Thursday, 27 March 2008

There is no MTS object context

I/we ran into a installer error the other day at work when we were installing on a Windows XP machine. A dialog popped up saying "There is no MTS context object". Then a couple of days later it came up again installing on a windows 2003 machine. So we searched installer logs using the "voicewarmupx" registry key. Check the Windows Installr Team Blog for how to generate these log files.

Well in the end Ben Hounslow (he even gets his name in bold) one of the guys at work found a solution, so if you ever run into this error here is the solution below as cut and paste from Ben's email.

"Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator was installed but was non-functional. This caused the installer to fail with the following error:

This problem can be resolved by reinstalling MSDTC. This can be done with the following commands (entered at the command-line):

msdtc –uninstall
[may need to reboot at this point]
msdtc –install

All thanks to Ben for this fix. How the MS Distributed Transaction Coordinator became damaged is nobody knows.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

My goals for the year

Better late than never I figure Ill put down my goals for the year. I must be feeling motivated.

1. Marry my gal Susheila. Thats an easy one.

2. Build a web page. The aim is to make a self sustaining, low maintenance web page. I have always wanted a Sudoku helper/hinter. Something that will help me with the tough ones when I get stuck. I plan to use it as an excuse to firstly learn Ruby and web programming which I am sorely lacking in.

Secondly its part of a larger plan to make some money from the web eventually.

Thirdly its an ad for my skills.

3. Search for houses/apartments. This I will leave until later in the year when the housing market has settled a bit.

Well thats all for now and thats probably a big enough list for now.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

When UI design wins!

At work we have to record our time on our time sheets. I have never been all that good at doing this, partly making it up each week once I had to fill it in. I've tried a few timing programs in the past but hadn't found a good one.

Recently I looked again. At first I was suggested one by a work colleague. Susheila said "It looks like government made it" when she saw it. So I looked around some more.

Then I found SlimTimer by Richard White. It just kicks arse over the other timing programs I have looked at. All you do is add tasks and select your current task. Then it logs the time you have taken.

Combined with bubbles which puts an icon in the system tray for any url you care to imagine this has transformed my time sheet world. I now actually know what I do each day and for how long. Some tasks that I feel are taking ages, I can now prove are taking ages, which gives me more information to choose when to pull the plug.

The reporting section is one of the wonders of SlimTimer, its just obvious how to use it.

I thoroughly recommend it.