Category: Microsoft

Windows 10, NVidia, and Paint Shop Pro

I’m a luddite – I love Paint Shop Pro 9. Yeah, I use Illustrator and Photoshop and Inkscape and Gimp and all that goodness but, in a pinch, PSP9’s been my go-to quick and dirty image manipulator forever.

Then I got a fancy new laptop with a fancy new video card… and PSP9 wouldn’t work. It wouldn’t produce a window on launch, even though I could see it there in the task manager, running. And when I uninstalled and tried to reinstall, it hung for infinity on “registering modules.”

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VisualCron – Powershell Network Path Truncation

I set up a VisualCron job to kick off a Powershell script to reach out to certain directories – built dynamically from an array – to check for content. The script ran perfectly when invoked manually, but through VisualCron it would error out with a truncated path:

The above path should have been \\atldireng03\e$\download\. I just could not get the path to resolve. The script that builds the path looks similar to this:

Ultimately the issue was one of rights. The account VisualCron was utilizing to invoke the script did not have rights to the administrative share path being built by the script. Change the account to an administrator on the remote server and the script ran like a charm. Now, that it would error out with this weird truncated path problem rather than something referring to a lack of sufficient rights is frustrating. I suppose it’s because it could not ‘see’ the path (hence “it does not exist”), but were you to manually attempt to map to a path you hadn’t rights to pretty much all OSes would return you some kind of informative error about insufficient rights. Not here. And for the record, I haven’t tried running the script manually through a Powershell prompt without rights to the paths to see what happens. It’s entirely probable this uninformative error is on Powershell’s side and not VisualCron.

Powershell and MP3’s

I’ve been trying in vain to organize my substantial MP3 collection.  I know that in the age of streaming MP3’s are passe, but I just can’t quit ’em.  I listen to a lot of music that isn’t readily available for streaming.

One of the things I’m nitpicky about is Genre tagging.  I like that stuff to be correct.  Thing is, sometimes I get lazy.  So, I dug in to see if I could hack out a quick script to scan subdirectories in my collection and root out MP3’s with incorrect or missing Genre tags. This is a very raw little script with zero error handling.  It examines the first file in every subdir, and writes to an output file every directory where that first file’s genre tag doesn’t match what it should.  It requires taglib-sharp.dll.

# uses taglib-sharp.dll
[Reflection.Assembly]::LoadFrom("E:\taglib-sharp.dll")

$outfile = "outfile.csv"
$basedir = "I:\SORTED\Classic Rock"
$subdirs = Get-ChildItem $basedir -attributes D

foreach ($subdir in $subdirs) {
$file = Get-ChildItem $subdir.fullname -Filter *.mp3 | Select-Object -First 1
$ff=$file.fullname
$f = [TagLib.File]::Create("$ff")
$genre = $f.Tag.Genres
$outt = "$subdir `t $genre"
$outt
if ($outt -NotMatch 'Classic Rock') {
$outt | out-file $outfile -append
}
$f = ""
}

SQL Powershell tools

I’m not sure why MS makes it so convoluted to install these tools on a server that isn’t running SQL.  Regardless, head here:

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29065

And don’t click download.  All that gets you is a text file.  Instead, head down the page and expand Install Instructions.  From there, search for and download the following modules:

  • Microsoft® System CLR Types for Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 (SQLSysClrTypes.msi)
  • Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 Shared Management Objects (SharedManagementObjects.msi)
  • Microsoft® Windows PowerShell Extensions for Microsoft® SQL Server® 2012 (PowerShellTools.msi)

If you get a 2503 or 2502 error while trying to install, as I did, you may not have sufficient rights.  Try either killing explorer.exe and restarting it with admin privs or invoking the msi from within an elevated command prompt.

Then just install modules a la:

Import-Module sqlps -DisableNameChecking

Windows: Updating existing ODBC Data Source Drivers

For some reason there still isn’t any easy way to update the driver used on a previously defined ODBC data source in Windows. There’s no option when stepping through the configuration. I suppose you’re expected to delete and recreate the data sources, specifying the new driver at that time. But what if you have dozens, or hundreds, of existing sources?

Do it though the registry.
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Detect unresponsive applications using Powershell

Change the variables, save as a ps1 and schedule this:

$to  = "user@email.com", "user2@email.com"
$from  = "user@email.com"
$smtp = "address of SMTP server"
$engine = $env:computername
$log = "C:\pathto\log.txt"
$now=Get-Date -format "dd-MMM-yyyy HH:mm"

$Processes = Get-Process -EA Stop          
$nProcesses = @($Processes | ? { $_.Responding -eq $false })
if($nProcesses) {          
  foreach($nProcess in $nProcesses) {          
   $nProcess | select Name, id, MainWindowTitle, Responding  
                Write-Host "Non-Responsive Processes found!"
                $msg = "Non responsive processes found on $engine! -- $nProcess"
                $body = "Non responsive processes found on $engine!    

                $nProcess"

                Add-content $log -value $now
                Add-content $log -value $msg
                Send-Mailmessage -From $from -To $to -Subject $msg -Body $body -Priority High -dno onSuccess, onFailure -SmtpServer $smtp
 }          
 }