Windows 7 Network Time(NTP) fails to restart on boot

If your scratching your head as to why you have to manually start NTP(Network Time Protocol) every time you boot into Windows XP, Vista, and 7, you’re not alone.  At first I thought this was a bug in Windows 7, but I’m guessing the developers were just being lazy and reused old ‘W32Time’ libs from XP because my friend has the problem on his XP box as well.  To further confuse the situation, Microsoft also call’s their implementation of NTP, ‘Windows Time’ and ‘Internet Time’.  Whats wrong with NTP?


Written by mattb in: Windows | Tags: , , , ,

Microsoft competes against Android(the only way it can) – Patents

I was reading CNN.com today and came across a priceless article about Microsoft.  Ahead of their up coming Windows 7 mobile is a new slew of patent lawsuits against Googles Android platform.  Below is an excerpt, you can find the whole article here:


The nine patents that Motorola (MOTFortune 500) allegedly violated involve essential smartphone functions, including “synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts; scheduling meetings; and notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power,” Microsoft said.

This is all happening right before the Windows 7 mobile release.  Strange…  This to me is a move to spread FUD(Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) about Android.  My guess is that Motorola will settle the claim through a cross licening deal and/or release of Windows 7 on their phones.

If you can’t compete, sue!  Good Job Steve Balmer!  Way to give up ground in almost every new arena Microsoft steps into!  Way to build investor confidence by patent trolling better products.  There are still many more customers and software developers Microsoft has yet to alienate…

Steve, if your reading my blog I just want to say… I’m being sarcastic.  Try making products that are good. Software that people want to use because it works well.  Do you realize how absurd it is to have a virtual Monopoly in the Windows desktop market and still be unable to release a decent mobile phone platform?  There are so many verticals from the desktop to the mobile…

The notion that you are going to sue a competitor for a patent on the “notifying applications of changes in signal strength and battery power” is ridiculous.  I mean common guys; seriously?  I think electronic devices have been alerting applications to battery strength for a very long time.  Like laptops for instance.  Like UPS power supplies.  Hell, didn’t Apollo 13 space vehicle(moon mission disaster) have some kind of battery alert system?

What your telling us is that your company can’t make money on it’s own merits.  Microsoft has so much money and talent…  I can understand the need to file baseless patents for the purpose of protecting themselves in the future, but to sue them now is sign of weakness.  Goldman Sachs just downgraded their stock for perceived failures in the mobile space.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t they wait to see what Windows Phone 7 looks like and how it sells before a downgrade?  Or is it that even Wall Street is tech savy enough to count on a mediocre product from Balmer and the gang.  If you’re an investor or customer of Microsoft consider this, can you trust a company whose business model amounts to protecting a monopoly and suing innovators?  Is that sustainable?

I have some idea’s for Microsoft Phone 8 that might turn all this around. Spend some R&D money!  First I’d like 3D screens like the new Nintendo handheld. Also I want to be able to tether freely.  Port Xbox games to Windows phone 7.  If developers don’t want to port a popular game, then pay them to do so.  Let me use my Window phone 7 as HUD for Xbox Live.  My phone should talk to me; read me websites while I travel, remind of stuff, and give me GPS directions free.  I should be able to record word documents with speech to text from my Windows Phone 8 device.  I should also be ale to send email in the same manner.  Battery life must be great!  Nice fantasy for Microsoft, huh?


Microsoft’s Monopoly, Bad for them and Bad for Us

I read a great article on the New York Times website today.  The article was mainly about Microsoft’s failure to capture the mind share of young developers and entrepreneurs.  The evidence provided was the success of FOSS(Free Open Source Software) amongst start-ups like Twitter, Google, Facebook and a multitude of others…

Finally mainstream journalism is starting to get wise to the negative effects that the Microsoft monopoly has on Microsoft.  It’s what I’ve been preaching to my loyal fans for years.  Microsoft has bet the mother-load on maintaining an unsustainable monopoly.

They have bought their way out of anti-trust suit after anti-trust suit for years.  Microsoft has been sued by every State in the Union and many foreign governments.  Every time they quietly cough up Billions to local state governments, of which many are desperate for the cash.



Richard Stallman on the Rampage Again – this time against Mono

I was reading Slashdot today and came across an interesting post about the Mono project.  Richard Stallman of GNU/FSF fame is blasting the Mono project.  His argument is that because Mono is developed in C# the project itself is compromised because the threat of future patent litigation.

That is a reasonable concern, but as he points out in his blog post there are other implementations ‘.NET’ framework being developed by GNU.  The point of the Mono project is to create a compatibility with Microsoft’s .NET framework.  If Richard Stallman can bring closer integration without the possibility of infringement then do it!  The Open Source community welcomes the competition. Here is a quote from a July 2009, Stallman post:

Debian’s decision to include Mono in its principal way of installing GNOME, for the sake of Tomboy which is an application written in C#, leads the community in a risky direction. It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.
The problem is not unique to Mono; any free implementation of C# would raise the same issue. The danger is that Microsoft is probably planning to force all free C# implementations underground some day using software patents. (See http://swpat.org and http://progfree.org.) This is a serious danger, and only fools would ignore it until the day it actually happens. We need to take precautions now to protect ourselves from this future danger.

Okay, so this is a reasonable opinion.  In a different post he starts making personal attacks against individual developers,


Watch Netflix on Linux – with Windows XP Virtual Machine running Virtualbox

I signed up for a Netflix account yesterday, but when I tried to watch streaming video online I got an annoying message about hoe my Operating System is not supported.  When I found out that they didn’t support Linux I was so pissed.  Plenty of web content out there is Mac, Linux, and Windows friendly.  But they have this annoying DRM crap.  It’s not like you couldn’t just screen record it anyway, or just download a torrent… The messed up thing is I want to pay!  I’m more than willing to shell out $10-$15 a month to watch from a library of TV shows and movies.  Most people are!



How to Configure Linux ODBC Connections for MS SQL

Last week at work(VoiceIP Solutions) I did some research for Asterisk PBX integration with Microsoft CRM.  The customer likes open source Asterisk because of the cost savings, but they requires screen pop-ups, and click to dial from their Customer Relationship Management software.  So while my manager worked on the TAPI middleware, I was charged with figuring out how to connect to the MS SQL database.  This article was prompted by a desire to connect an Asterisk PBX to MS SQL, but the tutorial applies to Apache, Postfix, CRM, PHP or any Linux app that needs to do a remote query.  Also, while the focus of this article is aimed at MS SQL the same steps(with a few tweaks) can be used for connecting to Postgre, Sybase, MySQL, etc…

I’m a lot more famalier with MySQL & PostgreSQL, but MS SQL I haven’t touched since I had the silly notion about 10 years ago to become a Windows 2000 MCSE.  Incidently, I never did take the exams, because I was a broke student at the time and I was becoming increasingly interested in Linux and Cisco.

The logical choice is to use the UNIX ODBC driver.  ODBC stands for Open Database Connectivity.  ODBC is a well documented set of API’s that is available on many platforms.  However, their are subtle differences in it’s implentation and the protocols that run at application layer.  In other words ODBC is encapsulated when making calls to a database over a network (in this case, the TDS protocol).

I did some googling and found a number of incomplete tutorials for connecting Linux to MS SQL.  This article is intended to clarify some common configuration errors and will present you with example files.  For my demonstration I’m running Fedora 10 with the latest updates as of this writing.  This article assumes you have a working MS SQL datebase with the proper user permissions in mixed mode.  I put this one in bold because it stumped the MCSE database guy for a while.

Again, I want to point out I’m not a Microsoft DBA and will likely not be able to help you on that side of the configuration.  Also, there are many versions of SQL out there and the syntax to pull data differs slightly from one version to the next.  So you may need to do a little research to make the proper pulls.

The Goals of this Post:

– install ODBC and TDS on Fedora 10

– verify TDS can login into MS SQL server

– configure odbcinst.ini, odbc.ini and freetds.conf configuration files