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my favorite pdf reader had a new release a few days ago, get foxit reader 2.0! (with an installer finally).  for those that don't know anything about this reader, it will make you wonder what the heck adobe acrobat reader actually does with all that space -- foxit is lean and mean...and free.

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i've been a bit frustrated at my windows mobile device lately.  i've been dealing with my issues for a while and finally got around to asking some questions (some yet to be answered though).

one thing that i'm confused about is how windows mobile prioritizes the user to display when calling someone from their contact list.

for example, let's say I have Chris Smith with a home/mobile number and his wife Sarah Smith with a home (same) and mobile (different) number.  if i scroll to chris' contact record and click to dial on the home number, windows mobile displays sarah's contact card when dialing as if i dialed her.  it happens without fail.  i would have suspected it *not* to do that, but even though it clearly isn't using the contact card i selected, at least i would have expected it to default to alpha sort...but that isn't right either.  i'm stumped on that one.

another thing that bothered me was the options on the today screen for appointments.  i don't want "upcoming appoingments" or "next appointment" i wanted "upcoming appointments for today only" -- not the absolute upcoming ones (windows mobile showed me tuesday appointments while i was on vacation on friday).

well, problem solved...someone pointed me to , a FREE utility for windows mobile that gives me (among other things) greater control over the today screen options...see:


it's pretty cool -- i'm going to play around with it for a few days -- if anyone can explain the first issue, i'd be delighted :-)

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two words (separated by a dot): default.master

having worked with sharepoint technologies since "v1" (dare i call it alpha?), those could appreciate the likes of using such rich development tools like notepad to modify themes and templates.  i mean, who needs designers and other productivity greatness like color coding, intellisense, previews, etc.  after all, they only save time...

as a long time fan of web development and lover of all things asp.net, i was so happy to learn early on that sharepoint v3 (i much prefer that than MOSS) was going to be built on asp.net.  don't get me wrong, the sharepoint teams were able to accomplish great things with their platforms, but it just didn't lend itself to the developer used to tools like asp.net, visual studio, etc.

i also was always scratching my head on why more teams didn't leverage existing microsoft technologies to make their products more seamless...but after getting in at microsoft, i understood the big beast a bit more.

regardless, sharepoint v3 introduces asp.net as the base for the site templates.  i can now use the tool (sharepoint designer) and modify the master page rather than some funky CAML that i'm not familiar with as an asp.net developer.  my experience with the designer has been great -- i haven't been doing anything advanced really, but the familiarity of master pages and controls, and all that goodness brings a geeky smile to my face.

if you haven't checked it out and shrugged off sharepoint in the past because you felt it was a second class web platform...take another look...it's awesome.  not to mention workflow, rss, wiki, etc. all built on the platform as well!  think of the extensible possibilities!

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are you excited about the (whew, that was a mouthful, let's just call it team data)?  i am, i think it is a great addition to the suite, and i'm sure i'm only using a portion of the features (i.e., data generation, schema compare, etc.).

one thing to note is that on vista rc1 you may experience an immediate frustration.  go ahead, try it...i dare you.  open up team data and create a new database project.

you should be presented with this:


why?  well, team data basically uses a sandbox environment for the development environment.  in order to do this, it creates some temp database on your local instance of sql/sqlexpress.  well, obviously in order to do that, it needs create database permissions.

but tim, i'm an administrator on the box!

yeah, yeah, i know.  and you'd expect the BUILTIN\Administrators security group added to SQL by default to already be the key to ensuring you have these permissions.  well, therein lies the rub.  in vista the BUILTIN\Administrators group is empty (for now, i believe it is a known bug).

so easy enough, to get past this, add your account to sql/sqlexpress and ensure you have sysadmin roles as well or you'll still get the error (or some other role that allows create rights)

hope this helps!

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i've seen a couple of posts on this, namely pointing to the RAID driver issue, so i thought i'd post my install comments as i have an m400 and have a stable environment.

before you instal anything on your toshiba m400, go and grab the RAID driver as pointed out in several posts across the internet.  you can get it from here: RAID_M400.  without this you will not be able to even start the setup on your hard disk.  reason?  let's not go into details -- bottom line: you need it.

once you have it here you go...

[note: there is an updated BIOS you may want to do first--not required for vista, but i always like having the latest.  i did experience some BSODs with vista before (none yet with RC1, but i also have the updated BIOS...i can't confirm whether anything was fixed or not, just reporting that i haven't experienced the BSODs since.]

first, i'd recommend getting vista to DVD media.  for me, that is so much easier to have, it's portable, it's not dependent upon a usb drive, etc. i just prefer that type of installation.

second, note that i am an os-purist.  i prefer rebuilding a machine with a new os from scratch...not upgrading, not partitioning, etc.  boot from dvd, format, install.  i've always had best results using the philosophy and i'm not troubled with any left over os residue (yes, i'm not a trusting person for 'upgrades' and 'uninstalls').

plug in your usb key/drive where you unzipped the RAID drivers above. okay, once you have those out of the way, boot to your vista dvd media.  you'll get to the setup screen on the m400 asking you where to put vista on your hard drive.  here is where you'll notice you can't find your hard drive.  hit F6 or click the 'Load Drivers' button on the setup screen.  then navigate to the RAID driver folder and locate the KR10I folder (vista actually does a good job traversing through subtrees, but navigate to it anyway).

once that driver loads, you'll be able to see your drive (it may be marked Drive 1 [where Drive 0 is likely your USB drive/key]).  just make sure you are picking/formatting the *right* hard disk.

here's where it is up to you -- partition or format...make your choice.

once you choose, let vista install -- on my machine (m400 w/2GB ram) it took about 20 minutes or so.  once done you'll go through the normal stuff of setting up a user, time zone, etc.  and then vista will start.

if your experience is like mine, the os will run great.  you should have Aero ("Glass") effects out of the box with the Intel driver that is in-box with vista (v7.x.x.1053) but you'll notice a few things that may not be recognized yet. 

before you do anything, run windows update.  the biometric driver for the fingerprint reader will download as will the modem driver.  okay, done.  now you may notice still a few things out of skew...

  1. mechanical rotation (meaning when you actually move the tablet, it doesn't rotate the view)
  2. tablet pc buttons
  3. Function+F5 doesn't work
  4. 3 unrecognized devices in device manager: mass storage, unknown device 1, unknown device 2

let me shed some light on these.  you should download the toshiba common modules first and install them.  first the mass storage device is the texas instruments SD driver.  one of the unknown devices is the HDD shock protection: DO NOT INSTALL THIS DRIVER, you will BSOD.  the last unknown device is the bluetooth stuff.

you can get them all from here:

for mechanical rotation, download the toshiba rotation utility.

for tablet pc buttons, download the toshiba tablet pc buttons.

for function+f5, download the toshiba Fn5 hotkey utility.

with all those, i have a great running system!