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I have finished migrating from an “old” virtual private server (VPS) running Windows Server 2008 to a server running 2012 r2 which includes IIS 8.5

At this time the 1.9.1 is the latest https://github.com/Lone-Coder/letsencrypt-win-simple/releases

After extracting the zip you need to move the content to a permanent folder from where you can keep running the Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) which can renew the certificates

 

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If you run it as admin, it will ask you for your e-mail. It will stay private, it’s just to notify if a renewal failed.

Will you agree on https://letsencrypt.org/documents/LE-SA-v1.1.1-August-1-2016.pdf

next is a list, not of the websites but the bindings. Mine was rather big (100 entries) and contained multiple pages. After the bindings there are more options:

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After selecting a “website” number you can specify the user which will be used to run the renewal process.

The last step is to make an entry in your calendar to verify that the renewal succeeded.

I have also installed Certify to view the certificates http://certify.webprofusion.com/ 

I used version Alpha V0.9.85

All that was left was to test the website with https and if it succeeds, make an IIS redirect to route all traffic to the https version:

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Good luck and enjoy the free SSL certificates!

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A while ago I was working on an PHP project and decided to give the new WebMatrix a try because it has PHP support. The installation with the web platform tool is painless. When I opened the PHP project, WebMatrix noticed that I did not had PHP installed and it was installed automatically. awesome! When I downloaded, installed and configured MYSQL on my Windows 8 machine it was all good to go. Only the existing code did not work. It took me a while to realize that my MYSQL connection was working fine. After a while I figured out that the session variable was not filled.

A small phpinfo file with the famous

<?php phpinfo(); ?> 

Told me that the error_log was located at C:\WINDOWS\temp\php53_errors.log and that file told me

[21-May-2013 17:39:40 Asia/Kuwait] PHP Warning:  Unknown: Failed to write session data (files). Please verify that the current setting of session.save_path is correct (C:\WINDOWS\temp) in Unknown on line 0

So I tried to open the path manually and it required Administrator rights.

To fix this I had to change session.save_path to an other directory.

So you have to open the php.ini file. Mine was located in the folder C:\Program Files (x86)\IIS Express\PHP\v5.3\

and search for a line which isn’t commented out and has the session.save_path=C:\windows\temp and replace it with a writeable path.

 

Happy programming with WebMatrix 3!

 

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This post is about my 2 cents about upgrading from Windows 7 pro x64 to Windows 8 pro. I have been a Windows user since 3.11 and have never upgraded a Windows installation. I have been clean installing all versions.

Hardware background

My Dell notebook is from 2009. It had Vista installed by default and was ready for Windows 7. In fact, it came with a free upgrade from Dell.

I have blogged about my win8 test drive earlier. It still had the windows start button in that build and had no metro/live tiles. It is almost a year ago.

My dell xps16 has a limit of 4gb and has an Samsung 830 SSD 128gb as laptop upgrade kit (which is really recommended).

Upgrading to windows 8

My first step was to make a backup. I had backups around because SSD can fail in a blink of an eye. As side note: my Samsung drive has never let me down. In fact, it made my Windows 7 really fast!

I ran the upgrade advisor/assistant and uninstalled Ultramon, Visual Studio 2010 (used 2012 anyway) and Office 2010 (used the 2013 preview of Office 365).

So the upgrade was just a next, next finish thing and took about 2 hours and several reboots. After that, my system was good to go.

windows-toets_2394284

Reasons to upgrade to win8

1. speed

This is actually enough reasons already to upgrade.

  • Boot time reduction (cold boot)
  • More responsive user interface in use
  • Return from hibernate is faster
  • File move/copy dialog feels faster and has more details

2. shortcuts

The Windows key is everything! I already used the key a lot in win7, but now even more! Here are the shortcuts I used in Windows 7:

  • windows key + E for explorer
  • windows key + M to minimize all and go to desktop
  • windows key + start typing to launch an application
  • windows key + F to search a file
  • windows key + shift + arrow to move window to other screen
  • windows key + digit to activate pinned application nr# on taskbar
  • windows key + L to lock the account
  • windows key + R to run

and now the additional for windows 8:

  • windows key + C to control the current application (app specific settings)
  • windows key + W to search in control panel
  • windows key + X for power/super user quick menu

3. Backup

You now have file history! The files are stored like normal files so you can access them easily. You can also set Windows back to a fresh install!

4. Security

Bitlocker in already in pro and also Bitlocker portable. In Windows Vista and Windows 7 you needed the ultimate or enterprise edition to have Bitlocker.

Auto updates are installed in the background. So non-tech people have secure and up to date systems with win8.

5. Other

it has a lot of changes under the hood. With printer drivers and direct X and all those changes make windows 8 fast!

metro/live tiles

don’t be scared. I have no touch enabled device and use Visual Studio 2012 and Office 2013 all the time. I only notice the new metro stuff when I login and press the windows key. But it is so responsive and fast that it is not annoying. And you can control everything with the keyboard. Also all the metro stuff! So there is NO reason not to upgrade! I am running Windows 8 in desktop mode the whole day. There are some small applications that give you back a start button. But if you actually require those hacks, you are using the operating system not how it’s meant to be used.

So to conclude this post: Upgrade from Windows 7 to 8 today! It’s only 30 euro’s according to the upgrade assistant. So it’s a bargain!

Have fun with your new OS!
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This blog will show you how to download a JSON string and parse it to POCO objects with Asp.Net C# in Visual Studio 2012 with an extension and nuget package and only 3 lines of code.

For this example I am using the Visual Studio achievements. You can install the extension in Visual Studio 2012 and/or Visual Studio 2010. It uses FxCop and is a lot of fun. So I have installed this extension and have several achievements.

The url for your personal page is:

http://channel9.msdn.com/niners/USERNAME/achievements/visualstudio

I have found the API of the achievements on  and it is using JSON. In my web project I added this NuGet package to work with JSON.

NuGet

To make life easier, I have installed Mads Kristensens Web Essentials 2012.

So I have copied the output of

http://channel9.msdn.com/niners/CapSoft/achievements/visualstudio?json=true&raw=true

and in Visual Studio 2012 I right clicked in the code behind:

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Paste JSON As Classes!

That gives you (without coding)

public class Achievement
{
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public int CurrentNumber { get; set; }
    public DateTime DateEarned { get; set; }
}

public class Parent
{
    public string Name { get; set; }
    public string FriendlyName { get; set; }
    public Achievement[] Achievements { get; set; }
}

To use it, you can use a webclient object to download the JSON string and parse it using newtonsoft.json.

All that with just 3 lines of code!

protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    WebClient wc = new WebClient();
    string json = wc.DownloadString("http://channel9.msdn.com/niners/CapSoft/achievements/visualstudio?json=true&raw=true");
    var a = JsonConvert.DeserializeObject<Parent>(json);
}

Good luck coding!

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About a week ago, I received an email from a visitor about my QR code post which I blogged about back in 2010. I have been told that the most important reference was down. It was the reference to the DLL for generating the QR codes. So I uploaded the DLL as mirror

Apparently the twitt88.com website is back online at http://platform.twit88.com/projects/mt-qrcode/files It also seems that there has been some new releases for the DLL.

Since 2011 you only use NuGet to keep your packages up to date, I thought that adding it through NuGet would be the best option.

Searching for ‘QR’ did not return any good packages. Searching for ‘QRcode’ did. It returned one package for MVC https://nuget.org/packages?q=qrcode

But I still have WebForms in this solution… Investigating the source of that package, pointed me to this open source QR project from codeproject. But that is an article from twitt88 from 2007! So the only QR code package in NuGet references (really) old material from the exact same user!

That’s when I decided to help out the community by adding this awesome DLL from twitt88 to the NuGet Package List!

Add a new package to NuGet


I am a great fan of NuGet, but until today only as user, not as contributor. So let’s start. I have already NuGet extension installed and have the DLL I would like to add on my hard drive in a new folder.

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This is the latest (at the moment) 1.3.0.0

1. Get the NuGet.exe Command Line bootstrapper


Download the utility from CodePlex:

http://nuget.codeplex.com/releases/view/58939

2. Add NuGet.exe as path variable (optional)


Right click ‘my computer’, hit properties and go to the advance settings. If you don’t remember how, you can visit this website for a small Path variable tutorial http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000549.htm

3. Open up a command prompt


(Windows key + R) cmd <enter>

  • Navigate to your package folder
  • Move the DLL to a new subfolder called lib
  • Make sure that you are in the root package folder
  • Run `NuGet Update –self`or if you have skipped step 2 (path var) Then run: `path/to/your/nugetDownloadLocation/nuget.exe update –self`
  • Run `NuGet SetApiKey yourApiKey` You can find your API key on the NuGet account page
  • Run `NuGet spec MessagingToolkit.QRCode.dll`that will create a nuspec file.
  • Run `notepad MessagingToolkit.QRCode.dll.nuspec`and change the title, summary, URI’s to licenses etc. Use this nuspec reference and save the file and exit notepad.
  • Run `NuGet Pack MessagingToolkit.QRCode.dll.nuspec` this will create a nupkg file
  • Run `NuGet Push MessagingToolkit.QRCode.1.3.0.nupkg` And that is it!


You have just published your DLL as a NuGet package!

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Good luck expanding the package list of NuGet!

 

Edit 2nd of May 2012: The QR code package that I submitted to NuGet has over 50 downloads at the moment!

 

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