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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    Office Communicator 2007 Beta

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    This news is about two months old, but I just found the beta for Office Communicator 2007 ( http://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/beta/ocs/default.mspx .) I like the interface changes, specifically the ability to add multiple people to a conversation...
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    Windows Equivalent?

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    One of my favorite commands in UNIX is: ^<old>^<new>. It reruns the last command but replaces <old> with <new>. It comes in quite handy for those of us who like to fat-finger commands. Is there a Windows command line syntax like...
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    Delayed Environment Variable Expansion

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    Someone around the office joked that my blog is turning into "Random Batch File Tips and Tricks." I'll continue that trend with this post... I recently encountered an environment variable surrounded by exclamation points instead of the usual percent signs...
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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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    The More You Know...

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    Did you know that in Visual Studio you can pause and drag the yellow arrow around to rerun a portion of code? This doesn't undo any state changes that were made, but sometimes it's useful and saves a bunch of time restarting the project just because you...
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    Control.DrawToBitmap

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    Did you know that method existed? I just saw it for the first time in IntelliSense. I did mostly ASPNET development work when 2.0 was released so I guess I never noticed it. This is a great one to keep in the back of your mind. public void DrawToBitmap...
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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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    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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    Path Manipulation in a Batch File

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    Have you ever typed "help for" at a command line? If you write a lot of batch files, read through it and you'll probably save yourself some time. Today I was trying to figure out how to get just the filename out of a path that may or may not contain the...
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    So You Want to Add XP to Your Vista Installation (Part 2)

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    In the first post , I laid out what seemed to be a full plan for installing XP after you install Vista and get them to dual boot nicely. That worked fine for me the first time, but then I reinstalled Vista and couldn't use the same method to dual boot...
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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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    Vista Shortcuts

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    The less I have to use the mouse the better. It only serves to slow me down. I've memorized hundreds of shortcuts in the programs I use regularly, but with the release of Vista, I have a slew of new shortcuts to play with. Here are a few of my favorites...
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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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    Sync Your Favorites Folder

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    I long ago gave up trying to keep my external links synced up across multiple computers. A solution like Windows Live Favorites is clearly the way to go for a situation like that. However, it's against most company policies to save a link to an internal...
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    So You Want to Add XP to your Vista Installation

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    I'm loving my Vista installation, but there was one piece of custom low level software that wouldn't play nice with Vista. I set forth on a quest to add an XP partition. My first option was to use Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. It's free and it supports...
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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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    CES 2007 Highlights

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    I feel like I need a nap after all the CES coverage. It's going to take a week or two to sift through some of the stuff that I missed, but here are my three favorite announcements from the show so far: IPTV on the XBox360 10.4 million XBox's...
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    libusb + Zune = Trouble

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    Today I started getting errors when I was connecting my Zune. After being connected for a minute or two, the Zune would show up with a yellow error icon in the Device Manager. The same thing happened when I first picked it up, but I was due for a reformat...
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    XPath Visualizer

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    Today I found myself writing a bunch of XPath expressions. It was cumbersome to run the full program to test out my expressions so I headed off to live.com in search of a tool. XPath Visualizer was exactly what I needed. You point it to your XML file...
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    Disable the Motorola Q Camera Sound

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    I searched high and low for an option to disable the camera shutter noise, but as far as I can tell, there isn't one. After a bit of searching, I pieced together a solution. Please note that this is not a supported method of working on your phone and...
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    Zune + Pioneer Navigation System

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    Last week I spent some time behind the dashboard of my car hooking up my new Zune to my Pioneer AVIC-D2. Actually it only took about 10 minutes and most of that time was removing and reinstalling the plastic facia of the dashboard. I took some video and...
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    Video Encoding for the Zune

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    Since I'm working on a 4.5 year old PC at home, I find the automatic Zune video transcoding a bit slow. I was able to figure out some Zune compatible settings for Windows Media Encoder and I've tweaked them to run a bit faster (probably at the expense...
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    Local.Live.Com Update

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    When Microsoft launched their own online mapping tool , I tried it once and never looked back. As of today, the online mapping service now supports 3D views! This type of 3D functionality previously required you to use that other company's downloaded...
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    Positive Press for CPAO

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    The Calendar Printing Assistant for Office reviews are starting to hit the press. "In short, printing remains one of Outlook's weaker areas, but perhaps Microsoft's development of the Calendar Printing Assistant heralds a new awareness of the existing...
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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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