Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Vista SP1 stable (after a reinstall)

I installed SP1 RC1 the first day it was available.  Almost immediately my Vista box would hang overnight.  It would seem to work great during the day but at night simply would not come out of sleep mode.  So I uninstalled it.

This past weekend I had a few extra minutes (or was it hours?) so I paved the box and reinstalled Vista x64 deciding this time to not install any third party drivers that I didn't absolutely have to have.  Turns out the only one I needed was for my Realtek audio chipset. 

I reapplied SP1 RC1 and after 3 days no hangs.  Everything seems rock solid.  Well, it is an RC and Microsoft has an amazingly hard job getting all the different flavors of machines out there to play nice with Vista.  All in all they do a fairly good job.  SP1 RC1 stable for me.. so far.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Something to know about the new Hyper-V beta

Just installed the new Windows Server 2008 RC1 with Hyper-V beta and, after adding the Hyper-V role, created a new virtual machine.  Trying to start this machine gave a message that the hypervisor was not started.  This is not uncommon but is almost always the result of either having a host CPU that doesn't support hardware-assisted virtualization or hardware-assisted data execution protection (DEP) or having these features turned off in the BIOS.

Not so in my case.  The hypervisor kept failing to start giving some ominous error that its internal logic had failed.  After some poking around I noticed that I had a mass storage controller that did not have a driver installed and was not functioning.  It was my SATA controller and since my system was operating in IDE mode was essentially not being used.  Still, I disabled the controller and restarted the system.

This time the hypervisor started up correctly and I was able to install the VM.  Just a little FYI.  If your hypervisor fails to start, make sure your host hardware is all setup and working correctly.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Family timer sucks

I have 4 kids (with two of them being old enough to play video games and one of them being really obnoxious about it) so I was very excited with the XBox 360 fall update including a family timer feature.  Ideally the way this would work is I could specify an amount of time for each child account so when they logged into XBox live their time would start counting.  This would not prevent me from using the XBox as much as I want.  In this way I can grant or remove time according to how they behave, if they do their chores, etc.

But as the current political landscape tells us, we are not in an ideal world.  Instead the family timer is a hard timer that simply counts down no matter who is using the console.  So in the few days that it has been enabled it has stopped several DVD movies and forced me to input my "secret combo password" to grant us more time.  Give me a break!

Oh well.  It's a Microsoft product so it feels quite normal to get less than you expected.  Anything else would be, well, unexpected.

Vista SP1 RC1 installed

The system seems faster to me but then again I don't have alot running right now.  It just seems more responsive.  We'll see how it goes with network file copies, etc.  I haven't measured boot time just yet but it wasn't really a problem before so I can't imagine it's a problem now.

Install took less than the 1 hour warning although not my much.  Maybe 35-45 minutes including the reboot-applying updates cycle.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Thanks to New Horizons, Nashville!

Just wanted to drop a quick line and give a big thanks to New Horizons in Nashville, TN.  We hold our MySQL users group meeting there every month and they provide a great facility.  Classrooms with overhead projectors and a convenient central location make it a perfect location for our meetings.

Thanks New Horizons and may we have a terrific relationship in 2008 as well!