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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    DOSKEY Features

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    Maybe I'm the last person on the planet to learn about this, but I have new love for my command prompt. I live in multiple command windows all day long so I can't believe I haven't seen this before. I tested this on Vista and Win2k3. F2 + character: Prints...
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    Elevated Permissions and the Vista SP1 Registry

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    We recently ran into an interesting issue with our installer which requires elevated permissions to run on Vista SP1. The installer wrote registry entries to HKCR. This is a virtualized hive and the entries are actually written to HKCU. When we ran the...
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    Brain Teaser #2

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    This brain teaser comes courtesy of a co-worker named Simeon Cran. Using C# and no branches, and no method calls , no allocations, and no unsafe code , write a method that takes a ulong and clears all the bits in it except the highest bit that was set...
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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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    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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    Web Cam Time Lapse

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    I've done a couple time lapse videos recently, and I think I'm becoming a bit of a time lapse fan. This latest app combines time lapse photography with the skiing web cams that I watch every day (via my Vista gadget !) The app watches a list of web cams...
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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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    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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    Channel8

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    Miguel Llopis is an intern on our team this summer. He gave a presentation in our team meeting this afternoon about Channel8. I'm a fan of the work that has been done on Channel9 and Channel10 (shameless plug for my video at On10 ), but I hadn't heard...
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    Hard Drive Penalties

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    In an introductory programming class, I had a professor who explained CPU cache as sitting in a library and having the book in front of you. RAM was like going to a bookshelf. And hitting the hard drive was like ordering it from a store and waiting for...
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    Bug Tales: WP7 Secondary Live Tiles

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    In my spare time, I have written quite a few Windows Phone applications. By far the best and most popular one is CascadeSkier . In a recent update, I switched from pushing out live tiles from a centralized server to having the phone generate it’s own...
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    Living in Seattle (a.k.a. Win Free Stuff)

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    I moved 2800 miles to take the job with Microsoft. To some that might fall in the "cons" side of the yellow legal pad, but for me it was a huge plus. The Pacific Northwest is an unbelievable place to live and play. The city is vibrant and full...
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    Models Remixed

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    From www.modelsremixed.com ...
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    Test Center Spotlight - Rob Straavaldson

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    I recently had the pleasure of meeting both Michael Hunter (the Braidy Tester ) and Rob Straavaldson to videotape a Tester Center Spotlight interview. You won't see me on the video, but those two guys are much more interesting than me anyway. I'm lining...
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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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    GraphWise

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    The beta version of GraphWise is now available to the public. A 10,000 foot view of the app is that they are a search engine for numerical data. In fact, their home page currently states that they have created over 150 million data tables. Now that they...
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    Microspotting

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    One of my favorite parts of my job at Microsoft is the wide variety of people that I get to interact with on a daily basis. Want a meet a guy who toys with buying a hovercraft? How about the guy who wrote a bunch of the code books on my shelf? What about...
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    SQL Server Modeling November 09 CTP

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    The latest CTP from my team is now public on the web! Here are a few of the “M” language updates you’ll find in these bits: The ability to reference labeled entity instances in expressions and across compilation episodes. Entities and collections now...
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    Logs Named By Current DateTime

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    I have a scheduled task and I’d like to save logs from the output. After some quick batch file work, I came up with this. @echo off setlocal for /f "tokens=2" %%A in ('date /t') DO @(set MyDate=%%A) set MyDate=%MyDate:/=-% set MyTime=%TIME:...
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    I Am The Empire

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    Thanks to the team over at Microspotting.com for sending me an "I Am The Empire" t-shirt!
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    MSDN Tester Center

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    The Tester Center team has been hard at work since launch day coming up with new content and adding features to the site. If you head over to the site now, you'll see an RSS feed containing all the content from the site. New content should appear in the...
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    Future of Modeling

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    The Connected Systems Division was featured in Information Week today and they vaguely mentioned my project. "In the past a very select group of users has used modeling. Microsoft is going to make modeling mainstream for the average developer,"...
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    Microsoft "Oslo" Web Page

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    Now that PDC is in full swing, the Oslo Developer Center has been published. It contains a lot of great information about the whole Oslo platform - the Repository, the M modeling language, and Quadrant. Quadrant is the specific piece that I work on so...
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    TFS Work In Progress Shelvesets

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    By now you all know that you should save your progress often. This batch file will quickly create a TFS shelveset with all your current changes. The shelveset will be named with the current date and time. You can specify an optional parameter which will...
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    Brain Teaser Answer

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    There was a lot of extra information in that brain teaser . All you really needed was these two sentences: Clearly 41 runs * 1210 feet = 49610 feet. The watch incorrectly said that I had skied 20,100 but had the correct number of runs. So if I had looked...
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