Thursday, April 26, 2007

Can't open office 2003 .mdi files using Office 2007

I recently saved a whole load of tutorials in MS Office's .mdi format using 2003 so as to save some trees :) I was quite surprised when I loaded these files onto my machine with office 2007 because they could not be opened. Now Office 2007's electronic format is in .xps so I knew I had a problem. Quick search on google turns up an MS KB article to solve the problem:-

1. Click Start, click Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then click OK.
2. In the Currently installed programs list, click the 2007 Office version that you have installed.
3. Click Change.
4. Click Add or Remove features, and then click Continue.
5. Expand Office Tools.
6. Click Microsoft Office Document Imaging, and then click Run all from My Computer.
7. Click Continue.

Ref: An .mdi file does not open in the Microsoft Office Document Imaging program that is included in the 2007 Office programs

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fixed Length String in Visual Basic.NET

Yes this can be done quite simply:

Structure Student
Public ID As Integer
Public DatofBirth As Date
<VBFixedString(15)>Public FirstName As String
<VBFixedString(15)>Public Surname As String
End Structure

For more details check out this MSDN article.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Remote Desktop Troubleshooting - Don't forget the obvious!!

Just had a another problem reported... For some reason a remote desktop had suddenly stopped allowing incoming connections at one of my clients. After checking around I found that the firewall had disallowed RDP on the exceptions tab. Now we all know that allowing RDP when you right click My Computer and go properties... remote... will automatically allow an excpetion in the firewall by default. So guess what, initially I did not think of checking that. It was only after I started pinging the machines that it dawned on me to check the firewall (and also thanks to this brillaint guide on the MS site!)

I can only guess, after speaking to the admin on site that after he applied a recent update to the Remote Desktop client, it got turned off but never back on. Now he did then mention that the update had hung and he canceled the update!!! Make sense?... perhaps :)

Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its ...

Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.Web.Extensions, Version=1.0.61025.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=31bf3856ad364e35' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

I just had a call from a client asking how we can solve this error while he was deploying his Intranet from his local machine to the production server. After a lot of searching he was linked to the MS site and asked to request a hotfix (FIX: You may receive an InvalidCastException error in an ASP.NET-connected Web application)

loadTOCNode(1, 'symptoms');
You may receive an InvalidCastException error in a Microsoft ASP.NET-connected Web application when the following conditions are true:
• The Web application uses a master page, a user control, or pages that reference each other.
• The master page, the user control, or the pages are batch compiled into a single assembly.
• One of the batched dependencies is changed and causes a recompilation.
• A dynamic call to load a reference is made, such as a call to the LoadControl method. In this case, you may receive an error message that resembles the following:
Unable to cast object of type 'ASP.type' to type 'ASP.type'.Note In this error message, type is a placeholder for one of the batch compiled types. You may also receive an error message that resembles the following:
Could not load file or assembly 'App_Web_xxxxxxxx, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=null' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

Now he had been using master pages and webcontrols etc.. so the fix was tempting.. However as a precaution he called me and I looked deeper....
Enter ..... AJAX

Luckily I remembered he had just added AJAX to the site only a few days ago and so I dug some more. Finally tried out the site on a test server and reproduced the error but then I confirmed that installing the Ajax 2.0 Extensions would fix it..... and it DID!!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

MODL Certification Bootcamp

I've just finished attending my first ever Microsoft Offical Distance Learning Boot camp and I'm telling you it was excellent!! I must admit I was a bit apprehensive having to deliver a 30 minute presentation to what I was imagining to be a brick wall!!! Boy was I wrong I can honestly say it is certainly not a revamped E-Learning. First off, Microsofts Live meeting was an excellent tool for the job and I think without it, it just would not work. Engaging the others in the classroom with the annotation tools is just great, especially since I like to talk with my hands (go figure how you convey that over the web when they cannot see you!! ) Anyway I must say a huge THANK YOU to David Clarke at Toolwire who facilitated our session. You really have done a fantastic job of innovating the learning experience!! Also Ron and Henk were great MCT’s to deliver too, thanks for making the classroom so much fun. We really had fun with that highlighter tool I think!!!

Well now that the G(ather) part is ready, I can’t wait to see the EAR part come into place. The E-Learning is great, especially after having been prepped by the Virtual classroom. The online ‘Day in the life’ environment where you get to play on the ‘toolwire’ campus is also amazing. You get to use a real server and configure it with what you have learnt with a real life scenario all over the internet. Toolwire have put in over 1000 servers to support the hand’s on part!!!

Well I’ll certainly post more as this progresses, especially once the official result is out :) In the meantime check out the Microsoft Offical Distance Learning site for more details!!!

And these are the courses currently available.