Want to be Relevant? Transfer a Skill

You get the best effort from others not by lighting a fire beneath them, but by building a fire within.
--Bob Nelson

It matters to matter. If you want to make any real impact during your short time on this small planet, what you do has to matter and to matter you have to be relevant...

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

I still develop/support software and code for some older environments such as Visual Studio 6 (VS6). In fact, two of the bigger development projects I've worked on in the last 10 years were done with VB6, so it is important that my primary environment allow me to maintain these applications.

Both of these particular apps also used itgrid6 (itgrid6.ocx) which is a super-fast grid control I licensed for development around 2003.

The problem started when I started to try to recreate my development environment in Windows 7 64-bit. During the VS6 installation, Win7 complained that the program had known instability issues, but I was able to force it through. I could also install some third-party components from Xceed as they didn't have any issues installing.

However, when I got to itgrid, the installer refused to install it with an "invalid access to memory" error and a -2147023898 error. The logs showed "itGrid6.ocx failed to register."

The problem turns out to be that itGrid6.ocx (along with a lot of other activex components from that era) are not DEP compatible. DEP (Data Execution Prevention) comes enabled and you can't disable it through the user interface. In XP SP2 and later, you can get around this by disabling DEP in the boot.ini file and rebooting with it disabled, but this wasn't available to me in Windows 7 (or Vista for that matter, which I never bothered with).

I googled around and was a little discouraged because it didn't look like there was a way to disable DEP, especially when using 64-bit Windows 7 (I read where it wasn't even possible to do--not true as I found out).

It turns out in Windows 7 you can still disable DEP, but it is a little more of a cryptic process.

This is NOT for the newbie and use this information at your own risk. I've read about people trashing their systems and having to do a complete re-install. Make a complete image of your system before attempting this. You may be able to boot into safe mode to undo this, but I make no promises.

Here's what you do...

Are you doing a Project or a Process?

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
--Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)

When you are working on changing something and are doing the planning, it is important to first ask yourself, "is this a project or a process?"

It is important because the two are often confused, but each are managed very differently...

Fixing the Apple iPad, iPhone, and Touch's Problem with Displaying Data as Phone Numbers

I had a problem with a data heavy website not displaying numbers correctly when accessing the site from an iPad.

Specifically, numbers in a table would show up as blank on the iPad, but look great on every other browser. I thought it was a css issue, but the problem was that Safari was "helping" me by converting these number strings into links that, when you touch the screen, would ask if I wanted to add a new contact. That was my first hint. When I said, yes, I did, it took the number and tried to format as a phone number.

It turns out there isn't a way to turn this off in Safari or the iPad, but you can fix it by creating a meta tag...

Ethics, Shmethics

"Ethical behavior" - conforming to accepted standards of conduct

How do you feel about ethics?

It doesn't really matter how you feel about ethics because ethics aren't something you feel, they are something you are judged on by others...

Are you a Pro or a Joe?

You have to perform at a consistently higher level than others. That's the mark of a true professional
--Joe Paterno

When you come in to work, are you working a job or are you working your career?

I've met many people in IT and there are those people that strike you as a Pro and others that strike you as a Joe. Now, there's nothing wrong with being an average Joe, per se, but is that where you want to be?

Getting Zimbra to Work with Droid X

We just picked up a couple of Droid X phones and could not get them to sync with Zimbra 5.0.22. Every time we tried to set it up, we'd get "ERROR Could not connect to the server." no matter what we tried. We checked all the usual suspects such as DNS, internet connection, etc. Also, we tried about every combination of user ID, domain, password, etc.

We also spent a week working with Zimbra tech support trying to get the Mobile tab to show up on 5.0.22, to see if we could change some settings there, but after a week they finally figured out that we were on 5.0.22 and you have to be on 6.0.x to see the Mobile tab!

Well, I finally figured it out...

Want to Change the World? Support the "One World Futbol Project"

The One World Futbol Project is helping to spread joy thru soccer to communities in need around the world. (By “Futbol” they mean soccer.)

You can buy an ultra-durable soccer ball from the project and play with it anywhere. That's why it's called an all-terrain ball. It never goes flat, never needs a pump, and never gets punctured. If you try hard, you can puncture it with a knife, but the One World Futbol will still keep playing.

For every ball you buy, the Project will give away a second ball, free, to someone who can’t afford one. Neat.

If you don't need an indestructible soccer ball, you can donate to their foundation and, for every $25 you donate, they'll send a soccer ball to a community that needs it.

Check it out at http://www.oneworldfutbol.com

VMware ESXi 4.0 Update 1 Installation On A Big Array

I ran into a problem figuring out how to set up a large, multiple terrabyte disk array that was usable by VMware ESXi.

Specifically, I'm setting up a server with 16GB of memory and a 4-core 3ghz processor to run VMware ESXi 4.0 (Update 1). This driveless Dell rack server is hooked up to an external Dell MD1200 array packed with 7.2TB of storage. I wanted to make the entire 7.2TB (less after accounting for RAID5) available to my virtual machines.

The MD1200 has the option to split into two drive arrays and be accessed by two systems. For this configuration, I'm just going to have the one server, so I set up redundant paths (2 cables) from the server to the first controller on the array.

A few of the things you need to know about installing ESXi...

Android 2.2 Froyo on my Nexus One!

After waiting over a month since I saw it announced at Google IO back in May, I finally have the final build of Froyo (Frozen Yogurt) running on my AT&T Nexus One.

It's great!

All of the promised improvements are there and it really seems faster...

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