XP Home Edition Niggle, delayed application startup

I’ve had a niggling issue with my PC in the House, its a fairly decent spec Dell of just over a year old, 3GHz Intel P4 Hyperthreading thingie, with 1.5Gb RAM, SATA Drive, Nvidia 6600GT PCI Express etc. But for the last week and a bit it has had an annoying habit of being slow to fire things up.

The applications are quick enough once they arrive, but the delay after double click, while it seems to think at length about what I’ve just asked was getting annoying. Then after a wait of a minute or less, the application suddenly appears in a rush.

It had me a bit stumped, I wondered if my recent forays into the world of Virtual PC or other stuff had introduced something – after all, VPC isn’t “officially supported” on this OS.

I had a hunt around microsoft support this morning, and I think I have cracked it – KB 841571 talks about the Simple Service Discovery Protocol Service causing hassle on a PC. I’ve kicked the service off and disabled it, and so far so good.

Thinking back over stuff I think this came back in when I opened up the security on the machine to allow a folder to be shared, the XP Home Wizard that gets involved at that time spoke about the Internet Gateway – which announces itself via SSDP. I was gearing up to get the image of Windows 2000 Server copied over – that was it !!

Member Server Installation

It has just occurred to me that all of these short posts on my virtual network installation are the equivalent of wittering on a blog 🙂

I’m in the process of building a member server on my domain, with a slight hiccough at the moment. For some reason the member server isn’t joining the domain, but this could be because I’ve forgotten what I called it!

I’m running the two VPC’s together in a configuration suggested by Simon Guest, with two NICs per machine.

Dust off the exams

I’m getting myself back into the MCP exams again, this time a little different with an exam on the MCDBA track, the last I need, which is a windows server exam.

I got a cheap study guide off ebay for the Windows 2000 Server exam, and with virtual PC and an msdn copy of Windows 2000 Server Standard edition have been starting the build of the domain controller.

First problem! As the MSDN version on DVD includes several versions of Windows 2000, apparently with that version you can’t build a server by constructing boot floppies. You have to boot from another OS with CD support, then run the install from there. The actual error kicks in during the install of Windows 2000 Server, when it stops after an attempt to display the EULA.

I thought I was doing well creating an image file from a directory structure and mounting that into Virtual PC, but I’m now in the throes of trying to construct a boot floppy that has just enough for me to go to the next stage. More rusty skills working with a dos prompt – all those nice editors in windows have spoiled me. Even notepad is quite funky compared to the dos editor.

ARCast – Modern Software

I’m working through the ARCast collection in a pretty random manner, or more likely I’m working through them in some filename order that my mp3 player dictates – it’s just that it displays the description of the track when it is playing, so I don’t know (or particularly care).

I listened to one of the ARCasts from earlier on in the year – Modern Software, with Ron Jacobs talking to a chap called David Chappell. A lot resonated from David’s comments, on one had he was quite negative about the success of SOA, but in a way that really connected with the business view of IT. IT departments lack credibility, so they are the last people you would ask to change your business process. And SOA doesn’t work because organisation departments and therefore budgets just don’t lend themselves to centralised services.

If you want business change resulting in the application of IT, get the businesses to hire the consultants themselves – ouch.

Listening to the ARCast I went from agreeing with what he said, being interested that he is still obviously engaged in the technology, then being a bit depressed after checking out his previous articles on off-shoring development etc. Having seen the pictures of Ron and David, I wonder if I should get the beard back ? 🙂

The week in summary

This week has been a welcome mixed bag, the weather is picking up and the plants in the gardens have taken this as a signal to start growing. Our Silver Birch in the front garden is unfurling its leaves as we speak, and next door’s beech hedge has done the same. Only downside is that the grass has woken up too, time to see if the lawn mower still works.


My Cousins and Aunt, originally from Derbyshire and now a mix of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire were up spending a week in a cottage in the Lake District, so we drove down and spent the afternoon with them at a place near Ennerdale Bridge. Nice scenery, although the weather was a bit unsettled. The drive back was glorious.


Had taken the day off after the long drive, but didn’t feel too bad. A school holiday but exam time for my Daughter so I gave her a lift into school, then picked up some bits at B&Q for a repair to the garden shed. A nice quiet day.


First day back at work, usual rise in stress levels. Saddened to see the aftermath of a collision between a motorbike and car on the A71. Quite hard to see what the lead up had been, the bike had hit the car on its RHS to the RHS of the car. Either a U-Turn by the car into the path of the bike, or bike overtaking car which was turning right into a farm road. About 1 mile back towards Livingston from Wilkieston, the rider was still unconcious under the bike when I drove past. I haven’t ridden the road since to see what the visibility is like, but inevitably made me reflect somewhat now that I’m back on two wheels. Then I kept an eye out for the converging emergency services, right enough I had a police Mercedes patrol car overtaking towards me then two police Honda pan-european motorcycles and another Mercedes car when I was waiting on the bus at the park and ride.


Opportunity to get back to the office for a meeting late on, a great opportunity to be involved with the folks that employ me – there is a whole pile of stuff that you can’t get involved in when you are on-site long term.


Another glorious sunny day, tried to get on with work and not get wound up. For one or two reasons it didn’t quite work, but I am working that through. Made progress this week on all fronts, building my enthusiasm back up by listening to the ARCasts and that is a good thing.