Posts for November 2006

Not quite used to it

Today for the first time I really went to University to work. I've been there a few times this week for various things but today was the first time I really got to sit down at my desk and work. I don't actually have a computer yet (I used my own laptop), but at least I have a desk, and an office.

And that's just weird. It takes an enormous amount of effort just to open the door to my office without knocking. Sure, there's other people in there too, but I don't need to knock on their account. It's just, for six years if I wanted to get work done at Uni, I'd go to one of the computer labs. The only time I spent in an office is in meetings in someone else's office. And now I've got an office myself. It really helps to drive home the fact that although I'm still going to University, I'm not a student anymore; I'm an employee.

Even weirder perhaps was when I had to fill out some forms for personell services regarding my employment. It was basic stuff: name, first name, title, date of birth. Suddenly, I realised I actually have something to put for "title" now.

Categories: University
Posted on: 2006-11-30 20:47 UTC. Show comments (2)

SecureW2 in Windows Vista (and XP x64)

Due to popular demand (one person asked for it :P ) I'm making available my method for making Alfa & Ariss SecureW2 work in Microsoft Windows Vista (both x86 and x64) and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.

The method is by no means perfect; especially in Vista there are some issues with "COM Surrogate stopped working" messages and the need to disable and re-enable the network connection on each login otherwise authentication will fail. There are also some issues with Fast User Switching. This is not ideal, but it beats having no network connection. In XP x64 it works just as well as in regular XP in my experience.

The download below contains all the files you will need to get it working (apart from certificates or other information that are unique to how you authenticate to your network; I can't provide those). Besides regular x86 and x64 versions of the DLL, versions with tracing enabled are also included. These versions will write a log file with diagnostic information so you can troubleshoot your connection. It also contains a readme.html file with detailed installation instructions.

Download SecureW2.

Note that this method works for me. It may not work for everyone, and there are also other methods floating around. Just try them until you find one that works for you.

If you have any questions or comments, just ask.

Categories: General computing
Posted on: 2006-11-29 12:35 UTC. Show comments (7)

Sven Groot, MSc.

Yesterday it finally happened: I received that one piece of paper that says that I am now a Master of Science in Computer Science!

Of course I've been done for a while now, but now that that final formality is done it feels much more final. It's weird to think that now, I'm really not a student anymore. Of course, since I'm staying at University to work and will continue in the academic world (as you know, hopefully in Japan) it's not as weird as I imagine it would've been if I would've left University for ever and went to a "real" job now. But it's still weird.

The proof is in the pictures: here I am after just having received my degree from Professor Wijshoff (whom I'm shaking hands with).


So today, I can officially call myself Master of Science. Or if I so choose, I can use the old Dutch title "Doctorandus" as well (that would make me Drs. Sven Groot).

And to add to this, today is my 25th birthday, so it's a double party. I already had some people over this afternoon, and I'm expecting lots more this evening.

It's strange to think that last month, I was still working on finalising my thesis, and now I'm done. It's even stranger to think that if things go well, I'll be in Japan in less than six months. And it's strange to think that I've been alive for a quarter century already.

Strange, but good. :)

Categories: University
Posted on: 2006-11-25 17:43 UTC. Show comments (1)

To work!

Oh my, it looks like I might actually have to do real work the upcoming time. The kind you get paid for. I'm not sure I'm ready for that! :P

With my studies finished, and because I'm still waiting for the final word on if I can go to Japan in April, I sort of fell into a black hole. What to do in the mean time? Because I'm no longer a student, I lose my public transportation pass, and I'll lose my creditcard if I don't start making money. So a source of income will definitely be nice.

At the same time, there is interest from the University for me to continue some of the work I've been doing for my thesis, but getting paid for that was definitely out of the question.

Fortunately I haven't had to stray too far, because the University is in fact employing me. I will work on the DIAL database project. In particular I'll be building a web-based GUI for the biologists who'll use the database. Piece of cake. :)

This I will do for 0.6 FTE (24 hours), and the remainder of the time I will be able to spend on continuing my thesis work.

The big advantage is that I'm getting a workspace and a PC at Uni I can work on for both projects, so it works out nicely.

Categories: University
Posted on: 2006-11-23 17:03 UTC. Show comments (1)

Hello from Vista RTM

Since I was in the technical beta program on Connect and filed bugs, I was lucky enough to get a free license of Windows Vista. Like with the XP x64 beta, we're getting a single license, download only. Which is unlike the regular XP beta, since there we got 5 licenses, and a box. And in the Windows 2000 beta, we got 10 licenses... Hmm, if this trend continues, we're going to have to give licenses to Microsoft at the end of the whatever the next Windows beta will be (Vienna?). :P

After a very slow download, I finally got it and installed the x64 edition, and I'm happy to report it's running fine. Not that that's particularly surprising, considering RC2 also ran fine, so why wouldn't the final?

Thanks to the ISP from hell, Lijbrandt Telecom, I have to use SecureW2 to authenticate myself. After heaps of problems in the early beta, it was finally starting to work in the later ones, and this is still true in the RTM build. The procedure for installing it is complicated: since I use an x64 version of Windows (true for XP too), I have compiled the SecureW2 sources myself using the x64 compiler that comes with Visual Studio 2005. I then copy aa_sw2.dll and aa_sw2_res.dll to the System32 folder, and import registry settings that I previously exported for XP to register it as an EAP method. Then I have to start the Wired Auto Config service (and set it to automatic for future use), after which I can use the properties for the connection to configure SecureW2 itself.

It isn't perfect though; almost every time after authentication you get a "COM Surrogate stopped working" message (doesn't seem to have any ill effects though), and usually authentication fails on login, so I have to disable and enable the connection to get it working. It's a hassle, but about all I can do until Alfa & Ariss release a version for Vista (that would use the new EAPHost infrastructure).

If you use SecureW2 and want to have more details about how to get it working on Vista, let me know.

After that it's driver time. Creative's beta drivers for the X-Fi install without issue, and sound is working. The real test will be to see if the SPDIF passthrough situation has improved any since RC2, but that I probably won't do today.

So far, so good!

Categories: General computing
Posted on: 2006-11-20 22:56 UTC. Show comments (6)

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