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February 2007 (6)

My Vista Issues - #2 - Mobile Device Support (Response from Microsoft)

Well not the best outcome - so I wonder how many people are going to have this issue?

I found this little page on Microsoft's site

I highlighted the interesting section!

Keep it longer but for what reason when I need to throw it away since it won't play with Vista!


My Vista Issues - #2 - Mobile Device Support

So I now have my fully activated Windows Vista Ultimate and I have my old Compaq IPAQ 3870 Pocket PC running Pocket PC 2002 Operating System.

I download Active Sync 4.2 from and proceed to install it.

When I first run it I get this dialog.

Ok, so Active Sync doesn't work but they have a nice message about connecting my device and then going to Windows Update to get the new product called Windows Mobile Device Centre. I do what I am told to do and connect my device and then go to Windows Update but I am told that there is nothing to update.

No software called Windows Mobile Device Centre for me to install?

I then decide to click the Check for solutions online button which takes me to the Windows Mobile Device Centre web site.

I see this as my introduction to the Windows Mobile Device Centre - Beta 3 for Vista RC1

Where is the full version?, well it has not been released yet!

I then scroll down the page and it all sounds rather good until I reach the Supported Devices section


There is no mention of my Pocket PC 2002 OS... Well I suppose they forgot to include it in the web site.

I click to download and notice that the package it is going to install Beta 3 for RC1 is dated 4 months ago!

4 Months ago - That is a long time especially since Vista was released to Businesses in Late November and to everyone a few days ago. But what can I do it is the latest version that is available on their site.

Opps! Well I guess they did not actually forget to include Pocket PC 2002 - they don't support it.

So I now have my trusty old Compaq IPAQ 3870 - I suppose I can use it as a Paper Weight!

Why do Microsoft do this?, there is nothing wrong with my device. How many more people are going to go through this stupid process to find out that their device is not going to be supported.

I do not want to buy a new device the old one works fine to sync my appointments and notes.

Please add support back for Pocket PC 2002 in your new tool. How many 1000's of these devices are out there today?

I suppose I could just go back to XP where my device is fully supported!

Do you use a download manager for IE?

Well I now use a great tool called Free Download Manager (FDM) infacxt I have been using it for about 2 years.

This is a full-featured download accelerator and manager. It is absolutely free! Using this software product you can easily download a list of files and whole web sites from any remote server via HTTP, HTTPS and FTP. With FDM the downloading process will be as easy as never before!

FDM is an indispensable tool for download acceleration. It splits files into several sections and then downloads them simultaneously allowing you to increase your download speed up to 600%.

FDM is available in 30 languages so there is bound to be a language for you.

See to download this great tool.

Weather. We all are interested right?

Well I have always had a small interest and since my colleague at work purchased his own weather station for home I have been keen to explore this area a bit more.

His weather site is available at

He has purchased a weather station called a Davis Vantage Pro2 Wireless unit which is supposed to be a very good product and very accurate.

The product generates a file about every 10 second called ClientRaw.txt and another called ClientRawExtra.txt

These files are space delimited and overall have no known schema but I found a site that explained most of the fields - see

With the information gleamed from their site I created an XSD schema and then wrote a simple web service to expose a subset of this data.

I also wrote a simple aspx page to return just a subset of the fields as XML, you can then apply an XSL transformation to render something of interest.

For more details on how to use these pages see

An example of using this XML data can be seen in the above live image.

Another tool I created is a MesoMap coordinate generator for Google Maps and Microsoft Live Maps. It will allow you to move around the world, zoom in & out and display the coodinates for the MesoMap tool - see

For more details see:

My Vista Issues - #1 - Product Activiation

I have a problem with Microsoft Vista Ultimate. I have been running the RTM version for a couple of months now.

I am going to create a set of blog entries for everything that is causing me a headacke or just simply something I do not like.

#1 - Product Activiation

Normally product activation is a simple process, and since I have a MSDN Team System subscription I am allowed to install 10 copies of Microsoft Vista and most products on different computers for test and development.

I installed Vista Ultimate on an old computer that I have, I installed it in its new mode where you do not give it a key during setup and you can install basically any version for 30 days. So I installed Ultimate and did nothing for the 30 days. On the 30th day where it told me it was going to stop working if I did not activate it.

I then decided I better activate it so I logged on to MSDN Subscriber Downloads and got my activiation key.

I entered the key and set to activate over the Internet and got an error saying that my key had already been used. I thought this odd since I can have 10 activations and I only previously had used one. I tried again and got the same error.

I then telephoned the Microsoft product activation people ( 5:30 am in New Zealand ) and got a nice friendly Indian lady... she said that I needed to read the 90 digit key to her and then she would give me the activation key. OK I thought not too bad, so I gave here the 90 digits and she tried to activate it only to get an error that she could not activate it.

She left to discuss this issue with her manager and came back to me and said I would have to re-install the Operating System and then activate it again. You can guess I said no way - I had it installed for 30 days and had installed a number of apps including Visual Studio 2005 + Office 2007.

She was adamint that I must reinstall and I continued to say no way. I thought I would try to activate it over the Internet again and guess what - it worked!

So is this an issue for MSDN subscribers or maybe all people who will activate their OS? Who knows if you will have a problem or not!

Microsoft releases a new download center for IIS (everything in one place)

DownloadCENTER for has been released! 

The DownloadCENTER at, is a community hotspot for discovering, sharing, reviewing and promoting IIS-related solutions in a single place.  Dozens of existing downloads, for all versions of IIS – both from Microsoft and the community – are already available in DownloadCENTER today. 

This new feature of is particularly relevant with the release of IIS7 in Windows Vista.  The latest release of Microsoft’s Web server has a completely modular architecture which features over forty pluggable components that can be easily added, removed or even replaced with custom implementations. 

This powerful extensibility support is available to both .NET and C/C++ developers.  In the future, DownloadCENTER is expected to house a large number of IIS7 extensions submitted by not only the IIS team but the developers and partner ISVs of the IIS community as well.

To learn more about the DownloadCenter, read IIS Product Unit Manager, Bill Staples’ blog post about it or check it out yourself today!