2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 6 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Turning off Social features in SharePoint 2010

If for whatever reason you want to prevent your users from using the social features in SharePoint 2010, here is how to do it.

Deactivate Farm level feature

Firstly, in Central Admin, you need to deactivate the Farm level feature called ‘Social Tags and Note Board Ribbon Controls’, as referred to on Technet.


Note that as this is a farm level feature, its turning this off globally – you don’t have the option of doing this at a web app level, for example.

Having deactivated that feature, you should find that the ‘I Like It’ and ‘Tags & Notes’ controls, normally found on the top right of pages, like this…


…have now been removed:


At this point, the user will still see the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab in their profiles, like this:



Removing ‘Tags and Notes’ tab from MySites

There doesn’t appear to be a clean way of removing this, other than removing the user permission for ‘Use Social Features’ in the User Profile Service Application, as follows.

[Update 28/7/2011] Based on feedback from a couple of people, here is how to remove the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab:

Browse to the MySite Host – in my case, the URL is http://mysite/_layouts/settings.aspx

(You can check you are in the right place by looking for the ‘My Site Host’) –


In the ‘Look and Feel’ section, click ‘Quick launch’


Click the Edit button next to the ‘Tags and Notes’ item



Click ‘Delete’


Click ‘OK’

You will now find that the ‘Tags and Notes’ tab has been removed for all users:


Removing ‘Use Social Features’ permission

As a final step (and this is not strictly necessary if you have followed the above steps, but for completeness…)

In Central Admin, click ‘Manage service applications’, click your User Profile Service Application, and then in the People section, click ‘Manage User Permissions’:



The permission to untick is ‘Use Social Features’ – note that for a default install you will need to untick it twice – once for Authenticated Users and then again for All Authenticated Users – then click OK.

Users will then see a 403 – Forbidden type error if they browsed to the Tags and Notes URL /_layouts/thoughts.aspx (which they would have to, seeing as the link has been removed)


Posted in IT, SharePoint | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Unable to sign in to Windows Live Messenger–Error 81000490


Ok, so I’ve been getting the above error on my Windows7 netbook for a while now.  The official reason for the error is ‘the service may be temporarily unavailable’.

I found that I could log in fine on the netbook using a different Live account, and the problem account worked fine on a desktop PC, which pointed to the problem being somewhere in the Windows profile on the netbook, and not a service problem.

I tried an uninstall and reinstall of WLM, which made no difference.

I then used the ‘forget me’ option on the login screen – this also made no difference.

I then found that for each Live account, there is a folder at the following location:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Live\Contacts

The folder names are the email address for the related Windows Live accounts.

I simply deleted the folder for the problem account, at which point I was able to login to WLM without a problem.

(If you get an error when trying to delete the folder, make sure that WLM is not running, then if you still get an error, check in Task Manager for the wlcomm.exe process, and end it if present.)

Posted in IT, Windows7 | Tagged , | 34 Comments

ActiveSync via IAG – # Character in Password Not Allowed??

Came across a strange one last week.  IAG 2007 with SP2, ActiveSync trunk, using an Active Directory Repository.

Working fine for pretty much everyone, except one user, who is getting constant prompts from the Windows Mobile device to ‘correct your password’.

IAG is showing an authentication failure, and is logging the correct username and domain, which only really leaves the password.

Further investigation determined that the user had a # symbol in their password.  When the password was changed to one without a #, ActiveSync started working fine.

I’ve since tested a non-IAG ActiveSync installation with a password including a #, and it works fine, which suggests that IAG is the problem.

I’ve now got a ticket logged with our IAG vendor, and I will post again here when I’ve worked through the issue with them.

Posted in Exchange, IAG, IT, Windows Mobile | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

3G Commuter Forums now live

I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, and last night I finally got around to creating the 3G Commuter Forums.

Its all a bit empty at the moment, but hopefully it will start getting some traffic soon.

If you use a 3G dongle, or a laptop with built in 3G, please do sign up, comments and suggestions for new forums, etc, are welcome.

Anyone fancy designing me a logo for the site?

Posted in 3G, IT, Mobile Broadband | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SharePoint 2007 – Exception 1387 – Trying to add a Server to the Farm


Our existing environment is all 32-bit, Windows 2003 R2 SP2, MOSS 2007 SP1, with the Infrastructure Update and the October Cumulative Updates applied for WSS and MOSS.

We want to migrate to a 64-bit platform, so we provisioned some new 64-bit servers, and installed the x64 binaries for MOSS, with the above updates slipstreamed in, without any problems.

We then ran PSCONFIG on one of the new servers, in order to join it to the farm.

At this point, it throws an exception 1387, failed to connect to the configuration database, so PSCONFIG then exits.

Looking in Central Administration at the Servers in Farm, the new server is now showing up, listed as ‘not configured’, and with a version number matching the existing servers in the farm.

We logged a ticket with PSS, who got us to try various things, including updating the credentials for all the various service accounts using stsadm.exe, forcing an upgrade, etc.

Nothing helped, however…

Whilst in Central Administration, updating the credentials for the various application pools, I noticed that there were a couple of pools / credentials listed relating to Web Apps that were removed ages ago.

(You can use stsadm.exe to manage credentials for Web App pools, but it can’t cope with different accounts for different pools, so you have to use Central Administration if you are running in Least Privilege mode like we are)

A quick google led me to this blog posting, which details how to identify and remove such orphaned configuration objects.

I identified the IDs of the offending pools, and followed the instructions to remove them using stsadm.exe.

I also found that in IIS Manager on my new server, there were pools configured using those orphaned details, despite them not showing on the existing (working) servers.

I can only assume that PSCONFIG read everything (including the orphaned items) and tried applying them, only to get stuck.

Needless to say, having cleared the objects using stsadm.exe, and removed the pools from my new server, my subsequent attempt to join the new server to the farm was a success.

Posted in IT, Microsoft Office, SharePoint | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment