A new home for AlistairL

It has been a long time running but this is the second (more visible) post in the process of moving my blog from a hosted .net site running in SubText to something that is a bit more modern (yeah, 3 years behind the curve again – just look when I created this).

I’m going to do some checks of content etc but the plan will be to be a bit more active on to a platform that has a future.

The unfortunate side effect is that the comments haven’t come across – the api in the very old version of SubText that I was using didn’t have commenting. I’ve got a backup of the full original database but I’m not optimistic that posterity will bring back the comments (all over 10 years old now).

I need to get the domain switched over – what fun!

Motorcycle Maintenance Evening Classes – Edinburgh

I missed a comment from May from David mentioning motorcycle maintenance evening classes and asking about the Edinburgh area.

It would seem that evening classes mirror the school and college semesters so it is a good idea to keep an eye out for schedules as the summer holidays draw to a close and autumn starts coming in.

Edinburgh Council ran a Motorcycle maintenance evening class in Autumn 2014 from Boroughmuir High School and the new schedule may include similar when posted from 12th August 2015

West Lothian College in Livingston have a basic Motorcycle braking, steering and suspension course starting on 2nd September 2015 and on 3rd February 2016 their course on Motorcycle Electrics take place http://www.west-lothian.ac.uk/courses/basic-motorcycle-Electrical-trasmission

I don’t see anything listed in the Borders College prospectus for August 2015.

Looking farther away, North East College in Aberdeen have a motorcycle maintenance course starting 26th April 2016

These are all evening class “adult education” i.e. more recreational than career oriented. There are other day-release and full time courses that are better set up for a career in motorcycle maintenance but you never know!

SharePoint 2013 post CU says Server Error: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkID=177673

The situation was that I thought I would bring my SharePoint 2013 up to date with the latest cumulative update, at the time of writing December 2013 as we are still waiting for the issue with SP1 to be remedied.

So the cumulative update ran through fine and apart from a few complaints in the upgrade file to do with PowerPivot, all was well. So I went in to a demo site and got an empty screen with the following: Server Error: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink?LinkID=177673. When you click on that link it takes you to an update deployment page for SharePoint Foundation 2010.

So I checked central administration upgrade status – nothing. And checked the database upgrade status, all fine. So I went with my cavalier-lazy and ran the SharePoint 2013 Products Configuration Wizard. After the usual multi-stage process it completed with no complaints. Checked my site, no joy – same result.

So I had a hunt around and fired up the SharePoint 2013 Management Shell and Test-SPContentDatabase on the content database for my demo site and nothing. So I ran it as administrator and again got nothing. So I tried Upgrade-SPContentDatabase and it helpfully told me that my content database didn’t need upgrading.

So I had another hunt around and tried psconfig -cmd upgrade -inplace b2b -wait -force and again got no errors. So I admitted defeat and started hunting through my ULS logs. This threw up interesting errors, the start of which was:

04/21/2014 10:55:41.99  w3wp.exe (0x3208)                        0x237C SharePoint Foundation          Database                       880i High     System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): CREATE TABLE permission denied in database ‘

So again I took the lazy approach and fired up SQL Trace on my database and narrowed down the filter to have a Database Name like the content database and ran it up, and assuming it was psconfig related ran that again. The command ran through with no errors reported to the command line and when I stopped the trace and had a look I didn’t see anything. And nothing in the ULS log. So I waited. And the same entry appeared again – don’t you love asynchronous stuff?

So I was a bit more patient this time – I restarted the trace, and ran psconfig, and waited until the error appeared in ULS. Then stopped the trace and went looking. And there it was, a big long SQL statement running under an account that didn’t have sufficient priviledge to create the table. So being a hacker I gave that account dbo priviledge – ran psconfig and after a suitable pause my site is running again.

The interesting bit ? The identity wasn’t the application pool identity of the web application, it wasn’t the identity of the timer service (Ok I know it wouldn’t be, owstimer.exe wasn’t owning up in ULS). On my VM it was the identity of the portal web application / community sites. I’m nonplussed but will put it on my “to learn” list.

Windows 8 x64, Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013

I had an interesting chat with our Internal IT guys today about a strange behaviour found with the mixture of software versions that inevitably happen. In our case our desktop kit can be bang up to date, i.e. Windows 8 and Office 2013 or in our technical division our consultants love to install the latest and greatest, with quite a few looking at Windows 8.1. Our Intranet runs on SharePoint 2010 as space for hosting is limited and there is a little little bit of the cobbler’s children effect when it comes to making the upgrade.

Since the combination of Windows 8 and Office 2013 came about there have been reports in to our IT guys about a strange effect in SharePoint document libraries. Browsing in IE 10 to SharePoint would open a document in the registered application fine, but when you tried to open another document (or even the same document) you would get an error saying “The document could not be opened for editing. A Microsoft SharePoint Foundation compatible application could not be found to edit the document”.

The theory was that it was 64 bit related, we had all sorts of problems when our technical consultants (remember them earlier?) all installed 64 bit office to run on shiny 64 bit Windows 7. The control that provides the menu to items in document libraries (open documents class add-on) didn’t work in 64 bit IE, or work with 64 bit office. So we all run 32 bit these days.

Cue a search today and I dragged up a thread on the msdn forums which suggested an issue when you run a non-english US setup and an associated registry hack to fix it. A colleague suggested an alternative fix for Windows 8 which deals with 32 bit add-ins and 64 bit Internet Explorer.

The thread on the msdn forums also suggested that the June 2013 Cumulative Update for Office 2013 would contain a fix. It does, but unlike SharePoint cumulative updates which come in a nice big file, the June 2013 Cumulative Update for Office 2013 is just a big list of hotfixes which come with individual files. So if you are looking for the official fix (not a registry hack, well not directly) then look at Article ID 2726997

Life and Work and Windows Mobile 8

I know it breaks the principle of doing everything from one device but I have two windows 8 mobile phones. One is my own Nokia Lumia 920, and my work phone is a Nokia Lumia 820.

It does mean carrying two phones but I got my own personal number a few years ago during a period that I didn’t have a work mobile phone and have run with the slight inconvenience of having two with me and the resultant bulk and charging issues.

They both synchronise to my work Outlook e-mail, albeit the personal phone is on manual sync whereas the personal phone is on immediate.

This brings me on to the first issue I hit when I got my work Lumia 820, a few months after my personal phone. Windows Phone 8 introduces some great backup facilities and I have successfully used these on my 920 to recover from a hard reset. I was curious however to understand how this relates to the windows account associated with the phone. To get an answer I pinged a tweet to the rather excellent @WinPhoneSupport to ask whether using the same windows account on both phones would cause problems. Once I got the right question phrasing (the joys of the character limits on twitter) I clarified that unless you use different windows accounts then the backup is not seperate. So to keep the text messages etc seperate from work and personal (as you can guess the personal phone has more chatter) in the backups I had to create a new windows account for the work phone.

This caused an immediate organisational issue for me as a newly avid user of OneNote. Since it appeared on my previous Windows Phone 7 HTC Mozart I have used it as my notes and list maker. This hit a bit of a problem with the SkyDrive storage of notebooks. This would be fine for the storage of photographs but I would need to organise my books to split personal and work again. I had this already at Section level but I had only had one (growing daily) note.

Roll on in time and I have finally split the two books and shared them between accounts so I can see them in onenote on both phones, my work laptop connects using the “work” windows account and I have access everywhere. Perfect. I used the method blogged by Donovan Colbert on TechRepublic on “Collaboration made easy with SkyDrive and OneNote”.

EICMA 2012–The Show

I’ve posted the story of how I chose to go to the EICMA show last year, and having got through the turnstiles the plan was to get to the BMW stand as soon as possible to see the new R1200GS. The show is huge and was quite different to our regular fare at the Scottish Bike Show.

As soon as we got in there were folks handing out fisherman’s friends. Yes you read right, and I still can’t quite believe it. If you don’t know these are menthol cough sweets made in Feetwood, Lancashire. And they were handing them out in Milan, Italy…

It was a long long walk to the BMW Motorrad stand through about three halls and by the time we got there the goody bags had run out, but the scale had to be seen to be appreciated. The stand was very large and there were several hundred people there.

The new GS looked excellent (in the ugly GS way) and my favourite would be the one with the satnav integration, the off-road pegs and the rallye seat to give a bit more height. Unfortunately I didn’t have the scoop on seeing the bike as my pal Joe had seen it at the international dealer launch in Cologne a few weeks earlier, but I was to get a slight scoop in that there was one of the few running GSs at the show – in the car part being thrashed by Chris Pfeiffer. Personally it wasn’t until April 2013 that I would get a ride on the new GS, and that would be on knobbly tyres and mainly off road. I’ve since had a brief ride on road and in Dynamic mode the new bike is quite a step up from the previous model – really likes to rev.

I’ve not been to the Birmingham show so I can’t compare scale but EICMA was huge and very busy, MrsL took a rest at one stage and I wandered around a few of the stands and it was great to see the size of the main manufacturers. They were strategically apart in different halls and this meant that I missed Yamaha completely, managing to see BMW (of course), Honda and others like KTM and Triumph. Of course Ducati was well represented, as were the scooter manufacturers. Wandering around I found the World Superbike stand with two guys called Tom Sykes and Carl Fogarty being interviewed – this was quite hilarious with them being interviewed in Italian – think banal on banal interview questions. The crowd loved it.

All the accessory dealers were there, and Touratech had a big stand – I now have their catalogue in Italian!

Huge and busy is how I would sum it up. Out the back was a show by Chris Pfeiffer which was an unexpected result – he was demonstrating on his usual F800R and a new R1200GS, and there was also a supercross stage which was well impressive. All in all there was too much to see in a day – an excellent result.

Like I mentioned before it is a proper trade show, so you will not find anything to buy – it is open to the public but there is a lot of trade networking going on with new model launches and nothing being sold on the stands. If you like to go to Motorcycle shows to see stuff (but perhaps not buy) then I would go.