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Scott Dorman Microsoft MVP, Software Architect, Developer, Author General Miscellaneous topics that don't fit anywhere else.

The future for Microsoft (predications)
Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post called The future for Microsoft. This was a “predications” post based on what I was seeing in the industry and in Microsoft, with a some judicious “reading between the lines” and speculation on my part. To quickly recap those predications, I said: Microsoft will change how it reports financially. Microsoft will become a “consumer-focused enterprise company.” Windows will converge into a single code base capable of running on any platform. Application development ......

Posted On Thursday, November 5, 2015 11:20 PM

HTML input types
As web developers and consumers, we’re all familiar with the HTML <input> tag. This is the tag that renders on the screen as an input text box. However, as developers you may not be familiar with all of the “new” HTML 5 values for the type attribute. If you’re not, you should be sure to check them out…and start using them in your websites today! By the way, there is a reason for the word “new” to be in quotations and for the bolded part of that last sentence. The great thing about the way all ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:05 PM

CodeCampServer Open Source Project
Many of you know that I've participated in many Code Camps over the last year, both as a speaker and as an attendee. The one thing that I've noticed is that there seems to not be a lot of resources for planning and organizing a code camp, which leads to very different experiences for speaker signup, schedule planning, etc. Jeffrey Palermo just announced a new open source project hosted on GoogleCode that promises to do just that. CodeCampServer is a free, open source Code Camp management web application ......

Posted On Sunday, January 6, 2008 2:14 PM

CodeProject MVP Award
A few days ago, I announced that I had been recognized as a Microsoft MVP. About 4 days later, I found out that I had also been awarded a CodeProject MVP. This is certainly turning out to be a busy and exciting start to the new year ......

Posted On Sunday, January 6, 2008 12:52 PM

Windows 8 Hackathon
Windows reimagined. Extraordinary apps.Combining the broad reach of Windows, best-in-class developer tools, a re-imagined user experience, and a built-in store, Windows 8 is the largest developer opportunity — ever.Are you ready? Then join us for this free, full-day event filled with coding, sharing, plenty of food, and perhaps the occasional Lightning Talk on topics determined by your apps and questions. FAQs What is a hackathon?These hackathons are a really fun way to get “down and dirty” with ......

Posted On Friday, January 11, 2013 11:49 AM

Windows Metro Requests
Windows 8 and Windows Metro style apps have a lot of potential, but only if application vendors realize there is a demand to see their app as a Metro style app and not just as a desktop app (or worse, only as an Android or iOS app). As consumers, the only thing we can do is be vocal about our desire to see these apps on Windows 8 as a Metro style app. In an effort to raise awareness, I just launched WinMetro Requests. This is our opportunity to request Windows Metro style apps and show those companies ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 27, 2012 11:53 PM

TechEd for Novices, 2012 Edition
In 2007, Microsoft created a "Tips for the Newbie" page for TechEd (which is apparently no longer available) and I created a follow-on post called Tech·Ed for Novices. I created a similar post in 2008 as well. With TechEd 2012 around the corner, I thought it would be good to bring it back. TechEd is a huge event, topping out at over 14000 people (usually), with an equally huge amount of content. This post is designed to give first time TechEd attendees a fighting chance of finding their way around. ......

Posted On Friday, February 24, 2012 10:06 AM

New blog title
Ever since I started this blog it hasn't really had a title (or at least a subtitle) other than “blog”. Thanks to Stan Schultes, I now have a new subtitle. This was born out of watching the CLR 4 Futures talk with Joshua Goodman at MVP Summit 2009 (the majority of which is also available from the PDC 2008 site on Channel 9). Since I present a lot on .NET memory management, including a deep dive on how the GC works and how to properly implement IDisposable and the dispose pattern, he suggested the ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 3, 2009 7:47 PM

South Florida Code Camp 2009
I wanted to thank Dave and everyone else who helped coordinate the South Florida Code Camp this year. It was an excellent event and I believe the final number of attendees was a little over 700, which makes this the largest known code camp in the world. For those of you who attended my sessions, thank you as well. As I mentioned, the complete list of resources for my two-part memory management session is available as well as the blog posts that are related to my Code Style and Standards chalk talk. ......

Posted On Saturday, February 14, 2009 8:59 PM

Florida Technical Communities (January 2009 Update)
Florida has a very active developer community. The biggest problem we seem to have is that all of these different groups usually don't know about each and there hasn't been a "centralized clearinghouse" listing all of the technical communities. Joe Healy, one of our Florida Microsoft Developer Evangelists, maintains a list and earlier this year started putting together one-page flyers for each of the main areas in Florida. I think the eventual plan is that Joe will be updating his site to take advantage ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2009 3:09 PM

An Open Letter to Mint.com
Windows Phone has now been out for just over a year and Mint.com has had four active threads on their support forums for almost the same amount of time (here, here, here, and here). Out of the four requests, only two have an actual status and they contradict each other, with one saying it is “not planned” and the other saying it is “under consideration”. In addition, the last response from any Mint.com employee was over 4 months ago. These requests, assuming no duplicate votes, have gained a total ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 22, 2012 2:55 PM

TFS Times

If you are an administrator or user of Team Foundation Server, there is a new monthly online newsletter you should check out called TFS Times. It started 2 months ago, and the January 2008 issue focuses on Team Build.

Looking at January's issue, this newsletter looks like it will be a good resource for information on working with and maintaining your Team Foundation Server.

Posted On Friday, January 4, 2008 1:16 AM

The Architecture Journal Reader
For anyone that is a software architect in Microsoft technologies (and even those of you who aren't), The Architecture Journal is a must read. If you aren't familiar with it, The Architecture Journal is an independent platform for free thinkers and practitioners of IT architecture. New editions are issued quarterly with articles designed to offer perspective, share knowledge, and help you learn the discipline and pursue the art of IT architecture. The Architecture Journal reaches over 53,000 subscribers ......

Posted On Friday, January 4, 2008 1:07 AM

Windows Phone Marketplace Requests Custom Statuses
Thanks to the UserVoice team for enabling custom statuses on Windows Phone Marketplace Requests! I have added a few additional statuses (I’m still working out exactly what makes the most sense), but the biggest change is to the Declined status. Previously, when a request was marked as Declined, all voting was closed. I was using this status for several different reasons: To show that the request was off-topic, either because it belonged on the Windows Phone Suggestion Box or because it was a feature/enhancement ......

Posted On Monday, February 20, 2012 4:17 PM

MVP Spotlight
Each week, the different MVP Leads send out an email communication to their MVPs letting us know about upcoming events and other things relevant to us. As part of that newsletter, an individual MVP is often highlighted. This week, I’m the featured MVP! Thanks, Heather, for spotlighting me and the Windows Phone Marketplace Requests site ......

Posted On Friday, February 17, 2012 7:42 PM

Updates on the Windows Phone Marketplace Requests
Just 3 days ago, I launched the Windows Phone Marketplace Requests site. Since that time, the response has been staggering, to say the least. At the time the screenshot above was captured, there are 600 active ideas and 3,228 active users. In an effort to help keep the site organized and usable, I have added some general guidelines for submitting requests. Remember, there is just one person maintaining this site so I’m asking you to help me keep the request quality high. I also just upgraded the ......

Posted On Saturday, February 11, 2012 3:29 PM

Windows Phone Marketplace Requests
The Windows Phone Marketplace is ever growing (at the time of this post, there were around 60,000 apps), but sometimes the application you’re looking for is only available for Android or iOS. Sometimes this is because the vendor doesn't think the Windows Phone community is large enough to matter so they refuse to build (or even consider building) a Windows Phone version; other times it's because the vendor simply doesn't realize there is a demand for it. As consumers, the only thing we can do is ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 8, 2012 1:46 PM

Microsoft Small Basic
If you have children and want them to learn programming at an early age (recommended age is between 10 and 16), you should check out Microsoft Small Basic, which combines a simple language and a rich set of libraries together with a friendly development environment. The Small Basic language draws its inspiration for an early version of BASIC but it is actually based on the .NET Framework. Like the early variants of BASIC it is based on, Small Basic is imperative and doesn't use or expose beginners ......

Posted On Sunday, October 10, 2010 2:54 PM

Nerd Test v2.0
It's only been 6 months since I took the first version of the Nerd Test... Quick Fun Facts (so far): 177255 unique people have taken this test. 44.8% of test takers are gals, 53.1% are guys...the rest (2.1%) are confused. 17.1% of test takers get aroused by "iPhone", while 40.6% get utterly ill. 34.6% of all test takers would choose the Internet over sex, and 28.3% of married test takers prefer the Internet over sex. 3.6% of test takers own a Jar Jar Binks T-shirt, though 56.0% of them don't own ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 31, 2007 3:02 PM

Light Blogging Activity
Regular readers may have noticed that my blogging activity has slowed down considerably. I’m hoping to pick back up and start posting more soon, but until then I wanted to make sure everyone knows that I am still active…there have been other things that have been consuming my time. First, my Sams Teach Yourself Visual C# 2010 in 24 Hours book came out, officially on the shelves in August although content was complete in late February. Shortly after the book came out, I started working on an article ......

Posted On Saturday, October 9, 2010 11:53 AM

Code Camps and Speaker Feedback
Code camps are a great resource for the local development community. They provide developers and speakers (who are almost always local developers as well) a way to interact and learn about topics they otherwise might not have an opportunity. As a speaker, it is always great to see new people in my talks and answer questions since in almost every talk, someone asks a question I haven’t heard before. One of the things that most speakers, including myself, like getting is feedback. We want to know what ......

Posted On Saturday, September 18, 2010 11:09 PM

Providing Feedback for Speakers
As most of you know, I do a lot of presentations each year, mostly at local code camps. As a speaker, it is always great to see new people in my talks and answer questions since in almost every talk, someone asks a question I haven’t heard before. One of the things that most speakers, including myself, like getting is feedback. We want to know what you thought of the presentation, both the material and the delivery. It used to be that most code camps passed out evaluation forms to provide this feedback. ......

Posted On Tuesday, September 7, 2010 11:02 AM

Microsoft MVPs on Twitter
Following last years post of people at MVP Summit 2009 on Twitter, I’m getting a bit of a head start and using the new Twitter Lists feature to create a list of all Microsoft MVPs that I know (or know of). I’ve started this list with the same people from last years blog post. The plan is for this list to be a complete list (or at least as complete as I can make it) of Microsoft MVPs. If you are an MVP and want to be included or if you know of any MVPs that should be included, please let me know. ......

Posted On Sunday, January 3, 2010 3:59 PM

Professional Experience
Scott J Dorman [profile] Summary of Current Qualifications Software Development n Technical architecture/design/specifi... n Functional design/specifications n Design/Development methodologies n Reusable infrastructure API components and class libraries n Continuous Integration build systems n Application Development Management Programming Languages n C#, VB.NET, ASP.NET, ASP, HTML, DHTML, CSS, XML, XSL, XPATH, JavaScript, VBScript, InstallShield n CruiseControl.NET, NAnt, MSBuild, Team Foundation ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 20, 2009 9:43 PM

Microsoft Fix it Solution for Disappearing System Tray Icons on Windows Vista
About two years ago I talked about a very common problem in Windows Vista where the network, volume, and power icons in the system tray disappear. In that post, I provide a solution which involves editing the registry. Several people posted comments that provide slightly more automated ways to make the registry changes through a batch/command file and through a registry file. Jump ahead to today and Microsoft has a Fix it solution for this problem. Fix this problem Technorati Tags: Fix it,Vista,System ......

Posted On Monday, April 6, 2009 10:07 AM

Microsoft Fix it
It seems Microsoft has always had a love/hate relationship with consumers when it comes to support issues. When things are going well the general public loves Microsoft, but when things start going badly public opinion heads the same direction. For whatever reason, the Microsoft Help and Support website seems to be one of the last places a lot of people turn to for an actual resolution. One of the problems has always been that the solutions presented require more than simple knowledge about how to ......

Posted On Monday, April 6, 2009 9:55 AM

Fit in February Developer Challenge
I don’t know why or how I missed this earlier, but I just found out about the Fit in February Developer Challenge. After reading the official rules, which includes a brief explanation of why the challenge was started, I think this is an excellent way to entice us developers in to doing something to become more healthy. For my part, I’m going to start following the onehundredpushups program, which is a 6 week training program after which you should be able to do 100 consecutive pushups. I had completed ......

Posted On Sunday, February 1, 2009 3:47 PM

TweeTube – Video Sharing for Twitter
There are a lot of different sites available for sharing pictures on Twitter, but it seems like there are very few that allow you to easily share videos. All of that has changed with the launch today of TweeTube. TweeTube bills itself as being “The easiest way to share videos on Twitter” and from what I’ve seen so far, it is. You can search YouTube for videos with matching keywords, or if you already know the video you can paste the URL. After you find the video (in this case I am sharing a video ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2009 8:33 PM

Upcoming Code Camps for the South East (April 2009 Update)
I’m trying to put together the list of upcoming code camps in the South East region. The plan is for this to be periodically (probably quarterly) updated so, if you are hosting a code camp (or know someone who is) in the South East, please let me know the date and website so I can include it in the list. (I’m also using this list to plan my speaking schedule, so if I don’t know about your code camp I can’t determine if it will fit my schedule.) I only know of a few, so if you know of others please ......

Posted On Saturday, April 4, 2009 12:12 PM

Florida Technical Communities (April 2009 Update)
Florida has a very active developer community. The biggest problem we seem to have is that all of these different groups usually don't know about each and there hasn't been a "centralized clearinghouse" listing all of the technical communities. Joe Healy, one of our Florida Microsoft Developer Evangelists, maintains a list and one-page flyers for each of the main areas in Florida. I think the eventual plan is that Joe will be updating his site to take advantage of the newer version of Live Maps and ......

Posted On Saturday, April 4, 2009 11:51 AM

Windows 7 Product Lines Announced
Microsoft today announced the new product line for Windows 7. In some ways the new Windows 7 product line follows the same ideas of Windows Vista, but the big differences are that each Windows 7 edition is a superset of the previous edition (which means that each higher edition will have every feature of all lower editions) and they will be focusing primarily on two editions of Windows 7: Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows 7 Professional. The breakdown on the different editions is: Windows 7 Starter ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 3, 2009 3:01 PM

Some Clarifications on my Los Techies blog
It seems there has been some confusion and concern over my decision to also blog on the Los Techies website that I wanted to clarify. The most important point I want to make is: For those of you who subscribe to my blog hosted on Geeks With Blogs (http://geekswithblogs.net/... there is no need to also subscribe to my Los Techies blog. My primary blog will continue to be here on GWB and all new posts will show up here first. What that means is that anything I blog here will eventually make its ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 13, 2009 3:02 PM

Now blogging on Los Techies
A few days ago I was invited by the Los Techies website to start blogging with them. Have no fear, I am not abandoning my home here on Geeks With Blogs, but I will be cross-posting between GWB and Los Techies. I haven’t finished setting everything up yet, but I’ve already put a few posts out there. Be sure to check out the site. It looks to be a young but thriving online community and I’m looking forward to seeing where they take things. Technorati Tags: LosTechies ......

Posted On Saturday, January 10, 2009 5:19 PM

Windows Mobile 6.5
A few months ago, Motorola mentioned Windows Mobile 6.5 in an earnings call: "Windows Mobile 6 has not delivered the experience that I think Apple has been able to deliver, but as you look at the plan that Windows Mobile 7 and even 6.5, I think there are significant new added features which will help the platform." This sparked the fuel under the rumor mill, but apparently the rumors have now been confirmed by Steve Ballmer: With releases we'll make this year - releases we'll make with 6.5 next year, ......

Posted On Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:48 AM

Source Code Branching
Source code branching is easily one of the most complicated, misunderstood, and quite possibly abused concepts in source control. There are a multitude of different philosophies on how and when to branch code. Jeff Atwood provides an excellent and insightful look at the issues surrounding code branching by comparing branches to parallel universes. It's a different way of looking at the problem, but one that seems to work very well ......

Posted On Friday, February 29, 2008 9:10 PM

Test Driven Development Firestarter
Event Date: Saturday, January 19, 2009 Event Time: 08:30 (registration), 09:00 – 17:00 Event Location: Microsoft Tampa Office If you want to learn what TDD is all about, this is the event to attend. It’s a day-long event where you will go from start to finish with a sample domain problem and learn how to write tests to drive functionality of the system. This promises to be an excellent event and will be good for both beginners and those experienced with TDD. There will be two tracks running simultaneously, ......

Posted On Sunday, November 23, 2008 11:39 AM

Brown Bag Lunches
A while ago, Andy Warren of SQL Server Central asked if brown bag lunches/training worked. His answer was: …now to the question - do they work? I've tried it when I was managing, and sadly, it didn't work. I disagree with Andy on this one, but to be fair I understand his points and they are all valid. To make sure everyone has the same understanding of what we’re talking about, here is Andy’s definition of a brown bag lunch: I'll define a brown bag lunch as a training event held at lunch time where ......

Posted On Sunday, November 23, 2008 10:37 AM

Windows Live Sync replacing FolderShare
I have talked about both Windows Live FolderShare and Windows Live Sync in the past. In fact, the last time I talked about Live Sync it was to say that it was FolderShare rebranded. Starting next month, Microsoft will be officially announcing Windows Live Sync, which you can think of as FolderShare 2.0. It will look familiar and offer the same features as FolderShare, plus: More folders and files—sync up to 20 folders with 20,000 files each. Integration with Windows Live ID—no more extra sign-in ......

Posted On Sunday, November 23, 2008 9:52 AM

StackOverflow
Stackoverflow is an interesting new community site launched by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky that just went into public beta yesterday. Jeff has a pretty interesting explanation of what the site is all about: Stackoverflow is sort of like the anti-experts-exchange (minus the nausea-inducing sleaze and quasi-legal search engine gaming) meets wikipedia meets programming reddit. It is by programmers, for programmers, with the ultimate intent of collectively increasing the sum total of good programming ......

Posted On Thursday, September 18, 2008 10:43 AM

Windows Live Wave 3 Beta Downloads
The beta downloads for the new Windows Live Wave 3 applications are here. This includes new versions of: Messenger Mail Writer Photo Gallery Movie Maker Toolbar Family Safety Microsoft Office Outlook Connector To give you an idea of what’s new in some of the products: The look and visible features have been updated in all of the products, but the ones that are most noticeable are Messenger, Writer, and Mail. There are a lot of new features in Messenger, but some noticeable ones are that “Shared Folders” ......

Posted On Thursday, September 18, 2008 10:07 AM

Differences between release types
Phil has an excellent post that builds on Jeff Atwood’s explanation which very clearly describes the differences between the various release types: Beta CTP Daily Builds/Interim Releases Fully Supported Out-of-Band Releases RTM/RTW Releases Service Pack Releases Summarizing what both Phil and Jeff said: Alpha: The software is complete enough for internal testing. This is typically done by people other than the software engineers who wrote it, but still within the same organization or community that ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 2:15 PM

Team Foundation Server – How Does Microsoft Use It?
If you’re looking at implementing Team Foundation Server, looking for ways to improve your deployment, or just want to know how one of the world’s largest software companies manages their day-to-day development, check out this “series” of blog posts. These are good posts from a management/process level perspective: Applying Value Up at Microsoft (Sam Guckenheimer) 60-minute-webcast Scenarios, Value Props, Experiences, Features Managing work for Team System (Jeff Beehler) Internal TFS Usage: Tracking ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 1:31 PM

CodePlex Usability Study
If you want to help provide feedback for the next big features at CodePlex and will be in Redmond (Seattle) between September 16 – 19, be sure to contact the CodePlex team to participate in some usability studies. Be sure to include your: Name CodePlex username (if you have one) Phone number where we can contact you to schedule a time. I would love to participate as I have a few projects on CodePlex and spent a great deal of time talking with the team at this years MVP Summit, but unfortunately I’m ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 11:51 AM

Check In Early, Check In Often
Jeff Atwood talks about what he considers the “Golden Rule” of source control: Check in early, check in often. For Jeff, it seems, going more than 1 day without checking in code is too long and will cause integration headaches down the road. I completely agree with this sentiment, and the idea of not going dark, up to a point. Where Jeff's arguments start to fail is long-running development tasks that have large (or fundamental) impact on an existing code-base, particularly one that is heavily used. ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 11:32 AM

Axialis IconWorkshop Lite
Axialis Software and Microsoft worked to create a free Visual Studio add-in to create an icon editing tool that allows you to create high-quality 256x256 PNG-compressed icons for Windows Vista. The editing experience, both inside and outside Visual Studio, is very easy to use and provides various tools, filters, and effects, as well as the ability to create icons from existing images or ready-to-use image objects. *IMPORTANT: Axialis IconWorkshop™ Lite installs ONLY if Visual Studio® 2008 Professional ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 11:03 AM

Document Map Margin in Visual Studio
Earlier this month Charlie Calvert introduced a potential new feature called Document Map Margins (DMM). The idea behind DMM is to make it easier for you to find and track important features in your code by visualizing the entire file. Overall I like the idea of DMM as it can really provide you with good contextual information, particularly for really large files. While DMM isn’t here now, a very similar tool is. I came across this tool mentioned by ScottHa in this post. What RockScroll does is to ......

Posted On Saturday, August 30, 2008 10:51 AM

Visual Studio Optimizations
There are always a lot of posts about various add-ins, code snippets, macros, and other utilities that are designed to make you, the developer, more productive within Visual Studio as an editing environment. However, there seem to very few posts that talk about how to actually improve the performance of Visual Studio itself. Browsing through some of the questions on Stack Overflow, I came across a thread asking this very question. There were a lot of non-answers, but one that definitively listed ......

Posted On Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:04 PM

Outlook Connector
The last time I wrote about the Outlook Connector it was to talk about the lack of Calendar synchronization and the fact that a new version of the connector was in internal Microsoft testing. I am happy to announce that the new version is out of internal testing and is available as a public beta. This new version synchronizes with your Windows Live Hotmail or Microsoft Office Live Mail accounts, including e-mail, contacts and calendars. I installed the new version and so far it works great. It remembered ......

Posted On Thursday, July 24, 2008 8:38 PM

Updated Outlook Macro for Creating Meetings from an Email
Only a few hours ago I posted and Outlook macro for creating meetings from an email. I’ve already updated it with some new features (requested by me, of course). The new version is available on my SkyDrive account and has the following new features: You can now create either a meeting or an appointment – there are two macros now. The reminder time has been changed to 10 minutes (bug fix). The original email message is now an attachment, which means the body of the appointment or meeting is blank. ......

Posted On Sunday, July 20, 2008 11:48 PM

Outlook Macro for Creating Meetings from an Email
I just came across a post by Michael S. Scherotter about his Outlook macro to create an Outlook appointment from an email message. This is a feature that Outlook really should have, and this macro fills that gap very nicely. I cleaned up the code a bit and made some improvements to Michael’s original version: The appointment type is now set to “Meeting” by default so it shows the participants. The Importance and Sensitivity are now set based on the corresponding property in the email. The Busy Status ......

Posted On Sunday, July 20, 2008 12:07 PM

Consolas for a Command Prompt
This actually came out a while ago, but if you like the Consolas font that ships with Vista and Office 2007 you can change the Command Prompt (CMD.EXE) settings to allow you to use Consolas. If you don’t have Consolas installed, you can download from the Microsoft Download Center. In order to add Consolas to the list of fonts available for the Command Prompt, you need to run the following command (run this in an elevated command prompt in Vista): reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWAR... ......

Posted On Sunday, July 20, 2008 9:40 AM

OutTwit
Twitter is an interesting phenomenon. I first started using it in April at the MVP Summit. Since then, as anyone who is following me has seen, my use has been intermittent at best. The biggest reason is that I haven’t found a Twitter client that I liked that allowed me to use Twitter in a way that was not only natural (at least for me) but from within tools that I was already using and in front of me. The other day I decided to download OutTwit and have found it to fit almost all of my needs. There ......

Posted On Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:32 AM

Product Review: uCertify PrepKit
I recently took a look at the PrepKit offerings from uCertify. If you aren’t familiar with uCertify, they make practice exams and test preparation packages for a pretty extensive range of IT certifications including Microsoft, Oracle, CompTIA, Cisco, and Sun. The interesting thing about the uCertify PrepKit is that they are completely exam/quiz oriented. You can download a trial version of the PrepKit which includes 30 questions and then purchase the full PrepKit directly from within the “PrepEngine”. ......

Posted On Saturday, July 19, 2008 11:08 AM

Microsoft and monetizing developer products
I’m catching up on blog posts and saw this one from Brian Harry about the TFS Power Tools and Software Assurance. In that post he asks “How are Power Tools monetized?” and goes on to mention that there is a possibility that the power tools will become a paid feature and part of the Software Assurance (SA) program. My response (which I tried to post as a comment, but since it didn’t save I’m turning it into this blog post instead) is this: Absolutely not! While I understand the desire to monetize ......

Posted On Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:38 AM

INETA Community Champions
If you are a user group leader in the worldwide community of Microsoft® .NET user groups, you probably already know about INETA. Don’t know about INETA? Then you should definitely take a look and become an INETA member group. Are you already involved with an INETA member group? Be sure to check out the new Community Champions program. This is just one of the ways INETA recognizes and rewards those who contribute to the user group community and help it grow. The Champs program was specifically designed ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 11:52 PM

Visual Studio Feature Request – Statement Outlining
If you write .NET code using Visual Studio 2005 or 2008, you’ve probably noticed the automatic outlining the IDE makes available to you. This automatically creates collapsible sections in your code for comments, regions, functions, properties, namespaces, classes, and the using block. While this is a great feature and one that I use on a daily basis, it would be great if this extended to automatically outlining control structures, such as if/then, while loops, for/foreach loops, try/catch blocks, ......

Posted On Monday, June 16, 2008 11:32 PM

Windows Live Writer CTP
I have been a big fan of Windows Live Writer since it was first available, and that continues with the latest CTP release. There have been a lot of changes between the last beta and this CTP, including some much needed UI improvements and new features, including: Upload videos to Soapbox Image cropping and tilting Additional border styles Support for LightBox and other image previewing effects (like Slimbox, Smoothbox, and others) Support for centering images Auto Linking Smart quotes/typographic ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 4, 2008 2:03 AM

Racing Balloon
My friend and fellow MVP Richard has a unique project that he started to help raise money for one of his local primary school's swimming pool repair fund, which needs to raise £40K. He's running a balloon race, which is being combined with Microsoft Virtual Earth to allow people to record and track where the balloons are found. Prizes are being offered (courtesy of Microsoft) for the finder of the balloon that has traveled the farthest and the person who launched that balloon. If you are interested ......

Posted On Sunday, May 25, 2008 7:00 PM

Hiking for the stout hearted
It's amazing how small our world can be sometimes. I just found this video from a tweet by ScottHa, who was referring to a blog post by Roy Osherove. The views are absolutely incredible (check out the view at about 00:40 and then again at 2:55), but there is no way I would ever do a hiking trip like this. Just watching this makes me feel afraid of heights (especially at 4:46), and I'm not ......

Posted On Saturday, April 26, 2008 6:16 PM

Florida Technical Communities (January 2009 Update)
Florida has a very active developer community. The biggest problem we seem to have is that all of these different groups usually don't know about each and there hasn't been a "centralized clearinghouse" listing all of the technical communities. Joe Healy, one of our Florida Microsoft Developer Evangelists, maintains a list and earlier this year started putting together one-page flyers for each of the main areas in Florida. I think the eventual plan is that Joe will be updating his site to take advantage ......

Posted On Friday, March 28, 2008 8:26 PM

Organize your travel with TripIt
A lot of people have been talking lately about TripIt, a web-based travel organizer website created by some of the same people that brought you Hotwire. TripIt, however, isn't your ordinary travel site. With the ever increasing use of online services to make travel plans, organizing the details scattered across multiple emails and varying formats can be difficult and sometimes downright frustrating. TripIt simplifies all of that by knowing how to read the confirmation email formats of most of the ......

Posted On Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:06 PM

Party with Palermo: 2008 MVP Summit Edition
So I was supposed to go to Party with Palermo for Tech·Ed 2007 but didn't manage to make it to town in time. Now that I know I'm going to the MVP Summit this year, I'm planning to go to the MVP Summit edition. As always, the cover charge is one business card, which will get you in the door and registered for the grand prize drawings. This is free to attend, with free food, drink, and swag. April 13, 2008 @ 7:00PM - 10:00PM Jillian's: http://www.jilliansbilliard... 731 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 18, 2008 9:45 AM

Windows Live SkyDrive Feature Requests
I have been a big fan of SkyDrive since it was first available as a beta release. Now that it has been officially released, it has continued to get better. Just recently, the SkyDrive team announced the top list of feature requests that they are looking to implement. The list so far is: Allowing multiple downloads at once. Displaying how many times a file has been downloaded. Supporting file synchronization from the desktop. Providing an API for storing and retrieving files. Adding SkyDrive access ......

Posted On Monday, March 17, 2008 11:08 AM

Windows Live FolderShare Beta
A while ago I talked about Windows Live FolderShare. As a reminder, for those of you who don't know: FolderShare allows you to synchronize files across multiple computers and access or share files with colleagues and friends. You no longer need to send large files via email, burn them to CDs/DVDs and mail them, or upload them to a website. FolderShare allows you to share and sync important information instantly with anyone you invite, making it the perfect solution for personal or small business ......

Posted On Monday, March 10, 2008 11:11 PM

Caring about the developer community
One of my fellow GWB bloggers recently posed the question "Do you care about your developer community?" and offered some interesting ideas for user groups to adopt to help foster more community spirit. Hopefully whatever troubles D'Arcy is having will straighten themselves out, but the questions he asks and one of the responses got me thinking. I have always tried to be active in my local developer community and in the larger online community. I was active online far longer than I have been active ......

Posted On Monday, March 10, 2008 2:48 PM

IE8 Standards Mode Problems
In a previous post I talked about the new IE8 Beta 1 release and IE7 compatibility mode. In that post I mentioned that I had only run in to one site that didn't render properly in IE8 standards mode. Since that post, I took a look at my blog in IE8 standards mode and realized that it also has some problems. After doing some more quick testing, I actually noticed that the Snap preview windows and the Live Search display panel also have problems. The Live Search window actually doesn't display any ......

Posted On Thursday, March 6, 2008 9:09 PM

Silverlight 2 Beta 1
More announcements from Mix came from Scott Guthrie, who announced the release of Silverlight 2 Beta 1. (In case you don't know, Silverlight 2 was previously called Silverlight 1.1) This release provides a lot of new features and controls, including layout containers such as a Grid and StackPanel, control skinning and templating. There are improvements in both networking and general performance as well. Better integration with Visual Studio 2008 is also provided as well as a new release of Expression ......

Posted On Thursday, March 6, 2008 8:42 PM

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1
The Microsoft MIX08 conference is going on this week and even though I didn't go this year (maybe next year or ReMix) there are enough people blogging about what's happening at the conference that you can still keep up with most of it. There were a lot of big announcements during the keynote and the first day of the conference, including the first public beta of Internet Explorer 8. This release is primarily focused on web developers and designers to give them as much time as possible to validate ......

Posted On Thursday, March 6, 2008 8:17 PM

BillG demos Xobni
I have talked about Xobni several times before and absolutely love this product. It turns out Xobni is a Microsoft Startup Accelerator Program partner. There are lots of benefits to the program like free software, consulting help, press releases, introductions to Microsoft people, partners, and even VCs. One benefit that wasn't anticipated was a demo by Bill Gates at the Microsoft Office Developers Conference. Check out this 2 minute video of Bill talking about Xobni; then check out Xobni ......

Posted On Friday, February 29, 2008 10:21 PM

Customizing TFS Reports
If you use TFS, you have probably wanted to customize at least one of the reports or create your own custom report. Fortunately, the Microsoft patterns & practices group has published an excellent white paper that explains how to create or customize TFS reports. Technorati Tags: TFS ......

Posted On Friday, February 29, 2008 10:12 PM

Team System Widgets
If you use Team System, Accentient has an excellent list of various Visual Studio Team System add-ins, add-ons, widgets, and extensibility solutions. This list is much more complete than the current Visual Studio Gallery, but it has also been around a lot longer. One benefit of the Visual Studio Gallery, however, is that you get a description of the add-in to decide if it's something that is important to you ......

Posted On Friday, February 29, 2008 9:23 PM

TFS Power Tools
With the release of TFS 2008, Team Build is getting closer to providing the same features as CruiseControl.NET. To help remove some of the shortcomings of Team Build, Microsoft has released the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Foundation Server Power Tools, which is a set of enhancements, tools and command-line utilities that improve the Team Foundation Server user experience. Team Foundation Server Power Tools includes the following tools: Team Foundation Power Tool command-line tool (TFPT.EXE) ......

Posted On Friday, February 29, 2008 8:54 PM

Starting to Tag
As you might have noticed, my last post included Technorati tags. This blog has been listed with Technorati for quite a while now, but I've never actually tagged any of the posts. Even when Subtext added tag cloud support, I didn't bother with it. I'm not sure why I am now (perhaps the fact that the actual post categories aren't being displayed correctly has something to do with it), but I'm starting to add tags to my posts. I can't guarantee that every post will get them until tagging becomes second ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 10:22 PM

Outlook Connector Calendar Sync
One of the more irksome qualities about the Outlook Connector was the lack of Calendar synchronization, particularly with the new Windows Live Calendar. If you were an MSN subscriber it would work, but if you had just a Hotmail (or Windows Live) account it wouldn't. This also applied even if you had purchased the additional features of Hotmail Plus. According to LiveSide there is a new Outlook Connector currently in internal Microsoft testing that reportedly allows synchronization with Windows Live ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 10:11 PM

Windows Live SkyDrive Improvements
I have talked about SkyDrive in the past and really like the service and the direction it seems to be taking. Just this past week, SkyDrive was finally officially released in 38 countries/regions. Along with the official release, the amount of space available has been increased to 5GB. I love the increased storage space, hopefully we will start to see some of these other improvements soon: Increase (or, ideally, remove) the size limit on uploading files. The ability to download multiple files at ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 10:03 PM

Stop Visual Studio From Automatically Connecting to TFS
A while ago I came across this excellent tip from Colin Beales that explains how to stop Visual Studio from automatically connecting to a TFS server when it starts up. I didn't need it until this weekend, but it works great and shortens the startup time as well. The tip couldn't be simpler and works for both Visual Studio 2005 and Visual Studio 2008. In order to make this change, you will need to modify the registry so be sure to back it up first. After that, add a DWORD value named AutoLoadServer ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:53 PM

Windows Live Search Improvements
Last week, some improvements to Windows Live Search were announced which will improve the efficiency of how Live Search crawls and indexes a web site. The main improvements are: HTTP Compression, which allows faster transmission time by compressing static files and application responses, reducing network load between the web server and the Live Search crawler. Conditional Get, as defined by RFC 2616 (Section 14.25). What this means is that generally a page will not be downloaded unless it has changed ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:46 PM

Microsoft DreamSpark
Microsoft has always provided great deals for college students. I remember when I was still in school being able to purchase "Academic Editions" of Windows and Office at fractions of the retail price from the college bookstore. This time around, Microsoft is making it even better to be a student with the introduction of Microsoft DreamSpark. DreamSpark gives students access to the same Microsoft developer and design tools used by the industry professionals at no charge. DreamSpark currently offers ......

Posted On Sunday, February 24, 2008 7:33 PM

HD DVD
The HD DVD vs Blu-ray format wars appears to be over, in a relatively short amount of time too. According to Reuters, Toshiba announced that it is planning to stop production of HD DVD players and recorders. The death-blow was apparently dealt by Wal-Mart's recent announcement that it is abandoning the HD DVD format and will carry only Blu-ray discs. About 4,000 U.S. Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores will phase out the HD DVDs by June. Wal-Mart's move comes close on the heels of Best Buy and Netflix ......

Posted On Saturday, February 16, 2008 11:41 PM

Post Categories and Image Galleries
You may have noticed that my post categories and image gallery lists are incorrect. I've submitted a trouble ticket to the GeeksWithBlogs technical support earlier this week, but it hasn't been resolved yet. Since I use the category list a lot to help find old posts, I decided to create a secondary category and image gallery list. Since I was recreating the lists, I have added a little bit of organization as well. The full list is available as an article since I will keep this list updated as I add ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 13, 2008 12:47 PM

Microsoft Download Center Silverlight Beta
It looks like Microsoft is fully embracing the rich interactive features that Silverlight offers and have a new beta version of the Download Center that is Silverlight enabled. The beta gives a preview of some of the new designs Microsoft will be rolling out for the Download Center home page and category pages to make it easier to discover and download software. The beta is currently for the entry pages only. If you decide to download any items you see, you will be alerted that doing so will exit ......

Posted On Friday, November 30, 2007 10:17 AM

MSDN Code Gallery
Late last month, Soma announced the new MSDN Code Gallery site for sharing samples from both Microsoft and the community at large. When I saw this announcement, I was a little surprised that Microsoft was creating yet another community-type samples site so close on the heals of the GotDotNet (GDN) shutdown. Granted, MSDN Code Gallery isn't exactly what GDN was, but between Code Gallery, CodePlex and MSDN Downloads it starts to get confusing. Charlie Calvert posted a good explanation of the three ......

Posted On Saturday, February 9, 2008 2:20 PM

What's Important at Code Camp?
I've been reviewing my evaluations from the South Florida Code Camp 2008 and one of the comments brought out some interesting points. After reading the comments, I thought it might be a good time to remind some of you what a Code Camp really is. A lot of this information is from the Code Camp Manifesto and from my personal experiences as both an attendee and a presenter. Code Camps are always a free event and are about the developer community at large. They are meant to be a place for developers ......

Posted On Saturday, February 9, 2008 11:11 AM

Xobni Updates
About a month ago, I talked about a new add-on for Microsoft Outlook called Xobni Insight. Since that time, I was invited to participate in the beta and have been running it both at work and at home. So far, I have been very impressed. The installation is very simple. Once Xobni Insight is installed, the next time you open Outlook will cause it to create an index of your email. On my home system, I have over 14,000 messages from almost 3,000 different senders and it took less than 10 minutes to create ......

Posted On Saturday, February 9, 2008 10:19 AM

Visual Studio Gallery
I just came across the new Visual Studio Gallery site, which is a new showcase for products and extensions for Visual Studio. The gallery looks like it is mostly going to be focused on Visual Studio 2008, but there is a lot of content for VS2005 and earlier. The gallery is part of the Visual Studio Extensibility (VSX) Developer Center on MSDN. For those of you who don't know, VSX covers the Visual Studio Software Development Kit (SDK) including tools, documentation, and samples for developers to ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 6, 2008 7:37 PM

Xobni
If you're wondering what Xobni is, it's "inbox" spelled backwards. But that's not all it is. They are a startup company founded in 2006 whose mission is "to take back the email inbox for our users". Their flagship product is called Xobni Insight and is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook. If you've used Lookout before, Xobni Insight appears to offer all that Lookout offered and then some. The nice thing is that it is available for both Office 2003 and Office 2007. Some of the features offered by Xobni ......

Posted On Saturday, January 12, 2008 9:04 AM

Framework Engineering: Architecting, Designing, and Developing Reusable Libraries
At TechEd Developers Europe, Krzysztof Cwalina presented a talk called "Framework Engineering: Architecting, Designing, and Developing Reusable Libraries". If you weren't able to make the conference or missed his talk, you can download the video recording (in WMV format) or just the slides (in XPS format). The abstract for the session reads: This session covers the main aspects of reusable library design: API design, architecture, and general framework engineering processes. Well-designed APIs are ......

Posted On Saturday, January 12, 2008 8:31 AM

Free Microsoft Press E-Books Offer?
I've been seeing several people blogging about the free Microsoft Press E-Book offer. All you need to do is register and you get access to 3 e-books from Microsoft Press that you can download in PDF format. If you pay close attention to the details for each book, you will notice that these aren't full copies of the books. The only one that appears to be a full copy, based on the listed chapters and the actual table of contents in the PDF, is Introducing Microsoft LINQ. The other two e-books only ......

Posted On Sunday, January 6, 2008 8:42 PM

Sync Services for ADO.NET
A few months ago I talked about the Microsoft Sync Framework. One part of that Framework is Sync Services for ADO.NET, which enables synchronization of information between database systems. Steve Lasker has some good information on the Sync Framework and Sync Services. Joe Healy did a presentation on Sync Services at the Orlando SQL Saturday and will be doing updated presentations at South Florida .NET CodeCamp IV and the Tampa SQL Saturday events in February. In the meantime, be sure to check out ......

Posted On Sunday, January 6, 2008 2:51 PM

Statistics for 2007
Even though I've been blogging since June 2006, I really started consistently blogging in November of that year with it really picking up in 2007. Borrowing a concept from many of the bloggers that I read regularly, I wanted to review how my blog did over the last year. I only started tracking blog statistics through Google Analytics since the end of September 2007. My site usage for September 2007 through December 2007 was 36,371 visits from 146 different countries. The top 5 are: United States ......

Posted On Friday, January 4, 2008 12:54 AM

Microsoft MVP Award
The new year is certainly starting off on the right foot for me. I woke up this morning to an email from Community Credit telling me that I won 4th place for December's competition. That was cool news (sorry David, but this slightly bigger news) until I saw another email from Microsoft telling me that I have received the 2008 Microsoft® MVP Award in the Visual Developer - Visual C# community. This is my first MVP Award and I'm really excited about what it will bring over the course of the year ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 1, 2008 11:52 AM

Disappearing System Tray Icons on Windows Vista
I've been running Vista on my work laptop since the first quarter of this year and on my development system at home since August. So far, I haven't had too many problems with it. Actually, on my home system I've had almost no problems. My laptop, on the other hand, routinely has issues. One of the more annoying issues is that my wireless network connection periodically and randomly dies. It comes back to life after about 30 seconds to a minute, but it's still pretty frustrating. (Yes, I know I need ......

Posted On Monday, December 31, 2007 1:51 AM

What Is a Build System?
A few days ago, I talked about my views on MSBuild and NAnt. In that post I mentioned the phrase "build system" several times. That, combined with catching up and re-reading some blog posts that I had flagged led me to Jeff Atwood's post "The F5 Key Is Not a Build Process". While some of Jeff's post is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, the points he makes are extremely valid. In order to understand what a "build system" is, you must first understand how you build code. This applies not just to individual ......

Posted On Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:58 PM

Visual Studio Color Schemes
There is always a lot of interest around my desk at work any time I change the color schemes in Visual Studio. I usually bounce between the default "light" color scheme and a "dark" scheme, mostly depending on much actual coding I'm doing at the moment, but sometimes just because I want a change. It isn't always easy to come up with a good color scheme and there isn't a good location online to collect the various color schemes people have created. Today, I came across a link on Charlie Calvert's ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 9:44 PM

Volatile Registry Keys
Up until recently, I had never heard of a volatile registry key. I cam across a post by Daniel Moth that presents an extension method that adds support for both .NET and NETCF. While I haven't looked at the projects he provides, it did get me thinking about what this support would actually mean. A volatile registry key is one whose information is stored only in memory and is not preserved when the corresponding registry hive is unloaded. For keys created under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive, this occurs ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 5:47 PM

Upcoming Community Events
It seems that there isn't a good source of information that consolidates all of the upcoming community events, excluding local user group meetings. While this isn't an exhaustive list, it's all of the ones I have found so far. If you know of an event that's missing or needs updating, please let me know. January Philly Code Camp: January 12, 2008 @ DeVry University in Fort Washington Day of Patterns and Practices Tampa 2008 Roadshow: January 31, 2008 @ Microsoft, Tampa Offices February Winnipeg Code ......

Posted On Saturday, December 22, 2007 12:46 PM

Search and Replace Plugin for Windows Live Writer
I just came across Steve's blog post about a new Search & Replace plugin for Windows Live Writer written by Waldek Mastykarz. This plugin fills a pretty big gap in WLW and even has support for regular expressions. The code is available on CodePlex ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 19, 2007 8:12 PM

Quiet Time

I just realized that my blog has been fairly quiet for the last few weeks. To those who are regular readers, my apologies. Between the holidays and work, I haven't had much time to give my blog. I plan to spend the rest of the week and the long holiday weekend catching up...bear with me.

Posted On Tuesday, December 18, 2007 9:01 PM

Silverlight 2.0
What used to be called Silverlight 1.1 has been rebranded as Silverlight 2.0 and will include a cross-platform, cross-browser version of the .NET Framework and will enable a rich .NET development platform in the browser. Scott Guthrie has a post that details what will be part of the 2.0 release, but it includes: WPF UI Framework: The current Silverlight Alpha release only includes basic controls support and a managed API for UI drawing. The next public Silverlight preview will add support for the ......

Posted On Friday, November 30, 2007 1:05 PM

Multi-component Installers
With the deluge of blog posts talking about the recently releases of Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5, Scott Guthrie talks about the steps to uninstall the Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 release you should follow before installing the final release. It's great that Scott has put together this list since it not only tells you all of the components that are installed when you install Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 but also tells you the order to uninstall them. This post also indirectly brings to ......

Posted On Thursday, November 22, 2007 12:18 AM

Windows Live Calendar
Windows Live Calendar was just released as a Beta tonight. It features the Wave 2 UI, so it integrates nicely with the other Windows Live services. The first thing you will notice after the new interface (which is much improved over the older Calendar) is that none of your "Calendar Classic" events will be present. Unfortunately, the integration story doesn't get much better. The Calendar link in Windows Live Hotmail still sends you to the classic Calendar, even if you've selected the new Windows ......

Posted On Friday, November 2, 2007 10:56 PM

MCP 2008 Live Meeting Webcast
If you are an MCP hopefully you attended one of the two webcasts with George, Trika Harms zum Spreckel, and Bill Wall (Director of Certification Strategy) today. Some of the information has already been talked about, but there were also some new items. Those new items center around the Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA) program, and specifically the Ranger program. The Ranger program is designed to Provide top tier training and certification on Microsoft products for building a community of trusted ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 31, 2007 10:53 PM

Windows Live FolderShare
I just came across a post today on LiveSide that talks about some of the problems faced by users of FolderShare. I have to be honest, even though FolderShare appears to be part of Windows Live, I haven't heard much about it. It's not advertised on Windows Live betas and hasn't been talked about much by any of the Windows Live bloggers. For those of you who don't know: FolderShare allows you to synchronize files across multiple computers and access or share files with colleagues and friends. You no ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:36 PM

MIX08: The Next Web Now
March 5 - 7, 2008The VenetianResort Hotel CasinoLas Vegas, Nevada Now in its third year, MIX is an intimate opportunity for cutting-edge technical, creative and business strategists to engage Microsoft in a conversation about the future of the web. Come explore the latest wave of opportunities and help redefine the boundaries between: content and commerce, PC and TV, Windows and the Web. The conference focuses mostly on Web technologies, such as Silverlight, but will also cover some of the desktop ......

Posted On Thursday, November 8, 2007 8:44 PM

Microsoft is going SubSonic
Short on the heels of Phil moving to Microsoft to work on the new ASP.NET MVC Framework is the announcement that Rob Conery, the creator of SubSonic, is also moving to Microsoft. Rob will be building out SubSonic to sit on top of ASP.NET and the new MFV Framework. So, as Rob puts it, "SubSonic will be the convention-driven toolset for Microsoft's new MVC framework." Fortunately for all of us, SubSonic hasn't been bought and will remain open source under the MPL 1.1 license it currently has. This ......

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 9:06 PM

Windows Live Messenger Presence and Messenger IM Control
The Windows Live Messenger team has just announced a new feature that allows you show your Messenger presence and receive instant messages from the web. The Windows Live Messenger IM Control lets people on the Web reach you in Messenger by showing your Messenger status on your web site, blog, or social networking profile. The IM Control runs in the browser and lets site visitors message you without installing Messenger first and is supported in IE6, IE7, and Firefox 2.0 on Windows and Firefox 2.0 ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 7, 2007 11:50 AM

Windows Live Applications Release Versions
I mentioned yesterday that the latest wave of Windows Live applications have been released. Thinking about it a little bit more, I realized that other than the "Beta" tag being removed from the splash screens and/or title bars there is no way to know if you have the latest version. Here are the release version numbers for the Windows Live applications: Windows Live Application Release Version Messenger Version 2008 (Build 8.5.1302.1018) Mail Version 2008 (Build 12.0.1606) Writer Version 2008 (Build ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 7, 2007 11:01 AM

Windows Live Wave 2 Released
The final releases of the Windows Live Wave 2 programs are now available. The upgrades from the beta releases haven't changed a whole lot, but you should still download the new Windows Live installer. There is also a support article if you have any problems upgrading from the betas. Just as a reminder, the installer covers only the desktop Windows Live applications: Windows Live Messenger Instantly connect to the people who matter most—via text, voice, or video.* Show 'em if you're online, offline, ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 6, 2007 10:32 AM

Personalized Live Event web addresses
Not too long ago I talked about the Windows Live Spaces URL Confusion, and the really cryptic URLs being used for SkyDrive and Live Events. Today, I found something that makes Live Event addresses a little bit better. I'm not sure if this has always been available or if it's new, but either way it's a feature that is not obvious at all. I'm talking about the "Personalize your web address" option that is available from the event settings page (if you've already created the event) or from the create ......

Posted On Saturday, November 3, 2007 9:42 AM

Windows Live UI Identity Crisis
A few days after I talked about the Windows Live Spaces URL Confusion, the guys at LiveSide.net talked about a related issue. Apparently, their issue stemmed from a post on Windows Live Wire announcing that Windows Live Home has been officially released. Their complaint? The lack of consistency and cohesive identity for Windows Live. They make an excellent point about the main landing pages for the various Windows Live services: Windows Live Home (home.live.com) Windows Live (get.live.com) Windows ......

Posted On Sunday, October 28, 2007 10:18 PM

SyncToy 2.0 Beta
Early last year, Microsoft release a great little power toy called SyncToy as an easy to use, customizable application helps you copy, move, rename, and delete files between folders and computers. Earlier this week, they announced the availability of the SyncToy 2.0 Beta, available from the Microsoft Download Center. Taken from the SyncToy 2.0 download page, the following features were added to this release of SyncToy: Dynamic Drive Letter Assignment: Drive letter reassignment will now be detected ......

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 10:24 PM

Microsoft SharedView
Microsoft SharedView is now in Beta 2. While SharedView isn't a Windows Live application, it is available under the Windows Live Betas page, and will probably end up being rebranded to Windows Live SharedView before it actually ships. Even though there is a similar application available to Windows Vista users (Windows Meeting Space), I have a feeling that both Microsoft SharedView and the Windows Live Photo Gallery will eventually replace both Windows Meeting Space and Windows Photo Gallery, respectively. ......

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 9:40 PM

Windows Live Photo Gallery Rocks!
I haven't posted too much about Windows Live Photo Gallery, but after spending a few hours with it tonight, I have to say that it absolutely rocks! I have a fairly large collection of photos from various family vacations, technical events I've been to, family, friends, and my cats. These photos had been spread across 3 different disk drives and some of them were nearly impossible to find since they were scattered across those drives into different folders. I'm not sure what prompted me to do this, ......

Posted On Saturday, October 27, 2007 3:17 AM

Windows Live Alerts
Windows Live Alerts for blogsTo go along with my FeedBurner subscription, I am now offering Windows Live Alerts from my blog. Look for the subscription logo on my blog, just under the FeedBurner subscription panel.Windows Live Alerts is a great way for you to be automatically notified through a desktop alert, email, PDA, and/or cell phone whenever I update my blog and gives you, my readers, control over when and where you receive information.If you want to add alerts to your own blog, it is a very ......

Posted On Friday, October 26, 2007 8:43 PM

Windows Live Gallery Updates
In keeping with the growing number of Windows Live services that are upgrading to the Wave 2 UI, the Windows Live Gallery is the latest to receive the facelift. Just in case you aren't familiar with Windows Live Gallery, it's the online site where users can personalize their Windows Live experience. The update also adds a new area for Windows Live Events gadgets. The update has also added support for the Microsoft Points system, which is also used by the Zune and Xbox Live. It adds the potential ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 10:46 PM

Windows Live ID now supports Windows CardSpace
Well, this isn't actually breaking news, but at the end of August, Windows Live ID added support for Windows CardSpace as a new way to sign in to any Live ID enabled website. Using CardSpace means you don't use a password to sign in, instead you send your Information Card. Windows Vista users already have everything needed to use CardSpace. For Windows XP or Windows 2003, you will need to install IE 7.0 and .NET 3.0 with CardSpace support. Once you have everything you need to use CardSpace, you can ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 9:57 PM

Linked Windows Live IDs
For those that have multiple Windows Live IDs, you can now link your Windows Live accounts together and easily switch between them using the Linked Windows Live ID service. To set this up, go to https://account.live.com and look for the section called Linked Windows Live IDs. If you haven't already linked any Live IDs, you will see a link titled "Link Windows Live IDs", otherwise the link will be "Manage your linked IDs". Once you have linked your IDs, you will need to sign out and sign back in again. ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 9:50 PM

Windows Vista User Experience (UX) Guidelines
The Windows Vista UX Guide is probably the most comprehensive UX guide that Microsoft has published. The big drawback has been that it was only available online through MSDN. Fortunately, as of today, the UX Guide is now available as a PDF document so you can read all 627 pages of it offline ......

Posted On Thursday, October 25, 2007 7:27 PM

New and Updated SnapShots
The folks at Snap have released a new Snap Shot, called the MapShot. Once activated, it display a map of an address, a point of intersection or a location specified using latitude and longitude. This is the first release and only works with Google Maps, but all of the standard controls offered by Google Maps work so you can zoom, drag, or change views. Snap has also added the ability to perform quick local searches for hotels, gas stations and restaurants near the center point of the map. The easiest ......

Posted On Monday, October 22, 2007 9:46 AM

Live Search Box Updates...again
It seems I've gone a little Live Search crazy today and I have updated the Live Search box on my blog again. This is the last one, I promise. I have added a new tab to search The Code Project and made the search results panel a little bit wider in order to accommodate the additional tab. This new search tab will also be available on the Windows Live Gallery and is available online or by adding macro:sjdorman.codeproject to a query in any Live Search box ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 5:42 PM

Live Search Box Updates
Earlier today, I talked about Live Search and how to add a Live Search Box to your website. In those posts, I talked about the 3-step wizard that allows you to easily add the Advanced Search Box to your site and the fact that it doesn't allow you to specify multiple search macros. If you look at the search results from my blog now, you will see that there are now 5 new tabs in the search results. (Before I only had 2, "My blog" and "Web".) These tabs show search results from the entire GeeksWithBlogs ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 2:37 PM

Virtual Earth Interactive SDK
With the release of the Virtual Earth 6 API, there is a new Interactive SDK that goes along with it. If you haven't seen the Interactive SDK, it's a great way to learn the VE API using a "show and tell" model. The SDK shows a list of the more commonly used features (and some of the more advanced features, like importing data into shape layers or using custom tile layers), lets you see how it looks and then view the source code required to implement that feature. The entire Virtual Earth SDK is a ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 12:53 PM

Adding a Live Search Box to your website
As I was adding the Live Search Box to my blog, I realized that it wasn't entirely clear how to find the page that explains how to do this. The actual main link is on the Live Search homepage and is the "For Webmasters" link. However, this link actually takes you to the Windows Live Help site section titled "Welcome to Live Search Site Owner Help". There are two different Live Search boxes you can add to your site. The Basic Search Box and the Advanced Search Box. Both of these search boxes can be ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 12:44 PM

Virtual Earth v6
A few days ago, Microsoft released a pretty major upgrade to Live Search Maps with the release of the Virtual Earth 6 API. There are some pretty cool enhancements, and, with the exception of two bugs found by Joe Healy, is as simple as change the "v=5" parameter in your link to "v=6". I'm not going to list all of the upgrades, since there are a lot of them. If you want to see the full list, check out the VE developer blog or the online SDK. I will list some of the features that are my current favorites ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:36 AM

Live Search
At the end of September, Microsoft launched a major upgrade to Live Search that makes it faster and easier to use. Some of the areas that have been improved are: Relevance: The size of the Live Search index has quadrupled, which means more correct results for searches. Enhanced ranking algorithms, auto-spell correction and better stop word handling help return the best results. Speed: Pages load much faster than before. Streamlined look and feel: The end-to-end experience has been improved. For example, ......

Posted On Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:09 AM

MCP 2008
If you are a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), you should be sure to check out Georgeo's blog. He is the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Community Marketing Manager (as of June) and before that he managed the MSDN Webcasts Program. Yesterday he announced some new benefits for MCPs worldwide as part of the MCP 2008 program. These benefits are part of MCP 2008 Phase 1. As long as you have your MCP ID, you can log in to the the MCP site and start using the new benefits right now. As part ......

Posted On Friday, October 19, 2007 2:46 PM

Referenced on Wikipedia
I periodically look at my blog statistics, more out of idle curiosity than anything else. As part of that, I look at the referrers to the various blog posts. Today, as I was browsing my referrer list, I noticed that one of the referrers was Wikipedia. Intrigued, I took a look at the entry, and my blog post about the Visual Studio 2008 launch date was listed as a reference ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 7, 2007 7:48 PM

Windows Live Spaces URL Confusion
A few days ago I talked about Windows Live SkyDrive Updates and the new Windows Live Events, both of which are part of Windows Live Spaces. Since then, I've been browsing around the Windows Live site and checking out how things are working and noticed a few really annoying inconsistencies with the URLs being used for all of the different services. When you sign in to your Windows Live account, you are presented with the following secondary toolbar: If you look at the URLs used for each of these links, ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 16, 2007 12:47 AM

South Carolina Code Camp Sessions
If you're going to the South Carolina Code Camp 2007, be sure to check out my sessions. I'm giving two talks: Code Styles and Standards (Chalk Talk), 8:30 AM - 9:40 AM Garbage Collection in .NET, 11:10 AM - 12:20 PM If you make it and go to my sessions (or even if you don't), the presentations are available for download on Windows Live SkyDrive in the South Carolina Code Camp folder ......

Posted On Friday, October 12, 2007 10:47 AM

Windows Live SkyDrive Updates
Along with Microsoft's recently introduced Windows Live Events, a few minor updates were made to Windows Live SkyDrive as well. The new features are an increase in the online storage space from 500MB to 1GB. In addition to more storage space, all public folders now have an RSS feed. To subscribe to a folders RSS feed, go to the public folder you're interested in and click the icon at the top right of the page. The SkyDrive team has also made it easier to share folders with people that aren't in your ......

Posted On Friday, October 12, 2007 9:51 AM

Windows Live Events
Yesterday, eWeek announced the debut of Microsoft's new event planning service, Windows Live Events. Live Events is part of Windows Live Spaces, and is intended to make it easy for users to create personalized event web sites. There are more than 100 predefined templates to choose from and allow you to add photos, videos, and blog posts after the party is over. This will be a free service supported by banner ads at the top of the page. The interesting thing is that Windows Live Product Manger Jay ......

Posted On Friday, October 12, 2007 9:37 AM

International Association of Software Architects (IASA) Tampa Bay Chapter
For those of you who might not know about the IASA, it is the premier association focused on the software architecture profession and promotes the advancement of best practice and education while delivering programs and services to IT architects of all levels around the world. The association is committed to improving the quality of the IT architecture industry by developing and delivering standards, education programs and developing accreditation programs and services that optimize the development ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 10, 2007 12:04 AM

Organization using Outlook
A few days ago Scott Hansleman talked about how he's trying to keep the (apparently) massive amount of email organized using Outlook. He presents some interesting ideas, including creating folders that represent actions, a different inbox folder for each mailing list and separate folders for each project. Looking at my own Inbox, I think there are at least a few ideas here that I am going to try out and see how well they work ......

Posted On Friday, October 5, 2007 1:04 AM

Problems with comments and Google search
I had recently added a Google search box to my blog to allow easier searches on both Google and the Geekswithblogs site itself. However, it seems to have caused a problem today that was preventing people from leaving comments on any of my posts. After much trial and error, I was able to track the problem down to this search box and have removed it from my blog. For those that tried to leave comments today, apologies to all and hopefully you will try again now that everything seems to be working again ......

Posted On Friday, September 28, 2007 6:25 PM

Priceless
I was pulled in to a side conversation today about comments and it reminded me of something I blogged about on my personal blog (don't bother going to it as the last entry was February of this year and it isn't really maintained) about some comments I ran across in one of the projects I used to manage. After re-reading the post, I thought it was worthy of moving to this blog (which is probably where it should have been in the first place). So, without further ado...here is the original post (with ......

Posted On Friday, September 28, 2007 3:15 PM

Certification Junkies
A lot of you probably already know my feelings on certifications, particularly the Microsoft certifications. Even though I am an MCPD, I took what appears to be the "non traditional" approach and actually went into the exams trusting my knowledge and experience to see me through. I didn't spend hundreds of dollars on study courses or materials and study for months. Lately, I have been seeing a lot of questions regarding how one earns a Microsoft certification. Most of these questions seem to come ......

Posted On Sunday, September 23, 2007 11:29 AM

Windows Live tools integration with Visual Studio

With the recent proliferation of the Windows Live services and APIs, Microsoft is taking steps to add the ability to develop Windows Live applications through additions to Visual Studio 2008.

A public beta of the Visual Studio Toolkit for Windows Live is expected sometime in October or November.

Posted On Saturday, September 22, 2007 12:06 AM

New lead for the Visual Studio team
Jason Zander is moving from the .NET team to lead the Visual Studio team. This covers a lot of products: Mobile (VSD and NETCF) Phoenix C++, C#, VB, JavaScript DLR (including IronRuby and IronPython) Office Tools (VSTO/VSTA) the core VS IDE platform Popfly With the release of Visual Studio 2008 wrapping up, Jason will start looking at the next release of Visual Studio which will ship after Rosario ......

Posted On Friday, September 21, 2007 11:05 PM

Phil Haack moving to Microsoft
Even though Phil just recently started working at Koders.com and even more recently became a Microsoft MVP, he's leaving Koders to move (eventually) a bit farther north and is joining Microsoft to work with Scott Guthrie on the new MVC framework for ASP.NET. He starts at Microsoft on October 15. Best luck, Phil. I expect to see some really great things in the new framework. I'm just a bit envious, too. :) ......

Posted On Friday, September 21, 2007 10:56 PM

Windows Server on Sun
I never thought it would happen, even when Sun Microsystems started selling Intel based workstations and servers along with their SPARC based systems, but it has. By the end of the year, Sun will start selling its 64-bit x86-based servers with Windows Server preinstalled instead of Solaris. As part of the deal, Sun will cooperate on technical development of Windows Server on the Sun Fire hardware and will also work to make Solaris fully manageable under Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager ......

Posted On Friday, September 21, 2007 9:50 PM

Latest email spam
I don't know about you, but I get lots of email spam, most of which I just completely ignore. I do, however, periodically review what lands in my "Junk e-mail" folder to make sure something wasn't put there by mistake. As a result, the first email in the list always ends up getting displayed. I'm not trying to make a political statement in any way at all, and whatever your views on the current U.S. military actions in Iraq aside, this latest form of email spam is just downright revolting. This spam ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 28, 2007 6:07 PM

Amazing Hand Shadow Show
I try not to post things that aren't technical like this, but every once in a while something comes my way that just stands out and is so impressive that I make an exception. These were video clips sent to me by family and both of these performances are truly amazing. This is a hand shadow show by Raymond Crowe, set to the music of "What a Wonderful World" as sung by Louis Armstrong. This is a video of the french mime Jerome Murat. I'm not usually much for mimes, but this is absolutely incredible ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 28, 2007 5:49 PM

Windows Live Writer Plug-ins
I'm a big fan of Windows Live Writer and use it almost exclusively to write my blog posts. As a result of this, I'm always on the lookout for new and useful plug-ins. Since I have accumulated quite a few of them, I thought I'd share my favorite plug-ins. These are listed in no particular order. SkyDrive Embed Plugin Allows you to easily embed a file or folder from your public Windows Live SkyDrive account. You can specify 3 different embed formats. Paste MSDN URL Allows you to paste a URL from any ......

Posted On Sunday, August 26, 2007 11:23 PM

Jacksonville Code Camp Session Calendar
In keeping with the work I did for Tech·Ed 2007 and the Tampa Code Camp to create Internet Calendars for the different technical tracks, I have created a similar calendar for the Jacksonville Code Camp. The calendar is available from Microsoft Office Online as an Outlook 2007 Internet Calendar Subscription. If you are still using Outlook 2003, there is an open-source add-in that allows you to work with Internet Calendars ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 22, 2007 5:03 PM

My profile
I finally felt it was time to put an "About me" type entry on my blog so you can get to know me a little bit better. There are already several links to various profiles that I maintain on LinkedIn, The Code Project, and Community Credit, but they don't really tell you who I am. I have also started to become more involved in the off-line community as well by speaking at different events. As a result, I have consolidated a lot of the information available in the different profiles, added my speaking ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 15, 2007 11:09 PM

About me...
Scott J Dormanhttp://about.me/scott... Profile I am a Microsoft C# MVP, author, speaker, blogger, and creator of WP Requests and WinMetro Requests. I've been involved with computers in one way or another for as long as I can remember, but started professionally in 1993. Although my primary focus right now is commercial software applications, I prefer building infrastructure components, reusable shared libraries and helping companies define, develop and automate process standards and ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:16 PM

How many MCPD: Windows Developers are there?
A few months ago, I earned my Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD): Windows Developer certification. At that time, I had mentioned that there were not many people who have earned this particular certification. That comment was based on feedback from the Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs) that were helping run the testing center at Tech·Ed. It turns out that last month, Microsoft released the official statistics of the number of Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) around the world. ......

Posted On Sunday, August 12, 2007 3:52 PM

Joe Wells named Chief Technology Officer for Lavasoft
I just found out that my good friend Joe Wells has accepted an offer from Lavasoft to be the new Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Joe is very well known for his extensive career in the software security field, having authored more than 60 technical papers and founding the WildList Organization International. He has worked with such well-known companies as Symantec, IBM, and Sunbelt Software. According to the press release, he "will lead all technical initiatives for Lavasoft, including development ......

Posted On Friday, August 10, 2007 12:06 PM

Windows Live SkyDrive
A while ago, I blogged about Windows Live Folders being in a closed beta. Yesterday, they just announced a name change to Windows Live SkyDrive and their first public beta. According the the SkyDrive team, this beta has: An upgraded look and feel — new graphics to go along with the new features! "Also on SkyDrive" — easily get back to the SkyDrives you’ve recently visited Thumbnail images — now you can see thumbnails of your image files Drag and drop your files — Drag and drop your files right onto ......

Posted On Friday, August 10, 2007 10:41 AM

StarTech.com Print Server
I recently straightened up my home office and decided to move the printer to a different corner of my desk. Of course, the corner I wanted it at was about as far away from the computer as possible and I didn't have a long enough parallel port cable (and I'm not even sure they make them long enough anyway) so I decided to get a print server. I already have a wireless 4-port router and an old but trustworthy HP LaserJet 2100, so all I needed was a print server. I know I could have upgraded to a newer ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 8:53 PM

Windows Vista Performance and Reliability Updates
Microsoft has just released two updates for Windows Vista that address some of the performance and reliability issues people have been seeing. These updates are a precursor to the upcoming Windows Vista SP1 release. You can get more details and download them from here: Windows Vista Performance Update (KB 938979): x86 Download x64 Download Windows Vista Reliability Update (KB 938194): x86 Download x64 Download ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 9:53 AM

Snap Shots Add-On for Internet Explorer and Firefox
I've blogged about Snap Shots in the past and think it's an excellent addition to any website. Now, you can have the power of Snap Shots on any website through the Snap Shots add-on for Internet Explorer or Firefox. These add-ons bring the usefulness of Snap Shots to all websites, and takes everything you love about Snap Shots for your website and puts on the websites you visit every day. Snap has profiled a large group of the most popular sites that you use every day, including Google, Yahoo!, MySpace, ......

Posted On Friday, August 3, 2007 12:10 AM

Refactor or Rewrite?
There was a recent discussion on The Code Project about the virtues of refactoring. This rather quickly turned in to a question about what the difference is between refactoring and rewriting code. I have worked for a manager who loved to say "I'm confident in my ability to refactor" whenever we would talk about making sure the initial design was solid. So, what is the difference? I think John Simmons provided the best definition. Rewriting implies that you are throwing away all (or most) of the existing ......

Posted On Saturday, July 28, 2007 11:08 AM

Windows PowerShell e-book
If you are a PowerShell developer, or are just interested in learning more about Windows PowerShell, be sure to check out this 44 page e-book from Microsoft Switzerland (yes, it's in English). The associated demos are also available ......

Posted On Saturday, July 28, 2007 10:35 AM

Office Business Applications - OBA Central
Up until now, if you were developing an Office Business Application (OBA) there weren't a lot of resources available. OBA Central means to change that. It is a community site that brings together Microsoft, Microsoft OBA ISVs, services partners and customers, making it easy to connect. There are already a few Microsoft Partners featured on the site ......

Posted On Saturday, July 28, 2007 10:13 AM

Club Internet: le duel

Reading Joe Healy's blog, I came across a post about a really impressive bit of advertising done by MSN France. It's in French and is a Flash app (not Silverlight, which is disappointing), but it is still very impressive.

Posted On Saturday, July 28, 2007 10:02 AM

Microsoft Learning Exam Delivery Provider Changes
Earlier this month, Microsoft officially announced their decision to move all Microsoft professional certification and Microsoft Dynamics exams to Prometric. Pearson VUE will no longer be selling exams after August 31, 2007. For anyone who purchases an exam from Pearson VUE through August 31, Pearson will be able to administer that exam through December 31, 2007. More details are promised in the upcoming months, but for now there is a Frequently Asked Questions page ......

Posted On Sunday, July 15, 2007 3:39 PM

Cell Phone Stolen
A word of advice: Don't ever leave your cell phone in a theme park. That's what happened to me on Thursday night, and in less than 5 minutes (the time it took for me to walk away, realize I didn't have it, and go back) it was gone. If this were a normal cell phone, I wouldn't be quite so annoyed about it. Unfortunately, it was an i-mate JasJar. Since there are not very many of these in the U.S. (at least not where I live), I would be very surprised if someone turned it in to customer service at the ......

Posted On Sunday, July 15, 2007 10:48 AM

An Introduction to Blogs and Wikis in the Business World
CIO has an interesting article providing a good explanation of blogs and wikis and why you should care about them in the business world. From the article, blogs and wikis are an Indispensable business collaboration tools and a powerful means of communicating with customers, partners and employees, wikis and blogs have been compared to e-mail in terms of their potential impact on the enterprise. While the article provides an excellent introduction, isn't it a little bit late? Blogs came about (at ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 11, 2007 10:14 AM

Microsoft to Acquire aQuantive, Inc.
Microsoft has just announced (Wall Street Select announcement) that they are acquiring aQuantive for $6 billion, double the price Google paid for DoubleClick earlier this month. This is the largest acquisition in Microsoft's history, and will allow Microsoft to create the next generation of advertising platforms. When asked about how this merger will play into the the adCenter platform, Kevin Johnson, Microsoft Platform President, gave a rather noncommittal answer by saying only: ...as we pointed ......

Posted On Saturday, May 19, 2007 1:38 PM

Windows Server 2008
Windows Server "Longhorn" has officially been named Windows Server 2008. To go along with the name change, Microsoft has made Beta 3 publicly available for download. You can download it from either the TechNet Beta Central site, or the MSDN Evaluation Center site. You can also order it on DVD ......

Posted On Friday, May 18, 2007 1:37 PM

Development Managers
Recently, Jason posted about bad development managers. Like Jason, I was also told early in my career that "Sales and Marketing is the natural enemy of Development". I also learned early on that this isn't entirely true. While it is true that the sales team will sell products that don't exist yet and features that don't exist or that are technical implausible to build in the timeframe promised, it is generally due to customer demand. Whether you like it or not, if you develop commercial software ......

Posted On Monday, July 9, 2007 5:27 PM

Vista Service Pack 1
According to ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley, Vista SP1 beta 1 to launch in mid-July, with the final version around November 2007. A November release is also the target for RTM of Windows Server 2008, which, if they meet the deadlines means that they were able to stick to a schedule announced a year ago when they announced Vista SP! and Windows Server 2008 will be released simultaneously. Apparently, the Microsoft Windows Client team is trying to clamp down on the amount of information available relating to ......

Posted On Monday, July 9, 2007 11:06 AM

SourceForge.net Community Choice Awards
Thank you to everyone who nominated Subtext for a Community Choice Award. Your nominations have made Subtext a finalist in the following categories: Most Collaborative Project: The project most likely to accept your patches and value your input. Best Project for Communications: The best project for talking to your friends or sharing information. I think both of these categories very accurately reflect what Subtext is all about. It's great to see that the community feels the same. Voting has already ......

Posted On Monday, July 2, 2007 8:35 PM

Programming for the masses
Over the last year or so I have noticed a disturbing trend brought about by the idea of "brining programming to the masses". Last April, according to Microsoft, there was a "growing community of 18 million recreational and hobbyist developers." Even IBM was getting in to the mix, with a project called QEDwiki. I am a professional developer and have been a developer for over 14 years. I have a B.S. degree in Computer Science, did an internship at Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) while in school, ......

Posted On Friday, June 29, 2007 10:50 AM

What's your nerd score?

I am nerdier than 96% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Yet another quirky personality test...the only problem is that I'm not sure I should be proud of this one...

Posted On Friday, June 29, 2007 9:22 AM

Superhero or Super Villain?
A funny yet thought provoking personality quiz, find out which super hero or super villain you are. My results are:You are Spider-Man Spider-Man 75% Green Lantern 70% Hulk 65% Superman 60% The Flash 60% Batman 55% Robin 45% Supergirl 43% Wonder Woman 33% Catwoman 30% Iron Man 30% You are intelligent, witty, a bit geeky and have greatpower and responsibility.Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz You are Lex Luthor Lex Luthor 66% Dr. Doom 63% Mr. Freeze 61% Apocalypse 58% Magneto 55% The ......

Posted On Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:36 PM

The best developers are generally underpaid
Earlier this week one of my good friends, Jason let me know that he just started a new blog. The thing that's different about this blog is that it doesn't focus on the technical side of things, but rather focuses on the software development industry as a whole. Jason is attempting ...to raise awareness of how the Industry succeeds and fails, where it all seems to be going, and what has to happen before we can dig our way out of Dev.Hell and ascend to Tech.Paradise. What I find interesting about this ......

Posted On Thursday, June 28, 2007 12:56 PM

.NET Open Source and Microsoft
Jeff Atwood of CodingHorror fame, as part of my new advertising initiative, is teaming up with Microsoft to donate $10,000 in support of open source .NET projects. From Jeff's blog, he is focusing on .NET open source projects ...because open source projects are treated as second-class citizens in the Microsoft ecosystem. Many highly popular open source projects have contributed so much to the .NET community, and they've gotten virtually no support at all from Microsoft in return. I'd like to see ......

Posted On Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:56 AM

CardSpace Information Card Icon
According to an announcement on Richard Turner's blog, Windows CardSpace finally has an icon to symbolize that a site or application supports Information Cards. This visual icon has been missing since Windows CardSpace was introduced. It is important to note that this is not a Windows CardSpace icon. You are free to use this icon (following the usage guidelines) to provide a clear, consistent visual cue to your users that your sites and applications support Information Cards. Make sure to download ......

Posted On Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:28 AM

SourceForge.Net 2007 Community Choice Awards
I know I'm a little late to the nomination party, but if you haven't already nominated your favorite SourceForge project, please take the time to do so. It only takes a minute, and the Subtext development community would definitely appreciate it. The SourceForge.net team is proud to present our second annual Community Choice Awards. Winners are selected by community members like you, and it's that time again! Cast a ballot for your favorite projects now and make your voice heard. The Community Choice ......

Posted On Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:18 AM

Closed Betas for Windows Live Folder and Windows Live Photo Gallery
Microsoft has started offering limited beta testing of Windows Live Folder and Windows Live Photo Gallery. Windows Live Folder is designed to allow file sharing without relying on email, external USB devices, or public sharing sites. The Live Folder service uses email to share a link to the folder, but the files are stored and accessed online. One of the things that make Live Folder different from other public online sites (like Xdrive) is that you choose who has access to the folder from a list ......

Posted On Thursday, June 28, 2007 9:04 AM

Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab

Earlier this year Microsoft created the Microsoft/Novell Interoperability Lab. A few days ago they quietly hired Tom Hanrahan, the former Director of Engineering for the Linux Foundation, to become their Director of Linux Interoperability.

According to Sam Ramji, Microsoft's Director of Platform Technology Strategy, the Interoperability Lab "will focus on interoperable virtualization between Windows and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server."

Posted On Tuesday, June 12, 2007 8:34 PM

MCPD: Windows Developer
It only took 14 years to decide to go after a Microsoft certification, but I decided it was probably time. My blog has been getting more and more visibility and those 4 little initials after your name add a lot of credibility in the industry. The certification that made the most sense for me to start with was Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Windows Developer (MCPD: Windows Developer) certification. Just in case you aren't up on all of the different Microsoft certifications available, ......

Posted On Sunday, June 10, 2007 4:45 PM

Back from Tech·Ed 2007
Going from one extreme to another can be just a bit disconcerting. After spending a week in Alaska where I was almost completely disconnected from the world, I went straight into Tech·Ed 2007. If you weren't able to attend, make sure to check out Virtual Tech·Ed. You will find the keynote and some podcasts relating to some of the sessions. Things are about a week behind and there are a lot of podcasts queued up to be made available on the site, so keep checking back. I can't say that there was a ......

Posted On Sunday, June 10, 2007 9:48 AM

A lighter workload...
Today will probably be my last day of blogging for about a week while I am on vacation. I'll actually be on a cruise ship in Alaska so I won't have much (if any) internet or even cell phone access. I do get some free minutes on the ship's internet cafe, but it won't be enough for any serious work...and I can't hook my laptop up, at least without paying $0.50US per minute for access. After the cruise I will be at Tech·Ed 2007, so expect to see a lot of posts coming from that. See you there ......

Posted On Thursday, May 24, 2007 10:15 AM

Microsoft Funding New Open-Source Digital IDs
Right on the heels of Microsoft's claim that free software like Linux violates 235 of its patents, they announced that they will be funding several new projects to develop open-source versions of the CardSpace technology used for digital information cards. As part of this effort, Microsoft released the Identity Metasystem under its Open Source Promise (OSP) program. The OSP program gives developer access to Web services protocols Microsoft has developed without the need for a license or fear of legal ......

Posted On Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:57 AM

Google buys Feedburner
According to a recent article on TechCrunch, the RSS feed management company Feedburner is in the closing stages of being acquired by Google for around $100M US. According to their source, who is rumored to be close to the deal, it is all cash and mostly upfront. The deal is likely to close in 2-3 weeks ......

Posted On Thursday, May 24, 2007 9:41 AM

Do not initialize unnecessarily
If any one has ever run FxCop or Visual Studio Code Analysis (yes, I know they are basically the same thing, but there are some subtle differences) you have probably run into rule CA1805: Do not initialize unnecessarily. As I was cleaning up some FxCop errors on some inherited code today, I hit a few of these. These errors are probably one of the easiest to correct, but for some uknown reason I decided to actually look at the error help this time around. What I saw there surprised me. The help page ......

Posted On Monday, May 21, 2007 3:17 PM

Search Driven Development
A few months ago, Phil Haack wrote about a phenomena being referred to as Search Driven Development (SDD). If you don't know what Search Driven Development is, there is a great article on LinuxWorld by Ken Krugler and John D. Mitchell. According to them article About 25% of a developer's time is spend [sic] searching for information. It's well spent, though -- finding reusable code can get a project done on time and with high quality results. I don't know about you, but (like Phil) I find that Google ......

Posted On Sunday, May 20, 2007 3:05 PM

Ohloh - Open Source Project Statistics
While I'm on the topic of code metrics, I thought I would mention another interesting set of statistics provided by the Ohloh web site. This is a site that we use on Subtext to monitor the project and the statistics are integrated with our CruiseControl.NET dashboard as well. Ohloh collects software metrics from a variety of sources including the project's source code and the software development infrastructure used by the project's development team. Ohloh was founded in 2004 as a way to provide ......

Posted On Sunday, May 20, 2007 1:13 PM

NDepend 2.2
A few months ago, I wrote about Visual Studio 2005 Professional Edition and FxCop Integration and also the upcoming Visual Studio Code Metrics that will be available in the Visual Studio "Orcas" release. These are both great tools, but one is really only available if you purchase one of the Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition versions (at least, available without some extra work) and one isn't available yet except through a public beta. However, if you want the type of code analysis that you can get ......

Posted On Sunday, May 20, 2007 12:30 PM

Joost - The new way of watching TV
Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping. You get great internet features too, such as search, chat and instant messaging, built right into the program - so you find shows quickly and talk to your friends while you watch. And with no schedules to worry about, you can watch whatever you want, whenever you like - as often as you want. ......

Posted On Sunday, May 13, 2007 2:13 AM

Windows Live Writer gets a new URL
Up until now, Windows Live Writer has not had a good product page to reference. Anyone who wanted to linked their blog posts either to the Writer Team Blog or directly the Writer MSI. That has all changed! Now you can also directly navigate to the Writer product page directly at: http://writer.live.com/. It features links to the Writer Team Blog and the Writer feedback forum. Now we just have to wait for an updated release ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 7:47 PM

Posts now use friendly names

I have finally switched over to using "friendly names" for my blog posts. I think I was the last hold-out among the Subtext developers. One of the statistics that Site Meter provides is the ability to show entry and exit pages. This is great, except for the fact that all of my posts up until now had a numeric name, so it made it very difficult to see what the post was. None of the old posts will be renamed, but the new ones will have a friendly name based on the post title.

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 2:09 PM

High Voltage Transmission Line Worker
And you thought your job was dangerous? Seriously, these guys (and girls?) have what I would consider to be an extremely stressful and dangerous job and one that is completely taken for granted. This holds not only for the guy traveling around the wires, but also for the helicopter pilots, who must have rock-steady nerves to hold the helo still that close to the wires. How often do you think about what it takes to maintain the high voltage lines that all of us depend so much on...and how quickly ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:34 PM

Windows Live Hotmail official
Earlier this week, Microsoft rather quietly released it's Windows Live Hotmail offering. Along with the release, a replacement for the Outlook Express and Windows Mail desktop clients was announced as well as new software to integrate web mail with Outlook, called the Outlook Internet Mail Connector. Outlook Express and Windows Mail will be replaced with a new desktop product called Windows Live Mail in the coming weeks. The program will handle POP, IMAP, and Windows Live Hotmail accounts and is ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 1:13 PM

SQL Server "Katmai" to ship in 2008
According to InfoWorld, Microsoft announced at it's first Business Intelligence Conference that the next version of Microsoft SQL Server, code-named Katmai, will be released sometime next year. No word yet on what features will and won't make it into the shipping version. Microsoft also announced at the conference was Microsoft's acquisition of SoftArtisans' OfficeWriter product, which allows users to author reports in Word and Excel ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:46 PM

True or False
This was just sent to me in email...for those of you who are Trivial Pursuit fans, can you guess which ones are true and which are false? Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning. Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 years. People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart! Only 7 per cent of the population are ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:42 PM

Microsoft may buy Yahoo!
In this eWeek.com article and Reuters, Microsoft is pursuing a deal to buy Yahoo!, Inc. as a result of increased competition from Google. The two companies have had informal talks over the years about this possibility, but this time it looks a little more serious. According to Peter Lobravico, of Wall Street Access: "It's been talked about for a long time, ever since Google came into the picture. I can't imagine a more perfect deal. You can't find a stronger buyer than Microsoft and while it would ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:36 PM

Site Meter - Counter and Statistics Tracker
Courtesy of Snap.com, I came across Site Meter, which provides comprehensive real time website tracking and counter tools give you instant access to vital information and data about your sites audience. With our detailed reporting you'll have a clear picture of who is visiting your site, how they found you, where they came from, what interests them and much more. Site Meter provides some of the same statistics counting as ClustrMaps, but also provides a lot more details, similar to what you can get ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 12:21 PM

New SnapShots
Last month, I talked about the new SnapShots and mentioned that Snap is working on adding new SnapShots. They have added some new Shots and updated some existing ones. PhotoShot™ PhotoShot puts an entire online photo album into a Shot. PhotoShots can be triggered by links to files hosted on Flickr, Photobucket, and Picasa Web. Reuters CompanyNewsShot The latest custom shot leverages Reuters' global news capabilities and the Snap Shots platform to deliver story headlines for publicly-traded companies. ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 11:54 AM

Microsoft, SanDisk to Develop Advanced Memory Cards
According to this eWeek.com article, Microsoft and SanDisk are working to develop advanced memory cards "that allow consumers to easily take their data with them in one small device." SanDisk will be developing the actual hardware, which is supposed to be about the size of a pack of chewing gum and can be plugged into a port on multiple computers. Microsoft will develop the software. The cards will be available in the second half of 2008. Now, maybe I'm being a nay-sayer here, but doesn't this sound ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 11:39 AM

Insert Video with Windows Live Writer
In writing my last post, I came across an excellent plugin that allows you to insert a video from MSN Soapbox, Google Video, YouTube, MySpace Video, Yahoo! Video, muveeMix, and myvideo.de. This plugin is extremely easy to use, but it does require you to know the URL of the video ahead of time. As you can see, you have a lot of formatting options when inserting the video and can modify everything except the link after it has been inserted. The plugin also provides an options dialog where you can set ......

Posted On Saturday, May 12, 2007 10:23 AM

Windows Live Writer updates
I use Windows Live Writer for writing almost all of my blog posts. It has been in beta for a long time and isn't showing any signs of being released any time soon. As a result, there was a lot of speculation that the product was dying a slow death. I'm very happy to say that is not the case. Simone pointed me to some screenshots showing a new version of WLW that is in the works. There are a lot of updates in the new release, including the ability to add tables, insert images from the web, inline ......

Posted On Thursday, May 10, 2007 7:31 PM

Outlook 2007 Internet Calendar Subscriptions
Just as my last post was publishing, I realized that many people might not know about the Internet Calendar Subscriptions in Outlook 2007 or may still be using Outlook 2003. Michael Affronti, the Outlook Program Manager, has a great post describing Internet Calendar Subscriptions and how you can interact with them in Outlook 2007. For those of you who are still using Outlook 2003, there is an open-source add-in that allows you to work with Internet Calendars ......

Posted On Thursday, May 10, 2007 5:20 PM

CC.NET Vista Sidebar Gadget updates
For those of you who are keeping up with the progress Simone Chiaretta has been making on his excellent CC.NET Monitor gadget, he is getting ready to release the 0.8 version. This version includes a lot of feedback received, and implements the following features: new tab style settings page ability to monitor more than one CC.NET dashboard possibility to choose which project to display for each server added a license page (which is the new BSD license, as stated in my copyright and licensing policy) ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 2, 2007 11:44 PM

Silverlight going open source, sort of...
Last month, I blogged about Adobe Flex going open source. It seems Microsoft has taken notice, and is making some of Silverlight available as open source. Microsoft is also releasing the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR) and IronPython on CodePlex under the Microsoft Permissive License. This allows developers and users to view, modify and redistribute source code for either commercial or non-commercial purposes, and also to charge a license fee for any code they've added to the software. A DLR based ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 2, 2007 11:32 PM

The most important open-source apps
eWEEK Labs has named the 18 most important open-source applications. These are applications that have helped make open-source technologies integral enterprise tools. In no particular order, here they are: Apache Linux Kernel Nessus Firefox Perl Wireshark PHP VNC BSD Webmin Asterisk Nmap OpenOffice.org MySQL Nagios Eclipse Samba OpenSSH and OpenSSL I think this is a pretty comprehensive list, and there are only a few on here that I haven't heard of before ......

Posted On Wednesday, May 2, 2007 11:12 PM

Adobe Flex going open source
According to eWeek, Adobe Systems has announced that the Flex Web framework is being released to the open source community. Flex is a framework for building cross-platform rich internet applications for the web and also enables the new Adobe Apollo applications for the desktop. The next release of Flex, code-named "Moxie", will be released sometime in the second half of 2007 under the Mozilla Public License (MPL). However, in June the first public pre-release version will be released and Adobe will ......

Posted On Friday, April 27, 2007 12:25 PM

Microsoft Malware Protection Center
The portal officially launches in early July and will have additional features such as malware sample submission. In the meantime, it lists things such as the most active families and variants for malware, most active email threats, and the top adware/spyware removed. It also provides links to download the latest defintions for Windows Defender and Microsoft Forefront Client Security. It will be interesting to watch this portal over the rest of the year. It has a lot of potential and is certainly ......

Posted On Thursday, April 26, 2007 2:17 PM

Microsoft release first public beta for "Longhorn"
According to eWeek, Microsoft will release the third beta, which is also the first pubic beta, for Windows Server "Longhorn" today. So far, Longhorn remains on track for RTM in the second half of 2007. More than 10,000 people have already tested the product either directly through Microsoft's technical beta program or through Community Technology Previews through TechNet or MSDN subscriptions. Windows Server "Longhorn" will build on the improvements made in Windows Server 2003 R2, and add the ability ......

Posted On Thursday, April 26, 2007 1:38 PM

WM6 Devices To Gain 'Virtual BlackBerry' Support
Redmond Developer News just published an article saying that Research In Motion (RIM) will be making available later this year software that provides Windows Mobile 6 devices a "virtual" BlackBerry experience. The software will feature email, browsing, instant messaging, and other capabilities and will also let WM6 devices take advantage of BlackBerry services, such as BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The application also provides support for the BlackBerry Mobile Data System, a feature that will enable ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:20 PM

Visual Studio user settings per project/solution - update
The other day, I posted about a feature request submitted to Microsoft Connect. Well, it ended up getting 21 votes before Microsoft closed it as "Closed (Won't Fix)". The comment they left was Thanks for reporting this suggestion. Unfortunately we will not be able to address this in time for the upcoming release of Visual Studio (codename Orcas) but we will track this suggestion in our future release feature request database. Now, I don't mind the fact that they said they won't be able to address ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 25, 2007 8:12 PM

Visual Studio user settings per project/solution
In a recent email discussion between a few of the Subtext developers and myself, we talked about the need to have the Visual Studio editor settings (like tab size, curly brace location, etc.) stored with each solution as well as globally. The problem here is that many of us use the same development machine for our "real work" and our personal or open source projects. For some people this might not be a problem, but for most of us, it is. The real issue comes about when one client mandates a certain ......

Posted On Monday, April 23, 2007 11:12 AM

FeedGhost
I've just found a new blog reader that promises to completely change the way you read blogs. The biggest difference between FeedGhost and other blog readers is that it works on a subscription basis. What this means is that when you subscribe to a blog, the state is kept synchronized across all machines that you have FeedGhost installed. The price of the subscription is $20 per year, which gives you access to any FeedGhost products or upgrades as they become available, use of the synchronization service ......

Posted On Saturday, April 21, 2007 2:03 PM

New skins available for GWB
There are a few new skins available for GWB bloggers, bringing the total number of skins up to 21. The skins are: AnotherEon001 Back In Black (new) Blue BlueBook Cogitation Day Dreamin' (new) Dirtylicious (new) GreenBook Informatif (new) KeyWest Leafy Lightz Minty (new) Naked Orange Piyo Rain RedBook Scarlet and Grey Terrafirma (new) WPSkin Check them out ......

Posted On Friday, April 20, 2007 7:12 PM

Windows Live Writer and Subtext
Jeff has updated his original post about configuring Windows Live Writer for .Text so that it shows how to configure WLW for use with Subtext. The nice thing is that this is very simple and really just involves running through the wizard and selecting "Another weblog service" as the blog type. Don't forget to check out Jeff's post on configuring pings in Windows Live Writer ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 18, 2007 3:15 PM

CC.NET Vista Sidebar Gadget
Simone Chiaretta has just released a beta version of his new Vista Sidebar Gadget for monitoring Cruise Control.NET. This gadget uses the CC.NET REST-like API and connects to the XmlStatusReport service that comes as part of CC.NET. CC.NET Vista Sidebar Gadget docked to the sidebar CC.NET Vista Sidebar Gadget undocked on the desktop CC.NET Vista Sidebar Gadget settings page The look of the gadget is excellent, and provides the same monitoring capabilities currently available in the CCTray application. ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 17, 2007 12:54 AM

Windows XP phase out
According to APC magazine, Windows XP is due to be phased out by the end of 2007. Microsoft plans to stop OEM copies as an option for system builders. What this will mean is that starting next year, any new computer bought from a retailer must come with Windows Vista. Dell has indicated that it continue offering Windows XP on select system until later this summer. This is an interesting move by Microsoft, in that it will force Vista on the consumer market whether it is ready for it or not. On one ......

Posted On Monday, April 16, 2007 11:19 PM

Snap Preview Anywhere is now Snap Shots
The folks at Snap have done it again. Snap Shots works exactly like Snap Preview Anywhere, but is a lot better. They have taken all of the feedback received about SPA and created Snap Shots. The really cool thing about Snap Shots is that it is a lot more contextual than SPA, and delivers instant, relevant and highly concentrated content based on the URL associated with the Snap Shot. WikiShot™ StockShot™ Approved URL: www.wikipedia.com/ENTRY Approved URLs: finance.yahoo.com/q?s=TICKE... ......

Posted On Monday, April 16, 2007 11:10 PM

Microsoft Silverlight
Microsoft officially announced Microsoft Silverlight, a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media rich experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web. In other words, Silverlight is the official release name for WPF/E. For those of you who are wondering where Microsoft came up with the name Silverlight, it is named after David Silverlight. David is the creator of XML Pitstop and Community Credit. He is also a central figure in NonProfitways.com and ......

Posted On Monday, April 16, 2007 10:43 PM

Updated skin...
With the upgrade of GWB to Subtext, I thought about updating my blog to one of the newer skins. There were several in the running, but eventually I decided to keep the original skin. I think this look gives a nice, clean feel and is easy to read. As a concession, I did rearrange the "News" section so the badges were grouped together in a way that makes more sense. As part of this slight cleanup, the Community Credit and Code Project badges now actually link to my profile on both of those sites ......

Posted On Saturday, April 14, 2007 10:40 PM

Windows Live Writer and GeeksWithBlogs
For those of you that use Windows Live Writer to publish posts you will need to reconfigure the blog settings to support Subtext. This is a one-time change and simply involves running the "Edit Weblog Settings" wizard. This wizard will pick up all of the existing settings, so you don't actually need to change anything. One benefit that Subtext provides is that we can now publish images in the post directly...no need to upload them first. If you aren't already running Windows Live Writer, I encourage ......

Posted On Saturday, April 14, 2007 10:00 AM

GeeksWithBlogs is now running Subtext

The guys at GWB did an outstanding job migrating GWB to Subtext. Excellent work, Jeff, John, and Dru! They migrated over 1000 blogs and 3 years worth of content to the new site, so this was not a trivial change. There may be a few wrinkles to iron out, but so far everything is looking good. Hopefully these guys will be able to take the rest of the weekend and relax, I'm sure they've earned it.

Posted On Saturday, April 14, 2007 9:51 AM

Gravatars are back
For those of you who don't know, a gravatar is a globally recognized avatar. This is an image that follows you from blog to blog and appears next to your name when on you comment on gravatar enabled sites. In general, gravatars help identify your posts on blogs in much the same way as a normal avatar does for web forums. The gravatar site had been down for a long time, causing speculation that it was shutting down. Those rumors have turned out to be absolutely untrue, and the Gravatar site is back ......

Posted On Saturday, April 7, 2007 12:16 AM

Real Technology Heroes
In an excellent tribute to the Budweiser "Real Men of Genius" commercials comes Real Technology Heroes. Just like the original Bud commercials, this site salutes those geeks that don't get recognized...but should. That's right, we salute you, Mr. "select * from table examples" guy and you Mr. "I can write my own version of .NET faster than Microsoft" guy, and all of the others that deserve recognition. Stand up and be recognized! Submit your own Real Technology Hero and be eligible for the monthly ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 4, 2007 10:30 PM

GWB Conversion to Subtext
Jeff just recently posted that the conversion of Geekswithblogs.net from .Text to Subtext is back underway. I am really looking forward to seeing the conversion complete. Subtext has a lot of great features and has a very active development community. I'm sure GWB will be converting to Subtext 1.9 for now, and hopefully will upgrade to 2.0 when it comes out. As part of the conversion, Jeff is looking to not only change the look and feel for the homepage, but also update it to be more Web 2.0-ish ......

Posted On Saturday, March 31, 2007 10:18 AM

Joe Wells leaving Sunbelt
For those of you who have been following my blog, you should remember that I used to work at a local computer security company, Sunbelt Software. Just over a year ago, Joe joined Sunbelt a their Chief Scientist for Security Research. (Disregard the date on the press release, the year is incorrect and should be 2006.) If you are wondering why Joe was important to Sunbelt, he was one of the developers behind the VIPRE scan engine that is employed in the V2 release of CounterSpy. Joe did bring a great ......

Posted On Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:35 PM

Xbox 360 Elite
Microsoft just announced the Xbox 360 Elite gaming console. The Elite version has a price tag of $479.99 and includes the following: Xbox 360 Elite console Premium black finish 3 core processors 1080p support, 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio anti-aliasing full surround sound HDMI output DVD playback with upscaling capabilities Xbox 360 120GB hard drive Xbox 360 Wireless Controller (black) Xbox 360 headset for Xbox LIVE (black) The Elite package is rumored to be available at the end of April. This version ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 6:34 PM

Why QA is important
For those of you who question why QA is important, here is proof. The city where I live put up a new street sign last night at an intersection in downtown. The street is named Kennedy Blvd. In a mistake being called "human error" by the city's public works directory, the sign that was put up misspelled President Kennedy's name. The mistake is especially unfortunate because it is at such a high-profile intersection. The city will put up a corrected sign tonight ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 28, 2007 5:02 PM

In Memoriam - John Backus
The computer world lost a huge figure in the history of programming languages today. John Backus, the primary developer responsible for Fortran, died at his home in Oregon today. He was 82. The cause of death is believed to be old age. Fortran is regarded as the first widely used programming language, and helped open the door to modern computing. Released in 1957, Fortran was considered to be turning point in computer software, much like the microprocessor was in hardware. After Fortran, Mr. Backus ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 20, 2007 11:16 PM

2nd Annual Orlando .NET CodeCamp
The Orlando CodeCamp is basically a free one day conference for and by the community. Last year we had 7 tracks with over 45 speakers and 300 attendees present. This event is the MUST attend event of the year if you are a .NET developer or architect in Central Florida. If you would like to speak or make a donation please let me know (shawn@shawnweisfeld.com). All event information can be found on the CodeCamp Website: http://www.orlandocodecamp.com I've always wanted to go to one of the CodeCamps ......

Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2007 2:11 PM

Just Pencils! a subscript...
After hunting around on Google for a few minutes, I was not able to find the person who may have originally taken these photos...but I was able to find the original sculptor. All of these pencil sculptures are the creation of Jennifer Maestre an incredibly talented woman. The pencil sculptures are made up of hundreds of pencils cut into 1 inch sections and sewn together. The original gallery of pencil sculptures is available as well as some additional ones. (Disregard the JavaScript error that displays...I've ......

Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2007 11:05 AM

Cisco buys WebEx
According to eWeek, Cisco Systems just announced that it is buying WebEx Communications for $2.9B. The total deal is worth $3.2B including WebEx's existing cash reserves, and will be Cisco's biggest acquisition since it bought Scientific-Atlanta last year for $7B. The deal is a natural fit for Cisco as it expands it's unified communications and telepresence offerings and is expected to close sometime in late July, at the end of Cisco's fiscal fourth quarter ......

Posted On Saturday, March 17, 2007 9:56 AM

StupidCubicle.com

This is a great site for some fun geeky novelty items covering some great categories, including GeekWear and Cubicle Warfare. Check it out and pick up your favorite geek gadget.

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:28 PM

Windows Server 2003 SP2
This service pack was just released amid a deafening roar of silence. Honestly, the service pack was released on schedule, but with very little fanfare. The service pack is available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The service pack adds the improved Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 3.0 as well as many other fixes. The full list is available on the Microsoft Help and Support Knowledge Base. Microsoft TechNet has a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Install SP2: Security Updates/Hotfixes Deploy your ......

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 11:19 PM

Just Pencils!
I was recently sent an email that has some of the most amazing pictures. I have uploaded them to the Just Pencils gallery. The thumbnail images in the gallery really don't do these justice, so be sure to view the full size image. Keep in mind, all of these creations are done using just the tips or ends of colored drawing pencils. And I always thought they were just for writing. If anyone knows how the artist is, please let me know so I can give him or her credit for these amazing creations. [See ......

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:45 PM

SQL Anywhere 10 Developer Edition
One of the online developer newsletters I receive is "Application Development Trends". In the most recent newsletter, they have an offer for a free download of SQL Anywhere 10 Developer Edition. I don't personally use SQL Anywhere, since I work in an all-Microsoft shop and have a couple of SQL Server 2005 Standard Edition licenses for my other work, but this sounds like a good deal. Here is the excerpt from the newsletter: SQL Anywhere provides data management and data exchange technologies that ......

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:34 PM

FoxPro Retiring
It seems this is the year for Microsoft to announce product retirements. First GotDotNet, then Visual J#, and now eWeek just announced that FoxPro is being retired as well. According to Microsoft, they will not be releasing any new versions of Visual FoxPro past version 9.0, but they will continue to support it through 2015. The FoxPro development team, which is actually part of the Microsoft Visual Studio team, will be spread out across different groups in the Microsoft Developer Division, including ......

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:27 PM

Commodore is back!
I don't know about you, but my first home computer was a Commodore VIC-20 longer ago than I care to admit. From there, it was a Commodore C64, then a C128. After that, we got our first IBM PC compatible, a Goldstar made PC clone. I never really got in to the Commodore Amiga, although the graphics and operating system where definitely ahead of it's time. The Commodore line sort of died out in 1996 with the Amiga, and hasn't been heard in the mass-consumer market since then. That's all about to change! ......

Posted On Thursday, March 15, 2007 10:11 PM

Folder Size for Windows Explorer
If you have ever wanted to know how big a folder was, you had two options: Open a dos prompt and get a directory listing Open the properties for the folder Wouldn't it be great if the folder size could be displayed right in Windows Explorer, just like it does for file size? Well, thanks to this post on Noah's blog, it is now possible! This is an open source project available on SourceForge at: http://foldersize.sourcefor... Of course, this information is only available in Details view, but if ......

Posted On Sunday, March 4, 2007 11:49 AM

February was busy!
All I can say is, "Wow!" I just looked at my blog and realized that I posted 34 posts for last month. I'm sure some of you may not think this is a large amount, but for me it represented the single busiest month of blogging since I started almost a year ago. I don't know how busy I'll be blogging this month, but I know I will be busy. Here is my current list of projects (outside of real work, that is): Update my File Downloader component with asynchronous download support. Update my Framework Version ......

Posted On Thursday, March 1, 2007 10:21 PM

Programming WCF Services
A new book on WCF was just published by Juval Lowy at IDesign. For those of you that don't know, Juval is Microsoft's Regional Director for the Silicon Valley area and has helped in the internal strategic design reviews for the .NET Framework. He has presented sessions at the last two Tech·Ed conferences on WCF and helped shape the technical strategy and direction for WCF with Microsoft. I haven't picked up my copy yet, but will be getting one soon. The book focuses on the "why" behind particular ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 27, 2007 10:54 PM

Extreme Makeover: SPA Edition
I received an email today from Snap letting me know about a contest they are running to help improve Snap Preview Anywhere (SPA). They have already started making improvements and are looking for ideas on how to make things even better. Since there are over 650,000 websites and blogs that use SPA, it shouldn't be hard to get a lot of good ideas. The hard part will be sifting through them to find the ones that can actually be done. So far, there are 57 entries. The top 3 ideas submitted will win $2500, ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 27, 2007 10:23 PM

XFN Link Editor plugin now available

I just received the confirmation email from Windows Live Gallery letting me know that my XFN Link Editor plugin is available for download. You can download it by going to http://gallery.live.com/LiveItemDetail.aspx?li=217b89d0-30cb-4370-958e-f22307173ae0.

Posted On Wednesday, February 21, 2007 6:37 PM

Reflector 5.0
Reflector 5.0 was just released today. If you haven't already downloaded, do it now. It has a ton of new features, and makes version 4 pale in comparison. In fact, there are so many new features that Lutz has put together a PowerPoint slideshow that gives an overview of what's new. One of the coolest new features is a custom protocol handler that will really show the versatility of Reflector. If you already have Reflector 5 installed, you can navigate directly to a code item through a code:// URL. ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 20, 2007 11:43 PM

Strange Metaweblog bug
As I mentioned in my previous post, there is an apparent bug in the Metaweblog API that prevents me from specifying the full path to the FxCopCmd executable. I'm not entirely sure what is actually happening, but I do know that it doesn't allow the post to be submitted through either Windows Live Writer or through the blog Admin UI. The strangest part of this is that it appears to only care about this particular executable. I've tried several others, both command line and GUI applications and they ......

Posted On Sunday, February 18, 2007 4:36 PM

Snap Previews
I have added Snap Previews for all of the external links on the site. The preview will only trigger when the mouse hovers over the preview icon, so hopefully it won't be too intrusive. There is also an "opt in" badge located in the "News" column that lets you turn previews on. Once they are turned on, you can turn them off again through the options link available from any preview. It does look like there are a few issues with the previews where some sites are not being displayed. I'm not sure if ......

Posted On Sunday, February 11, 2007 11:49 PM

SlickEdit Gadgets
Since I've been looking into writing a custom Visual Studio package, I came across a nice set of free "gadgets" from SlickEdit. These can only be described as a set of very cool power toys for Visual Studio. These gadgets will only work with Visual Studio 2005, but should work with any of the Visual Studio 2005 editions except the Express Editions. I think these gadgets are aimed at creating more business for the Tools v1.1 for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 product, which also has some very nice features ......

Posted On Sunday, February 18, 2007 6:04 PM

MsBuild == Sybil?

As I was writing my previous post, I found an odd spelling correction suggested by the Windows Live Writer spell checker. It would appear that the suggested spelling for MSBuild is Sybil. That might just explain things.

Posted On Sunday, February 18, 2007 4:40 PM

Netgear Rangemax Wireless Router
The other night I needed to purchase a new wireless router for my home network. I have had a Netgear MR814 wireless router for about 5 years now and have never had any problems with it. I needed a new one since I was sending this one out to my ex. Since I have had such good luck with this router, I knew that I was going to purchase another Netgear router. I wasn't prepared, however, for the number of different choices. (When I bought mine, that was pretty much the only choice if you wanted to spend ......

Posted On Friday, February 16, 2007 9:54 PM

Windows Mobile 6
Microsoft just announced Windows Mobile 6 (press release) at the 3GSM World Conference in Barcelona, Spain. The first WM6 powered devices will start hitting the streets by the second quarter of this year, and many companies are planning upgrade options for existing WM5 devices. There are a lot of changes in this release, but Microsoft has really focused on improving usability and adding support for more Microsoft Office features. The user interface has received a much needed face-lift, giving it ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 11:13 PM

Autopinger
While searching for some blog search engines and aggregators to add to my list of ping servers in Windows Live Writer, I came across autopinger. AutoPinger is a FREE and convenient service for all bloggers and podcasters. It is an easy set-and-forget service that lets concentrate more on developing your favourite blogs and podcasts...Autopinger will check your blogs and podcast feeds every 30 mins. This is a pretty neat idea, and they do provide an XML-RPC interface in addition to allowing you to ......

Posted On Saturday, February 10, 2007 4:58 AM

Now Playing 2.0 Plugin for Windows Live Writer
Just last night I received a private email asking for the install of my XFN™ Live Writer Plugin from Alexander Groß in Germany. After exchanging some emails to get him the installer, I was able to look at the Live Writer plugin he created for Windows Live Writer. I am probably in the minority here, since I don't usually listen to music on my computer while I'm doing anything, but for those of you who do, this is a great plugin. This is version 2.0, and has been completely rewritten from his earlier ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 9:48 PM

Windows Mobile and U.S. Daylight Saving Time changes
Hopefully everyone that lives in the United States (or deals with United States based companies) has heard that the U.S. Congress has changed the dates for Daylight Saving Time (DST) starting this year. The changes are the result of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and modifies the Uniform Time Act of 1966 by changing the start and end dates of daylight saving time. These changes mean that any electronic devices that were pre-programmed for adjusting to daylight saving time will be obsolete and incorrect. ......

Posted On Thursday, February 15, 2007 9:18 PM

XFN™ Live Writer Plugin Updates
I know it's only been a couple of days, but there were a few things that were bothering me about my XFN™ plugin for Live Writer. The biggest issue (and really the one that everything else centered around) was that once a link was inserted, you couldn't edit it again without recreating it. I doubt anyone would have really felt this was a problem, but it was annoying enough to me that I decided to do something about it. The changes centered around making the plugin a SmartContentSource rather than ......

Posted On Saturday, February 10, 2007 4:25 AM

XFN™ (XHTML Friends Network)
I was recently introduced to the concept of XFN through a blog post I was reading from Phil Haack regarding his meeting with Rob Conery, one of the Subsonic developers. After reading about XFN, I think it is an extremely interest concept on the entire social networking phenomenon. Taken from the XFN website: XFN puts a human face on linking. As more people have come online and begun to form social networks, services such as Technorati and Feedster have arisen in an attempt to show how the various ......

Posted On Thursday, February 8, 2007 11:01 PM

ClustrMaps
ClustrMaps is the only hit counter that (i) accurately shows you the locations of all visitors to your site on a thumbnail map embedded in your page, (ii) uses dot-clusters that scale up to huge numbers, and (iii) lets you store old maps in an archive. Well, I finally took the plunge and added a ClutrMaps counter to my blog. Since I started this blog almost 9 months ago, I have seen referrals from all of the world (most through Google and other search engines). It has been cool knowing that my little ......

Posted On Saturday, February 3, 2007 8:32 PM

StormScape
“This isn’t a fantasy world. It’s a world like Earth. Power here is based on ignorance. On superstition. On deception. Not on magic. Not on anything mystical or paranormal. This ‘power’ wielded by the Hood is rooted, deeply rooted, in pure, blind fear.” StormScape is a new Science Fiction/Fantasy book published by Joe Wells, who happens to be a friend of mine. The book was just published on Lulu late last month. If you like sci-fi books, this one is well worth it. I'm looking forward to the release ......

Posted On Saturday, February 3, 2007 8:17 PM

Changing of the Guard
After 2½ years at Sunbelt Software I am changing companies and roles by moving to BST Global. It sounds like an excellent opportunity for me and I am looking forward to starting the new year with a new company. I won't go in to the details that led me to the decision to leave Sunbelt, but there are several rather significant events that have happened in the last several months (and especially over the last week) that led me to make the decision. Moving to BST will allow me the opportunity to work ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 20, 2006 6:54 PM

Zune Desktop Theme
Even if you aren't a Zune fanatic, Microsoft has released a new desktop theme based on the Zune interface. The new interface is very similar to the one offered by Windows Media Player 11. The theme is very clean and easy on the eyes. It installs as a desktop theme in the Display Properties control panel, so there is no extra software required in order to use it ......

Posted On Wednesday, December 13, 2006 11:07 AM

More Trouble with Programming
The Technology Review interview with Bjarne Stroustrup last month apparently caused a great deal of trouble for the Technology Review...something I have a feeling they weren't counting on. In an effort to address the comments left by readers and on Slashdot, they followed up the interview. I'm not sure they did themselves a favor. The controversy from the first interview mostly focused on the second half where the interviewer essentially tried to get Bjarne to admit he made a mistake by creating ......

Posted On Saturday, December 9, 2006 8:36 PM

Developer Tools
As a developer I use a lot of additional tools to get my work done in the most efficient and accurate way possible. That involves a lot of things, such as unit testing, code analysis and additional productivity inside the Visual Studio 2005 IDE. I have seen a lot of blog posts extolling the virtues of one tool or another, but there were not many (at least that I could find) that provided a semi-comprehensive list. (I say "semi-comprehensive" because there is always going to be a new tool available ......

Posted On Sunday, December 3, 2006 9:48 AM

The Problem with Programming
Yesterday, the Technology Review published an interview with Bjarne Stroustrup. It is an interesting interview, but I think it leaves out some important aspects of the real problems. I think the real problem is that "we" (that is, we software developers) are in a permanent state of emergency, grasping at straws to get our work done. We perform many minor miracles through trial and error, excessive use of brute force, and lots and lots of testing, but--so often--it's not enough. While this is certainly ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 29, 2006 1:37 PM

Can a Manager Be a Techie and Survive?
Computerworld recently ran an article titled "Can a Manager Be a Techie and Survive?" In it, the author presents the view that it is the only way. I agree with her up to a point. In both my opinion and the author's opinion, those who manage techies must have a blend or managerial skills, business smarts, top-notch technical skills and integrity in order to be effective. In almost all cases, I think this blend is 100% crucial, but it is also important to get this blend in the right proportions. Having ......

Posted On Monday, November 27, 2006 12:29 PM

Hanging out a shingle...
I've finally had time and incentive to put out a real shingle on the web. Most of this is due to Microsoft's new Office Live beta, which provides free domain name registration and hosting (on Microsoft's servers) for as long as I have my account. Office Live Basics is a little limited right now (and probably will continue to stay that way), but it will always be free. Check out the site at: www.campari-software.com ......

Posted On Friday, October 13, 2006 5:17 PM

Some strange job offers
In the past week, I've received three very unusual unsolicited job offers from Monster. Now, I realize that a lot of companies advertise on Monster and even more of them troll the resumes that are there looking for candidates. Mostly, these are head-hunter types that send job offers in bulk. These offers, however, caught my attention because they have absolutely nothing to do my skills or work experience. I've snipped the incriminating portions to protect the guilty. The first one came from one of ......

Posted On Saturday, September 2, 2006 1:20 PM

The Programmer's Bill of Rights
I came across a reference to this on Code Project tonight while I was responding to some of the comments on my articles. I don't know about the rest of you, but I like this idea. Maybe if we all go on strike until our companies adopt it? Hmm...then again maybe we should just send it to our IT departments and dev managers and let them fight it out. There are a lot of comments posted, but if you read through them you will find some real shockers. Those definitely couldn't have been posted by developers...or ......

Posted On Monday, August 28, 2006 10:04 PM

Microsoft gets Symantec Exec
I just saw in the latest issue of eWeek that Microsoft has hired veteran virus researcher Vincent Gullotto to head the Security Research and Response Team (SRRT). Gullotto is a crack anti-virus researcher who has worked with McAfee and Symantec. He will become the general manager for the SRRT team, which handle all aspects of malware research and response. It will be interesting to see how the other anti-malware players in the market respond to the news and even more interesting to see what Gullotto ......

Posted On Sunday, August 27, 2006 4:43 AM

Keeping the people stupid
My wife was watching Real Time with Bill Maher tonight on HBO, when she heard the following statement: I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but I swear to God, I think it's in the interest of corporations to keep the people stupid, and the best way to keep the people stupid is by having the people who inform them be even stupider. That is perhaps one of the best quotes I've heard in a long time. For me, it ties with something I heard Dennis Miller say when I saw him live for one of my college homecoming ......

Posted On Friday, August 25, 2006 9:11 PM

The reorg shuffle
Today finished my first day after the reorganization shuffle last night at work. We lost two people, one developer and one manager and two other managers (including myself) were moved around and are no longer managers. All of the political reasons and posturing aside, it has made me realize one thing: I don't have the right outlook to be a manager here. To me, a development manager is the first and last line of defense and sanity for his development team. It is his job to shield the development team ......

Posted On Friday, August 25, 2006 8:58 PM

Internet Explorer 7 Release Candidate 1
IE7 RC1 is here! I've been running IE7 since the first public beta and have really liked it. If you haven't already installed it, I highly recommend it. The RC1 build includes improvements in performance, stability, security and comparability. There have also been changes to the fit and finish of the user interface and an auto-uninstall feature in Setup, which will automatically uninstall earlier betas of IE7. The automatic uninstall feature is very nice since it helps to streamline the install process. ......

Posted On Thursday, August 24, 2006 1:23 PM

Windows Live Writer
Courtesy of the latest issue of WXPNews, I came across a very cool new blogging tool, named Windows Live Writer. This is a desktop application that makes it very easy to write new blog posts by providing a WYSIWYG ("What You See Is What You Get") editor that reminds me of a slimmed down version of Microsoft Word. Windows Live Writer has some pretty cool features, like the ability to automatically spell check your blog posts before posting them and automatically saving a draft every x minutes. While ......

Posted On Thursday, August 24, 2006 10:44 AM

Microsoft Buys Tools Vendor Winternals

Microsoft snaps up a highly-rated security and data recovery tools vendor, and adds a Windows kernel guru—who exposed Sony's rootkit debacle—to its roster of technical fellows.

Posted On Tuesday, July 18, 2006 10:27 AM

Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger? Why not both?
I have been an IM user since around 1999, when Yahoo! Messenger first came out. Since then, I've added AIM and Windows Live Messenger. As instant messegng became an integrated part of my personal and professional life, the one thing that has always bothered me was that I needed 3 IM clients, one for each service. There are several third-party IM clients, such as Jabber and Trillian, that federate the main IM services. The problem I have with these clients is that I need to sign up with them, which ......

Posted On Saturday, July 15, 2006 6:56 AM

On This Day...
Check out my article on adding an “On this day” section to your blog.

Posted On Thursday, July 13, 2006 8:38 AM

Tech·Ed 2006 Webcast series

For those of you who didn't get to go to Tech·Ed this year, Microsoft has made some of the webcasts and breakout sessions available free. It isn't everything that was presented at the conference, but it's what Microsoft considers the best (or most popular) topics. Unfortunately, for those of who did attend, the presentations from all of the breakouts aren't available yet on CommNet...still 3 weeks away.

Link here.

Posted On Wednesday, June 28, 2006 5:05 PM

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