Windows 8

A few days ago I went out and bought Fallout 3 having heard that its a good game to try if you like the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro series games.

However when trying to run the game or update it to the latest available patch version on my Windows 8.1 PC I kept getting the error message-

The ordinal 5359 could not be located in the dynamic link library C:\Program Files (x86)\Bethesda Softworks\Fallout 3\Fallout3.exe.

The simple and easy fix to this problem? Download, install and login to the latest Games for Windows Marketplace Client.

You can download the client from this link here – http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/Live/PC/DownloadClient.

So you now have your WebDAV server setup and its time to get this out to your users. To help you along you feel free to edit the guides below to your particular requirements.

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For further reading take a look at the links below-

In the previous article in this series we looked at the topology needed to setup a WebDAV infrastructure.

I’ll assume that

  • You have a public DNS record which points to a IP address on your firewall which is in turn port forwarding 443 (HTTPS) to your IIS server (this also works through Web Application Proxys like the ones built into Smoothwall firewalls)
  • You have a internal DNS record which points to the network adapter on your IIS server
  • Your IIS server has your paid (and signed) SSL certificate imported

You will also need a few server roles installed on your IIS server (you can do this through Server Manager), these are

  • Web Server (IIS)
  • WebDAV Publishing
  • Basic Authentication
  • Request Filtering
  • HTTP Logging and Logging Tools
  • IIS Management Console (unless you feel like doing everything remotely)
Server setup

So now to the fun bit! Which is all in the screen shot sequence below…

Testing

So you now have your server setup with the basics…so its time to do some testing. The screen shot sequence below shows how to connect to the WebDAV share on a Windows 8 PC.

Things you really need to test include
  • Users only have permissions to access the folders you want them to
  • You can upload/download files up to the maxium size you defined earlier
  • That you can access the share from both inside and outside your network
Next time

In the next part you can get some example user guides that I have made for my own implementation as well as some links to further reading.

Every once in a while a magical bit of software comes along that makes life so very good; today that software is WebDAV and its been around so long that some people might have forgotten how good it is.

The premise goes
  • You have one or more internal Windows Server(s) which hosts users personal documents and shared drives
  • You would like your users to access these files on any device ranging from their home PC (running say Windows 7) to their personal mobile devices (iPad)
  • You would like your users to access these files both inside and outside the firewall
  • You would like your users to access these files natively (like a mapped drive) so they don’t have to muck around with web based applications
  • You would like your users to be able to use this service with as little configuration on their part as possible
  • All while maintaining a secure and auditable system
To accomplish this you will need a few things
  • A valid paid for SSL certificate (don’t ever think you can get away with a self signed one) – personally I use a GoDaddy wildcard certificate
  • A spare Internet Information Services (IIS) Server to host the WebDAV service on
  • Depending on how things go 20 minutes
Topology

The basic topology is your clients point their WebDAV client at a DNS address which is mapped against a IP address which is port forwarded through your firewall to your IIS server which then serves requests to your file servers (clients don’t get to talk to the file servers direct). Don’t forget to setup your internal DNS to point to the internal network adapter of your IIS server as well.

Next time

In the next article I’ll run through the setup of a WebDAV server.

A little while back in response to a poorly researched article on a tech website I decided I would list out the parts I would use of building a basic gaming PC for less than £350. With Windows 8 and AMDs latest FM2 socket processors now out it seemed to make sense to update that article.

So for a mere £349.28 from dabs.com (at time of publishing including postage) here is what you should be looking at getting.

Just one thing before I go any further – proper gaming PCs that run games at their very highest detail are expensive items of kit (£650+) if that’s what you are looking for then this is not the PC for you. However if you are after something to keep the kids happy or just like to dabble in gaming and are happy with medium levels of graphics detail then this is ideal for you!

CPU/GraphicsAMD A10-5800K – £95.26 At the top of the line of the new FM2 socket APUs (CPU and GPU combined) is the A10-5800K with its quad core design and 3.8Ghz clock speed its one mean machine with professional review websites (link) showing that it performs very well for basic gaming.

MotherboardASRock FM2A55M – £37.41 This basic motherboard comes with 4 USB ports, DVI and VGA monitor ports and the 2 SATA cables you will need for the hard drive and DVD drive.

RAMCorsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz – £30.99 Plenty of RAM is a must for gaming these days especially as the APU uses system RAM for graphics. With 5 star customer reviews across the board on dabs.com you can’t go wrong!

Hard driveSeagate 500GB Barracuda – £41.98 Its a hard drive, its got 500GB of storage space, if you need a bigger one get a bigger one…not much else to say!

DVD driveLiteOn DVD-RW – £12.68 I’d like to believe that most people have a old PC lying around somewhere that they can use the DVD drive out of but if you need one (to install Windows/Games) then this will meet your needs.

Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 8 – 64-bit – £69.99 Windows 8 is out, with a new Windows store for casual games (Hydro Thunder and Angry Birds included!) its an easy choice for any new gaming PC. You also get the added bonus of the latest version of DirectX which is used in the latest games.

Case and power supplyFractal Design Core 1000 & OCZ Technology 500W CoreXStream – £27.99 & £31.99 Fractal design are very attentive in the design and manufacturing of their products with premium features (like dust covers and anti vibration grommets for the hard drives) showing up in very affordable cases. Going for the OCZ power supply over generic unbranded ones is a good call as you get the assurance of 80+percent power supply efficacy which will help make sure your new PC isn’t chewing through power needlessly.

For the past few days I’ve been trying to get Windows 8 Pro (64bit for anyone who is counting) upgrade to install onto a test PC at work, however after detecting the user files the installer gets to about 4% of extracting files then errors out with the message below.

Windows cannot install the required files. The file may be corrupt or missing. Make sure all the files required for installation are available, and restart the installation.

Error code: 0x80070570

Now the odd thing was I had this message after getting the download ISO from the Volume Licence Service Centre on three separate downloads which suggested to me that there was nothing wrong with the install files.

The silly thing though is I was using 7-Zip to extract the ISO without needed to burn it to a DVD; however, once I burnt the ISO to a DVD and tried to install off of that the install went through just fine!

So maybe I needed a newer version of 7-Zip, maybe the Windows 8 ISO doesn’t like being extracted like that or maybe there was something wrong with the first 3 downloads. Either way I burnt the ISO to a DVD and it installed fine….

Please Note – Microsoft have now confirmed that there will not be 3G/4G in the Surface through the complete specs which can be seen here.

As the momentum builds for a midnight release of the Microsoft Surface (thanks to the Reg) Microsoft are still keeping very quiet about a lot of key things – most notably will it have a 3G/4G connectivity.

Even in its RT version Surface has a lot of things going for it over other tablets like full USB, HDMI, TPM encryption (Bitlocker managed in the Pro version), integrated kick stand, Microsoft Office, a design and build quality that IMO rivals the iPad and its touch covers which build in a cover and keyboard into one item.

We do know that the Asus Vivo RT comes with 4G (in at least the US) but still no mention of the Surface getting it.

Personally this is the biggest feature that the Surface needs to succeed – without it the Surface would become a tablet that you can only use at home/at work (assuming you have Wi-Fi). Yes you may say you could hook up to a coffee shop Wi-Fi network or your phones tethering ability while out and about but nothing beats the seamless nature of 3G built right in.

So I say to Microsoft-

Unless you have had your head buried in the sand for the past few days you will know that Microsoft has showcased their take on Windows 8 tablet PCs.

Dubbed Microsoft Surface (the big table surface has been renamed PixelSense) this new family of tablets comes in a ARM processor based version (aimed at the day to day consumer) and a x86 Intel processor based version (aimed at the business professional).

Microsoft are saying that the ARM based version (Windows RT) will be available at ‘competitive prices’ when Windows 8 goes on general sale (I’m thinking that could be around October) and that the Intel version will come 90 days after.

The specifications sheet of both tablets can be found on the Microsoft website here.
Furthermore you can watch the 45min long keynote/demo from Microsoft here.

Anywhos that’s enough of the facts that we know so far time for some impressions……

Screen/Case

It makes sense that Microsoft would go for the larger end of the tablet PC screen sizes, for Windows 8 to be able to multi task (i.e. have two applications side by side with one snapped) you need to have a screen resolution of at least 1366 pixels wide to get that kind of pixel density on a 7″ tablet isn’t easy and if you want to be multi task class productive on a tablet PC a 7″ screen just dosn’t make sense.

One thing I like a lot is the inclusion of Gorilla Glass in the screen which makes the screen ultra strong, the magnesium case gives a very professional look to the whole device as well – it certainly is heads and shoulders above some of the plasticity cheap looking Android tablets out there.

The only thing which I don’t get about the case design is the start button in the middle of the tablets bezel – the way I see it if the button were on the far left hand side (as it is on the Acer W500) then if you were holding the tablet with two hands it would be more than easy for you to reach out with your thumb and get right back to start. Continue reading

Last year just before Christmas I was very close to getting a Motorola Xoom Android Tablet PC but after much thought I changed my mind and decided that I would wait for Windows 8. Looking at the reasons below most of these relate to my nature as a IT professional and how I would use the tablet at both home, out and about and also at work.

Windows 8 is the match for my choice in phone and online services

I use Windows Live quite extensively covering Mail, SkyDrive (Photo storage/Documents), Contacts and Calendar – all of which integrate natively with my Windows Phone.

Microsoft has also demonstrated (video to the right) as to how these web services are built right into the OS in a way that is already familiar to me. This kind of continuity between devices can’t be matched and Android tablets (although Apple does very well with the iPhone and iPad offering a very similar user experience). Continue reading