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A Collection of Random Thoughts
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Windows Mobile Issue after removing Skype
I've been trying to tune my PocketPC (iMate Jasjar) a little bit recently, and one of the things I decided to get rid of was Pocket Skype. Oh, I might put it back on at some point, and I do have a Skype account (though I've never used it that I can recall), but at this time, it hardly seems necessary to run it on my Pocket PC.

Anyway, so I uninstalled Pocket Skype. It appeared to uninstall cleanly, and all icons/folders were removed. However, each time I turned on my device, I was getting the following notification message:

Notification Error
Cannot execute \Program Files\Skype for Pocket PC\Skype.exe

I thought this was odd and was determined to find the cause. I thought for sure that something had been left over in the registry. So, a-looking I went. Of course, that required a registry editor for Pocket PC. After looking (and trying) a few, I settled on PHM Registry Editor. It's freeware (Yay!) and has the ability to perform searches. You can download it here. The only trick was that it didn't install correctly. It includes a bunch of different cab files, and I had to fiddle around and figure out the right one that would work on my device, but once I figured out which one to use, it worked great. Ran it, but to my dismay, it didn't find anything with skype. Off to Google/MSN Search.

Searching for the error found many occurrences of this problem. The end result was that there appeared to be a notification event that was left over and wasn't removed properly. In order to clear out notification events, you need to have an application that can access them. Others have used Pocket Mechanic to do this, but it costs money, and I am notoriously cheap. So, I found Check Notifications that does the same thing, and is free for personal use. Opened up the notifications queue and found and deleted the offending Skype entry (and deleted a whole bunch of duplicate sddaemon entries as well) and all is well. No more notification event after turning on my device.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Reason #25443
Why I refuse to install the add-on components that come on a DSL installation CD.

My Mom e-mailed me today and said that when she clicked on a link in Outlook, it was prompting her to sign on to her old DSL provider (name withheld), which they had recently cancelled. That was a problem, as they couldn't sign on any more.

As most of you know, when you order DSL, they send you the hardware (DSL modem, filters, etc.) and they also send you an installation CD. Now, in all actuality, NONE of the programs on the CD are needed in order to connect to your DSL. Granted, there may be some worthwhile applications on the CD, but I can do without installing any of them just fine thankyouverymuch.

So, on to troubleshooting. I check Internet Explorer settings and find that the DSL provider is set as the default mail application, so I change that to Outlook, then quit IE and Outlook, but the same thing happens. OK, this is weird. Now, I check Add/Remove programs, and find a whole slew of applications that are from the old DSL company. So, I remove them. There ended up being I think 7-8 total applications varying from troubleshooting tools to browser toolbars to parental controls. None of them needed any longer (but they really didn't need to be installed in the first place either). After uninstalling, it wanted a reboot (which I didn't want to do at that time). I tried a link in Outlook now, and all was good. It simply opened Internet Explorer and went to the website that the link pointed to. Happy Happy Joy Joy.

I don't fault my parents for installing those applications. The DSL providers try to make it as easy as possible to get set up (plug in hardware, insert CD, follow instructions). For those that are not computer literate, or don't work in IT, this method actually works well. Until the service is cancelled, that is. As it was with my parents, I think the tendency is to forget that you installed the programs and then you are left wondering how to fix what is going on. Luckily, my parents have 2 sons that both work in IT, who can fix any problems that they run across. Others may not be so lucky though.
Do you use the Microsoft Terminal Services MMC Snap-in?
Are you tired of how inadequate it seems to be like I am? Do you want to be able to re-order your list of computers? Create "Groups" of computers? Define global settings for all connections? Save logins/passwords? Did you know there are alternatives available??? One of my co-workers recently turned me on to an application that is basically a "wrapper" for the MS Terminal Services MMC snap-in, much like Maxthon is a wrapper for IE. The app is called Royal TS, and it comes complete with an icon that looks like a Royal Cheeseburger (LOL!). Once you load up this app though, it's benefits are immediately apparent.

In addition to the benefits mentioned above, it also doesn't prompt me to save it *every single time I exit*!!! It only prompts you to save when the list of computers has changed. Don't get me wrong, here. I was an immediate fan of the Microsoft TS MMC snap-in when it was first released. It was a huge improvement for those that needed to manage multiple servers. It would be nice if it was refreshed - perhaps it will be when Longhorn/Vista Server is released. Then again, I expect quite a few things will change in that timeframe.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Great post on booking resources on Exchange team blog
Nagesh Mahadev with the Exchange team posts a Great article discussing the 2 native resource booking options available for Exchange 2003 users.

I *always* recommend using the Autoaccept agent if native tools must be used. There are also many good 3rd party tools available that extend the capability of the resource booking. One such tool is ERM from Swinc.

Anyways, back to the topic. From the article, the limitations associated with Outlook direct booking are pretty severe. I don't think I've ever recommended using that method, and whenever I see it mentioned in the newsgroups, I always recommend that the Autoaccept agent be looked at as well.

For those that aren't running Exchange 2003, remember, there are still options available. The AutoAccept Sink was developed by Dave Mills at Microsoft as an open source project and works quite well. Of course, for those of you still running Exchange 5.5 (Shame on you), you can also get resource booking by downloading the Autoaccept Tools. They are no longer supported, but you can still download them from

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