Consumption of data vs. creation of data

According to the latest buzz we are in the middle of the tablet/slate revolution. This is based on the popularity of the IPad, the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Tab and countless other upcoming devices of the same type, as well as the popularity of IPhone and the recent launch of Windows Phone 7. In my mind all these devices are signs of the coming cloud based Internet where we no longer store our own data on huge hard drives in our home computers or NAS boxes on our networks, but rather just use sleek touch based devices with virtually no local data storage capabilities, to consume the data we want. But in that consumption there is a challenge; all these devices are excellent at consuming data, but not great at creating it. Who would use their IPad to write a report or work with a spreadsheet? Or write code? For those tasks a laptop or desktop is still the best choice. But when it comes to reading the latest edition of Wired or watching streaming video, the slates beat the laptop/desktop hands down. Dropping down on the couch with the laptop is OK at best. I am sure that this division of labor will change over time, but right now I think it is food for thought. And as always; feel free to disagree!


Overriding Apple QuickTime 7 installation language

I prefer when software I want to run either comes in a specific language, or lets me choose the language during installation. In an effort to be more user friendly a lot of software is configured to detect the region your computer is set to. I prefer to run my OS in English, but have my region set to Norway. This results in a lot of software ending up with a Norwegian UI. Here is how you fix this for QuickTime 7:

  1. Download the QuickTimeInstaller.exe from Apple.
  2. Extract it using e.g. 7-Zip
  3. Download and install the Orca MSI Editor.
  4. Open QuickTime.msi in Orca
  5. Go to ViewSummary Information…
  6. Find the Languages box and delete all language ID except the language you want. In my case I want English which is 1033.
  7. Save the MSI over itself.
  8. Repeat the process for AppleSoftwareUpdate.msi
  9. Install QuickTime by double clicking QuickTime.msi
  10. Open Explorer and find the Apple Software Update installation directory. Either C:Program Files (x86)Apple Software Update or C:Program FilesApple Software Update, depending on your system architecture.
  11. Open the SoftwareUpdate.Resources folder and find the language you want (still English for me), e.g. en.lproj.
  12. Copy the SoftwareUpdateLocalized.dll from the folder of the language you want, into the folder Apple Software Update is using. Again for me; copy SoftwareUpdateLocalized.dll from the en.lproj folder into the nb.lproj folder, overwriting the existing file.
  13. Repeat for the SoftwareUpdateFiles.Resources folder.

Now both QuickTime and the Apple Software Update should both display the language you want.

PS: You can’t just delete the language folder you don’t want from the SoftwareUpdate.Resources  and SoftwareUpdateFiles.Resources folders. If you do Windows Installer will repair the application the next time you try to launch it.

Entourage 2008 EWS and Public Folders

Microsoft Entourage 2008 for Mac, Web Services Edition is a required upgrade if you are using Exchange Server 2010. Entourage 2008 (without EWS) uses WebDAV to communicate with Exchange Server and WebDAV has been removed from Exchange Server 2010. Entourage EWS now uses Exchange Web Services (EWS) as the primary protocol for communicating with Exchange Server. This means that Entourage now can potentially access all the information available through EWS.

So what about Public Folders? According to the Entourage EWS documentation Entourage can now access Public Folders, but there is no mention of whether Entourage needs Public Folders. Entourage without EWS did absolutely need Public Folders. During Exchange Server 2007 installation you got a question; Do you have any client computers running Outlook 2003 and earlier or Entourage in your organization? If you answered yes; a public folder database would be created. If you answered now; no public folders in your organization. Since Entourage EWS now can access free/busy data through EWS there should be no reason to continue having Public Folders in your Exchange organization. But I have been unable to clearly determine if that is the case. Right now I think it is unnecessary, but I will do some further testing.

Viewing the contents of Group Policy Registry.pol files

While investigating some EFS settings I needed to look at the raw data in Group Policy settings files, usually called Registry.pol and located in the SYSVOL share for each GPO. First I tried to load it as any other hive in Registry Editor, but that did not work, indicating that .pol files do not use the same format as the Registry does.

After a bit of searching I found this excellent utility at the website: Registry.pol Viewer Utility.

With it I could read (but not change) the information in my Registry.pol file.

The Registry.pol format is documented at MSDN.

Establishing a performance baseline


A performance baseline is a vital part of you system documentation. A baseline should be established immediately after a new system has entered production, and should be repeated with regular intervals. That way you can see how your system performs over time and make informed decisions about when a system will have to be upgraded etc.

Creating a baseline

The primary tool you use to capture a baseline on the Windows platform is Performance Monitor (or just Performance or PerfMon). PerfMon is an MMC snap-in that enables you to record various aspects of you system. These are called objects and counters. An object can be e.g. the Processor which in turn has several counters, e.g. % Processor Time.

Which counters?

Which counters you capture depends on the role of the system you are establishing a baseline for. The counters captures for a SQL server are different from those captures on an Exchange Server.
This table lists some important counters. The Role column indicates which server role the counter is applicable to.
ObjectCounter Definition Recommendations Role
Processor% Processor Time % Processor Time is the percentage of elapsed time that the processor spends to execute a non-Idle thread. It is calculated by measuring the duration of the idle thread is active in the sample interval, and subtracting that time from interval duration.  (Each processor has an idle thread that consumes cycles when no other threads are ready to run). This counter is the primary indicator of processor activity, and displays the average percentage of busy time observed during the sample interval. It is calculated by monitoring the time that the service is inactive, and subtracting that value from 100%. A CPU time of more than 90 % for extended periods of time is generally regarded as a problem. All
MemoryPages/sec Pages/sec is the rate at which pages are read from or written to disk to resolve hard page faults. This counter is a primary indicator of the kinds of faults that cause system-wide delays.  It is the sum of Memory\Pages Input/sec and Memory\Pages Output/sec.  It is counted in numbers of pages, so it can be compared to other counts of pages, such as Memory\Page Faults/sec, without conversion. It includes pages retrieved to satisfy faults in the file system cache (usually requested by applications) non-cached mapped memory files. Although it is normal to have some spikes, this counter generally remains at or close to zero. All
PhysicalDiskAvg. Disk Queue Length Avg. Disk Queue Length is the average number of both read and write requests that were queued for the selected disk during the sample interval. The number of requests should not exceed two times the number of spindles constituting the physical disk. If the number of requests is too high, you can add additional disks or replace the existing disks with faster disks. All
PhysicalDiskAvg. Disk sec/Read Avg. Disk sec/Read is the average time, in seconds, of a read of data from the disk. Should not be above 25 ms.
PhysicalDiskAvg. Disk sec/Write Avg. Disk sec/Write is the average time, in seconds, of a write of data to the disk. Should not be above 25 ms.


Tool name Description Notes
logman.exe CLI utility included in Windows Server 2003 and newer. Logman manages the “Performance Logs and Alerts” service for creating and

managing Event Trace Session logs and Performance logs.
perfmon.exe Performance Monitor Can also be launched by using perfmon.msc
Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool Open source utility on Codeplex
ExPerfWiz ExPerfWiz is a powershell based script to help automate the collection of performance data on Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 servers.
LogWiz Automate the collection of Performance monitor logs using logman.exe
relog.exe Relog creates new performance logs from data in existing performance logs by changing the sampling rate and/or converting the file format. Supports all performance log formats, including Windows NT 4.0 compressed logs.
Typeperf.exe Typeperf writes performance data to the command window or to a log file.
TraceRpt.exe Tracerpt processes binary Event Trace Session log files or real-time streams from instrumented Event Trace providers

and creates a report or a text (CSV) file describing the events generated.


Establish a one week performance baseline for a Domain Controller:
logman.exe create counter “Active Directory Baseline (1 Week)” -c “Processor(*)% Processor Time” “NTDS*” “DNS*” “PhysicalDisk(*)Avg. Disk Queue Length” “MemoryPages/sec” -max 50 -rf 168:00:00 -cnf