Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reparing Windows 2003 Installation, No Repair Prompt


You followed the Microsoft KB article and tried to get the "repair" option, but you do not seem to see it.


In my case, I had a USB drive connected to the server, which came up as the "C:" drive. It appears that the drive letter must match the original installation. You may also want to try restarting the CD after removing any attached storage outside of the C: drive.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

AT&T Tilt, 8525, iPhone and 3G

My contract was up on AT&T, so that means I could upgrade my 8525 to something newer. I really thought hard about getting the iPhone 3G, but soon I have started to read about its poor 3G performance.

Incidentally, the 8525 had basically the identical problems as the iPhone users are complaining about. I have written about this before on this blog. But to summarize;

  • Often the phone does not ring at all. I get the voicemail notification though so I know someone called just a minute ago.
  • Anytime there was a 3G to GSM switch, it dropped a call and won't connect until I either reboot or bring the phone off-line and back online.
  • Even in a very strong signal area (by the freeway in Redwood City), 3G did not connect up at all.
I thought that this was due to the poor implementation of 3G network by AT&T. But my co-worker who has a Samsung 3G phone in the same office worked all along. So there was a bit of doubt about that.

Also I've read about some problems with iPhone that I would be missing. I email a lot from the phone, and I do need a keyboard for that. I also cut and paste a lot while composing a message. For example, copying a page or URL out of a web browser (for which I use Opera Mobile with its much better JavaScript support.)

Then voice dialing. This I cannot go. It is a safety issue for myself and drivers and people around me.

So, it was really really hard to miss this opportunity to not to get the iPhone 3G. I am an avid Apple fan, but I really cannot buy into a phone that does not work as a phone like 8525 I had, but I did like a lot about 8525 and I decided to place my bet on the new AT&T Tilt.

Turns out that this is the best cell phone I've ever had.
  • Now the calls never drops all the way from my home in Half Moon Bay area to Redwood City! I thought that dropping of the call was due to the ruralness of our area, but I was wrong. It was the phone.
  • It now rings in my office and also at home without restarting.
  • The GPS works with Google Maps
  • I can tether it with my Macbook Pro and get on the Internet. No more hotel and Starbucks WiFi fees!
  • The SIM card can be swapped without replacing the battery. This can be useful if I go out of country a lot and use the rental SIMs.
So here is some knit picking stuff:
  • I wish that the display tilt up all the way vertically. If it does I can leave the phone on my dash and see the Google Maps easily while driving.
  • I miss the function buttons that were on top. Now they moved all the buttons and clustered them really close together at the bottom of the phone. I often hit a wrong button to end the call etc.
  • So far I could not activate the Voice Command with Jawbone
Definitely not as cool looking as the iPhone, but it is extremely practical and for business and communications use, this is so far the best phone I've used. And for music, I carry a separate iPod Nano. The battery lasts much longer that way.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mac Parallels Disk Image Bloat, Error Compressing

I occasionally use Pararelles on my Mac. For example, to update my Windows Mobile Phone etc., that can only done on Windows. I have found out though that the disk image gets significantly bigger over time. There is an option to squeeze the disk, but that option did not run when I tried. I looked around on the net for the answer. I am jotting this down here so that I won't forget.

Snipped from this source:

Open Parallels and start windows 
2. go to the Actions menu and click on Create Snapshot
3. In the snapshot window just click the OK Button

4. Shut down windows using the shutdown feature in windows
5. Turn off Parallels 

6. Go to Applications/Parallels and open Parallels Image Tool 
7. Click Continue on the Introduction Page 
8. Click Choose on the source image page. 
9. Select your HDD 
10. Click Continue

11. Select Manage disk Properties in the action screen, Click continue 
12. In the Operations screen put a checkmark in the Merge snapshots item only. And click the Start button. 
13. A warning Message will drop down, Click Yes 
14. The Image tool will start to process your HDD this can take a long time be patient 
15. When The process completes click finish 

Next boot the VM:
It is normal for this to take a little longer than usual.

Finally Run Disc Compressor:

18. Go to Actions on the toolbar and select Run Parallels Copressor...... 
19. A dropdown menu will appear with a message on it click ok 
20. A countdown will begin, allow it to start automatically 
21. The Compressor will start the first set of operations this can take some time. 
22. After the first operations have completed Click on the restart button 
23. After the restart the next set of operations will start again this will take some time to complete. When the compression is completed the compacting of the disk will begin automatically. This can take hours to complete. Do not interrupt it, suspend your Mac or put it into sleep mode during this process. 
24. When Compacting is completed click on the OK button. 
25. Click Finish on the Compressor Window. 

Clean Up
26. Go to the Macintosh HD/Users/”your user name”/documents/parallels/”your virtual machine”/ and delete the Snapshots folder and the Snapshots.xml