Sunday, December 14, 2008

Xbox 360 Live connection problems

I've tried connecting to Xbox Live to get the MPEG4 media update and it kept disconnecting in the middle of the sign-up process, very annoying. I've tried a few suggestions floating around on the web, like changing the router configuration and forwarding ports 88 and 3074 to the box, no luck. I thought at first that it was due to the WDS link I have between the two wireless routers, nope wasn't that. The Xbox Live test even complained of a low MTU setting, couldn't find that any setting for that in my 3Com wireless router (3com OfficeConnect Wireless 11g Cable / DSL, 3CRWE554G72T) and even less luck with the NTL cable modem, to which I don't even have access to (well, I sorta do if I hook up my computer directly in the modem and change the IP in the 192.168.1.x class and connect to, but I can only see technical data, like signal and stuff, no MTU or anything like that). I even changed the DNS servers to OpenDNS ones, thought it might help somehow, nope no luck.

Anyways, back to the my 3Com wireless router, checked the firmware version, being a discontinue product it was last updated a couple of years ago and the last time I talked to a 3com support person didn't help much... Turned back to the internet to find a few others having the same problem and no solution... Decided to keep poking around in the router menu, until I got into the Firewall > SPI section. Unticked a few options in Stateful Packet Inspection section, still no luck - then I took the courage and unchecked the main SPI entry and bulzeye! My box was talking to Bill's computers loud and clear!!! :-)

I don't have a full Xbox Live account, one of those gold ones (used to have one for the old Xbox, actually Microsoft was very nice and refunded me when it got renewed without my approval, but that's another story :-), I only needed to connect once to get the update. I might go back again every now and then for those free downloads or even get a gold subscription someday, although very unlikely given my spare time, I might have to decide to disable SPI for good. While I sorta do understand what SPI does, I'll need to understand it a bit more and give it a good run with and without to make a final decision.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Faulting application httpd.exe, faulting module php5ts.dll

Trying to setup a web development environment on a Vista machine, pretty much the same way I've done it a few time before, although maybe with newer versions - Apache HTTP 2.2.10, PHP5 5.2.8 and MySQL 5.1. When trying to access phpMyAdmin, it was crashing with the following error in Event Viewer:
Faulting application httpd.exe, version, time stamp 0x48ef9351, 
faulting module php5ts.dll, version, time stamp 0x493d75fc, exception code 0xc0000005, 
fault offset 0x00009fe6, process id 0x18c, application start time 0x01c95d543b01222a.
I thought initially that all these new versions are not working properly together, googling for php5ts.dll I found this used to happen to other people with older versions. While reading a post with few suggestions, I remembered that in previous setups (on XP) PHP wasn't able to connect to MySQL until PHP\libmysql.dll was found somewhere in the PATH - some people were suggesting to copy it in various locations, like %WINDIR%\system32 or Apache\bin. Personally I don't like that, copying files around has the disadvantage that if you update PHP later and it's coming with an updated version of this file, you will have to remember to copy it again, otherwise you may run into problems (yes, I've done it before, but not anymore :-). The best solution is to add C:\Program Files\PHP to the system PATH, so that when you update PHP it will pick up the new dll.

Just to confirm, I ran ProcMon and set it to filter on httpd.exe process and for path libmysql.dll. I noticed that it was finding the libmysql.dll in MySQL\bin folder, which may be newer and incompatible with the PHP mysql extension. Adding the PHP location (C:\Program Files\PHP5 in my case) in the PATH system variable, before the MySQL\bin entry and restarting Apache web server solved the problem.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Consolas Font Pack for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or 2008

Brief Description

The Microsoft Consolas Font Family is a set of highly legible fonts designed for ClearType. It is intended for use in programming environments and other circumstances where a monospaced font is specified. This installation package will set the default font for Visual Studio to Consolas.


Consolas is intended for use in programming environments and other circumstances where a monospaced font is specified. All characters have the same width, like old typewriters, making it a good choice for personal and business correspondence. Optimizing the font specifically for ClearType allowed a design with proportions closer to normal text than traditional monospaced fonts like Courier. This allows for more comfortable reading of extended text on-screen.

The package will change the default text face in Visual Studio to the Consolas family.

This package is only intended for licensed users of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 or 2008.