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Building a Python Flask Web UI For Raspberry Pi Sure Elec LCD (3/24/2017) - In an earlier post I outlined how I setup a Sure Electronics LCD screen with my Raspberry Pi 3 using a Python driver. Whilst updating the LCD via command line is immensely useful I decided to build a UI to control the LCD send messages too it. By using a browser based UI I could … Continue reading Building a Python Flask Web UI For Raspberry Pi Sure Elec LCD
Using a Sure Electronics LCD with the Raspberry Pi using Python (3/14/2017) - After receiving a new Raspberry Pi 3 at Christmas I quickly set off looking for uses for this wonderful machine, and quickly found myself hooking it up to an LCD display. This post covers the Python driver I used and modified, as well as some other useful resources. Firstly as an owner of the original … Continue reading Using a Sure Electronics LCD with the Raspberry Pi using Python
Archiving Adobe Lightroom Back Ups with PowerShell (12/19/2016) - If you are an Adobe Lightroom user it is critical to have regular backups of your photo library catalogue. Luckily this is a simple task thanks to the fact that Lightroom has features built in to regularly taka a backup for you (which in effect means making a copy of your current catalogue file into … Continue reading Archiving Adobe Lightroom Back Ups with PowerShell
Some SonarQube Upgrade Issues & Fixes (12/12/2016) - I recently upgraded a SonarQube server installation from v5.6.2 to v6, and unfortunately hit a few issues along the way which I thought I’d share here in case others experiences the same issues. All were resolved in the end and if you are yet to be running SonarQube to analyse your software assets please don’t … Continue reading Some SonarQube Upgrade Issues & Fixes
Using PowerShell for your VS Code Integrated Terminal (12/7/2016) - Microsoft’s superb Visual Studio Code editor has an integrated terminal which is accessed via the ‘View’menu or via the Ctrl+’ shortcut keys. On Windows by default the terminal used is the Windows Command Prompt (cmd.exe) terminal, however you can easily configure VS Code to use a different terminal such as Windows PowerShell. Open the User … Continue reading Using PowerShell for your VS Code Integrated Terminal
Interactive file reading with Powershell (11/24/2016) - Sometimes you want to see the contents of text file whilst it is still being updated, a common example is where you are outputting to a log file and need to see the output interactively without having to keep opening the file to check for progress, or to see if a job has complete. Luckily … Continue reading Interactive file reading with Powershell
Useful React.JS Learning Resources (10/10/2016) - Below are some links that you might find useful for learning React.js and Flux, Facebook’s successful JavaScript UI framework.  There are a lot of resources out there but here are some of the best that I have collected for members of my team. Introductions and overviews of React.js: The React homepage : https://facebook.github.io/react/ Official getting … Continue reading Useful React.JS Learning Resources
Break on Exceptions in Visual Studio 2015 (9/27/2016) - Looking for the option to break on exceptions during debugging in Microsoft Visual Studio 2015? Well Microsoft dumped the old exceptions dialog and replaced it with the new Exception Settings Window. To see it to show that window via the menu: Debug > Windows > Exception Settings. Use the Exception Settings window to choose the types of … Continue reading Break on Exceptions in Visual Studio 2015
Disable Start Menu Web Search in Windows 10 (8/11/2016) - If like me you like the Windows 10 “start” menu to only provide applications and Windows settings in the search results and not web search results you need to configure it using these steps. Using the Start Menu find “Cortana & Search Settings” , then click the settings icon (the cog),  turn Cortana off, and … Continue reading Disable Start Menu Web Search in Windows 10
Allow PowerShell Execution (8/11/2016) - By default PowerShell’s execution policy is very restrictive which is a good thing for security. If you are editing or running scripts on your machine you may want to relax it slightly. As I often forget to do this on new machines I’m making a note of the command in this post: Open PowerShell prompt … Continue reading Allow PowerShell Execution
NPM config for web access via a proxy (5/9/2016) - If you are using NPM for to install your JavaScript modules and you are sitting behind a corporate proxy server  with a strict firewall then you will likely be having problems. If NPM cannot find its way out to the web you will likely be getting a timeout error like the one below: npm ERR! … Continue reading NPM config for web access via a proxy
My Current Podcast Picks (1/30/2016) - I like to make the most of my two hour commute and see this time as study time and an opportunity to learn new stuff. Every few years I list my current podcast picks on this blog, so here are my current list of regular podcasts, and this year the subjects are more varied than … Continue reading My Current Podcast Picks
Refreshing the Nexus 7 (1/15/2016) - Google’s Nexus 7 table caused quite a stir when it was released in 2012 with its low price combined with the excellent specifications it offered. It proved very popular and rightly so. Fast forward to 2015 and the Nexus 7 is very much, sadly, showing its age. Google have proved good to their word and … Continue reading Refreshing the Nexus 7
Succinctly Excellent Free Technical E-Books (1/12/2016) - There are a lot of free ebooks covering technical subjects, and there are a lot of ebooks that have excellent content however finding some with both attributes can be hard. Syncfusion have a collection of really good technical overview books that cover different subjects ‘succinctly’. https://www.syncfusion.com/resources/techportal/ebooks These are not 1000 page monsters but instead focus … Continue reading Succinctly Excellent Free Technical E-Books
OpenLiveWriter Version Of Syntax Highlighter Plugin Available Now (12/22/2015) - In case you hadn’t heard the excellent Windows Live Writer has gone Open Source and is being kept alive by the community. It’s now called OpenLiveWriter. This is great news as it is a really useful tool, used by many, that was looking like being left to die by Microsoft. For more information check out … Continue reading OpenLiveWriter Version Of Syntax Highlighter Plugin Available Now
Setting HTTP Headers in Java Server Faces (JSF) (3/2/2015) - In my last post  I discussed using HTTP headers to control browser caching of sensitive data. The post can be found here. The examples provided in that post were all ASP.Net and so I thought I’d cover how to explicitly set your HTTP Response headers when you are using the Java JSF framework. Adding Headers … Continue reading Setting HTTP Headers in Java Server Faces (JSF)
Preventing Browser Caching using HTTP Headers (2/16/2015) - Many developers consider the use of HTTPS on a site enough security for a user’s data, however one area often overlooked is the caching of your sites pages by the users browser. By default (for performance) browsers will cache pages visited regardless of whether they are served via HTTP or HTTPS. This behaviour is not … Continue reading Preventing Browser Caching using HTTP Headers
Upgrading MVC 3 to MVC 4 via NuGet (2/12/2015) - I had to upgrade an old ASP.NET MVC 3 project to MVC 4 yesterday and whilst searching for the official instructions I found that there is a NuGet package that does all the hard work for you. The official instructions for upgrading are in the MVC 4 release notes here: http://www.asp.net/whitepapers/mvc4-release-notes#_Toc303253806 But Nandip Makwana has … Continue reading Upgrading MVC 3 to MVC 4 via NuGet
Backing Up Your Blog Content Using HTTrack (5/20/2014) - I’m pretty strict on making sure I have my data backed up in numerous places and my blog content is no different. I would hate to lose all these years of babbling. In this post I cover how I back up this blog, and this will apply to any blog engine or indeed any website. … Continue reading Backing Up Your Blog Content Using HTTrack
Adding a Return Message in an RSA Sequence Diagram (5/12/2014) - Here’s a quick tip that I found useful last week. If you’re using IBM Rational Software Architect to produce a UML Sequence diagram and you add a new Synchronous Message activity the tool automatically inserts a return message for you (this can be turned off in the preferences tab). Last week I discovered that if … Continue reading Adding a Return Message in an RSA Sequence Diagram
How to Backup To USB Drive Only If It’s Connected (2/28/2014) - A key part of most personal data backup strategies involves backing up data to an external USB drive but I don’t want to leave it constantly connected. In this post I cover how to backup to an external drive using a scheduled automated process but only if the external drive is connected at the time. … Continue reading How to Backup To USB Drive Only If It’s Connected
Critical Preview Fix For Live Writer Code Plugin (11/26/2013) - Just a quick note to announce a new version of my Windows Live Writer plug-in, for Source Code Syntax Highlighting in WordPress.com posts, has been released. CaptainKernel posted a comment on this blog to say he was having issues with the preview feature not formatting the code correctly. After some investigation this has been caused … Continue reading Critical Preview Fix For Live Writer Code Plugin
Boot into Safe Mode With Windows 8 (11/12/2013) - My laptop running Windows 8.1 decided not to boot this week but instead gave me a blue screen with the error “System Thread Exception Not Handled”. As I’d not installed anything new recently I guessed it could be related to a Video Driver issue, so I tried to Safe Boot – but wait where is … Continue reading Boot into Safe Mode With Windows 8
Host Static HTML or WebForms Page within MVC Site (11/10/2013) - If you need to host a static HTML page within an ASP.net MVC website or you need to mix ASP.net WebForms with an MVC website then you need to configure your routing configuration in MVC to ignore requests for those pages. Recently I wanted to host a static HTML welcome page (e.g. hello.htm) on an … Continue reading Host Static HTML or WebForms Page within MVC Site
Full Screen Remote Desktop Sessions (11/6/2013) - Sometimes if you are on a new machine or using Remote Desktop for the first time you might find that the display size is not correct when you connect to a remote machine. If the remote machine session won’t go Full Screen it can be annoying. To resolve launch Remote Desktop (tip: Start > Run … Continue reading Full Screen Remote Desktop Sessions
Building A Learning Culture (10/1/2013) - I’m keen on fostering a learning culture within teams and was drawn to this article on InfoQ “Creating a Culture of Learning and Innovation by Jeff Plummer” which shows what can be achieved through community learning. In the article Jeff outlines how a learning culture was developed within his organisation using simple yet effective crowd … Continue reading Building A Learning Culture
Setting a Custom Domain Name on an Azure Web Site (9/15/2013) - I recently decided to add a custom domain name to a free Azure website that I use for development purposes. As the FREE Azure web site model doesn’t support custom domains (a shame but hard to complain as it’s FREE) I needed to upgrade the site to the ‘Shared’ mode. This is easily done by … Continue reading Setting a Custom Domain Name on an Azure Web Site
The End Of TechNet Downloads Raises The Barrier To Entry For MS Techies (9/7/2013) - Microsoft unfortunately recently announced the demise of the TechNet Subscription. Whilst I appreciate that TechNet download abuse must contribute towards the availability of pirated products, I still think that this is a short sighted move by Microsoft. The MSDN subscription will continue  (for now) and anyone making money from privacy will be able to cover … Continue reading The End Of TechNet Downloads Raises The Barrier To Entry For MS Techies
SQL Server Compact Minimum Date Value (5/11/2013) - Recently I got this error connecting to a SQL Server Compact database from .Net: "An overflow occurred while converting to datetime." So I dug into my data insertion code (I was using the excellent Massive mini ORM by the way – and yes I know its not really an ORM but that’s another post) and … Continue reading SQL Server Compact Minimum Date Value
The Growth Of Business IT (2/11/2013) - In my popular post on “The Future of the IT Department” I covered how IT is changing rapidly in enterprises and touched on how business aligned IT teams are going to become more relevant. Some of these agile ‘business focused development and delivery teams’ will be official IT sponsored initiatives whilst others will be somewhat … Continue reading The Growth Of Business IT
Estimates: A Necessary Evil (2/4/2013) - Despite being an age old problem in the IT industry (and presumably a problem in other industries) it still concerns me how we have to rely so much on estimates to manage resources on complex multi-million pound projects. We call them estimates to hide the truth that they are at best educated guesses, or at … Continue reading Estimates: A Necessary Evil
Using Ubuntu via VirtualBox Seamless Mode (1/30/2013) - I like Ubuntu and I enjoy using it, although I’m still a windows guy at heart (at least for the time being anyhow but we’ll see if Win8 ever grows on me) and I use a lot of Windows only apps. The approach I’ve been using for the last few months with great success is … Continue reading Using Ubuntu via VirtualBox Seamless Mode
Renaming your Team Foundation Service Account (1/21/2013) - If you haven’t checked out TFS Service from Microsoft then I thoroughly recommend trying it out. It is basically a TFS instance in the cloud and at the moment its free for everyone to use and there’s an official a free plan for small projects up to 5 users. I run a small TFS instance … Continue reading Renaming your Team Foundation Service Account
Just Do It ! (1/8/2013) - Now I’m not a big fan of New Year’s Resolutions and in fact have the same one each year which I religiously stick to, which is to never make any New Years Resolutions. However whilst we are all in the spirit of renewed enthusiasm for the new year ahead I’d like to quote the great … Continue reading Just Do It !
My Current Technology Podcast Picks (11/21/2012) - I previously blogged how I value podcasts as I find them an excellent way to maximise the use of my daily commute time. I thought I’d provide an updated list of the technology related podcasts I subscribe to: PC Pro podcast (UK based PC magazine’s show) TechSNAP Hanselminutes NET Rocks!  Coder Radio Herding Code Software … Continue reading My Current Technology Podcast Picks
PIN Protect Those Android Purchases (11/3/2012) - Kids love playing on tablets and smart phones, and I think the excellent Nexus 7 will be a popular choice for Christmas Stockings this year. Apparently though in-app purchases for children’s mobile games are costing parents around the world nearly $1.5 billion a year, and there are often stories in the press of individual children … Continue reading PIN Protect Those Android Purchases
Live Writer Syntax Highlighting Plug-in Minor Update (9/19/2012) - The recently released Version 1.4 of my Windows Live Writer plug-in for Syntax Highlighting resolved some HTML encoding issues experienced by some users. It seems however that this fix has had a knock on effect for some other users and especially those hosting their own WordPress blogs (i.e. not hosting on WordPress.com). To make the … Continue reading Live Writer Syntax Highlighting Plug-in Minor Update
The HTML Agility Pack (9/5/2012) - For a current project I needed to perform a simple screen scrape action. The resulting solution was functional but a bit rough and ready. Luckily I stumbled upon this open-source HTML library project: The HTML Agility Pack, hosted on CodePlex at http://htmlagilitypack.codeplex.com. It is an excellent little library that makes dealing with HTML a breeze, … Continue reading The HTML Agility Pack
Useful Web Based UML Drawing Tools (7/25/2012) - A basic sequence diagram can be a very powerful tool to explain the interactions in a system but drawing them can often be too time consuming to bother for disposable uses. I find that many people draw them out on rough paper to help explain their argument but less actually ever bother to build them … Continue reading Useful Web Based UML Drawing Tools
Exporting an HTML Report From your VS/TFS Test Results (5/24/2012) - Have you ever wanted to export your unit test results from Visual Studio or your TFS Build? Sometimes you may need to provide evidence of your unit testing position to a project stakeholder. This may be for an internal review or as part of a gateway check in a waterfall project. Alternatively you may just … Continue reading Exporting an HTML Report From your VS/TFS Test Results
It’s All About Culture (Enterprise IT Beware) (5/15/2012) - This interesting post by PEG recently highlights an organisations culture as being in reality the only differentiating factor that they have. In his view assets, IP, cost competitiveness, brand and even people can be copied or acquired by your competition but it is your company culture that will lead to success/failure. I agree with his … Continue reading It’s All About Culture (Enterprise IT Beware)
New WordPress.com Source Code Live Writer Plugin Version (5/8/2012) - I’m pleased to announce the release of version 1.4.0 of my Windows Live Writer (WLW) Source Code Highlighter plugin for WordPress.com hosted blogs. For those not aware of this plugin it enables you to quickly insert a source code snippet into your hosted blog posts using the built in WordPress.com source code short codes. For … Continue reading New WordPress.com Source Code Live Writer Plugin Version
Physical vs Virtual Kanban Boards (3/2/2012) - In previous posts I covered an introduction to Kanban and a review of a trial Kanban project. In this, my third in a series of Kanban posts, I’ll cover physical versus software Kanban boards.  For some this is an almost religious debate, and many would not question their decision for one other another. Whilst the … Continue reading Physical vs Virtual Kanban Boards
A Trial Kanban Project – What Worked. What Didn’t. (2/21/2012) - Recently I introduced Kanban to an inflight development project with the objective of trialling this technique with the team to raise productivity by overcoming various communication and process issues. In the first part of this 3 part series I presented an introduction to Kanban. This second part will cover the results obtained by introducing it … Continue reading A Trial Kanban Project – What Worked. What Didn’t.
An Introduction to Kanban (2/13/2012) - Recently I introduced Kanban to an inflight development project with the objective of trialling this technique with a hope to raising productivity by overcoming various communication and process issues. In this three part series I’ll cover my real world experiences and the results felt by the project/team. This first part offers an introduction to Kanban, … Continue reading An Introduction to Kanban
The Enterprise & Open Web Developer Divide (2/6/2012) - In this interesting Forrester post about embracing the open web Jeffrey Hammond highlights the presence of two different developer communities. In his words: "…there are two different developer communities out there that I deal with. In the past, I’ve referred to these groups as the "inside the firewall crowd" and the "outside the firewall crowd." … Continue reading The Enterprise & Open Web Developer Divide
Enterprise IT Project Insanity (1/16/2012) - A study published in the Harvard Business Review  has again shown that many IT projects continue to come in late and over budget. In addition it shows that there is a higher than expected number of large scale failures. These failures are massively over budget (200% in this study) and over deadline (70% overruns) and … Continue reading Enterprise IT Project Insanity
Embedding Pro-Active Tasks In Your Dev Team (1/16/2012) - We have made huge advances over recent years in the tools available to the development team, including the more proactive and investigative tools (profiling tools, code analysis, performance analysis, debugging etc). However demanding project timelines mean that we have increasingly less time to investigate, trial and use these tools. Compounding the problem is that unfortunately … Continue reading Embedding Pro-Active Tasks In Your Dev Team
No VS with Notepad++ and Programmers Notepad (12/5/2011) - Sometimes, despite Visual Studio being an excellent IDE, you want to go the No VS route and hack your code in notepad. Perhaps you just want to make a quick change and its not worth firing up the full VS experience. Maybe you are only checking the code as a background time-filler in between other … Continue reading No VS with Notepad++ and Programmers Notepad
Using SlickRun For Fast PowerShell Commands (11/15/2011) - I’m a big fan of SlickRun and if you’ve not used it I recommend you download it and give it a try. I find it an invaluable tool not only for launching apps but also web sites, collections of applications and directories etc. It’s the simplicity of SlickRun that makes it so powerful. Sure there … Continue reading Using SlickRun For Fast PowerShell Commands
Free .Net Online Learning Resources (10/20/2011) - For anyone interesting in free online .Net & Microsoft platform development training here is a list of links I’ve compiled recently for my development team: Free Plural Sight Courses: http://www.asp.net/web-forms for web forms. Also MVC ones available http://www.asp.net/mvc http://www.asp.net hundreds of screencasts from the Microsoft web team http://www.silverlight.net/learn/ hundreds of screencasts from the Silverlight team … Continue reading Free .Net Online Learning Resources
Installing Team Foundation Server on Windows Home Server 2011 (7/12/2011) - Twelve months ago I wrote a post documenting “installing Team Foundation Server 2010 on Windows Home Server” which has proved very popular. Well things move on and since then Microsoft have released a new version of Windows Home Server (WHS 2011). There are many differences between V2 of WHS compared to V1 but the main … Continue reading Installing Team Foundation Server on Windows Home Server 2011
Is Your Gym Like Your Dev Team? (7/5/2011) - I recently managed to drag myself out of the office and into the gym, but unfortunately my mind was still on the office and my observations of what makes a dev team tick. In between sets I observed my fellow gym-goers and I witnessed similarities with my experiences of IT development teams. Parallels between your … Continue reading Is Your Gym Like Your Dev Team?
Hello Linux – Again (6/30/2011) - I’ve been increasingly interested in the Linux OS again recently and have re-discovered it’s power and flexibility. I’m a Windows guy primarily, always have been, but I’m writing this on the new Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) release and I must say I am enjoying the experience. This is by no means my first foray into … Continue reading Hello Linux – Again
The Case Of The Missing TFS Office Add-In (5/24/2011) - This week my Team Toolbar Office add-in for Team Explorer disappeared preventing me from uploading any new Work items to Team Foundation Server. After some searching in Excel (and MS Project) I accepted it wasn’t just hiding and turned to Google for help. Luckily I found this helpful post on the Team Foundation Server Team’s … Continue reading The Case Of The Missing TFS Office Add-In
Android Remote Desktop Client (3/14/2011) - I find that I am increasingly relying on the computing power of my Android smartphone (a HTC Desire) and finding novel ways of using it to make my IT life easier. Sometimes I just want to connect to my PC that is in another room, or more often for me it’s my headless Windows Home … Continue reading Android Remote Desktop Client
Software KVMs (3/14/2011) - Recently I have acquired an additional desktop machine on my desk and quickly saw the potential to expand the amount of screen real estate at my disposal (you can never have enough screens). So imagine I have a laptop physically connected to two screens and a desktop PC, with one screen connected, on the same … Continue reading Software KVMs
Windows PowerShell Console Fun (3/12/2011) - Whilst watching Die Hard 4 the other day I noticed the funky transparent console windows that were being used to battle out cyber warfare, and being a traditional geek I immediately liked the idea of doing the same for my PowerShell console. Sure I know these guys are using Linux and transparent consoles have been … Continue reading Windows PowerShell Console Fun
Live Writer Syntax Highlighting Plug-in v1.3.0 Released (3/11/2011) - I’m pleased to announce the release of version 1.3.0 of my Windows Live Writer (WLW) Source Code Highlighter plugin for WordPress.com hosted blogs. For those not aware of this plugin it enables you to quickly insert a source code snippet into your blog posts using the WordPress.com source code short codes. For more information and … Continue reading Live Writer Syntax Highlighting Plug-in v1.3.0 Released
Getting A Users Username in ASP.NET (2/15/2011) - When building an ASP.net application it’s important to understand the authentication solution that you are planning to implement and then ensure that all your developers are aware of it. On a few projects I have noted that some developers lack this knowledge and it can end up causing issues later on in the project once … Continue reading Getting A Users Username in ASP.NET
XML Error in TFS Power Tools Backup Plan (2/8/2011) - Whilst checking the Windows Event Log on my server I found this worrying error being reported by the Team Foundation Server Power Tools Backup & Restore Tool : Error: Tfpt Backup Restore : There is an error in XML document (499, 100). I posted an article about using this tool to backup your TFS server … Continue reading XML Error in TFS Power Tools Backup Plan
The Future Of The IT Department (1/23/2011) - Recently I have been witness to rapid, often painful, change within my own internal IT division over the last few years and observed the on-going developments in the industry. It is clear that IT departments changed dramatically in a short amount of time and the pace is not relenting. This has led me to try … Continue reading The Future Of The IT Department
Ray Ozzie’s Dawn of a New Day (12/12/2010) - I would recommend everyone interested in technology to read Ray Ozzie’s (Chief Software Architect of Microsoft) memo – "Dawn of a New Day". It’s a fascinating insight into the vision of a key player in the industry and a call to arms for Microsoft and it’s partners. What interests me the most about this vision … Continue reading Ray Ozzie’s Dawn of a New Day
The Future of Windows Home Server (12/7/2010) - Microsoft’s recent announcement that the key Drive Extender feature is to be removed from the new version of Windows Home Server codenamed ‘Vail’ has resulted in much dismay within the community. Many commentators, including the vocal WHS user community itself, have started to question the future of this product. In this post I give my … Continue reading The Future of Windows Home Server
No Syntax Highlighting On Preview In Live Writer 2011? (11/23/2010) - Anyone using my Windows Live Writer plug-in for Source Code highlighting will find that after upgrading to the latest Live Writer version the preview feature is not working. The latest version of Windows Live Writer that ships with the Windows Live Essentials 2011 package has some modifications to prevent script running from within the application. … Continue reading No Syntax Highlighting On Preview In Live Writer 2011?
BigTrak Is Back (10/19/2010) - The 1980’s iconic “programmable electronic vehicle” BigTrak is back and in the shops now. I always wanted one of these when I was a boy and now I finally get to buy one, and I can also justify the purchase by buying it as a Christmas present for my son. Having boys is great! Below … Continue reading BigTrak Is Back
Live Writer Syntax Highlighting Plug-in v1.2.0 Released (9/22/2010) - I have finally posted a new version of my Windows Live Writer Syntax Highlighter for WordPress.com hosted blogs, you can find it here. Version 1.2.0 has been a while in the making but I have included the features most requested by you guys. Firstly thank you to everyone who had downloaded the plug-in and provided … Continue reading Live Writer Syntax Highlighting Plug-in v1.2.0 Released
Backing up TFS 2010 with new Power Tools Backup Plan (9/12/2010) - At last – backup is built into the TFS product, well via the Power Tools at least. Backing up TFS has always been difficult and non-intuitive without a SQL DBA in your pocket, even the documentation is at best extensive but at worse confusing. But all that’s history as the September 2010 TFS Power Tools … Continue reading Backing up TFS 2010 with new Power Tools Backup Plan
Private Clouds Gaining Momentum (7/30/2010) - Well its been an interesting few weeks for cloud computing, mostly in the “private cloud” space. Microsoft have announced their Windows Azure Appliance enabling you to buy a Windows Azure cloud solution in a box (well actually many boxes as it comprises of hundreds of servers) and also the OpenStack cloud offering continues to grow … Continue reading Private Clouds Gaining Momentum
Backing Up TFS 2010 Using PowerShell: Part 2 (7/30/2010) - In my previous post (“Backing Up TFS 2010 Using PowerShell: Part 1”) I covered how to backup up the TFS SQL Server databases using Windows PowerShell and the SQL Server Management Objects (SMO) API. In this post I’m going to take it one stage further and add another layer of backup for the paranoid amongst … Continue reading Backing Up TFS 2010 Using PowerShell: Part 2
Backing Up TFS 2010 Using PowerShell: Part 1 (7/30/2010) - In a previous post I covered how to install Team Foundation Server 2010 onto a Windows Home Server. The installation was a TFS Basic Configuration installation and whilst it was geared towards Windows Home Server the concepts are the same if you are installing it on other servers / workstations. This post will cover how … Continue reading Backing Up TFS 2010 Using PowerShell: Part 1
Installing Team Foundation Server 2010 on Windows Home Server (7/9/2010) - Last October I posted about the fact that Microsoft’s Team Foundation Server 2010 was going to be shipping with a “Basic” configuration that more light weight and seen as more of a Visual SourceSafe replacement. In that post I also pointed out that it seemed possible to install this version on a Windows Home Server … Continue reading Installing Team Foundation Server 2010 on Windows Home Server
Installing PowerShell on Windows Home Server (7/6/2010) - Whether you manage thousands of Windows boxes in an enterprise environment or you just want a more powerful shell environment with which to manage your backup scripts on your PC, Windows PowerShell is an excellent free tool at your disposal. PowerShell V2 comes pre-installed in Windows 7 but how do you get it up and … Continue reading Installing PowerShell on Windows Home Server
A Useful Entity Translator Pattern / Object Mapper Template (6/11/2010) - In this post I’m going to cover the Entity Translator pattern and provide a useful base class for implementing this pattern in your application. The ‘Entity Translator Pattern’ (defined here and here) covers situations where you need to move object state from one object type to another and there are very strict reasons why these … Continue reading A Useful Entity Translator Pattern / Object Mapper Template
New Intel Core i5 Desktop Build (5/27/2010) - After my trusty Pentium 4 home build finally bit the dust I’ve invested in a new desktop. Whilst performance was important for this build (as it’s my main desktop) it had to be cost effective. Luckily Intel’s new Core i3/5/7 CPUs are now mainstream and getting excellent reviews making them the ideal choice for this … Continue reading New Intel Core i5 Desktop Build
Raising Multiple Exceptions with AggregateException (5/12/2010) - There are occasions where you are aware of multiple exceptions within your code that you want to raise together in one go. Perhaps your code makes a service call to a middleware orchestration component that potentially returns multiple exceptions detailed in its response or another scenario might be a batch processing task dealing with many … Continue reading Raising Multiple Exceptions with AggregateException
Free Icons For Your Application Within Visual Studio (4/1/2010) - If like me you’re always on the lookout for neat little icons and images to add to your shiny .Net applications then you might like to know that Visual Studio includes an image library for you to use. The library is located on your hard drive within the Visual Studio installation at: For Visual Studio … Continue reading Free Icons For Your Application Within Visual Studio
Recommended Podcasts For .Net Developers (2/12/2010) - Keeping up with the latest trends, applications, techniques and platforms can be very difficult. The amount of excellent resources available out there on the web is phenomenal, so much so that there are not enough hours in the day to read or watch it all. One source that I find very useful though is Podcasts. … Continue reading Recommended Podcasts For .Net Developers
Integrating WCF Services into Web Client Software Factory (2/12/2010) - For those of you unfamiliar with the Web Client Software Factory (WCSF) it is a very capable web application framework for building web forms based thin client applications. It was created as part of the Patterns and Practices offering from Microsoft (alongside the more well known Enterprise Library). It shares many concepts with it’s sister … Continue reading Integrating WCF Services into Web Client Software Factory
New Version of Source Code Syntax Highlighting Live Writer Plugin for WordPress.com blogs (2/2/2010) - In a previous blog post I covered how to create a Windows Live Writer plug-in and then provided the plug-in for download. The plug-in solves the problem of inserting Source Code Syntax formatted code snippets into a WordPress.com hosted blog post from within Live Writer. There are many Plug-ins that can be used with your … Continue reading New Version of Source Code Syntax Highlighting Live Writer Plugin for WordPress.com blogs
Windows Azure Experimentation Is Currently Too Expensive (12/12/2009) - I’m a fan of Windows Azure and have enjoyed using it during its CTP phase. Once the CTP was open for registration like many I jumped at the chance to play with this new paradigm in Software Development. During this CTP phase I have written some small private web applications that really do nothing more … Continue reading Windows Azure Experimentation Is Currently Too Expensive
‘Java Update Secret Warning’ or ‘You WILL Auto-Update’ (12/7/2009) - The Java Runtime on my Dev machine prompted me to Update with a new Version. It didn’t prompt nicely via a little notification popup in the System Tray but instead blows straight into a full UAC prompt. Anyway in a moment of revenge I decided to turn off the ‘Auto Update’ feature. I opened the … Continue reading ‘Java Update Secret Warning’ or ‘You WILL Auto-Update’
Capturing your Camcorder DV Video with Windows Live Movie Maker & Windows 7 (11/11/2009) - I have five years of Mini-DV Camcorder tapes stacked up on my shelve. My plan has always been to transfer the video off onto my PC and then reuse the tapes, but for various reasons this never quite happened, instead the pile just grew bigger and bigger. Not for any longer though as I am … Continue reading Capturing your Camcorder DV Video with Windows Live Movie Maker & Windows 7
Team Foundation Server ‘Basic’ Edition (10/12/2009) - Many development teams still regularly use Visual SourceSafe for their source control which can stimulate heated debates between those that have used it for many years without problems and those that have suffered some pain with it. Regardless of this debate there is no denying that SourceSafe is coming to the end of it’s useful … Continue reading Team Foundation Server ‘Basic’ Edition
‘Windows Home Server’ Build & Setup (10/7/2009) - I recently setup a new Windows Home Server and this post covers why I chose this operating system and how I setup my server. Requirements: My requirement was for an extendable ‘always on’ network attached file storage solution that would allow me to access my files from any machine in the house (and ideally remotely … Continue reading ‘Windows Home Server’ Build & Setup
Windows Home Server (10/6/2009) - I have recently set-up a home server using the Windows Home Server Operating System. The details of the set-up will follow in a future post but firstly I thought I would quickly introduce the Windows Home Server (WHS) product and provide some useful links. Windows Home Server was released by Microsoft in 2007 and is … Continue reading Windows Home Server
Nokia E71 – An update (10/3/2009) - In May posted an entry about my new Nokia E71 smart phone. This is a quick update post and I can confirm that the novelty factor has still yet to wane. I’ve found more uses for my E71 than I originally expected. In addition to the applications listed in my original post I have since … Continue reading Nokia E71 – An update
Folder Based Toolbars on the Windows Taskbar (9/4/2009) - Recently someone asked me how I managed to access a list of files on my machine from a pop-up list on the Windows Taskbar. The ability to add folder links to the Windows Taskbar has been around for many versions of Windows I guess still not everyone realises how easy and/or useful it is. I … Continue reading Folder Based Toolbars on the Windows Taskbar
Syntax Highlighting in WordPress.com hosted blogs and how to create a Windows Live Writer Plug-in (7/15/2009) - There are various ways of displaying code in a blog entry. Some authors insert images which enable them to ensure that the code is readable and in the required format, however the code can’t then be as easily viewed inside some feed readers, and the text is not searchable or easy to copy/paste. Alternatively an … Continue reading Syntax Highlighting in WordPress.com hosted blogs and how to create a Windows Live Writer Plug-in
Bing (without the Bling) (7/3/2009) - You want to try out Microsoft’s new search engine, but you don’t quite trust it yet so you’re worried it might miss something which means you search on both – right? Well check out http://www.google-vs-bing.com. This allows you to search both at the same time and displays the results side by side in a split … Continue reading Bing (without the Bling)
IIS Host Headers, Secure Bindings, Wix & Custom Actions (7/3/2009) - Whilst trying to host multiple WCF Services in IIS, each within it’s own web site, I discovered an issue with secure host headers and IIS6. The requirements were to securely install each WCF service inside it’s own web site, with its own application and application pool instance. In order to setup multiple sites I needed … Continue reading IIS Host Headers, Secure Bindings, Wix & Custom Actions
Full Trust For Applications Running On Remote Share (5/28/2009) - A large number of .Net applications in enterprise environments are run directly from a file share on a server within the local corporate intranet. This was usually only achieved after editing the client machine’s registry. However as of .Net 3.5 Sp1 this is no longer an issue as assemblies accessed from a local intranet share … Continue reading Full Trust For Applications Running On Remote Share
Accessing ‘Live Mesh’ From Your Non-Windows Mobile (5/23/2009) - Microsoft ‘Live Mesh’ provides the ability to synchronise your data across all your devices via ‘the cloud’. This means you can access your files no matter which PC you’re using, and also extends to Windows Mobile devices. But what if you want access to these files from a non-Windows mobile such as a Nokia Symbian … Continue reading Accessing ‘Live Mesh’ From Your Non-Windows Mobile
WCF Best Practices (5/21/2009) - Windows Communication Foundation is a huge technology and one that is easy to implement badly. Luckily Mehran Nikoo has collated a selection of WCF best practices in his blog: http://mehranikoo.net/CS/archive/2008/05/31/WCF_5F00_Best_5F00_Practices.aspx It covers versioning, hosting and security, all of which are worth reading in detail. Two highlights for me are the problems with using the ‘Using’ … Continue reading WCF Best Practices
Nokia E71 (5/20/2009) -   I’ve recently purchased a Nokia E71 and I am very impressed with it. If you’re an E71 owner then check out this list of useful links: http://www.E71blog.com NokiaE71.wordpress.com/ thesymbianblog.com http://www.S60.com http://www.symbian-guru.com These sites provide lots of info on the phone and links to applications you can download. Also check out the Nokia support page … Continue reading Nokia E71
Faster MSDN Library (4/14/2009) - It’s possible to view a low bandwidth version of the online MSDN Library which is faster and more lightweight than the full version. Check this post from Eric Nelson.
Windows Azure : An Introduction (4/14/2009) - At last year’s PDC Microsoft released the details of its new venture into the next IT paradigm that is arguably set to change the way that applications are developed, hosted, managed and funded – Cloud Computing. It is easy to dismiss Cloud Computing is a fad or simply as a move back towards the mainframe … Continue reading Windows Azure : An Introduction
Extract Contents of an MSI (3/18/2009) - Sometimes you want to be able to access the contents of an MSI without having to install it. This is possible by running the Windows Installer MSIExec program with a few chosen parameters: msiexec /a FilePathToMSI /qb TARGETDIR=TargetFolder Where FilePathToMSI is the file path to the source MSI file, and TargetFolder is the path to … Continue reading Extract Contents of an MSI
Live Mesh : Specify Folder Locations (2/16/2009) - Windows Live Mesh is a nifty tool for sharing data across various devices. One problem with it though is that by default new Mesh Folders are added to the Desktop of all the devices in your mesh. There is a way to prevent this though. Creating a new Mesh folder and setting it to synchronise … Continue reading Live Mesh : Specify Folder Locations
Windows Azure Nuggets (2/16/2009) - Whilst the traditional technical video is great at hearing about a subject in detail they are usually around an hour in length making it difficult to fit them into a busy schedule. Fortunately these excellent videos on Azure are around 10 minutes, so there’s no excuse not to fit them into your week. http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/dd439432.aspx#windowsazure

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