Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Start a Small everything movement - From 43 things...

Start a small everything movement
How to start a movement to re-purpose consumerism towards a no waste society

Modern economics is based on economic growth. Economic growth is based on making products that are designed to fail (aka planned obsolescence), and as a result are designed to waste resources and energy. Consumer spending is tied to marketing which effectively distorts our wants and needs towards products which do not fulfill our basic needs (in the aggregate).

So called ‘Green’ products are still creating waste. For example buying a new hybrid car creates more waste (due to the additional manufacturing of the new vehicle) than maintaining an older car.

Could there be an entire industry of higher priced ‘lifetime’ products? Could these products be manufactured locally, in small facilities that pay real wages? Engineering would still be centralized in this model, as information is cheap to ship. But the ecological cost of shipping products from overseas would be used rather than pure financial cost in justifying sourcing decisions.

Sounds like a book :-)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

What they don't tell you about installing Windows 7 from a Flash Drive

Installing Windows from a USB drive is supposed to be faster than installing from a CD/DVD.

To load a Windows ISO file onto a USB drive requires formatting the drive, two out of three online descriptions of the process require formatting the drive as NTFS.

USB flash drives by default are set to 'optimize for quick removal' in Win XP (properties, policy tab) - which means you can't format the drive as NTFS.

Change the mode to 'optimize for performance' to allow formatting the drive as NTFS.


This default causes the Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to fail to format the usb drive as bootable. And when I tried to boot my PC I got the error message "NTLDR is missing".

When using the Microsoft Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool to create a bootable flash drive - there is no indication that the formatting failed - it just doesn't boot properly.

But changing the properties of the drive first seems to do the trick...

Two days later... Apparently when I try to format a drive it may require loading bootsect.exe into the directory of the ISO Tool. Here is where I found it:


Thanks for the posting!

Monday, May 10, 2010

BES Express upgrade from BES 4.1

The good the bad and the ugly:

No upgrade path for the free version.

  1. Good: It's FREE! A nice new version of BES, administer via a web browser. You can downgrade your data plan to use a simple data plan instead of a BES data plan from your carrier - but you lose over the air activation. The web site says the downloaded software includes one free tech support call (which you'll probably need :-).
  2. Bad: Product confusion - BB Tech support thought there was no wipe handheld feature, but they researched it and found the feature... Under manage users, you need to click on the PIN number to show the feature.
  3. Ugly: Takes an entire day to install and then you'll want to call BlackBerry to resolve the issues you have left. But reading and following the docs is the hardest part. Ugly: Users requested that I load some back email to the devices and there is a feature limited to 14 days and 200 messages. I didn't get that to work properly.

Having a VM with the 4.1 BES installed on it, I went through the following process to upgrade my installation:

  1. Create a snapshot of the existing machine.
  2. Check the requirements documents. Note that 9/10 of the requirements are the same between 4.1.6 and 5.0. Had some confusion over the CDO version 1.21 - the install document recommends installing a new file version that is not applicable to Exchange 2003. In this case the existing CDO file version 6.5.7654.12 is the correct one. The requirements doc leads me to believe that I need 1.5GB RAM for my base configuration - 8 users. But it continues to run fine with 700MB RAM, on Windows Server 2003 SP2.
  3. Remove BES, Remove SQL Express.
  4. Walk through the installation process.
  5. BES Express is up and I can access it - Yay!
  6. Troubleshoot remaining issues: Set an activation password and enter it on the device, the email is sent and I can see it in OWA. However the BES is not picking it up. Turns out that while I was uninstalling BES 4.1.6 - the email account information for my BESAdmin account was removed from Active Directory. Set up the account for Exchange access and made sure it was not hidden from the GAL. Then checked the ability to manage a user's mailbox using c:\program files\research in motion\blackberry enterprise server\iemstest.
  7. Create a user, delete the user and can't re-create the user. Had to debug the download from corporate directory feature (the BESAdmin account issue). Also the user interface is confusing - if you delete a user and are trying to recreate it - the best thing to try is to go under create user, and search with no entries. You may get back a list of entries in the Global Address List. Check the user in that list. If you try to create a user who is already in the 'Corporate Directory' which has been imported from GAL - then you will get an error message.
  8. Voila! All is running.