Category Archives: Technology

How to map network drive to WebDav share on Windows 8

Quick instructions on how to map network drive to a WebDav share on Windows 8:

  1. Go to the search charm and search for “local services” (alternatively go to Start, and just start typing “local services”). You’ll see 1 match under “Settings” as “View Local Services“.
  2. Find the service named “WebClient” and you’ll see that the service isn’t started and the startup type is “Manual“.
  3. Rick-click and choose “Start” to start the service. Then right-click again, hit properties, then change the startup type to “Automatic“.  This will make sure the service is started with every reboot.
  4. Go to File Explorer (<Windows>+E) and click on “Map Network Drive” in the ribbon on the “Computer” tab.
  5. Choose a drive letter (or accept the default), and copy and paste your WebDav URL into Folder field (e.g. https://webdav-server.com/share).   If this is a one-time mapping, uncheck “Reconnect at sign-in“, otherwise leave it checked.  It’s likely that you’ll need a different set of credentials for the WebDav server, so check the “Connect using different credentials“.  Hit Finish.
  6. Enter your credentials and hit OK.

Making your WordPress blog more iPad friendly

I just stumbled across OnSwipe today which is a free WordPress plugin designed to make your blog more iPad friendly.

“Onswipe makes it insanely easy to publish on touch enabled devices. When your readers navigate from an iPad to your site they are given a beautiful app like experience. “

It’s got some slick features like loading screens, built-in sharing with Facebook and Twitter and even supports content layout changes based on orientation of the iPad (using accelerometer detection).

It was a totally painless install and only took a few clicks from the WordPress dashboard.  I checked my blog out on my wife’s iPad immedaitely after installing it and I was totally blown away!

Absolutely zero configuration and immediate upgrade in functionality and design for visitors with iPads.  Who can argue with that?

The Search for a SQL Azure UI Administration Tool

After messing around with a few side projects built on SQL 2008 R2 hosted on DiscountASP, I moved to SQL Azure to test out our new cloud platform.  On DiscountASP, I was spoiled by the fact screenshot_01[1]that they had licenses for myLittleAdmin, which is a web-based UI for SQL server administration. Sure, SQL Management Studio will work, but sometimes it’s great to just have a UI table view to view and edit a single value without writing a SQL statement. Smile

I searched high and low for an alternative that would work against SQL Azure, and found some potential candidates like SQL Maestro but none of them worked against Azure. I kept getting all sorts of random errors.

Microsoft’s own SQL Server 2008 Management Studio is an excellent product that fully supports SQL Azure and has infinite flexibility to create and design tables and stored procedures, but it lacks a good visual way to view and edit table data. Sure, I could write my own SQL queries, but it’s far simpler and faster to edit it in a data-grid like view.

Thanks to Robert McLaws on Twitter, I found out that Microsoft has a community preview of a Silverlight-based admin tool called Project Houston.

The UI is written entirely in Silverlight very slick and easy to use, but the designers definitely went a little overboard with the gratuitous the Silverlight animation effects (ugly cubes that pivot anyone?).  Other than that, it does everything I need from some basic table and stored procedures creation and administration, to browsing and editing data.  For example, I can quickly jump in, view and edit a single value in a specific table or change the properties on a column of a table.

Here are some videos about Project Houston:

Create and modifying tables:

Create, modify, execute, save and open a T-SQL query:

You can read about Project Houston on the SQL Azure team blog or just jump in and try it out if you already have a SQL Azure account.