Finds of the Week is on break for the Lunar New Year/Tet holiday. The series will resume next week.
My Verizon FIOS router (ActionTech MI424WR) died the other day. So I tried to contact Verizon Online tech support to get a replacement. Well, they certainly don’t make it easy.
On the support web site page, there are two methods to obtain support: Email and Phone. Upon further examination, Email support is there mostly for show, because it’s nothing more than an automated system, very good at sending out useless canned responses such as this:
Note the disclaimer at the top stating that the replies are automated. Why??? I am already on the web site, why not just display the help result right there? What are they thinking?
All is not lost, because there’s still the Phone option right? Well this is what I got after clicking on it:
I tried again on another computer running Windows 2003 and it looked like it was trying harder this time, but it didn’t quite make it, because it kept on checking forever to see if "Quick Support" is installed:
By the way, if you are looking for the direct number for Verizon FIOS tech support, it is 888-553-1555. I called and was provided the answer I was looking for in about 10 minutes.
- MSMQ and WCF – hands-on lab now available at MSDN Code Gallery. Via John Breakwell.
- Scott Densmore shared more good stuff on the upcoming Enterprise Library 4.
- Microsoft rolled out a new code sharing site: MSDN Code Gallery. Code Gallery is kind of like CodePlex, but for the everyday developer. Via Jim Glass.
- A new version of the Source Code Outliner Power Toy is available. Via Quan To.
- Get Your Database Under Version Control. Jeff Atwood. My guess is that 75% or more of databases out there are not under version control.
- Jeff Moser wrote a detailed analysis of the various looping constructs in .NET: For Loops: Using i++, ++i, Enumerators, or None of the Above? I totally forgot about ++i.
- A timely article for my current project: Unit Testing WCF Services. By Mark Seemann.
- James Newtonking explained why he changed his mind about extension methods.
- Buddy Lindsey, Jr’s TDD for Beginners Series is a good introduction to Test Driven Development.
- Vadym Stetsiak explained why string.ToLower() is Evil. Use string.Compare instead.
- 10 ASP.NET Performance and Scalability Secrets is an excellent article from Omar AlZabir. Many of the tips are for larger/high-trafficked sites but good to know nonetheless.
- If you are into design patterns, Jason McDonald put together a very nice quick reference poster/PDF on the most common patterns.
- Visual Studio Magazine had a very good article on WCF best practices (Connect Apps with WCF) by Brian Noyes.
- Fiddler is a VERY useful HTTP debugger.
- Use BitTorrent to send files. That and more at Top 10 BitTorrent Tools and Tricks – Lifehacker.
- You can SHIFT+CLICK to multi-select in Gmail. Via Roy Osherove.
Windows Mobile – Pocket PC
- Looks like Google has fixed the problems that were plaguing Gmail IMAP on Windows Mobile devices. Read the blog entry from the official Gmail Blog here. And here’s a related article from PC World: Google fixes Gmail IMAP problem on Windows Mobile.
- Viigo is a free RSS reader for Windows Mobile. I have not really used it that much but it seems to work ok.
- Skyfire is another promising Windows Mobile browser currently in private beta. Via Engadget.
- If you have a Samsung Windows Mobile device, try the included PicSel browser. Here’s a review of Picsel browser, with a lot of useful how-to information included. By Tam Hanna.
And Now, For Something A Little Different
.NET Programming, C#
- HTTP Programming with WCF and the .NET Framework 3.5 is a good article covering HTTP endpoints in WCF 3.5. By Justin Smith, MSDN Magazine.
- WCF Load Test is an open source tool that can generate unit tests from WCF trace files.
- Source Code Outliner PowerToy for Visual Studio 2008 is now available. Via James Lau.
- Good tips on interview techniques from Dustin Andrews: Why doesn’t anybody ask me to code a unit test in an interview?
- Throw away that mouse and go mouseless with ASP.NET 2.0. Suprotim Agarwal.
- Quake 3 Arena Ported to .NET Managed C++ VS 2008! Greg Dolley.
- Add support for OpenID to your ASP.NET app. Mads Kristensen posted his OpenID implementation.
- How to Create a Database Object Programmatically in Enterprise Library, Painfully? Yang’s .NET Zone.
- Miked Esjardins shared his experience contributing to an open source project.
- Andy shared first hand tips on being a developer during a recession.
- Firefox is a developer’s best friend. According to Mohsin.
- [Tip] Option Explicit in PowerShell. Sharar Gvirtz.
Software and Tools
- Yahoo Implements OpenID. Michael Arrington, via Techcrunch.
- Microsoft Expression Encoder is my new tool of choice to perform batch compression of digicam movies. Batch processing is handled very nicely, especially on my new Quad Core PC. I used to use MeGUI/x264 before, but it was just taking too much time to work through the various bugs and issues.
- If you use OneNote, check out the OneNote 2007 PowerToys. John Guin.
- Speakeasy’s Speed Test is my favorite bandwidth tester:
Windows Mobile / Pocket PC
- Scott Hanselman posted a nice list of mobile-friendly web sites.
- The FT liveblogs the Societe Generale conference call, via Marc Andreessen.
.NET, C#, Programming
- ScottGui made the long awaited announcement: .NET Framework Library Source now available.
- Roy Osherove raised a attention grabbing question: Dependency Injection – Is it relevant beyond unit testing?
- From the folks who brought you Best C# Blogs, a List of best C# Web Sites. By Tim Martinn/DevTopics.
- Sandcastle January 2008 Release Available. Via John Mandia.
- James Carr’s TDD Anti-Patterns is a fun and enlightening read on of Test Driven Development.
- It’s possible to write your own ASP.NET Web Service help page. Shahed Khan has the details.
- Tobias Hertkorn posted a great tip on how to measure memory consumption of objects in C# right in the code.
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.
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
- The coolest applications on the Windows Mobile platform, by Mike Riley.
- Scott Hanselman did a extensive review of Verizon FIOS TV.
- Watch dolphins blowing circles made of air bubbles.