Get Windows 7, 8 of Windows 10 (bootcamp) to Recognize a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet Adapter

Note: This is a bit off-topic from my usual SharePoint ramblings, but I just needed to archive this information and most likely I’m not the only one with this issue.
I use a Mac, but have Windows 10 installed via bootcamp. That is not always without issues and don’t even get me started with battery life. Somehow I suspecting Apple to have written a faulty driver on purpose, so Windows will burn through the battery faster than OS X will. Another issue with using windows on a Mac via Bootcamp, is the Ethernet adapter is not installer as part of the Bootcamp drivers install. At least not, when you are using Windows 10. A little research revealed that there is a simple solution to this issue.

The problem:

Using a Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter to connect to the Ethernet doesn’t work when you are on a Windows 10 (Windows 7 or 8 seems to have the same problem). There is no driver for the adapter installed in the Bootcamp driver-install on Windows 10.

The solution:

  1. Download “NetLink®/NetXtreme® I Desktop/Mobile/Server (x64)” from https://www.broadcom.com/support/ethernet-nic-netxtreme-i-desktop-mobile
  2. Unpack the zip file
  3. right-click on the “b57nd60a.inf” information file and select “Install”
  4. Leave the cable and adapter plugged into your mac
  5. Reboot
  6. Windows should recognize the adapter and use the driver you’ve just installed

Every time you wish to use the Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter to get access to the network, you have to plug the cable and the reboot.

Best WordPress Hosting I Have Ever Experienced

Things are changing a bit here on the site. I’ve changed the hosting of GetInTheSky.com and that have made a huge difference in how the website is performing. The speed and responsiveness of my site is just mindblowing. The website is loading 5 times faster without any changes to the code at all.

What happened?

If you are anything like me, you properly use the web host that has the best offer around. Maybe not the cheapest but then again not the most expensive either. I’ve used a fairly decent amount of hosting through the years. Some good, some very bad. In most cases the quality of hosting really follows the pricing. I do emphasize “most cases”. There are decent hosting out there. Like UnoEuro, that is really cheap but still pretty reliable – 99.83% uptime – which is not bad for a product that costs 1 Euro per month. That statistic is better than most hosting I’ve experienced, in that price range.

Responsetimes at my old webhost

Responsetimes and uptime at my old webhost

 

Choosing a new home

I used to be fairly pleased with the speed of my website. I work with and around SharePoint on a daily basis, so a response time between 2.5 and 3 seconds did not sound all that bad for the price I paid. I was and stil are very satisfied with my previous hosting at UnoEuro.com.

Then I found out that if I am to take my website serious, I need to spend a few more dollars on it. That also means I need to bump up the speed. I read somewhere that google favors sites with better response times. I don’t know if that is really the case or just some blogger ranting. Anyway. I have the Need For Speed and thus, I began hunting down where I can get some really good hosting, outstanding support and access to some WordPress experts. I did not want to go with a VPS (Virtual Private Server). That would just be overkill, and too much maintenance on my part.

For gods sake Jim, I’m a SharePoint Specialist not a WordPress Guru. We are already using 115% on the Warp-engine. She can’t take it much longer!

So the choice came down to WP Engine (Affiliate link) or Synthesis. After researching the web for some time and considering my requirements for going forward, I really like the WPEngines staging setup. So WPEngine won and I am not regretting that one bit.

When it came to support, I got a response within 10-15 minutes after submitting a ticket. The support is just lightning fast and very professional. I really only have positive things to say about my experience with WPEngine. Actually, I’m so positive, that I’ve signed up as an affiliate. Something I’ve never done before. If you use my affiliate link for purchase, you will support me in the process and it won’t cost you anything extra. If you don’t that is just fine as well. I just want to share my brilliant experience with you and hopefully that will help you in deciding on which hosting you need for your own website.

Now lets talk speed

Speed is nothing if you don’t know where you are going and when to turn left or right. So when I was done, with my migration, the support picked up on a plugin that they suggested (not demanded) that I removed, due to its buggy code. I removed the plugin instantly, as I didn’t use it anyway.

Getinthesky.com responsetimes difference

Getinthesky.com responsetimes before and after changing of webhost.

How fast WordPress can run, if the right people are behind the wheel in the server-room.

Complete Integration

As if this is not enough, Imagine my surprise when I logged in to my new WordPress home and found this extra menu option right inside my WordPress Admin menu.

WPEngine-menu

WP Engine menu is integrated in your WordPress Admin menu by default.

From here I can create my staging environments and copy that back to PROD, if I wish. I can get access to WP Engine Support or get access to my WP Engine user portal, from where I can control pretty much all aspects of my hosting. Except for the DNS-hosting. That is not included and you need to host and administer your DNS, elsewhere. Some DNS is configurable through WP Engine though. But your primary A-record and CNAME-record, needs to be located somewhere else.

Ehh what stage?

If you are serious about your website, you are always developing on it. Okay, maybe not you personally, but someone on your team is. And that someone, needs a development site that is as similar as possible to the production site. WP Engine has created a phenomenal feature, that lets you create a complete copy of your site into a staging environment. Then you can develop all you want, try new themes, play around with your site and so on. And when you are happy. Just go-live with your edits and changes, by pushing a single button. That is really a gamechanger for me. That means, no more local install of web servers and local WordPress installs. I can just keep it all, right on WP Engine.

This takes a snapshot of your blog and copies it to a "staging area" where you can test out changes without affecting your live site.

This takes a snapshot of your blog and copies it to a “staging area” where you can test out changes without affecting your live site.

Backing up WordPress

When it comes to backing up the site, I’ve previously relied on Google Drive for WordPress (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-google-drive/). That is just one more plugin I don’t need. WPEngine does daily backups of the site and I don’t have to activate, update or in any way think about that. That just saved me some space on my Google Drive as well on my WP-Install, as the backup is still hosted on the site, and only copied to the Google Drive.

WPEngine-backup

Automatic backup of your WP Site, ready for restore at a moments notice.

Pricing

So lets get to it. The hard and unavoidable ever-present factor of any decision you make. Pricing! And while WPEngine is not one of the cheapest services in the market, considering what you get for your buck, they are still really cheap. If you pay for a full year on sign-up, you will get 2 months for free! That means that in the end I end up paying $ 290,- for one year of hosting. For a hobbyist web-site, that may sound a bit too much. But for a professional website for someone who’s dependant on the visits on that website, It’s really a cheap way to host a website. For more on pricing and features, take a look at their website and decide which WP Engine plan is right for you!

WPEngine-plans

SPEndpointAddressNotFoundExecption when publishing SharePoint 2013 workflows

Are you getting this error: (Microsoft.SharePoint.SPEndpointAddressNotFoundException: There are no addresses available for this application.) when publishing SharePoint 2013 workflows?

Microsoft.SharePoint.SPEndpointAddressNotFoundException: There are no addresses available for this application.    at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPRoundRobinServiceLoadBalancer.BeginOperation()    at Microsoft.SharePoint.Administration.SPServiceApplicationProxyBase`1.ExecuteOnChannel(Boolean requireDelegation, Action`1 codeBlock)    at Microsoft.SharePoint.AppManagement.AppManagementServiceApplicationProxy.GetScaleOutDatabaseMap()    at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPScaleOutDatabaseMap.GetMapCacheEntries

try these steps to fix it:

  1. If you use HTTP: Register-SPWorkflowService –SPSite “http://mysitecollection” –WorkflowHostUri “http://server.domain.com:12291” –AllowOAuthHttp -force
  2. If you use HTTPS: Register-SPWorkflowService -SPSite “https://myserver/mysitecollection” -WorkflowHostUri “https://server.domain.com:12290”
  3. Check that the SharePoint Service “App management Service” is started
  4. IISRESET after starting the “App management Service”

Office 365 Summit in Copenhagen is well underway

I am sitting here in Cinemaxx. For a brief moment, I managed to get some of the room to myself. Otherwise it’s pretty packed with around 600 IT-people. All which are interested in Office 365, Lync, Project, SharePoint, Sales etc. And so far it’s going great. The sessions are very professional conducted. The Microsoft team have done a magnificent job so far.

I have been pursuing different subjects trying to get into the tracks that concentrates on Office 365, SharePoint and developing. All while trying to be this super-networker that talks to potential clients and business partners. Being independent I need to focus on not just one single track or one single task.

There is an abundance of information, takeaways, PPT’s, example-code all around. If I where to put a finger on anything at all at this summit, it had to be the lack of power-outlets. It’s a IT-summit. People are heavy users of devices that consume power. The lack of outlets comes from the fact that it’s held in a Theater. But it may be just my lack of investigating powers, that led to my failure in locating some power.

Force batch file to answer yes to prompts

A little while ago, I came across this issue at one of my clients. They needed the SharePoint Instance of the MSSQL server to restart at 5 am every morning. That seemed like a fair task to fix pretty easily. It turns out though, that the prompt, asking the user, if he/she is sure about stopping the service. 

Like I would ever do anything without being sure.. sigh!

Anyway, I dug around and found that I had to build a little strange solution in order for this to run 100% automatically.

netstopservice

To avoid this question ever time you restart your service you need to:

  1. Create a folder c:\CustomSolutions\RestartMSSQL
  2. Create a file called c:\CustomSolutions\RestartMSSQL\y.txt, which contains ONLY the letter y and a carrige return (type “y” and hit enter)
  3. Create a c:\CustomSolutions\RestartMSSQL\restartsql.bat file which contains:
    net stop MSSQL$SharePoint /y < “c:\CustomSolutions\RestartMSSQL\y.txt” && net start MSSQL$SharePoint /y < “c:\CustomSolutions\RestartMSSQL\y.txt”
  4. Create a scheduled task that runs that batch file whenever you need. Remember to set the scheduled task to run even if the user is not logged in.

This is the actual Best Practice on how to do this. I got the solution of technet somewhere. It is beyond me, why this hack is necessary. Why isn’t there a flag I can set somewhere to avoid that stupid y.txt file? It works perfectly, but I would rather just script it all in my batch script.

If you have another way of doing this, please leave a comment to educate me. There has to be a better way of doing this.

InfoPath is Dead! Long live the new InfoPath!

Microsoft has announced on their Office blog, what the rumour mill have been buzzing about for quite a while now. InfoPath Forms and Services will be discontinued. That means that there is no new InfoPath Forms services in the next edition of SharePoint. Something new is starting to grow. According to Microsoft, they are evolving and streamline their investments into a more integrated forms user experience.

This does not mean that Microsoft leaves all those InfoPath Forms dead on the bottom of the sea, while everyone jumps ship to some new go-fast-boat. Microsoft is promising to deliver some migration tool or process for their new Forms-technology.

Microsoft is offering a Sneak Peak of their new and improved Office Forms in “InfoPath and SharePoint Forms Roadmap” session, if you are so lucky to attend the SPC in March 2014.

Most important lesson of this news: Don’t Panick! Microsoft is still continuing to support InfoPath Forms and Services until April 2023, so you should have ample time to migrate your content. If you are in the midst of a InfoPath project, don’t worry. Keep on building forms and worry about how to migrate in five years time. Microsoft started with InfoPath back in 2003, so all in all, it’s time to move on.

My humble opinion on the whole InfoPath subject

I have to admit, I am a fan and a hater of InfoPath Forms. I can manipulate InfoPath Forms at a pretty advanced level. I have worked with InfoPath Forms since the 2007 edition. And fair enough.. The technology have not evolved all that much the last 3-4 years. The 2010 edition received a little bump in functionality and the 2013 edition seemed pretty much untouched. I can understand why Microsoft is dropping the system. Everyone who’s ever had to design InfoPath Forms have to agree. They just have to. I cannot count the number of times, where I have tweaked a Form, only to see it get crushed in the browser view. There is no code-access, so whenever you experience something like that, you count your lucky stars that you have enabled versioning in the Forms Template library.

But just as frustrating InfoPath can be, just as rewarding and fast can it be. It is very easy to build a quick form and have it be sent to a SharePoint library of your choosing. That having the fields in the form be elevated to columns in the library, which can be extracted to excel or via some workflow, act on the information can be way faster than building standard web forms.

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