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OMA 1503 error with just one account.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
For a while I have been experiencing an error when trying to use OMA. The error returned by IE was "A system error has occured" but not due to the usual cause in KB 817379.
The event log showed the following:
Source: MSExchangeOMA
Event ID: 1503
An unknown error occurred while processing the current request:
Message: Index was out of range.  Must be non-negative and less than the size of the collection.
Searching for event 1503 with MSExchangeOMA as the source revealed nothing relevant, but the message "Index was out of range..." lead me (in a roundabout way) to KB 319886 "E-mail message is not delivered from Exchange 2000 Server to Exchange Server 5.5 recipients". On the face of it the article appears completely unrelated but it states that individual mailboxes can experience problems if the homeMTA attribute for the user in AD is incorrect.
Following the steps in the article I found that the homeMTA attribute for my user account was indeed incorrect - presumably as a result of the problems I had experienced before Christmas.
Changing this to the correct value "CN=Microsoft MTA,CN=COLINW-SVR2,CN=Servers,CN=First Administrative Group,CN=Administrative Groups,CN=randomelements,CN=Microsoft Exchange,CN=Services,CN=Configuration,DC=randomelements,DC=me,DC=uk" (by copying it from a working account) and, hey presto, OMA functions for my user account again.
Aero Glass and Tablets.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Hilton Locke has blogged that he has seen his first Tablet running Aero Glass, but he won't tell us which it is. All he says is "Considering that it's currently all visual effect and not really worth anything other than eye candy, it was hardly worth the effort/expense involved to make this particular Tablet run Glass".
So, is he talking about swapping out the graphics chip in some way? Or could he just be talking about editing the registry?
As you are most probably aware, Aero effects can be overridden by registry keys located here:
The key may not exist by default. Entering a DWord called "EnableMachineCheck" and setting it to 0 (zero) should prevent Vista from checking if the graphics processor is capable of displaying Aero. By adding another DWord called "Glass" and setting it to a value of 1 you should be able to force Aero Glass.
I gave this a try on my Acer C111TCi with Build 5219 and, guess what? It works! (It didn't under Beta 1). It's a little slow but I have full Glass on my Tablet including the scrolling view of Alt-Tab and the previews when hovering over items on the Taskbar.
I'll post a screenshot or two when I get home.
Tablet PC experiences in the UK.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
For a while I have been saying that either the UK is technophobic - we don't want or have an interest in the latest technology developments - or that it is viewed as conservative by OEMs etc. who think that the market doesn't exist for their latest products.
So which is it? In my opinion it's a bit of both - and them some - with no party willing to take the lead.
Historically, computer related prices could be calculated on a "pounds for dollars" scale - something costing $1000 in the US would generally be about £1000 in the UK, so instantly about 1.5x more expensive depending on the prevailing exchange rate. Now, however, the UK equivalent prices are growing (just look at the relative price of the Toshiba M400 I posted about recently).
So, why it this?
A number of Tablet manufacturers don't have a UK presence and even those who do often sell through resellers rather than directly. This will obviously bump up prices straight away as the middle man takes his cut. Manufacturers will also complain about the levels of import tax in to the UK.
I fail to see, however, how even both of these combined will account for an extra 50% on top of US prices. Price HAS to be a contributory factor.
Does the UK WANT Tablets? A lot of the time I don't think so. Even amongst technologists there is often very little Tablet PC related talk and not many UK blogs that have a Tablet-centric focus. This apparent lack of interest will no doubt be a contributory factor preventing market growth.
To my knowledge, the UK still only has one Tablet PC available 'off the shelf' in a retail outlet. Please correct me if I'm wrong. PLEASE! People are not going to be exposed to the benefits a Tablet can offer if they can't get their hands on one and are not likely to.
We hear stories all the time about the impact that Tablets are having in medicine and education - just not in the UK. As far as medicine goes this may be down to the NHS.
Unlike the US, everyday medical care is conducted under the NHS (National Health Service) which is publicly funded rather than being a private system. Because of this, budgets are a key factor - our local hospital recently announced that it was moving some non-urgent operations to April so that they would fall under the next financial year allowing them to balance the books for 2005/6. When you are up against such pressures when even health care is deferred, then looking at trialling an alternative IT solution just won't get a look in.
Education faces a similar problem. Local Education Authorities are also struggling to balance the books, even to the point of selling off playing fields just to try to raise some much needed cash.
Overall, the economic climate in the UK does not seem conducive to expansion in to areas of new technology. There is consequently no demand for things like Tablet PCs in the normal areas.
In order to increase the Tablet PC market in the UK should a different approach be taken? Rather than the vertical markets should the consumer be targeted? The ever increasing sales of iPods, PDAs, Mobile Phones etc. shows that the UK consumer embraces new devices and technologies even if business doesn't. Consumer are forever upgrading to the latest and greatest. Maybe some of this purchasing power should be attracted towards Tablets.
OEMs and retailers will need to take the lead and get the devices out there for the consumer to see and hold. The public must be educated in the technology so that they will WANT these devices. If you can create sufficient buzz about an item then the sales will take care of themselves and prices can drop due to increased demand and sales.
I can't see any easy route to increasing Tablet awareness, interest and sales in the UK other than by creating a greater exposure. We need some to lead by example so that any success stories in relation to implementing Tablet PCs in any field, or any good initiatives on the part of OEMs or retailers should be highlighted.
Let me know if your business or organisation, school or college etc. has taken a positive step in this area. The benefits that Tablet can afford must be drawn to the attention of a wider audience.
SharePoint Documents Mover.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Mohamed has released a new tool - the SharePoint Document Mover:
"Documents Mover is a tool that moves the files between sharepoint document libraries and keeping the version history and the directory structure of the files".
Get it here. (link no lomger valid)
Using Reason on a Tablet PC.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
After Warner linked to a post by Steve Lacey (here) in which he says that Reason (a music creation application) should be a killer Tablet PC application, I decided to dig out my copy and give it a try.
For some strange reason (no pun intended) it had never occurred to me to get this installed on a Tablet even though the whole interface is controlled by the mouse - or the pen. Perhaps it is because the Acer C111 has a 1GHz processor and music apps are inherently power hungry.
Well, all I can say is, Warner I'm so glad that you linked to Steve's post as this has totally rekindled my interest in the product. Using the pen to drag knobs and faders feels complettely natural - far more so than with the mouse, and drawing controller curves in the Matrix sequencer is a delight - you can get them so accurate with so little fuss!
Reason is pretty much unique in that it is an application with both a front and a back. When you press TAB you switch to the rear of the hardware rack and see all of the patch cables connecting everything together, these are completely at your control and it is a simple matter of selecting them and "drawing" where you want them to go - simple control over the routing of the elements of your composition. When in slate mode this does, however, require you to map a hardware button to the TAB key for ease of use.
I only really had one gripe when testing reason on my Tablet: the application width is fixed and is slightly wider than my 768x1024 resolution screen when viewed in portrait. As Reason is a vertical rack it makes sense to have the Tablet in the portrait orientation but, as the window is slightly too wide for my screen, it makes it difficult to use the scrollbar on  the riight unless I drag the whole thing slightly off the left edge of the screen.
I've attached a OneNote file (both MHT and ONE - if you have any problems with the MHT try a 'Save As') with a few notes and screenshots to help illustrate the points above. (No longer valid)
In summary, Reason really IS a killer app for the Tablet PC, it is far more intuitive using in on this platform than on a desktop PC due to the excellent level of control you have when using the pen rather than a mouse.
Disabling application security on the SPV C550.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
After setting up my SmartPhone for Exchange ActiveSync I had left it that certificate checking was disabled as I was unable to install my root certificate due to the application lock on the phone not allowing spAddCert to run.
Orange were very helpful putting me in touch with the developers who write a custom app based on your phones IMEI number which should unlock the device security - 'should' being the operative work.
Unfortunately, it looks like the C550 utilises a different locking mechanism as this app didn't succeed in removing the device security. At this point I resigned myself to running the device with certificate checking disabled.
Luckily, Dennis over at MSGoodies has posted about removing the device security from Qtek 8310 WM5 devices and after a bit of research it seems the same process works for SPV C550s. So, with a little trepidation I edited the required registry keys on the SmartPhone and after running an application "SDA_ApplicationUnlock.exe" I have now been able to successfully install my root certificate on the phone.
If you need to do this read Dennis' post here - Solution for adding own root certificates to Windows Mobile 5 devices. (
Vista 5270 first impressions.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Apart from the annoyance of not being able to enable Glass on my Acer C110 I am so far really pleased with what I have seen.
Flicks - these first appeared a while ago but acted in the same directions as dragging a document in Acrobat Reader (you had to flick down to scroll up and up to scroll down).
Well he good news is that MS have obviously been listening and you now flick in the direction you want to go so that flick down now actually scrolls down!
TIP autocomplete - autocomplete from the TIP is now implemented and rocks! When entering text via the TIP a small popup appears above the TIP with previous entries (will have to get a screenshot of this)
Start Menu - as you no doubt saw with the screenshots of the leaked TAP build, the Start Menu has been revamped in order to make it more streamlined. Some people moaned about the icons for items on teh right hand side being removed but a large icon pops up in place of the user picture when you mouse over items. Looks cool.
Improved Tablet Button support - Tablet hardware buttons now have extra options. As well as being able to assign actions to them normally you can now assign actions to the "Press and Hold" event for each button giving you greater flexibility with a slate or convertible in slate mode.
Touch training - as well as pen training on the Tablet you now also get "Touch Training" so that you can practice using Vista on Touchscreen devices.
Quick Launch Web Part released.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Bob Mixon has made a release version of his Quick Launch Web Part available for download:
"This Web Part can be used to replace the hard coded HTML in a Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) Site. The first advantage to this Web Part is simply being aware of the current users security permissions. Meaning, if a user does not have the permissions to view the items in a document library or list, even if it is marked to be displayed on the Quick Launch bar, it will not be displayed".
For full details and the download go here: Quick Launch Web Part. (
Were UMPCs announced too early?Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Hands up who still wants a UMPC?
Probably quite a few less than this time a month ago.
Hands up who still wants to be an early adopter?
Probably even fewer still!
Now one for the non-tech enthusiasts:
Hands up who can remember what a UMPC looks like or does?
I can't help but feel that UMPCs have missed out on a huge opportunity. Not since the iPod has a device caused such a stir or garnered such mainstream media attention but we will have been waiting two months by the time devices are actually released - this doesn't necessarily mean that people will be able to get their hands on one straight away.
For all the coverage that UMPCs received at the time the one thing I can imagine a lot of people remembering will be the reporter holding up one of the Intel prototypes and saying that Intel were expecting this type of device to be out in a couple of years. Could the slow follow-up leave the average consumer thinking that UMPCs are just a concept rather than something which is to be released in a couple of weeks time?
If devices had been available at the time CeBit was running just think of the number of sales that would have resulted from all the exposure. Failing that, why not delay the announcement until the product was available to back up the hype.
Yes, Microsoft, Intel and the OEMs wanted to piggy back CeBit's popularity in order to create a buzz about the form factor but doing so at the expense of a delay in getting the product out could have been potentially more damaging than not appearing at CeBit.
3rd Party Webparts & Tools.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Mark has done us lazy folks a big favour by posting his lists of 3rd party SharePoint Webparts and Tools which can normally only be seen by actually visiting his site rather than consuming his feed.
Check out the lists here. (
Computing with the pen.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
I wanted to blog about this before going on holiday and now that I'm back in the swing of things (and collected a few more posts from other people that relate to the subject) it's definitely time to get it down.
Iggy Kin ( blogged that the Tablet PC is not as successful as people imagined because "Computing with a pen is unnatural". So, why is this?
With Windows XP tablet PC Edition you are effectively looking at the standard Windows UI with bits tacked on to give you an "ink experience". Let's face it, no matter how much you love Tablets you can't get away from that simple fact. This is why you have applications such as Orange Guava and TEO to provide things which should really be there in the first place.
Even things like logging on to Windows need to be more intuitive, cue the Tablet PC Edition of FrontMotion Logon as blogged about by Craig Pringle (,guid,92b8bf74-84d7-473f-8c44-59a586114657.aspx).
Windows Vista is to include a swathe of new features and Tablet specific functionality including improved handwriting recognition - the improvements for things like I, l & 1 and o, O & 0 are very noticeable in Beta 1 - but it is not really the handwriting side of things that makes computing with the pen "unnatural".
I have read various posts from people saying that they have handed a tablet to "Joe User" and they have instantly known what to do but I would suggest that is purely because they are using the pen as a straight replacement for the mouse rather than "thinking in ink".
The real issue is making the whole UI suitable for a pen from start to finish: logging in, navigating files & folders, running and (more importantly) USING applications.
It is interesting to note that WSS v3 is to include OOB just about all of those features the SharePoint community has requested or built solutions to, perhaps this needs to happen with Windows and other applications. Things like Loren's Ink gestures add-in for Word (see here will help but this is the kind of thing that MS needs to be building in from the word go! Only then will end user realise the true benefits that a Tablet can offer.
Keep the Tablet discussion going.Use SHIFT+ENTER to open the menu (new window).
Warner urges us to continue the debate over the future of Tablet PCs with his post "Tablet PCs And The Name Game" ( and offers a warning: don't forget the developers!
"As easy as it may be to code for ink in the future, it'll be just as easy to rely on the TIP and call an app Ink Enabled".
Developers need do be targeted so they see the benefit of thinking in ink.
While on the subject of the future of Tablets I took advantage of ink posting to draw a quick map: