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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    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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    Do Bicyclists Like Yogurt?

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    It's so much fun to have material like these videos going out for our product! Here’s another new one to check out. Various other team members have also been doing some blogging. I’d specifically recommend that you check out Tim’s blog . He has been releasing...
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    Removing Errors In Data Explorer

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    If you step through my previous post about Netflix + Rotten Tomatoes and try to recreate it, you might notice a couple things that I skipped. In my particular queue, I have some TV series. Rotten Tomatoes doesn’t return any search results. This results...
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    Oslo on .NET Rocks

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    Chris Sells is a PM on our team and spent quite a while talking to Carl Franklin on episode #401 of .NET Rocks. It's a great simple (geeky) English explanation of what we're doing. http://www.dotnetrocks.com/default.aspx?showNum=401
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    Extracurriculars Count!

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    I finished my undergrad about five years ago (Go Purdue!). As I look back at my education and try to pinpoint the key decisions, a couple things stick out: Get involved in extracurricular clubs. I was a member of StudentDev (a Microsoft student club associated...
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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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    MSDN Data DevCenter

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    Members of my group have been hard at work getting a new MSDN Data DevCenter up and running at http://msdn.com/data . This is a merger of a few other DevCenters to provide a unified look at developing with Microsoft’s data platform. Keep your eyes open...
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    PDC Videos

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    Here are some videos of the PDC sessions related to my project. The first one, specifically, is devoted to my immediate team’s work. SQL Server Modeling (nee “Oslo”) Microsoft Project Code Name “M”: The Data and Modeling Language Building Data-Driven...
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    Brain Teaser #2 Answer

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    Have read the question yet? Read it here . The problem is pretty simple if you have 00111 (where all the bits after the first 1 are also 1’s.) You shift right, run the NOT operator, and then AND that result with the original. For example: ORIGINAL...
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    New “Data Explorer” Video

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    Our team has released another video! Hopefully it won’t be too much longer before you can actually get your hands on some real bits. We’re cranking away on a couple more great features that we want to get into that first release. Don’t forget to check...
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    More Windows Shortcuts

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    The last post I made with command line tricks was well-received so I thought I'd post another little Windows shortcut. Items in your quick launch toolbar are accessible by pressing the Windows key followed by the number corresponding to the icon's position...
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    Fantasy NASCAR + Microsoft Data Explorer

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    As a member of the Data Explorer team and a fan of NASCAR, it was only natural (or not?) that I would combine the two. Besides, it’s fun to file bugs to our dev team who overwhelming choose soccer as their favorite sport. Even as I write this I can hear...
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    Traffic Analysis with Microsoft Data Explorer

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    For the past couple months, I’ve been running a simple app on my desktop which records the estimated length of my commute using Bing Maps Traffic. The output is stored in a CSV file. The CSV file looks like this: 12/1/2011,5:07 PM,HomeToWork,22:26 12...
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    Oslo in BillG's Keynote

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    The project I work on, Oslo, was mentioned in BillG's keynote at TechEd. You can see the video clip here: http://msstudios.vo.llnwd.net/o21/presspass/zune/Looking_Ahead_Zune.wmv And you can read a few articles about it here: http://news.idg.no/cw/art...
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    Outlook Rules

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    I live in Microsoft Outlook at work and at home. At home I can just let everything dump into my inbox and keep up with it, but that doesn’t work for the hundreds (or thousands?) of emails I get each day at work. There are lots of theories about how to...
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    Brain Teaser #3 Answer

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    If you haven't read the question yet, you can read it here . The answer for this lies in the C# specification. Specifically, read section 8.13. There are two different ways you can use a using statement and in this case we are interested in the second...
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    Getting Started with Power Query for Excel

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    Power Query v1 launched a few months ago. Power Query is part of the Microsoft Power BI suite. If you’re interested in getting started with Power Query, here are some helpful resources: Help page – This includes helpful topics such as the Introduction...
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