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Posts Tagged ‘Fail’

fix: Microsoft mouse right-click failure

The other day my Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 (was either a gift from Microsoft Hellas or had ordered it myself from Microsoft Company Store with the credit Microsoft used to give pro-crisis to MVPs) started behaving erratically, failing most of the times to right-click and sometimes doing left clicks instead with some delay, or doing other actions like Paste etc.

It seems the issue was with Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard center software that Windows Update installs. Uninstalling it (from the Windows Control Panel) fixed the issue immediately.

That software is a total failure since it doesn’t support correctly various Microsoft hardware device older models. It shouldn’t install at all in the first place if it finds an incompatible device or try to behave better. It’s a shame that software is from Microsoft itself.

Even worse it that at their webpage they say:

Tell us what you think!

We are interested in your experiences with Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center and your Microsoft device!

  • Send your comments and questions by clicking on the Send Feedback icon on the Windows 8 desktop, select Apps then Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center from the options listed.

Not very helpful for those wanting to send feedback from Windows 7, is it?

fix: can’t send SMTP e-mail via OTEnet.gr when using other network

screenshot

If you have an e-mail account @otenet.gr you may find out that when connecting your laptop to another network (say you’re travelling) you can’t send SMTP e-mails.

To fix this make sure you set your STMP server settings to use SSL encryption and provide the port number 465 for connection.

If you use Outlook (Express) you can find this option at Tools/(Internet) accounts menu. Then select the OTEnet account you use and edit its settings. At the properties dialog, go to the Advanced tab and edit the SMTP settings as shown above.

You may also need to select at Servers tab that the outgoing e-mail connection needs authentication.

Another thing to keep in mind is that for incoming e-mail OTEnet uses a POP3 service at mail.otenet.gr, whereas for outgoing e-mail it uses an SMTP service at mailgate.otenet.gr (a different DNS name).

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Eco-unfriendly Philips shipping empty software CD with just a URL in it

I just got an (overpriced) Philips PTA01 USB adapter the other day to make my Philips Smart TV also work wirelessly (apart from via Ethernet cable) and it came with the Philips MediaConnect software on a CD, or at least I thought so till I placed the CD in my computer.

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I then found out the CD just contains an icon, a URL shortcut and the autorun.inf file that tells Windows to launch that URL shortcut and open a webpage where you can download the MediaConnect software. The activation key is on a label at the front of the CD paper sleeve.

They haven’t heard of auto-updating software it seems, neither about eco-friendly practices and sustainability. Philips sure gets a prize for the worst practice there. They could have just placed a sticker with a short URL and a QR code for downloading the software, together with the activation key at the instructions leaflet instead.

Gotcha: Image component not loading remote URLs during debugging

At ClipFlair’s Image component I use the following XAML to make it show an image from a URL that its ViewModel holds at a property named “Source”, of type Uri (URI = Uniform or Universal Resource Identifier in W3C parlance, something like a superset of the old classic URLs).

<Image Name="imgContent"
       HorizontalAlignment="Stretch" VerticalAlignment="Stretch"
       Source="{Binding Source, Mode=OneWay}"
       Stretch="{Binding Stretch, Mode=OneWay}"
       >

I’ve had issues in the past with that component not loading an image, a tricky issue was when I had used Mode=TwoWay when data-binding to Source property – that was disastrous, since the Source property expects an ImageSource and just “plays it clever” internally, also accepting a conversion from a Uri. So when doing reverse binding too, you’d end up getting a null value at respective the ViewModel property.

So when it recently started not showing the test image (from a remote URL) that I had been using, I started wondering if it was some regression of that older bug, but couldn’t find some change in the respective code, plus in the Visual Studio XAML designer the component would load and display the remote image fine.

It turned out to be an issue with Silverlight’s security policy regarding cross-site access. The Image control is supposed to be able to load images from any remote URL (without the remote web server needing to have a ClientAccessPolicy.xml file for example to allow it, as is the case with the WebClient class), however I had recently found out that if at your Silverlight project you have selected at the “Debug”  tab the “Dynamically generate a test page” option, the Image control wouldn’t load remote images.

What I didn’t know was that even the “Out-of-browser application option there won’t let the Image control load remote images if you don’t select the web project that goes with your Silverlight project (supposing you have them in the same Visual Studio solution), but you happen to select your Silverlight project instead from the dropdown list.

I had changed that option without thinking it might cause an issue while doing other changes in the project. That’s why one should try to do a minimal set of related changes only and test again thoroughly each time (if only they had the time available to do it), so that they can spot such issues early and be able to relate newly introduced bugs to the recent small set of changes, helping to track down the exact change that caused the unwanted behaviour.

image

How to crash Visual Studio 2010 via (Silverlight) XAML recursion bug

Following up on a note about Visual Studio 2010 crashing at my previous post, this is the XAML that crashes VS2010 when opened up in a Silverlight project:

<UserControl x:Class="SilverlightApplication1.MainPage"
  xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml/presentation&quot;
  xmlns:x="http://schemas.microsoft.com/winfx/2006/xaml&quot;
  xmlns:d="http://schemas.microsoft.com/expression/blend/2008&quot;
  xmlns:mc="http://schemas.openxmlformats.org/markup-compatibility/2006&quot;
  mc:Ignorable="d"
  d:DesignHeight="300" d:DesignWidth="400">

  <UserControl.Resources>
    <ResourceDictionary>
       <Style x:Key="MyStyle" TargetType="StackPanel">
         <Setter Property="Margin" Value="0,5,0,5" />
       </Style>
    </ResourceDictionary>
  </UserControl.Resources>

  <Grid x:Name="LayoutRoot" Background="White">

    <Grid.Resources>
      <Style TargetType="StackPanel">
         <Setter Property="Style" Value="{StaticResource MyStyle}" /> <!– THIS LINE CRASHES VISUAL STUDIO (EVEN WHEN YOU TRY TO TYPE IT IN) –>
      </Style>
     </Grid.Resources>

   <StackPanel/>

  </Grid>

</UserControl>

This crashes VS2010 upon loading, because it tries to show the XAML page in the designer. I created that XAML in Notepad++ since when I was trying to type the problematic line (marked in the XAML above) it crashed VS2010 immediately before I managed to save.

BTW, you should use the XAML syntax I suggested at my previous post that uses Style inheritance instead (although it would be nice if you could do for any node <X CloneSource=…/> for any XAML node to copy its attributes and values from a same-typed node instance in some resource etc. instead of relying on the node supporting some mechanism like Style does with BasedOn [that is Style Inheritance]).

<Grid.Resources>
   <Style TargetType="StackPanel" BasedOn="{StaticResource MyStyle}" />
</Grid.Resources>

 

Speaking of crashes, VS2010 should be more clever and if it sees a certain file caused a crash (assuming it has info on file being loaded upon or just before crash), the next time of opening the solution it should warn the user against opening that file (to avoid a new crash that stops one from loading the solution).

 

Note that I tried to open up the XAML file standalone in Visual Studio and it says:

Style object is not allowed to affect the Style property of the object to which it applies.
   at System.Windows.Setter.Seal()
   at System.Windows.SetterBaseCollection.Seal()
   at System.Windows.Style.Seal()
   at System.Windows.StyleHelper.UpdateStyleCache(FrameworkElement fe, FrameworkContentElement fce, Style oldStyle, Style newStyle, Style& styleCache)
   at System.Windows.FrameworkElement.OnStyleChanged(DependencyObject d, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.DependencyObject.OnPropertyChanged(DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.FrameworkElement.OnPropertyChanged(DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
   at System.Windows.DependencyObject.NotifyPropertyChange(DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs args)
   at System.Windows.DependencyObject.UpdateEffectiveValue(EntryIndex entryIndex, DependencyProperty dp, PropertyMetadata metadata, EffectiveValueEntry oldEntry, EffectiveValueEntry& newEntry, Boolean coerceWithDeferredReference, Boolean coerceWithCurrentValue, OperationType operationType)
   at System.Windows.DependencyObject.InvalidateProperty(DependencyProperty dp)
   at System.Windows.FrameworkElement.UpdateStyleProperty()
   at System.Windows.TreeWalkHelper.InvalidateOnTreeChange(FrameworkElement fe, FrameworkContentElement fce, DependencyObject parent, Boolean isAddOperation)
   at System.Windows.FrameworkElement.ChangeLogicalParent(DependencyObject newParent)
   at System.Windows.FrameworkElement.AddLogicalChild(Object child)
   at System.Windows.Controls.UIElementCollection.AddInternal(UIElement element)
   at System.Windows.Controls.UIElementCollection.Add(UIElement element)
   at System.Windows.Controls.UIElementCollection.System.Collections.IList.Add(Object value)
   at Microsoft.Expression.DesignModel.InstanceBuilders.ClrObjectInstanceBuilder.InstantiateChildren(IInstanceBuilderContext context, ViewNode viewNode, DocumentCompositeNode compositeNode, Boolean isNewInstance)

Probably it loads it into an implicit WPF project. So is this some issue with Silverlight 5 XAML loading only? And if so isn’t this a potential exploit against Silverlight apps/plugin (if they allow XAML to be passed to them that is)?

It would be interesting to fix the test solution manually to not try to load the XAML file at startup, then build it and run it to see if it crashes the Silverlight plugin, the web browser, or whatever other side-effects it causes that might be exploitable.

This issue has been submitted to Microsoft at https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/753211/xaml-editor-window-fails-with-catastrophic-failure-when-a-style-tries-to-set-style-property. I have attached a test Silverlight project there (should be available for download soon [takes a while] from issue details)

Google: Χαμένοι στη μετάφραση

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Τραγική η αυτόματη μετάφραση στα Ελληνικά πολλές φορές. Το Google Toolbar στην παραπάνω εικόνα έχει μεταφράσει το AD (Active Directory) σε μ.Χ. (Μετά Χριστόν) για τα χρήσιμα (για πληροφορικάριους μόνο φυσικά) εργαλεία AD Explorer και AD Insight της SysInternals (που είναι εδώ και κάμποσο καιρό πλέον μέρος της Microsoft).

Kotsovolos: Case of a failed e-mail campaign

KotsovolosFail

I recently received a promotional e-mail from an e-shop I mainly use to buy home appliances in Greece that was really funny: at the top offer there was a TV, but although the e-mail had been just sent (judging from its date/time stamp) the image already had a mark “exhausted” (out of stock) on it.

Obviously it was pulling the e-mail images from the e-shop’s web server, but it’s impossible to  believe that so many clients had rushed already to buy that TV. Most probably they had too few items stocked on it, but then you don’t make that the top offer at your e-mail campaign.

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