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Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

(I came, I saw, I got stuck!)

November, 2010

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    AT&T vs T-Mobile Speed test (iPhone vs HTC HD7)


    I JUST visited the T-Mobile store at Microsoft Commons and saw the new HTC-HD7 and the Dell Venue Pro devices. I have to say, it blows anything I have seen or owned so far!

    First impressions:

    WOW! The HTC HD7 is slick but the screen quality on the Dell Venue Pro is a tad bit better. While the HD7 is really slim and sexy it feels a little delicate compared to the more rugged Dell Venue Pro. Neither of them feel as flimsy as the iPhone 4. The touch is super responsive on both the phones and the onscreen keyboard is mega AWESOME! It blows away the iPhone keyboard in terms of recognition and accuracy. I tried it both portrait and landscape modes and it’s great – really awesome! 16 GB internal memory is sufficient with Zune pass, you get a built in mobile song library. The Zune and Xbox integration features are my favorite by far. I also installed a few applications and the experience is fantastic! If you are like me and use One note for everything, this phone is a no brainer. The Office integration makes it worthwhile. I didn’t get a chance to test out the battery life on either phones but considering they have been around since  9:00 AM and people are constantly playing around with it…they still had a tad bit more than 1/2 battery/power left over. The HTC HD7 also comes with a kickstand in the back for you to enjoy reading/watching a movie (from your Netflix app). And, did I tell you the camera on both the phones are SWEET! 5MP with flash…and a dedicated button to take pics, so I don’t miss a moment when I am trying to unlock, click the camera button and wait for it to load. And, if you are a keyboard kinda guy – the Dell Venue Pro sports a slide out QWERTY Keyboard with real buttons. But trust me on the Onscreen Keyboard being SUPER AWESOME!

    Here’s the kicker: When I tried downloading and installing the Yelp! application, I couldn’t believe how fast it was. That got me thinking about the speed. So I did a quick speed test on the AT&T iPhone and T-Mobile HTC-HD7 – It woke me up with a Jolt! The T-mobile network in and around Seattle is SUPER FAST! I mean, it blows the AT&T speed by leaps and bounds. Here are two screen shots to prove it…


    iPhone 3GS.


    HTC-HD7 (Please note that it uses the same site designed for iPhone speed testing to test and measure the speeds)

    Here’s what I did: From an iPhone, open a browser and go to: http://i.dslr.net/iphone_speedtest.html – Select 3G and wait for the test to complete.

    The results are staggeringly different. The iPhone that I used had a speed of 142 KBPS while the new T-Mobile HTC-HD7 offered, 2204 KBPS – THAT IS 2MB/S – FANTASTIC!

    I am sure this test would give your different results depending on where you are. I also heard that the T-Mobile networks in Seattle just moved to Fiber Optics in the backend. But if you are in a major city, I don’t see it being as bad as AT&T. I was on T-Mobile before and had a pretty good coverage. I can’t say the same for AT&T…there are spots on 520, Capitol Hill where I know the call will get dropped for sure. (I can repro Smile)…

    That’s all I needed to convince me to move from AT&T to T-Mobile. If you need more reasons, here are a few:

    • Monthly bill is cheaper than AT&T (Both individual and family plans)
    • Better Coverage (I can vouch for that…)
    • Sexier phone – Really! Go check one out before you say anything…(The HTC-HD7 stole my heart)
    • Faster – I mean, way faster coverage. Look at the speeds – 142KBPS or 2204 KBPS – psshhht, that’s a no brainer. And, you can test it for yourself!
    • You can hold the phone anyway you want!

    Some of the things that I am not so happy with:

    • There are not as many apps - yet! The iPhone (iTunes) and the Android store blows away the Windows Phone 7 numbers. But given the developer ecosystem for .NET – I am confident that this number will grow fast, very fast!
    • There are some critical app’s that I rely on that are currently missing but for most part, I am covered.
    • I’ve never used ‘Face Time’ but I have friends who swear by it! I don’t see that coming to WP7 right away but I am sure it’s going to come in the next version or perhaps even sooner.


    So what are you waiting for? Go to a store near you and check one out! I am sure you will be as impressed as I am. I am ordering a Windows Phone 7 HTC-HD7 device…I think I’m in love, again!

    Tweet me your thoughts, @mithund

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    Changing your Default Search Engine in Firefox…


    I was setting up my laptop and as part of that, I installed Firefox and noticed there was no ‘Easy’ way to change the default search engine from ‘google’ to bing! Of course!

    So here’s all the hoops I had to jump through. There are two ways to ‘Search’ in Firefox.

    1. Via the Search bar on the right hand screen. This is fairly easy to change…


    Step 1: Click on the arrow next to the Search Engine Icon in the Search box. Then select, Manage Search Engines…


    Step 2: Click the Manage Search Engines and Select ‘Bing’ – Move it to the ‘Top Most’ position by clicking ‘Move up’


    Note: In some cases, when Bing is not listed, you have to click on ‘Get More Search Engines’ and then chose Bing to be added to this list. (Painful!)

    Step 3: Hit OK and close the dialog box. Now you have Bing as your default ‘Search Engine’ in the Search box.

    Now here’s the problem, you would think by doing this – you have fixed the default ‘Search Engine’ everywhere in Firefox. But, no! When you type in two words in the location bar, you still get ‘Google’ results.

    And to change this, there’s no easy way to do it except to get into the config files and edit it.

    Scenario: Type “Mithun Dhar” in the location/address bar – it brings up a google search results page. Now, I want this to bring up Bing search results page.

    Step 1: Open Firefox and type ‘about:config’ in the address bar…it should look something like this,


    Step 2: You will get a warning from Firefox that this might Void Warranty! (Yes, as ridiculous as that sounds!) – click OK! Or rather, Click, I’ll be careful, I Promise!


    Step 3: In the Filter Section, type: ‘Keyword.url’ and you’ll see the key that needs to be changed…


    By default, you have the following: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

    Double click to edit this string. Now there’s one small change that needs to be done to this string…

    Change ‘google’ in this string to your favorite search engine – in my case, I changed it to bing. Your key should now look like this:


    and that’s it! Your address bar now searches bing by default!

    I wonder where the EU is now!

    Hope this helps!

    -Mithun Dhar

  • Veni, Vidi, Velcro...

    SharePoint 2010–Everything you need to know…


    SharePoint is the fastest Billion dollar business for Microsoft! And, it’s gotten there because it is one of the best things since sliced bread! Enterprises love SharePoint and the simplicity it offers to its employees. SharePoint helps employees, Collaborate, find (Search) and work smart!

    I am starting a series on SharePoint 2010. This series will help you understand SharePoint from a Developer perspective. I’ll start from the basics, How to Install SharePoint and set up your Dev environment to writing SharePoint app’s for Windows Phone and everything in between. As always, if you have any questions or if you need more information about anything in particular – let me know! You can tweet me at – @mithund or email me at mithund at Microsoft com.

    This blog post will begin by helping you understand how to ‘Setup your SharePoint Dev Environment’ on a Windows 7 box.

    One of the biggest advantages of SharePoint 2010 is the ability to run on Windows 7 machine. Albeit, this runs only on a Windows 7 64 bit machine. I successfully installed SharePoint server on this box within an hour or so. My original machine started off with a base Windows 7 (For Enterprise SKU) 64 bit and I had installed Visual Studio 2010 with all the pre-req’s.  The VS 2010 SKU I’ve got installed is the ‘Ultimate’ one. My Hardware is a Lenvo Laptop with 8 GB RAM and Intel Core 2 processor. As mentioned earlier it’s a 64 bit machine, As a side note, I’ve tried this on a 6 GB machine and I can tell you that the additional 2 GB makes a huge difference.

    Before you start you must install the WCF Hotfix for Microsoft Windows. The hotfix is available for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. In addition, you must also install the ADO.NET Data Services Update for .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 to enable REST-based data services. This update is available for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

    Now that your basic setup is complete, let’s install the prerequisites for SharePoint 2010 – Note that for Windows 7 (Or Windows Vista) you cannot use the PreRequisiteInstall.exe tool that’s included in the setup library. This works only on a Windows Server 2008 R2 OS. Because the default installation works only for WS 2008, you must edit one of the configuration files and install the Pre-Requisites manually. Note that you need to be logged on as the administrator to perform these installations.

    Also, these steps assume that you received the SharePoint 2010 distribution as a single compressed executable file named SharePointFoundation.exe for SharePoint Foundation 2010 and setup.exe for SharePoint Server 2010.

    1. Begin by copying the SharePointFoundation.exe (or Setup.exe) installation file to a folder on the computer. I copied in the following path:


    2. Extract the Installation files from the CMD prompt window,

    For SharePoint Foundation 2010:

    C:\SharePointFiles\SharePoint /extract:C:\SharePointFiles

    For SharePoint Server 2010:

    C:\SharePointFiles\OfficeServer /extract:C:\SharePointFiles

    3. Open the Configuration file in Notepad – Config.xml is located in C:\SharePointFiles\Files\Setup\config.xml

    Add this line inside the <configuration> tag:

    <Setting Id="AllowWindowsClientInstall" Value="True"/>
    4. Save & Close the Config file. 
    5. The completed Config File should now look like this:
      <Package Id="sts">
        <Setting Id="SETUPTYPE" Value="CLEAN_INSTALL" />
      <DATADIR Value="%CommonProgramFiles%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server
       Extensions\14\Data" />
      <Logging Type="verbose" Path="%temp%" Template="Microsoft Windows
       SharePoint Services 4.0 Setup *.log" />
      <PIDKEY Value="PIDKey Value" />
      <Setting Id="UsingUIInstallMode" Value="1" />
      <Setting Id="SETUP_REBOOT" Value="Never" />
      <Setting Id="AllowWindowsClientInstall" Value="True"/>
    Please note that this Config file will be longer for SharePoint Server 2010 
    (The above file is for SharePoint Foundation 2010). 
    But that said, you should use the same setting for the AllowClientInstall attribute.
    Note that all of this is case-sensitive. If there’s an error you will get a Setup Error message when you try to run the 
    Setup Script. 

    6. Now install the following Pre-Requisites:

    • Microsoft FilterPack 2.0. At a command prompt, type the following:

    • c:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\FilterPack\FilterPack.msi






    6. Make sure the following features are enabled and your Windows Features should look like this:


    This is the Second part…


    And if you are like me, you can enable all of these features from the Command Prompt – (Please note that there are line breaks in the script below)

    start /w pkgmgr /iu:IIS-WebServerRole;IIS-WebServer;IIS-CommonHttpFeatures;

    Verify that the required Windows Features are enabled. The command in the previous step enables all of the required features in the Internet Information Services section of the Windows Features dialog box (which you can access through the Programs section in Control Panel). Use the above figures to check that you have enabled all of the required Windows Features. If any features are missing in your operating system, return to the Internet Information Services section of the Windows Features dialog box and enable them.

    Finally, install SharePoint – Open the Command prompt and type the following - C:\SharePointFiles\Setup.exe

    Accept the terms and conditions and you will be bought to this splash screen


    Please note that since this is a Developer environment that we are setting up, I chose to install using the Standalone option. If any errors occur, you can debug using the information in the log file. To find the log file type the following in the command prompt window,

    cd %temp%
    dir /od *.log

    Now your SharePoint site is being configured -


    After this, you are presented with the new sharePoint site.


    And Voila, you now have a SharePoint developer environment installed on your local Windows 7 –64 bit machine.

    I’ll follow up with a blog post on customizing your new SharePoint site….

    If you have any questions, let me know – mithund at microsoft dot ‘you know what’

    -Mithun Dhar

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