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PasswordCheck – A small C# class to calculate password strength and implement custom password policies in ASP.NET

If you’re looking for a decent password strength control implementation for ASP.NET C# you could find this class I made a while ago useful enough. After all these years I’m still using it in a number of projects, from the good-old ASP.NET ASPX Forms to the new ASP.NET Core MVC applications.

The class can be used to perform basically all the required checks in a very customizable way: minimum length, maximum length, digit/numbers, special characters and so on. It features a PasswordStrength enum (and a GetPasswordStrength method) which you can use to calculate the average strength of any given password: it can be handy for general-purpose scenarios, when you don’t have to implement a given password policy. In case you have to do that, you can use the helper methods instead and combine them to suit your needs as shown in the sample implementation provided within the IsStrongPassword method – which is the one I’m still using in most cases.

The methods are quite self-explanatory, so there isn’t much more to say: if you like the class, feel free to leave a feedback in the comment section below!

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How to fix MSXML2.XMLHTTP and MSXML2.ServerXMLHttp Error 0x80070057 – The Parameter is Incorrect when executing a POST HTTP connection within a T-SQL Stored Procedure

If you found this post it probably means that you are experiencing the following scenario:

  • A Windows 2012 or Windows 2016 Server machine with SQL Server 2008, SQL Server 2008R2, SQL Server 2012, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2016 and so on.
  • A Stored Procedure using a MSXML2 object that calls a Web Service (or any other external URL) with a POST request (see below).
  • An error 0x80070057 (or -2147024809) occurring as soon as you call the “SEND” method (see below), which translates (when inspected using sp_OAGetErrorInfo) as The parameter is incorrect.

Here’s an example of a SP that might throw such error:

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Visual Studio 2017, VS2015, VS2013, VS2012, VS2008, VS2005, VS2003 and VS6 Offline Installers & ISO files for download (All Versions)

Some weeks ago we published a rather comprehensive list of all Microsoft Visual Studio Build Numbers, Version IDs and Default Paths from VS6 to VS2017. For those who keep asking where they can download the ISO files of the older builds, we put together this far-from-complete list containing some of the most known official direct download links for the offline installers and/or ISO files, together with service packs and support files.

IMPORTANT: Let’s make it clear, this is not warez or pirate software: what we’re giving here is merely a list of links to some official Microsoft distributions offline installers public links collected from Google, StackOverflow and some MS support sites & forums.

If you want to add a new direct download link or make us aware of a broken one, write it on a comment and we’ll act accordingly adding or deleting the respective URL. It’s worth noting than we will only accept official links from any certified Microsoft-owned website.

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MS Outlook blocked access to potentially unsafe attachments – How to fix it

If you’ve stumbled upon this post, you most likely experienced one of the nasty new MS Outlook security features shipped with the june 2017 security update, which blocks file attachments containing two or more consecutive periods or an exclamation mark in their name or extension. Here’s the offending message:

Outlook blocked access to the following potentially unsafe attachments: filename.ext

As we already said, the culprit in this case is to be found in the latest MS security patches released after the ever-growing malware threat, which greatly excalated within the past few months. We’re basically talking about a regression bug here, which is rather common in these kind of scenarios: the urge of preventing the user from compromising the system with potentially bad behaviours ends up with blocking a number of other legitimate and perfectly safe activities, such as opening most of these files.

Luckily enough, Microsoft acknowledged the issue and has already released a number of patches to overcome the issue. Too bad that they left out some Outlook builds – such as Outlook 2007, which is still vastly used worldwide – but at least it’s a start.

Here are the patches currently available at the date/time of writing:

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MS Outlook – E-Mail message stuck in Outbox folder: how to fix it

Sometimes, when you send an e-mail message using MS Outlook, it might happen that it gets stuck in your Outbox folder: such a scenario happens to be fairly common when the e-mail message has some rather big attachments (2mb or more).

The issue is often due to the fact that Outlook seems to be unable to move the e-mail message from the Outbox folder to the Sent folder – which is something that happens after the e-mail message has been actually sent: this makes it even worse, because it means that there’s an high chance that the receiver will be flooded by a number of identical e-mail messages until we figure out how to get rid of the problem.

The fix, needless to say, is to find a way to delete the offending message from the Outbox folder: problem is, MS Outlook won’t usually allow to delete message that are in the process of being sent… or moved to the Sent folder… Which takes us back to square one. When this happens, even restarting MS Outlook or even rebooting the machine won’t fix the issue, because the software will most likely go in auto-send (and auto-move in Sent folder) mode right after its initialization… thus blocking the offending message there.

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