A couple of weeks ago we learned that Colombia's department of commerce was changing the rules on how to register declarations of exported services with them (which is something needed in Colombia to be avoid having to charge VAT as well as being able to receive payment in foreign currency without getting into trouble).

As part of the change, the registration is not done any more through regular paperwork. Instead, the registration can now be done through the Web using a special Web application that the ministry created with the help of MCS. Because the paperwork needed to be signed by legal representative of the company doing the registration, the new application requires that the new electronic declaration be signed with a digital certificate.

We requested our digital certificate as soon as we learned about it, and it finally arrived today. The certificate has to be requested from a special certification authority because of legal restrictions, and the certificate is send in a USB token device. Here's the one I received today:

The token is a iKey 1000 device, made by Rainbow Technologies, now part of SafeNet Inc. I was somewhat dreading getting this thinking I'd probably get trouble having it work with Vista. Indeed, there are no Vista-specific drivers for the device, and as soon as I inserted it, Windows did mention it could not find any on windows update either.

I tried installing the software that came with the device and immediately got an error when trying to install the drivers that "the processor architecture is supported by this system". I'm running the 32-bit version of vista, so that was probably not it.

Fortunately, after canceling setup Vista did ask if the software installed succesfully and whether I wanted to try installation again using compatibilty settings. That did the trick, so now I have the drivers installed and working (and yet another constantly running application on my notification tray... sigh!). That said, I have yet to reboot the machine and hoping nothing gets screwed up during boot :-).

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Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.