SATV now over fiber!

Yesterday, the Comcast techs finished their work.  Our three channels are now being broadcast over fiber.  It’s more like 2005-era technology instead of the very latest but we’re not complaining, it was the best we could get.  We have fiber links from City Hall, Salem High School, the School Committee room at the Collins, and Bowditch Middle School.  Our old coax net also went to the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem State College and several other places but we weren’t able to get Comcast to recable those.
Last summer, the city council held a hearing on the poor quality of the video feeds from the School Committee in particular.   The spring before, they had installed a "new" modulator at our facility.  "New" is in quotes for a reason.  The techs didn’t have a manual for the equipment and Sal asked me to find it online;  I’m always being asked to do that since I keep track of all our manuals on our Sharepoint site.
I found the manual on the Motorola site and learned that the equipment, new to us, was old to Motorola–it was end-of-lifed!  It could have caught fire tomorrow and Moto wouldn’t have fixed it.
The council, and us at SATV who were present, gave the Comcast business rep a prolonged ass-chewing.
A year later, we have our fiber.  I wish our WAN and phones were fiber, too, but that’s another day.
For now, my friend Leo Jodoin will be very happy!

[Cross posted to A Salem Blog.]


Pacman and PowerShell?

Seen in the Learning Snacks for Windows 7.  What’s Pac-Man got to do with PowerShell?!

For the record, 28 years ago I wrote a Pac-Man port for RSTS/E Basic Plus for my high school’s PDP-11/60.  No I don’t have the code.  I wish, though, since one can get a PDP-11 emulator and the same RSTS/E OS I used!   I believe one could write a console mode Pac-Man in PowerShell, though.

Rubik’s Cube, another child of the 1980’s as well:

Doesn’t Rubik get royalties every time people use his cube as a trope for “hard problems solved”?

Sweet Reading

A monkey (George?!) is wrapped up in his book outside Cornerstone Books, Salem.

I’m certified for SBS 2008!

A few months ago, Microsoft offered a beta exam for SBS 2008 configuration, 70-653;  many of us, like Phil Elder, who were in the SBS 2008 beta took advantage of our experience and sat for the exam.

I had heard from others who sat for the exam before me that it was straightforward to anyone who had worked with the beta and tried a few migrations.  Judging by my exam report from Prometric, that seemed to be true in my case;  I passed!

The exam didn’t seem as “hard” to me as my Internals exam;   my strongest area was Migration while my weakest questions involved Windows Mobile integration, which I have no experience with (I don’t have a WM phone.)

But, it’s done.

Getting local crash dumps of applications in Vista and Server 2008


Mark Russinovich has another excellent post, Mark’s Blog : The Case of the Random IE and WMP Crashes.  He had a problem with Windows Media Player frequently falling down and going boom.

Now, WER (Windows Error Reporting) does take dumps and sends them to Microsoft, but it hasn’t been possible to get a copy of the dump to analyze with Debugging Tools for Windows.  Mark sort of cheated to get his dump;  he grabbed the dump from the temp directory while the WER dialog was waiting for him to close it.  It’s the kind of thing I’ve done.

Vista SP1–and by extension Server 2008–has a registry key setting that will save local dumps:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting\LocalDumps

This will make WER save all dumps in %LOCALAPPDATA% (Powershell:  $Env:localappdata), which is usually c:\users\<user>\AppData\Local.

I don’t often analyze bluescreens–they just don’t happen for me that often either at home or at SATV–but I do get a lot of apps in testing that just go boom for whatever reason.  This should help.

Remembering Jeannette Moisan

Normally, I don’t post personal notes;  I keep those for my Salem blog.  However, I have to pay tribute to a woman without which I would not be in IT:

Jeannette and one of her foster children.

I’ve written more about Jeannette, her life as a foster mother and as an advocate for the disabled on my other blog.  While I love IT and love to work hard in my field, I must always remember the person who most helped me get here.  Jeannette was a great woman, a dear friend, and intensely proud of me and my choice of field. 

WSUS: 0x80040E14 Error when updating to WSUS 3.0 SP1


WSUS 3.0 SP1 is now out.  You might get an error 0x80040e14 immediately on starting setup.

Check the WSUS database directory;  this will be C:/WSUS or D:/WSUS.  If you previously updated from WSUS 2, there may be a file in the directory, SUSDB.BAK.  WSUS 3 SP1 setup backs up the database and will not run if this file is left over from a previous update.

Delete SUSDB.BAK and rerun setup.  If that fails, check your permissions for \WSUS and make sure there is access for the account you use to run setup.