Jonathan Hardwick

Improving the performance of Visual Studio

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  • Blog Post: Visible Recycle Bin Considered Harmful

    Lazy-blogging (verb): The act of letting a thought sit unblogged for long enough that someone else blogs about it instead, thereby saving you the effort. cf lazyweb. Case-in-point: Many of us OCD types find it impossible to sit with a non-empty recycle bin on our desktop. We just can't do it. It nags...
  • Blog Post: Startup processes on a Toshiba M400

    Or, " What is all this stuff doing on my computer ", part II. I've just finished switching my portable life over to a new Toshiba M400 Tablet PC. Gig of memory, Centrino Core Duo, life is good. At least, it was good until I looked at the process list in task manager. Then it was that same feeling...
  • Blog Post: Cultural change at Microsoft, or, "What was the point in keeping quiet?"

    In an anonymous comment on “ Patch for tcserver.exe memory leak on Tablet PC - at last! ”, zzz asks: What was the point in “keeping quiet”? Is there some kind of NDA that stops from stating the obvious thing (holy cow we have a bug in our perfect product!) that everyone knows about? You could have...
  • Blog Post: Developers rejoice - new API for Windows Desktop Search!

    Ever since the MSN team released their first beta toolbar with Windows Desktop Search , developers have been asking how they can add its search functionality to their own programs. Well, the wait is over – the MSN team have quietly added documentation for their Windows Desktop Search API . Oh, and an...
  • Blog Post: MaxiVista just got even better

    MaxiVista is a software application that lets you use another PC – your laptop, for example – as an extra screen for your main computer. Since more screen real estate is always better, this is a Good Thing. It's especially sexy with a Tablet PC, because you can rotate the keyboard out of the way, completing...
  • Blog Post: FeedDemon vs NewsGator: why platforms are bad and RSS isn't email

    Several months ago I started writing a review of FeedDemon and NewsGator, together with an explanation of why I switched (twice). Now that FeedDemon has been bought out by NewsGator , it’s probably time to finish that review… Like Alex Barnett , I actually bought both products (Alex, which one have...
  • Blog Post: MSN Desktop Search is out of beta - go get it!

    The MSN Search team have just announced that their desktop search tool is out of beta. You can read more about it in this CNET article (via Scoble ), or go straight to the download page like I did. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve become reliant on desktop search – it’s hard to imagine that we used...
  • Blog Post: Maxthon joins the RSS sidebar party

    Right now Maxthon is my tabbed browser of choice – it’s slick, rock-solid, and uses the IE6 rendering engine for maximum compatibility. Most importantly, it’s being updated at a feverish pace that would put a pack of crazed weasels to shame. This morning its auto-update feature offered me v1.2.00...
  • Blog Post: Skype install problems? Try the updated installer

    Like Jeff Sandquist , I couldn’t get Skype v1.1 to install when it was first released two weeks ago – the installer would happily kick off two processes that would then just sit there, doing nothing. Omar Shahine came up with a workaround of booting into safe mode before installing, but by...
  • Blog Post: How to make Adobe Reader 7.0 load faster

    Like most other techies, whenever I install Adobe’s Acrobat Reader I also uninstall most of the pointless plugins, to speed up its dog-slow startup process. If you want to learn more about speeding up Adobe Reader 6.0, just ask Tim or Chris or Greg or Omar or Kevin (“site:blogs.msdn.com adobe reader...
  • Blog Post: New MSN Search wiki on Channel 9

    Check out the new wiki pages that the MSN Search team have created on Channel 9 ! This is a one-stop community information resource for everything and anything to do with MSN Search – the web search engine , the desktop search tool , bug reports, feature requests, random questions, cool hacks, you name...
  • Blog Post: Do you prefer single-click or double-click behavior for system tray icons?

    Many Windows client applications can iconify themselves to the system tray instead of taking up an entry on your taskbar. I love this feature for apps that I keep around all day, because it means that I always know where to find them — they're in the system tray, stupid! The problem is that there is...
  • Blog Post: Why is MSN Desktop Search so slow at indexing my disk? And other tips...

    A quick follow-up to four points, since " Dogfooding MSN Desktop Search " seems to be getting a lot of attention. First, Joe Wilcox of Jupiter Research is disappointed with the initial indexing speed of desktop search, because it took 2.5 hours to index 7GB of data and 800MB of email on his laptop...
  • Blog Post: Dogfooding MSN Desktop Search - tips and tricks

    The new MSN Desktop Search tool represents the combined efforts of several different search teams within Microsoft, some of which have shown their tools externally (e.g. MSR’s Stuff I’ve Seen ), and all of which have had their own internal beta programs. I’ve played with a couple of them over the past...
  • Blog Post: Sysinternals blog - required reading for every Windows administrator

    Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, the guys behind Sysinternals, now have an RSS feed . If you don't know what Sysinternals is, stop reading right now and go to http://www.sysinternals.com . They make administration tools that are so good we reference them in Microsoft knowledgebase articles - just...
  • Blog Post: The problem with MaxiVista…

    …is that once you've used it you can never go back. For those who missed my earlier review, MaxiVista is a networked virtual display driver that lets you extend your Windows desktop onto the screen of a second computer. What this means is that every morning I put my Tablet PC next to my desktop's...
  • Blog Post: Free SP2 CDs are starting to arrive

    Joe Wilcox of Jupiter Research has previously taken us to task for not doing enough to get SP2 into the hands of consumers. Thankfully, there's a happy ending to the story : Last Thursday I ordered a Windows XP Service Pack 2 disc, mainly to see how long delivery would take. When I ordered, Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: autoruns, or "What is all this stuff doing on my computer" revisited

    My old post on " What is all this stuff doing on my computer " described how to track down and identify all the processes that start automatically when you log on to Windows. That post continues to get lots of Google traffic, due to a list of all the weird and wonderful executables that get started on...
  • Blog Post: How do we educate the analysts?

    Joe Wilcox of Microsoft Monitor still thinks that people won't download SP2 via dialup , presumably for the same reasons that he gave earlier , i.e. "it's too big to fetch in one chunk". Of course, XP doesn't actually need to download SP2 in one chunk - see my response for details, or just read Jeremy...
  • Blog Post: "SP2 and Broadband Migration"

    Microsoft Monitor from Jupiter Research is required reading for any serious Microsoft watcher. Joe Wilcox got the blogging bug early and hard, and often comes up with the story-behind-the-story - stuff about breaking Microsoft news that even I didn't know. But I think Joe is missing part of the story...
  • Blog Post: XP SP2 RTMs!

    Or, in plain English, “ Windows XP Service Pack 2 has been Released To Manufacturing ”. Expect the bits to show up in your auto-update soon - and if you haven't already turned on auto-update, now is a great time to do so! Note that I don't think we're saying how soon they'll show up for anyone...
  • Blog Post: The other reason to love folder redirection: shadow copies

    In my previous post I forgot to mention the other big win of having My Documents redirected to a share on a Windows 2003 server - shadow copies . In technical terms this is a periodic volume snapshot service, using copy-on-write to minimize disk space requirements. In user terms it means that you can...
  • Blog Post: The only way to work on a laptop: folder redirection and offline files

    I might bitch about eating our own dogfood, but a lot of the time it's actually pretty damn tasty. For example, I can't remember how I ever used a laptop without the combination of folder redirection and offline files. Microsoft's technical support staff use folder redirection to give each of us a...
  • Blog Post: Got Sasser?

    Didn't turn on auto-updates? Infected with the Sasser worm? Grab Microsoft's Sasser.A and Sasser.B Worm Removal Tool . Security MVP Harry Waldron seems to have been the first to pick this up . Unfortunately, the Internet Storm Center is already reporting the existence of Sasser.C … Updates: ...
  • Blog Post: Windows XP SP2, or the joys of defragging

    Reminder to self: never eat dogfood just before heading home, it'll keep you up all night. The "dogfood" in this case is release candidate 1 of the upcoming XP Service Pack 2 . We're not recommending that customers use it in production environments, but I've been wanting to try out the Tablet PC enhancements...
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