Go fly a kite!

I went kite flying during the weekend.  First session was with my daugther’s Kite Flying Day’s  kite.  That did not fare very well.  It kept insisting on flying the wrong way round.  With the string on one shoulder, Any flight short or long is destined earthwards.

The second session with a freebie from the local Resident’s Committee (RC) anti crime day.  Now we are talking.  Hitch the line to pre-stamped eyelet (hole) and the running line through the guide.  Assemble the kite and hold it up in the air.  The wind takes care of the rest.  No running of waving of arms required.  All I needed to do is run it out and avoid the air space of the $200-4-control-string-kite-neighbour.

An eye off the reel, the kite literally pulled all the string out and took off.  I ended up chasing after a runaway kite.  Luckily without tension, it crashed some 200 metres away.  I got it before somebody souvenir-ed it.

All in all great fun.  I strongly recommend trying it out as the flying fields are slowly converted into construction sites.  By this time next year, none will be left.

P1 registration

My son riding on his elder sister’s coat tail got a place in P1 in Phase 1.


Every since the General Election in May, I always wanted to say that. 🙂

According to Ministy of Education (MOE) website, the vacancies now stand at Phase 2B, now stands at 76.  The last Phase 3 is for non citizens and those who could not register in the earlier phases at other schools. A quick check with the calculator shows 78 vacancies.  Complicated?  Check out the MOE website for more details. 

P1 Phase registration P1 Vacancies

SQL 2005 cluster upgrade.

The main SQL server is on a SQL 2005 cluster.  It is time for an upgrade to SQL 2008.  This will be an interim measure until the hardware refresh the later half of 2012.

The main aim of the process is to minimise downtime.  Install the pre-requisites, Windows Installer 4.5 etc on the passive nodes.  You may need to move the active node around to accomplish this.

When performing the actual upgrade, the trick is to perform the upgrade on the passive node only.  Move the active node around until all the passive nodes are upgraded.  This has to be done locally, not via remote desktop connection.  If the nodes are virtual machines, you will need to use the ESX client or HyperV manager to do this.

Microsoft as always provide detailed documentation but lacks a summary to give you a heads up whats happening.


UCWeb problem with images

I have been using UCWeb 7.6 on my Nokia E71 for ages.  The auto network switching is really great!   Everything was working fine.  Well too fine, since it works so well.

About 2 weeks ago, it started showing black bands for forums running on vBulletin.  I could hardly make out what are the thread headers.  Once inside the threads, the individual posts are not affected.  It is only affected at the forum level.  I put up with it as my data plan, M1’s Sunsurf Mobile gives me a measely 200MB.  The other choice of browsers are Opera Mini or the default Webkit Nokia browser.  Both are not great chocies.

When UCWEB 7.8 was released in 15 July 11.  I quickly upgraded thinking it will solve my problem with the black bands.

Sadly no.  The black bands remains.  Since the other websites faces no such problems, it has to be some kind of interpretation problem.  I stepped through the Preferences menu, one by one to see if there is any improvement.  The image resolution was set to high, out of low, normal or high.  That caused the banding.  I switched to normal, no banding.  Back to high, banding reappears.

Well at least that solve the problem.

UCWeb is available here.

Sharing storage using iSCSI target

If you have lots of storage to spare, one way is to share it out via a file share.  This is useful on a file server level.  What about sharing spare disk space at the storage level?  There are solutions available, mainly in the Linux word, Openfiler project etc.  What if you have a Windows server?  One possible solution is the Microsoft iSCSI target.  Yes, you read it correctly. It existed for the Windows 2003 version and extremely expensive.

Browsing through the old posts of SG Windows Users Group, I came across an announcement of  Microsoft iSCSI Target 3.3 is now available for download.  Free!!!

All you need now is to point your iSCSI clients (HyperV and ahem others) to the Target and you are ready to roll.

link  link  Old Blog using iSCSI  using iSCSI

Windows 2008 R2 server cannot login.

My SCCM server in the midst of deploying new clients when it started behaving strangely.  Deployments started failing and progressively the server operations degraded and Windows Explorer stopped working.

After a reboot, a domain user cannot login, all that is shown on screen is “Connecting to User Profile service”.  Local administrator was able to login though. A quick check with noodles, reveal a possible problem with profiles, 959125 but that is for Vista and Windows 2008 SP1.  Mine is Windows 2008 R2.

Using the local admin account on the KVM, I noticed that there are several other  things that are not working right, “Network and Sharing Center” windows does not get populated and there is red X on it.  Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer don’t launch.  This does not look like a problem with Profiles.  Event Viewer reveals that the COM+ service and VSS is not running properly.

There is this mysterious Event ID 4609 about a program failing to run

The COM+ Event System detected a bad return code during its internal processing. HRESULT was 80070005 from line 200 of d:\w7rtm\com\complus\src\events\tier2\service.cpp. This warning may be expected if the computer is low on resources. If the computer is not low on resources, and these warnings persist, it may indicate a problem in the COM+ Event System.

VSS error 8193

Volume Shadow Copy Service error: Unexpected error calling routine IEventSystem::Store. hr = 0x80010108, The object invoked has disconnected from its clients

The strange thing is that from the outside, everything is working.  Shares can be connected, Computer Management works etc.

I have thought it was due to IPv6 protocol was disabled after spending an hour struggling with blank “Network and Sharing” window, I managed to get to Network properties, all protocols enabled.

This is now getting urgent due to other factors.  I googled on the “D:\…..” error and found a fix from Alaska Admin.  This involves replacement of the security keys in OLE.  What keys?  Launch control. Possibly for COM+ Event!  Backup and replaced the keys from another working server.  Thereafter it literally woke up.

If you do not have a healthy Windows 2008 server to copy the keys from, create a virtual server.  The keys are not tied to the hardware and will work across different servers.

Eventid  AlaskaAdmin ( possibly dead link). Use this


The difference between tracked and wheeled vehicle

I came across this links in Think Defence UK, a British website giving alternate views on defence.

This video shows a demo at IDEX 2005 by a wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicle (AFV) with 105mm gun, most probably a Centauro. It looks like it is tip toeing because I think the add on gun and turret made it top heavy. Look out what happens when it encountered the concrete dragon’s teeth.


The same place but this time by a T-72 Russian MBT.  Watch what happens when it encountered the same concrete dragon’s teeth.

Originally from here It is from a chain of articles on FRES, they seem to really like the Warthog/Bronco.

Ramblings is now 3.2 are you?

The Ramblings is now WordPress 3.2. The new Admin panel checks the version of your browser and gives you a warning. if it is  too old. My FireFox 3.6 gives a yellow warning.

WordPress 3.2 browser warining
WordPress 3.2 browser warining

Internet Explorer 6 users  are suppose get the red banner.  When I tried out using IE 6, all I got is a seriously messed up screen. You really should stop using IE 6. It is horribly slow and riddled with bugs, after all why miss out on tabbed browsing?  If you are using a locked down computer, you can always use Portable FireFox.  🙂

11 Jul 11 Update: The box for IE6 did not up is because of the “Screen Options”.  The “You are using an insecure browser” check box was  not checked.  When checked, the following showed up.

WordPress 3.2 warning for IE6 users.