Sunday, July 30, 2006

Troubleshooting / debugging IIS

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2006/07/30/86630.aspx

This is more of a memory post for me to remember locations of important KB items, the source for this info is Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0\r\n
Some info on how to use this great new utility from Microsoft called DebugDiag (or IIS Diagnostics), I have already used this on at least two occasions to locate problems with IIS hangs, and to find places to improve performance, some of the information that this tool gives can not be found any other way - and is a great timesaver- like showing exactly what files are included in an ASP file (include tree).

Debugdiag - KB Articles

Microsoft has published few KBs on How to use DebugDiag tool.

Memory dump -
How to use the Debug Diagnostics 1.0 tool to analyze a memory dump file

Hang -
How to use the Debug Diagnostics tool to troubleshoot a process that has stopped responding in IIS

Crash -
How to use the IIS Debug Diagnostics Tool to troubleshoot an IIS process that stops unexpectedly

High CPU Usage -
How to use the Debug Diagnostics Tool to troubleshoot high CPU usage by a process in IIS

High Memory Usage -
How to troubleshoot an IIS process that consumes lots of memory by using the IIS Debug Diagnostics tool

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Small inline commercial... To help me make a few pennies :-) Manage projects, create an intranet, collaborate on documents, and more with the JotSpot wiki. Start a free trial today. This is a nice service. Does not require any commitment or Credit card for trying it out - pretty neat, I have a trial account there myself.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

A few amazing things done with Web 2.0 - Flickr Example

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2006/07/18/85541.aspx

Innovation keeps on hitting me in the face, amazing ideas I wish I had thought of first.

Comes a company called Flickr of which I'm sure you all heard about already, many times - and offers a great product, mostly for free. I will not go in to what they offer - its pretty simple and everyone knows about it. In addition to their "main" offering - they also created an open, free API to access all that, along with a scheme to allow other entities to authenticate for you (only if you allow them).

Since the service is so popular a host of applications that integrate with it through this API has grown, and many of them offer the user so much more than the original offer by adding another layer over it.

I will give just a few of the examples here - these are just a few examples out of tons! you can see more here:

  1. Flappr - this is an application that allows you to view public Flickr images through a Flash interface the querying and information displayed are realy nice, you can lose yourself for hours in the contextual thread you weave for yourself...
  2. retrievr - This one is special. You get to draw something on a small whiteboard, the application then searches for pictures on Flickr (again public only) that fit that drawing. I don't know how they do it, but it is amazing. Try it
  3. Cropper + SendToFlickr plugin - This is not a full featured app, just a plugin for Cropper a desktop screen catpure utility, that allows you to take screen shots directly to Flickr (useful only if you take screenshots and use Cropper to do so). This example is here to show simple stuff....
  4. preloadr - Now this is neat. After you upload your picture to Flickr you often want to manipulate it (rotate, resize, crop) Flickr allows you to do some of the things but not all (and some would argue not enough). In comes preloader - a virtual image editor. You supply your login to Flickr and it loads you images and allows you to edit them and save them directly back to Flickr. It is so seemlessly integrated with Flickr that after two times you use it, you will no longer know the difference and you will think it is part of Flickr (maybe that's the goal of the company)

There are more of these out there...

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Small inline commercial... To help me make a few pennies :-) Manage projects, create an intranet, collaborate on documents, and more with the JotSpot wiki. Start a free trial today. This is a nice service. Does not require any commitment or Credit card for trying it out - pretty neat, I have a trial account there myself.

Monday, July 17, 2006

My new machine...

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2006/07/17/85424.aspx

As I mentioned in a previous post, I got me a new machine - it is working fine.

Being a new windows 2003 machine, It downloaded some windows updates that the service thought are good for me. There where quite a few in the list, I just went ahead and installed, I didn't follow the process since in the past I have had good experience with everything just working...

The update finished, and the machine requested to restart, which is anoying but understandable... minus the nagging (see here how to avoid that)

When the machine restarted, it again showed the update icon - and asked me to update again - the list seemed long, but I thought there were less items, so I did it again (and again). By this time I figured something was wrong - so I went to the "Custom" option, and tried installing the less frightening ones first - These successfuly installed with no request for restart, then the next and the one after (working from bottom to top). All installed successfully and only the last one required restart.... It seems that there was some prior requirement for this patch to succeed, and that the update service did not run the updates in the correct order...

********************************
Small inline commercial... To help me make a few pennies :-) Manage projects, create an intranet, collaborate on documents, and more with the JotSpot wiki. Start a free trial today. This is a nice service. Does not require any commitment or Credit card for trying it out - pretty neat, I have a trial account there myself.

Nice article on embedding Video in a web page (the Standard way)

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2006/07/17/85425.aspx

This is a great article on how to embedd video in a web page, including concrete examples on how to do it and information on which browser supports what and how to do it in a way that all browsers will use the same tag with (almost) no browser specific code.

********************************
Small inline commercial... To help me make a few pennies :-) Manage projects, create an intranet, collaborate on documents, and more with the JotSpot wiki. Start a free trial today. This is a nice service. Does not require any commitment or Credit card for trying it out - pretty neat, I have a trial account there myself.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A new service I'm trying out - Jot Wiki

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2006/07/11/84720.aspx

In my effort to document / preserve / collect / take your choice the family information, I'm constantly on the lookout for new web sites/services that will allow me to do one or more of these activities, in hope of finding the ultimate application.

Up to today I have tried doing this with several different applications blog, web site, picture site, (my hard drive) - this is because I do not want to save this information for myself - I want to share it with the world/family...

These services are nice, but they are not meant for this, the order and usabilty of the information relies solely on the creator - they are general applications. I need something more.

There are also several offline utilities that allow to publish to the web. not good enough either:

  1. They cost money
  2. Though it is easier to backup the database that they run on, this is propriety format, and not easily shared (changes can only be made with the software and not on the website)

Now it's time for the next try, a supposedly designed Wiki to do this Jot Spot, allows you a free trial with no apparent limits.

I just started out, it's nice and geared for family, including a nice family tree, family calendar with birthday application, family directory, photos and more... AJAX based and pretty easy to use, still working it out for what is good for me.

It seems that I will eventualy have to build it, if I want to be completely happy with it. Can anyone recommend a web site that does what I need (even if it charges a moderate fee for it, as long as there is a trial version)?

(Disclaimer: The link above is a link that will give me something if you decide to join too, and especialy if you join as a paying customer. So I have some sort of interest in you trying them :-)

Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2006/07/11/84701.aspx

My current rant... Skip if you're not interested in hearing me whine...

I just moved to the new machine, it took some time to set up but seems to have been worth it. I already saved the time instead of waiting for the previous machine to un-hang...

Anyway, I opened MS Outlook, and was greeted by this dialog asking me (and encouraging me) to join the MCEIP, and the recommended option is to join. Why is it recommended? I couldn't figure it out, so I went and read the information provided by MS, and it says many things “It isn't recording personal information” “It isn't spyware” (when you open your information to someone he isn't spying, he has gained authorized access...., “You can't see the information you are sending - trust us! we are part of this and that alliance” “We will not spam you” (as if this isn't a sort of spam)...

I looked and I looked and couldn't find a reason why to donate my computer resources for the benefit of Microsoft. You want user data? pay some users to give it. You want user feedback? ask for feedback.

When google tries the same trick, it at least offers some “advanced features” that will be enabled only if you agree... In this case we are talking about software that cost the user (or the company he works for - in this case) quite a lot of money. You got to give some benefit for the choice.

Anyway - I said no.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Really annoying - my work machine

Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/meshel/archive/2006/07/10/84589.aspx

My machine has been a loyal servant for the few last years, got it new, and it was fine. last couple of months it is giving me hell. long hangs with no apparent reason (I run AV, and constantly scan my computer for evil beings - not spyware).

The only indication for anything is given by the wonderfull Process Explorer which points that “Hardware Interrupts” are the ones giving me the grief. However, I have no special hardware connected anywhere, and no change has been made to my configuration before this horrible behavior begun.

Today it took me over 15 minutes just to restart my machine (after trying to get windows to even show the restart dialog).

I'm switching machines! a slightly newer with more and faster memory.

P.S. if anyone has an idea on those hardware interrupts, I'll be glad to investigate, as I'm keeping the old one “as is” for now.