Wednesday, August 31, 2016


What have I learnt today?

Webcam fail in Windows 10 anniversary

I read a tweet shortly after the Windows anniversary update stating that lots of webcams have stopped working.  I didn't think too much of it until I tried to join a VC this morning using Polycom RealPresence Desktop app.  It kept crashing when joining the VC and my brain kicked into gear.  

I found the following link and applied the workaround registry settings and my webcam worked again!

(edit the registry at your own risk!) 

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows Media Foundation\Platform

EnableFrameServerMode, and its DWORD value should be set to 0 (zero).

The background is that in previous versions of Windows, only 1 application was able to access a webcam at any one point.  This release introduces a service called Windows Camera Frame Service.  The idea is that all applications will be able to access the webcam at the same time.  This is particularly useful for the new authentication methods Microsoft have been advertising on the TV.

To introduce this service, Microsoft had to turn off compression of the webcam stream to stop the inevitable CPU increase of a bunch of different applications all trying to uncompress the stream at the same time.

The downside of this is that most USB webcams and even integrated cameras are connected using USB2 interfaces which can only transmit 480MB/s.  Using compression allows HD to flow quite freely over USB2, but turn off compression and you have a big problem.  The above registry key disables this new mode.

Dropbox Hack was real

There has been talk for quite some time about a mythical hack of Dropbox which happened in 2012.  Well this morning the mythical status was stripped away as top notch security guru Troy Hunt validated the dumps as real.  There are 60M records inside the dump but fortunately passwords with weaker hashes have been salted and the strong hashes are unsalted.  If this has been the other way around, it could have been carnage!

If you haven't come across Troy's website haveibeenpwned, I recommend you go visit it and see if your details are contained in the many numbers of hacks which have taken place over the years.

Meeting details button in OneNote

This one is fairly minor, but recently I made the switchover from keeping notes in Google Keep to OneNote.  The flexibility of OneNote was attractive.  Today I realised that you can press this little beauty of a button whilst in a note and select a meeting from your Outlook Calendar, then all of the meeting details including title, agenda and attendees are copied to your note!  Amazing

More details here

And Finally.....

Sweat doesn't smell
It is the bacteria which lives on your skin that feeds on the oily sweat from certain areas (!) which creates the odour.  

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What Have I Learnt Today? (WHILT)

When I am really busy at work, it can seem as though I haven't developed or learnt anything at all.  After a few weeks of this, you can end up feeling stale or unenthusiastic about your job.

In actual fact, even through those really busy days where you attend meetings which don't necessarily require your input, you do repetitive tasks or just don't have time to think, you still learn things.

I think it is really important to learn new skills and this set of blog posts will help me reflect on the little things I pick up on a day to day basis.
Most of the time they will be technical tidbits, but there might be the odd random fact too.

I will call these posted "What Have I Learnt Today?" or WHILT.

So what have I learnt today?

Azure AD tenants

I needed to do some research into Azure AD topologies to help with some merger work we have coming up.

I came across this great little article on the Microsoft website

The main takeaway is that you can only have one FQDN namespace ( associated with a single AD tenant.  If you have a merged organisation, you can either have different AD tenants but you will need to use different UPNs or you will need to sync the AD objects to the same AD tenant.

Powershell Test-Connection

I was working somewhere with a poor wifi connection which had a really high latency.  When I realised it was rubbish, I ran a continuous ping to help notice when it occurred.

I thought it would be good to run a powershell script which would then alert me when latency went above say 200ms for more than 5 pings (or timed out).  I thought getting this information out of a ping string would be a pain in the backside.  Quick Google later and I come across Test-Connection

Fantastic, the result of this command makes the information easily accessible .  This will come in really useful for other scripts too.

And Finally

I have no idea what Tottenham Hotspur's transfer strategy is, they seem to be selling all of our players!