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Finds of the Week – January 20, 2008

.NET, C#, Programming

Software and Tools

  • Jeff Atwood shared the Top Five Browser Shortcuts Everyone Should Know. I didn’t know about the middle mouse button browser shortcut. Very useful.
  • Reading Nazmul Idris’ post on Microsoft OneNote 2007 prompted me to try it myself…. and I loved it. It’s a great application to keep track of notes, journal entries, work logs, etc. It’s going to be an essential app for me from now on.

    OneNote 

    I especially like offline mode support for USB flash drives. You can keep your Notebooks on a flash memory card. OneNote automatically synchronizes its local cache with the flash card when the card is inserted. When not inserted, you can still work on the local cached copy.

    What I don’t like: no VBA macro support. One of the first thing I tried was pressing ALT+F11 to bring up the VBA IDE… nothing happened. A quick search in Online Help confirmed my sinking feeling: no VBA support. Supposedly, you can write add-ins.

Windows Mobile/Pocket PC

Gadgets

Something different

  • Watch dolphins blowing circles made of air bubbles.

Finds of the Week – December 13, 2008

.NET, C#, Programming

Software & Tools

  • Cpu-z is a cool little freeware application that provides information about your CPU. Here we are looking my brand new quad-core CPU.

    Cpu-z

  • Service Pack 1 Release Candidate for Windows Vista is available for public download. Maybe I’ll install it.
  • If you need a folder/file comparison/diff tool, try the SourceGear’s DiffMerge, now free. Via WebLog of Ken Cox.
  • Windows Vista has a very useful but hidden Copy as Path feature (Via Luke Foust). In Windows XP, the Send To X Powertoy used to provide this feature.

    Windows Vista Copy as Path

And Now, Something Different

  • I enjoy doing graphics design now and then. Here’s a cover I did this past weekend for the Richmond Vietnamese Association’s annual Tet (lunar new year) magazine issue (click image for full-size):

    image description

How to Open Containing Explorer Folder in Visual Studio

I think this is useful and not well known enough to warrant its own blog post.

Did you know that there is a Visual Studio command called File.OpenContainingFolder? Asmita A Wankhede wrote about it, but he left a few important details out.

By default, this command does not have a shortcut, so you would have to assign one to it (try CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+O). Also, the "item" that this command works on is the currently opened item in the editor, not the selected item in the Solution Explorer. See my Visual Studio tips article for instructions on how to create new shortcuts (section 3 – Make New Shortcuts).

File.OpenContainingFolder

This works with both Visual Studio 2005 and 2008.

kick it on DotNetKicks.com

Finds of the Week – January 6, 2008

It’s 2008. Happy New Year!

Tips and Tricks

  • I can’t believe I didn’t know about this Visual Studio command before: File.OpenContainingFolder. Asmita A Wankhede mentioned it, but he left a few important details out. By default, this command does not have a shortcut, so you would have to assign one to it (try CTRL+SHIFT+ALT+O). Also, the "item" that this command works on is the currently opened item in the editor, not the selected item in the Solution Explorer. See my Visual Studio tips article for instructions on how to create new shortcuts (section 3 – Make New Shortcuts).
    File.OpenContainingFolder shortcut 
  • Aaron Lerch shared a tip on how to use Powershell to perform search-and-replace on an entire folder hierarchy.

.NET, C#, Programming

Software And Tools

  • Did you know that something called Robocopy (short for Robust File Copy, not Robot Copy), is the new XCOPY? It’s a standard tool in Windows Vista and is also available as part of the Windows Resource Kit. Via Don Box’s Spoutlet on Pluralsight.

    robocopy

  • I recently tried and liked GhostDoc very much. It’s a free Visual Studio add-in to help write XML documentation comments. Roland Weigelt wrote a nice intro article on GhostDoc on DotnetSlackers here.
  • SyncBackSE is a great folder synchronization utility. It has tons of features… maybe even a little bit on the bloated side. It costs $30 for a single license. If you just want something simple, Microsoft’s free SyncToy may do the trick for you.

    SyncBackSE 

Gadgets

  • From CES, it looks like Blu-ray will be the winner of the HD format war. No, the war is not completely over, but this was the landing at Normandy… so to speak. The loss is just too great for the HD-DVD camp to recover.

And Now, Something Different

Finds of the Week – December 30, 2007

I have been a little bit busy this past week enjoying the holidays and playing some of my old favorite games like Rome Total War and The Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

No big news in .NET world this week. We are still waiting for the .NET framework source code to be released.

Here is a screenshot from the game Rome Total War:

Rome Total War

And this is from Oblivion:

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Happy New Year!

Finds of the Week – December 23, 2008

.NET, C#, Programming

Software and Tools

  • DAEMON Tools is one of the best CD/DVD emulator. Use it to mount those CD/DVD images you download from MSDN. Cost: $0.

And Now, Something Different

Researchers found that young chimpanzees have an extraordinary ability to remember numerals that is superior to that of human adults. Skeptical? Just take a look at the video.

Finds of the Week – December 15, 2007

Here are this week’s finds:

.NET, C#, Programming

Software and Tools

And Now, Something Different

Here’s a Christmas tree made out of Heineken beer bottles. I took this picture last December at the Imperial Hotel in Hue, Vietnam, while vacationing there. Click on the picture for a larger version.

hue-imperial-heineken-christmas-tree

Finds of the Week – December 8, 2007

It’s been a busy week. Here are my finds for this week:

.NET, Programming

  • PackageThis is a new CodePlex tool from the MSDN team that allows you to package your own MSDN Library content. Useful to get the latest MSDN content to use locally (fast).
  • Joe Shirey, a board member of the Microsoft Certified Architects program, has written a nice series about the Microsoft Certified Architects program.
  • Alik Levin advised that we should avoid populating passwords in memory, because it’s relatively easy to reveal. A walkthrough of how to use WinDbg to obtain passwords in memory is provided.
  • The Programmer Dress Code by Justin Etheredge is a fun read on what about programming that makes programmers generally dress like a slob. Pictures of famous programmers included.
  • GavinBenda (gavinbenda.com.au) posted a comprehensive guide to web charts and graphs.
  • Unit testing; how far do you push the envelope? (odecee blogs) is a interesting read on the issue of how much unit test code is enough.
  • SQL Server 2008 will have IntelliSense, by Ciz. I have not worked with SQL Server in a while but when I get back to it, this should help make it more fun.
  • Dan Wahlin wrote about the new C# 3.0 feature Automatic Properties. Dan also wrote a nice article on Visual Studio magazine on how to create rich web apps with AJAX.
  • Jeff Putz gave his impressions on Visual Studio 2008 after a couple of weeks of use.
  • One of the most annoying application behavior is stealing current focus. Jeff Atwood (Coding Horror) wrote on why stealing focus is never acceptable.
  • What’s Ailing ASP.NET Web Forms, by Rick Strahl, is a good article about some of the major problems/issues with ASP.NET web forms. Good read.

Software and Tools

  • XPathMania, by Don Demsak is a nice Visual Studio add-in to check XPath statements against the current XML document. Matches are listed in the XPathMania tool window as well as highlighted in the actual XML document. Double click on a match to move to it.

    xpathmania1

  • Picasa (from Google) is my current photo album/manager tool. It’s fast and fun to use. With Picasa Web Albums, it’s a very nice combination.

    google-picasa-1

And Now, Something Different

  • For Richmonders, if you feel like driving around one night in December to look at all the nice Christmas lighting sites in town, check out InRich.com’s Richmond’s Tacky Christmas Lights map. I have done a company sponsored Richmond Christmas lights bus tour in the past and I found it to be entertaining. With the InRich.com map, you can do your own personal tour.

    richmond-tacky-christmas-lights

  • Here’s my apprentice programmer Dat Do at 14 months old. I try to teach him C# but his code doesn’t quite compile yet. Maybe I should start him on QBASIC instead?

    dat-do-14-months

Light-weight System.Transactions in ODP.NET

Starting in ODP.NET version 10.2.0.3.3, support for light-weight transactions has been added. Here’s an excerpt from readme.txt:

This feature enables applications to use local transactions with System.Transactions where previous versions of ODP.NET supported only distributed transactions with System.Transactions. If the PromotableTransaction registry does not exist, the default value of “promotable” is used. If “promotable” is specified, first and subsequent connections opened in the same TransactionScope will enlist in the same distributed transaction. If “local” is specified, the first connection opened in the TransactionScope will use a local transaction. If any subsequent connections are opened within the same TransactionScope, an exception will be thrown. If there are connections opened already in the TransactionScope and an OracleConnection with “Promotable Transaction=local” is attempted to be opened within the same TransactionScope, an exception will also be thrown.

This is great for those of us who use ODP.NET with System.Transactions, especially if you use global temporary tables. I found out the hard way that global temporary tables are not supported with distributed transactions.

Version 10.2.0.3.3 is not yet available for download via Oracle.com. You have to request it through Metalink. Search for patch number 5916667. I have not tested this patch yet but I will soon.

Finds of the Week – Nov 28, 2007

I took a break from blogging last week for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Here are the Finds for this week.

.NET

  • Just in case you have not heard, Visual Studio 2008 has been released (ScottGu). I installed the released version earlier this week and everything looks good so far. The first thing I noticed was the very quick load time compared to 2005.
  • Silverlight 1.1 is now 2.0. By Tim Sneath.
  • Dan Fernandez listed the top 15 things to love about Visual Studio 2008 Express.
  • Service Pack 1 for .NET Framework 2.0 is available. By Guy Barrette.
  • Aaronontheweb shared 5 Hot ASP.NET Tips and Tricks for the week of 11/20/2007. By Aaronontheweb.
  • bloggingdeveloper wrote a nice article on how to compress ViewState.

Software and Tools

  • Odiogo can make your blog talk. By Mads Kristensen.
  • I have been a long-time user of MSN Money Porfolio and stock charts but lately I really liked the stuff Yahoo! has been adding to their Finance section. Their new Flash-based stock chart is the best in its class. My favorite feature is the ability to drag left/right to go back/forward in time. Also their quotes are now streaming (AJAX)… meaning anywhere you see a price quote, it will be automatically refreshed. Real time quotes are available for as an optional service as well.

    Yahoo! Finance Stock Chart

  • To track disk space usage, my tool of choice is Windirstats. Windirstats is Open Source.

    Windirstats

Tech, Windows Mobile, Gadgets

  • Google has just released the beta version of My Location, a service that allows GPS like functionality with Google Maps on your mobile device without a GPS. It doesn’t work for me on my Samsung i760 though. I always get this error message: “Your current location is temporarily unavailable”.

    Google Maps My Location

    Looks like many others are getting the same error as well.

And Now, Something Different

Be careful where you put your cellphone.

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