accidentally running 32-bit scripts with the 64-bit cscript program...

Getting Older Code to Run on Windows 7 (Problems with Crystal Reports)

I'm still working to get everything 100% working under Win7 for my old VB6 developer environment. The latest issue popped up after a couple of weeks with everything appearing to be OK.

All of a sudden, VB6's IDE starts complaining "Error accessing the system registry". I had just used VB6 the week before without a problem and without any changes, so what gives?

There were a lot of attempts to help people with this error, but most were over complicated and referred to problems with Crystal Reports 8, which I don't use.

I do, however, use CR9.

After a little research I figured it out...

Google TV/Logitech Revue Review

For some reason, as a registered Google developer, I received a Logitech Revue Google TV device a few weeks ago to try out.

It took a couple of weeks to get to because I was waiting to upgrade my internet connection to Virgin Mobile's truly unlimited plan before I was tempted to download any videos.

So, I got finally got the thing out of the box and got it working (I'm writing this using Chrome and the Revue, right now!).

The set up process was OK, since I'm a little technical, but I'm not sure Grandma is going to be able to set this one up...

How to Caffeinate Seagate's Sleepy Little Drives

I've been using Seagate's small 1.5TB USB 3.0 external drives for backups lately. I stopped using tapes for new systems a couple years ago, but my client's capacity needs have kept me recommending externally powered 3.5" high capacity drives, except for smaller servers, which could handle backing up on unpowered (or rather, powered through USB) 2.5" USB 2.0 external drives. These new drives from Seagate give me the small size, large capacity, and internal power capabilities that I've been looking for (can't wait for the 15TB version to come out a a few years :-).

I've used USB 2.0, eSata, and firewire interfaces with best compatiblity results coming from using the slower USB 2.0. The other interfaces worked for awhile, but something would happen and I'd go back to good old USB 2.0.

These new drives use 3.0, but I don't. I haven't had any problems with 2.0 compatibility.

Overall, this strategy has worked well and the cost of high capacity portable external disk drives has really come down. Down to about $.10 per gigabyte!

I've only found one problem with these drives and that is that they usually come decaffeinated! They come by default with power saving sleep modes enabled and set to 5 minutes. Some servers and operating systems will wait patiently for them to come out of a sleep, but others won't. In fact, I've had systems crash when they attempt to access a formerly working drive that has gone to sleep.

This is a ginormous problem because the thing we are doing to save our data is actually crashing our system!

So, here's what I did...

Learn it, Know it, Show it

Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.
--Samuel Johnson

If you want to build an IT group of any significance (in what is accomplished), you'll need to start capturing the knowledge that is gained by individuals on your team...

Yeah, That's the Ticket!

Yeah... that's the ticket.
--Tommy Flanagan, The Pathological Liar (Jon Lovitz on SNL)

No matter what size your IT organization, even if it's just you, you need to setup an issue ticket system. My current favorite is the open source project called Mantis (www.mantisbt.org).

A ticket system will help you keep track of every request you get, prioritize them, and keep track of your progress. By running your system on a webserver, like how Mantis runs, you can have access from anywhere in the world. Tickets can be submitted by users, if you like, but I usually prefer to have a technical person put them in. A good ticket system will also let you submit basic ticket information by email...

Problem with Ubercart Conditional Actions CA Getting "No E-Mail Sent" Error Message

I have a customer using www.ubercart.org for their shopping cart system. One of the neat functions that ubercart has is "conditional actions," which gives you extensive capabilities to automatically do certain things when an order is processed (and at various stages along the way).

Well, I added a CA to tell a customer service person whenever an order was processed with a customer comment. That way, with a certain person in charge, special compliments or requests would be handled by a person.

Anyway, I went through the setup process and tested it out and everything was working.

Later, I noticed that I started getting CA and EMAIL errors in the log for the site. Worse, users would see:

"Unable to send e-mail. Please contact the site administrator if the problem persists."

Ship it!

"...the greatest shortage in our society is an instinct to produce. To create solutions and hustle them out the door. To touch the humanity inside and connect to the humans in the marketplace."
— Seth Godin

It isn't great, if it doesn't ship.

What I'm saying is that you can create the most perfect, most beautiful, most artful project, but if you don't ship it, it might as well not exist. Conversely, you can create a broken, ugly, unartful project and ship it and, if it does something helpful, you're a hero.

"Shipping it" is the art of delivering something into the hands to those that can use/experience/love/improve your project.

There are a lot of reasons why projects fail. There are books and books written about that. But I think the single, most important reason that projects fail is that they don't ship. They don't ship early enough and they don't ship often enough...

Installing Crystal Reports 9 on Windows 7

As part of my ongoing attempts to rebuild my XP development environment on Windows 7, without having to resort to using the XP compatibility virtual machine, I had to install an old download of Crystal Reports 9. CR9 is the basis for several older development environments I still support, so getting it to work natively is pretty important.

By running without DEP active, as described here, I think I avoided several problems, but I did run into two odd situations during the install of CR9...

Best Day Ever?

Today is greater than any other day. Why? 11/11/10 = binary 111110 = decimal 62 = ascii character code ">" (greater than). So, *obviously*, today is greater than any other. Have the best day ever.

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