Colin Thomsen's Microsoft Blog

I'm a developer working on the code profiler that ships with Visual Studio 2010 Premium and Ultimate editions. At a previous company I worked on computer vision software for face and gaze tracking.

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  • Blog Post: Link: Beginners Guide to Performance Profiling

    The Visual Studio 2010 MSDN documentation includes some more detailed examples (including screenshots) than previous versions. Here's a decent intro to profiling: Beginners Guide to Performance Profiling
  • Blog Post: Tip: Fixing VSPerfASPNetCmd metabase errors

    VSPerfASPNetCmd is a new Visual Studio 2010 tool that helps you profile ASP.Net websites from the command-line. Recently I noticed an error message which didn’t cover one common situation so I thought I’d write about it. Here’s an example: > VSPerfASPNetCmd.exe http://localhost...
  • Blog Post: VS2010: Profiling In Progress (PIP)

    With Visual Studio 2010 we want to make it clearer when you are profiling your application within the Visual Studio IDE. To accomplish this we added a new control which we call ‘Profiling In Progress’ or PIP, which we show when you launch the profiler or attach the profiler to a running application....
  • Blog Post: VS2010: Investigating a sample profiling report (Function Details)

    I’ve already discussed how the new profiler summary page makes it easier to discover and fix performance issues, but sometimes a little more investigation is required. This time I’m going to drill in with another new VS2010 feature called the Function Details View. I’m going to use PeopleTrax application...
  • Blog Post: VS2010: New Profiler Summary Page

    With Visual Studio 2010 we want to make it easier for customers to find and fix performance issues with their code. One of the first things we looked at was the view that shows up after profiling an application – the Summary Page. I’ll describe a few features of the new summary page using the PeopleTrax...
  • Blog Post: VS2010: Using the keyboard to profile an application (Alt-F2 shortcut)

    In announcing the Visual Studio Beta 2 profiler features, Chris mentioned that we have a new option on the Debug menu called ‘Start Performance Analysis’ which has the Alt-F2 keyboard shortcut. This makes it easier than ever to start profiling your application. The new menu item has the following behavior...
  • Blog Post: VS2010: Attaching the Profiler to a Managed Application

    Before Visual Studio 2010, in order to attach the profiler to a managed application, certain environment variables had to be set using vsperfclrenv.cmd. An example profiling session might look like this: vsperfclrenv /sampleon [Start managed application from the same command window] vsperfcmd...
  • Blog Post: PDC 2008 - See the Sessions

    This year if you didn't get a chance to go to the Professional Developer's Conference (PDC) , there is still a wealth of information available to you. The most valuable resource I think are the videos of all the PDC sessions. Here are a few of the sessions that I've viewed and found most interesting...
  • Blog Post: Tip: VS2008 – Finding and Setting Properties (Right-Click)

    The Visual Studio Profiler has many properties and options and this tip shows you where to find most of them. Future posts may cover some of the specific properties in more detail. Performance Session:   Select an existing Performance Session in the Performance Explorer to see properties in the...
  • Blog Post: Tip: VS2008 - Understanding Performance Targets

    If you have a solution that contains multiple projects it is important to know what the 'Targets' group in the Performance Explorer is used for. The PeopleTrax solution shown on the right has 4 projects, with 3 of them compiling to managed DLLs and 1 compiling to an executable. After running the Performance...
  • Blog Post: Quick Tip: VS2008 - Compare Reports Quickly

    While investigating a performance problem you may need to collect many Performance Reports and compare them. You can use the Performance Explorer to quickly compare two reports by: Selecting two reports. Right-clicking and choosing 'Compare Performance Reports...' The oldest report will be...
  • Blog Post: Tech-Ed 2008 Demos

    Last year my boss took a trip to sunny Orlando to present at Tech-Ed and to offer help and suggestions in the Technical Learning Center (TLC). This year I'm lucky enough to be attending with a couple of other folks (Habib and Tim) and since I'm not an official Speaker I'll be spending most of my time...
  • Blog Post: Performance: Inserting Marks Using Code

    Ian previously covered using the VS 2008 Data Collection Control to choose when to collect data . The Data Collection Control can also be used to insert marks into the performance report, but sometimes it is convenient to modify the source code to do this automatically. Consider a typical application...
  • Blog Post: Performance: Find Application Bottlenecks With Visual Studio Profiler

    If you're a subscriber to msdn magazine , take a look at the article in the March 2008, Vol 23, No 4 issue on Page 81 which describes how to use the Visual Studio 2008 profiler to improve the performance of an application. A couple of members of the profiler team examine a Mandelbrot fractal drawing...
  • Blog Post: Noise Reduction in the VS2008 Profiler

    One of the new profiler features in Visual Studio Team System (VS2008) is called Noise Reduction. This feature is intended to make it easier to review the Call Tree view by reducing the amount of data that is displayed, while still showing the most important functions. To illustrate this new feature...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio Team System Chat – December 5th

    Join members of the Visual Studio Team System product group to discuss features available in Team Foundation Server, Team Suite, Architecture Edition, Development Edition, Database Edition, and Test Edition. In addition, discuss what's new for these editions for Visual Studio 2008. We will be holding...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Blogs I Read

    There are a lot of Microsoft bloggers, literally thousands of them. When I first joined Microsoft I wasn't sure who to read. I've gradually built up a list based on interesting product and feature announcements and people I've met. Here they are: Profiling Our Team Blog IanWho's Blog . Written...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2008, Beta 2 (now with some of my code)

    Today we released Beta 2 of VS2008. This is the first public release from Microsoft that contains a nontrivial amount of code that I wrote (even though I haven't written too much code just yet). I had barely synched up the source tree and only fixed a couple of bugs when we released Beta 1 but now I...
  • Blog Post: Tech-Ed 2007

    Tech-Ed 2007 is starting tomorrow and the Profiler Team is sending a few people to sunny Orlando for the event. This is great news for me because my boss, Steve Carroll , is away for the week (just kidding Steve), but it is really great news for folks at Tech Ed because he'll be there presenting with...
  • Blog Post: Learning to Profile

    I went to a meeting with Rico the other day and he showed us a few approaches he uses when solving performance issues. He is a performance engineer with many years of experience so it really was a case of watch and learn. This got me thinking about how people can best learn to use performance tools....
  • Blog Post: Basic Profiler Scenarios

    This post was going to cover some basic scenarios discussing the differences between sampling and instrumentation and when you would choose to switch methods, but then I found there is already something like that in MSDN . If you haven't already, go and take a look. See if you can improve the performance...
  • Blog Post: Why Performance Matters

    Everybody likes to think that what they're working on is important so this is why I think performance (and measuring performance) matters and why it matters now more than ever. In the past chip manufacturers like Intel and AMD did a lot of the performance work for us software guys by consistently...
  • Blog Post: There's a Profiler in Visual Studio?

    I've just started working in the Visual Studio Team System , Profiler team. Many people are surprised to hear that Visual Studio does actually have a profiler and that it has had one since Visual Studio 2005. To use the profiler you need either Visual Studio Team System for Developers or Visual Studio...
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