Category: Links

Microsoft SQL Server Installation Issue Fix

I was installing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on a development server and kept getting an annoying error message:

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Install Error Message

The following error has occurred:

An error occurred during the installation of assembly ‘Microsoft.VC80.MFC,version=”8.0.50727.4053″,publicKeyToken=”1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b”,processorArchitecture=”x86″,type=”win32″‘. Please refer to Help and Support for more information. HRESULT: 0x800736CC.

For help, click:

KB Article 2688946 describes a very similar issue. I eventually found a fix in the form of Cumulative Update 2 (KB2703275) Here is what you need to do to fix it:

  1. Completely close the SQL 2012 installer (it might just crash and close itself).
  2. Use Control Panel to uninstall Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x64 Redistributable and Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 x86 Redistributable.
  3. Download Cumulative Update 2 from (449398_intl_x64_zip.exe)
  4. Create C:\Updates
  5. Extract 449398_intl_x64_zip.exe to C:\Updates to get SQLServer2012-KB2703275-x64.exe
  6. Run the Installer again from the command line with the following (all on one line):
    setup.exe /Action=Install /UpdateEnabled=True /UpdateSource="C:\Updates"
  7. Install as usual and the issue goes away.

Let me know if this worked for you by leaving a comment. I’m curious to know how widespread this issue is.

Using Social Media Boosts Productivity

When I’ve got a particularly difficult problem and I’m trying to figure out my options or puzzling over which option is the best, nurse the answer rarely comes while I’m straining to get it right. The answers come through diversions or performing menial tasks. Sometimes the best way to figure things out is by communicating with someone else about it; that’s where using social media comes in.

My job is inherently creative. While most of the people in my department have prescribed tasks that they do over and over again using the same prescribed tools, I am often asked to do things that no one has ever done at our company before. This kind of work requires access to as many research tools as possible. In the February 2002 issue of Wired, Brendan I. Koerner wrote an article called How Twitter and Facebook Make Us More Productive. While I agree that Facebook is probably not very productive, I argue that Twitter is one of the best resources I have for innovative ideas. I have a network of creative contacts who will respond within minutes to requests for ideas. Some workers might waste time, but creative, passionate workers will use these tools to get their job done.

Twitter is also an outlet. Sometimes I just want to let someone know what I’m thinking, feeling, or doing. Instead of bothering my coworkers while they are working away, Twitter is an easy way to take a quick step back and summarize what I’m currently doing. If I’m not getting much done, I don’t have much to say. One reward for hard work is being able to post something meaningful to Twitter. It might seem silly, but it is true for me.

Knowledge workers should be trusted to get the job done. Don’t worry if they seem like they’re spending a lot of time away from what is strictly called work. Typing faster doesn’t make me more productive. Having more ideas makes me more productive, and using social media helps spark my creativity.

YNAB 3 on the Verge of Release

I started using YNAB—You Need A Budget—for a couple of years now. It’s software that implements for basic rules about how to handle budgeting. It’s much simpler than Quicken and it provides some functions that Quicken never will. Quicken is good at showing you where your money went, while YNAB will show you where your money will go.

One of the biggest helps with YNAB is the shift in thinking about where the money comes from for spending. The first rule of YNAB is to build a buffer of one month’s worth of expenses, then only spend money that you earned the previous month. While you spend last months income you accumulate the buffer for next month. You always know how much money you have to spend because you already made it last month.


YNAB 3 is going to be amazing!

MonkeyGTD For The Win!

Michael NesmithSo I never really updated as promised with how the integration of the FranklinCovey planner and Toodledo went because I never really came to terms with them together. Toodledo was too cumbersome and most importantly doesn’t allow dependency-tracking for next actions. I’ve been playing with the 3.0 alpha version of MonkeyGTD, though, and must say that I’m impressed. MonkeyGTD is a lot more flexible than Toodledo. That flexibility is a blessing and a curse. It takes a bit more fiddling and playing around to get into using MonkeyGTD, but it will not force you into a mold the way Toodledo does. It’s a nice bonus that MonkeyGTD is completely free and can be backed up by copying a single file, too.

FranklinCovey v. GTD

A week ago I got a FranklinCovey planner as part of a course I attended on time management. A week before that I found Toodledo (a friend of mine showed it to me). Now I’ve got this dilemma. I find that Toodledo does a great job of managing my tasks for me. At work we use Outlook for email and meeting planning. I am not terribly mobile. I spend most of the day sitting at my own desk at work. I’m struggling to find a use for the FranklinCovey planner. I tried to use it, but so far it just feels redundant. It duplicates all my electronic planning and to-do lists, but it doesn’t update automatically. I feel like it’s doubled the work it takes for me to stay up to date and on top of my projects.

GTD says I’m supposed to have one bucket, one place to collect my stuff that comes in. I have found that there are way too many buckets as it stands now, and FranklinCovey isn’t making things easier.

If there’s a good way to integrate GTD with FranklinCovey, I’d sure like to find it. For now, I’ll just have to stick with what I’ve got, I suppose.

UPDATE: I took the second half of the FranklinCovey class today, so now I know how I’m supposed to use the planner. I’ll report on my progress integrating this with Toodledo and Outlook.

UPDATE 2: The paper planner just isn’t my thing. I found a coworker to donate my planner to. Now I’m using Remember The Milk and App for the milk with great success.

Linux Hardware Monitoring without X

I use GKrellM for status monitoring on my Linux desktop and laptop machines, but have often wished for a way to get some of the same information without running an X server. I searched around and found saidar, which looked like the perfect solution. I went to install it, but I couldn’t find the packages in my distro’s repositories. I was a little upset that I’d have to build the package myself because I was in a hurry at the time. I dug around a bit more and discovered that saidar is contained in the libstatgrab package! It’s great! See saidar in action. Well, I guess it’s not really in action. Just imagine that the screen refreshes every second or so with new stats.

So, You Want to Learn a Language?

You can learn (but not master) any language in one hour or less. Don’t believe me? Well, that’s what Tim Ferriss says. He says most language learners neglect the most critical first step in learning a new language: deconstruction. He claims that the fastest language learners deconstruct the language they want to learn before they start memorizing lists of vocab words. His reasoning is that for native speakers of a particular language to learn some languages might be very easy, while others might be nearly impossible.

I took an intro to Linguistics course in Southern California and the instructor also happened to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. Most of his students were Japanese students who wanted to learn English, so they enrolled in student exchange programs. My Linguistics instructor and Ferriss both point out that Japanese and Mexican Spanish have very similar sets of sounds (phonemes) in their languages. Many students would become frustrated learning English and wound up learning Spanish from other students at the college.

Treat Language like a sport. If you are very short, you might have more work to do to be a successful basketball player. The same holds for languages that are very different from those you already speak. Learn how to deconstruct a language first so you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Free Phone for Net Neutrality

Want a free cell phone? Lessig has one to give away. Get a free phone from the Lessig Blog! I know I tried. You have to be the 100th person to complete the instructions. I guess he just doesn’t have any use for it. That’s pretty nice of him to give it away rather than eBay the thing. I guess I’m not as altruistic as he is.

Allowing All Users to Print to a Network Printer with Linux and CUPS

I ran into this problem for the first time when I tried to configure a laptop running Windows XP to print to my Samsung ML-1710 printer connected to a Linux box on the network. I wanted to set this up without the added headache of using samba since I don’t need any of samba’s advanced functionality. I turned on error reporting and found that after I had added the networked printer in Windows XP the CUPS server was rejecting jobs based on my user name. This was the error message:
[code]Denying user “sedowler” access to printer[/code]

Everything I found online said to edit printers.conf and explicitly add the denied user to the list with AllowUser sedowler. I didn’t like that solution. I tried adding AllowUser All, but that didn’t work. I commented out all of the lines that began with AllowUser and restarted CUPS, and now it works as expected allow anyone to print no matter their user name.

I think there used to be a directive AllowUser All, but maybe it’s been removed, or is a bug. I didn’t ever explicitly add any of the AllowUser lines, I think the CUPS server automatically added users from Linux machines on the network when they tried to print, but for some reason didn’t do that when printing from the Windows XP machine. That’s the only explanation that I can come up with.

If you need more step by step instructions for configuring a Windows machine to print to a CUPS networked printer, try these instructions.

A Little Piece of Office Culture

Alex has a penchant for taking the faces of his coworkers and putting them on pop culture icons like Shrek, or Princess Leia. Well, he and I have turned it into a competition to see who can make the best one. This was his idea after he noticed that I seemed a little bored. I rushed out here so quickly that I gave little to no thought to entertainment or hobbies. Anyway, here is one that he “rushed.” I must admit that he has had quite a head-start at this stuff. I can do some things with the Gimp, but he really knows what he’s doing in Photoshop when it comes to blending images together.

Shawn Dowler as Chicken Little