System.Blog.Martens.Ben

The Tech Blog of Ben Martens

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About The Tech Blog of Ben Martens

I'm an SDET in the Connected Systems Division. The Calendar Printing Aassistance for Office is the first public product to be released from our group and is available with Office12.

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    VS: Modules Window

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    I've worked in various version of Visual Studio just about every day for the past 4 years. Today I learned a new feature: the Modules debug window. I'm trying to create test the debugging scenario when a specific set of symbols is not loaded. But no matter...
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    Two Command Line Tricks

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    Watching a co-worker type can be a good tool for learning new tricks. I always ask "How did you just do that?" when I see something fly by a bit too quickly. I just learned two of them in the last half hour. If there is a command in your history...
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    Oslo Elevator Pitch

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    One of the big challenges for me has always been coming up with a short and sweet elevator pitch for our offering, but recently Don Box and Doug Purdy have done just that on their respective blogs. http://www.pluralsight.com/community/blogs/dbox/archive...
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    Rory in Redmond

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    I'd like to take a minute to be one of many people to welcome Rory to Redmond . Channel9 seems to be a perfect fit for him and I'm looking forward to seeing what he can do with it.
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    Multiline Search and Replace

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    I'd love to see support for search and replace in VS, but until it's available, here's a free macro that gives you the functionality. http://www.helixoft.com/blog/archives/15 If you need one that just does general multiline search and replace in a specific...
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    We Want Your Crash Dump

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    I'll admit that prior to coming to Microsoft, I rarely clicked "Send report to Microsoft" when something would crash, and I never participated in the customer experience improvement option when offered. Now that I'm participating on some teams...
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    Blogs of Senior Microsoft Testers

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    I have been meaning to make a post listing out the blogs of some of Microsoft's senior testers, and I was reminded of that task today when I found out that James Whittaker has started blogging. If you're interested in testing, these are great places to...
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    Process Explorer

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    Are you still using the default Task Manager? That's so 2006. All the cool kids are using Process Explorer . Microsoft bought the product a year or two ago and it's free for the taking. The first thing you'll want to do when you fire it up is click Options...
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    Microsoft Fame

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    Sometimes I think we should have geek trading cards. "I'll trade you a Don Box for your Chris Sells and a Bubble Tape." Maybe I'm just easily starstruck by famous geeks, but that's one thing that I haven't gotten tired of yet. When I joined the team,...
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    WPF Proponents

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    "But parts of the Office team do use the Common Language Runtime (i.e., .NET technology). They even use Windows Presentation Foundation! http://bloggingabout.net/blogs/erwyn/archive/2006/08/16/Office-2007-and-the-CLR-get-along-after-all.aspx
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    Tester Spotlight: Bryan Lipscy

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    Michael Hunter and I recently recorded an interview with Bryan Lipscy, a tester on the Windows help team. I never thought about all the work that goes into testing the help system, but it's quite impressive. The video is currently on the front page of...
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    IE7 Today

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    IE7 is available for free download today ! About five months ago, I made the switch from that other browser to IE7. I'm very impressed with the overall look, feel, performance, and security. Channel9 posted an interview with the Internet Explorer team...
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    Compressing Primes

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    A recent program contest at work challenged us to find as many Pythagorean triples as we could that contained at minimum of one prime. We had about a month to work on it. The first question was whether to write up a quick brute force attempt or to take...
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    Interview with Ivo Manolov, WPF Test Manager

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    Michael Hunter and I headed over to building 40 this week to interview Ivo Manolov, the test manager for Windows Presentation Foundation. Ivo has some great insight on what it takes to be a great tester. We're trying out these videos on Channel9 instead...
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    MSDN User Submitted Content

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    The new version of MSDN online has a great feature that allows users to add text to existing pages. In a way it turns MSDN into a giant wiki while drawing a firm line between user-submitted content and official Microsoft content. The feature hasn't been...
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    Why Oslo Is Important

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    This article by Dan Vanderboom is one of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen to explain why Oslo is important. Here are a few quotes, but you should take the time to read the whole thing . Oslo respects this need for choice by offering support for building...
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    Failure to Fail

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    Here's a quick testing tip: make it as difficult as possible for your test to pass. Otherwise, a failure to fail may be reported as a success and mask a real problem. For example, if your method returns non-zero for a failure, initialize your result code...
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    Vista Sideshow

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    One of the most exciting features in Vista for me is Sideshow. You host these small gadgets on your Vista PC and it gets displayed on any device that supports Sideshow - laptop covers, cell phones, digital photo frames, remotes, etc. I think we're going...
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    Oslo at PDC 2008

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    Are you going to PDC this year? Be sure to stop by some of the Connected Systems Division talks to hear about the project I work on. There are plenty of people more qualified than me to give the talks, and that's just fine with me. I'll be hard at work...
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    Deepfish - Mobile Web Browsing

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    One of my favorite Windows Mobile apps is now available to the public. Go check out Deepfish if you spend time browsing the Internet on your phone. When you browse to a site via Deepfish, a server at Microsoft renders the page in IE and then sends an...
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    Microsoft Codename “Data Explorer” Announced

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    I’m happy to announce that the project I’ve been working on is finally public! Technically the actual bits are not public yet, but the fact that we exist is no longer a secret! Here’s my elevator pitch: This product allows you to easily pull in lots of...
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    Brain Teaser

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    During a recent Hope on the Slopes 24-hour ACS skiing fundraiser, I used my watch to track vertical feet throughout the day. The watch isn't perfectly calibrated, but it's reasonably accurate. The watch counts a run any time you make a vertical change...
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    Surface

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    The big mystery announcement last night was Microsoft Surface . Where do I sign up to get one? I can instantly think of a bunch of board games that would be a great fit for this as well as your basic photo/map display. What if you could use it as a Media...
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    TechFest

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    We're in the middle of TechFest on campus. Since I just started with the company last spring, this is the first one I've been around for. I meandered through the booths for a couple hours today and wow... there are some incredible things in the works...
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    Signup Email Security Holes

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    Here's the scenario: I visit a sparkly new website and create an account. Later I find a welcome email in my box with confirmation of my new account. I don't really need that but thanks anyway. The unforgivable part is when that email includes my username...
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