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2009-01-31

Issue: Abnormally High Memory Usage of Windows Live Messenger 2009


I upgraded my Windows Live Messenger to version 2009 (Build 14.0.8050.1202) a few days ago, the interface looks even more fancy then previous version, but I've encountered some issues.

When the software runs for a few hours, it may, not always though, take up 50% of my dual core CPU load (i.e. full loading of 1 CPU core) and hangs. I just had it restarted until the forth time the problem occurred. I was shocked when I looked at its memory consumption in task manager:


WOW!!!! A over 1.7G of memory consumption!!! How dare it!

My notebook has a 2GB of physical memory and memory paging occurs like crazy. I started the Process Explorer and wish that it was only some worker threads who are bugged so that I could kill them without restarting the Messenger (since I have some unread message...). Unfortunately it is the main thread who occupying the CPU cycles... I also tried to terminate the network traffic of the process in my personal firewall software and even disconnected my wireless network, hoping it was something related to the traffic but there is no help. So I can only kill the whole process and leave my unread messages mysteries...

Anyone has encountered similar issues or know what's going on?

Thanks.

2009-01-23

Problem signing certificate created in VisualSVN with Microsoft Certificate Service


I was helping my workplace to setup a subversion server and I found a good choice named VisualSVN. It is so convenient that everything is done with a few clicks. It is a bundled of Apache and SVN server with an user-friendly GUI (based on Microsoft Management Console). It even helps to you setup LDAP authentication and maintain the access control list so that I can integrate it to our active directory. Everything was going nicely except a minor problem on signing a certificate for the HTTPS service.

Since I don't want the server certificate to be self signed, I generated a certificate request in the VisualSVN console and attempted to sign in with our own Microsoft Certification Service instance. However, I was prompted the following error:

The request contains no certificate template information

From the text I know that the request generated by VisualSVN probably does not include the certificate template information (which is 100% normal...). This page has listed the simple solution by using the certreq utility:
certreq -submit -attrib "CertificateTemplate: WebServer" request.txt
Where request.txt is the certificate request file generated in VisualSVN.

Problem's solved and thanks! :D

BTW, I really do suggest you guys to try out VisualSVN if your server is Windows Platform. It saves you a LOT of time!

2009-01-22

Cool ICE from Microsoft


Recently I went to the top of Lion Rock in Hong Kong, stood on the head of the lion and enjoyed the great view there. Certainly photos were shot to create a panorama, I have did that once (check it out at my blog post here) on that night using Autostitch. The result is not bad.

I then come up with another tool from Microsoft Research named ICE - Image Composite Editor and created another panorama. The result is impressive. It is easy to use and I can have some minor tweak on the photo. It also allow users to chop the result photo (automatically or manually), which is really convenient - I mean most users does chop those black edges away from their panorama.

Here's the result photo:
360° Panorama at Lion Rock, Hong Kong (2)

Unlike last time, I didn't tune the color. But not bad already, right? You are recommended to view it in original resolution. If it is too large for your browser, feel free to download and view it in your favorite image browser :D

Globalization in Programing


The world is really that large, strange bugs often arise when a program goes global...

Recently I was prompted for a strange FormatException when a user from Europe test my program. It's was really strange the double.Parse("0.70") would throw such an exception. "What's wrong with this 0.70, isn't it a standard form of double? Is the problem caused by the tailing zero?" I wondered.

Certainly not. The .NET Framework shouldn't be that stupid not to be able to handle those trailing zeros. After some web search, I found the answer at here. Oh my god, the world is really that large, I don't know some countries like France use commas instead of periods for decimal points in numbers (i.e. "0,70" instead of "0.70")... The solution was also in that page, that I should tell the program not to use local culture when parsing parsing the number like this:

double.Parse(str, System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture);


Oops. I know that we can (and we should) supply a culture information to the Parse function whenever possible from the day I started using .NET Framwork. I am just too lazy to add it everytime. As I result I need to search for all ".Parse(" pattern in the pieces of code again to fix this problem. This story tell us again we should never be lazy when writing programes, espeically when it is up to certain scale... Same lesson learnt, again.

2009-01-07

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