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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    Path Manipulation in a Batch File

    • 2 Comments
    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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    Windows Server 2008 R2 and Desktop Gadgets

    • 11 Comments
    Running Windows Server 2008 R2 as a desktop OS does have it’s advantages. As a tester, Hyper V is key to my daily work. I love desktop gadgets though and have written some custom ones that really help me throughout the day. Gadgets aren’t available by...
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    So You Want to Add XP to your Vista Installation

    • 11 Comments
    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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    Taskbar Pinned Shortcuts Location

    • 6 Comments
    Ever wondered where those pinned shortcuts are stored in Win7? %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch\User Pinned\TaskBar
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    CPAO

    • 72 Comments
    The Calendar Printing Assistant for Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 is the first external product to come out of my group. There are some nice writeups finally hitting the web: http://blogs.msdn.com/tims/archive/2006/08/15/701836.aspx http://www.microsoft...
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    Default ASP.NET Button

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    In my previous life as an ASP.NET ninja, I had a request from a client to use the enter button to submit a form. It turns out to be a little bit tricky until you find the magic code. Today I was the same question and found the answer after a quick Live...
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    Delayed Environment Variable Expansion

    • 5 Comments
    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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    Zune + Pioneer Navigation System

    • 4 Comments
    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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    Programmatically Changing Your IP Address

    • 3 Comments
    A friend needs to change back and forth between a DHCP network and a static IP network. Rather than teach her how to go in and configure the settings manually, I wanted to write her a program that would automate everything. I found the registry settings...
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    Modules Window in Visual Studio 2010

    • 4 Comments
    I went to pull up the modules window in VS2010, but I couldn’t find it. Maybe I did something to remove/hide it from the menu, but if you’re in this situation, you can still get to it by pressing Ctrl-Alt-U.
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    XPath Visualizer

    • 1 Comments
    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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    Installing XP Without a CD

    • 2 Comments
    I recently acquired a hand-me-down laptop at work. Since I only have desktops, I was eager to add this to my box of toys. The only problem is that the drive was completely clean and the disc drive was not functional. I tried a network boot to install...
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    Disable the Motorola Q Camera Sound

    • 0 Comments
    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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    Pulling a Facebook RSS Feed via .NET

    • 6 Comments
    I wanted to add my Facebook status to my other blog which is running Community Server 2.0. All I needed to do was write a user control to pull the RSS feed and display the text. This seemed easy enough, but it turned out to be a little tricky. First I...
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    Macro Defined Custom Outlook Search Folders

    • 1 Comments
    I use the built-in Outlook "Sent Directly To Me" search folder as my hot items in Outlook. If my name is on the To or CC line for an email, it's probably something I want to look at fairly quickly. The problem is that I'm starting to get a lot...
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    Video Encoding for the Zune

    • 7 Comments
    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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    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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    libusb + Zune = Trouble

    • 1 Comments
    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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    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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    Live Local Updates

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    I'm a big Live Local fan. Google Maps was the first one to the table with AJAX maps, but they have remained stagnant since introduction. Meanwhile Live has been continuously stepping up their game with new features. One of my favorite features is the...
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    SkyDrive

    • 2 Comments
    Windows Live SkyDrive was updated today. It's a place to store 500MB of files for free. I signed up for the open beta and I'm currently uploading files. So far I love the UI (and the name!) All the traffic is encrypted via SSL and you can set the permissions...
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    Using Data Explorer to Combine Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes

    • 1 Comments
    I recently reactivated my Netflix subscription after having it on hold for a few months. I had a lot of movies built up in the queue and I was wondering which ones I should watch first. Netflix does offer recommendations based on what I’ve seen before...
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    So You Want to Add XP to Your Vista Installation (Part 2)

    • 1 Comments
    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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    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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    Brain Teaser #3

    • 10 Comments
    This brain teaser also comes courtesy of Simeon Cran. What will the following code output? When you think you know, copy the code into Foo.cs and run “csc Foo.cs” and then run “Foo.exe”. Did it output what you expected? The brain...
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