Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Update 3 Is Out!

Update 3 is provided as Knowledge Base item KB2835600.
Link: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2835600

What’s in this update:
Improvements –
Team Foundation Server

    • Build settings can be preserved when you upgrade a TFS 2012 instance.
    • Improvements are made in the New Build Definition UI for the Continuous Integration (CI) build in Git-based team projects.

Issue Fixes in categories –

Windows 8.1 compatibility issues
Visual Studio 2012 and Visual Studio 2013 Preview roundtrip
Debugger
Visual Studio IDE
Windows Form
C++
LightSwitch
Visual Studio Test
F#
Team Foundation Server
Web Tools
Office Collaboration
Team Explorer
Windows and Connected Application Tools
Portable Library
Profiler
Help Viewer

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Solutions To Two Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 Errors: (1) This version of SQL Server Data Tools is not compatible with the database runtime components installed on this computer. An incompatible DacFx version is installed. – and – (2) WebForms UnobtrusiveValidationMode requires a ScriptResourceMapping for ‘jquery’. Please add a ScriptResourceMapping named jquery(case-sensitive).

I wanted to share the solutions to two frequently encountered errors for ASP.Net developers using the Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 development environment:

Error 1:
This version of SQL Server Data Tools is not compatible with the database runtime components installed on this computer
[followed by]
An incompatible DacFx version is installed

Solution 1:
The only way I was able to resolve this was by upgrading to the latest version of both Sql Server Data Tools (SSDT) and DACFx via the following links (the main MSDN links didn’t fix it for me – same problem persisted):
SSDT: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/data/hh297027
DacFx: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35756

Error 2:
WebForms UnobtrusiveValidationMode requires a ScriptResourceMapping for ‘jquery’. Please add a ScriptResourceMapping named jquery(case-sensitive).

Solution 2:
First, understand that  UnobtrusiveValidationMode means that the scripting logic for the validation controls is utilized from the server versus in-page scripting. This means you must have the server side script paths defined within your Web application.
However, there are two ways to fix this. Either add the server side script paths, or you can simply turn off unobtrusive validation and utilize the all-client-side in-page (obtrusive) validation scripting.
(1) Adding the jquery script path:
Add the following (Visual Basic .Net code) to your application’s Global.asax class/file (if missing, right-click your web project in Solution Explorer and select ADD>NEW ITEM>select WEB>select GLOBAL APPLICATION CLASS to add it) in the Application_Start event handler:
C#:
ScriptManager.ScriptResourceMapping.AddDefinition(“jquery”, new ScriptResourceDefinition
{
     Path = “~/scripts/jquery-1.7.2.min.js”,
     DebugPath = “~/scripts/jquery-1.7.2.min.js”,
     CdnPath = “http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-1.4.1.min.js”,
     CdnDebugPath = “http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-1.4.1.js”
});
VB:
Dim oSRD As New ScriptResourceDefinition
With oSRD
     .Path = “~/scripts/jquery-1.7.2.min.js”
     .DebugPath = “~/scripts/jquery-1.7.2.min.js”
     .CdnPath = “http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-1.4.1.min.js”
     .CdnDebugPath = “http://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-1.4.1.js”
End With
ScriptManager.ScriptResourceMapping.AddDefinition(“jquery”, oSRD)

(2) Disable UnobtrusiveValidationMode –
Add the following to your application’s Web.Config file:
<add key=”ValidationSettings:UnobtrusiveValidationMode” value=”None” />

Happy coding!

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Access & Format EXT2 or EXT3 File System From Windows (XP Vista 7 8) Directly – Free & WITHOUT Using a Boot Disc! (For USB Flash Drive On Asus RT-N56U)

Those of you utilizing Asus‘ fantastic RT-N56U wireless router for a file / media  server via the 2 USB ports and flash drives are aware that you have few options if your flash drives are >32gb and you run Windows 7 as your primary OS on your main PC or laptop.

While the Asus router does recognize the NTFS file system, I’ve found it to be a VERY buggy experience with files frequently becoming corrupt and the media server often failing to index newly added files. Windows 7 GUI does not provide the FAT32 file system as another drive format option, opting instead for the exFAT file format (enhanced / extended FAT file system not subject to the FAT32 32gb limitation). But the exFAT file system is apparently not supported or recognized by the Asus router as of firmware version 3.0.0.4.360.

So what to do? Well, since the kernel of the Asus router OS is a flavor of Unix, it will recognize the EXT2 and EXT3 file systems without a hitch. But Windows does not have built-in support for the file system, and cannot read, write or format the implementation. This is where 2 products come in to save the day!

The first – a free open-source EXT2 / EXT3 Windows driver for reading these file systems like any other NTFS or FAT drive you add to your Windows machine – EXT2FSD ( http://www.ext2fsd.com/ ). With this driver added, and after a reboot, you can plug in an EXT2 or EXT3 formatted flash drive and start reading / writing files straight away. However, the ability to format a flash drive – WITHOUT EXITING WINDOWS AND USING A BOOT DISC – comes from a second product. EaseUS‘s Partition Master software ( http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm ) performs the EXT2/3 formatting right from the Windows application, and the functionality exists in their Freeware version too!

Between these two free tools, you can quickly get your >32gb drives (or smaller too for that matter) formatted to the best file system for your Asus RT-N56U router. Good luck!

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Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SQL Quirk – When Using TOP 1 In Query With Correlated Subquery

I found this quirk in Microsoft SQL Server 2008 T-SQL tonight – thought I’d pass it along to spare you the grief it gave me for nearly 2 hours:

SELECT TOP 1 CAST(ad.id_acct_biztax_detail AS INTEGER) AS id_acct_biztax_detail

      ,ad.dte_due_taxes

      ,ad.dte_received

      ,(SELECT SUM((ad2.amt_due_regular_tax + ad2.amt_due_excess_tax) (ad2.amt_paid_regular_tax + ad2.amt_paid_excess_tax))

                  FROM tb_acct_biztax_detail ad2

                  WHERE ad.id_acct_biztax_detail IN(ad2.id_acct_biztax_detail, ad2.num_return)) AS amt_bal_tax1

FROM tb_acct_biztax_detail ad

WHERE ad.id_acct_biztax_detail = @id_acct_biztax_detail

I was expecting the inner subquery to return 600 (amt_bal_tax1) for ID 1027409, but it was returning 0.
What I found was the TOP 1 limiter on the outer query was also limiting the inner query by default.
To get around it, you can tack on your own arbitrary TOP [n] to the inner correlated subquery:
,(SELEC TOP 50 SUM((ad2.amt_due_regular_tax + ad2.amt_due_excess_tax) (ad2.amt_paid_regular_tax + ad2.amt_paid_excess_tax))

                  FROM tb_acct_biztax_detail ad2

                  WHERE ad.id_acct_biztax_detail IN(ad2.id_acct_biztax_detail, ad2.num_return)) AS amt_bal_tax1

There is probably a better way to approach the issue – maybe a server variable setting or something – but for the moment I’ve burned out on the issue and haven’t the energy to go through MSDN or Google right now.

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Java Update 21 For Version 7 SE Breaks Palo Alto / Cisco Network Systems Net Connect / NetConnect & Global Desktop / GlobalDesktop VPN Products With Unknown Compatibility Issue | UPDATE: Fixed With Java 7 Update 25!

UPDATE 7/6/2013: This issue has been resolved with Java 7 update 25!

The recent Java 7 Update 21 has some form of change that interferes with the functioning of Palo Alto / Cisco Systems NetConnect & GlobalDesktop products.

I had uninstalled all previous versions of Java and also uninstalled NetConnect, which removes the PAN Service and the desktop shortcut. When I updated the Java Virtual Machine to version 7 Update 21 Build 11 ( B11 ), the installer .msi would no longer extract properly (would create the installer msi but with a file size of 0kb) and an error “could not extract installer msi: null” would pop up.

The only way around this was to remove update 21 and go back to the previous public Java 7 release of update 17, which Oracle foolishly removed from their website but is thankfully still available from OldApps.Com:

Java 7 update 17 32-bit (x86 / i586): http://www.oldapps.com/java.php?old_java=11930
Java 7 Update 17 64-bit (x64): http://www.oldapps.com/java.php?old_java=11931

Hopefully either Oracle or Palo Alto will identify what the compatibility issue is and get it resolved soon.

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Visual Source Safe VSS ‘ Show Differences ‘ Function Not Work – Says ” Binary Files Differ “

This “Binary Files Differ” error/message was annoying the heck out of me, but I had been able to fix it by checking out the the offending file, opening it in TEXTPAD and saving it as format PC / ANSI, then checking it back in.

Even this work-around, however, had failed to fix one file this past week so I had to dig further. I’ve finally located an answer / fix:

“Visual source safe doesn’t always recognize text file types properly. when checking-in files using ‘auto‘ type — it treats them as binary.

“So when you compare two .sql files you might see ‘binary files differ‘ — and nothing more. (that’s how vss treats binary files).

The binary file differ
“The solution is to change the file type using the properties context menu for the file in source safe. Change the type to text, you should be able to perform the visual comparison. You can also click on the ‘advanced’ option when checking-in the file, and manually change the selection to ‘text‘ then.

“To avoid in the future – you can add file type settings under the options menu in visual source safe, to set the default behavior for various file types there.”

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Motorola Droid Razr MAXX HD XT926 XT926M – Take / Tear Down Disassembly Repair Screen Camera Battery

ImageThe new Motorola Droid Razr MAXX HD XT926 XT926M is supposed to be nano-coated internally to avoid damage due to light liquid, but it is not very often that the liquid coming into contact with your phone is merely a splash or drizzle. Such was the case with mine. My phone sat in a dual cup-holder adjacent to a (unbeknownst to me) leaking Styrofoam soda cup. By the time I arrived at my destination, the top of my phone was submerged in over an inch of soda.

The phone worked still, although the camera had stopped functioning. By the next day, the phone had run out of battery and would no longer power up. So began my quest to crack it open and see what I could see…

DISASSEMBLING THE XT926M:

Tools:
– micro torx bits T3, T4 and/or T5 (my bits aren’t marked, but I believe these are the right classifications)
– micro screwdriver
– tough plastic prying tools
– [optional] ‘spudger’ too

STEPS:
(1) Removing the LCD Display – Touch Screen – Digitizer – Assembly
– we start by removing the only screws visible on the exterior of the phone – the two torx screws at the very bottom of the housingImage
– with the two screws removed, you can now carefully *SLIDE* (do not lift!)  the LCD-portion of the display *BACK* (towards top of phone) from the lower half of the housing to disengage it, BUT BE AWARE IT WILL STILL BE ATTACHED BY 2 RIBBON CABLES. The LCD assembly frame has slight hook tabs which make it only possible to remove it in this slide-back manner.Image
– carefully unplug the two ribbon cables from the main housing by sliding them FLATLY towards the center of the phone to disengage from the main-board.Image
– DONE! You have removed your LCD assembly! LCDAssy
To remove the front-camera, remove the two torx screws, remove the metal housing, and carefully slide the camera’s ribbon-plug UP from the LCD-board plug.
– to reinstall, just reverse the above directions.

(2) REMOVING THE PHONE MAIN-BOARD (to get to the battery):
– remove all the visible torx screws (10 total) INCLUDING those on the camera assembly (2), the ear-phone plug assembly (2) and the remaining six on the main-board itself.Image
– carefully unplug the small power/volume switches ribbon cable from the right side of the main-board by sliding it towards the right side
– remove the battery power cable from the bottom-left of the main-board by first removing the transparent gold protective sticker, then sliding the ribbon connector down towards the bottom of the phone.
– lastly, and most difficult, carefully dislodge the main-board from the back shell BUT also pry out the speaker from the top-left when you get room OR YOU RISK BREAKING THE SMALL CONNECTOR WIRES! You will hear a small pop as the speaker un-snaps from the housing – then it is OK to continue prying the main-board from the shell.
– Note the small vibration motor is on the back of the board near the speaker.

(3) BATTERY REMOVAL AND FLASH REMOVALImage
– The battery is merely glued to the back housing, but be careful in prying it out because it IS bendable, not rigid. Keep it from bending as much as you can.
– The flash module is removed by taking out the four miniscule torx bits that hold it in. Replace it in the same manner.

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Qualcomm Atheros AR9287 Connecting 150Mbps (versus 300Mbps) To ASUS RT-N56U Wi-Fi Router – SOLUTION!

As long as I was posting solutions to other issues, I figured I may as well post this one too.

My Sony Vaio F-Series (VCPF237FX) laptop with the Qualcomm Atheros AR9287 Wi-Fi card is limited to a max speed of 300Mbps due to the cards internal dual 2.4GHZ only radios. Other cards also support the dual band 2.4/4.8/5GHz Wireless options which would increase the maximum to 450, 600 or even 900Mbps (as my router supports). I understand some cards/routers even go to 1.3Gbps but that info is for another post.

Anyway – my laptop was connecting to the router at only 150Mbps (144.4) when it seemed it ought to be at 300Mbps. I checked the Atheros driver, and it was not current (at 9.2.0.444) so I updated to 10.0.0.221 [download/update yours HERE http://www.atheros.cz/atheros-wireless-download.php?chipset=37&system=5 if it is not current]. Unfortunately, it made no difference at all.

I then checked the router configuration, and saw on the GENERAL WIRELESS settings page that the 2.4Ghz bandwidth setting [20 20/40 40] was at 20/40 MHZ which was apparently limiting the speed to 150Mbps. I changed it to 40 MHZ as that was what the highest bandwidth setting, and now all my capable Wireless clients are connecting at 300Mbps!

Best Wishes!

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All You Need To Know About The Sony Vaio F-Series Laptop – Model VPCF237FX

Image

CRITICAL LINKS:
Sony Support – drivers and pre-installed/new software: http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model-home.pl?mdl=VPCF237FX&template_id=1&region_id=1&tab=download#/downloadTab
Station Drivers – new drivers/firmware not found on Sony site: http://station-drivers.com

UNPUBLISHED INFO:
SATAIII interface (600MB/s)
Blu-ray drive – PIONEER BD-RW  BDR-TD03 MAX R/W: CD-153X DVD-19X BD-6X
Intel(R) 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family
Intel(R) HM65 Express Chipset Family
USB 2.0 connected Ricoh webcam (GET NEW FIRMWARE FROM SONY SITE ABOVE!)
PCI-e Ricoh Card Reader
Atheros AR9287 Wireless Network Adapter 300mb/s 2.4ghz
Realtek Gigabit Ethernet
NEC / RENESAS USB 3.0 Chipset model uPD720200a (GET NEW DRIVER & FIRMWARE FROM STATION_DRIVERS LINK ABOVE! Will still be touchy – repeated insert/removal will eventually get your device connected at proper USB3 speed.)
BROADCOM / FoxConn Bluetooth FOXCONN-T77H114-BCM2070

MARKETING INFORMATION (via Sony support):
Specifications
Processor
Processor Type: Intel® Core™ i7-2670QM
Processor Technology: Quad Core
Processor Speed: 2.20GHz with Intel® Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.10GHz2
Processor Cache: 6MB
Display
Screen Size: 16.4″
Resolution: 1920 x 1080
Display
Technology: Full HD
Backlight Technology: LED
Memory
Installed Memory: 6GB (4GB + 2GB)
Memory Type/Speed: DDR3/1333MHz
Max. Memory: 8GB
Graphics
Graphics Processor: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT540M
Graphics Video RAM: 1GB dedicated
Storage
Storage Type: Serial ATA
Storage Capacity: 640GB4
Storage Technology: 7200rpm
Optical Drive
Optical Drive Type: Blu-ray Disc™ Player /Burner
Optical Drive Support – Blu-ray Disc™ Read / Write
Optical Drive Support – CD/DVD Read / Write
Hardware
Camera: Built-in HD web camera powered by Exmor™ sensor and microphone
Keyboard: QWERTY, 103 keys with 1.7mm stroke and 19.05mm pitch
10-Key Numeric Pad: Yes
Backlit Keyboard: Yes
Audio
Sound System: Intel® High Definition Audio with S-FORCE™ Front Surround 3D and Dolby® Home Theater® Technology v4
Inputs and Outputs
DC-In: 1
USB 3.0: 2
USB 2.0: 1
VGA Output(s): 1
Headphone Output: 1
Microphone Input: 1
Secure Digital (SD) Slot: 1
HDMI® Output(s): 1
Memory Stick Duo™: 1
Wireless/Networking
Bluetooth® Technology: Bluetooth Integrated
Stereo A2DP (2.1 + EDR)
Ethernet Protocol 1000BASE-T/100BASETX/10BASE-T
WiFi Adapter Atheros® 802.11b/g/n
Software
Operating System: Genuine Windows® 7 Home Premium with
Service Pack 1 64-bit
Supplied Software
Microsoft® Office Starter with reduced functionality versions of Word and Excel®6,
VAIO Care™, Media
Gallery™, PMB – VAIO Edition
Anti-Virus Software
Norton Internet Security™ 2012 30-Day Trial Offer11
Sony Creative Software
Vegas® Movie Studio HD Platinum 10.0,
ACID® Music Studio 8.0,
Sound Forge® Audio Studio 10.0
Service and Warranty Information
Toll-Free Phone Support 888-476-69727
Onsite/In-Home Service: Yes
International Service Yes
Limited Warranty Term 1 Year
Priority Phone Support 239-768-76057
Environmental Information
ENERGY STAR® 5.0
EPEAT™ Gold
ROHS® Compliant
Weights and Measurements
Dimensions (Approx.): 15.69″ (W) x 1.31″ – 1.70″ (H) x 10.69″ (D)
Weight (Approx.) 6.85 lbs. (with Standard Battery)
Power
Battery Type: Standard Lithium Ion Battery (5000mAh)
DVD Playback: Up to 2 hours 50 minutes
Default Brightness: Up to 4 hours 30 minutes
Maximum Brightness: Up to 3 hours 30 minutes
General
Action Buttons: VAIO, ASSIST, WEB, Play/Pause, Stop, Next, Previous, Wireless On/Off
Pointing Device: Touchpad (Gesture supported)
Accessories
Supplied Accessories
Standard Lithium Ion Battery (5000mAh), AC Adapter, Power Cord
Colors
Color: Matte Black

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HACKING PROJECT – Upgrade [ HACK ] Time Warner Cable’s CISCO / Scientific Atlanta HD DVR Explorer 8642HDC From Mechanical Hard Drive To Solid State Drive SSD

This week’s hack project is upgrading Time Warner’s HD DVR Explorer 8642HDC sloooow mechanical 5,400rpm hard drive to a solid state drive SSD in an attempt to dramatically improve video transfer speed and overall quality.
Image

Anyone subscribing to Time Warner’s Signature Home ‘FULL HOUSE DVR’ service is likely familiar with this device. It incorporates a Tru 2-Way cable card, has dual tuners and approximately 400GB available DVR space. It is also notorious for it’s degrading quality over time where it starts to drop video and audio during periods of intense drive activity (like when recording a show and playing back another simultaneously). This problem can conceivably be alleviated, if not completely eliminated, by upgrading the devices internal standard home computer mechanical hard drive with the newer and MUCH faster solid state drive SSD.
Image

Fortunately for us, the interface used for the storage device is the SATA2 interface, which gives us up to 300MB/s transfer speed. While not perfect (SATA3 provides up to 600MB/s) it does allow us to utilize 65% of the max throughput (90% of the sustained throughput) of todays fastest SSDs.
Image

The new $172 Samsung 256GB SSD has been ordered from B & H Photo – http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/897031-REG/Samsung_mz_7td250kw_250GB_2_5_inch_SSD_840.html – and should arrive in just a few days. I will post updates as they become available!

UPDATE 2/21/2013:

TRY #1 –
After the SSD arrived, I tried the simplest possibility – just plugging it into the box and rebooting (not a likely method, but hey- gotta try to know for sure!). After hours of the front panel status LED scrolling through H100 to H999 and restarting, it became apparent it was not doing anything.
TRY #2 –
Tried a hardware dock CLONE from the original HD to the SSD using a StarTech SATA dock. No joy – clicking the START button immediately flashed the status bar to 100% and quit. Apparently it can’t recognize or work upon the Unix/Linux encrypted partition.
TRY #3 –
Tried using the PC-based Boot CD ‘Acronis Tru Image’ product. No joy – apparently it ALSO can’t recognize or work upon the Unix/Linux encrypted partition.
TRY #4 –
Tried using the PC-based Boot CD ‘HDClone 4.2 PRO’ product. It was able to recognize Unix/Linux encrypted partition! Since the target SSD was smaller (250gb) than the source TWC HD (500gb), it required a ‘partition-to-drive’ cloning process with the option of copying just the equivalent 0-###,###,### sectors totaling ~250gb, but that was perfect as all that was on the TWC drive was the requisite boot-strap data and UNIX/Linux kernel w/custom Cisco/SA OS – no recorded shows at all. The Clone process along with verification step took about 6 hours.
THE MOMENT OF TRUTH – put the new SSD into the TWC box and powered it up.  No joy – same error and H100 – H999 sequencing as when I put the SSD in uninitialized.

It appears Cisco/Scientific Atlanta really did their homework in locking down the boot to only their ‘signed’ and ‘paired’ boot software & hardware.

Not all of this was wasted time, though. I found out that HDClone is by far the superior drive imaging tool (to Acronis anyway) as it was the only one that saw the TWC HD as drive with a valid partition as opposed to an errant ‘uninitialized’ status/drive Acronis reported. Cloning took 6 hours for ~250gb of sectors – including verify. Additionally, I determined that the eSATA port actually IS active on the 8642HDC box, as it saw the SSD when plugged into it via a dock – even though it didn’t trigger a reformat. (see relevant diagnostics page from pressing power for 5-sec – until led blinks then releasing and clicking power just once).

MY FINAL ATTEMPT

For my last attempt, I am ordering a 500gb 7500rpm Western Digital 64mb cache mechanical drive, so as to do be able to do a 100% clone on the original 500gb drive. This way I am still upgrading the drive to a faster one with larger cache and much better throughput and long-term stability design. I will update again soon…

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