Saturday, October 27, 2012

Microsoft Surface RT

Hi guys,

This is my review of the new Microsoft Surface RT. I got my tablet one day ago so in the future I might post a more informed review.

Let's discuss the hardware first. The tablet has a very solid construction. It is pretty obvious that quite a lot of thought and money have gone into this design, which is something that is not very surprising giving Microsoft's need to get into the mobile market. The tablet offers all the functionality that people have come to expect from tablets, except for a GPS. Microsoft stated (regarding the lack of 3G support for the tablet) that consumer research showed that tablets the size if the Surface don't leave areas where Wi-Fi is available very often. It seems fair to assume that this might be at least a partial reason not to include a GPS either.

In addition the surface has a USB port, Micros SD card slot, and an HDMI video out slot. Clearly Microsoft is trying to penetrate the business world with its first offering. The tablet is a little more professional-looking in my opinion and thus not as sexy as an iPad. However, once again I think this simply demonstrates where Microsoft if focusing some of its efforts as well.

The software has impressed me although I will admit that the Windows store is not yet up to par with either Google Play or the Apple Store. As far as the OS goes, Microsoft has done very well as far as I can tell and there is a lot of potential there. I would suggest to wait a little bit if you want to buy a Surface, since the price might drop a little bit and the Windows Store is just going to get bigger. I will mention that it was nice when I received an email last night with a PowerPoint attachment, which I could open directly on the tablet without even skipping a beat.

Right now the Surface is a very solid offering, but if you wait a little bit, it will only get better. Like I said, there are still some things that Microsoft can (and I think will) improve. In addition, as I run into more of the tablet's particulars, I will keep mentioning them.

For those of you who already bought one, enjoy.



I have been very impressed by the content that is available in the media store for the Xbox. I am not sure how it stacks up against the offering from Amazon, but it definitely beats Google's heftily.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Android connection problems to Google servers

Hi guys,

One of my friends ran across an issue with her new Samsung Galaxy S and I wanted to jot it down, since it seems like she is not the only person to have come across this issue. The fix in her case was quite simple.

A quick description of the issue:

When you try to sync your Google account with your phone, after inputting your username and password, the following message appears:

Your phone has to connect with Google servers to set up your account. This may take up to five minutes.

The after a while it shows the following message:

Can't establish a reliable data connection to the server.

And the fix in this case:

Go to Menu -> Settings -> Accounts & Sync -> Background Settings (Tick this)

And then Settings -> Accounts & Sync -> Add Account -> Google -> (create your account or log in)

Hope this helps some of you.

Enjoy your Android devices :)


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Report Viewer webpart location

Hi guys,

This is just a short post that I am actually posting for myself in order to remember the location of the installed Sharepoint RS webparts. I hope someone else can find this useful as well since I had quite a hard time finding an answer to this (maybe I didn't use the right search strings on Google :) )

The default location for these are:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\100\Tools\Reporting Services\SharePoint\



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MySQL reconfigure root password

Hi guys,

I ran into an interesting situation today and thought that I'd just mention a real quick painless solution. To make a long story short I did a MySQL dump on my windows machine in order to restore the DB on my Linux box. In the process, you also have to copy the mysql database since the grant tables are stored in that database. Somewhere along in the process though I messed something up and lost my root user account. I then got an access denied for any attempt to log in as root and I couldn't change the password for root either since the user didn't even exist in the mysql.user table.

One would be able to manually insert a user into the table; however I don't recommend that approach. It is just not a clean way of dealing with your most important account as far as MySQL goes.

I am not exactly sure what the problem was yet, but a quick painless solution is to reconfigure the MySQL server:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure mysql-server-5.1

Replace the version number with your version, which you could check by running mysql --version.

Hope this helps someone out!

Happy coding :)


Friday, May 11, 2012

SharePoint remote management through Windows Powershell

Hi guys,

Just a quick note on managing SharePoint remotely through the use of Windows Powershell. I just wanted to blog this for my own use, but thought that someone else might find it handy. The following blog is a very nice description of how to setup and use remote management through Windows Powershell.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

SSRS Parameters Greyed Out, SSRS 'Back Button' Issue

Hi guys,

I have been doing quite a bit of development on SSRS lately and I ran into quite an annoying bug which I still haven't been able to fix (although I have found a workaround). The bug that I am talking about is one that many people have come across when using the ReportViewer web part in SharePoint in order to display a SSRS Report in a SharePoint page.

Let me give a quick description:

When I am viewing Report A and this report has a link that links to Report B, I click on the link and then, as expected I am taken to Report B. Now if I want to go back the parent report, I can use the 'Back to Parent Report' button which is provided at the top of the ReportViewer web part. However, this button does not work correctly. When the button is clicked, the parameter list is not refreshed and so you get taken back to the parent report while your parameters are still those of the child report. I have also found that once I'm back on the parent report, with the wrong parameters displaying, links to other reports cease to work.

I don't have a lot of time now, so I will just cut right to the chase and say that here I will not provide a solution to the problem but simply a workaround.

What I did was to implement my own back button. I simply passed the parent report's parameters down to the child report. I obviously specified these parameters to be hidden on the child report. I then created a text box on the child report and implemented an action on the textbox. This action then takes me back to the parent report and passes the parent's parameters back to it in order for it to have the correct parameters now. Then in the ReportViewer web part, I simply hid the back button.

Too dirty for my liking, but it gets the job done. (I tried many other workarounds as well; I also installed SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1, which according to MS, should have worked, but didn't).

The other thing that I want to mention real quick is the issue of parameters acting kind of strange sometimes. In this particular case, parameters were greyed out for no reason. The parameters before it had values chosen.

Please make sure that the data set that you are getting the values from for the parameter, does not contain any NULL values as this will cause a greyed-out parameter if you use the data set to set the default values as well.


Happy coding!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SSRS Report Parameters in Url

Hi guys,

I have seen that many people have had questions regarding passing report parameters in urls. I decided that I would document my specific case here as I did not find much information on it. I am working with SSRS 2008 R2 and in Sharepoint Integrated Mode.

I will just get right down to it. To correctly pass parameters to a report, use a url that follows the following pattern (assume that we have a "ssrs reports" folder in our SharePoint subsite, where we store our reports):


The important thing to note is that for every parameter it is necessary to include the "rp" prefix.

I hope this helps some of you.

Please ask if I can be of more assistance.

Happy coding! :)


Monday, March 19, 2012

HP TouchPad not charging

Hey guys,

I ran into an interesting "problem" with my HP TouchPad charger and felt it worth documenting since it's a simple fix and someone might find it useful and resolve their "problem" within 10 seconds.

The charger that comes with this tablet is actually a two-piece unit so what happened with my is that the part that connects to the wall socket got turned anti-clockwise and so it did not touch the connectors that reside on the second part. 

If your charger is not working (and if it was working before, especially), chances are that this might be your problem. Simply turn the first piece clockwise until you hear a clicking sound. Should now be solved.

Enjoy your HP TouchPad (by the way, let me know if anyone wants some advice or guidelines on how to install Android 4.0 (ICS) on the TouchPad - it's not hard to find it on google, but I'd be happy to help either way, and I can honestly say that Android is running very smoothly indeed on my TP).



Monday, January 16, 2012

PerformancePoint and Hidden Attribute Hierarchies

Hi guys,

This is just a real quick note on the fact that even though you can technically use any attribute hierarchies in your MDX code (even if the hierarchies are hidden within the dimension), PerformancePoint would not allow you to use these hierarchies should you decide to write your own MDX query for some custom need.

Hope this helps someone out at some point,