Resolving “Network path is not found” errors

Posted on June 14th, 2012

Multiple customers of mine have had issues with the error message “Network path is not found”. Windows can throw this error message for a number of reasons.  This often becomes a problem when you’re trying to remotely monitor event logs, services, disk space, etc. using network monitoring software such as Overseer Network Monitor.

If you’re having this issue, try these things:

  • Make sure both Windows PCs(your computer and the remote computer) are running on the same network/LAN.
  • Disable the Windows firewall. If this works, you know it’s the firewall blocking traffic, and you can find what rule to add to the firewall to make things work.
  • Disable UAC!. Note that you may have to disable remote UAC in addition to the GUI disabling of user account control
  • Check the clocks on both computers. If the times are not within 15 minutes of each other, this problem may occur. Be sure to check the date and the time, as it’s easy to miss a different year when looking at just the time or day.
  • Check the status of these services and make sure they’re running on both ends:
    • Remote Registry Service
    • Server
    • Workstation
    • Computer Browser
    • Remote Procedure Call
    • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper Service
  • Check your network card(s) properties, and check these options:
    • Client for Microsoft Networks
    • File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks
    • Also make sure “Enable NetBIOS over TCP/IP” is enabled
    • Make sure “802.1x” authentication is disabled(potentially buried under ‘configure’ tab for network adapter
  • If using local accounts, be sure you’re referring to them as MACHINE\username, and **not** .\username. If you use .\username, you will get “network path was not found”, which is a very unhelpful in resolving this problem.

 


EventLogSession/EventLogReader error remotely accessing Windows XP/W2K3 machines

Posted on May 8th, 2012

Sometimes, when searching Google it takes all of 30 seconds to find an answer to a question. Other times, it can take minutes, or even hours. I’m writing this blog post, because I was just researching an issue that took me hours to figure out– and in the end, it was so simple, yet disappointing at the same time…

For the new version of Overseer, the network monitoring software I write, I was adding support for extended event logs– these are the “Applications and Services Logs” event logs below the regular ones in W2K8′s event viewer. I found I had to use the new EventLogSession/EventLogReader API. I found it required .NET 3.5, so I upgraded my software to require .NET 3.5(it was v2 compatible up to this point).

I got things working, and I was able to monitor event logs(new and old style) using the code remotely accessing Windows 2008 and Windows 7 computers. I got an error when accessing Windows XP machines(and I’m sure W2K3 machines, but I didn’t have any to test with at the time). The error was “UnauthorizedAccessException - Attempted to perform an unauthorized operation.”  To most, including myself, this seems like a permissions issue– so I looked into all sorts of potential impersonation problems, etc. I scoured the web looking for anyone even having the same problem, but didn’t find it.

Eventually, I found a reference buried in some forum reply, that one of the API calls that the new EventLogSession/EventLogReader calls is Vista/W2K8+ only. That’s just great– the whole API is now Vista/W2K8+ only… Why Microsoft wouldn’t add a compatibility layer for Windows XP and Windows 2003 is beyond me… But once I found this, I at least was able to move on, realizing that I had to detect the version of Windows running on the remote machine and use the different API’s accordingly… If only Microsoft had included proper documentation clearly specifying this new API was Vista/W2K8+ only, had an error message indicating something of that sorts, or actually did the right thing and wrote a compatibility layer into it, I wouldn’t have wasted so much time on such an unproductive search.

 

 


Always have a software schedule

Posted on September 14th, 2011

As some of you may know, I spend a large portion of my time contracting with a specific client. The rest of my time, I spend doing operations things, and trying to develop and promote my products, Overseer Network Monitor and Employee Scheduling Pro. The time demands of my primary contract, along with personal time demands, sometimes leaves me very little time to develop and/or promote my products. It can be quite frustrating at times. In the past 6 months or so, I’ve been doing my best to force myself to do a little bit every week. I created a whiteboard that tracks how many days it has been since my last release, blog post, sale, etc. for each of the products. As I see this number go up, I get more motivated to do something with the product so I can make a release, and therefore a blog entry, and hopefully all this will spur sales(or potentially do some marketing to make the sales # move)…

While this has been helpful to keep me from being totally idle on my products, I’ve found it’s caused a different problem. I’ll notice late in the week that a number is high, and be motivated to make a release to bring that number down to 0. So, I’ll search my feature database for something I can bang out in a couple hours or maybe a day– tops… If I have a bit more time, I’ll do a couple to make it a more substantial release… The problem with this, is I’m always pressed for time in a week– so only small enhancements get done… The exception to this rule, is when I have a customer specifically asking for features– then I focus all my development efforts on getting the list of features implemented that the specific [potential] customer requests. I feel I get a lot done in this manner, but it often spans multiple periods of my non-contract time. This is good, because I stay focused.

After noticing this pattern and doing some research online, I’ve come to the realization that I can’t continue without a little more structure. I need to start planning software releases– to create a simple schedule. I need to take some time, sit down, and choose a certain few features(big and small) to be included in a release. I then have to schedule out how long that’ll take, and get it done– accepting upfront that this will take numerous sessions– I can’t bang out a substantial release in an afternoon as I’ve been doing…


New releases, busy week

Posted on June 10th, 2011

This has been a busy week involving multiple new releases– one for Overseer, my network monitoring software, and the other for Employee Scheduling Pro, my employee scheduling software. In addition to this, I’ve had more hours than usual for a regular client of mine… Overall, it’s been a very busy week.

I’ve also been looking at adding support to Overseer for USB temperature sensing units. I ordered a few for prototypes/development units, and hope to add a budget alternative to the extremely expensive Sensatronics EM1 option that Overseer currently supports.


Google Analytics Tracking of Downloads DOES NOT WORK RELIABLY

Posted on April 1st, 2011

About a month ago I switched to using Google Analytics. I was previously using Urchin for web analytics, and had accepted that it simply didn’t work for tracking goals, etc.(I reported this to Urchin and they refused to acknowledge it). When I switched to Google Analytics, I setup goals for tracking downloads of my Network and System Monitoring Software. This seemed to work, and replaced my weblog analysis that counted the downloads for conversion tracking.

This past Friday, I launched my Employee Scheduling Software and setup goal/download tracking the same exact way. I downloaded it a few times, and it never showed up in Google Analytics as a conversion– or as content. I analyzed what could be wrong, and found that everything was setup perfectly.

So, being a software developer, I loaded my download page up in Chrome and turned on the Javascript console. I found that when clicking the download links, it would come up with an “undefined” error, yet still allow the download to take place. With some experimentation, I found that the tracking code always fails when linking to a binary/downloadable file, but works for linking to pages… Of course, that doesn’t work for me, as I need to track downloading of files… I couldn’t find any solutions online, and I tried multiple different ways to track the downloads with GA… It appears to be browser specific(with Chrome), which is why the problem was masked with Overseer downloads… But this  just makes it clear to me that I can’t trust Google’s numbers…

So, it looks like I’ll be switching back to tracking downloads from my logs… The plus side of this, is I can go back historically and won’t be limited by GA’s lack of data, lack of Javascript support on some browsers, etc… The problem is I won’t be able to see ‘goals’ inside GA’s interface… I suppose there’s worse things.


How to Email a cell phone

Posted on March 1st, 2011

For many reasons, many people may want to Email a text message to their cell phone. This might be used to notify themselves when their servers or websites go down– or simply to notify them of backup completion or a new sale. If you’re interested in receiving Emails when your servers or websites go down, you may want to check out Overseer, which does exactly that– it is able to send an Email to your phone when your website goes down.

If you’d like to Email a cell phone directly from your Email client, from a script, or something else, you can still do so quite easily. This has the benefit of being free for the person sending the email, but the recipient may still pay to receive the email as a text message. To send a text message to someone’s cell phone via Email, you will need to know their phone number and what cell phone carrier they use. To send a text message to a cell phone, simply send an Email to the appropriate Email address:

AT&T phonenumber@txt.att.net
Cingular Wireless phonenumber@mobile.mycingular.com
Cricket phonenumber@sms.mycricket.com
Metro PCS phonenumber@mymetropcs.com
Nextel phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com
Sprint PCS phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
T-Mobile phonenumber@tmomail.net
US Cellular phonenumber@email.uscc.net
Verizon phonenumber@vtext.com
Virgin Mobile phonenumber@vmobl.com

 

Remember to keep your EMails short, as the recipient will be receiving them on a small screen, and long Emails may be cut off or split between multiple text messages(and they’ll get charged for each one by their carrier). Also, if your carrier isn’t here, it may be here: Cell Phone Email Addresses.


Cell Phone Email Addresses

Posted on February 28th, 2011

Most mobile phone and pager carriers provide Email gateways into their SMS/Text messaging networks, allowing for the free sending of text messages to these devices. These Email addresses sometimes change, so I’ve provided a list of SMS cell phone Email addresses here. Some of these may not work– it’s best to try sending an Email to each address for your provider and see if you get the message. If you know of a provider/Email address combination that’s not here that you know works, please contact me at dkalweit@sensiblesoftware.com so I can add it to the list. Note that messaging rates on the device may still apply. For more details, please see How to Email a Cell Phone. If you’re interested in monitoring your servers, websites, and network devices, and getting Emails to your cell phone when they go down, please check out Overseer Server Monitoring Software.

 

Provider Name Email Address
3 River Wireless phonenumber@sms.3rivers.net
ACS Wireless phonenumber@paging.acswireless.com
AT&T phonenumber@txt.att.net
AT&T Pocketnet PCS phonenumber@dpcs.mobile.att.net
Advantage Communications pagernumber@advantagepaging.com
Airtouch Pagers pagernumber@airtouch.net
Airtouch Pagers pagernumber@airtouchpaging.com
Airtouch Pagers pagernumber@alphapage.airtouch.com
Airtouch Pagers pagernumber@myairmail.com
Alltel phonenumber@message.alltel.com
AlphNow pin@alphanow.net
Ameritech Clearpath pagernumber@clearpath.acswireless.com
Ameritech Paging pagernumber@pageapi.com
Ameritech Paging pagernumber@paging.acswireless.com
Andhra Pradesh Airtel phonenumber@airtelap.com
Arch Pagers (PageNet) pagernumber@archwireless.net
Arch Pagers (PageNet) pagernumber@epage.arch.com
BPL mobile phonenumber@bplmobile.com
BeeLine GSM phonenumber@sms.beemail.ru
Beepwear pagernumber@beepwear.net
Bell Atlantic phonenumber@message.bam.com
Bell Canada phonenumber@bellmobility.ca
Bell Canada phonenumber@txt.bellmobility.ca
Bell Mobility number@txt.bellmobility.ca
Bell South (Blackberry) number@bellsouthtips.com
Bell South Mobility phonenumber@blsdcs.net
Bell South phonenumber@bellsouth.cl
Bell South phonenumber@blsdcs.net
Bell South phonenumber@sms.bellsouth.com
Bell South phonenumber@wireless.bellsouth.com
Bluegrass Cellular phonenumber@sms.bluecell.com
Boost Mobile phonenumber@myboostmobile.com
Carolina Mobile Communications pagernumber@cmcpaging.com
Cellular One East Coast phonenumber@phone.cellone.net
Cellular One PCS phonenumber@paging.cellone-sf.com
Cellular One South West phonenumber@swmsg.com
Cellular One phonenumber@mobile.celloneusa.com
Cellular One phonenumber@cell1.textmsg.com
Cellular One phonenumber@cellularone.textmsg.com
Cellular One phonenumber@cellularone.txtmsg.com
Cellular One phonenumber@message.cellone-sf.com
Cellular One phonenumber@sbcemail.com
Cellular South phonenumber@csouth1.com
Central Vermont Communications pagernumber@cvcpaging.com
CenturyTel phonenumber@messaging.centurytel.net
Chennai RPG Cellular phonenumber@rpgmail.net
Chennai Skycell / Airtel phonenumber@airtelchennai.com
Cincinnati Bell phonenumber@gocbw.com
Cingular Wireless phonenumber@mobile.mycingular.com
Clearnet phonenumber@msg.clearnet.com
Comcast phonenumber@comcastpcs.textmsg.com
Communication Specialist Companies pin@pager.comspeco.com
Communication Specialists 7digitpin@pageme.comspeco.net
Comviq number@sms.comviq.se
Cook Paging pagernumber@cookmail.com
Corr Wireless Communications phonenumber@corrwireless.net
Cricket phonenumber@sms.mycricket.com
DT T-Mobile phonenumber@t-mobile-sms.de
Delhi Aritel phonenumber@airtelmail.com
Delhi Hutch phonenumber@delhi.hutch.co.in
Digi-Page / Page Kansas pagernumber@page.hit.net
Dobson Cellular Systems phonenumber@mobile.dobson.net
Dobson-Alex Wireless / Dobson-Cellular One phonenumber@mobile.cellularone.com
EMT phonenumber@sms.emt.ee
Edge Wireless phonenumber@sms.edgewireless.com
Escotel phonenumber@escotelmobile.com
Fido phonenumber@fido.ca
GCS Paging pagernumber@webpager.us
GTE phonenumber@messagealert.com
GTE number@airmessage.net
GTE number@gte.pagegate.net
Goa BPLMobil phonenumber@bplmobile.com
Golden Telecom phonenumber@sms.goldentele.com
GrayLink / Porta-Phone pagernumber@epage.porta-phone.com
Gujarat Celforce phonenumber@celforce.com
Helio phonenumber@myhelio.com
Houston Cellular number@text.houstoncellular.net
Idea Cellular phonenumber@ideacellular.net
Infopage Systems pinnumber@page.infopagesystems.com
Inland Cellular Telephone phonenumber@inlandlink.com
JSM Tele-Page pinnumber@jsmtel.com
Kerala Escotel phonenumber@escotelmobile.com
Kolkata Airtel phonenumber@airtelkol.com
Kyivstar number@smsmail.lmt.lv
LMT phonenumber@smsmail.lmt.lv
Lauttamus Communication pagernumber@e-page.net
MCI Phone phonenumber@mci.com
MCI phonenumber@pagemci.com
Maharashtra BPL Mobile phonenumber@bplmobile.com
Maharashtra Idea Cellular phonenumber@ideacellular.net
Manitoba Telecom Systems phonenumber@text.mtsmobility.com
Meteor phonenumber@sms.mymeteor.ie
Metro PCS phonenumber@mymetropcs.com
Metrocall 2-way pagernumber@my2way.com
Metrocall pagernumber@page.metrocall.com
MiWorld phonenumber@m1.com.sg
Microcell phonenumber@fido.ca
Midwest Wireless phonenumber@clearlydigital.com
Mobilecom PA pagernumber@page.mobilcom.net
Mobilecomm number@mobilecomm.net
Mobileone phonenumber@m1.com.sg
Mobilfone phonenumber@page.mobilfone.com
Mobility Bermuda phonenumber@ml.bm
Mobistar Belgium phonenumber@mobistar.be
Mobitel Tanzania phonenumber@sms.co.tz
Mobtel Srbija phonenumber@mobtel.co.yu
Morris Wireless pagernumber@beepone.net
Motient number@isp.com
Movistar number@correo.movistar.net
Mumbai BPL Mobile phonenumber@bplmobile.com
Mumbai Orange phonenumber@orangemail.co.in
NBTel number@wirefree.informe.ca
NPI Wireless phonenumber@npiwireless.com
Netcom phonenumber@sms.netcom.no
Nextel phonenumber@messaging.nextel.com
Nextel(Brazil) phonenumber@nextel.com.br
Ntelos number@pcs.ntelos.com
O2 phonenumber@o2.co.uk
Omnipoint phonenumber@omnipointpcs.com
Omnipoint number@omnipoint.com
One Connect Austria phonenumber@onemail.at
OnlineBeep phonenumber@onlinebeep.net
Optus Mobile phonenumber@optusmobile.com.au
Orange – NL / Dutchtone phonenumber@sms.orange.nl
Orange Mumbai phonenumber@orangemail.co.in
Orange phonenumber@orange.net
Oskar phonenumber@mujoskar.cz
P&T Luxembourg phonenumber@sms.luxgsm.lu
PCS One phonenumber@pcsone.net
Pacific Bell phonenumber@pacbellpcs.net
PageMart Advanced /2way pagernumber@airmessage.net
PageMart Canada pagernumber@pmcl.net
PageMart 7digitpinnumber@pagemart.net
PageNet Canada phonenumber@pagegate.pagenet.ca
PageOne NorthWest 10digitnumber@page1nw.com
Pioneer / Enid Cellular phonenumber@msg.pioneerenidcellular.com
PlusGSM phonenumber@text.plusgsm.pl
Pocket Wireless phonenumber@sms.pocket.com
Pondicherry BPL Mobile phonenumber@bplmobile.com
Powertel phonenumber@ptel.net
Price Communications phonenumber@mobilecell1se.com
Primco number@primeco.textmsg.com
Primtel phonenumber@sms.primtel.ru
ProPage 7digitpagernumber@page.propage.net
Public Service Cellular phonenumber@sms.pscel.com
Qwest phonenumber@qwestmp.com
RAM Page number@ram-page.com
Rogers AT&T Wireless phonenumber@pcs.rogers.com
Rogers Canada phonenumber@pcs.rogers.com
SBC Ameritech Paging pagernumber@paging.acswireless.com
SCS-900 phonenumber@scs-900.ru
SFR France phonenumber@sfr.fr
ST Paging pin@page.stpaging.com
Safaricom phonenumber@safaricomsms.com
Satelindo GSM phonenumber@satelindogsm.com
Satellink pagernumber.pageme@satellink.net
Simple Freedom phonenumber@text.simplefreedom.net
Skytel Pagers 7digitpinnumber@skytel.com
Skytel Pagers number@email.skytel.com
Smart Telecom phonenumber@mysmart.mymobile.ph
Southern LINC phonenumber@page.southernlinc.com
Southwestern Bell number@email.swbw.com
Sprint PCS phonenumber@messaging.sprintpcs.com
SunCom number@tms.suncom.com
Sunrise Mobile phonenumber@freesurf.ch
Sunrise Mobile phonenumber@mysunrise.ch
Surewest Communicaitons phonenumber@mobile.surewest.com
Swisscom phonenumber@bluewin.ch
T-Mobile phonenumber@tmomail.net
T-Mobile(UK) phonenumber@t-mobile.uk.net
T-Mobile(Austria) Austria phonenumber@sms.t-mobile.at
T-Mobile(Germany) Germany phonenumber@t-d1-sms.de
TIM phonenumber@timnet.com
TSR Wireless pagernumber@alphame.com
TSR Wireless pagernumber@beep.com
Tamil Nadu BPL Mobile phonenumber@bplmobile.com
Tele2 Latvia phonenumber@sms.tele2.lv
Telefonica Movistar phonenumber@movistar.net
Telenor phonenumber@mobilpost.no
Teletouch pagernumber@pageme.teletouch.com
Telia Denmark phonenumber@gsm1800.telia.dk
Telus phonenumber@msg.telus.com
The Indiana Paging Co last4digits@pager.tdspager.com
Triton phonenumber@tms.suncom.com
US Cellular phonenumber@email.uscc.net
US West number@uswestdatamail.com
Unicel phonenumber@utext.com
Uraltel phonenumber@sms.uraltel.ru
Uttar Pradesh Escotel phonenumber@escotelmobile.com
Verizon phonenumber@vtext.com
Vessotel phonenumber@pager.irkutsk.ru
Virgin Mobile phonenumber@vmobl.com
Virgin Mobile Canada phonenumber@vmobile.ca
Vodafone phonenumber@vodafone.net
Vodafone Italy number@sms.vodafone.it
Vodafone Japan phonenumber@c.vodafone.ne.jp
Vodafone Japan phonenumber@h.vodafone.ne.jp
Vodafone Japan phonenumber@t.vodafone.ne.jp
Vodafone Spain phonenumber@vodafone.es
Vodafone UK phonenumber@vodafone.net
VoiceStream / T-Mobile phonenumber@voicestream.net
WebLink Wiereless pagernumber@airmessage.net
WebLink Wiereless pagernumber@pagemart.net
West Central Wireless phonenumber@sms.wcc.net
Western Wireless phonenumber@cellularonewest.com
Wyndtell number@wyndtell.com


Control Library Quirks

Posted on February 22nd, 2011

Generally when designing a software product, I have to weight the pros and cons of rolling my own code for everything, or strategically using control libraries for key parts of the code. A couple years ago, I decided that for the front-end GUI in my .NET apps, I’d use the Winform controls from DevExpress. Generally, this has worked fairly well. As with working with any control library, there’s little quirks that I have to get used to. This control library likes to put most of their functionality under a “Properties” parent property… That’s one of the key things to remember when working with their controls…

Today these quirks with DevExpress’s XtraScheduler control exceeded annoying and went into downright frustrating. I was trying to setup a timeline view to span midnight(some customers of my Employee Scheduling Software will have operating hours that go unto the wee hours of the morning). To do this, I had to create a custom TimelineScale object. This makes sense, but the names of the methods and the logic that I have to implement in them just doesn’t make sense to me… And the documentation on these properties is obscure at best… I finally got things working after a lot of messing around, and I’m glad to finally have it behind me.  Overall, I think using the scheduler control will probably provide useful eye candy to the software while keeping me from having to re-invent the wheel.


Overseer Blog is live

Posted on February 17th, 2011

Well, after integrating WordPress into my websites, I was able to get my blog live for Overseer Network Monitor. I created posts for each of the releases from my release notes file going back almost 2 years to seed the blog with some posts. These posts are full of information regarding the new features added to Overseer in 4.x. A couple of the features deserved their own posts, so I wrote about a couple of those as well.

For those that are unaware, Overseer is a Network and System Monitoring Tool used by system administrators to monitor their systems and notify them(via Email, cell phone, pager, etc.) when something goes down.