Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Vista Annoyance #002: Shared By Me search folder does not appear to work

When I setup sharing on Vista because of the lack of ISO mounting software, I found Search Folders in Windows Explorer and was surprised that the Shared By Me search folder showed no results. Here is the final dialog on setting up sharing:

If you look on the dialog, you see the Show me all the files I am sharing link, which brings up the Shared By Me search folder with no results, days later even:

I have 2 files on my Desktop that I think should be showing up in the search results, a Visio file and the Visio ISO file. I thought this was a decent way to expose users to the search folders, give them hints when they use other functionality, until it didn't work that is.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Vista Annoyance #001: No ISO mounting software built-in

This is hardly the first annoyance I have already had with Vista RTM, and I am barely a few hours into using the final version, but the issue I am going to talk about is the most infuriating from a MSDN subscriber point of view.

I started using Vista for real today, installed the RTM and Office 2007 from DVD/CD (I burned both on OS X with the included Disk Utility, assuming I would be passing the discs around), and then realized I wanted to take a look at Visio 2007. So I started downloading the ISO from MSDN. I expected that MS would have finally included ISO files as mountable images, you know, in the OS. OS X has supported mountable disk images, both its DMG format and ISO formats for a while now and I certainly expected that MS would copy this with Vista. I mean every MSDN subscriber has to mount ISO images, why wouldn't you include a driver to make ISO appear as volumes?

While waiting for the download, I tried to install the unsupported Virtual CD driver for Windows XP on Vista, which failed spectacularly, so I actually was more encouraged that Vista had ISO image support built-in. Unfortunately I was wrong, Vista doesn't know what to do with these files. The good news though is that setting up a share on Vista was a lot easier than on Windows XP because I had to enable one so I could copy the ISO file over to my MacBook Pro, mount the ISO, and then copy the contents back over to the Vista PC I am testing with. The other good news is that Windows File Sharing worked perfectly between OS X 10.4.8 and Vista :-)


Hard to believe this is the 200th post to my blog, I feel nearly like an old timer ;-)

I really do feel like an old timer with this observation. I am installing Windows Vista RTM on the test box, so I revert to my Windows NT 3.51 or greater installer experience and format the previous Vista RC1 partition.

The interesting part to me is that:
  • When you click format, you get the hourglass for a few seconds, and then its done. This is clearly not a traditional format. Not sure how I feel about this, but I always wondering why you had to go through that laborious format process instead of just fixing the file system to say it didn't have any files.
  • One format to rule them all, NTFS. You cannot choose FAT32 here. I think that is a good thing

One more thing, good riddance to the hideous text mode setup.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Tip: Using Parallels for Mac with Check Point SecureClient on OS X

UPDATE: Installed the latest Parallels beta, 2.5 Beta 2 Build 3094, and in the limited testing I have done so far, CheckPoint can be connected to the Intranet before the VM is up. Once the VM is started, it just figures itself out. This is with Shared Networking in the VM, which has worked great.

Original Post
Since I am doing all my development work in Windows on a VM in Parallels for Mac, I need to use Check Point SecureClient VPN in either OS X or the VM to connect back to the corporate network. The majority of my day to day apps, Notes, TestTrack Pro, MS Office, Safari and Firefox, iChat and Adium, are running in OS X so for some of those I need the VPN connection available to OS X apps. So I can use that same VPN connection with my Parallels VM too right?

You can, but it turns out there is a little trick, at least I have found that to be the cause. The VM has to be running before SecureClient VPN is connected to your corporate network. Why would it matter? My guess is that SecureClient patches routing tables during its connection sequence, but doesn't do the same when new network interfaces come active, well at least the way Parallels does it. Also, didn't seem to matter in Parallels if I used Bridged Networking or Shared Networking (new in Parallels Build 2.2 Build 1970). Again just a guess, I am too lazy to dig that deep :-)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I can't buy Gears of War

Retail stunts like this make me furious. My wife just stopped into a GameStop in NJ, and I called over to one in Manhattan, neither will sell a copy of Gears of War unless you had reserved it. I have an extremely hard time believing that this is a supply issue, and extremely easy time believing this is an artificial way to "punish" people that weren't good and pre-ordered through GameStop. Thanks GameStop for teaching me a lesson, I will make sure to not buy anything in your stores again over this stupidity. There are plenty of other retailers and e-tailers out there.

[UPDATED] So I got Gears of War afterall :-) I don't understand what scheme *cough* scam *cough* Microsoft and GameStop/EB are running. Target will not have the game in stock at the Bridgewater, NJ location until Thursday 11/9, Best Buy Bridgewater, NJ was not going to have the game until today, Wednesday 11/8. But I called the EB Games in the Bridgewater Commons mall when I got home last night, and they said sure they would sell me a copy if I walked in, but not the collector's edition. So I went, and even then the guy behind the register hesistated a second when I told him I wanted Gear and I hadn't pre-order. He then pushed, hard, for me to pre-order Halo 3 or buy the $3 disc insurance for a year, but I had none of that and walked out of the store with game in hand.

Gears itself, oh my. The graphics are easily the best seen so far on the 360, but you know the graphics really don't matter if the game play sucks. But Gears doesn't! Far from it, the "pop and stop" action is furious. The AI is very good, and the game is funny, at least to me, it seems to embrace and at the same time make fun of huge military action movies, Arnold Schwazengeer's Predator (one of my all time favorties) comes to mind "get to the chooooopper!!!" My only serious complaint at this stage is that I was wishing the moving from one cover location to another was more sticky, but maybe I just don't have the complete hang of the controls yet. If you have ever liked action games, you really have to pick this up.