James Finnigan

Debugging, Shell Programming, Setup, Working at Microsoft, Virtualization

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  • Blog Post: The best way to make UAC shut up for a while

    Let's say you want to install a few things and want UAC to stop bugging you while you install them. Should you turn off UAC and install the apps? Since that disables UAC's virtualization, it can destabilize things that depend on data written to those virtual locations. Here's an alternative that keeps...
  • Blog Post: Making an MSI that doesn't need a UAC/LUA prompt

    The goal I think that most things don't need to require a UAC prompt to install - just install it for that user. Why not make the MSI so it doesn't prompt and your users get a smoother experience? (Also, I feel much better installing a program that doesn't require elevation to install - at a minimum...
  • Blog Post: How to launch an un-elevated process from an elevated process

    Update: Please refer to Aaron's FAQ which is being maintained while this post has grown stale This question has come up a fair amount lately. The short answer is that you don't * - instead you should: first launch an unelevated process have that unelevated process launch an elevated process...
  • Blog Post: Windows Live ID Client SDK alpha release

    On a recent post about BITSAdmin , someone commented on how you needed to be logged into passport to download certain things. Well I noticed in Brian's blog that there is now an alpha release of the live client SDK . I haven't tried it out (still busy recruiting in Utah), but it looks promising that...
  • Blog Post: RE: How to get rid of that pesky Windows Welcome Center at FIRST boot

    While reading blog comments about Welcome Center, I came across this entry on how to remove welcome center at first boot. ... With a simple .reg file though, you can kill Windows Welcome Center dead on first boot — simply put the following into your .reg file and save it, run it, or add it to...
  • Blog Post: Using WMIC to check for predicted disk failure (S.M.A.R.T. analysis)

    I was looking at the Windows Vista Reliability and Performance Monitor and noticed that the data collector sets for System Diagnostics included a SMART disk check. I've been waiting for Windows to make better use of SMART and hadn't noticed that there was a WMI entry for it . I took a look at it in WMIC...
  • Blog Post: How to use BITS to transfer files

    BITS is Microsoft's background intelligent transfer service. It's used to transfer files without it bothering you (roughly). The goal is to use idle bandwidth, so it doesn't affect that streaming radio station that you like, your video chat, etc. The service is relatively full-featured , although...
  • Blog Post: Photo Album Publishing - Why print photos when you can print a book?

    Did you know that you can print custom books now? I can easily and cheaply create my own book with mypublisher . It's no quark (what most real publishers use), but it's cheap, easy and good enough. For what I want to do, it looks like the right level of flexibility. I love products like mypublisher and...
  • Blog Post: Christmas Camera Shopping Technique and Recommendation

    I've been thinking about good point and click cameras lately, and I'm a big fan of the Ricoh Caplio R4 . I've played with it myself, and enjoyed some great pictures of flowers from it. But I was recently looking at a report of the most popular cameras on flickr , and noticed that you could see pictures...
  • Blog Post: Windows Vista Keyboard Shortcuts

    Just came across this good listing of keyboard shortcuts in Windows Vista and thought I'd share them around. Some people refuse to use the keyboard for much besides email, but I'm a huge fan of keyboard shortcuts (and love the ubiquitous search features in Vista)
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