Arman Gungor's Blog Litigation Support and Technology

29Jun/090

IPRO eCapture 4 Upgrade Issues

We use IPRO eCapture along with a few other tools and our proprietary e-Discovery software at my current company. Today we decided to upgrade to version 4 from 3.3.6. I think sharing this experience might be useful for others as the upgrade didn't go very smoothly. A few things you should know:

  • If you received an additional (temporary) dongle from IPRO for the upgrade, this is just an empty dongle for you to be able to continue to use version 3 on the side as eCapture version 3 and 4 are not compatible with each other. IPRO support was a little bit confused today and indicated that eCapture 4 should not work with our v3 dongle. This is not true. If you are certain that you will not go back to v3, you can continue to use the same dongle and upgrade your eCapture Controller to version 4.
  • As I mentioned earlier, version 3 and 4 are not compatible with each other. Version 4 requires a clean, new environment (new SQL database) and v3 and v4 cannot be run on the same computer as they require different versions of certain third party components. If you may have to revisit older v3 projects (which is very likely), it is recommended that you use your temporary dongle and install a copy of the v3 Controller on a different server. You will also need a few v3 workers to be able to work with the v3 controller. If you have a usage based license, IPRO is able to transfer clicks between the dongles. You can transfer some of your clicks from the original dongle to the temporary dongle to finish up any version 3.x projects during the transition.
  • There seems to be a GUI problem with the eCapture 4 Controller. As seen in the screenshot below, instead of correclty reporting the license, it is displaying an "Error Verifying Dongle" message.

Scr

This appears to be purely a GUI error and the dongle can be read using the "IPROTech View KEYLOCK Dongle" utility in your Controller installation directory (vwndngl.exe). We have also been able to test eCapture 4 with a few version 4 workers in spite of the error message. IPRO claims that they will have a migration utility for migrating 3.x projects to version 4 soon. IPRO technical support was very friendly and helpful even though they don't seem to be very well versed in eCapture 4 issues yet.

27Jun/090

Finding Embedded OLE Objects in a Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation

It is possible to embed OLE objects to Powerpoint documents (Adobe Acrobat PDFs and Microsoft Office documents are frequently found embedded in other Office documents). I recently had to examine a Powerpoint presentation and find any embedded objects.

EmbededPDF

Here is what I came up with:

Dim ppApp As MsPPT.Application
ppApp = CreateObject("Powerpoint.Application")
Dim ppSlide As MsPPT.Slide
ppApp.Visible = False
ppApp.Presentations.Open(txtFilePath.Text)
txtResults.Text = "Presentation Name " & ppApp.ActivePresentation.Name
Dim i, p, t As Integer = 0
For i = 1 To ppApp.ActivePresentation.Slides.Count
ppSlide = ppApp.ActivePresentation.Slides(i)
txtResults.Text += vbCrLf + "Number of shapes: " & ppSlide.Shapes.Count.ToString
t = ppSlide.Shapes.Count
For p = 1 To t
txtResults.Text += vbCrLf + ppSlide.Shapes(p).Type.ToString
Next
Next

This gives you a list of all shapes in each Powerpoint slide. Some of the shapes are regular Powerpoint elements such as images, text boxes etc. (msoPlaceholder) while others are embedded objects (msoEmbeddedOLEObject). It is also possible to extract the embedded objects and save them as individual files if needed.

Another quick tip: I've run into quite a few Powerpoint Presentations where some of the elements are hidden behind others, making them invisible to the end user. An easy way to open such embedded objects is to click on an empty area on the slide and use <tab> to cyle through the shapes.

15Jun/090

Remote Desktop for Administration in Windows 2003

Windows 2003 Server allows two RDP sessions (in addition to console) even when you do not have any terminal services licenses installed. I wanted to reduce this number to 1 for a specific reason. Here is where the setting is:

Terminal Services Configuration\Connections\Network Adapter

RDP

Maximum connections is set to 2 by default. Changing it to 1 seemed to do the trick.

Filed under: Software No Comments
12Jun/090

S.M.A.R.T.

I have been noticing that GRUB is taking longer and longer to launch after POST. I thought my main HDD might be dying and decided to find a monitoring tool that utilizes S.M.A.R.T. to keep an eye on it. I've found a freeware application from Active@ (makers of Kill Disk) called Active@ Hard Disk Monitor.  It is a nice little utility for monitoring your disks. As for mine, looks like I need to look into getting something new to be on the safe side.

Active@ Screenshot

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12Jun/090

Sony Ericsson K850i BROD

Yesterday I encountered the k850 Blue Ring of Death for the first time. I was working at my desk and all of a sudden my phone vibrated briefly. I noticed that the keypad was lit while the screen was dark and phone unresponsive. After removing and re-inserting the battery and attempting to turn it on numerous times,  I concluded that I may have a problem. Looking at my new brick for a few minutes, I pulled up my warranty information to see that my warranty had expired about three months ago.

k850i

As I found out later, this issue seems to be fairly common among k850i owners and is referred to as the blue ring of death due to the fact that the blue ring around the camera lens remains lit along with the keypad while the phone refuses to turn on. After thinking what might have happened for a few minutes, I realized that this oddity happened exactly when an alarm was supposed to go off. The alarm was set to read an MP3 ring tone from the memory card. This led me to believe that the issue might have to do with reading from the memory card. Unfortunately, removing it didn't help.

Thinking that the memory card read error might have caused some corruption in the phone's flash, I decided to try re-loading the software. I downloaded and launched the Sony Ericsson Update Service (SEUS) application hoping that there might be a newer firmware available. Unfortunately there wasn't, but the application allowed me to re-install the existing software without any trouble. I lost all data stored on the phone but it took only a few minutes to get back up and running thanks to a recent back-up of my contacts, tasks etc.

Filed under: Hardware No Comments