Windows Vista has been out for a while, but I never got a chance to use it much. The main reason is that I don’t have a test machine to run Vista and I don’t have budget to upgrade my current machine either.
Finally, I found a computer in my office that has not been used by any other people, so I grabbed it as my test machine. Also Windows 7 Beta is out, so I just skipped Vista and installed Windows 7 on this test machine. Everything works fine until today when I tried to test a Visual Studio 2008 web application with some email features then I realized I don’t have IIS or SMTP installed. No biggie, I thought I can just install IIS and SMTP as I did with Windows XP, however, I could install IIS without any problem, but I had trouble installing SMTP on Windows 7. After searching on the Internet, I realized that started with Vista, Microsoft stopped including SMTP in the OS. Well, it explains why I could not install SMTP on Windows 7 but it also drives me crazy: without SMTP how can I know if my mail function is working?
After some more search, I found that the best solution is to install a third-party SMTP server on Windows. So far I found two free SMTP servers recommended by other developers:
Steve Schofield recommended to use Free SMTP Server (http://softstack.com/freesmtp.html)
Another person recommended in a forum to use hMailServer (http://www.hmailserver.com/)
Both look very promising and I will give them a try to see how it goes.
The Problem Steps Recorder is a new feature introduced in Windows 7. It enables the end users to record problem they have with an application and provides a detailed screen-by-screen view with helpful information. By using this tool, end users can easily report the problem they have and help reduce time spent with the help desk. It also help the staff at the help desk to easily reproduce the problem and quickly understand the problem.
The Problem Steps Recorder does not log record the information you entered in a form, but since it takes screen shots, if there is sensitive information displayed on screen, it will be captured in the screen shot. Be careful here.
The Problem Steps Recorder in Windows 7 Beta is hard to find. There are two ways to launch it:
1. Click “Start” menu then type “Problem Steps” in the search box, then click the link showed in the search result “Record steps to reproduce a problem”.
2. Go to Control Panel, then click “Troubleshooting”. And type “Problem” in the search box at the upper right corner, then click “Record steps to reproduce a problem” link.
The Problem Steps Recorder will launch as following screen shot shows. Click “Start Record” button to start the recording process.
You can try to reproduce the problem you have. Finally, click “Stop Record” when you are done.
You will be prompted to save the recorded file as a zip file.
Now a zipped .mht file is saved to the location you specified. You can unzip the file to see what has been recorded and can email the zip file to the help desk for them to investigate your problem.
Pretty neat, right?