Brian Johnson's Startup Developer Blog

February, 2005


    Remote Record Works!

    Sitting on the couch tonigh, my wife asks, "Can you record Fear Factor on that machine of yours?" I say sure and I use Remote Record to set the recording from my laptop. The show gets recorded on the Media Center  and we're watching it now through the Xbox Media Extender.  :) 

    Visual Studio Debugger Chat Today

    Frank let me know that there's a Visual Studio Debugger Chat at 1:00 PM (PST) today. Here are the details:
    The Visual Studio Debugger
    Do you have some burning questions or comments about SQL, C#, VB, C++, or script debugging support in Visual Studio? Want to know more about Visual Studio 2005's enhanced datatips, improved interop debugging, Managed Debugging Assistants, debugger visualizers or Just My Code? Join the Visual Studio Debugger team to discuss the past, speculate on the future, and debate the present of your favorite development tool.

    Update: Took it off the C++ feed. :)

    Cooking with .NET

    I just watched the video of Chris Gray on Channel9. This is a great piece showing how to create a web service to upload pictures from your camerphone to a home server.
    Chris Gray - Building your own home server
    Chris Gray, a developer in the Windows Server team (yes, we've seen Chris before in the Windows CE videos) shows how to use managed code running on a Windows Mobile device to upload photo's from a Pocket PC to a home server - the demo shows the back end 'server' code and the code running on the device.Video length: 00:28:46.

    I call this cooking because this one comes off like a cooking show. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and you end up with something really cool. :)

    I should mention that if you want to do this kind of stuff, you follow good security practices. Check out this book for information:

    Improving Web Application Security: Threats and Countermeasures


    Very Sad

    Writer Hunter S. Thompson dead at 67

    Superman - The Animated Series

    I picked up a copy of Superman - The Animated Series, Volume One this weekend. It's a great series and there are a ton of cool features to go along with this DVD set. It includes the first 18 episodes (of 54 total). We've watched 1 though 4 so far. There are 4 episodes with commentary and one episode has a pop-up video thing going with interesting little trivia tidbits. I bought it up on a whim for 20 bucks and I think it's one of my favorite DVD purchases ever.

    VS Editor Zoom

    In case you haven't seen this, it's an awesome add-in project that you'll want to try out. I found it via the vs2005news's WebLog. This add-in creates a zoom control toolbar that lets you specify the how much you want to magnify the text in Visual Studio. There's a project for Visual Studio 2003 and one for the 2005 December CTP in the project workspace. Check it out here:
    VS Editor Zoom: Workspace Home
    Just like Words zoom control, adjusting the value of this control will increase or decrease the font size in the Visual Studio Editor.
    To use this add-in, you'll need to build it. If you're not interested in debugging the project, I would unzip the project, then rebuild all. In the Solution Explorer window, right click on the setup project (ZoomAddinSetup) and click Rebuild. You'll find Debug and Release folders in the ZoomAddinSetup folder. Close Visual Studio and run the Setup.exe file in the Release folder. When you open Visual Studio again, look for a little toolbar that contains the control. Drag that onto your toolbar area for easy access.

    This looks like an especially cool add-in for people doing demos. You can work with a normal font and then you can zoom in on just the code you want the audience to see. Very nice. Get more information at the IDE team's Powertoys Page on GDN.

    Moleskine Mess

    I have a confession to make. While I've really enjoyed taking notes in my Moleskine notebook, I have to be honest with myself. This thing is a complete and utter mess. While I've felt pretty creative in my note taking, going back over the stuff I've written has been very difficult. My best strategy has been to take some notes and copy those notes back into OneNote. Still, I can see that (the way I work anyway) over time this isn't going to scale very well at all. The funny thing is, I actually feel sort of bad about this because the community around this product is so cool.

    So, I'm going to go back to using my FranklinCovey planner to review and sketch out my day and I'll go back to taking some notes in the DRE section, with separate pages and tabs for project notes. I'll keep the Moleskine around for artsy stuff I think, but for work I'm going to have to stick with the system I've used for the last 6 years or so. :)

    What I think I really want is a good, straightforward way to use OneNote from any computer that I might be on. There are a number of options for that including sending e-mail to myself to paste into OneNote and just putting a notebook up on a share somewhere and accessing it over the network. I think I would really like a blog-like way to send notes to a OneNote notebook. I'll play around with this and post if I find out anything interesting.

    Troubleshooting Visual C++ Issues

    Yesterday, I attended a meeting where MSDN Product Manager Justin Grant went over some of the pain points that customers are having when they visit MSDN. One of these points had to do with searching for the right answer when troubleshooting a problem. I think the issue is that the documentation and papers we post on MSDN aren't really oriented toward troubleshooting issues for the most part.

    What we do have though, is a great product support site that's dedicated to troubleshooting issues.
    Microsoft Visual C++ .NET 2003 Support
    With that in mind I'm going to add a troubleshooting link to the home page Visual C++ Developer Center and I'll also take a look at adding something like a top knowledge base articles control to the home page. Does a KB control sound like something useful on the site? Post a response to this thread and let me know.

    Win32 to .NET API Map

    If you're doing managed development and you're searching for the .NET equivalent of your favorite Win32 functions, then this is the place to look. I think I reviewed this paper last year:
    Microsoft Win32 to Microsoft .NET Framework API Map
    This article identifies the Microsoft .NET Framework version 1.0 or 1.1 APIs that provide similar functionality to Microsoft Win32 functions. One or more relevant .NET Framework APIs are shown for each Win32 function listed. The intended audience for this article is experienced Win32 developers who are creating applications or libraries based on the Microsoft .NET Framework, but anyone looking for a managed counterpart for a Win32 function could find this document useful.

    Thanks to Steve for the head's up.

    Update: I thought this was updated, but I made a mistake on the year. It's still a great resource. :)


    Protect Against Exploit Code Related to Security Bulletin MS05-009

    Microsoft posted information tonight to help customers with a Windows and MSN Messenger issue related to MS05-009. Key to protecting yourself is making sure that you've installed the MS05-009 update. Get the details here:
    Protect Against Exploit Code Related to Security Bulletin MS05-009

    Microsoft is aware of exploit code available on the Internet that seeks to exploit an issue addressed this week by the update released with Microsoft Security Bulletin MS05-009. Microsoft is not currently aware of any active attack utilizing this code or any customer impact. We will continue to actively monitor the situation and provide updated customer information and guidance as necessary.

    Our investigation of this exploit code has verified that it does not affect users who have installed the MS05-009 update for both Microsoft Windows and MSN Messenger. Microsoft continues to recommend customers apply the MS05-009 updates to the affected products by enabling Automatic Updates in Windows as well as installing the updated version of MSN Messenger.
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