IIS 7 – LH Beta 3 Launch Stuff

Tons of cool new things in Longhorn Beta 3 on the IIS front, including:

… the first beta of our new FTP server.  This isn’t a part of Longhorn Server Beta 3, but it is available today and offers a lot of brand new features for you to experience today.  The new IIS7 FTP server includes secure publishing with FTP/SSL support, integrated web publishing with support for the IIS7 configuration system and administration tool – making it really easy to setup FTP publishing points for a web application, integrated authentication (so that delegated administrators can use their same credentials to publish to IIS7 web sites), host header FTP support, and more!  This FTP server is really amazing, and I’ll be covering more of it in a future blog post.  Download it today, and read more about it on IIS.net!

There’s also a new DevCenter (or Developer Centre for us posh English-speaking types) with an expected-to-be-ever-expanding selection of samples and tools.

FAQ: How can I bundle IIS 6.0 (or IIS 7.0) with my application on an older OS?

I’ve seen a few variations on this question come up recently, generally of the form:

“We have Windows XP clients and require IIS 7.0 to be installed on them when our application is installed on them. Is there a redist?”

In short, no.

(Note that this question is distinct from “how can I install and configure the OS version of IIS when I install my application”, which is not covered here)

Since Windows 2000 and IIS 5.0, the only releases of IIS we’ve made have been a part of the operating system they’re installed with.

The table of available versions looks something like this:

IIS 4.0 – NT 4.0 Option Pack

IIS 5.0 – Windows 2000

IIS 5.1 – Windows XP 32-bit, (?and Itanium, from memory?)

IIS 6.0 – Windows 2003, Windows XP x64 edition

IIS 7.0 – Windows Vista, Codename “Longhorn” Server

Since the NT 4.0 Option Pack, there’s been no separate release of IIS.

So, if your app requires IIS and is targeting Windows XP clients, you need to target an IIS version as low as 5.1.

HDMI on (my) LCD TVs sucks (aka The Campaign For Pure Pixels)

Before I get into the rant: I am thoroughly ignorant of any and all video standards. Do not expect this post to contain much in the way of factual value.

I’m housesitting at my parents’ place at the moment. They have a recent-ish 32″ Panasonic LCD TV. They have my old XP Media Centre PC driving it.

Until last night, it was plugged in via VGA cable exclusively, but I thought I’d try a DVI to HDMI cable instead, as the VGA quality is terrible but I haven’t had time to fiddle with it to date.

To expand on that “terrible” a bit – the screen is 1280 by 768 pixels. The screen doesn’t seem to support this resolution through VGA, but instead scales 1360×768 to 1280, making everything a bit grainy and distorted at the individual pixel level. It supports “WXGA” mode for input which helps with the distortion a little, but trades that for colour depth – suddenly everything is banded horribly. So, terrible.

The Panasonic has the same problem as the Sony Bravia I have at home – the list of resolutions supported via HDMI are the “classic” HD resolutions. 576p, 720p, 1080i.

None of these wonderful standard resolutions are the native physical monitor resolution, so in any resolution mode, I’m going to have display pixels that aren’t exactly one physical pixel big.

For most video content, this probably isn’t the hugest deal – video tends to be fast-moving, enjoyed at a distance, and fuzz is quite tolerable.

For text, though, it’s the kiss of death. Icons look a bit odd. Windows and the cursor alias while moving across the screen. And there’s worse!

Worse – Cleartype is designed to work at physical-pixel precision, and there’s no “blurry monitor mode”, which means that the super-large (or just oddly-placed) pixels make the usually-subtly-coloured “rounding” pixels visible on the edges of letters. Which kinda breaks the effect.

With me so far? Well, life gets worse again: Compounding the already-not-insignificant feeling of dread, OVERDRAW!

Whoever figured overdraw was something important to preserve via HDMI – in the HD era – needs to consider whether they’re really the best person for the job they’re doing.

The resolution I’m actually running now from Windows’ perspective, to a screen with 1280 horizontal pixels and 768 vertical, is something like 1180 by 684. Yes, I have to reduce the logical resolution even further to compensate for the sucky consumer HD resolution hardware.

In short: the colour displayed is vastly improved now, but blocky pixels are noticeable up close.

Overall, it’s an improvement from the VGA cable, but it’s also not quite the same in terms of screen real estate.

Is there a solution? Can I get my pure 1:1 pixel mapping with a non-monitor TV? 

Do I just have to suck up the standard HDMI formats as-is? Does your LCD or Plasma TV report itself as supporting a nonstandard 1:1 format via HDMI (like, 1366×768 or 1920×1200 or, heck, 1024×768)? Is that even possible? (if so, recommendations, please!)? Am I the only person that cares about this!?

Bring back DVI, I say. That was when men were real men, women were real women, and pixels were real display pixels.

A Tiny Measure Of Progress

Prompted by Joseph’s lamentations, I thought I’d check on how Tiny was doing in the performance index stakes. Not that I was planning on any schadenfreude or outright gloating, of course.

The post from December 2006 has the following details:


Original score: 2.0 {2.7,2.9,2.0,2.4,3.7}

Re-test today: 2.4 {2.7,2.9,3.8,2.4,3.7}

Driver upgrades look like they’ve been trickling through; today’s score looks like it’s as good as I’m going to get it with the current CPU:

2.7 {2.7,4.3,3.9,2.8,3.7}

The 1GB RAM upgrade made the little dear noticeably faster in most respects, but with the latest graphics driver updates, now the low-voltage low-speed CPU is the limiting factor.

Still, I’ve convinced it to run Glass happily enough, and it’s still the best laptop I’ve ever owned, so all is good. It may not do point five past light speed, but I got point three better, and that satisfies me. It’s not like it can do the Kessel run in less distance than the Kessel run, though. Bum. 

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(reaches for the drill and the overclocking tape)

Just saw Sunshine

Sunshine on IMDB.

Well. If it had ended about four minutes before it did, it would have been a classic in my book. In fact, when I buy the DVD, I might make a “Tristank’s Cut” version that skips the very end. Or maybe mashes it up with Jurassic Park, or something. Yes, dinosaurs were on the spacecraft, and sabotaged it so that it fell into New York, in the form of a ship.

Quick Plot: Sun dying, Earth freezing. Spaceship sent to send big ‘ol nuke into heart of sun. Not everything goes to plan.

Er, anyway – I’d thoroughly recommend this movie to anyone that enjoyed Alien, or any good space-thriller. Come to think of it, has there been one since?

The production is stunning. And by stunning, I mean totally spray-your-ashes-over-a-wide-area stunning. The music intermittently pounds and soothes you, setting the tone perfectly, the sound effects (I particularly loved the lonely bleeps and bloops through solar static) are spot-on, and there are some crazy visual effects. Let the experience wash over you (rather than spending time trying to break the effects down), and you’ll have a very enjoyable experience.

Special mention: the lumbering menace of the rotating sections of the ship. Every time one scudded past, I was concerned. A subtle and unexpected payoff from it too.

There’s a pretty decent Flash exploration tool providing some backstory not in the movie, and some foreshadowing of events to come at the movie site: http://www.sunshinedna.com/explore/uk/

My rating: Four out of five cold-burning stars.

Kerbi Wiki

Back from another holiday (I call it the Arnold Rimmer technique) I’ve been trying to collect, rework and refurbish my thoughts on web-based Kerberos stuff in a personal Wiki.

You’re welcome to peruse it with the usual disclaimers that I’m frequently wrong; unlike most people-friendly wikis, this one’s read-only unless you’re me.

So, feel free to poke around; there might be something useful in there somewhere.
http://sharepoint.tristank.com/Pub/

I think there’s a definite market for a kerberos configurator – a drag-and-drop layout tool that lets you draw your network, and have it fill in the SPN registrations you need to use. When I get some time (ah, hahaha! I am so dry!), I might take a look at it.