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What Video Game Character Are You? I am Kung Fu Master.
I am Kung Fu Master.

I like to be in control of myself. I dislike crowds, especially crowds containing people trying to kill me. Even though I always win, I prefer to avoid fights if possible.

What Video Game Character Are You?

Blogs I read

Rob Marshall @

... my god, it's full of stars

March 2009 - Posts

  • Sunday morning panic

    This morning, around 1am I had to throw on some clothes and run outside to see why my car alarm was going off. It was the most bizarre way to wake up, I was half awake trying to make sense of what my fiance was saying ... "Zzzzzz .... wake up ... car .... alarm ... from TV or is it your Car?". We'd left the TV on, some cops and robbers show was on, sirens blazing in a car chase of all things, while in the background the gentle but insistant bleating of a car alarm, confusing or what!

    So, I went and peeked out of the window, normally all I can see of the car is the headlights as it's parked on higher ground, couldn't see a thing, got higher up and took another look out the window, where has my car is gone?

    And now, back to throwing clothes on and running outside, to see my car has rolled in to the road! On the way out I got the car keys and was pressing the Lock button in case someone was inside trying to rob the stereo or something, daft, but I thought i'd lock them for a few moments, no one in sight, the car had just literally rolled back off the parking bay, and in to the road, blocking almost both lanes! This is just after 1am when the roads here become busy with folk coming back from a night out, and already a few cars and a bus had pulled up and was waiting for me to get my car out of the way! Sheepishly I put her back on the parking bay, really engaged the handbrake and when back to bed. So lucky there wasn't an accident, someone passing as she rolled out of the bay, lucky she didn't continue to the other side of the road and in to the wall or something crazy!!!

    What a night, the Phantom hand-brake releaser strikes!

    She's in gear now, with the hand-brake, just in case ;-)

  • Microsoft DreamSpark free to High School, College and University students

    Microsoft DreamSpark now provides professional-level Microsoft developer tools, at no charge, to High School students. Previously, these tools were only available to College and University students.

    Back when I was programming, using IDE's, I had built in BASIC, DevPac for the Amiga and Turbo Pacal for the PC. When I look at what's available to teenagers now, the complexity of these tools, and what you could do with them, it makes me wonder how accessible they are for the average teen. I had my hands full understanding what look like primitive computers compared to todays standards. Now, they have on-hand help with links out to the help for more information, auto-completing IDE's with object pickers to write their code in, complex and powerful database and web server technologies to store and present things from. I'm sure if I about to switch on to computing at High School, with Microsoft giving this stuff away, I'd be absorbed by it totally.

    Just look at this bundle of tools we can give the kids:

    • Visual Studio 2008 Professional Edition
    • SQL Server 2008 Developer
    • CCR and DSS Toolkit 2008
    • Expression Studio 2
    • Visual Studio 2005 Express Edition
    • Robotics Developer Studio 2008
    • Windows Server 2003
    • SQL Server Express
    • Game Studio 3.0
    • Windows Server 2008 Standard
    • Virtual PC

    Worth passing this info on to Parents you know.

    Check out Microsoft DreamSpark here

    And a Q/A on DreamSpark from Microsoft PressPass

  • Patching: Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB960083) Failed to install

    Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB960083) fails to install

    Not many of you will see this, problem manifests if a SQL instance service is set to Disabled.

    Client System EventLog:

    Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80070643: Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB960083).

    Client WindowsUpdate log:

    Handler :: START ::  Handler: Command Line Install
    Handler :::::::::
    Handler   : Updates to install = 1
    Handler   : WARNING: Command line install completed. Return code = 0x00002b33, Result = Failed, Reboot required = false
    Handler   : WARNING: Exit code = 0x8024200B
    Handler :::::::::
    Handler ::  END  ::  Handler: Command Line Install
    COMAPI   - WARNING: Exit code = 0x00000000; Call error code = 0x80240022
    REPORT EVENT: {B3B18A60-1D96-4D2B-A657-E4CDD945C7B0} <TRIMMED OUT THIS DATA} 101 80070643 CcmExec Failure Content Install Installation Failure: Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80070643: Security Update for SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 (KB960083).

    Lovely errors! Pass those 3D-Glasses over the error above, and you should see hidden text saying "You have a service that is disabled".  If only!

    Hop on to the target, find the patch in the ConfigMgr CACHE and manually run it. The Wizard will prompt you to select the instances to patch. Click on any Instances listed and it'll tell you what is wrong, that in this case, the service is disabled. Quit the patch when you've spotted the culprit.

    To install it manually:

    • Enable the service (MANUAL best choice if it's already been disabled for a reason)
    • Apply the patch
    • Set the service back to DISABLED
    • Job done!

    How much impact is this to us? Well that depends, as you know everything in life, even stuff as sublime as "Should you have Milk in your tea?" really depends on your tastes and preferences, and in this case you may have a taste for disabling SQL Instances. If you do, then those clients will play dumb when it comes to applying the patch.

    The KB Article does indeed talk about Disabled Services:

    Q. Will the updates be applied to disabled instances of SQL Server 2000, MSDE 2000, and SQL Server 2005?

    A. No. Only those instances of SQL Server 2000, MSDE 2000, and SQL Server 2005 that do not have a Startup type of disabled will be updated by the installer. For more information on disabled services, see Microsoft Knowledge Base Article 953740.

    I just whipped this SQL Query up to identify ConfigMgr clients out there that meet the following: 

    • A) Have a service registered with a name that begins with "MSSQL$"
    • B) Has the service type set to Disabled

    SELECT     v_GS_SERVICE.DisplayName0, v_GS_SERVICE.StartMode0, v_R_System.Name0 AS Expr1
                          v_R_System ON v_GS_SERVICE.ResourceID = v_R_System.ResourceID
    WHERE     (v_GS_SERVICE.DisplayName0 LIKE 'MSSQL$%' and V_GS_SERVICE.StartMode0 = 'Disabled')

  • BINK.NU down?

    Getting this in my browser ...

    First time i've seen that site go down .. Good luck bringing it up back up Steven!

  • ConfigMgr: INBOX and OUTBOX components showing critical this morning

    Vast quantity of our Secondary site servers reported SMS_OUTBOX_MONITOR and SMS_INBOX_MONITOR components have gone critical, but there are no status messages.

    Quick look at the inbox\outbox logs, shows -2700 for the next polling cycle.

    Waiting until the next polling cycle in -2700 seconds from now.

    You can restart the components or restart the SMS_EXECUTIVE to fix this.

    It seems to be due to DST (timezone) changes. We rolled out to our Primary site servers last week, assume this is why the primary site servers are not complaining as the secondaries are.

    See this thread on myITforum for more info, it helped us!

  • ConfigMgr KB's for Feb 2009

    Here's the list of KB's that were released in Feb 2009 for ConfigMgr

    Some expired user state stores are not deleted on System Center Configuration Manager 2007 State Migration Point;en-us;960189&sd=rss&spid=12769

    Recurring advertisements or maintenance windows start to run an hour later or earlier than expected when the time is changed because of DST in System Center Configuration Manager 2007;en-us;956259&sd=rss&spid=12769

    Client push fails when the System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Management Point is installed in Windows Server 2008;en-us;967506&sd=rss&spid=12769

    Package distribution fails on a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 site if a file name in the package contains an ampersand (&);en-us;967648&sd=rss&spid=12769

    The state of the check box for the maintenance window that you double-click is changed when System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 is installed on a Windows Server 2003 x64-based system or on a Windows Server 2008 x64-based system;en-us;961960&sd=rss&spid=12769

    Recurring advertisements or maintenance windows start to run an hour later or earlier than expected when the time is changed because of DST in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1;en-us;959257&sd=rss&spid=12769

    The shared folders that store packages on branch distribution points may be removed in systems that are running System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1;en-us;960846&sd=rss&spid=12769

    System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 Client Status Reporting fails when clients have multiple discovery records;en-us;960634&sd=rss&spid=12769

    State messages that have long file names may get stuck in the\Incoming folder or the \SMS_CCM\FSPStaging folder and may block state message processing on a System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 fallback status point;en-us;962891&sd=rss&spid=12769

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