How (Not) To Kill Your Pi’s SD Card

This, this I learned the hard way.

I have a number of Raspberry Pi devices around the house performing various functions, from retro game emulation to radio monitoring, but the one that sees the most use is the one running Domoticz – the home automation software. Like most of my Pi builds it runs on top of Raspbian Jessie Lite a Unix-like OS based on Debian and optimised for the Pi.

The logging for Domoticz and some of the associated home automation services can be pretty heavy. And SD cards really don’t like it when you write – and overwrite – lots of data. My first two builds of Domoticz were on 8GB SD Cards. Both survived about 90 days before suffering IO errors. Turns out that the volume of logs being written had beaten the wear-leveling on the card and it was struggling to write anything.

So, how do you run a Unix-like system on a Pi as a headless, long-term server, without periodically killing and replacing the card? Continue reading

RegExCatchAll Transport Agent for Exchange 2007/2010

For a number of years now I have been doing two things with email:

1) I run my own Exchange ServerExchange 2010 LogoIt provides ActiveSync, Outlook Web Access, and Outlook Anywhere for my company’s email domains and my personal domain.

2) I provide email addresses at for family members (and a few people who just happen to share the family name).
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Remote Desktop Connection won't connect.

I rebuilt my main desktop a few days ago and ever since I’ve not been able to connect to it with Remote Desktop.  I click connect from the other machine and the buttons grey out for a moment before they reset.  No error message is displayed.  Checking the event log shows a number of Application Popup errors relating to RDPDD.DLL.

It turns out that this is caused by the latest NVidia drivers – which of course I downloaded and installed on rebuilding the machine, the only fix at the moment is to add this to the registry:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]

Hopefully NVidia will fix this in a future driver.

Disable Windows Desktop Search Explorer Integration

Another post from the “helping future Howard” category.  I use Outlook 2007, which is great, but in order to be able to search your email with decent performance you must install Windows Desktop Search.  Unfortunately when you do this it integrates with Explorer without asking permission to do so.  This means that should you hit F3 to search inside an Explorer folder you’ll be presented with the monstrosity on the left; an entirely useless dialogue box unless you happen to be indexing the contents of your entire machine and network.  I’m not: I only index my Outlook content.

So, to disable this you must open regedit and find:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS

and set the ShowStartSearchBand value to 0.  That’ll give you back the default behaviour.

I find it quite irritating that the interface chooses to admonish me that I’m not indexing the content instead of just presenting me with the search functionality that is able to search the content for me.

Remove Windows Media Player context menu entries

I use Winamp to play mp3s.  I always have done – it’s lightweight, I like the interface and it has the few plugins I need.  I don’t need the bloat of iTunes or Windows Media Player.  However, I seem to have Windows Media Player installed – I don’t remember installing it, and I probably wouldn’t have noticed it was there were it not for the plethora of context menu items it installs.

All I wanted to do was right-click a selection of mp3s and then queue them in the Winamp playlist.  That’s when I noticed a load of entries like “sync to device”, “burn”, “add to library”.  Turns out Media Player had hooked into the shell.  Thankfully, there is a way to get rid of this integration (which added a delay of several seconds to my right-click!).

Here’s the fix, click Start, Run and type:

regsvr32 /u wmpshell.dll

Horrah – a much cleaner context menu.  I wonder if there is any software to allow you to remove specific entries from that list?