How to install Dig on a Windows 8.1 64-bit system

This installation procedure will extract only  relevant libraries and executables from the BIND 9 package, and not install a full-blown DNS server. The installation method is also applicable on Windows 7 64-bit systems.

Head over to http://www.isc.org/downloads/ and download the BIND 9.10.0-P2 package. Select the 64-bit version and leave the 32-bit package as a last resort. The 64-bit version is dependent on the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package, which you can download and install from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30679#

Why is it preferable to go with the 64-bit version of BIND 9 on a Windows 64-bit system, when 32-bit applications work just fine? Since dig is a command line tool there are a few things to take into account. On a Windows 64-bit system, the command line interpreter (cmd.exe) will be running in 64-bit mode. That means it will look for executables under %SystemRoot%\System32\.
The System32 folder, despite its name is designed for 64-bit executables on Windows 64-bit systems.
/**Note: On Windows 32-bit systems, the %SystemRoot%\System32\ folder is indeed for 32-bit executables.*/

Windows Command-line interpreter
The command prompt with its 64 and 32-bit executables.

The correct folder for 32-bit executables on Windows 64-bit systems is %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64\, again ignore the clever naming scheme as WOW64 stands for “Windows (32-bit) on Windows 64-bit”. Anyhow, if you opted to install the 32-bit version of BIND 9 and thus extracted the executables and libraries to %SystemRoot%\SysWOW64, you’ll need to run the 32-bit version of cmd.exe by issuing the command:

%SystemRoot%\SYSWOW64\cmd.exe

The next step is assuming that the package of choice was the 64-bit version of BIND 9, and that the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable is already installed. If not, then make adjustments accordingly. Open the BIND9.10.0-P2.x64.zip file and extract the following files to %SystemRoot%\System32\
/**Note: Moving files into the System32 folder requires administrative privileges (run as administrator).*/

dig.exe
host.exe
libbind9.dll
libdns.dll
libeay32.dll
libisc.dll
libisccfg.dll
liblwres.dll
libxml2.dll

Finally, fire up the command prompt and check if the installation was successful by doing a DNS query:

dig isc.org
Dig on Windows 8.1 64-bit
Dig on Windows 8.1 64-bit

Zimbra 8 – Automatically check for new mail on external POP3 and IMAP accounts

Zimbra Mobile Client on Android
The Zimbra mobile client on Android

Instead of logging on to each of your external email accounts, you can retrieve all your accounts’ email messages directly from Zimbra. It’s one of those things you just expect to work with an enterprise ready solution like Zimbra. Still, one customer using the Zimbra mobile web client informed me that he had to use the webmail client to retrieve new messages from external accounts, before they became available on his phone. After checking the server logs I could confirm that the mobile web client did indeed not poll any email messages from external accounts.

Zimbra allows you as the administrator to schedule polling from external accounts to avoid having users doing this manually. It’s done on the COS level, and this is how:
From the Zimbra Administration interface, navigate to “Home” => “Configure” => “Class of Service” => “Selected COS” => Advanced [“Data Source“]

From the “Data Source” fields you may now change the polling intervals for POP3 and IMAP. The default value “unlimited” just indicates that no scheduled job is defined or running. Change the polling values to something sensible (meaning you don’t want to hit external servers every other minute) and apply the changes. On Zimbra 8.x this change will roll out immediately without any need to manually restart services.

Zimbra COS DataSource
Zimbra COS DataSource: Polling scheduled to run every 20 minutes for external accounts

To check if its working as expected you can do a grep for “ScheduledTask” on the mailbox.log with the command:

grep 'ScheduledTask' /opt/zimbra/log/mailbox.log

BioShock – No in-game sound on Windows 8

Bioshock Big Daddy
Big Daddy is gonna kill me without even making a sound

I bought BioShock on a Steam sale once upon a time and finally got around to playing it. However, a few minutes into the game I realized that the lack of sound was not due to my character going deaf from an initial explosion. After trying to tweak the sound settings without any success I came to realize that BioShock is rather old as it was released back in 2007. Thus, it’s not exactly certified for Windows 8. A quick fix was to run the game in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 3) which immediately brought the in-game sound back to life.

One way of doing this is as follows:
From Steam’s Game library” right click on BioShock and select properties,  then select the tab called “Local files” and finally click the button labeled “Browse local files”. You’ll now find yourself in the game directory. Navigate down the “Builds” and “Release” folders and finally right click “Bioshock.exe” (the game executable) and select properties. Then select the “Compatibility” tab and tick “Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows XP (Service Pack 3)”.  Click  “Apply” and you’re all set. A quicker way to locate Bioshock.exe would obviously be to just search for the file.

Windows Compatibility mode
Running BioShock in Windows Compatibility mode for Windows XP

The game performs great in XP compatibility mode and after ten hours of playing it has only crashed twice. That’s all right in my book.

System specifications:
Windows 8.1, 64-bit
Intel Core i7 3770K 3.50GHz
GeForce GTX 680
16GB DDR3