BriForum 2005 Video: Rick Mack on Application Tuning and Debugging for Terminal Server Environments

I can think of no better way to kick off our BriForum 2005 video series than with this video. The attendee feedback from this session was generally something like, "best session I have ever seen at any trade show ever.

I can think of no better way to kick off our BriForum 2005 video series than with this video. The attendee feedback from this session was generally something like, "best session I have ever seen at any trade show ever."

In this session, Rick Mack does a great job of explaining (in everyday terms) how you can use basic tools to understand how applications work (or don't work) in Terminal Server environments.

Rick talks about the unique aspects of a terminal server environment that affect an application's security, resource utilization, graphics utilization, and installation. He talks about common application problems and how to identify them. Rick then shows you what applications you need in your basic application toolkit and touches on how you should use each tool. Finally, he closes with a bit on application virtualization.

Download the video of this session (WMV format - 59MB)

Download the audio from this session (MP3 format - 13MB)

Download the PowerPoint slides from this session (2.4MB)

Rick's Application Toolkit

After you watch the video, you'll most likely want to download the free tools that Rick talks about to help you make your sticky applications work in your terminal server or Citrix environments. Here are the essential tools that Rick recommends:

Windows Application Compatibility Toolkit (Download the toolkit) (Here's a video from Microsoft that explains this in more detail.)

  • Application verifier 2.5
  • Compatibility Administrator

Sysinternals tools (

  • NT registry Monitor
  • NT file system monitor
  • Process Explorer
  • Listdlls

Windbg (Windows Debugger from Microsoft)

Resource Hacker (

Commandbar Controls Browser (

Microsoft Windows Installer SDK

  • ORCA



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Hi Brian.
Not sure if it's due to the particular way in which you've encoded the files, but I don't seem to be able to fastforward through the video file. A little annoying when I've watched the first half this morning, but want to watch the second half now...

Is it just me?
These are WMV format. This format does not allow you to fast forward until the whole thing has been streamed down to your client. This means that to fast forward, you either have to (1) wait until the little green buffer bar in Media Player gets to the end of the timeline, indicating that the whole thing has been downloaded, or (2) Right-click and "save as..." the WMV file and then play it off your hard drive. You'll be able to then click on different spots on the timeline to jump forwards and backwards.
I've got the same issue. I've downloaded the video but cannot fast-forward/rewind. I've not yet been able to test in another media player.
Yes, Brian has encoded them without FF and RW support…It’s very annoying Far Out!

DivX would have been a better option.
I downloaded the wmv and after about 18 min of watching the video, WMP error out. I initially got the same results when playing the steam off the website. Anyone able to play thru to completion
Okay, let me look into this. I actually didn't do the encoding.. We just shipped off a huge stack of DVCAM tapes to them and they shipped us a hard drive full of the content, so I'll email them and find out the story.

Why do you think that DivX is a better option? I ask this not to start a flame war, but because I really don't know. I initially made these videos in Real format since that let people jump around and stuff and the videos were nice and small. But then everyone bitched about that and asked for WMV, so I had them encoded like that. So my question is, in your opinion, what makes DivX better than WMV? (My thoughts for WMV was that it would be good since they could be run on every copy of Windows without any additional software, plugins, or drivers.)

DivX and XVid are waaay better codecs than WMV format from a quality/size perspective. However, you are completely correct in the codec issue. If you went with DivX for XVid, the best option for people would be to use ffdshow (OSS) to display the DivX/XVid content in their favorite Directshow playback utility. You could certainly use Zoomplayer or Media Player Classic as well. Whatever anyone does, do NOT install Codec paks. They are an extremely bad idea.

Personally I don't mind WMV other than it's not the best picture/size codec. However, I do despise RealMedia with a passion.

Media Player Classic, no installation require, single executable:

Go to View, Options, Tweaks, Uncheck "Use the WM ASF Reader". You should be able to seek in the file now, but it takes about 3-4 seconds per seek.

Unfortunately the video is corrupted or incomplete, it cuts out at 20:06. This is also why Windows Media player cannot seek the file properly.
The file is not corrupted, I have just finished watching complete session 54:04
Okay, it turns out the video was corrupted and that's why you couldn't FF or RW it. I re-uploaded it and tested it out, and everything works fine now.
I redownloaded the file today, it is complete is now seeks correctly.
One quick note on one of the tools from the cast: The current version of the ACT is 4.1 and I don't think it includes the Application Verifier. I was able to get it with the ACT 3.0 download that has the Application Verifier from this link: http:
The company does no longer exist. I developed this COM add-in, so, just give me your e-mail and I'll send it.

Can you send me the cmdbarBrowser please ?

Thanks a lot.

jorge.jullien AT