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Transactional File Manager Version 1.2 .1 Released

Version 1.2 of Transactional File Manager is now available on CodePlex.

Here’s the release notes:

Release Notes

This is a minor bug-fix/minor refactor release.

  • Copy now uses the overwrite parameter correctly.
  • Fixes crashing problem on some machines due to use of GetsequentialGuid.
  • CreateDirectory now supports rolling back nested directories.
  • RollbackFile Rollback() may throw exception when original directory has been deleted.
  • Security issue when writing to event logs.


  • Upgrade solution/project files to Visual Studio 2010
  • Use NUnit instead of VSTS framework
  • Changes to support Visual Studio Express

Thanks to karbuke and dorong for their contributions.

Managing, Tagging, Organizing Videos with Picasa

I enjoy making taking and making short videos. My kids are usually featured in the videos in one way or another. Last year we went on a month-long vacation to Vietnam and I recorded a huge number of raw videos. With so many raw takes to work with, using Windows Explorer and browsing around without some system of tagging, keyword searching, etc. becomes extremely tedious and unmanageable.

So I started to look for a way to manage/categorize all of these raw videos and I think I’ve found a pretty good and free solution: Picasa (from Google).

The current version of Picasa for Windows (version 3.8) allows you to specify titles for images and videos, as well as assigning various tags to them. The user interface is very user-friendly. And the actual searches are typical Google-lighting-fast.

Using Picasa as a video manager

What I do is I go through each raw video take, give it a title and assign some tags. Then later I am able to very quickly search for videos. For example, if I need a take involving a dolly pan to the right, I just type “dolly pan” into Picasa and instantly the takes with those keywords come up.


The little known WBR tag is great for formatting HTML tables. Add it to specific places in your table cell values to give the browser the option to add a line break there. This is very useful when displaying tables with long strings that would otherwise cause horizontal scrolling.

Here’s a sample table, displaying some info. Since the values in the tables do not have spaces or tabs, the browser is forced to display the values on one line:

Key Value

Here’s the same table, with <wbr/> tags inserted where periods are:

Key Value

Getting the Starting Day of the Week for Any Date

From my code snippets, here’s a function that will return the starting day of the week for any date:

/// <summary>
/// Gets the start of the week that contains the specified date.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="date">The date.</param>
/// <param name="weekStartsOn">The day that each week starts on.</param>
/// <returns>The start date of the week.</returns>
public static DateTime GetStartOfWeek(DateTime date, DayOfWeek weekStartsOn)
    int days = date.DayOfWeek - weekStartsOn;
    DateTime startOfWeek = days>=0 ? date.AddDays(-days) : date.AddDays(-7 - days);
    return startOfWeek;

If anyone is looking for the original name in English/Spanish of the song “Ngày Vui Đêm Nay” (í ô à)

The original version is Cuentame (The Speak Up Mambo) by The Manhattan Transfer.

Knowing only the Vietnamese version, I had a hard time finding the original song. I hate that most “foreign” songs translated to Vietnamese simply have this in the credit line: “Nhạc Ngoại” (foreign song). If you are going to translate/record the song in Vietnamese, at least give proper credit to the original performer/composer.

Here’s the vietnamese lyrics to this song to help you googlers out there:

Í o à, í o a ê …
Í o à, í o a ề …

Chiều lắng xuống, rừng vang tiếng ca mừng
Lửa bốc cháy rực lên nhg tiếng ân tình,
Thiết tha ôi ngàn lời ca đắm say ngập trời ngất ngây

Này má thắm, này môi mắt đa tình
Làm say mê, làm ngây ngất ân tình
Trái tim theo nhịp vang vang đắm say triền miên thiết tha

Hãy vui đêm nay, nét môi thơm nồng ái ân !

( nhạc….. )

Hãy cho tim non đắm say mơ mộng vòng tay ân ái,
Hát lên muôn ngàn câu hát ngất ngây tình yêu đắm say !

Í o a, í o a ê …
Í o a, í o a ề …
Í o a, í o a ê …
Í o a, í o a ề …
u u u u u ….

Này má thắm, này môi mắt đa tình
Làm say mê, làm ngây ngất ân tình
Trái tim theo nhịp vang vang đắm say triền miên thiết tha

Hãy vui đêm nay, nét môi thơm nồng ái ân

Transactional File Manager Is Now On CodePlex

It’s my first open source project! I’ve gone open source with my Transactional File Manager. Check out the CodePlex link here.

Use any file system as a transactional file system! Transactional File Manager is a .NET API that supports including file system operations such as file copy, move, delete in a transaction. It’s an implementation of System.Transaction.IEnlistmentNotification (works with System.Transactions.TransactionScope).


More on Transactional File Manager in my original blog post on it. If you are interested in contributing to the project, let me know.

MSMQ Installation on Windows Server 2008 Fail with 0x80070643

If you get one of these errors starting MSMQ Server or installing MSMQ on Windows (Server 2008), this article describes a potential solution:

  • You cannot start MSMQ Service with the following entry in the Application Event Log: The Message Queuing service cannot start. The internal private queue ‘admin_queue$’ cannot be initialized. If the problem persists, reinstall Message Queuing. Error 0xc00e0001.
  • You cannot install MSMQ with the following error: Attempt to install Message Queuing Server failed with error code 0x80070643. Fatal error during installation. The following features were not installed: Message Queuing Services/Message Queuing Server.

    MSMQ Installation Result


For me, the solution was to delete the Registry key KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\MSMQ, then try the installation again.

See also:

Don’t hire ghost hunters who are afraid of ghosts

Your house is haunted. You can’t stand living with the ghosts anymore and decide to call in the professional, a ghost hunter. The ghost hunter comes, nicely equipped with all kinds of shiny ghost hunting equipment, and proceeds to immediately pass out and fall to to the floor with a loud thud at first sight of the ghosts.

Well, in a nutshell, that is the story of the new Event Viewer in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008. The new Event Viewer looks very nice and all. Trouble is, it now won’t work when there is a syntax error in machine.config or other .NET Framework problems. Apparently, in Windows Vista and Windows 2008, someone at Microsoft decided to rewrite the Event Viewer utility (a perfectly usable and solid utility in previous versions of Windows) in .NET.

MMC could not create the snap-in. The snap-in might not have been installed correctly. Name: Event Viewer.

So, the lesson I learned from this is: don’t hire ghost hunters who are afraid of ghosts. Or, don’t write a utility designed to view monitoring and troubleshooting messages that can fail due to unnecessary dependencies. A critical system troubleshooting utility such as Event Viewer should be the last thing that fails.

What to do when you cannot run Event Viewer in Windows Vista/Windows Server 2008/or Windows 7?

If you get the following error:

MMC could not create the snap-in. The snap-in might now have been installed correctly. Name: Event Viewer. CLSID: FX:{b05566ad-fe9c-4363-be05-7a4cbb7cb510}

Try the following:

  • Fix any syntax errors in machine.config. Restore to a previously known working copy.
  • Rename EventVwr.exe.config in %WINDIR%\System32.

SQL Server Implicit String Conversion/Concatenation (XML parsing: line <x>, character <y>, unexpected end of input)

If you are getting this error in your SQL Server T-SQL script:, you may be running into an issue with implicit string conversion in SQL Server:

declare @xml varchar(max), @doc XML, @stringVariable varchar(256)
set @stringVariable = 'a string value'

-- @doc is set by concatenating multiple string literals
-- and string variables, with all the variables having less than
-- or equal to 8000 characters
set @xml = '<root>' +
... + @stringVariable +

print len(@xml)

set @doc = @xml


Msg 9400, Level 16, State 1, Line 4
XML parsing: line 64, character 74, unexpected end of input

As you can see in the output, the @xml variable was truncated to 8000 characters, resulting in an invalid XML. This is due to the way SQL Server performs implicit string conversions when concatenating strings. When all the string literals/variables involved in the concatenation are 8000 characters or less, the resulting string will be exactly 8000 characters.

The same issue occurs with NVARCHAR data type. Instead of the 8000-character limit, it’s 4000 characters.

A simple fix is to make sure at least one of the string variables is of type VARCHAR(MAX):

declare @xml varchar(max), @doc XML, @stringVariable varchar(256)
declare @x varchar(max)

set @stringVariable = 'a string value'
set @x = ''

set @xml = @x + '<root>' +
... + @stringVariable +

print len(@xml)

set @doc = @xml

More Info

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