Bye bye Zite, for real

Back in December 2014, I wrote a quick post about the fact that Zite was closing down, and how you could migrate to Flipboard. Well, I’m guessing the retirement date for Zite is approaching, because they’re getting pretty pushy about encouraging people to migrate. “Migrate to Flipboard!” has been appearing as the first story every day for a few days now.

However they’ve also made the process a lot simpler than it was back in December. Click a link, login to your Flipboard account, done.

It’s a bit of a sad day, as I’ve really enjoyed using Zite and have discovered a lot of really interesting content using it. I know Flipboard’s been around for a while, so it’s not as if they’re new to what they do, but I’m hoping they manage to preserve the customisation of the feed that Zite allowed.

Bye bye Zite!

Having issues with the Bootcamp 6 drivers not showing up?

Somewhere along the line the Bootcamp install on my Mac got very messed up, or alternatively, v5.0 of Apple’s Bootcamp drivers did something very weird with Apple Software update – either way, I’d upgraded the existing installation to Windows 10 and wanted the new Bootcamp 6 drivers and they weren’t showing up.

The solution was simple, but a bit tedious. I downloaded ~800mb file containing Bootcamp 5.1 and ran setup. It asked if I wanted to Repair missing files, which I did, and after a reboot was told I was running 5.1, and at that point running Apple Software Update finally started showing the v6 drivers as being available.

I’m not sure what broke or when, but I’m blaming the Apple Software Update program. It’s a pretty simple fix but it’s annoying as it means I’ve been running out of date drivers for a couple of years on this box, despite regularly checking for updates.

Windows 10 upgrade troubleshooting

Windows 10 has been much talked about over the past week and a bit. While I took the opportunity to do a clean rebuild on a new SSD for my main desktop, I also had a laptop which I’d planned to try the upgrade process with. The only issue was that the “Get Windows 10!” task tray icon simply wasn’t appearing.

There’s a lot of blog posts detailing tips and tricks to force the update process to work, and over the course of a few days it felt like I’d tried them all. From clearning the SoftwareDistribution\Download folder and running wuauclt.exe /updatenow through to various shenanigans with GWX.exe and scheduled tasks, I’d jumped through all the hoops, all with no luck. I also tried the media creation tool, and received the incredibly useful “Something happened” message.

None of these processes provided any feedback at all. I had all Windows updates installed, and it was a genuine version of Windows that should have been eligible for an upgrade. Something was clearly wrong here.

It was this post that led me to identify what it was. The post is a pretty comprehensive list of all the various troubleshooting steps, combined into a single reference point. Nothing listed there worked for me, however one of the updates towards the end of the post mentions that Microsoft has released a troubleshooting tool.

I grabbed the troubleshooting tool, and ran it. The first run seemed to confuse it, and it claimed there was an issue with Windows Updates which it fixed (thanks!), only to then display a message telling me my version wasn’t eligible for an upgrade. However I ran it again, and it informed me that machines that are joined to a domain aren’t able to be upgraded. I run a Server Essentials 2012 box at home, so laptop was joined to a domain (which is of course optional) – I left the domain, and lo and behold the icon appeared, and the Windows 10 upgrade ran flawlessly.

(Incidentally, if you’re also a Server Essentials user, then you’ll want to download the latest version of the connector here)

That was a lot of work to get the icon to appear, and I came very close to giving up and nuking the build from orbit a couple of times, but I really wanted to test the upgrade experience. While it’s apparent that there’s quite a few things that can cause issues with the upgrade experience, if you’re having trouble then it’s likely that working through all the links here will see you right.

Download Troubleshooting tool for Get Windows 10 app

Windows Server Essentials Connector for Windows Server 2012 R2 (Updated July 29th 2015)

Why doesn't TFS get latest get the latest?

As someone who uses TFS occasionally, the ‘get latest’ functionality has always seemed frustrating. So I did a quick bit  of research, and think this is a useful note to leave here for my future self: Why doesn't TFS get latest get the latest?

TFS redefined what "Get Latest" does. In TFS terms, Get Latest means get the latest version of the files, but ignore the ones that the server thinks is already in your workspace. Which to me and just about everyone else on the planet is wrong.

See this link:

The only way to get it to do what you want is to Get Specific Version, then check both of the "Overwrite ..." boxes.


A Collection of OneNote links

I’m finding myself using OneNote more and more over the last year or so. The fact that there are native clients for PC, OSX, and iOS, and that they’re *good* clients makes it a really nice tool for anyone who wants to track notes/tasks/other stuff and uses a mix of Windows, OSX and iOS devices. Oh, and it’s free too if you’re concerned about costs.

Over the past weeks I’ve bookmarked a number of OneNote related links. Here they are collated for your compressed reading pleasure, and it’s only now that I’ve noticed that a number of them come from the same source (I find most of my content via Zite, so I don’t always notice the source while I’m in the app).

How to Use OneNote Templates to Be More Organized – the default templates look pretty useful, and the ability to create custom templates is something that will be really handy for anyone sharing Notebooks amongst teams. Unfortunately template functionality is reduced on OSX.

5 Tips for Using OneNote as Your To-Do List – some useful keyboard shortcuts, and a good reminder that you can embed files – obvious, yes, but for people coming from other text based systems it’s sometimes easy to forget that OneNote supports all sorts of rich content!

Turn Outlook into a Project Management Tool with OneNote Integration – your mileage may vary on this one, sounds good in theory, feels a bit clunky to me (but then I’ve never used Outlook’s tasks, ever).

OneNote welcomes three new partners - cloudHQ, Equil and WordPress. Nothing too interesting to me personally, although the WordPress integration may lead to smoother MetaWebLog API support in future.

Microsoft OneNote tips: 5 better ways to manage and share data – pretty basic, but still some useful stuff in there, like linking to specific paragraphs inside a note.

Evernote vs. OneNote: Note-Taking Apps Showdown – contents of this link are as expected (spoiler alert – it’s all down to personal preference!).

Microsoft brings its digital ink to the iPad with OneNote handwriting update – a few months old now, handy for those of you who are able to read your own handwriting (I can’t, that’s why I can type 120+ WPM).

Spam in the comments if you’ve got any good OneNote tips not covered here!

Looking for some demo data?

Try The Star Wars API!

The Star Wars API, or "swapi" (Swah-pee) is the world's first quanitified and programmatically-accessible data source for all the data from the Star Wars canon universe!

Aside from the lols, there’s times when a service like this is going to be genuinely handy. It’s annoyingly boring to create a good set of test data, and the alternative is to do something stupid like use the same single image / title / description 100 times (and no one’s that stupid, are they?).

It’s just a shame that there’s not a Star Wars placeholder image site to use in conjunction with this data, but give it time.

Free eBooks on Azure and other Microsoft topics

If you’re interested in Azure or other Microsoft technologies then you might be interested in this collection of free eBooks.

Tags: ,

Microsoft to Open Source Windows Live Writer

Looks like the push from Hanselman and others to open source Windows Live Writer has finally come through: Microsoft to Open Source Windows Live Writer.

Good news for people (like me!) who have used it for quite some time and really can’t imagine using anything else.


Mailtrap – A Fake SMTP Server for Pre-Production Testing of Application Email

Mailtrap is a fake SMTP server for pre-production testing of application email. There’s obviously many ways to mock an email service in test, and if you’re using an API like Mandrill then this will be even easier, but if you’re using good old SMTP then Mailtrap looks handy.

Using a HTML Signature using Apple Mail in Yosemite

I’m posting this for my own future reference: How to Make an HTML Signature in Apple Mail for Yosemite OS X 10.10

Clearly Macs are so easy to use that a post like this won’t have value to anyone else, right?