Archive for September, 2007

Apple’s new campus in Cupertino is taking shape

September 11, 2007 12:37 pm

Here are some pictures of the activities around Apple’s new campus in Cupertino. It doesn’t seem like they’ve started on the “main campus” yet.

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Repainting an old HP/Compaq/Tandem building. From white to gunmetal gray.

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More of the old building. Very brown.

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Signs are up already.

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Big dump trucks on the street.

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An old Tandem building.

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Another old Tandem/Compaq/HP building.

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And another.

Windows Live Writer Beta 3 startup problems solved

12:21 pm

I like Windows Live Writer. Except for one thing: I couldn’t get it to start up on my machine at work. Beta 1 worked, but Beta 2 and Beta 3 just wouldn’t. I’d always get a UriException (not sure of the precise name anymore) thrown at some point after the splash screen.

During Beta 2, I dutifully sent the crash reports to Microsoft, and even contacted their support email address once, hoping the problem would be addressed with Beta 3.

It wasn’t. Live Writer Beta 3 still crashed on me after the splash screen.

So I started digging into why it crashed. Luckily it’s a .NET app, so Reflector came in handy. So did Deblector. I finally tracked it down to a registry key that contained a setting for a blog at work, where the HomePageUrl was a path of the form /some/path. I deleted the entire tree for that blog, and now Live Writer finally starts up properly.

The key I deleted was a subkey under this:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Live\Writer\Weblogs

I think Microsoft needs to fix this before shipping the final version.

Crossloop, a free remote assistance program that works!

September 1, 2007 7:59 pm

[Update 2010-01-24:
It looks like Crossloop has gone more commercial and now makes it harder to find the free version of the program. Crossloop’s business model now revolves around enabling skilled people help others with computer trouble and to help those two groups of people find each other. Their main product is now no longer free, but an ad-supported version is still available for free on their site.

This post on my blog has been the single most visited post for an amazingly long time and has sent many, many people to crossloop. I make no money off of this post, and I’m not in any way affiliated with Crossloop, their business model or any other aspect of their operation.
End update]

I spent about three hours with my mom today. I helped her pick out photos from a trip we’d taken together this summer for a little presentation she’s going to give to her local community, printed out some information from the web and helped her burn the photos onto a CD. Not an unusual thing for a son to do for his computer-challenged mother, right?

Except my mom lives about 5400 miles away. How did it happen?

Crossloop. A free remote assistance program that even my mom can figure out. I helped her download it, and it worked beautifully. I ran Picasa, MSN Messenger, Internet Explorer, Email and even the installation of the .NET Framework 3.0 for her.

If you’ve been disappointed with the built-in remote assistance programs in Windows XP or Windows Vista, give Crossloop a try. It works very well, almost no matter what kind of firewalls and proxies are between the two computers that are trying to connect.

Highly recommended.