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At GROSSWEBER we practice what we preach. We offer trainings for modern software technologies like Behavior Driven Development, Clean Code and Git. Our staff is fluent in a variety of languages, including English.

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Error retrieving information from external service.


Posted in Fun Stuff at Sunday, 29 January 2006 23:19 W. Europe Standard Time


Now playing: Roxette - Crash! Boom! Bang! - Sleeping in my car

Why I'm Fond Of Windows

Posted in Fun Stuff at Sunday, 29 January 2006 15:44 W. Europe Standard Time

Unix Geek

Now playing: Koop - Sons of Koop - Absolute space

Rezept: Schweinebraten

Posted in Recipes (German) at Saturday, 28 January 2006 12:19 W. Europe Standard Time
  • ein halbes Schwein, am besten von der Nuss (200 g pro Person)
  • 2 Zwiebeln
  • 1/2 Becher Sahne
  • 1 TL gemahlener Kümmel
  • 1 TL gemahlenes Piment
  • 2 Lorbeerblätter
  • getrocknete Waldpilze
  • Salz, Pfeffer
  • Soßenbinder
  • Kokosfett zum Anbraten

Den Braten abwaschen und säubern, salzen und pfeffern. Das Fleisch von allen Seiten in Kokosfett scharf anbraten - Bratensaft ist die  Soßengrundlage. Wenn die letzte Seite angebraten wird, kleingewürfelte Zwiebel hinzugeben und dünsten. Mit Wasser auffüllen sodass das Fleisch bis zur Hälfte in der Soße liegt. Kümmel, Piment, Salz und Pfeffer, 2 Lorbeerblätter und die Pilze hinzugeben. Das Ganze ca. 60 Minuten kochen. Das Fleisch herausnehmen wenn es gar ist. Die Soße andicken und Sahne einrühren. Dazu passen Kartoffeln und Rotkraut oder Schwarzwurzeln mit in Butter angerösteten Semmelbröseln.

Windows Server 2003 Access-based Enumeration

Posted in Tools and Software | Windows at Monday, 23 January 2006 22:33 W. Europe Standard Time

Microsoft has released a nifty add-in for Windows Server 2003 making it possible to show users only those shares that they are allowed to access. The calculation incorporates folder share rights and NTFS rights which means that even objects within folders are filtered out.


Now playing: Audio Lotion - Advanced Skin Care - 90 60 90

Running SQL Server 2000 with Limited Rights

Posted in SQL Server at Monday, 23 January 2006 18:25 W. Europe Standard Time

I often see SQL Server 2000 installations where the server is left running under the SYSTEM account. This is not a good idea because if SQL Server gets compromised, the attacker will have full control over the machine. Even if the server is running under an account with Administrator or Power User rights similar risks arise. If the account in question is a domain account, the attacker will have access to other systems of your organization as well.

I suspect the root cause for these often-seen SYSTEM-level instances lies in the fact that the SQL Server 2000 setup program suggests running the SQL Server services under the SYSTEM account.

There are actually ways to run SQL Server 2000 under a Limited User Account without having to sacrifice functionality. The administrative tools of Windows and SQL Server will help you to accomplish better security for your server. The settings made below may be applied earlier during the setup program. However, I'll describe how to change them after the installation has finished.

  1. Create a new local or domain account to be used just for SQL Server.
    Create a New UserOpen MMC or AD User Management to create a new user. Use the default naming convention deployed in your organization. This will it make more difficult to hackers that are trying to identify the account (I'll use smeier/Susanne Meier as an example). Set the password to never expire and revoke the right to change the password. Use a strong password containing numbers and special characters.
  2. Remove default group membership.
    Remove New User from Users GroupNewly created accounts are members of the User group by default. Remove this membership, it won't be needed. This also prevents interactive logons using this account.
  3. Tell SQL Server to use the newly created account.
    Set new SQL Server AccountOpen the Enterprise Manager, select the SQL Server instance you want to secure. Right-click, select Properties and go to the Security tab. On the bottom you'll see the account settings. Enter the name of the newly created account and the password.
  4. Let Enterprise Manager modify the rights for the service account.
    After clicking the OK button Enterprise Manager (SQLEM) will grant the rights required to run the SQL Server service to your SQL Server account. The SQL services will be restarted during this process.
  5. Set the NTFS rights on your database files.
    Modify NTFS RightsThe SQL Server account needs change rights on the *.mdf and *.ldf files of your databases. SQLEM will modify the rights of the <SQL Server Path>\MSSQL\Data directory automatically, which is the default path for new databases. For all databases outside this folder you will have to modify the rights manually using the File Properties Dialog.
  6. Restart SQL services.
    This step is only needed if you had to set NTFS rights manually in step 5.
  7. Verify that all databases are working.
    Use SQLEM and/or the Windows Event Log to check that all databases could be loaded successfully. If errors occur, it's likely that NTFS rights are set incorrectly, i.e. the datebase files are inaccessible.

That's it. Your SQL Server instance is now running with limited rights. In case an attacker is able to gain access to the server he will be constrained in his abominable deeds. A side note: This makes sense on development machines too. Deploying security not only on production servers is key to best practice development.

Happy SQL'ing!

Audioscrobbler Plugin for dasBlog

Posted in dasBlog at Sunday, 22 January 2006 20:16 W. Europe Standard Time

Discovered today and immediately integrated into dasBlog: Audioscrobbler.

The service gives you the ability to upload information about the tracks you're listening to. It's hosted on, a social web radio service. They're tracking incoming song information and build charts and personal recommendations on top of them. I didn't test these features until now, but I believe that over time they'll give additional input to my music discovery process.

To use the service there are a few simple steps to take:

  1. Create a profile.
  2. Download and install the plugin for you favorite music player.

Your music player will then upload song information if you're online.

Macro OutputNow on to the best part: Audioscrobbler supports a Web Service interface to your profile and data. In my opinion, and ideal way to extend your blog. So did I, writing a macro assembly for use with dasBlog. Currently there are only two macros, one for showing a little Audioscrobbler icon. The other one displays the last songs played. The Web Service limits these to ten, the macro can be instructed to reduce the number of results even more.

Macro Description
<% Button()|Audioscrobbler %> Displays the Audioscrobbler logo.
<% RecentTracks(n)|Audioscrobbler %> Displays the n recent tracks. Values of n greater than 10 yield just 10 entries as the Web Service limits the output to this value.

Have a look at the right-hand side of this page. There you can see the outputs of these two macros under "Now Playing". (RecentTracks has been limited to 5.)

There are some configuration settings to make before you can use these custom macros.

  1. Download the macro and supplemental images.
  2. Copy Softwareschmiede.DasBlog.Macros.dll into the dasBlog\bin directory. (The binaries of dasBlog reside there, i.e. newtelligence.DasBlog.Runtime.dll)
  3. Copy the Audioscrobbler logo and the little icon that will be shown next to each track in the list to the dasBlog\images directory. Of course you can override these images in your custom theme.
  4. Edit theme.manifest adding the Audioscrobber logo image. (This step can be omitted if you don't plan to use the Button macro.)
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
    theme name="YourTheme" title="YourTheme" templateDirectory="themes/YourTheme" imageDirectory="themes/YourTheme"> <image name="AudioscrobblerButton" fileName="AudioscrobblerButton.png" />
  5. Edit dasBlog\web.config to let dasBlog know about the new macros.
    Depending on your configuration, uncomment or add the first and add the second line under /configuration/configSections.
    <section name="newtelligence.DasBlog.Macros" type="newtelligence.DasBlog.Web.Core.MacroSectionHandler, newtelligence.DasBlog.Web.Core" />
    <section name="Softwareschmiede.DasBlog.Macros.Audioscrobbler" type="Softwareschmiede.DasBlog.Macros.AudioscrobblerConfigSectionHandler, Softwareschmiede.DasBlog.Macros" />
    Uncomment or add the following lines under /configuration.
    	<add macro="Audioscrobbler" type="Softwareschmiede.DasBlog.Macros.Audioscrobbler.Macros, Softwareschmiede.DasBlog.Macros"/>
  6. Enter your user information under /configuration
    	<add setting="UserName" value="<Enter your user name here>"/>

Now you're ready to use the two macros as described above in your .blogtemplate files.

<% RecentTracks(5)|Audioscrobbler %>
<% Button()|Audioscrobbler %>

DownloadIf anyone is interested in extending the macros, download the Visual Studio Project.

Google Workplaces

Posted in General at Sunday, 22 January 2006 13:33 W. Europe Standard Time

ABC News has posted a video giving an insight into Google workplaces. People seem to be happy there as meals and snacks are free. In the hall they've got a nifty traffic stats animation showing the overall Google traffic on earth.

Google Traffic

Rezept: Marinierter Hering

Posted in Recipes (German) at Saturday, 21 January 2006 19:28 W. Europe Standard Time
  • Matjeshering
  • Äpfel
  • Gewürzgurken
  • Buttermilch
  • 4-5 Wacholderbeeren
  • 1 TL gemahlener Piment
  • 1 TL süßer Paprika
  • Pfeffer

Äpfel und Zwiebeln in Spalten, die Gurken in Scheiben. Matjes aus dem Öl nehmen und in eine Schüssel geben. Äpfel, Zwiebeln und Gurken hinzugeben. Mit Buttermilch auffüllen bis alles bedeckt ist und würzen. Mindestens 12 Stunden ziehen lassen. Dazu passen am besten Pellkartoffeln.

Now playing: Monster Magnet - Monolithic Baby - Master of light

Mozilla Firefox Tabbed Browsing Extensions

Posted in Tools and Software | Browser at Friday, 20 January 2006 14:07 W. Europe Standard Time

Finally, I found some extensions that enables Firefox tabbed browsing behaving similar to Maxthon:

  • Super DragAndGo
    Simply drag a link to open it in a new tab or drag selected text on the page to open a web search using the default search engine. An absolute must-have!
  • Focus Last Selected Tab
    After closing a tab, the previously active tab is selected. Without this extension the left-handed tab of the closed one is selected instead.
  • Tab Clicking Options
    Enables close-on-doubleclick and the like.
  • Tab Catalog
    Shows previews of opened tabs.
  • Undo Close Tab
    Re-opens the last closed tab. Not as powerful as Maxthon's Undo functionality as it has no history. Still better than nothing.

Some more plugins I've installed:

Now playing: Supergrass - Road to Rouen - Kick in the teeth

Chat Transcript

Posted in Fun Stuff | Geek Mode at Thursday, 19 January 2006 01:13 W. Europe Standard Time

01:02 Alex: nochn schöner shortcut für den TC: Strg+W schließt einen Tab
01:03 Robotron: Benutze keine Tabs! ;)
01:03 Alex: lamer!
01:04 Robotron: Ich bin die Pussy!

Now playing: Big Bud - Fear of flying - Stinkweed

Windows Welcome Screen Pictures

Posted in Design | Fun Stuff at Monday, 16 January 2006 22:04 W. Europe Standard Time

I'm always looking for funny user images to place on my logon screen. Of course, normal users have been assigned their own image, but what to do with the Administrator and the Guest account? Whenever I see some ugly funny pictures of people I'll save it for later consideration to assign them to the Administrator or Guest user. Till today, Guest has always been a woman (as I like having women as my guests :-)), whereas the Administrator has been assigned a picture of a male.

Yesterday evening I was browsing through my referrals and found that someone came here from my ICQ profile. There was an ad banner on top of the profile page that had a picture in it. This nice girl immediately convinced me to be the new Guest.

ICQ Ad Banner

Here she is, ready to brighten up your Welcome Screen in two exciting variations:

Young Gal Variation 1 Young Gal Variation 2

In case you wonder how the old Guest picture and my Administrator look like:

Young Gal Young Lad*

* It's actually a soothing feeling to know that nobody else than Peter Norton has full control over my machine.

Now playing: Tosca - J.A.C. - Superrob

Windows Mixer Browser

Posted in Tools and Software at Sunday, 15 January 2006 17:09 W. Europe Standard Time

Recently I had to dig into the Windows Audio Mixer APIs for the next release of Tranquilizer. It has taken time to understand the architecture of these APIs. A handy utility that comes into play when exploring the mixers and their features that are available on a certain system is the Mixer Browser written by Philip Donner.

Mixer Browser Screenshot

DownloadI've mirrored the Mixer Browser 1.4 executable in case the page disappears.

Now playing: Audio Lotion - Your Sonic Beauty Case - Amazodiac (with T. H. Issak)

Captcha Indecencies

Posted in Fun Stuff at Monday, 09 January 2006 00:04 W. Europe Standard Time

This Captcha challenge has been generated by a download service.


Now playing: Anjali - Anjali - Nebula

Spice Up Windows XP

Posted in Design | Tools and Software at Friday, 06 January 2006 18:35 W. Europe Standard Time

XP in Windows XP stands for experience. Microsoft added a whole bunch of new user experience features to their now almost 5 years old client OS, for example Fast User Switching. They also incorporated a new icon design. I like the appearance very much, apart from the fact that there are resources and dialogs that date back to Windows 3.11. The font installation dialog is a good example. I hope such dialogs are revamped before Windows Vista ships this year.

Windows Font Dialog

For now there's actually a solution to replace old-style icons as presented in the internet options dialog without having to install a theme.

Internet Explorer Home Page (Old Icon) is replaced by Internet Explorer Home Page (Replaced Icon)

XPize patches system files containing such ancient icon resources and replaces them with "XP-ish" counterparts. Windows loads these new resources without even noticing that they have changed. This works absolutely transparent and the UI features will look more consistent afterwards.

Copying Error Messages

Posted in General | Tools and Software | Windows at Friday, 06 January 2006 17:54 W. Europe Standard Time

Programs occasionally encounter errors with a message box popping up reporting the error to the user.

Error Message

Most times if the user can't figure out how to deal with the error it gets escalated via IM or e-mail to someone more experienced. The error descriptions I receive often lack details on what operation exactly caused the failure and the complete error message that has been presented. The latter is often due to laziness or simply by not knowing what is important about the error message. An "Access denied" error may contain further details on why access was not granted. There's a simple solution to this, both giving the supporter the opportunity to see the verbatim error message and relieving the user from typing it: Copy the error message using Ctrl+C.

The message box above yields the following text that could be pasted into an e-mail or your favorite IM:

Ordner kann nicht erstellt werden
Der Ordner "Neuer Ordner" konnte nicht erstellt werden.

Zugriff verweigert


Now playing: Triola - Im Fünftonraum - Unland