Life & Technology

Handful lessons in different areas of technology and life in general.

Monthly Archives: April 2009

SQL Server 2008 Express installation problem

I would just like to share my take on installing and trying the new version of SQL Server 2008 Express Edition. Before you even begin installing the 168MB file, you must make sure you have Windows Installer version 4.5 on your machine. So you will need to download and install the ~3MB Windows Installer. A restart is needed before you actually begin your installation proper! Whew!

The setup proper of SQL Server 2008 sports a new User Interface that gives you plenty of options to choose. Since I already have my SQL Server 2005 Express Engine and Management Studio 2005 Express installed, I did try to choose the Upgrade option but I ran into problem and asks to select the Features I’d like to install but apparently, I cannot select any! I don’t know what causes that problem so I just hit Cancel and select the “Install New Server…” as my last option. I thought installation of SQL Server 2008 Express is a breeze even if I already have SQL Server 2005 but I was wrong! The installation process requires you to uninstall SQL Server 2005 Express Tools. You cannot (Next button is disabled) continue without doing so. If you will go to your Control Panel/Program Features, you won’t find anything there that says Express Tools, the only way that it did work for me is by uninstalling the SQL Server 2005 Management Studio. And after that, you will see similar image like the one below indicating that you are ready to go for a smooth installation!

sql2008

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Reclaim your ~400MB free space in Vista SP1 32/64bit

If your Windows Vista recently been upgraded to SP1 or you already purchased/installed a Vista SP1 version, then maybe you didn’t know that the files being used by SP1 is being kept on your local hard drive. This is because Windows thinks you’re just testing the SP1 patch and allows you to revert back whenever you like.

For most users, installing SP1 of Vista is equivalent of updating an Antivirus DAT file and we really don’t care at all reverting to the old version, are we? But for driver installation, that’s a different story.

In order for us to recover at least ~400MB – ~600MB hard disk space allocated for unneeded files and make SP1 permanent, we can clean up the disk space used during SP1 installation. To do that, just:

1. Click on the Win + R
2. type vsp1cln
3. A command-type window will appear as shown below.
4. Click Yes and wait till the window automatically closes.

vista_clean

Now, your disk space has been increased! Great!

Enter Twitter, my first Social Networking experience

While many of us are into this thing called “Social Networking” when it first boom-in via Friendster, Multiply, Facebook, MySpace, etc, it haven’t appeal so much to me to join with these social networking because maybe I don’t have a purpose to do so. But recently, I’ve decided to swim with it via Twitter. What made mtwitter_bluy mind decide to join twitter rather than Facebook/MySpace? Simply because the usage is very specific without the much bloated features found on other social networking sites. I just wanted to keep track of the people I like on what’s happening to them and vice versa, I like them to know what twitter_wittyIm doing. Twitter does this very very efficiently and superb I must say. Their website is so neat yet powerful!

Other than simplicity, also because Twitter have a public API that can be used to create my own Twitter based application using C# or any other languages out there. It’s very comprehensive and Open Source libraries are already been created that leverages the power of TwitterAPI. One that caught my attention is TwitterLib, an open-source library for C#/.NET which you can use to develop Twitter application. This is great I said and I can create my own GUI for my desktop that I can update my twit message as often as I can. And then I found this lovely gem, Witty, an open-source WPF-based desktop application that leverages the TwitterLib. This is a great application front-end for my Twitter experience and it made me more hungry to update my tweet every now and then because this application is only sitting on my system tray and updates automatically when there’s a new tweet, I don’t even need to go to the Twitter.com website just to see if there’s a new tweet message!

And tonight, my tweeting experience is getting much cooler with this new found astounding UI called blu developed by thirteen23.  I’ve never seen such a user interface that is so great, so clean and so Vista like experience! Surprisingly enough, they also using TwitterLib with some custom made tweaks.  What I like with this cool UI is the effects and the way they presented the functionality of their controls like message counter that sits on the background like a faded color but updates itself upon typing, pretty slick design indeed! And also the automatic TinyURL transformation of my long URL works on-the-fly! Try it now for yourself and experience a new level of tweeting with this killer desktop twitter application.

Follow me on twitter: www.twitter.com/earljon

Reference Links:

* TwitterAPI
* Witty and TwitterLib
* blu

VS2008 Plugin: Smart Paster and CopySourceAsHtml

While reading Arcane’s blog, I found these 2 cool AddIns for Visual Studio:

1. Smart Paster (Source code available too)
2. CopySourceAsHtml (No source code)

copy_paster

To install VS 2008 Addin:

1. Extract the zip file, for Smart Paster, binaries are located in SmartPaster2008sln\SmartPaster2008 Solution\SmartPaster2008\bin
2. Copy/Paste the files in /bin folder going to your C:\Users\<user-name>\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Addins
3. Fire up your VS2008 IDE and verify/check your AddIn if it’s installed via Tools/Addin Manager:

copy_paster_addin

Both will get you more productive in coding.

Enjoy!