Monthly Archives: October 2011

QPerfmon v1.7 update

I’ve done an update to my QPerfmon utility and converted it to VS2010 using the .Net 4.0 Client framework. Some of the other changes are:

* Line color customizations are now stored in the qpmset definition files

* A direct result of that is that the structure of the qpmset files have changed so version 1.7 files are not compatible with earlier versions of the tool.

* Ability to ‘not’ have an invalid performance counter be disabled. This is useful if you want the tool to continue trying to record values for the perf counter until it becomes available.

* The tool now comes with a proper MSI installer


IT ‘tips’

A few ‘IT’ tips

1. When you are looking into a problem – always check the obvious things first

2. If you cannot solve a problem yourself – read the manual

3. Don’t trust users to explain ‘what’ the problem is. Those are just symptoms

4. Remember, computers ‘can’ make mistakes – very fast ones these days!

5. Out of memory errors usually are not because of memory problems…

6. Never give users more functionality than they need – otherwise you have to maintain that too!

7.  The best debugging tool is a message box (alert in js) – just don’t forget to take them out again!

and some general wishdom…

1. Never assume things will always go well. They generally have a habit not to

2. Never underestimate the power or impact of users doing stupid things

3. You only get 2 kinds of hard drives… those that have failed, and those that soon will. Apparently these days this rule applies to most hardware components…

4. Crysis wasn’t created in one day, but you can play through it in a day

Phone cameras

First off, I’m no super expert on cameras or optics but this is something that bugs me about all these ‘photographers’ that think their phone is a super camera.

These days just about every phone out there – even the cheapies, have some camera built in. The trouble is they are all pretty much useless for doing real photography. The reason is pretty simple – physics (or more specifically – optics).

You can have a super camera sensor but if the lens is not good the output picture will still be crappy. The opposite is you can have an average sensor with a good lens and your pictures should be good. Why? The reason is simple – a good picture requires more photons/light – plain and simple. The tiny lenses on all camera phones make it impossible to generate a really good picture. This is still one area in ‘life’ where bigger ‘is’ better. The bigger surface area you have to capture photons/light the better. Ask astronomers why they keep on building bigger and bigger telescopes despite all the progress in other areas of technology. You need to capture more light to get a better picture – especially if you want to zoom in and crop. Of course, the bigger the lens the more difficult it is to make it.

I still have an old Canon S3-IS which is ‘only’ a 6 megapixel camera but its pictures are still better than any of my modern camera phone pictures (which has something like 8MP sensor). As explained above the sensor size has little to do with the picture quality (within reason). The only real advantage of a phone camera is that I’m more likely to have tit close by most of the time – oppose to my bigger cameras.

The same basically applies to things like tablets – like the iPad and so on. Basically any device that has a ‘little’ peephole camera will have the same issue.

All I can do when I see one of these ‘modern day’ photographers is to smile…

Another QuickMon update

Just a quick note to mention that I’ll be adding an Event Log collector soon to QuickMon. Although you can use EventScavenger combined with the SQL Query collector it might be a bit of an overkill for some people that just want to quickly add an alert based on some Event Log entries.

The focus for this collector in simplicity and it is not optimized to scan millions of Event Log entries each time it polls.

Rule of odds

Well, this is not strictly a rule per se but it does feel like one. After reading one of the comments on a Tomshardware article I think this deserve some mentioning 🙂

If you judge the Windows releases throughout the years (well averages..) you get this:

win 95: bad
win 98: good (yes actually SE)
win me: bad
win xp:good
win vista: bad
win 7: good
win 8: i think you can guess it now…

Apparently this concept works for Star Trek movies as well 😉 And I was hoping for a ‘good’ next Star Trek movie…

The day the world lost Jobs

Today is a sad day for the IT industry (but the whole world as well). One of the great names of the industry has passed away – Steve Jobs. Whether you like or dislike his company or products you have to admit that he had a big influence – mostly positive, even if you are supporting one of his rivals!

This morning I got up an hour too early… thanks to the new Microsoft Windows Phone Mango update that for some reason changed my regional settings to ‘Damascus’ duh! They (the Damascusians) must be on daylight savings time or something since their time is one hour ahead of us (here in good old SA). I got up doing all my usual routine stuff – throwing the dogs out the backdoor hehe no actually just setting up their food and beds outside – I noticed I could still see the stars, which is weird as lately it is getting light the time when I got up, but I didn’t ‘register’ it in my head just yet. Only a few minutes later the wife asks me why the radio clock still says it is 4:50! oops! So there I was an hour too early to go to work. Played a bit more with my Mango when I came across the Twitter entries from people about mr Jobs….

So, thanks (semi sarcastically) to Microsoft to wake me up early this morning just to realize the world has lost ‘Jobs’…

Formatting C# code for blogging

I came across a nice example of a tool that can help with formatting of C# source code that you want to publish (on say Word Press that does not support it). The tool’s source code can be extracted from CodeProject (Fast Colored TextBox for syntax highlighting). Incidentally it can also format VB, HTML, SQL and PHP (pitty about JavaScript 😉 )

The big wheel of progress

Lots of things follow the big turning wheel of success/failure through time. Sometimes you go up and other times down. Take share prices and/or market share in the IT industry. There was a time (some many moons ago) that Microsoft was soaring high among the clouds but lately it has been skimming the ground and loosing altitude with every flap of their (cripple) wings.

As if being passed by Apple in many market segments aren’t bad enough it now seems another old ally/opponent is passing it by in its way up – The big Blue company – IBM. Reading a post on Ars technica showing a few graphs about share prices over the last decade (or two) it is clear Microsoft is on the downward side of the big wheel of business.
Looking at the graph (below) some interesting events can be seen (like launch of Windows 95/Vista/7). However, the general direction of the ‘Microsoft’ graph is not an ‘upward’ one – oppose to Apple/IBM. It remains to be seen if Microsoft as a company can change this with new products like Windows 8/Phone/Tablet stuff. The perceived position of the company isn’t that of great strength – looking at the management as seen from outside. That doesn’t mean that Microsoft is totally doomed but the shareholders should be starting to worry (if they aren’t already hehe). A lot will ride on Windows 8 as a product and as a new direction for the once monolithic desktop OS company. There is always a chance that history can repeat itself and Microsoft can fight from humble/small beginnings to cover the majority of (a/the) market. Trouble is just that they have more than one powerful adversary this time (not just IBM). This time there are Apple and Google as well. Things certainly are not as simple as in the 80’s…Borrowed from Ars Technica… shamelessly.



EventScavenger updates

I’ve added new Installers for the 2 Windows services in EventScavenger – one for x86 and one for x64. These were just added to the latest recommended download on the site. This include the ‘self-installing’ functionality where you can register the services with Service manager using the “-install” or “-uninstall” parameters.