This will only work with SQL 2005 and prior.  SQL 2008 does not work.  Symfony commands are 1.0 style and other versions of symfony will need to use the updated command structure.


1. Create a database within SQL 2005 (example: testdb)
2. Authenticate the db with SQL Server Authentication (sa)

Windows Symfony Install:

1.Within the main php directory replace ntwdblib.dll with version 2000.80.194.0.  Google search for version or obtain from one of the links within php mssql_connect documentation.
2. Stop and restart apache
3. Clear cache in symfony.  If you receive pake errors with inverted slashes during “symfony cc”, then edit your spPakeMisc.php file and retry cache clear.
4. Edit your databases.yml with the following information.  Replace the password, ip address (or localhost), and database name with your information.  Remember that yml files must have spaces, not tabs.

    class:          sfPropelDatabase
       dsn:            mssql://sa:password@

5. Paste your dsn line above into the propel.database.url section of propel.ini. Paste the dsn line minus the database name into the propel.database.createUrl section.
6. Clear cache in symfony.
7. Be sure your schema.yml is correct.
8. From your project directory do symfony propel-build-model and be sure there are no errors.
9. From your project directory do symfony propel-build-sql
10. Although it is unlikely to work, you can try to do a symfony propel-insert-sql
11. If it inserts correctly, then you are set.  Most likely you will notice that all the SQL statements did not execute successfully.  You will probably see Native Errors regarding “Incorrect syntax near \’_PK\’.]” along with other errors.  This is fixed in propel 1.3 if you want to try to figure out how to upgrade symfony or install an updated propel plugin.  Otherwise, you are going to want to manually correct your propel generated sql based on the recommendations in this thread.  If your project is myproject, then your generated sql lives here:  c:\myproject\data\sql\lib.model.schema.sql

I’ll quote the important global search and replace information here:

(Ignore the quotes  )
seek for: “]_PK”
replace with: “_PK]”

Then you will also need to alter all the strings:


In addition you will need to also move all the entries (their block of statements: BEGIN AND END included) that carry:
to the end of the script

and finally move also all the
entries (their block of statements: BEGIN AND END included) to the bottom of the file

12. Copy this file to somewhere on your sql server.  Double-click to open it within SQL server and “execute” to populate the sql into your database.
13. Generate frontend and backend applications within symfony.  Generation of an propel-init-admin in the backend is a quick way to test database read/write.

Be sure that the correct version of the dll file is running.  Restarting apache should be enough, but you know how windows dll files are.  If something doesn’t seem to be working correctly, clear the symfony cache.  You know how the symfony cache can bugger up things.

Good luck.

, , , , ,

Microsoft’s weekly downloads and updates are typically on the boring, mundane side. This week, however, several downloads peaked my interest:

Windows Search Version 4.0 has been released for XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008, and WHS. This updates the desktop search system and the Microsoft search enabled in Office, Outlook, and OneNote. This updates a bunch of bugs and is faster when compared to the previous search engines. You read more about the updated search from the preview post from March.

Microsoft Pro Photo Tools version 1 has been released. Essentially this is a metadata tool to help in adding positioning information to photos. Integration with Live Earth and support for route files such as KML has been included. XP and Vista versions are available with validation.

IE 8 Beta 1 continues to be available for testing across all windows platforms too.

My father is wanting a new computer, and I am trying to help him decide what he really wants. To refresh your memories, my father is retired and currently is using an XP desktop. I have already discussed laptop versus desktop. Next, we need to decide what OS to use.

Ubuntu is not an option. Even though it is quickly progressing as a mainstream OS, Ubuntu still requires too much tinkering under the hood. It will continue to get more popular, but it is not ready for primetime yet.


XP seems to be the easy, logical choice. Dad is already comfortable with much of XP’s interface. If he decides to use a laptop, he is going to be learning about networks, trackpads, and a whole bunch of other new stuff related to that. Adding a different operating system on top of it all might be too much. All of his old programs and hardware will still work fine. Plus, he can always decide to upgrade to Vista at a later date.

However, if my father is wanting a new computer, he is probably not really enjoying his current computing experience. He has already asked me about upgrading to Vista when it first came out. He certainly seems to be anxious for a change.


A switch to Vista would give most of the advantages of XP. (Vista Video Part 1 Here and Part 2 Here) For the most part the interace is very similar. In fact, you can even switch Vista back to an XP look. Most of his current software and hardware is likely to work too. On the down side, Vista only improves the user’s experience on a few fronts. Some of the changes to the user interface are confusing. Vista contains a lot of annoying bugs. Plus, Vista is treated poorly in the community, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Vista fades quickly much like Windows Millennium did.


Changing to an Apple system with OS X would be a big leap. (OS X Movie Tour here.) OS X is a much better, much easier (but also very different) interface than windows. Most day to day activities are more simple on OS X, but learning a completely new operating system is tough. Spyware, viruses, and bugs are much less of a worry on the Apple system. However, much of his current hardware and sofware are unlikely to work. Many of the day to day activities such as editing and printing pictures would need to be retaught and relearned. Most of the games and software that he uses now, he would have to give up. (Parallels or Boot Camp would be way over his head.) The lack of a nearby Apple store for training keeps things tough. If dad can get over the hump and learn OS X, his overall experience is likely to be better than with a Microsoft system. That hump just seems to be large.

If dad was not already comfortable with an operating system, I would suggest starting with OS X. However, now that he knows XP, should I reinvent the wheel?

Any suggestions?

Besides the normal amount of bug fixing and security patching, Windows service packs often contain new features. For most users Vista SP1 contains one, fat new feature…


Hotpatching is the ability to patch actively running software without a reboot. Only Windows components are supported at this time. If it works as billed, this should save users from those repeated annoying reboots after performing a system update. Even more so, it should save Vista network administrators from the seizure-inducing number of reboots required when updating a new installation.

Although hotpatching is the main new feature related to updates, several bug fixes and tweaks have been included in Vista SP1 to improve the updating process. These include improved failure recovery, quicker update query, and more robust uninstallation procedures.

Other New Vista Features–

Most of the other “new features” will only appeal to a narrow audience or are really glorifed bug fixes.

  • exFat is the successor to the infamous FAT32 file system. More and more users are experiencing limitations of FAT32 such as the 4 GB limit on the size of a file. Most power users switched to NTFS long ago; therefore, this is unlikely to help a huge number of people. exFat has smaller footprint so its main use may be limited toward portable devices and storage.
  • Data Execution Prevention is buffer-overflow protection that is built into the OS. The problem is that it breaks a bunch of existing programs. In fact, turning off DEP in XP is one of our most frequented tech-recipes. The new DEP API allows programmers to set how the program interacts with DEP to reduce conflicts. If this opens up a new area for buffer-exploits is unclear.
  • x64′s Kernal Patch Protection feature now has an API as well. Most anti-virus packages place code within the kernel and this new feature to Vista has shut them out. This new API allows for external programs to patch the kernel. Once again it is unknown if this will be a new target for security problems.
  • Certain AMD video cards will be the first to use Direct3D 10.1 support. Currently only MAD’s HD3000 series cards have this ability. It is unclear if programmers will even use the new 10.1 features; therefore, the consequence of this inclusion is minimal.
  • Vista now natively supports the 802.11n Draft 2.0 wireless specifications without additional drivers and applications.
  • UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) is now supported on x64 Vista installs. This means little for existing hardware (except for Apple devices) but will likely open up new boot and configuration options for the future supporting hardware.
  • HD-DVD and Blu-ray drives receive additional support including new icons and labels.
  • The hated vista file copying mechanism has been improved 25% to 50%. It will be enough to see the difference but still not reaching XP speeds.

One last note–

SP1 will temporarily slow down your experience. The optimizing performance aspect of the OS such as caching and prefetching is reset when SP1 is initially installed. Depending on your usage, speed will gradually increase again.

Technorati Tags: , , hotpatching,

The Ten Internet Trends of 2007

December 17th, 2007

When we look back on 2007 in a few years, these ten topics and companies will be the milestones that will be referenced and debated:

  • 1. Google Pushes Its Power
  • 2. Aggregators Polluted by the Mobs
  • 3. Mobile Web. Why?
  • 4. User-Submitted Profits
  • 5. Apple Leaps
  • 6. Microsoft Tumbles
  • 7. DRM. Die. Die. Die.
  • 8. Main Stream Media Invasion
  • 9. Politics’ Internet Fruitfulless
  • 10. Social Network Assimilation

1. Google

Google is currently the most powerful technology company in the world. With dominance in search and advertising, profits and stock prices have been impressive.

This year will be remembered as the point that google starting flexing its power to change people’s actions on the internet. Matt Cutts confirmed that google would punish people buying and selling links to influence search engine placement.

Google decreased the clickable adsense area which decreased some publishers’ income by well over 50%.

Google has openly started attacking social networks such as Facebook by joining the smaller networks through the OpenSocial API and by socializing Google services such as Google Reader. This dilutes the power that any one social networking system has. Google’s purchase of Jaiku is a direct competitor to IM candy Twitter. Google’s Android dilutes the potential power of a cellular network as well.

Wikipedia and squidoo will soon be feeling the google crunch next. Collaborative content is one of the most amazing products being created and delivered on the internet. Google’s Knol wants to compete here as well. Like many others, TechCrunch is worried about the conflict of interest:

Google says that Knol pages will be indexed into their search engine but will have no special ranking. That’s a little bit untrue, since they’ll be hosted by Google and will have the advantage of Google’s hefty PageRank to lift them in search results. And since no one will be auditing Google to ensure that Knol pages are treated just like everyone else, there are bound to be claims of conflict of interest.

This first started by competing with Microsoft through online services. Is Google’s strategy to dilute any potential collection of power?

2. Web 2.0 Aggregators

Digg and Reddit have moved away from tech. Sad.

Mob Rule. Tyranny of the Majority. Ochlocracy. Whatever you call it, these sites are the weak, fluffy versions of what they used to be. As the less-geek have moved in, the content of these aggregators have followed. Even the creators cannot control the sites anymore.

Unless you have a large social connection within these sites, you have no chance of getting an article viewed… (unless you pay for it.) Socializing is more important than quality.

Although I view both of these sites on a daily basis, they are frequently gamed, overcome with political manipulation, often filled with spamish links, and are utterly unrealiable as news sources.

What’s the alternative? You can always read what the A-List boys’s club is echoing about on techmeme. Or you can watch the main stream news… which is frequently gamed, overcome with manipulation… You get the idea.

3. Mobile Web

The mobile web is growing and growing. However, unless you are selling ringtones, nobody has figured how to make money from it. Even mobile web experts are puzzled on the exact nature of making money through mobile devices.

Plus, does there have to be a special “mobile web” anymore? The iPhone displays regular web content through a cell interface. Instead of manipulating content to look pretty on tiny browsers, manipulate the cell web browser to view existing content well on the cellular interface. When was the last time you remember visiting a mobi site?

4. User-Submitted Profits

Everybody is making money on the back on the users.

NewsVine, Squidoo, Wikipedia, Digg, Reddit, YouTube, Facebook. If you really think about it, none of these companies would work without the public building content for them. You are building content for them. Congratulations! When do you expect your check?

Even blogs and forums get boost from comments and discussions created within their communities. (Please comment, please, please, please…)

How long will people continue to sow content in the sites of others for free?

5. Apple

I personally believe that this was an amazing year for Apple. Apple stocks are certainly booming.

The iPhone has changed the cellular landscape that parallels how the iPod changed the portable musical player market. Apple’s commericals are painfully clever in their attacks against Microsoft. Leopard’s problems have been far less damaging than Vista’s which has helped as well. Overall, more and more people are considering moving to Apple’s platform.

Apple has shown areas of weakness, however. The AppleTV push has really died for the general public. With an anorexic iTunes movie selection, the AppleTV has little appeal to the nongeek. iTunes itself is having growing pains with content providers. NBC/Universal have decided to play hardball with TV shows and music. It’s difficult to know how it is going to play out. Apple is understandingly becoming weaker and weaker for DRM as well.

Being less ambitious than Vista has played well for Leopard. However, the new OS X is still causing growing pains for a lot of people. Feeling the vapor, we are still wondering where the much promised ZFS is?

6. Microsoft

As a one time Microsoft zealot, I am pained to see what has happened to Microsoft this year. Vista is failing because it has taken users too many steps as once. We all had to throw away most of our old hardware when XP rolled out. Most of us accepted this because the pre-XP experience was so unstable. XP was the successful promise of easy usage and stability. I wanted to install XP for my parents because I knew it would make things easier for them.

Today the market is different. Things worked pretty well before Vista. People do not want to sacrifice most of their hardware to get things working correctly. Plus, now we have 32-bit versus 64-bit discussion and “ultimate” products that add little except confusion.

Away from the OS, Microsoft’s search engines and ad networks are stagnant, and Microsoft certainly seems to be trying to kill html email usability. From my experience at FOWD, Sean Siebel is not an impressive “User Experience Evangelist.” At least Scoble tried.

Microsoft has made a few positive steps this year. The Microsoft Home Server is a new idea for a new market. If done well, it could be an essential box in every household. IE7 is a large improvement over IE6. Microsoft is investing in Facebook. Even the second Zune release (and the free software upgrade to the first version) is finally generating a little positive Microsoft buzz. Silverlight and Surface are sexy and innovative.

7. DRM

Could 2007 be the year that DRM finally starts to die?

Die. Die. Die.

Shawn Fanning’s original idea of drm-free Napster could exist in several different forms over the next few years. iTunes Plus and Amazon’s DRM free shows that the big guys are creeping into this direction. Steve Jobs thinks this way, too.

Radiohead’s In Rainbows “pay us what you want” experiment is exciting. Saul Williams and Trent Reznor are doing something similar.

Give them the music for free and sell them on the other stuff. It’s coming.

8. Main Stream Media

How about give them the content for free, too?

The New York Times is finally free. Online circulation is having to make up for the dying dead trees distribution:

Nationwide, average daily paid newspaper circulation declined 2.6 percent in the six months that ended Sept. 30, compared with the previous year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, an independent organization that monitors the industry. Sunday circulation dropped 3.5 percent nationwide during the same period.

As the main stream media looks to supplement eyeball views with online content, their articles are appearing more and more in news aggregators. How long until we figure out that some of digg’s top users are on the payrolls of popular newspapers or public relations companies?

As advertising dollars move from TV and newspaper to the internet, the main stream media is following. How much this will drown out the current boom on citizen journalism is unclear.

9. Internet and Politics

Howad Dean’s success and subsequent failure seemed to grow from within communities within the internet. Was online activism a good idea too early? Will the traditionally nonvoting, young, internet crowd actually play any role in the upcoming elections? These are the questions that campaigns are asking .

Campaigns are on MySpace, FaceBook, and YouTube. You can not read digg or reddit without reading about Ron Paul or Kucinich. Of course, strike911 received active buzz throughout the internet without getting support from the general public or receiving any real main stream press.

This campaign cycle should be a great test to see if online voting and protesting will cause any offline results.

10. Social Networks

Online social networks have continued to grow throughout 2007. The large players like MySpace and Facebook are ubiquitous. How they are changing our interactions with our personal worlds are staggering. The influence and entertainment role of TV is being largely supplanted by these social networks. For many, offline social interactions are first initiated and planned online. Small niches of personalities and beliefs can find like-minded partners.

The success of YouTube and Flickr is obviously dependent on their social interactions. Digg and reddit are driven by social interactions. Dating networks are thriving.

As more of our social lives are played out online, more of our personal information is accessible online as well. More of our personal actions and characteristics are targeted by advertisers. More of our actions can be collected and used against us. Will an insurance company be able to find out that you are a member of a tobacco social group or a Huntington’s disease facebook group? The ultimate balance between profit and privacy will be difficult.

11. Memes?

Oh wait.. I left out lolcats. I am not sure if that’s a trend or a plague, but 2007 is certainly the a year of it. Or maybe it’s not a trend, maybe it is a meme. Who knows anymore…

As I reread my article, my overall feeling is that our experience on the internet is becoming more complex. The name “google” no longer gives most people warm and fuzzy feelings. Digg and reddit are often manipulated more than main stream media. Facebook is looking to trade privacy for profits.

The idea of a “do no evil” company is more likely an untruth than an oxymoron. Previously, we thought it was possible on the internet. No more.

Of course, I would not want to do without Facebook, Digg, Reddit, or Google. We all benefit from the battles between Apple and Microsoft. Companies need to make money to survive. The balance is tough.

The real world continues to invades our idealist internet utopia. “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” but I would rather be here than anywhere else.

This shows why Microsoft has outgrown itself. This January 23, 2007 kbfaq support document from windows is supposed to tell the user how to print a folder listing on a windows machine.

Read this garbage…

To print a listing of files or folders, you can copy an image of a My Computer or Windows Explorer window to the Clipboard, paste it into an image editing or word processing program, and then print the image.
To create and print an image of a listing of files or folders using Microsoft Paint, follow these steps:

1. In My Computer or Windows Explorer, open the folder you want to print, and then press ALT+PRINT SCREEN to copy an image of the active window to the Clipboard.
2. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Paint.
3. On the Edit menu, click Paste, and then click Yes to display the image.
4. On the File menu, click Print.
NOTE: If there are more files or folders than can be displayed in the My Computer or Windows Explorer window (in other words, you must scroll to see all the files or folders), you must scroll to view these files, and then repeat steps 1-4.

So Microsoft wants the user to actually print a screenshot from explorer to print a directory/folder listing? Crazy.

The way a real person would do it…

1. Drop to a terminal / command prompt window
(Run -> cmd.exe)

2. Navigate to the directory/folder you wish to list

3. dir > folder.txt

4. Open folder.txt in whatever application you wish to edit it or print it.

Click To View Screencast

Many of vista's new features are just a keyboard shortcut away. In this screencast I give a demonstration of some of these new vista features and shortcuts.

The youtube version of this screencast is lower quality but available as well.

With Vista rolling out soon, I though I would give my list of the top 15 Vista tutorials and tips from our experts here at tech-recipes. 

1.  Should you install the 64-bit or the 32-bit version of Vista? 

64-bit versus 32-bit — This is the most important question a user will need to figure out before making the jump to vista.  This article discusses the risk and benefits of each version.

2. Shrink icons in Start Menu to increase Efficiency

The new, large icons in vista are pretty; however, they take up too much screen real estate.  Shrink these icons down to size so you can more programs appear in your start menu.

3. Where is the Run box?

The Run command is gone from the vista start menu by default.  You can get to it by hitting winkey-R or you can use this tutorial to re-add it to the start menu xp-style.

4. How to Disable Vista’s Digital Driver Signing Enforcement

By default Vista will not allow the installation of any drivers that are not digitally signed.  This will prevent a lot of old hardware from working correctly with vista.  Here is a work-around for those issues.

5. Vista’s Mobile Utility

Hit winkey-X and vista will launch the Mobility Center to allow you to control mobile-specific issues such as power management, sync settings, screen rotation, and such.

6. Change Vista’s WEP Settings and Key

Vista’s network settings are in a much different place than in XP.  This walk-through will show you how to change your wireless settings.

7. Remove Vista’s Bootloader after a Dual Install

Many people will dual boot Vista with XP in order to try the new OS.  After uninstalling Vista, they are left with Vista’s new bootloader.  Here is how to remove it.

8. Eye-Candy: Use win-tab instead of alt-tab

More pretty than useful the new task switcher is one of the slick visual features added into the new OS.

9. How to disable DEP

NoExecute Protection is a wonderful new feature in Vista.  However, some older software/hardware will trigger DEP crashes.  To help you debug your system you can temporaily disable DEP.  This will prevent the crashes until you can remove the culprit.

10. Benchmark Your Vista System

Vista contains a sweet benchmarking and monitoring system.  What is the bottleneck in your vista box?

11. Add Links to the Favorite Links Sidebar in Vista’s Explorer

The new explorer interface contains a favorites sidebar that will hold links to areas within your system that you may frequently visit.  This explains how to add links to this new feature.

12. Keyboard shortcuts for Quick Launch

Every shortcut that is placed within Vista’s quick launch toolbar is assigned a keyboard shortcut.  Winkey+1 will automatically launch the first one, winkey+2 will automatically launch the second one, etc.

Bonus and Disclaimer: Prepare for the Worst

Upgrading into a new operating system can cause hours of pain.  Every user should backup their system before taking the plunge.  Using an offical upgrade walkthrough as directed by Microsoft is very helpful.  If you have problems or experience new bugs, ask for help on the official Microsoft Vista forums or on the tech-recipes forums.

Please feel free to share your best vista hints or tips either through the official tech-recipes submission form or in the comments below.  The best will be elgible for an amazon gift certificate or cool tech-recipes swag.

I noticed this little gem in my feedreader yesterday.  I thought Q would appreciate it.

Q always did say that Microsoft is the property of the beast…

New Zune Theme for XP

November 21st, 2006

Microsoft has released a zune-related theme for XP.   You may download it directly from Microsoft.  Thanks to re-ality for the public image.

Since theming XP to look like Vista has been one of our most popular tech-recipes recently, I thought you guys might be interested in this new theme as well.