(From internal blog – 5 January 2012)

All Microsoft applications are now written so the admin functionality is executed via powershell. The UI simply calls these powershell scripts.

Advantage is that full functionality of the applications can be scripted instead.
Used to be the case that the scripting was bolted on afterwards. This meant that the scripting could not always perform the same tasks as the UI could.



  RTRIM(TO_CHAR(EXAMPLE / 100, 'FM0.999999999999'), '.') AS EXAMPLE_3

PL/SQL leading zero with no trailing zeros

Thanks to Oracle Community

It took me a while to find this. Only because I didn’t read the actual page! There’s 3 highly visible links leading you away from the standalone player which is below. Adobe call their standalone player a “projector”.

Update: It would help if I posted a link wouldn’t it:)

If you can’t find it either, take a look at the picture below.

Standalone Flash Player

Find the Standalone Flash Player

The latest Google doodles celebrating the 76th birthday of Roger Hargreaves are simply outstanding. My favourite has to be Mr Rush.

Mr Rush

Mr Rush

Zen starts tonight at 9pm.

You can see more programmes at http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcone/ and http://www.bbc.co.uk/tv/comingup/.

Flash without dlmWant to download and install flash without the download manager? I know I do.

Why force installation of a download manager for files that are only a few megabytes? It’s an overhead that simply isn’t required. I don’t need any more rubbish installed on my computer and neither do you.

The links below will take you to the official install files. Download to your local machine and install directly.

Flash installer for Firefox, Safari and Opera


Flash installer for Internet Explorer


“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor souls who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” — Theodore Roosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your oldnonsense.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You don’t have to change that much for it to make a great deal of difference. A few simple disciplines can have a major impact on how your life works out in the next 90 days, let alone in the next 12 months or the next 3 years.” — Jim Rohn

“Earn as much money as you possibly can and as quickly as you can. The sooner you get money out of the way, the sooner you will be able to get to the rest of your problems in style.”– Jim Rohn

Java Control Panel BeforeWell, I’ve been having problems with Java the last couple of weeks.

No, I don’t want to install every point release.

When I say “Do not update”, I really mean it.

Seems Java’s hard of hearing. Despite unchecking the “Check for Updates Automatically” check box, it was still checking for updates and trying to install them.

Turns out that Java’s Control Panel will only accept changes made by Administrators, so any changes you make will be quietly ignored.

Solution (for Vista 32bit):

Java Control PanelClick “Start”.

Copy “C:\Program Files\Java\” into the search area at the bottom.

Open the bin folder inside the highest JRE release number (jre1.6.0_07\bin in my case).

Right click “javacpl.exe” and select “Run As Administrator”.

Unselect “Check for Updates Automatically” and click OK. You’re done. No more Java updates. You can still update manually from the Java Control Panel whenever you want.

Windows Admins are not automatically SQL Server 2005 Admins. There’s a provisioning tool that runs at the end of the service pack setup that fixes this. If you skip past it or SQL Server isn’t running then you need to run the tool separately.

You can do this by running the “SQL Server Surface Area Configuration” tool and clicking “Add New Administrator”.

Recently I needed to add a comment in a batch file and I couldn’t remember how to do it. Google proved somewhat elusive in providing adequate results and so the search took longer than it should have done.

For posterity, you can add a comment to a windows batch file by adding “REM” to the start of the line.

REM This is a comment
REM This is also a comment


I was using the batch file to automate the encryption of the system.identity element for multiple sites on a web server. I’ll cover the syntax for that in a separate post.


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