Sunday, May 13, 2012 has been redesigned

For the last six months or so, I've been so busy and haven't been able to devote much need time to develop Pinkie since I have to maintain, update to keep it in sync with Pinkie.  As the result, the release of Pinkie v2.15 was delayed for quite a few months.

So I’ve decided to switch to WordPress and use it as the CMS platform to manage the website. By doing this, I can leverage the CMS to maintain and update the website, giving me more time to focus on the development of Pinkie itself.

Take a look at it here & let me know what you think of the new site.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Installing Wordpress on Windows Using Remote Database Server

I got Wordpress installed on a Windows Server following the instruction in the post: Installing Wordpress on Windows.

My Wordpress site is on a Virtual Machine while the database server is on a physical machine connected via a private LAN.   Since the mySQL database server is one another machine, I have to choose Remote Database option for the installation.

The installation when fine but when I access the site, I  got an error message saying it couldn't login to the database.  I checked the database and I can see the database has been created and the user has permission but the thing is, the user permission wasn't properly setup.  The scope has been limited to "localhost" and as the result the connection from the VM got denied.

Easy fix, I thought.  I proceed to change the scope to the grant access from remote machine.  But that didn't help either.  My next action was to check the database itself and I can see that it has already been created.  Looking into the tables, I see none.  So apparently, during the installation, the root password was asked but the installer did not use it to create tables and instead, the wordpress user account is used to create them instead and since remote connection wasn't allowed, it couldn't login to create the table so the database is empty.

Bottom line is changing the scope to allow for remote connection on the wordpressuser account don't work.  I tried creating the user before the installation, but that didn't work either since a new one with the same scope showed up and ruin the party.

So I decided to use the root account/password to install it instead of creating a new user and things went well.  My site was up and running in less than 30 seconds.  But now my site is running with the root password which didn't sound good.

Poking around in the wordpress folder, I found a file called wp-config.php.  This file contains the database settings among other things.  I locate the database user, get rid of the root user and replace it with the one I created for the site.

Now I got Wordpress running on a less privileged account.  If you are having issue installing Wordpress on Windows using a remote database server, I hope this blog helps you.

Installing Wordpress on Windows

So I decided to use Wordpress as the blogging platform and since I am more comfortable getting around in Windows environment, I decided to install Wordpress on Windows.  There are a few ways to get it installed on Windows but the quickest and easiest way (or so they say) is to use the Microsoft Web Platform Installer.

Just follow these steps:
  1.  Launch Microsoft Web Platform Installer
  2. Click on Applications (at the top)
  3. Click Add button on the Wordpress item
  4. Finally, click Install button at the bottom of the screen
The installer will ask you a few questions regarding the database, username and server name... Then it will proceed with the installation in a few seconds.  When the installation is finised, it will give you a like that will take you to the Admin area where you can configure an Admin account and customize your wordpress site.

That should be it.  You should have a wordpress site running on a Windows server now unless you are like me... using a another server for database storage run into some other errors.

If you do run into an issue using remote database server then check out this post: Installing Wordpress on Windows Using Remote Database Server.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Using Ping Feature More Effectively

Ping is one of the network troubleshooting technique that I can't go without these days.  In this post, I'll show you how to take advantage of all the extras that you don't have in the Command Window.  
  • Ping Multiple Hosts: Press F1 to bring up the Add Host Address dialog.  Enter hosts/IP addresses which can be separated by space, comma, semi-colon, tab or a line feed.
  • Reduce/Increase # of Rows Displayed For Ping Result: By default, Pinkie will show you 4 lines of ping results.  This can fill up the window pretty quick if you ping multiple hosts at the same time.  To reduce the # of rows, press F3 or increase it by F4.
  • Check Ping Statistics For a Host: Select a host by clicking on it, the status bar at the bottom will change to show the ping statistics for the selected host which includes packets sent/received, lost count & percentage, last ping RTT along with Min, Max & Avg RTTs.
  • Start/Stop a Ping: Right click on the host you want to start/stop pinging, select Ping first menu item in the context menu will change to Start/Stop as appropriate.  Clicking on it will stop a ping in progress or start it if it's not started yet.
  • Reset Ping Statistics: Right click on a host you want to reset statistics, select Ping then click on Reset Statistics.
  • Copy Ping Results: When troubleshooting network or server issues, you might have the need to send the ping result to someone.  This can be done by simply right click on the host and select Copy Result to Clipboard. then paste it to an email or wherever you wish.
  • Logging Ping Results to Disk: If you wish to log ping results to a file to analyze later or send it to someone else, right click on the host, select Ping then in the context menu, click on Start Logging or Stop Logging as appropriate.  By default, the ping results will be saved in C:\Users\[username]\Documents\\Pinkie_Logs.  You can change this path in the Settings menu.
That's not all all the extras that comes with the Ping functionality in Pinkie but it will definitely make you like and use Pinkie more (or shy away from the Command Prompt more).

If you can come up with a better way to use Ping or wish to have enhancements added to it, please let me know.  And last but not least, if you haven't used Pinkie yet, give it a try, you might like it.

Tips and tricks on how to use Pinkie more effectively

If you have ever used Pinkie for network/server troubleshooting, you might have noticed that it doesn't come with any document with the exception of a Read Me file.

I do recognize that Pinkie needs some sort of documentation but it's just not the highest priority at the moment.  That's why each function in Pinkie has been designed very carefully to make it easy to use.

But even with an easy to use and intuitive user interface, it still doesn't expose all the features and functionalities that Pinkie is capable of.  As the result, I'll try to start a series of posts on how to use all the features of Pinkie and to make it a more effective tools to assist you in your daily routine of troubleshooting network/server issues.

Check back on this blog or in the support forums at for the Tips & Tricks for Pinkie.

Brian Dao

Monday, May 7, 2012

URL Mappings

Earlier this week, I released a suite of network troubleshooting utilities called Pinkie through a website named <a href=""></a>.

Everything went well. The public seems to welcome it and as I monitor the statistics for the site as well as the download counts from other download sites, I realized that something is wrong with my site statistics.

If people download the file through the link on my site then the download count is incremented. But if they had download it from other sites, using the URL I had submitted then the download is not accounted for.

Changing the published URL for all other sites will be time consuming so I was looking for a better solution to the issue. Then I remember 2.0 supports URL Mappings. So by using URL Mappings, within a minute or two, my problem is solved.

Here's the syntax for URL Mappings:

<add url ="~/newurl.aspx" mappedUrl="~/oldURL.aspx"/>

Best use for URL Mappings are for shortening long, hard to remember URL to something short & easy to remember or in my case, correct a mistake and save time.

Pinkie support forums

In an effort to consolidate and track bug reports, feature requests and enhancements, I have created a support forums for Pinkie.

If you have a bug to report or a feature you'd like to see in the next Pinkie release, please visit and post it there.