Archive for December 2012

Configuring a Static (Non-Active Desktop) Wallpaper on a Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server using a custom Group Policy Administrative Template (ADM)

Enabling the Terminal Server feature on Windows Server limits the display of Desktop Wallpapers. This is done to prevent excessive bandwith consumption. In some situations however, you would like to configure a wallpaper to display, for example, your company logo.

Group Policies allow you to set an Active Desktop wallpaper. An Active Desktop wallpaper, unfortunately is heavy on system resources, less secure because it can run web content, and has a higher probability of failures.

Setting a simple, static, Bitmap image as a wallpaper can be done using a centrally managed, custom Administrative Template that is part of a Group Policy Object (GPO). In Windows Server 2003 an Administrative Template takes the form of an .adm file. Below are the contents of such a file.

Windows Phone Calculator's "hidden" scientific and programming functions

Too many people are creating and/or downloading special apps for this. It seems to be undocumented but converting to and from decimal, binary, and hexadecimal numbers is a standard function of the basic Calculator of Windows Phone. This video demonstrates how to access these functions:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Management Tools, Native Client Installation Failed

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Setup fails when installing Management Tools or SQL Native Client without any specific errors.
Installation Progress Management Tools - Complete/Basic Status Failed

Complete with failures
This issue is caused by leftover setup files and registry keys. The problem can be resolved by running this Fix It program from Microsoft. Tell the program you're experiencing a problem installing a program and select "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Native Client" from the list of programs. After the program finished cleaning the system you can rerun Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Setup.

The best Android 4.x phones under 400 euro

Recently I was asked to find out what the best Android-based smartphone is you can buy under 400 euro. I decided to share my findings for anyone who might be asking a similar question and/or have a similar budget.

Since I don't recommend purchasing a new phone with outdated software (older generations and lots of budget phones still ship with Android 2.x) I limited my search to Android 4.x only.
Samsung Galaxy S III MiniSony Xperia SSony Xperia PLG Optimus 4X HDHTC One S
CPU1GHz (Dual)1,5GHz (Dual) 1GHz (Dual)1,5 (Quad)1,5 (Dual)
Storage 8GB 32GB 16GB 16GB 16GB
Screen res.480x800 1280x720 (720p) 960x540 1280x720 (720p) 960x540
Screen size 4” 4,3”4”4,7”4,3”
Android4.1 4.0
Camera res. 5M 12.1M 8M 8M 8M
Video res. 640x480 (VGA) 1920x1080 (1080p) 1920x1080 (1080p) 1920x1080 (1080p) 1920x1080 (1080p)
Weight110g144g120g133g 120g
Battery ?h/500h 7h/450h 6h/450h7h/576h-
Price € 320,- € 325,-€ 275,-€ 350,-€ 375,-
SD slotMicro SD NoNoMicro SDNo
Reviews-Good 1Good 2Good 3Good 4

As of december 2012, based on these specifications, I'd recommend the Sony Xperia S or, the LG Optimus 4X HD.

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