# Friday, 29 December 2006

"She turned me into a newt... I got better", John Cleese

posted on Friday, 29 December 2006 19:25:51 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 27 December 2006

Somewhere must have gotten pretty cold when a Mac user actually proclaims,

"It doesn’t suck."

And goes on to say,

"Vista has a few features that I wish I could use on my Macs."

Yes people hell may not be the warm place to go to this summer with statements like these flying about :) Head on over to MacUser and read the entire thing. He has some nice things to say about Vista.

Ihnatko: Windows Vista... doesn't suck

posted on Wednesday, 27 December 2006 08:45:00 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Monday, 25 December 2006

I loathe the Xbox style controller for FPS gaming. So such so that I never got around to buying an Xbox. I've tried it a couple of times but each time I sit down with it I can't help but feeling constrained by it. Coming from the PC gaming world with lots of Quake and Doom under my belt I'm used (or rather was used) to the complete freedom offered by the mouse and keyboard combo.

Lately I've been looking at a couple games I'd like to try out only to find that they are available for the Xbox only. Bummer. Looks like I might be getting an Xbox soon though as Team Xtender has created a neat product called the XFPS 360 which allows you to hook up a mouse and keyboard for that nice free form feeling you usually get only from the PC.

Team Xtender's XFPS 360 in action

posted on Monday, 25 December 2006 17:54:49 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

I've switched my feed over to FeedBurner. You shouldn't even notice the difference as DasBlog will redirect you to the new feed automagically from now on. The new feed URL is feeds.feedburner.com/publicvoid. I basically did this to have better stats on how my feed is used. I started this blog with the intent of using it as my extended memory but over the years (yes the blog is coming up on its three year birthday) it's become increasingly clear that I wouldn't get around to actually updating it if people didn't come here to read my stuff. So thank you for keeping me at it :) FeedBurner will allow me to keep track of the stuff you guys like and it'll keep me interested as I can see that the stuff is being read.

DasBlog has great support for FeedBurner you basically create an account with FeedBurner and enter the feedname in DasBlog. From that point in DasBlog will redirect both existing and new subscribers to the FeedBurner feed automatically.

FeedBurner allows for more in-depth stats of subscribers than DasBlog. DasBlog offers hit stats but that's it. With FeedBurner you can get a real count on how many subscribers your blog has (I actually have 62 at this point which was pretty surprising). Also you can make your feed available in lots of different ways: RSS, ATOM, e-mail, simple HTML, and more. You can add Flares which are small links added to each individual post like "E-mail this", "Digg this", and so on. There are a whole bunch of these I have to take a look at. It could spice the feed up quite a bit.

Read more about FeedBurner.

posted on Monday, 25 December 2006 12:04:47 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

It's here. Microsoft Enterprise Library 3.0 is here. As a CTP anyway. Personally I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty with the Validation Block. With this release the team has moved on the Codeplex so you need to go there for your EntLib fix in the future.

Validation Application Block

  • Core validation API
  • Minimal Validator Library
  • Attaching validators to objects via attributes
  • Attaching validators to objects via configuration
  • Not included yet (but in the works): Configuration tool support, complete validator library, integration with ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WCF etc.

Just Released! Enterprise Library 3.0 - December 2006 CTP

posted on Monday, 25 December 2006 11:28:48 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 20 December 2006

I completely missed this yesterday: Visual Studio 2005 SP1 has been released.

Scott Guthrie has more information about it.

This SP release is a pretty major service pack, and incorporates a lot of bug-fixes and feedback from customers.  Included built-in with the service pack is support for VS 2005 Web Application Projects (which we also made available as a separate download back in May).  It also contains a number of design-time performance optimizations and fixes across the product.
[Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Released]

Download Visual Studio 2005 SP1

posted on Wednesday, 20 December 2006 14:25:19 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

SHG.dk has got some quotes on Windows Vista prices and they list the licenses as being available January 15th. They are only OEM prices at this point but who cares. If you can buy you can buy it right?

The SHG homepage is pretty sucky when it comes to linking in but I'm giving it a shot anyways. Check out the Windows Vista prices.

posted on Wednesday, 20 December 2006 08:16:44 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 19 December 2006

I like to have information stored once in a single place, exactly how I like to have a code block which does a single thing exactly once in my solutions. Long ago I chose to go with the favorites feature of Windows and Internet Explorer because I found it to be more readily backupable than Firefox bookmarks. Also synching the stuff across multiple computers requires no special programs as we're basically talking about files in a folder when dealing with the Internet Explorer favorites.

Lately I've taken to using Firefox. Performance, flexibility are the key factors for my decision to do so but I found myself missing my favorites. I don't use Firefox exclusively and I want my favorites both in FF and in IE. What to do?

Luckily a guy named Alex Sirota created a small extension for Firefox called PlainOldFavorites which basically puts a new menu item on the Firefox menu called ... you guess it .... Favorites. Instant access to the favorites folder from Firefox. I've been using this extension since my switch to Firefox but with the release of Firefox 2.0 compatibility was broken and I waited ... and waited ... and waited for an updated version of PlainOldFavorites. But such a thing wasn't forthcoming. I even started looking at the alternatives and believe me there are many alternatives out there for synching IE and FF bookmarks but they all seem to be overkill for my simple purposes.

Well the other day I was listening to the HanselMinutes episode Life Hacks with Gina Trapani where Gina mentions that Firefox extensions are nothing more than an archive in disguise. With this knowledge in mind I went ahead and downloaded the XPI for PlainOldFavorites, opened it up in WinRAR, and extracted the install.rdf file which is the manifest for the XPI package. In there you'll find stuff like which version the extension is compatible with and the version number of the extension itself. I figured that the extension is so simple that I could safely trying mucking around with the compatibility information of the manifest. Lo and behold it actually works. I've updated the extension with support up to and including Firefox version 3 and I've gone head and bumped the version of the extension to 0.5.6.2.

Hopefully Alex Sirota will get around to updating the information himself but until then you can download my updated version from below.

Download PlainOldFavorites vesion 0.5.6.2 with support for Firefox 2.0

posted on Tuesday, 19 December 2006 13:19:18 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Thursday, 14 December 2006

It's actually been out for a couple of days now but I wanted to take the time to try it out in various scenarios before telling you about it. It's no secret that I've been very fond of ReSharper in the past. Of course I cooled down a bit when I tried using it on very large projects and it slowed all the way down to the point where it was just painful to develop with it installed. At that point I decided to give it a rest for a while and it wasn't until recently that I noticed that the EAP program for 2.5 was in progress.

Taking a quick look at the feature list I noticed that performance was one of the main problems being addresses in the release so naturally I was excited and got it installed.

Having used it on both large and small projects I can safely say that the performance improvements are definitely there. So much so that I'm back loving ReSharper.

A couple of pain points still exist for me:

  • Automatic intellisense for enum values when you assign to an enum type.
  • Migration of settings between installs is painful. Between versions even more painful as the command names you bind your hotkeys to actually changed between 2.0 and 2.5.
  • Standard hotkeys in VS you use all the time are actually remapped which leaves you with the option of mapping them back or trying to figure out standard hotkeys in ReSharper which does the same thing (hello there F12 vs. CTRL + B).

To relieve the last pain point I'm actually trying to stick with the default key layout as my two last points are closely related to me having to remap keys every time I install ReSharper. I do the same thing with VS because I don't want the hassle there either.

Also please be aware that JetBrains is raising the price for ReSharper to $249. You can buy ReSharper for the usual $199 until the end of the year. So get those credit cards rolling if you're considering getting a license.

Download ReSharper 2.5 (you'll be glad you did).

posted on Thursday, 14 December 2006 14:59:26 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Tuesday, 12 December 2006

If you hadn't figured it out by the name the Polymorphic podcast is a show about .NET or as its tagline states "The show about object oriented development, architecture, and development in .NET". That was enough to get me hooked and if you're not already listening to the podcast you should. It's not the second coming of .NET Rocks but it sure is close. The format is very similar to .NET Rocks and I enjoy listening to Craig Shoemaker interviewing people on various topics.

I first came across the Polymorphic podcast in the beginning of the year when I was remodeling our new house. Painting all those walls just isn't my idea of a good time but the podcast made light of the work. I think I went through 20 episodes just like that :)

Lately Craig has posted two very intriguing episodes which I urge you to listen to. The first one is with Object Thinking - Interview with Dr. David West. As you might have guessed the topic is OOP but what is interesting here is that the angle is much more theoretical than what you usually come across. Quite refreshing. I fully concur with the statement "Everything is an object"  it's something I try to live by every day.

Second up is Architecting for Extensibility - Interview with Miguel Castro (Parts 1 & 2). Quite refreshing listening to Miguel talking about something other than custom web controls :) I found the pattern Chain of Responsibility / Intercept Filter he mentions towards the end of part 2 (19:44 minutes in)especially interesting as it's a very neat way to go about creating a plugin architecture and it really got me thinking serious about doing something like that for future projects. I really like the idea of being able to retro-fit functionality later in process to allow for quick results for the customer.

posted on Tuesday, 12 December 2006 19:36:20 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Got to love CSS when you're able to take this:

And turn it into this:

Here's the CSS class I used to do it:

.validationSummary
{
width: 720px;
border-width: 1px;
border-style: solid;
border-color: #C3D9FE;
background-color: #EEF5FF;
padding-top: 8px;
padding-left:35px;
padding-bottom: 10px;
font: 11px Verdana;
color: #8598B9;
background-image: url(../Images/Infobox/Info.gif);
background-position: 10px 6px;
background-repeat: no-repeat;
margin: 3px;
overflow:hidden;
}

posted on Tuesday, 12 December 2006 19:20:41 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Thursday, 07 December 2006

Tom Hollander writes about the new validation application block which will be included in Enterprise Library 3. I've been hoping for a feature like this in EL ever since I participated in their survey about which features to include in the next version. Validation is something I've often seen solutions skip and it's something that can really make a difference in the end product for the user.

Here's a snip from his post:

"The Validation Application Block will include a comprehensive library of common validation rules that apply to primitive data types. For example, we'll include rules like string length, numeric range, date range, regular expressions and so on."

Validation Application Block: Revealed!

posted on Thursday, 07 December 2006 14:26:43 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Microsoft has released a little app to demo the new graphical capabilities in Windows Vista. Personally I have a hard time seeing how displaying RSS feeds in 3D can be beneficial to me but I'm always for checking out new apps. This one is definitely unique :)

UniveRSS - a 3D Vista RSS reader

posted on Thursday, 07 December 2006 12:10:58 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback