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Monday, April 30, 2012

AppSense <-> ThinApp issue. [Resolved]

I ran into an interesting AppSense Environment Manager / VMware ThinApp issue at a client recently.  While packaging apps, Robert Luisi and I ran into an issue were a ThinApp’d application would not launch.  Double click and the splash screen would launch and then nothing.  Check the task manager and you would see the processes in the background but they would be almost in a hung state.  We also couldn’t kill the process or the process tree and would have to reboot the VM to clear up the condition.

Running a quick trace with Process Monitor, we would see locking issues on the cache files in the ThinApp directory on the client.clip_image002

On a plain vanilla Windows 7 machine (the packaging machine), the package would work fine. We also tried on an XP machine without issue.  The issue only came to light when run on a machine with the AppSense Client on it.  Although all policies were disabled on the machine, JUST INSTALLING the AppSense EM agent was enough to create this issue.  Interestingly enough, the application could be installed on that same machine without ThinApp’ing it and it would work fine.

After a quick call to AppSense tech support, the issue was resolved with a client side Registry entry.

Registry Key: HKLM\Software\AppSense\Environment Manager\ 
Value Name: LegacyAppInit

Value Type: REG_DWORD

Value Data: 1

There might be a KB article on this in AppSense’s knowledgebase but I have some issues with the way they publish their KB articles.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

PSA : DNS Malware infections


Just a quick PSA post from Marcos Velez

As you may have heard by now, a fairly serious DNS-related malware infection took place last year and has been on the news recently.  While the malware was stopped on November 8 2011, and a temporary solution put in place to help infected users, it is estimated that a sizable amount of the more than 4 million infected PCs is still affected and will lose Internet connectivity on July 9 2012, when the temporary fix will be taken offline.  The malware was part of an elaborate advertising scam that would change user's DNS settings to point to a set of rogue servers that would direct users to websites that in turn resulted in "clicks" for advertisements. The rogue DNS servers were taken over by the FBI in November but, given the widespread reach of the malware, it was decided to keep them online to prevent a large amount of users from losing Internet functionality.  The problem is that the servers are being taken offline in ten weeks and many people could lose the ability to resolve internet addresses when that happens.

To make sure you are not "infected", you can use the following link to check that your DNS settings are OK and not compromised: http://www.dns-ok.us/

, if you want to read more about the malware, and the situation that has ensued,  you can read about it here:

a great day, and don't let your computer lose its Internet functionality!

Thanks Marcos!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

VMware vExpert 2012


The new 2012 vExpert list was released recently and I was fortunate enough to make the list again this year.  For the past 4 years since the program’s inception, I have been lucky enough to be included with some very good company.  This year’s list contains some really smart, passionate and dedicated people.   About 300 in total.  I think this number will likely increase since the program was recently opened up to customers who evangelize VMware and virtualization within their own organizations.

It’s really great to be recognized though.  Blogging can be a lot of work and requires some real dedication in my opinion.  Early on in the process of setting up a blog and sometimes later on, it can feel like you are just talking to yourself in an empty room.  You have to stay motivated and committed to continue posting.  Eventually, people will begin to read, respond and interact.  It’s surprisingly great and very rewarding when you begin to see a community of your peers develop through the sharing and discussion of ideas and information.  Of course, I’m proud to be an active part of that community.

Thanks for reading and supporting everyone on the list.


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Thursday, April 19, 2012

‘Printing’ to Evernote using Folder Imports

I really love Evernote.  I have been finding uses for it throughout my work processes and personal life.  It’s a great application and service.  There are a ton of ways to use it and I am always looking for more ways.   Printing to PDF and direct importing to Evernote seemed like something I could use.  Hitting print and having an ‘Evernote Printer’ would be the best solution but until that’s available, here is what I came up with.

Import Folders
Import folders is a pretty nifty feature of the Windows based Evernote client.  You can set it up to scan folders and when it sees a new or updated file in the folder (and optionally subfolders), it will auto import it into a notebook with appropriate tags.  You can then have Evernote delete or keep the source.



Basically, I created an EverNote Import folder and configured it in Evernote’s Folder Import feature to delete.  Now I just print to PDF and save directly to this folder.  Evernote sees it and imports the PDF and deletes the source.  Works pretty good.

Happy Evernote’ing.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Multiple Versions of Word (Same Machine) via Aaron’s App tip!

imageIf you are not using ThinApp or some other Application isolation technique, here’s a great way to get multiple versions of Word running on the same XenApp or XenDesktop image from Aaron Silber.

Aaron was working on a new XenApp build for a client who requested to have Word 2003, 2007 and 2010 installed on the same server, to which he of course said, no problem! Well, they all installed ok, but he found out that Word 2003 and Word 2010 actually don’t behave too well together; incidentally 2007 had no issues with either of them.

In order to get this going you need to install them in ascending order, so that new files overwrite older ones. The issue is that once you are all done and launch Word 2003, it complains that there is an issue and you need to run a repair, running a repair causes the same issue with the Word 2010.

The answer? Create a registry entry in each of the Office version registry branches called NoReReg and set it to 1. This will stop Word from trying to be king of the hill and knock out the other versions.


Value: NoReReg
Data: 1
Source: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2121447

Once this is done, voilĂ ! Everyone gets along on the playground again!
Thanks Aaron!

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fake News of the day.

Citrix and VMware institute tweet only support: In similar cost cutting moves, both Citrix and VMware customers running free hypervisors (XenServer or ESXi) will be forced to use Twitter as their sole means of support communication with the respective companies.  Although customers will now be challenged to explain their issues with 140 characters or less, they can probably expect faster response times from engineers trolling the social media networks than they have had with traditional call centers.

Hewlett Packard, Dell and Toshiba all to debut Virtual Laptops:  Riding the wave surrounding Virtual Desktops and VDI, three major hardware vendors are set to release individual versions of Virtual Laptops (vLVM).  Compatible with all three of the current hypervisors, administrators will now have the option to create lightweight virtual laptops within their virtual infrastructures.  These vLVMs will replace the bulky virtual machines of the past further reducing the virtual footprint on their virtual desks.  While pricing has not been announced, Virtual Laptops promise infinite battery life (as long as the host hypervisor is plugged in) and will initially come in 65,366 different colors (in the form of Visio stencils and Management Console icons).

Microsoft buys the Internet: In spite of analyst reports that confirm Bing’s ever growing market share in the search engine wars, Microsoft has taken the extreme measure of purchasing the entire Internet for a lump sum cash payment.  With an endless cash reserve in their war chest and now sole ownership of the internet, Microsoft lawyers have instructed Google to Cease and Desist all indexing of it’s property.  Analysts predict Bing will become the dominant search engine of choice by the end of the year.


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