Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Laptop, New Skin

The other day a couple people I know got brand new laptops from Dell. Made me think, it's about time for me to upgrade as well. My work laptop always seemed to have some kind of issue, and after a year and a half, it seems like a good idea to start fresh. With so many new laptops, how would I be able to easily tell mine from the rest? (Since I thought I had the same model they did, though it turned out I didn't) All I need to do is skin it! Back in the day, my main laptop had a nice skin:

Working hard

Though clearly I had too much hair, and not enough beard... Those two items rectified, and new skin ordered from the same website, but now with a much more Islamish look:

New Laptop Skin with Peter Gould art!

The artwork is courtesy of Peter Gould, a contemporary Muslim artist from Australia who works in multiple media. Seriously, as good as it looks on a wall, or your PC desktop, or even your Facebook buddy icon, it looks tr├Ęs sharp skinned on the back of my laptop. Sidi Peter mentioned something about vinyl stickers that he's working on, and will be available in a few months, though I know I'd like to see him hook up with Skinit somehow, to make his art available for all kinds of devices, and make sure he gets a piece of the action for his hard work and talent, though I have no idea how he would even start. And if you're thinking about just snagging the art from the website and using it without permission or licensing, know that it wont' be as good quality, and you won't be doing yourself any favors.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Woo hoo! Dialog and error are gone!

This was a crazy one to fix. For years, sometimes when building a "setup" project in my VisualStudio 2005 solutions, I would get a bizarre SQL Tools error via a Dr. Watson dialog. Somehow on my old machine I made the dialog disappear, but the building always reported "1 failed" even though it actually built the project. This month I got a new laptop, and the dialog is back. So I tracked down a fix. There were 2 suggestions regarding a user group SQLServer2005NotificationServicesUser$COMPUTERNAME, and either giving it extra permissions or adding the logged in user to the group. Neither of those worked. But here is what worked (and saved here for future reference):
The installer runs for SQL Server 2005 Tools (64-bit) and comes up with0:Watson 1:1304 2:StreamSupportFiles 3:streamBinaryToDisk 4:55:e:\sql9_sp2_t\sql\setup\darwin\sqlcastub\streamca.cpp 6:238 7:sqlcastub.dll 8:sqlrun.msiWhen clicking ok, I get 'Error writing to file: . Verify that you have access to that directory. [ http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/327997 ]
The recommendation is to:
Please refer to workarounds mentioned in this thread - http://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?FeedbackID=113155
Which details the issue again with a recommendation from Microsoft to:
This appears to be an issue with the SQL install. Specifically, there seems to be a problem with the install mergemod.dll. Installing a later version of mergemod.dll seems to fix the issue. You can install a later mergemod.dll by installing Orca: http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/msi/setup/orca_exe.asp
So it's off to install Orca, however the page to install Orca points out it is only available via  Windows SDK Components for Windows Installer Developers, so let's go install that, except of course the link doesn't go to the download page, it's over at Microsoft Windows Software Development Kit (SDK). Excellent, easy enough, however first, apparently, I need to upgrade to Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1.

Now if you are anything at all like me (which apparently is not likely) then you're likely thinking, this is crazy, how on earth could this cookie crumb trail of suggestions lead to anything that would solve my problem, but lo and behold! Problem fixed. No dialog. No error.

And now saved here, so next time I can just look at my blog for the fix.