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February 27, 2006

Don't lose your files

My friend Chris Delmar is fond of saying, "There are only two kinds of computer users. Those who have lost data and those who will." I fall into the prior category as do most people. The worst hit I took was last August. I was working. Then I was blue screening. Then I was not booting. My hard drive was all kinds of dead. Yeah I could of had all the data back for just $1800.00. I don't think so.

My actual work for my job was fine. We use SourceGear Vault and we use it religiously so no data was lost there. My personal files including several development experiments and presentations were another story. That would be the story where they were kidnapped by my dead hard drive and held hostage by the data recovery people. I don't ever want that to happen again -ever.

Here's an inexpensive solution. http://www.ntius.com/default.asp?p=shadow/shadow_main It lets you backup selected folders to another drive including thumb drives. It can automatically backup every time you save to one of your specified folders or you can setup a back schedule. It will also do file versioning. It can filter what kinds of files are backed up but they are preset – no custom file filters. Anyway this is a cheap backup solution. I bought a 1GB Thumb drive at Staples last week for $40.00. This product is 30.00. Not bad for the cheap seats.

12:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Free Code Snippets from Microsoft

If you are using Visual Studio and you are not using code Snippets now is the time get started. VS 2005 ships with a bunch of snippets precanned. Now microsoft has made even more available for you. Check them out at Microsoft Code Snippets.

You can use snippets by typing the shortcut associated with the snippet and hitting tab twice. You can also see them listed by right clicking and selecting Insert Snippet. The snippet manager is under Tools -> Snippet Manager. Create your own and share...

12:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 16, 2006

The Missing Piece in WPF

I'm in training at Redmond this week. Taking the deep dive on WPF, WCF and WF. If you don't know that alphabet soup you can sum it up with WinFX. Over the next week or so I will be blogging about all of these technologies but for right now I'd like to discuss WPF - Windows Presentation Foundation. Great technology but its missing a big piece.

Microsoft has never said it but WPF has been called a Flash killer. It certainly holds up as just that. It's a total integration of text, controls, images, video and sound I can't think of anything Flash can do that this can't but in terms of an application platform it far surpasses it. WPF however is not going to be a Flash killer. It lacks Flashes ubiquity. It will only run on XP, Windows 2003 and the new Windows Vista. You have to have the run time downloaded and installed. Microsoft is currently saying that XP and Windows 2003 will get the run time over windows update but it will not be rated as a critical update.

When Flash isn't installed in your browser you are asked to download and install it. This simple easy to handle installation has made Flash what it is today. WPF can run in the browser as well but it will not have the easy install, automatic directing to the download that Flash feature. This extra step along with the limited list of operating systems will keep WPF from being a Flash killer.

Its too bad because I was hoping that the competition would push Macromedia/Adobe into integrating more of a programming and connectivity model into Flash. Flash has those things now but they are crude. They are getting better but its not anywhere near what an applications developer needs. Perhaps this will give Macromedia/Adobe a bit of scare.

05:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

February 14, 2006

Jack Bauer - .Net Programmer

  1. When JACK BAUER tries to capture terrorists he always catches and when they make him mad he goes straight to finally.

  2. JACK BAUER fully implements the IDisposable interface.

  3. JACK BAUER prefers C# to Visual Basic. JACK BAUER is very comfortable around sharp objects.

  4. To JACK BAUER remoting means detonating C4 from an distance.

  5. IF JACK BAUER decides to do something there is no else.

  6. JACK BAUER has been to DLL hell and laughed.

  7. JACK BAUER has limited debugging skills. The only technique he knows is how to set a break point.

  8. To JACK BAUER late binding means duct taping a terrorist hands after he has beaten a confession out of him

  9. JACK BAUER never uses delegates.

  10. JACK BAUER always uses a radio button collection to display a finite list of options. JACK BAUER drops down for no man.

  11. JACK BAUER hates DLLs. All of his applications are executables.

03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)