The ZZR Rebuild project!

I noticed this morning that the last posting I had on here was back when I fist got my ZZR; that is a while ago now! Since then I even bought a Honda Hornet (good fun), and sold the Hornet. I do, however, still have the ZZR but she has been laid up due to problems with the valve clearances.

Turns out that after doing some shim work on the ZZR, it showed up a problem of extreme coke build up which was preventing them from closing properly – and therefore, no compression. Ho hum. Anyway, cylinder head’s been sorted, and things are slowly getting there – trying to fund it all while starting a business is proving awkward, but thanks to a good friend of mine doing the work it’s a lot easier than it would have been! Kicker at the minute is that while pulling it all apart, we found that the cam chain has stretched and needs replaced. That and a full gasket kit, and the engine should be ready to put back together.

Oh, she was also resprayed to black too!

Here’s some pics to keep you amused for now.


TFS 2010: Using a 'hard lock' approach to source control

Just in case anyone is a TFS 2010 user, and they don’t like the multiple checkout support that it has (i.e. more than one person can edit the same file, and they just have to resolve conflicts on check in) then you can change it to use the old-school approach of full locking on checkout – this means that only one person can edit a file, or even, hold a lock on it. If anyone else wants to edit that file, they are blocked until you check in your changes.

Why would you do this? Well, pretty much the only reason is if you have developers on your team who don’t understand “current” source control and you keep loosing changes when people check in.

So, how do you change this option? It’s easy enough, but you will need permissions on the Team Project to change it – if you are unsure, speak to your TFS Administrator.
To get to the option itself, first go into Visual Studio, to the Team Explorer and then right click on the project you want to change the option for. Then select Team Project Settings, then select Source Control.
In the dialog that appears, untick “Enable multiple check-out” and hit ok.

Job done.

Updating a Mitel 5340 IP Phone

Here's the steps that I usually use for upgrading the firmware on my Mitel 5340 IP Phone.

1. Download tftp (see below), and start
2. Open the phones browser interface, and in Network Config set the TFTP Server IP.
3. Save and reboot the phone
4. Copy the firmware files into a new directory, and change Current Directory option in tftp to this folder
5. Back in the phone browser interface, goto Firmware Update, down to Manual, select TFTP and hit Update. The phone will reboot and download all the updates.
6. Pray - do NOT power anything down, or cause any issues!

IMPORTANT: If you can, step through the upgrades one version at a time - do not JUMP to the latest version as this can corrupt the phone.

You may need to do a reset to defaults - to do this power up the phone while holding down the # key - this lets you into what would seem to be an engineering menu.

Note if you do a reset, remember to change the protocol back to SIP (if you are using SIP of course!).

Always backup your configuration before carrying out any upgrade.

Good TFTP Server for Windows:

Final note: The latest v8 firmware does seem to a take a LONG time to initialise, but it does seem to get there eventually.

Small Software Vendor? Finding an e-commerce partner (Part 2)

A while ago (or, MORE than a while ago!) I started looking for an e-commerce vendor for my small, bespoke software company.

I looked a number of potentials:


Out of the three, I had worked with Cleverbridge and Avangate. And found both to be competent.

However, FastSpring as a new kid on the block – and I have to say, I was very taken with their nice user interface, and flexibility.

One provider, Cleverbridge, quickly ruled themselves out. Upon contacting them, enquiring about their services, I was quickly told that they “only deal with companies with a monthly turn over of more than $20’000”. But they could do me a deal of a 12% commission and a $5000 setup fee.

Hmm, so then there became two.

After much tooing and froing, I have to admit, it was pure aesthetics that won. I just like the FastSpring user interface, and their support was exceptional.

So, I’m now a FastSpring customer. The Wildfire Software online store will be launching the same time our first product is released – some time this month in fact.

2009, 2010 .. and the future

It’s been a couple of years since I did a rough round-up of the year gone by (I actually thought I posted one last year, but it seems not!), so I thought it was time that I did another one. That and my good friend beat me to it. However, I have to say, I think his year looks better than mine was!

Back at the end of 2009, I remember vowing to my close friends that were celebrating the end of the year with me that there was no way 2010 could be as bad as 2009. Oh how wrong was I.

In January 2009 I lost someone who had meant an awful lot to me when I was growing up – and, I have to say, someone who I hate to have lost contact with. It was, unfortunately, one of those “I must just” instances, always wanting to make time to get in contact, but never actually succeeding.

In January 2010 I lost my grandmother on my fathers side; someone who I spent a lot of time through my childhood. Needless to say, it hit hard.

For both years, I worked exceptionally hard, keeping myself busy and, to be honest, not really looking at much else except work. Except of course taking the motorbike out for the odd spin … but I didn’t really ACHIEVE anything. At least, that’s how it feels.

However, the biggest difference against 2010 and 2009 … I quit my job – and went self employed. Only time will tell if this has been a good idea or not, but this year, I have made the decision that I have to allow time for myself. Time to relax, and enjoy what I have and with the people in my life. Somehow I still have to find out how to fit this into being self employed …

Oh, that and complete my Avaya training, and time permitting, do some more Microsoft exams (got to keep things current you know!). Maybe even do a presentation at a technical event. Who knows.