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Recently upgraded my media centre PC to Windows 7 64 bit. However, like many other people, I had problems getting the SPDIF (S/PDIF) audio to work.

After a lot of trial and error it appears that digital audio out on this motherboard is either going via HDMI (the default) or S/PDIF.

Out of the box there is no way to switch between HDMI and S/PDIF. However, if you download the latest drivers for the VIA audio chipset from either the Asus or VIA support site then the installer will place a shortcut to an audio control panel on the desktop that allows you to switch between the two.

It has taken a good year to go from the initial idea to the full blown company launch, complete with a rich e-commerce website, full time employees, multiple products under development and a beta version of the first product available for download. But here we are and we are pretty pleased with what our hard work, dedication and countless sleepless nights have achieved.

Our first product, a PDF Converter for SharePoint, will be released as a downloadable beta version in the next day or so. We will announce the availability on our Blog as well as our Twitter stream, so make sure you subscribe to our feeds.

If you are interested in SharePoint news, announcements and articles then please subscribe to the new company blog as we will move all the SharePoint related content from the old (this) blog to the new one.

More information can be found on www.muhimbi.com.

Please note that all new SharePoint related content is now hosted on the blog at www.muhimbi.com.

As most SharePoint developers are aware, explaining to customers how to deploy SharePoint solution files using the command line can be a challenging exercise.

Fortunately, some clever developers have created a GUI wrapper to make the entire process a bit more user friendly.

Unfortunately this cool application does not allow Web Application or Web scoped features to be deployed as that results in the ‘Feature xxxxx is WebApplication-scoped, and can not be added to the Site.’ error message.

There is a workaround, which is to delete the ‘FeatureID’ and ‘FarmFeatureID’ lines from the setup.exe.config files. The only drawback is that the administrator will need to manually activate the feature on the target Web Application.

With thanks to Roel Hans Bethlehem for this useful trick.

Please note that all new SharePoint related content is now hosted on the blog at www.muhimbi.com.

Please note that all new SharePoint related content is now hosted on the blog at www.muhimbi.com.

As we are providing our SharePoint solutions in multiple languages, we need to make sure that each and every translation is properly tested.

As it is not feasible, even with virtualisation, to have an instance of Central Administration for every available language, we need to be able to quickly switch the language used by Central Administration to test any of our custom translations (Feature descriptions, custom admin pages, etc.)


There is no official ‘Microsoft way’ to switch the CA language, but if you are running in a test environment then you may want to consider the following trick. Although we have not experienced any problems we don’t recommend switching CA languages in a production environment as any manual changes to your SharePoint databases will void any support contracts you may have with Microsoft.

Ok, enough talk, here is how to switch the language:

  1. Look up the Locale ID for the language in this table. E.g. Japanese = 1041.
  2. Use your favourite SQL Editor (e.g. SQL Server Management Studio) to open the ‘Webs’ table in the Content Database used by Central Administration.
  3. You will most likely find only a single row in this table. If not then you will need to navigate to the correct row.
  4. Update the ‘Language’ field to the correct locale, in our case 1041.

That is it. There is no need to do any ‘IISRESETs’, just refresh whatever CA page you are on and it will automatically switch languages.

A full list of languages for which Microsoft provides support in SharePoint can be found here.

Please note that all new SharePoint related content is now hosted on the blog at www.muhimbi.com.

Please note that this posting has been moved to the blog at www.muhimbi.com.

At the risk of sounding backwards, and being pointed out that this functionality has existed for years, I would like to share this little Remote Desktop gem that I found out about today.

In the latest Remote Desktop client (I am on Windows 7) it appears that you can copy files from your local machine to your remote desktop session (and vice versa) using the clipboard. There is no need to browse through ‘shared tsclient’ drives, just copy the source file, browse to the destination folder in your remote desktop session and paste.

It even works when pasting files directly into your application, such as Outlook emails.

Remote Desktop drive sharing doesn’t even need to be enabled.

This is such a time saver.

As I like living on the cutting edge I promised myself that I would convert my main laptop to Windows 7 the moment the official Beta version is released. Although this moment is still a few weeks away for most people, I have managed to get my hands on a shiny copy of the official Beta (Build 7000).

So after a quick backup, full wipe of my Vista laptop and an approximately 20 minute wait for the Windows 7 installer to finish, the system booted without error.


Shiny

This is not a comprehensive review, but my impressions in bullet style and no particular order are as follows:

  1. It is stable. Haven’t had a single crash, not even after installing all my apps and doing a day’s work on it.
  2. It is fast. Again difficult to compare as my previous Vista install was nearly 3 years old, but it feels snappy.
  3. The new window manager is fab. ‘Docking’ windows left and right works great. Quick tip: when using multiple monitors it works slightly differently, use the Windows key in combination with the left and right cursor key to dock windows.
  4. You can minimise all applications except for the current window by ‘shaking’ it.
  5. The new task bar is very functional, but it looks messy. I can’t put my finger on it, but the different visual styles for applications, running application, applications with multiple windows and applications with a progress indicator just doesn’t feel right.

  6. I really don’t get the importance of Aero peek. So what if I can glance on my desktop, why would I want to do that?
  7. It appears that my battery lasts quite a bit longer. I have no exact figure but I estimate it lasts about 15% longer.
  8. Probably related to the previous point, but the fan of the laptop doesn’t come on nearly as often as under Vista.
  9. Multi monitor support has improved somewhat, you can now specify the monitor that gets the start menu. Unfortunately a separate task bar (like Ultramon provides) is still lacking.
  10. Before installing my main concern was IE8. I don’t know what the fuss is about, but it works just fine.
  11. The current version of Live Mesh disables Aero, which is very annoying. A patch (to Live Mesh) is promised for the beginning of the new year.
  12. The retarded Flip 3D is still present. Fortunately the excellent Expose clone that is Switcher works just fine.
  13. Manually running the Performance Index Calculator left my screen resolution quite low and I couldn’t set it back. A reboot fixed it.

Windows Media Center, which I love, has had a significant update as well.

  1. Fewer menus to navigate / ignore (good).
  2. Overall look and feel has been improved.
  3. Not sure if this is new, but it is now possible to connect to a ‘Recorded TV’ folder on a different system. Unfortunately playing a TV Show that was recorded on my main Vista Media Center system crashed Media Center on Windows 7.
  4. All frikkin’ Codecs are finally included with Windows. Well, at least Divx is as my ripped DVDs play fine without the need for any 3rd party installers.
  5. It is beyond me why they still provide different menus for ‘Movie Library’ and ‘Video Library’. Try explaining that difference to my mum.

All in all very good. I will continue to use it until they release the final version this summer.

Updates:

  1. Tim Sneath has posted a lot of Windows 7 secrets. Very useful.
  2. Problems reporting feedback on Windows 7? Use this link to add Windows 7 to your Microsoft Connect account.
  3. Some Windows 7 specific drivers for Microsoft products such as their keyboard, mouse and webcam range of products.
  4. Completely forgot that you have to install the Windows Mobile Device Center to sync and use your Windows Mobile phone as a modem.

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