Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express installs without SQL Authentication

First, lets give some unnecessary background information :-)

For a project I'm working on I'm taking a look at a business processes and especially systems that support modeling such processes. The Business Process Modeling Initiative (BPMI) has come up with a nice standard notation for such models, which of course is then called the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), and is being managed by OMG (they also have CORBA and other interesting stuff). My project is about researching development software that supports such modeling (especially using BPMN) and then takes the modelled process directly into further development and finally results in some kind of software artifacts, like for example a website.

How did I get to the problem? During this work, I was installing one such development software (the BizAgi Studio), which requires SQL Server to be installed. However, the installation wizard does not install the SQL server so I had to figure out what to do. Because I just wanted to take a look I decided to install Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Express on my local machine an get going on that one. The SQL Server 2005 Express comes on my Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Standard Edition DVD so I got it installed without a problem.

So, what is the problem? The thing is, when BizAgi asked for information on my SQL Instance it just allowed for SQL Authentication and that is where my problem started. I had just installed the SQL Server Express and I was never asked to provide the password of the infamous 'sa' user so I had no idea what it was. After some Google work I found the reason: SQL Authentication is not allowed by default when installing the SQL Server Express.

Now, how do you solve that?

There really are no tools that come with the SQL Server Express so there is no way to configure anything. This is why some solutions found by Google refer to using RegEdit, changing [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQLServer] to '2', restarting the SQL service and then run an SQL script to create the SQL Authentication user. However, in order to run such SQL scripts you might want to download the Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express.

However, if you have Management Studio installed then why use the RegEdit, just right-click your server, select Properties, select Security, select SQL Server and Windows Authentication and click OK. Then enable the SQl Authentication User by right-click on it, select Properties, select Status, select Enabled and click OK. You are ready, try it now. It worked for me! No RegEdit!

Thought I would share this with you. Could help someone else.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mail dropped on the "Mailbox..." folder in Outlook

A couple of weeks ago I accidentally dropped a few emails on the "Mailbox - Alfred B. Thordarson" folder at the top of my mail folders list in Outlook:

Now, how do I get them back? Whenever you click on this folder you get the "Outlook Today" page and it doesn't show the items that I dropped.

After a few searches I finally found the answer at the HowTo-Outlook site, specifically in the What happens to mails dragged to the Outlook Today Folder? page. The answer really is quite simple:

1) right-click the "Mailbox.." folder,
2) select "Properties..",
3) select the "Home Page" tab and
4) de-select the "Show home page..." check.

Then simply click OK and your outlook items will be shown instead of the "Outlook Today" page. Just move the items where you want them and re-select the "Show home page..." and you are done.

Just thought I would share this with you.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Gogogic's Symbol6 nominated for Nordic Game Awards

I was just reading about the Icelandic computer game Symbol6, for the iPhone, by Gogogic, which just got nominated for the Nordic Game Awards 2009. Take a look at the video and see what a great idea this is. I'm very impressed. Congratulation guys!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Unable to create registration information for file named 'filename'?

I have a class library that is written in C# and I have been maintaining for a few years, which contains a COM component. The accompaning class library installer, created using a Visual Studio deployment project, is suppose to deploy and register this COM component and tlb file.

The deployment project was first created using VS2003, then upgraded to VS2005 and finally to VS2008 last year. All of this was done on my Windows XP development machine and, like I said, this has been working for years.

A couple of months ago I upgraded my development machine, reformatted the hard drive and installed Windows Server 2008. After that my COM component doesn't get registered anymore and I get a warning when building my solution. The warning goes like this: "Unable to create registration information for file named ''".

I searched the web for a long time and finally found it at Microsoft Connect, the Microsoft bug tracker, filed as Bug 356321. However, they have Closed it as Fixed but there is still no solution to be found and the deployment project will not work unless you follow the manual workaround provided. I don't like manual work :-)

So I decided to go another way. I have implemented a Custom Action for my installer, which accepts a name of an Assembly, expects it to be installed and will run RegAsm on it. I then refer to the installer like this:

But the code of the installer goes something like this:

public partial class RegasmInstaller : Installer
public override void Install(IDictionary stateSaver)
string assemblyname = Context.Parameters["ASSEMBLY"];
if (assemblyname != null)
Assembly asm = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly();
string asmName = asm.Location;
int bsIndex = asmName.LastIndexOf("\\");
string asmDirName = asmName.Remove(bsIndex, asmName.Length - bsIndex);
bsIndex = asmDirName.LastIndexOf("\\");
asmDirName = asmDirName.Remove(bsIndex, asmDirName.Length - bsIndex);
string dllpath = asmDirName + "\\" + assemblyname;
Regasm("/codebase", dllpath);

public override void Uninstall(IDictionary savedState)
string assemblyname = Context.Parameters["ASSEMBLY"];
if (assemblyname != null)
Assembly asm = Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly();
string asmName = asm.Location;
int bsIndex = asmName.LastIndexOf("\\");
string asmDirName = asmName.Remove(bsIndex, asmName.Length - bsIndex);
bsIndex = asmDirName.LastIndexOf("\\");
asmDirName = asmDirName.Remove(bsIndex, asmDirName.Length - bsIndex);
string dllpath = asmDirName + "\\" + assemblyname;
Regasm("/u", dllpath);

private void Regasm(string parameters, string dllPath)
string regasmPath = Path.Combine(RuntimeEnvironment.GetRuntimeDirectory(), "regasm.exe");
if (!File.Exists(regasmPath)) throw new InstallException("Registering assembly (" + dllPath + ") failed");
if (!File.Exists(dllPath)) throw new InstallException("Registering assembly (" + dllPath + ") failed");

Process process = new Process();
process.StartInfo.CreateNoWindow = true;
process.StartInfo.UseShellExecute = false; // Hides console window
process.StartInfo.FileName = regasmPath;
process.StartInfo.Arguments = string.Format("\"{0}\" {1} /tlb", dllPath, parameters);

Anyway, I put this here so that it might help someone else. However, most of such things I put on Stack Overflow under my name.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"A different way to think about creative genius"

This weekend we went to a restaurant in Reykjavik with some friends we haven't seen for quite some time. During dinner when we were talking my friend mentioned that he had been reading a book on genius. It was a very interesting discussion, which reminded me of a TED talk by the author Elizabeth Gilbert.

It's a good talk about how a person should not be considered a genius but a genius should be considered an entity of its own that visits perseptive people and enhances their abilities. This is in contrast to the way genius is usually described, for example Wikipedia describes a genius as an individual:

A genius is an individual who successfully applies a previously unknown technique in the production of a work of art, science or calculation, or who masters and personalizes a known technique.

Elizabeth's talk is called A different way to think about creative genius. Take a look at her talk at TED and by the way there are many other great talks there that might interest you.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Are you demoralized?

Joel Spolsky did an article in Inc. this month that you should read if you have ever done a start-up or you are thinking of doing a start-up or you would like to do a start-up. Take a look at How Hard Could It Be?: Start-up Static

From the article:

When she asked me what she should speak about, I asked her to consider describing all the different ways a start-up can fail, rather than the usual stuff about lessons learned from people who succeeded.

"That would be boring," she told me. "They all fail for the same reason: People just stop working on their business." Um, yeah, well, sure, and most people die because their heart stops beating. But somehow dying in different ways is still interesting enough to support 40 hours a week of prime-time programming.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized Jessica was onto something. Why do start-ups fail? As she pointed out, it's usually a collapse of motivation -- everyone wanders back to civilian life, and the start-up ends, not with a bang but a whimper.

Paul Graham, Jessica's husband and partner in Y Combinator, has tackled this subject on his website. "The biggest reason founders stop working on their start-ups is that they get demoralized," he writes. "Some people seem to have unlimited self-generated morale. These almost always succeed. At the other extreme, there are people who seem to have no ability to do this; they need a boss to motivate them. In the middle there is a large band of people who have some, but not unlimited, ability to motivate themselves. These can succeed through careful morale management (and some luck)".

What cought my attention was the quote from Paul Grahams website.

Now, go read the article!

David Platt in Iceland 2009!

In the end of august last year I wrote about David Platt on WCF in Iceland! where I was very enthusiastic about David Platt coming to Iceland in the middle of October. But then he didn't, in the beginning of October I got the news that his course was canceled. In Cancellation, cancellation and cancellation I guessed it was because of the financial crises in Iceland but I had no idea. I still don't have any idea why it was canceled. Then, in the beginning of this year I got an email saying he was going to be in Iceland in the beginning of February and this time there was no cancellation.

The 4th of February I went to the university to watch him do three talks from early morning until late afternoon:

Why Software Sucks - follow-up to his book
WPF for Good and not for Evil - same as in Tech-ed 2008
Know Thy User: Instrumenting The User Experience

BTW: The image at the top is NOT from the Iceland talks.

I knew quite a few in the audience but I sure was missing a lot of my developer friends, the audience was more of the type of designers and testers than developers and geeks. I think developers sure would benefit from watching. But when David Platt mentioned that he had been in Iceland 9-10 times over the last decade or two I thought maybe my developer collegues had already seen the talks.

His style is funny and fresh, and the message is also very informative and important. His view of usability is right on the money and his simple message "Know Thy User, For He Is Not Thee" is easy enough to understand and remember. He talks about software needing to become much simpler to use and makes examples of such software, which is very simple and extremely useful to the user. He says developers need to understand that nobody wants to use software, people want to have used software.

One of the things he talks about that will make software simpler to use is if fewer clicks are needed to get things done. Each click would in the end cost the customer a lot of time and money. Interesting. When he was talking about this I remembered a story I heard close to 20 years ago from Apple. Some developers had been assigned to decreasing the Apple computer startup time. The developers didn't understand what it would help to decrease the startup time by a second or two, nobody would notice. The story goes that Steve Jobs told them to try multiplying the two seconds with the number of Apple computers they had sold, which would be restarted a couple of times per month, and see how much time they would be saving the users every single month. By looking at this time as money, they were actually saving a lot of money by decreasing the startup time by even just a second or two. Interesting. I don't think a lot of people see it like that.

Anyways, the talks are good. If you haven't seen David Platt already then find a way when he is available in your country. You will enjoy it. At least I will be keeping my eyes open for his WCF course I missed last year.

Thank you David Platt.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ellen tekur þátt í undankeppni "Stora Daldansen"

"Stora Daldansen" í Mora er skandinavísk keppni ungra dansara frá norðurlöndunum og baltísku löndunum í klassískum ballet. Dansararnir skulu vera milli 15 og 20 ára og dansaður er sóló úr klassískum ballet. Árlega senda íslendingar þrjá keppendur í keppnina og eru þeir valdir í undankeppni. Í gær fór undankeppnin 2009 fram í Íslensku Óperunni og tóku 23 dansarar milli 15 og 19 ára þátt. Meðal þáttakanda var 16 ára dóttir mín, Ellen Margrét.

Eftir að allir þáttakendurnir höfðu lokið sínum sóló - sem allir voru frábærir - augljóslega mikið af ballet efnum á Íslandi þessi misserin - þá voru kynntir þeir dansarar sem fara fyrir hönd Íslands í keppnina í Svíþjóð í Maí. Valdir voru þrír frábærir dansarar sem allir eiga vel skilið að fá að fara þarna út. Til viðbótar voru valdir þrír dansarar til vara og var Ellen Margrét varadansari tvö. Þetta er frábær árangur hjá 16 ára stelpu úr 23 dansara hópi.

Til hamingju Ellen.

Ofar hópurinn nálgaðist Skeggja

Á sunnudaginn var fór gönguhópurinn Ofar í eina af sínum ferðum. Ætlunin var að ganga á Hengil, tindur hans kallast Skeggi, en það gekk ekki alveg upp, sjá :-(

Hjördís er komin með vinnu

Hjördís flutti sig frá Seðlabankanum yfir í Greiningu Glitnis fyrir nokkrum árum en í framhaldi af falli íslensku bankanna í haust þá var hún ein af þeim sem ekki hélt áfram í nýja Glitni. Þannig að hún hefur verið atvinnulaus frá því um miðjan október í fyrra.

Sitjandi heima, veltandi því fyrir sér hvað væri næst, ákvað hún að senda nýjum fjármálaráðherra tölvupóst og heyra hvort hann væri ekki að leita að hagfræðingi til að vinna með sér. Fyrir svona tveimur vikum síðan hringdi Steingrímur svo í hana eitt kvöldið og boðaði hana á fund daginn eftir. Stutta útgáfan: hún var ráðin sem ráðgjafi fjármálaráðherra.

Það létti töluvert yfir heimilinu við þetta enda öll yfir okkur ánægð með að hún væri nú loksins komin með vinnu. Þetta er náttúrulega vinna sem krefst mikils en það er allt í lagi og við mjög sátt við það. Ég hef unnið mikið og Hjördís séð um heimilið á meðan, nú vinnur hún mikið og ég sé um heimilið. Svona á þetta að vera.

Í dag kom Alþjóða gjaldeyrissjóðurinn til Íslands og ég fékk hringingu frá henni: "Ég þarf að vinna fram eftir í dag. Í dag er dagurinn sem ég drukknaði í vinnunni". Ég hef sjálfur drukknað í vinnu, það er mjög gaman þegar verkefnið er skemmtilegt. Ég veit að Hjördísi finnst þetta mjög skemmtileg vinna og við erum því öll sátt.

Með frétt á með titlinum Afla upplýsinga um stöðuna fylgdi myndin hér að ofan og situr Hjördís dökkhærð á móti myndavélinni hinu megin við borðið.

Hún tekur sig aldeilis vel út - konan mín!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gönguhópurinn Ofar gengur á Vífilsfell

Í dag gekk gönguhópurinn Ofar á Vífilsfell við Reykjavík.

Það má sjá mun meira af þessu frækna afreki á blogsvæði Gönguhópsins Ofar.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Venus over Reykjavik; today!

Venus was beautifully bright over Reykjavik this evening. The following is a snapshot from Microsoft WorldWide Telescope, it shows how the moon looked like a Pac-Man trying to eat the Venus bonus-point. You might not be able to see "anything" in this small snapshot :-) so lets do some zooming.

The moon was very thin, really like an Pac-Man open mouth!

Venus of course didn't look like the big yellow fireball it is. It looked like a bright beautiful star or a Pac-Man bonus-point!

I don't think I have ever seen one of the planets showing as bright as Venus showed today. Truly a great sighting.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Enterprise in Iceland in 1983!

Do you remember when the Boing 747-123(SCA) came to Reykjavik with the NASA Space Shuttle Enterprise on its back? This was in 1983, I was 15, I didn't see it at the airport, I saw it when it flew a show-off flight over Reykjavik. It was spectacular!

This is a picture take by Eggert Norðdahl. Unfortunately, I can't find many pictures of the event. I think I have seen a picture of it flying over Reykjavik, with Hallgrimur's Church (Hallgrimskirkja) in the background. If you know of pictures like that I would really like to take a look. Thank you!

Did you know that the Enterprise was the first space shuttle built for NASA? It was to be named Constitution but a campaign got it renamed after the Starship Enterprise from StarTrek the TV series. Did you know that the Enterprise never had any engines, wasn't capable of space flight and never went outside the atmosphere. It was suppose to, but it was too expensive when NASA got to it. Everything that has to do with the space shuttles is interesting reading at Wikipedia.

Hestarnir komnir í bæinn!

Á milli jóla og nýárs fórum við fjölskyldan vestur á Miðjanes og vorum þar fram yfir áramótin. Við komum vestur um kvöld og var þá mjög kalt en algjörlega heiðskírt og mjög stjörnubjart og fallegt. Þegar ljósmengunin frá Reykjavík og öðrum bæjum og borgum er horfin þá er svotil ómögulegt að hafa augun af himninum.

Þetta voru öðruvísi áramót en fjölskyldan er vön, enda árlegur viðburður að eyða gamlárskvöldinu með ömmu og afa í Reykjavík og skjóta svo upp með öllum hinum um miðnættið. En þótt það væri öðruvísi þá var það mjög rólegt og skemmtilegt að eyða gamlárskvöldinu fyrir vestan. Þegar við svo fórum heim tókum við hestana okkar með svo í ár byrjar hestaveturinn snemma. Það gekk bara nokkuð vel og allir mjög ánægðir með að fá Póló og Normu aftur.

Í þessi ár sem við höfum verið í hestunum höfum við leigt aðstöðu víða; við höfum verið í Heimsenda í Kópavogi, í hesthúsahverfi Mosfellsbæjar, í Fjárborg við Rauðavatn og í Víðidal. Póló og Norma eru því ýmsu vön, en í ár munu þau búa aftur í Fjárborg, en nú í öðru hesthúsi en síðast. Þótt stutt sé liðið, þá virðist okkur eigandinn sem leigir okkur aðstöðuna og gefur vera mjög traustur og ábyggilegur kall - kannski við endumst þarna lengur en einn vetur, sjáum til!?

Við komum semsagt í bæinn með hestana um helgina fyrir hálfri annarri viku og höfum verið að venja þá við, gefa lítið og teymingar um hverfið, enda hestarnir ójárnaðir. En núna um helgina voru breytingar þar á og voru þau bæði járnuð og eru nú komin á fulla gjöf og því full tilbúin að hefja útreiðar og frekari tamningu.

Ég held það sé mjög skemmtilegir mánuðir framundan með Póló og Normu!

What software I use for my work!

20. January 2009: Renamed this post from "What software do you need on your computer?" to "What software I use for my work!"

I'm getting a new computer at work (or at least a new disk :-) so I will be installing my OS again - probably Windows 2008 Server because Windows 7 is not released and I will not install Vista! In addition I'm going to have to install all the software I need to do my job at Rue de Net!

So, I decided to list out the software I have installed on my current machines (3 different ones), all of which I hope to install on the new computer. I was surprised at how much software I really need and yet I probably haven't found it all!

Here is the list as I currently see it - I will add to the list when I start installing and using the new computer to see what the actual list will be.
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.7
  • Altova XMLSpy 2007
  • Apple iTunes 8
  • Beyond Compare 3.0.13
  • Camtasia Studio 6
  • Cisco VPN Client 5.0
  • Check Point SSL
  • CrashPlan 1.6.2009
  • CvsNT
  • EasySQL 1.1
  • Eclipse 3.4.1
  • Eclipse Visual Editor Plugin 1.2
  • Fiddler2 - Forgot, added 20. january!
  • Flashnote 3.1
  • Garmin Training Center 3.4
  • Google Chrome 1.0.154
  • Google Picasa 3
  • Informix JDBC 3.5
  • Jalopy 1.9.1
  • Java JDK 7 b42
  • JetBrains ReSharper 4.1
  • Jira 3.13.2 by Atlassian - Forgot, added 16. january!
  • Microsoft .NET Frameworks
  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 - Forgot, added 20. january!
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Live Sync 2008
  • Microsoft Windows Live Messenger 2008
  • Microsoft WorldWide Telescope
  • Mozilla Firefox 3.0.5
  • Mozilla Firefox Add-on Firebug 1.3.0
  • Mozilla Firefox Add-on Fast Dial 2.11
  • Mozilla Firefox Add-on Foxmarks 2.6.0
  • Mozilla Firefox Add-on IE Tab 1.5
  • MyLife Organized 2.0.1
  • Paint .NET 3.36
  • PDFCreator 0.96
  • Python 2.6.1
  • RapidSVN 0.9.6
  • SharpReader
  • TimeSnapper
  • Trend Micro OfficeScan Client
  • VideoLAN VLC media player 0.8.6c
  • VisualSVN Server 1.6.3
  • WinCvs
  • WinZip 11.2
  • WinRar 3.61
  • uTorrent 1.8.1
This is obviously a mixture of commercial software, shareware and freeware.

PS: If you have some time you should take a look at

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Leap second caught on film...

The last minute of 2008 was one second longer than usual minutes!

Our current measure of time is based on the oscillation of an atom of Caesium-133, called UTC. But the actual solar day (rotation of the earth around itself) and solar year (rotation of the earth around the sun), called UT1, is a little bit different than the oscillation of Caesium-133. In order to a adjust UTC to UT1 the leap second is inserted every now and then, approximately every 18 months. Further information can be gotten on the Leap second page of Wikipedia.

This was done at 23:59:59 December 31st 2008, which resulted in the 59 minute having 61 seconds. The world time is provided on the web at by two U.S. time agencies (NIST and USNO). I used Camtasia Studio to record this 61 second and you can see the video here: