Ditching the Tablet: Windows 8 Revives Netbooks

Soon before Windows 8 tablets became available I wrote about my selection process, focusing on some of the key decisions that helped narrow my choices. This was largely a consideration of WindowsRT on ARM vs. Windows on Atom vs. Windows on i-Series processors. My first few weeks with this device have been a mixed bag. I’ve now returned the tablet, replacing it with a Netbook. I can’t say I saw any of this coming, so I thought it might be good to write about the issues I faced between the time that I decided on a Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro and when I finally returned it after eight weeks. I’ll also revisit my criteria with some hands-on experience under my belt and consider how Ultrabooks/Netbooks with touch compare to ARM/Atom tablets for price/functionality/components, and how Windows 8 itself is disruptive to hardware refresh patterns. Although this post roams a bit, I hope it’s joined up by some common threads of unexpected/disruptive effects of Windows 8.

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Choosing a Windows 8 Tablet

Note: since writing this, I’ve changed my view on a few of these requirements, and returned the machine I selected. I’d suggest reading this second post for more information.

Since the first Windows 8 devices were announced and I had a chance to work with the Developer Preview I’ve been looking forward to the day when I could get my mits on a Windows 8 tablet. During that time, my thoughts about what I really want have crystalised somewhat. There’s been plenty written about the new OS and the devices that will launch at or near General Availability this Friday, but there seems to be a dearth of comparative information other than some useful reference materials. As I see it, these materials are excellent once you know what you want, but they don’t really help you get there. And that’s the point of this post. I reckon someone might find it helpful to step through my thought process, even if they reach a different conclusion. This is quite subjective and somewhat rough and ready, but I often find that more useful than anything else.

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Failed Detection of PeopleILM Components and User Profile Synchronisation Service DCOM 10016 Errors

In my last post, I described some of the security considerations that influence an administrator’s response to event log clutter generated by DCOM errors. There are known remedial steps for most of these errors, but the impact of fixing them is often poorly understood, so I tried to clear some of that up. In this post, I’ll review how I’ve responded to the User Profile Synchronisation Service’s DCOM 10016 errors and the corollary MsiInstaller warnings with these security considerations in mind.

Failed Detection of PeopleILM Components

According to Microsoft KB article 2473430, these events occur, “while attempting to manage a User Profile Service Application”. To be more specific, the symptoms are described as:

When you attempt to manage the User Profile Service Application via Central Admin on a SharePoint Server 2010 with the User Profile Synchronization service started after an IISReset, the following warnings are logged in the application log of the SharePoint server…

Personally, I’ve never been able to pin down a firm cause of these events, so I’m happy to go with this Microsoft description, although I struggled to replicate this recently. Regardless, I’ve certainly seen the events in a large number, if not all User Profile Synchronisation Service instances I’ve encountered/built. One thing I find interesting is that these MsiInstaller warnings are accompanied by DCOM 10016 errors on the Windows Installer Service (DCOM component {000C101C-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}) and a few MsiInstaller warnings that closely resemble the Product Version Job DCOM permission errors I’ve spoken to before. This is what we’re looking at:

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DCOM Security for SharePoint Administrators

In a server administrator’s never-ending battle with log clutter, DCOM errors have proven to be some of the most persistent and poorly-understood events – especially with SharePoint. Our community has been building up remedial practices for the most common of these errors, but changes to the number and complexity of these fixes over the last few years call for a deeper look at what we’re changing, and the effects of these changes beyond a reduction in red and yellow icons in the event logs. In this post I’ll talk about some of the fundamental concepts from a Systems dude’s perspective and along the way I hope to convey a better understanding of Windows itself.

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