Temple University Library

The Temple University Libraries have really been improving its services over the last year. On Monday, the Temple University Library Blog announced a new subscription to Books 24×7 – an online library of approximately 5,000 titles on information technology topics and Safari Tech Books Online – an online library of 800 information technology books from publishers including O’Reilly, Que, New Riders, Addison-Wesley, and Sams.

Sweet.

If you’re affiliated with Temple University you definitely need to subscribe to the Temple University Libraries Blog.

Switches for Windows Update Packages

If you find yourself waiting half an hour for an update such as Service Pack 2 for Windows XP to make the required backup before the installation process actually begins try using the /n switch with the update to indicate that you do not want files backed up. The last time I ran WindowsXP-KB835935-SP2-ENU.exe /n I probably saved about 15 minutes. The trade of with using a switch such as /n is that uninstalling the backup now is totally out of question. 

For other switches and version information visit the Command-line switches for Windows software update packages 

The following lists the command-line switches that are supported by the Update.exe program:

/help – Displays command-line help

/passive – Unattended Setup mode. No user interaction is required, but installation status is displayed. If a restart is required at the end of Setup, a dialog box will be presented to the user with a timer warning that the computer will restart in 30 seconds.

/quiet – Quiet mode – same as unattended mode, but no status or error messages are displayed.

/norestart – Do not restart the computer when the installation is finished.

/warnrestart – Presents a dialog box with a timer warning the user that the computer will restart in x seconds. (Default is 30 sec). Intended for use with either /quiet or /passive switches.

/forcerestart – Restart the computer after installation and force other applications to close at shutdown without saving open files first.

/promptrestart – Presents a dialog box to prompt user to restart if required. Intended for use with /quiet.

/forceappsclose – Forces other programs to close when the computer shuts down.

/nobackup – Do not back up files for uninstall.

/overwriteoem – Overwrite OEM files without prompting.

/integrate:path – Integrates the software updates into the Windows installation source files located at the path specified. Note that :path refers to the folder that contains the i386 folder.

/log:path – Allows user to specify where to create the log file.

/ER – Enable extended error reporting.

/verbose – Enable verbose logging. Creates %Windir%\CabBuild.log upon install that details files to be copied. Using this switch may cause the installation to occur much slower.

/d:path – Specifies a backup directory for Windows Service Pack installation. :path indicates the destination folder for the backup files. The default backup location is %Systemdrive%\$ntservicepackuninstall$.

/extract[:path] – Extracts files without starting Setup. If “:path” is not included, you are prompted for the path of a destination folder to extract the files. If “:path” is used, the files are extracted to the specified destination folder.

/hotpatch:disable – Disables hotpatching functionality, and installs the cold patch only.

The following lists the command-line switches that are supported by the Hotfix.exe program:

/f – Force other programs to quit at shutdown

/l – List installed software updates

/m – Unattended mode

/n – Do not back up files for uninstallation

/q – Quiet mode – no user interaction required

/y – Perform uninstallation (must be used with /m or /q)

/z – Do not restart the computer after the installation

GRISOFT aquires evido Networks

According to the Grisoft press release:

GRISOFT, the maker of award-winning AVG Anti-Virus, today announced the acquisition of Ewido Networks, a leading provider of innovative anti-malware solutions. This acquisition expands GRISOFT’s AVG antivirus and firewall offerings to include comprehensive malware protection, and provide its customers with the highest level of security against growing types of malicious software spreading across the Internet.

Both AVG and  ewido are two excellent tools when dealing with viruses and other malware. I wonder if this move was triggered as a result of increased competition from other vendors and especially with companies like Microsoft introducing their own antivirus suites such as Windows Onecare. Either way I hope GRISOFT continues to provide free versions of AVG and ewido.

Windows Live Custom Domains Manager

While at Redmond last week I had a chance to meet with some members of the Windows Live Custom Domains team. I pushed or asked for three requests:

– Ability to sign up directly for an @yourdomain address directly without an administrator approval

– Branding or customization of a domain by way of preselecting a default logo or theme for the site

– Banner Advertisement Sharing

– Mailing Lists

These requests were selfishly motivated to try and determine when I might be able to switch Mail service from Everyone.net to Windows Live Custom Domains. I figured I would deal with issues such as mail and user account migration once the above issues were resolved. To my surprise I found out that Microsoft had released a Custom Domains SDK to address some of these issues and earlier this morning I came across a news item from Bink.nu indicating that Frameworks had released a new application called Windows Live Custom Domains Manager. The application allows you to:

  • Veirfy Service Status
  • Verify MX Configuration
  • Add New Users
  • Delete Users
  • Import Existing Users
  • Evict Existing Users
  • Import User List
  • Export User List
  • Centralized Multi-domain Management

Now it seems like the only pressing issue is branding or customization of the domain and then I think I may actually switch to Windows Live Custom Domains.

Trip to Seattle

I was going to write up a nice lengthy blog about my recent trip to Seattle and Redmond but as I mentioned earlier today is one of those weekends when there are just one too many things that I’m trying to get done.

In a paragraph, Seattle is one of those cities you just have to visit. Surrounded by mountains and waterways, rich culture and history, delicious food and some unique architecture that really accents the weather. I stayed at the Hostel International for 3 days and spent time at the Pike Place Market, Waterfront, Pioneer Square and even went on an Underground Tour. After a ferry ride to Bainbridge Island, the Experience Music Project, Space Needle and even Uqjimaya located in the International District I had not even seen a quarter of the tourist attractions.

Words don’t do justice to such a great place, so as a temporary measure I’ve setup SlideShowPro to display the 140 odd pictures I took while at Microsoft’s Redmond campus and some time I spent in downtown Seattle. Also, thanks to Ryan the initial photo collection has expanded with his contribution of pictures. Thanks Ryan.

Without further ado The Seattle Gallery