Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    HP 6365 in the USA - another blonde moment.


    Susan is not the only one to have a blond moment with a phone recently.

    I brought my iPAQ 6365 Pocket PC Smart Phone to TechReady here in Seattle and ducked into the local T-Mobile shop for a pre-paid SIM (as a company policy, we don’t do global roaming). All good so far. The blurb said that the number takes 15 minutes to 24 hours to activate but the salesperson said that was closer to 5 minutes so I had the SIM in and was waiting for it to find the network. 4 hours later it was still not finding the network. I tested the SIM in Dave’s phone and it worked, so back to the shop and the salesperson. She futzed around with the phone for a while and then decided it needed to be escalated. I got the number for T-Mobile’s HP Data Support (even though pre-paid plans don’t come with data) and I rang them today at lunchtime. I spent 30 minutes on hold, got escalated again and then the epiphany! My quad-band phone is actually a dual-dual-band phone. I hadn’t seen this screen before, but Start|Settings|Phone Band gives you two radio buttons.

    O North America (850/1900) 
    O Europe, Asia (900/1800)

    Of course, my phone was on the Europe/Asia setting. Flicking it to North America made all the difference!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Sydney Visual FoxPro User Group


    I’m sitting in the Sydney VFP User Group – Michael Brazel is explaining the intricacies of VFP CursorAdaptor class. As usual, Craig Bailey has everything organised to a tee - including a chm file with agenda and notes. Craig uses (and raves about) West Wind HTML Help Builder - a scriptable, extensible HTML Help building app built by Rick Strahl. (BTW, Rick’s also just released an update to his free ASP.NET and MSDE Web Site Configuration Utility – check it out!)

    <<Fast-Forward>> I'm now sitting on QFl07 en-route to Seattle via LAX. A bunch of us are going to Tech Ready – an internal technical training conference. I'm not sure what time it is. We crossed the Date Line about an hour ago, so I think it's yesterday.

    Michael's presentation was followed by Scott Stovell talking about a Solution Explorer for VFP which allows the combination of more than one project, the organisation of project components into categories that make sense for that project (rather than the standard All, Data, Documents, Classes, Code, Other). Scott's looking to release this into the community while retaining final say on its shape as a benevolent dictator. I suggested he look at using Darren Neimke's Project Distributor site for this.

    Finally. Craig demonstrated how to integrate the Media player control into a VFP form. All-in-all a very good evening.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Testing BlogJet


    Following Dave and Mitch’s lead, I’ve installed BlogJet. We’ll see how it goes.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    New VSTS Community Site


    Team System Rocks

    Several Microsoft RDs, MVPs, and others involved in the VSTS online community have recently launched the first community site dedicated to Visual Studio 2005 Team System. While the site is still in its infancy, there are a number of exciting resources available including VSTS-related news feeds, community forums, video tutorials, training videos, and a file library. With your help, this can become THE place to share ideas, tips, code samples, add-ins, and other VSTS customizations.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Visual Studio 2005 Team System Beta 2 VPC Available on MSDN Subscriber Downloads


    UpdateRob Caron has just posted that this

    is now available to MSDN Professional, Enterprise, and Universal Subscribers, as well as Certified Partners and the MSDN Academic Alliance.

    This just in ...

    The much anticipated download of a fully installed & configured Visual Studio 2005 Team System Beta 2 VPC is now available for download to MSDN Universal Subscribers. This is the same VPC that was distributed at TechEd USA and TechEd EMEA, and the same one I announced on the Aus DOTNET list a while ago. It represents a clean install of Windows Server 2003 w/ Visual Studio 2005 Team System Beta 2. This is by far and away the best way to get a working VSTS and TFS environment up and running in the minimum time.

    VPC Contents:

    • Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite Beta 2 (expires May 1, 2006)
    • Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server Beta 2
    • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Redistributable Package Beta 2
    • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 April Community Technology Preview
    • Microsoft Office 2003 Standard Edition
    • Microsoft Live Communication Server 2003

    Minimum System Requirements:

    • PC with 2.0 gigahertz or faster processor
    • 1.5 GB RAM minimum
    • 10 GB available hard disk space
    • Super VGA (800 x 600) or higher video
    • DVD-ROM drive
    • Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 SP1 software
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    NewsGator and VSTO Outlook Add-ins Do Mix Now


    This morning, I posted this note saying that Newsgator and VSTO2005 Outlook add-ins can't coexist, and for that reason I had the NewsGator add-in disabled so I could develop VSTO add-ins. In the meantime, I enabled Newsgator again to get a feed fix. One of the posts was from NewsGator saying they'd released a SP. I was running 2.5.9.xx and this upgrades the version to 2.5.11.xx. One feature they mention in this post is .NET 2.0 compatability.

    Happy to report I can now run both my VSTO2005 Outlook add-ins and NewsGator. Way to go guys!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    NewsGator and VSTO Outlook Add-ins Don't Mix


    UPDATE - Newsgator have now fixed this with 2.5.11.xx

    I use NewsGator for all my RSS reading needs, but recently (when I was wondering why I seemed to have extra time on my hands) I remembered that I'd had to disable it while I was in Adelaide talking about MapPoint Web Services to the ADNUG and about VSTO 2005 to the mad-keen devs at SDM. I had to disable it because the current version of NewsGator is a FW 1.1 app that doesn't support FW 2.0. In that article they suggest that to make NewsGator work on a machine with 2.0 of the framework installed, you should create ot update the Outlook.exe.config file so Outlook only loads v1.0 or 1.1 of the framework.

    One of the great new VSTO 2005 feature I was showing off was the new support for Outlook Add-ins. This is a great step forward - not least because it moves VSTO from a document-only technology (as is the case with the Word and Excel functionality) to covering application-centric add-ins as well. However, If you try to load a VSTO Outlook add-in into Outlook when you've constrained it to using v1.0 or 1.1 only, obviously things don't work. When you try to load the add-in you get a message saying that the load failed (but not why). This is because Outlook loads the framework in-process and can only load one version of the framework in-process. The only way to make this work is to disable NewsGator and un-constrain Outlook (either remove the constraints from the outlook.exe.config file, add another tag to the config file to allow FW2.0 to be loaded or delete (or rename) outlook.exe.config if there's nothing else in it).

    Update - the text of the error message that appears in Outlook when trying to load the add-in is:

    The customization assembly could not be found or could not be loaded.
    You can still edit and save the document. Contact your administrator or the author of this
    document for further assistance.

    Update II - this topic is also covered on the MS Technical Forums, and according to one poster there, NewsGator will be releasing a 2.0 version soon.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Why I Love Server-Side E-Mail (and contacts and appointments)


    I'm on holidays in Far North Queensland (I got special permission from my wife to come to the internet cafe as long as I wasn't doing work - it's a good thing I love technology for technology's sake isn't it). I was wandering down the main drag in Port Douglas when I realised that my HP6315 had experienced a Hard Reset. Not a great situation as all of my holiday details were in there including car hire, accommodation, contact numbers and so on. However, after bringing the machine back up (and setting the date to the correct year!) I was able to connect to the Exchange Server in Singapore and re-sync 600 contacts, all my future appointments (and all of my email) just by filling in two bits of information - the server name (FQDN) and my domain credentials. 10-15 minutes of furious GPRS transfer later and bingo! I was back.

    Barrirer Reef, here I come

    The really cool thing about this is not that I managed to hard reset the device (DUH), but if I'd lost the device (say, while on a cruise out to the Great Barrier Reef), re-provisioning a new one would have been just as easy.

    BTW, this gets even easier with Exchange SP2 and the new Messaging and Security Feature Pack for Windows Mobile 5

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Threading just got a whole lot easier with VS2005

    One of the great new components in VS2005 is the BackgroundWorker component, which makes writing threaded applications a whole lot easier. There's a new article up on MSDN that explains its use and shows some sample code.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Celebrity Opportunity in Adelaide

    I've spent the last couple of days with the one and only Dave Glover at some Indigo training being run here in the MS Sydney office. Dave's got to miss the final day tomorrow as he's off to Adelaide to MC at the opening of the new Adelaide office of dotNet Solutions, run by the brains (and the brawn) behind the Canberra .NET user group, John and Athena. If you want to see Dave at the top of his form, drop Athena a note and she'll give you all the details.
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