# Sunday, September 12, 2010

Playing around with Windows Live Sync 2011 beta

I have been an avid user of Mesh and was so pleased with the beta that I was hesitant to switch to Windows Live Sync 2011 beta. But since the Mesh page started saying that the service is to be replaced I figured I ‘d better get my machines switched over.

For those who don’t know: Live Sync allows you to synchronize folders between devices. Aside from syncing between devices you can also sync with Skydrive. I personally use it so I can have all my files at home as well as at the office at the same time.

Below is a picture of me syncing my Dwinal Pond 4 Seasons Club files with Skydrive. (to make sure I always have a backup).

image

Another cool feature which I use a lot is the remote desktop. By having Live Sync installed on my machine at the office I can access that machine using an HTTP remote desktop connection. It’s all via the Live Sync service, so the machine just needs to be turned on and it’s ready to go, no complicated mappings in the firewall at the office. You may want to check with you IT guy to see how he feels about the security risks, but for me this works really well (I do make sure that my Windows Live, Facebook and Google passwords are all different!).

The picture below show just my local machine, because the machine at the office hasn’t been upgraded yet).

image

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# Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Important update for Visual Studio 2010 & Team Foundation Server 2010 (TFS2010) users

Neno Loje blogged about an important update that is available and should be installed by everyone that uses Visual Studio 2010 and Team Foundation Server 2010.

It enables Lab Management, but also installs all hot fixes that have been made available since 2010 became available.

image

Neno’s FAQ says it all:

Frequently asked questions
  • Should I install the update although I do not use Lab Management?
    Yes, it contains all TFS fixes that have been made since TFS 2010.
  • Is this a Service Pack?
    No.
  • If I reinstall or add TFS components later, do I have to reapply this patch?
    Yes.
  • Should I stop TFS service prior to installing?
    No, this is not necessary and will be done automatically by the update.

More on: http://msmvps.com/blogs/vstsblog/archive/2010/08/23/update-for-tfs-2010-rtm-version-including-all-hot-fixes.aspx

Or jump directly to the download: KB 983578

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# Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Maine Developer Network Code Camp #1

A little bit late, but the invitation for the first Maine Code Camp just went out!

When:  August 27th, 28th, 29th, 2010
Where:  Mt. Blue State Park, Weld, Maine (
Link to offical site)
Sign up: http://www.maine-devnet.org/Home/SignUpForEvent.aspx
More info: http://www.maine-devnet.org/Home/Meetings.aspx

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# Thursday, July 15, 2010

What’s new in C# 4.0?

I’ll be speaking at the upcoming Bangor Area .NET Developer (BAND) meeting (July 27th). If you want to know more about C#4.0 then come and join the fun. More info here.

Abstract:
What’s new in C# 4.0?
Mark Blomsma
A quick introduction to the new language features of C#4.0: Late-Binding Support, Named and Optional Parameters and last but not least Covariance and Contravariance.

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# Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Purchasing Visual Studio 2010

Amazon sells various versions of Visual Studio 2010. Here is an overview of versions and this will give you a good indication of prices. Below the prices is a feature comparison also…

Visual Studio Professional

Plain
Upgrade from 2005/2008
with MSDN

 Visual Studio Premium

with new MSDN
with MSDN renewal

 Visual Studio Utlimate

with new MSDN
with MSDN renewal

Visual Studio 2010 Feature Comparison

 

Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate

Visual Studio 2010 Premium

Visual Studio 2010 Professional

Visual Studio Test Pro 2010

Debugging & Diagnostic

IntelliTrace (Historical Debugger)

     

Static Code Analysis

   

Code Metrics

   

Profiling

   

Testing

Unit Testing

 

Code Coverage

   

Test Impact Analysis

   

Coded UI Test

   

Web Performance Testing

     

Load Testing1

     

Microsoft Test Manager 2010

   

Test Case Management2

   

Manual Test Execution

   

Fast-Forward for Manual Testing

   

Lab Management Configuration3

   

Database Development

Database Deployment

   

Database Change Management2

   

Database Unit Testing

   

Database Test Data Generation

   

Development Platform Support

Windows Development

 

Web Development

 

Office and SharePoint Development

 

Cloud Development

 

Customizable Development Experience

 

Architecture and Modeling

Architecture Explorer

     

UML 2.0 Compliant Diagrams (Activity, Use Case, Sequence, Class, Component)

     

Layer Diagram and Dependency Validation

     

Read-only diagrams (UML, Layer, DGML Graphs)

     

Lab Management

Virtual environment setup & tear down3

   

Provision environment from template3

   

Checkpoint environment3

   

Team Foundation Server

Version Control2

Work Item Tracking2

Build Automation2

Team Portal2

Reporting & Business Intelligence2

Agile Planning Workbook2

Test Case Management2

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Explorer 2010

MSDN Subscription - Software for Production Use

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 CAL

1

1

1

1

Microsoft Expression Studio 3

   

Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate, Communicator 2007, Project 2007 Standard, Visio 2007 Professional, SharePoint Designer 2007

   

MSDN Subscription - Software for Development and Test Use4

Windows Azure™

††

†††

 

Windows (client and server operating systems)

Microsoft SQL Server

Toolkits, Software Development Kits, Driver Development Kits

Microsoft SharePoint

   

Microsoft Dynamics

   

All other Servers

   

Windows Embedded operating systems

   

MSDN Subscription benefits

Team Explorer Everywhere (tools for cross-platform development)

     

Technical support incidents

4

4

2

2

Priority support in MSDN Forums

Microsoft e-learning collections

2

2

1

1

MSDN Magazine

MSDN Flash newsletter

MSDN Online Concierge

† Azure benefit includes 250 compute hrs/mo, 7.5 GB storage, 3 GB SQL Server database capacity, 1M .NET messages/month
†† Azure benefit includes 100 compute hrs/mo, 5 GB storage, 2 GB SQL Server database capacity, 500k .NET messages/month
††† Azure benefit includes 50 compute hrs/mo, 3 GB/mo storage, 1GB SQL Server database capacity, 300k  .NET messages/month
1. May require one or more Microsoft Visual Studio Load Test Virtual User Pack 2010
2. Requires Team Foundation Server and a Team Foundation Server CAL
3. Requires Microsoft Visual Studio Team Lab Management 2010
4. Per-user license allows unlimited installations and use for designing, developing, testing, and demonstrating applications.
UML is a registered trademark of Object Management Group, Inc.
Windows is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

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# Monday, June 21, 2010

Edwards & Johnson

The site has been up for a little while, but I forgot to post about it. Develop-One created this for Law Offices OF Edwards & Johnson, P.A. – Attorneys at Law.

Visit them at: www.lincolnmainelaw.com

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# Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Snippet Designer v1.3

Last week I mentioned and demonstrated a custom snippet in VS2010 during my BAND talk. Turns out there is an open source tool for helping you create snippets: snippetdesigner.codeplex.com, for more information and background info check Greg’s blog.

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# Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Amazon Wireless

I guess Amazon is following suite with other more brick & mortar kind of companies and has decided to jump in the wireless plan market.

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# Thursday, May 27, 2010

Learning more about Unit Testing

I just had an email in my inbox recommending "The Art of Unit testing" by Roy Osherove. I guess I’ll put in another order at Amazon. :-)

I've been doing unit testing for a long time, but since I'm largely self-taught I can probably learn something. Perhaps I’ll even sign up for a course at DevelopMentor. I know all the basics, I feel the biggest challenge with unit testing larger applications is managing test data.

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# Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Usability testing

Last night at the BAND meeting Eric Burdo did an open mic talk about usability testing. He referenced two books by Steve Krug. Both seem like a good read to me and both are available on Amazon.

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Windows Phone & Gaming

At BAND last night I had some interesting discussions about Windows Phone and as Daniel showed me the racing game on the Zune it suddenly hit me. Windows Phone is not going to be a iPhone killer, at least not based on a single feature that will blast the iPhone away. It is going to blast a hole in the Nintendo DS and Playstation Portable market.

Everything I’ve seen so far about Windows Phone makes it equal to the iPhone as a phone, but the focus on XNA and XBox Live integration will make it that everyone that has an XBox is going to want to have one… It’ll be interesting to see if my hunch is right. It took me a while to figure it out, since my view of the Windows Phone has been influenced by me thinking about ‘enterprise’ applications and how Windows Phone fits in there.

At the Augusta MSDN Roadshow event 2 weeks ago Chris Bowen showed a device and he didn’t show any details about what the Office/email/Outlook experience looked like on the phone. Considering it will still be a while before the devices hit the market makes me believe that a lot of development is still going on in that area and that Microsoft will have some surprises in store for us. I expect the Phone 7 offering to be well beyond what a Blackberry offers. Time will tell.

The hardware specs for Windows Phone 7 require manufacturers to provide at least 8GB of memory. My wish is that these phones will have at least 64GB of memory. That way I can put all my media (music, pictures, movies) and office files on my phone and not have to lug around a USB stick anymore, plus with Office on the phone I’ll be able to actually use the files. Perhaps WP7 will allow me to do a remote desktop session into my phone? :-)

Can’t wait to get one of these phones! :-)

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# Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Opening up Outlook .pst files

Microsoft has announced two open source solutions for accessing Outlook .pst files. Read the press release here: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2010/may10/05-24PSTToolsPR.mspx

I’ve been able to find the following on Codeplex:

PSTViewTool : http://pstviewtool.codeplex.com/

PST SDK: http://pstsdk.codeplex.com/  [Thanks to Greg!]

Also, doing a search for Outlook on CodePlex offers a lot of solutions for looking at Outlook data or integrating with Outlook: http://www.codeplex.com/site/search?query=outlook

Update: Added the PST SDK.

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# Monday, May 24, 2010

Silverlight 4 and ICommand

Silverlight 4 offers the opportunity to databind against a command. This is useful in MVVM scenarios. For some reason there is no quick implementation of a command (or I have been unable to locate it) so I wrote my own ‘QuickCommand’:

#region QuickCommand
public delegate void Execute( object parameter );
public delegate bool CanExecute( object parameter );

public class QuickCommand : ICommand
{

    private Execute _executeMethod;
    private CanExecute _canExecuteMethod;

    public QuickCommand()
        : this( null, null )
    {
    }

    public QuickCommand( Execute executeMethod )
        : this( executeMethod, null )
    {
    }

    public QuickCommand( Execute executeMethod, CanExecute canExecuteMethod )
    {
        _executeMethod = executeMethod;
        _canExecuteMethod = canExecuteMethod;
    }


    #region ICommand Members

    public bool CanExecute( object parameter )
    {
        if ( _canExecuteMethod == null )
        {
            return true;
        }
        else
        {
            return _canExecuteMethod( parameter );
        }
    }

    public event EventHandler CanExecuteChanged;

    public void Execute( object parameter )
    {
        if ( _executeMethod != null )
        {
            _executeMethod( parameter );
        }
    }

    #endregion
}
#endregion QuickCommand

The Quick command allows you to assign a lambda expression to a ICommand property like this:

public class MainView
{
    public MainView()
    {
        About = new QuickCommand( c => MessageBox.Show( "© Develop-one, 2010" ) );
    }

    public ICommand About { get; set; }
}

This ICommand property can then be used for databinding a button control (I removed the default namespace declarations):

<UserControl ... 
    xmlns:ViewModel="clr-namespace:DevelopOne.Sample.ViewModel">
    <UserControl.DataContext>
        <ViewModel:MainView/>
    </UserControl.DataContext>
<StackPanel Orientation="Vertical">
    <HyperlinkButton Content="About" Name="hyperlinkButton1" HorizontalAlignment="Center" Command="{Binding About}"/>
</StackPanel>
</UserControl>

See how the ‘Command’-property of the button binds against ‘About’-property of the MainView class? Sweet!

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# Monday, May 10, 2010

Accessing TFS 2010 from Visual Studio 2008

I’ve recently installed TFS 2010 and have been running some projects on a complete 2010 oriented environment. Today I found the need to also connect to TFS 2010 from Visual Studio 2008. (essentially due to a project that I cannot convert to 2010, yet). In order to connect to Team Foundation Server from VS2008 you need the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Explorer, then in order to connect to TFS 2010 you also need the Visual Studio Team System 2008 Service Pack 1 Forward Compatibility Update for Team Foundation Server 2010.

So my initial setup was:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite SP1
  • Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate

I installed Visual Studio 2008 Team Explorer and then on top of that the Forward Compatibility Update. I received no errors during the installations, but I was unable to connect to my TFS 2010 machine. I tried Martin Kulov’s suggestion of entering a full URL. This was not accepted as input. Neil Rees blogged about reinstalling Visual Studio 2008 SP1 after installing Team Explorer 2008. So I did. Then I reran the installer for the Forward Compatibility Update. Initially still no juice, but then when I entered a full URL (http://servername:8080/tfs/collectionname) it all came together and I was able to connect to a specific collection of team projects from within Visual Studio 2008.
Oh, and not unimportant during all this my VS2010 installation was unaffected.

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Error installing SQL Server 2008 R2

I just tried installing SQL Server 2008 R2 in a VirtualPC environment. This caused an error, redownloading the .iso image from MSDN did not help. I Binged it and found Bob Beauchmin had the same problem. Apparently the .iso reader in VirtualPC causes the problem.

More here: http://www.sqlskills.com/BLOGS/BOBB/post/Getting-error-2337-installing-SQL-Server-on-a-VPC.aspx

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# Friday, May 07, 2010

MSDN Roadshow in Maine

Almost manage to miss it in my inbox, but I just signed up for the Maine MSDN Roadshow event! It will be held on May 11th in Augusta, ME with thanks to State of Maine (John rules!) for the accommodations and of course Microsoft for making Chris and Jim drive all the way up north :-)

The Agenda:  A Payload of Awesomeness

“Fore!” – Slicing Into What’s New in Silverlight 4

Silverlight is all about driving your applications into the fairway of user experience.  Silverlight 4 tees up many new features to help you create rich applications that will hook your customers’ interest.  You’ll see Visual Studio 2010’s improved designer, microphone and webcam support, core API and XAML improvements, new out-of-browser options, and more.  Of course, these features aren’t rough to use, and you’ll get into the swing of things in no time.

“Don’t T(h)read on Me” – Snaking Through the New Parallel Programming Options

Many developers recoil at the prospect of writing and debugging multithreaded and multicore applications.  The great news is there’s plenty to help in .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010.  We’ll sink our teeth into Task Parallel Library, PLINQ, Visual Studio 2010 debugging features, and new Framework classes that offer ways to make efficient programs and help shed those concurrency worries.

“Weaving the Next Web” – ASP.NET 4, Windows Azure, and Beyond

Visual Studio 2010 makes it easier than ever to stitch together masterful applications.   Continue to ply your existing skills with an improved Web Forms experience, or quickly spin up interactive forms-over-data sites with Dynamic Data.  And of course you can hook right into ASP.NET MVC to craft testable and extensible solutions.  It doesn’t end there though, from the fabric of the same development environment, you can swiftly shuttle your applications, Azure-aware, to the cloud.

“It’s Your Call” – Windows Phone 7, Silverlight, and XNA

Windows Phone 7 is dialed in for a holiday 2010 release and developers can answer the call today by leveraging Silverlight or XNA skills to create and extend applications or games to reach to new customers in new ways.  This demo-heavy session will give you the 411 on using Expression Blend 4 and Visual Studio 2010 with the Windows Phone 7 tools.  After seeing what’s new, you won’t want to put this opportunity on hold.

Sign up here.

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# Monday, March 29, 2010

Repairing Outlook 2007 .pst file

I just had a little scare with Outlook. After installing VSTO 2010 beta 2 64bit on my system my Calendar folder was suddenly corrupt. Luckily there is an excellent (free) way of repairing a broken .pst file. It’s just a little hidden. Read this KB article to find out how to do it.

Tip to Microsoft: Why not register this file as an “Repair” option to a .pst file, allowing me to right-click and fix my broken .pst file?

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# Thursday, March 25, 2010

Upload a file using FTPS

I just implemented a little routine to upload a file to an FTP site using SSL. I started looking at purchasing a component to help me out, but it turns out the .NET Framework offers all you need.

public class FtpStatus
{
    public FtpStatus()
    {
        Succes = true;
    }
 
    public bool Succes { get; set; }
    public string Message { get; set; }
}
 
/// <summary>
/// Upload a file using FTP and SSL.
/// </summary>
/// <param name="host">Full name without the 's', e.g.  ftp://secure.develop-one.com</param>
/// <param name="filename">Filename including server path, e.g.  /Upload/test.txt</param>
/// <param name="file"></param>
public FtpStatus UploadFile( string host, bool useSsl, string username, string password, string filename, byte[] file )
{
    FtpStatus result = new FtpStatus();
 
    string target = host + filename;
    FtpWebRequest request = (FtpWebRequest) FtpWebRequest.Create( target );
    request.EnableSsl = useSsl;
    request.KeepAlive = true;
    request.UseBinary = true;
    request.UsePassive = true;
    request.Method = WebRequestMethods.Ftp.UploadFile;
 
    request.Credentials = new NetworkCredential( username, password );
 
    try
    {
        using ( Stream stream = request.GetRequestStream() )
        {
            stream.Write( file, 0, file.Length );
            stream.Close();
        }
    }
    catch ( System.Net.WebException exception )
    {
        result.Succes = false;
        string message = ( (System.Net.FtpWebResponse) ( exception.Response ) ).StatusDescription.Replace( "\r\n", "" );
        if ( message.IndexOf( ":" ) > 0 )
        {
            message = message.Substring( message.IndexOf( ":" ) + 2 );
        }
        result.Message = message;
    }
    return result;
}
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# Saturday, March 13, 2010

Exploring Facebook API

I’m looking at creating a new website for our ATV club, but we also have a fan page on Facebook… looking to integrate the two… offering some basic info from Facebook onto our site seems easy… now looking to see if and how I can have a list of Facebook events on own site.

The box below shows a Fan Box for our club.

An here is a Page Badge:

Dwinal Pond 4 Seasons Club | Promote Your Page Too

Go to http://developer.facebook.com to create these widgets for your site.

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