IIS 7, php and fastcgi

It all started with this:
HTTP Error 500.0 - Internal Server Error
C:\Program Files (x86)\PHP\v5.3\php-cgi.exe - The FastCGI process exited unexpectedly

And Faulting application name: php-cgi.exe, version:, time stamp: 0x4e537f4b
Faulting module name: MSVCR90.dll, version: 9.0.30729.4940, time stamp: 0x4ca2ef57
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x0003aefe
Faulting process id: 0xcbc
Faulting application start time: 0x01ccba9ed76d7828
Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\PHP\v5.3\php-cgi.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\WinSxS\x86_microsoft.vc90.crt_1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b_9.0.30729.4940_none_50916076bcb9a742\MSVCR90.dll
Report Id: 158dd077-2692-11e1-9344-000c29f76d8e

1. Opened up permissions for the iusr account on web.config as recommended by MS

2. Checked Event Viewer and saw this:

3. Googled and found this:

4. Which led me to this

5. Which then got me thinking about how the hell you apply a patch:

6. And I downloaded this:

7. Except it didn't work with the --binary switch, I got "**** cannot read binary data from tty on this platform'

8. So I opened the patch file and added this code to database.inc, replacing

'/^RELEASE SAVEPOINT (.*)$/' => 'SELECT 1 /* $0 */',

9. Which led to an error in menu.inc
SELECT TOP(1) * FROM {menu_router} WHERE path IN () ORDER BY fit DESC; Array ( ) in menu_get_item() (line 445 of

10. So I went through and did it all again after deleting the db tables (the install configuration will error out if it finds the tables have already been created.)

11. And I got this message:
SQLSTATE[23000]: [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 10.0][SQL Server]Violation of PRIMARY KEY constraint 'registry_pkey'. Cannot insert duplicate key in object 'dbo.registry'.

12. Googled it, found people with the same problem but no fix.

13. Threw my hands up and said fuck it.

14. Looking for new Open Source CMS platform that works and allows me to skip steps during the install process :D.

Moral of the story: Jesus Christ Drupal is a pain in the ass and I'm ditching it for another CMS platform. Way too buggy and the install file is crap and won't let you skip steps (yes the db is already created.)

Windows 2008 server R2 SP1
SQL Server 2008
Commerce Guys Drupal

(Also if you plan on coming here going "HERP STOP USING IIS/MSSQL" I don't want to hear it. I'm not building another damned server because the Commerce Guys Drupal install doesn't work with a pretty typical config, thanks. I'm also starting to think Drupal is just buggy. I spent most of the day dealing with the regular Drupal package yesterday and couldn't get it to work then either. But I'll take any help. For now I'm scrapping the whole thing. At least I learned how to set up the php handlers in IIS :))

Edit: After my ranting I thought I'd give the Acquia install a go. Perfect, took 5 minutes.


This matter has been settled

Where else to say it but here? I have more in my Dr. Darm diary that I'll post at a later date but I had to say it.

It's finally over.

This matter has been settled.

Simple but beautiful words.


Finding an attorney

(This is a part in a series about my experiences with being sued and what the process is like. I hope it helps someone else who may or may not be in the same position. It’s helping me to write about it because it is terrifying and I’m pretty scared. Being sued is truly an existential kind of a thing (as my attorney put it.))

How the hell do I find a lawyer?

The next day I tapped my social network with a big stiff your-friend-is-being-sued-for-a-million-dollars index finger. I received some great referrals and found Linda, who I had a very good feeling about. What I didn't necessarily have a good feeling about was exactly how many attorneys my friends know. What are you up to guys?

But beyond the help I received, the stress was still awful. I couldn’t sleep, eat, concentrate and was walking around listless and on the verge of tears when I wasn’t working or on the phone. Besides work, it was a part time job contacting lawyers and so very tiring.

Unlike many of my friends I never had to find an attorney before. I didn't know what to look for or how to shop for one. It's not like buying a laptop or finding a new bike. It was more like interviewing for a job. You find out if you like them, if they like you. If they like what you have to offer and you approve.

The resource that was enormously helpful was the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They gave me advice and told me about a statute I'd never heard of before. The anti-SLAPP.

But no matter how exhausted I was, I was still taking Benadryl to get some rest. I wasn’t going to be any good at my job, to my husband to my friends, unless I rested. When his commercials came on it was a slap to the face. That’s the man that's suing me. I flipped over to Netflix.

If they wanted to chill my speech, they did. I was afraid to post anything in public, or say anything at all about the biggest event in my life.

That weekend I hid in the house and recharged. I was exhausted and stressed with having to choose an attorney, and still worried about losing what little I have. Every morning I woke up and every morning I had the crushing realization I was being sued for a million dollars.

I finally talked to Linda. And things got started.

There really wasn’t a lot for me to do at that point and that really bothered me. I felt like my fate was out of my hands and really, it was.


Being served and sued

(This is a part in a series about my experiences being sued and what the process, legalese, emotions and fear are like. Honestly, even posting this is equally as scary. But I hope it helps someone else who may or may not be in the same position. Finding a lawyer is tough, the emotions are tough, it's all pretty damned hard to deal with. It’s helping me to write about it, as the hearing on the 15th gets closer, it's becoming even realer (is that a word?) than it was when I was initially served. Being sued is truly an existential kind of a thing (as my attorney put it.))

On July 11th, I was scrambling to get my house in order for a small gathering of friends. Move the shoes, get the chairs, put the chips out in my record player bowl and put together a Philip Glass play list.

The knock came at 7:45, 15 minutes early and we were still tidying up. Though my friends know I’m a little disorganized and busy, I’d like to have them believe otherwise in some house-proud kind of a way. “They’re early! Damn them!” I shouted from the computer. Philip stopped, “there’s someone here for you?” Thinking I’d go to the door and find a 5-foot chicken or something equally bizarre, I was surprised to find a sunny blond woman holding a plain brown envelope.

I knew what it was. I’ve served people before. When I was about 18 I guess I didn’t look like a court employee, so I handed over documents at a construction site. She didn’t really look like a server either, or certainly not as you’d picture one. I usually see Ice-T or Christopher Meloni in my head whenever I think of courts (too much Law and Order I guess.)

I knew I could probably just look at her, shake my head no and not touch the envelope. But the court has a way of tracking people down and servers get creative. It would just delay the inevitable and I’d still be served. Besides, my curiosity got the better of me. What the hell could this possibly be about? Mystified, I reached out and touched it with my thumb and index finger “you’ve been served.” “For what?!” I exclaimed, more out of shock than an actual question.

“I don’t know, I’m just the server!” she called, rushing out of the courtyard. A speedy exit, I remembered, is important just after you've served someone.

As I closed the door I racked my brain for options. Maybe an old debt when I was young and stupid? Is there something I forgot to pay? Maybe some other court kind of a thing?

I looked at the envelope for a minute and opened it. I read through the discovery and the lawsuit. “Dr. Darm is suing me! Oh my god!” And then I saw the amount.

“For a million dollars.”

My brain raced 5000 miles a minute. Stress about house cleaning and my previous good mood evaporated. I was in shock. I was terrified. A million dollars is a frightening and extraordinary amount of money to someone like me.

Weird and not so weird thoughts passed through my head. Could they take my bike? (Worth nothing except it’s blue and covered in stars, it’s still one of my prized possessions.) How could I possibly pay anyone that much money without winning the lottery? Could they take my meagre 401k? How could I find someone to help me? I read and re-read the papers, shaking. What could I do? What were my options? How could I get help?

I knew one thing, I had to find an attorney.

But I had no idea how.


How to Get a Star TSP800 working on Server 2008

We're in the process of migrating our Terminal Services infrastructure from 2003 to 2008. During testing we found printing easy, including with Star TSP800 printers. Then one day everything changed. We built a new workstation image and discovered the drawer kick from the Star to the cash drawer wasn't working. All options were grayed out on the server and the driver settings weren't transferred from the host machine to the Terminal Services session.

Star support reported they experienced the same problem. And after a bit of messing around we managed to get it working. The key? Easy Print.

I won't explain Easy Print here, this is a pretty good explanation, but I will say it saved my hide. By using the Windows XP driver that didn't support 2008, we managed to get the printer working in 2008.

Here's what we needed:
1. A legacy driver on the host machine that 2008 didn't like so terminal services would use Easy Print.
2. A locally mapped printer on the host (TCP/IP and LPT both tested.)
3. A terminal services client that supports RDP 6.1 (appears as 6.0.6001)
4. Windows updates up to recently. We didn't manage to pin the exact update down.

And voila, we have legacy thermal printers.

I didn't find any documentation on this when doing research. Hopefully this helps someone else!


lmgrd is not running: Cannot connect to license server

Oh, this is a lovely catch all, isn't it? It did help me discover a couple things.

1. The MAC address in our Autodesk Inventor 2010 license file was incorrectly entered when the license was generated.

2. This particular error means anything and everything is wrong.

Here's what went wrong on our installation. For some reason, when the licensing directory at C:\Program Files\Autodesk Network License Manager\ was created, the executables LMTOOLS were added, but not the additional directories. So there's no sub-directory for license files and no debug.log file.

The last one was our problem. I incorrectly assumed that creating the path under Config Services would create the file. It didn't. So every time I tried to start my licensing server I got the dreaded "lmgrd is not running: Cannot connect to license server" error message. As a work around I created a file called debug.log, recreated the path to the debug log file and the server works like a charm.

This may also apply to ESRI applications and other programs using FlexLM and LMTOOLS.


Who steals little picnic tables?

We arrived home from the pub and dropping our Gav off around 3:00am on Sunday. I was in a pretty good mood, despite being sick and stressed last week I think I loosened up enough to blow off some steam. As we opened the door Mr. Me noticed something was missing. Our little table. We had this little picnic table outside our door that we used for BBQs and outdoor Scrabble. It's gone now.

We suspect it was Sex Offender Steve who, for whatever reason, decided it now belongs to him. It was one of the few things we told him to leave alone but he has quite a distorted sense of what's his and what's ours. The things we asked him to leave alone he didn't, just proceeded as he pleased with no consideration for how we felt.

Here's what we told him to leave alone:

  • The trees. (Cut Down.)

  • Our chairs (were in his yard, we have them back now.)

  • Our paving stones (sold/given to his brother)

  • Our stupid little table (now missing.)

  • I lost it, I'm not proud. But living above this guy has me in a state most of the time now. I'm nervous in case one of the local plebs decides to exact some justice, I hate him and the very sight makes me feel ill.

    A long time ago the Mr. said he could use our yard. As a result his DIY stuff is all over the place, like everywhere you look is a piece of wood or a tool of some kind. So now our little table is gone, I decided he can't use our yard anymore and tossed as much as I could manage back over the fence.

    It's stupid, but the picnic table was the last straw. We hadn't done anything to him. We haven't done anything to deserve having our things stolen. But he did it anyway.

    I guess 16 years inside doesn't teach you how to live with other people.

    After my fit of 'get out!' we went to bed where I tried my best to fall asleep.

    But that dream soon evaporated, within about 10-15 minutes I heard car doors slam. He called the police.

    They came around and talked to us. I told them I was upset about our little table being stolen and Sex Offender Steve had stolen things from us before. They asked about how the yards are divided and I explained the back bit was ours. They seemed satisfied and left (after laughing when I burst into tears and apologized as I'd drunk too much gin.)

    I slept poorly on Sunday. I'm so anxious, so angry, so drained, so frustrated. I hate this so much. This is my home. It's horrible, but it's mine.


    The vigilantes are here

    Morning window

    When I found out about this I went through a fair spectrum of negative emotion. The most dominating one was fear. What had Steve done to get 16 years? The rumor on the estate is it had something to do with disfigurement. What did the girl look like now? Suddenly he changed from being the inconsiderate DIY fanatic to being a sinister figure of violence.

    But mostly the fear wasn't from him directly. Our neighborhood isn't a Guardian reading middle class party. It's more working class, the types that gladly take justice into their own hands. I could almost hear the rallying cries around me from last Tuesday. Though they may be friends with thieves and drug dealers, they aren't rapists. And rapists are different.

    We thought we'd made it through the worst. It's been a week since we had a note slipped to us from a friend about what he is. Since then the police park outside our flat a lot. It comforts and scares us. I'm not used to such a high police presence. We thought they came to check up on Steve, make sure he was where he said he was and not because of any external threat. What we didn't anticipate is vigilante-ism can start quietly.

    Last night was a literal breaking point. I was playing Civ IV and listening to Have I got news for you. I've had difficulty unwinding at home lately, I need a lot of distraction to relax. And just as I fended off the barbarian hordes an almighty crash shook the floor. We hoped it was just stupidity from downstairs. It's common enough for our neighbor to fall on something or knock down a shelf. He enjoys DIY projects, but isn't particularly graceful about them. When he tried to hack into a tree in our backyard he broke his collarbone. We looked out the window and saw nothing but an empty street and our neighbor across the road peering out of his window. It's that kind of place.

    From our angle we couldn't see anything wrong. My first concern was our car. It sat directly in front of his door. But it looked fine, the evening frost was undisturbed. A little while later I saw headlights shine on the small brick water building next to our block of flats. A policeman got out and went downstairs.

    We investigated and found two large holes in our neighbor's windows. He was bricked. A clear message for him to get out. The police officer came to our flat and suggested that though this kind of violence against him is kind of satisfying, we're in danger. I know. Our consolation at this point is we haven't received any kind of threatening letters or phone calls. The footprints in the grass suggested they'd come close enough to aim accurately. They know who they're after and it isn't us.

    What concerns me anyway is we might get caught in the crossfire. The more this escalates, the more perilous living in our home becomes. The more fearful I become. But not because of what the man downstairs did, because of the people trying to do good by driving him out. I'm sure that's what they want. It's what I want too. I just wish there was a way to make that happen with out endangering innocent people. Like me.


    My neighbor is a rapist.

    Tuesday evening Andy-Across-The-Road delivered some strange news. News you could verify.

    My neighbor is a convicted rapist.

    Specifically, this neighbor.

    I'm very, very conflicted about this. On one hand, he served a 16 year sentence. His time is done, finished, debt to society served. On the other hand, the part of me that fantasizes about kicking him in the nuts for cutting down the trees in our yard wants to beat him over the head with a shovel. And a 16 year sentence for rape seems pretty steep.

    I'm not really sure how you resolve feelings like this. Petty criminals I can handle. Our neighborhood is rife with car thieves, robbers and drug dealers. I know. But the drug they deal is pot. The cars they steal are from other parts of Wigan. The robberies were of post offices and banks. I can deal with those things.

    But sexual violence makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It's a primal thing, one you can't overcome just by being educated. And if anything, it's the education that sickens you.


    Taking Liberties

    Our back garden better resembles a nature preserve. Due to scheduling conflicts (too busy drinking, cavorting, gaming, reading, working, studying, talktalkhelling) we don't have a lot of time to deal with it. So when our downstairs neighbor moved in last fall Mr. Me decided to let him have it. When he told me, the dark mist of 'this isn't going to end well' went down over my eyes. Even though our brownspace wasn't exactly a haven of gardening, it was ours and set definite boundaries. I couldn't put my finger on it but I knew there were problems afoot.

    Sure enough, the new neighbor (designated DIY Steve) has started taking liberties. Mr. Me and I moved some paving stones to a small area under a tree so we could have tiny BBQs during the summer. We're not big outside people, crossing that threshold between inside (where we can pretend we don't live in the ghetto) and outside is difficult when you have sub prime examples of humanity all around. Mr. Me told him the only thing not to move were these stones. Leave the area alone.

    I'm not the most observant of people. For the most part when it's not mini-BBQ time I'm fairly oblivious to small changes in the local environment. But for the last few weeks I've had a feeling something is missing and today I worked it out. DIY Steve gave our paving stones away to some random family member. This is on top of having a bonfire at 11:30pm last night.

    I wish it wasn't true that a vast majority of people will take the mile if given an inch. But it so is. Part of me wants to scream in frustration, part of me wants to live in a cave with nothing to give or take. I dislike being a selfish, closed individual. My nature is to help and be generous but every time someone chips away at my generosity, some part of me just flails and dies.


    Observer story

    The story came out. I'm pretty happy with everything, including the photo. As a result I've had a barrage of traffic to the Talk Talk Hell site.

    We found out this morning after an evening of drinking and debauchery in Manchester. Woke up around 12:30 and eventually left the house in search of newspapers. ASDA had a disappointingly low count but enough for me to confirm I was in it. Not only in it, but also in glorious technicolor. After giggling wildly for a few hours and telling a nice man holding a donations jar for the Rotary club of Wigan, we went on search of more.

    Sainsbury's ended up being the best bet for locating the Observer. They had absolutely tons left, which I think proves that middle class guilt hasn't infiltrated this area of the metropolitan borough of Wigan just yet.

    I'm very excited and quite proud. I made it into the paper without committing an unusual, stupid or horrific crime. Hooray!

    Observer: Calling time on the Talk Talk fiasco


    It finally seems like Christmas.

    Nov06 126
    Originally uploaded by vulgarcriminal.
    It's been a fairly exciting week in the world of Tiffany. Monday we ventured out to the wonderful Christmas markets to drink hot wines and look at *stuff.* We ended up at the Retro Bar for a pub quiz, brilliant fun even though we only came in 4th (out of 5.) I think we may do it again in January. See, that's where the UK win. Pub quizes are awesome.

    Tuesday evening I received an e-mail from a journalist with the Observer regarding Talk Talk Hell. She wanted to chat with me, which is cool. The conversation on Wednesday was pretty brief but I thought good. A lot of it was about the various issues regarding ISPs. Apparently Carphone Warehouse customers aren't the only ones currently suffering.

    Toward the end of the conversation she mentioned something interesting, would I be willing to have my photograph taken?

    'Oh dear.' I thought. I think I must have shrieked to everyone, cache and photographer included that I needed to clean my house.

    Thankfully I had a few hours to do a mad rush around, hide evidence of my station as High Priestess of the people who drink a lot of wine and hate cleaning and wash my hair. By time the photographer arrived, things looked somewhat sensible... or at least a little less like frat boys live here.

    He took a lot of photos. What I'm hoping is, if they use it (they said they will but I'm a pessimist) the photo looks more like this:

    And less like what I usually look like:

    Sippin' my beer. Poured some on the curb.

    The photo is supposed to be out tomorrow. I'm frightened.

    All things considered, I'd say this week was fairly successful. I'm pretty excited about being in the Observer and not for commiting any crimes or scaling palace walls.



    On the 4th Friday of every month I paint myself up as a goth and go out to ARA. I've long stopped my regular clubbing outings in Manchester as my awareness of or the amount of violence on weekend evenings has risen. I'd rather have a nice night in watching Big Brother than face the hordes of drunken ruffians out for a night of brawling. But ARA and what it offers me is different in a way that makes going out worthwhile and up until recently, safe.

    The night is run by a pair of couples who are extremely friendly and extraordinarily kind. When we get to the door, there isn't the scowl and demand for tickets or bag searches. We receive friendly chat about what's happening in everyone's lives, who we've brought with us or just comments that on a particular night I look a bit Rockabilly. I look forward to going in and I look forward to going out. It's such a remarkable experience to find that kind of openness in a place referred to as a club and one I find brightens the whole month.

    On a normal outing, we go in and find a pew to set our stuff on and sit for a bit looking around or watching a movie. See, there aren't the sticky tables and broken chairs of your regular club. The night is held at Sacred Trinity Church in Salford, with the blessing of the Reverend. People that come are aware of the grounds, the beauty of the building and respect it as such. You won't find many being slammed into the wall, or lazily spilling their drinks. That respect stretches to the behavior of the club goers as well. We have yet to see people on the floor with telltale plastic baggies, just bottles of wine they've bought at the local market and perhaps a pack of cigarettes for outside conversation.

    Just near the doors, on gravestones, is where the conversation happens. We stand around with our glasses and laugh, sometimes fleeing back indoors when we hear a particular bump of a song we like. During the summer it's hard to move through the corridors for the traffic running back and forth. Subsequently we've made some friends and remain open to all who come running.

    I'm constantly encouraging people to go. I keep thrusting them in the direction of ARA, expounding on the evening's possibilities. My husband and I have been attending almost since they started and always find ourselves pleased. Friends that have gone keep returning for more, even if they don't particularly like the genre or the subculture. It's just one big friendly party that's held in an amazingly lovely church and we've always been grateful for it.

    And it is that open vibe that makes the events of last night so distressing for me.

    Around the corner from the church is a real pub that seems to attract some elements unlike ours and more typical of what you'd expect. I saw them last night, grouped around the place with pints of something. I remember thinking that I wouldn't like to walk past them because of their shaved heads and an aura of violence. Two months ago, in what we suspect is connected to that pub, one of the other regulars was mugged. We thought that it was a one off, what are the odds of something like that happening again so far outside of the city centre at a local church? But yesterday was different and so much worse.

    I didn't witness any of the worst parts, thankfully. The first I knew of something happening was when my husband grabbed me mid dance to What do I get? to let me know something had happened and to get my phone. Later stories told of how four kids had been kicked out of the bar around the corner and decided to randomly take their aggression out on the people outside, before trying to venture in to get some more action. They swung at my husband, who made a lucky dodge and grazed one of the guys in our group. They managed to get someone else on the ground, though he was fighting them the best he could. They punched one of the women who runs it and then proceeded to stomp one person we didn't realize had been left outside after the doors had been barricaded.

    It took 7 minutes and 21 seconds for me to get police and an ambulance despatched. I probably made the whole process more difficult, since my head was still stuck in the moment I watched one of my friends being used as a rope in a tug of war. A police officer did eventually arrive after about 10-15 minutes, too late to catch the thugs and too inneffectual to get everyone's statements. By then we'd discovered that when the doors were shut, one of the other organizers had been left outside and was badly hurt. An ambulance did eventually turn up after another 10 minutes or so and treated the one on the ground, who left a small circle of blood behind. The others were told nothing, or to go to Accident and Emergency.

    I'm still horrified about it all. The randomness and brutality of the attack has left one in the hospital. Perhaps strangely, what's most angering is the lack of respect these people showed to the church grounds. ARA is sanctuary, that's what the organizers want and that's what we get. Troublemakers and those who disrespect the rules are typically not tolerated. Do what the sign says, or leave. It's supposed to be, like the church, a haven from all the idiocy, violence and aggression of everywhere else there is to go out. Yet somehow something so basic as to respect that universal symbol of peace hasn't been taught to these perpetrators. I can't even begin to comprehend what that means.

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