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Storage ProblemsSunday 19th August 2007
I've got an issue with storage. My partitions are setup with C: being a poxy 5GB, and the rest of my array on D:

This used to be fine, but more and more applications that you tell to install on your D: drive, install a load of crap into your C: as well. For example, the Adobe Common Files.

This means, I don't have any disk space left on my C:, and programs are beginning to complain. The solution, is obviously, to repartition my disk for more sensible sizes; alas, I'm not ready to do that, as I've got loads of stuff that need to be backed up, and I'm only half-way through.

The interim solution is to use linkd.exe (link is to the Windows resource kit, which it is in). You can use this application to create a "junction" in the NTFS tables, which will point to another location.

This tool essentially does what symbolic linking with "ln" does in Linux. What this basically means is, I can now move all those nasty directories that applications fill up with crap onto my other disk, without hacking about in the registry.

BizTalk custom functoids that won't deleteWednesday 8th August 2007
There appears to be a bug in Visual Studio that stops your ability to remove or delete a custom functoid from the BizTalk Mapper toolbox.

This has been causing me no end of grief, as I forgot to rename a functoid when I copied the bulk from a previous one. So I had two listed with the same name.

I deleted from the GAC, the Functoid directory, and searched my registry and hard disk for references. Still, it didn't matter how many times I reset my toolbox, or restarted my computer, it was still listed. Although the functoids list in the toolbox configuration screen didn't list the DLL.

In the end I ran Filemon from the now absorbed Sysinternals, and then reset my toolbox. This pointed at some hidden files in the directory:
%USERPROFILE%Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftVisualStudio8.0

There are four files called toolbox*.tdb. I deleted these (after backing them up, just in case), and reset the toolbox. That solved the issue and the functoids disappeared.

Homebase HellFriday 3rd August 2007
Why I didn't listen to people's stories of Homebase, I don't know.

We've recently ordered a kitchen from Homebase, as it was cheap. We went in, found the one we liked, they did up a plan according to our specifications; we liked it and said yes.

We paid and was given a receipt. The receipt had a nice list of items, in the usual kind of format. Complete with their part number, and a description. Naturally though, this wasn't a very useful description, and a lot of the items were just text codes and were as meaningful to me, the customer, as the stock item numbers.

Still, the kitchen turned up a couple of months later. From Wincanton. By a man in a van. We had told them that it was difficult access so to send nothing bigger than a standard transit. They sent one guy with a long wheel base van. This mean he had to lug a whole kitchen down our rather steep and narrow garden. Being the nice chap I am I leant a hand, but I'm not sure if that's what Home Delivery is really supposed to mean.

I went through the delivery note with my order receipt and checked that we had everything we ordered. Of course, I could only do this on stock numbers, but that should be the most accurate match. So I signed for it and arranged for my carpenter to fit it.

All went well until he found we were missing a whole carcass unit; so he went and got one and installed that. Then when all the doors were put on, we were missing one. No, wait, we were missing ALL the drawers. Plus 2 handles for the some of the cupboards. I checked the order in detail, and sure enough, there was no mention of drawers in any of the cryptic descriptions. I checked the plans we agreed to, and the drawers were clearly marked.

So, off to Homebase to order the missing bits. Naturally, coming to more expense to myself, as although they forgot to order part of it, I still needed to pay. Still, they knocked a third off the price, so was better than nothing.

At the same time, I ordered an extra side panel for my carpenter to do some cunning boxing work.

Whilst in Homebase a week or so later I thought I'd check on the status, and the first part had arrived that day, but due to having to unpack and check it, it would be a couple of days before I could collect. The other part of the order was still in transit.

Two weeks later I finally got a call that the other bit had finally caught up and was ready to collect. Great, alas my car wasn't big enough to collect these, so I had to borrow a van from work. Due to one thing and the other, I didn't get round to doing this two weeks after the phone call confirming everything was ready to collect.

So, I nipped down in my lunch hour with my receipts and asked for the bits. "Oh, we've only *just* received this today, and it's still waiting to be unpacked". I protested a bit about this, as I had been called two weeks previously saying it was all in. Still, it the boy on the desk went to dig it all out for me, it only took him half an hour! Then a further 10 minutes to fine the bit of paper I needed to sign.

What an ordeal, luckily I hadn't had to pay for the van, and went in earlier, otherwise that would have been extra cost to me.

The carpenter has now installed the missing drawers which look nice, just are lacking in something, which I believe to be fairly critical to the smooth operation of them. Handles.

Yes, that's right, Homebase forgot to order any handles for this. *sigh* Back to Homebase. Asked them for some, they took 15 minutes hunting around their stock room for some handles. Whilst we were waiting we had time to be able to comment on the numerous copies of other people's orders laying about in full view of the public, along with people's home address and telephone numbers. Data Protection Act anybody? Anyway, no joy on the handles. So they announced that it would be 4 to 6 weeks to order some!

Naturally, I think this is a little excessive for three handles, so the boy phoned round some local stores, all were showing massive amounts of stock. None of them had any in stock. When I suggested to him that their stock system may be fairly cocked up, he agreed. Nice.

So, as we were standing next to the display kitchen, we said we'd take the ones off there and they could replace theirs. Oh no, there was no chance of that. Even with the "So, you'd rather have unsatisfied customers?", they were not prepared to think about giving us those. I guess it could impact on further sales...

We're now having to wait 4-6 weeks before I can open the drawers in my kitchen.

Morale of the story...


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