Category: Windows

WebDAV, Windows 7 and Self-Signed Certificates Howto

WebDAV is a nice protocol. Unfortunately, the Windows implementations of it are amongst the crappiest pieces of software ever written. I thought it was better on Windows 7, but it still sucks. Here’s how you can make it work at least for read access with HTTPS and self-signed certficates.

Always up SSH SOCKS Proxy on Windows

For additional security, I use SSH tunneling to one of my servers and dynamic port forwarding for some of my applications. This post explains how to use Putty to have a tunnel/SOCKS proxy that is created automatically on startup, and reconnects when disconnected, without any annoying windows open.

Disable Annoying “Disk not formatted” Dialog on Vista/Windows 7

Other than disabling autorun completely, there is no official way to stop the “You need to format the disk in drive X before you can use it” dialog from popping up every time you connect a drive with unknown (ie. non-FAT/NTFS) partitions, or when you accidentally click on it. Because my external drives are fully encrypted, this message appears every time I connect them, and if you mistakenly press the wrong button you have to be fast to stop it… I’ve been using a self written [url=http://www.autohotkey.com/]AutoHotkey[/url] script to immediately close the dialog as soon as it appears for a...

How to Extract Drivers/Files from Installers

I’ve posted the Microsoft Lifecam standalone drivers a while ago and got a lot of questions regarding how I extracted them from the original setup. I’ll explain it based on the latest 64bit installer for that webcam [LifeCam 3.0 downloaded here], but I’ll also try to keep this short guide as general as possible. The same method works for all kinds of installers. I very often use it in cases where the driver installation is linked to some ugly software installation.

On Extracting Drivers from Installers

Nick Berardi asked how I extracted the [url=http://moblog.wiredwings.com/archives/20090303/Microsoft-LifeCam-Webcam-Drivers-Only.html]LifeCam drivers[/url] from the Microsoft installer. Actually, it’s not that hard. The following guide work for most installers, not only for drivers. Many installers already contain all files necessary. WinRAR can open a lot of SFX installers and archive types (such as MS .CAB). This comes handy if you want to change files inside.

Tipping, or: Micropayment

Turns out I was [url=http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/08/micro-blogging-meets-micro-payments-courtesy-of-tipjoys-api/]about a year late[/url] with my idea about a tipping/micropayment service, where you can give away small amounts (as small as 1 cent) to any URI you like as easy as clicking a button, without going to a tedious process and the requirement of the receiver to sign up first. I even thought about trying to get Y Combinator to seed fund me. [quote](…) The company, which was originally seed-funded by Y Combinator and went on to raise $1 million in Series A financing in September 2008 (…)[/quote] At least it shows that my ideas aren’t...

Microsoft LifeCam Webcam – Drivers Only

I own a Microsoft LifeCam VX-1000 webcam, which is nothing special, but absolutely okay for its price. The only thing that bothered me is that the driver is not available as a standalone download: You need to download a 50MB installer, which then downloads another 150MB: DirectX, the .NET framework and other components required for the (useless) software. Without network connection, you cannot install the driver. Also, (of course) you’re forced to install the software, too. So, I extracted the driver files from the setup. The ZIP file includes drivers for the NX-6000, the VX-1000, VX-3000 and VX-6000. They’re working...

Windows 7: Development by Triads

Senor programmer Larry Osterman, on the Windows development team since the mid 1980’s, writes about the reorganization of their development process. They now work in so-called “triads”: Persons from three divisions (management, development and testing) work together on a new feature in small autonomous groups (“feature crews”), instead of a more hierarchical development structure with management from above controlling each step in the development chain.

Windows 7: The “All New” Toolbar?

On the Windows 7 development blog, you can find an introduction to the new Windows 7 toolbar. Judge for yourself.

Package Manager for Windows

If you’ve ever used Linux, you probably stumbled over the great concept of package management. When Microsoft revised MSI (now called [url=http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa372866.aspx]Windows Installer[/url]), they failed to include the simple mechanism for applications to register at a central update management. The crucial point is that while Linux repositories mostly contain GPL software that can be easily packaged by third parties, a Windows package manager needs support from each individual developer – which is not going to happen any time soon without Microsoft stepping in. I am certain that the Windows world is ready for a “Web 2.0 solution”. In times where...