Friday, March 27, 2009

The guestbook is back, new and improved!

After a 5 year outage, the guestbook is back!Please feel free to leave your thoughts, hellos, ideas, comments, poems, rants etc.

Check this out, I just used internet archive to retrieve messages left on the old fluckiger guestbook. The old guestbook was up between 2002 and 2004. It is fun to see the comments, back then having a guestbook was a really cool impressive thing!

I know a guestbook is an old fashioned thing. Old fashioned in Internet years which means anything over 5 years old. In 2002 I built a guestbook using 1.1 and an Microsoft Access database. My original guestbook at was pretty popular. This was before facebook and blog comments which make having your own guestbook seem kind of pointless.

But this guestbook gave me a chance to flex my Silverlight muscles and is just the mustard seed. There is a lot of potential in Silverlight to bring back richness to human-computer interaction. We've been suffering through painful primitive UI and slow response times for quite a while now. Silverlight has the potential to bend the computer to the needs of people rather than what we've been doing over the past decade which is bending people to use the HTML in the browser just because that was the easiest and most secure way to deploy applications.

My guestbook is using some pretty cool technology. It is written in Silverlight 2.0 which is delivered from IIS 7 on a virtual Windows Server 2008 instance which is hosted in a 64 bit Windows Server 08 Hypervisor. The physical machine is a box I got off of Craig’s List for only $1500. It has 8 cores, 22 gigs of memory, and a 300 GB Velociraptor hard drive. This gives me plenty of room to run multiple virtuals. I am currently running: a project server farm, an Ubuntu Linux box, a Windows 7 box, and my SUSHI development environment which also hosts this guestbook. Sweet!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Snapshots in Windows Server 2008 Hypervisor

I recently installed Windows Server 2008 with Hypervisor. I was a little confused by the Snapshot options. But after reading this post, and a little trial and error, I figured it out…


Apply… results in losing your changes since the snapshot. This applies the state stored in the snapshot to the current state of the machine.

Delete Snapshot… results in keeping your changes since the snapshot. This causes the AVHD (differencing disk) files to be merged into the parent VHD or AVHD files. Note that if the virtual machine is running the merge will not happen until the guest machine is shut down.

Revert does the same thing as Apply for the most recent snapshot.


Additional Notes from my experience: When you create multiple snapshots you’ll see that Hypervisor creates a hierarchy of snapshot nodes. This hierarchy is important. The green arrow is also important. I made the mistake at first of thinking that the green arrow and the snapshot were the same thing, but the green arrow represents the current state and all changes that have happened since its parent snapshot. Once I understood this, it was much more clear to me why apply resulted in losing my current changes and delete resulted in keeping my current changes.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Johnny Lee on Channel9

Scott Hanselman interviews Johnny Lee.

Excellent topics of this video: Why can’t a computer’s see? Why does the academic world reward writing papers instead of producing useful technology? (Johnny Lee inspired millions of people with his revolutionary use of the Wiimote and yet got no academic credit from Carnegie Mellon which he was attending at the time).


Sunday, March 15, 2009

SUSHI has 5 star rating on Codeplex

Writing free software for the community often come with little reward. But it is great to get positive feedback. I can’t help but smile at the feedback that SUSHI has gotten:


Probably the most useful free SharePoint tool out there! Saved me hours of work many many times. Some really innovative features (e.g. copy list view). Great stuff! Please keep it up. Thanks for sharing the results of your hard work!. Greg

by Greg_O on Mar 9 at 7:22 AM


Some great functions. Definitely going to use that tool often in the future.

by Dublette on Mar 2 at 2:19 AM


God bless you, Joseph. You may just get that Wikipedia page after all. :)
by panoone on Feb 4 at 8:24 PM



The last comment is the funniest of all. I hope he is right! SUSHI has had 13,000 downloads today and is in the top 25 downloads in the category of SharePoint over the last 7 days.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Super fast drive


This is hilarious, and awesome at the same time.

Drive that gets 2 GIGbits per second transfer rates. I bought a 300 gig raptor for $250 at Fry’s electronics and I love it. It is very fast, but my office is now a sauna and it is only Spring. I noticed that a 64 gig Solid State Disk cost $199. Can’t wait to get one of those. The future of computing, starting in 2009? SSD, SSD, SSD. Performance and low power consumption.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Tech Tip: Set up Remote Desktop on 443 to Get Through a Restrictive Firewall


I often connect to the Internet through a guest wireless account. These guest wireless networks are typically very restrictive and block all ports except for 80 (http) and 443 (https) .  This is a big pain when I need to remote desktop into a remote machine, or perform other tasks which also might be restricted by the firewall like accessing my online email, searching the Internet for helpful blog posts, etc.

Here is an awesome tip to get to the resources you need: Set up a remote machine and change the Remote desktop port from the default of 3389 to 443. To do this just change a registry key and then reboot your machine. See this Microsoft KB article for details. You will also need to configure your router to forward inbound traffic for 443 to your machine. Instructional videos on port forwarding with a Linksys router.

Another benefit of this approach is that the traffic between you and the website is not exposed to the guest network which is usually a low security, public network and vulnerable to packet sniffing. The guest network only sees RDP packets being passed between your laptop and your remote machine.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

SharePoint and Project Server Download Links


Common download links for MOSS and Project Server 2007:

  • Patches
    • Infrastructure
      • (The infrastructure is now included in the Dec CU, no need to install it separately)
    • Help: Version numbers lookup link
    • Help: Deploy Project Server 2007 Tips link
    • Help: Deploy WSS 3.0 Tips link
    • Help: Master blog post on SharePoint service packs and updates. link

I always lose these links, so I’ve decided to maintain a blog post with these common links.