Architecture independent installer

WiX Windows InstallerThis is a continuation of my series on WiX Windows Installers. In this part we talk about making the installer architecture independent.

To be clear: MSI-installers do not support both 32 and 64 bit platforms, but are built for one or the other.

To get around this you can create a “bootstrapper”.
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Passing parameter to a WiX msi installer

WiX Windows InstallerIt’s pretty much impossible to pass a parameter to a msi installer downloaded. There’s the possibility of deploying a web-based click-once application from Visual Studio, but passing arguments to the installer requires the end user to use the IE browser – and who the would want to do that?

The WiX framework is a great and powerful one for creating installers. If you need to pass a parameter to a WiX based msi installer you can use two methods as far as I know. Both are based on the filename the user downloads so there’s no need for per-user compilation or anything like that.

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Installing printer driver for Remote Desktop (Terminal Services)

Remote DesktopInstalling printers for RDP is seldom straight forward, but when it comes to HP super-user-friendly driver installs it’s super interesting.

The only driver available for this one printer I was going to install for a client (HP p1102) was a user friendly and very good looking installation wizard which required the printer to be plugged in. I’m not about to borrow the printer, get it to the datacenter and plug it in..

When you run the installer, the actual printer driver is extracted to a temporary directory. I noticed this using procmon. For this HP driver, the path was: “C:\Users\<User>\AppData\Local\Temp\<RandomName>”. The installer will prompt you to plug in the printer. When you cancel this operation, the temp directory containing the drivers is deleted.

Here’s what you need to do:
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Javascript fill within container while maintaining aspect ratio

I’ve been working with the jQuery plug-in jCrop to let users adjust thumbnails to focus on the object of their photos. The photo may vary in ratio and size, also the location of the important object of the photo may not be in the center of the original image file. This is not an automation-friendly scenario and we need the user to help us get the thumbnails look good.
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SSL Certificates from the command line

Usually, at least for IIS folks, SSL certificates are requested using the IIS Management Console GUI. In cases where IIS is not installed you may use Certreq, which is – in fact – very easy.

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VMWare vsphere client login problem

I had some really annoying problems with the VMWare client login. Turns out the password field does not accept copy-paste password. Actually the [CTRL] + [V] generate two characters in the password field. I’m guessing “^V”. Simply type the password in “manually” and you should be fine..

Bootmgr is missing

Ran into an ugly problem with a Windows Server 2008 R2 x64 not booting because of “BOOTMGR is missing”. I’ve tried a great deal, but this solution – involving booting and repairing with a Windows 7 Pro – strangely, worked for me!

Not sure how this happens, but suspect some sort of failure in Windows Update because on the first successful boot an update process was completed.. This might just as well be a coincidence though..
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Solr Full Import failed (OutOfMemory)

solrA minor headache over a > 100 000 document full import on a 512 MB VPS running solr on tomcat (ubuntu).

The full import failed at ~70 000 documents.

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Firebird tricks

FirebirdFirebird database, not a huge fan.. Do have to cope though so here are some tips I’ve spent some painful hours collecting through my work. I will try to add more later.

The client

Working with any databases without a good client to test your queries is no good. I’ve tried a couple and found that FlameRobin is the best for me. It’s simple, but get the job done. It runs on all significant platforms.
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Solr proxy

solrSolr is a great and powerful search engine based on Lucene. It’s not secure by default so setting up a proxy to secure the solr search engine is highly recommended, but not well documented.

This is my implementation.

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