Tom Archer's Blog

My name is Tom Archer and I'm a Senior MVP Lead. Our team is tasked with recognizes, rewarding and enabling exceptional technical community leaders who foster the free and objective exchange of knowledge by actively sharing their real world Microsoft p

  • Tom Archer's Blog

    ReadyBoost Q&A

    • 443 Comments
    Back in April, I posted a blog entry on the ReadyBoost feature - the Windows Vista feature that allows you to use a USB key as virtual memory in order to enhance performance. While I originally intended the post to be an overview of ReadyBoost, it proved...
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    ReadyBoost - Using Your USB Key to Speed Up Windows Vista

    • 125 Comments
    One very cool feature of Windows Vista – especially for machines not natively equipped with the kind of horsepower to fully enjoy the rich visuals of Windows Presentation Foundation (Avalon) applications is ReadyBoost. ReadyBoost enables you to plug a...
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    Windows Vista, .NET 3.0 and Windows SDK Compatibility Matrix

    • 113 Comments
    [28 September 2006 Update] The Windows Vista September CTP has been released to beta members. There is a matching September CTP from the .NET 3.0 Runtime Components, Windows SDK, "Orcas" Tools and Workflow Extensions to Visual Studio 2005. I originally...
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    Free Microsoft Certification Exam (in Visual C++)

    • 287 Comments
    Sorry for the late notice, but I've just been informed that there's a free Visual C++ 2005 certification exam available (#71-526). While this is a "beta" exam and is only good until January 31, it does count towards certification in the same way as the...
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    Free Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and ASP.NET 2.0 Training!

    • 47 Comments
    This past Friday, we announced that our Training/Learning division is offering *free* training on several courses related to the November 7 launch of Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006. From what I'm being told this training is...
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    WinFX November CTP Questions & Answers

    • 499 Comments
    It's finally here! The WinFX November CTP (Community Technology Preview) is the latest version of the WinFX technologies and is now available for download/installation. Included in this version is the WinFX Runtime Components (RTC) , Windows SDK and Visual...
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    Windows Vista Beta 2 Now Available to the Public!!

    • 138 Comments
    Not much to say here except ... "YAY!!!" You can finally download the Vista Beta 2 bits by enrolling in the Customer Preview Program. Note that the WinFX Runtime Components (needed to run WinFX apps) are automatically installed in this Windows Vista...
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    Windows SDK, WinFX and Cider December CTP Released

    • 158 Comments
    We've released the December CTP (Community Technology Preview) of several interrelated technologies this morning. These include the Windows SDK (with WinFX ) and and several "Orcas" technologies such as Cider (a Visual Designer for the Windows Presentation...
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    Are Hash Codes Unique?

    • 24 Comments
    While you will hear people state that hash codes generate a unique value for a given input, the fact is that, while difficult to accomplish, it is technically feasible to find two different data inputs that hash to the same value. However, the true determining...
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    Why so many examples in Visual Basic?

    • 240 Comments
    I've received a few queries lately as to why MSDN - and Microsoft as a whole - has become more focused on producing Visual Basic.NET examples and code snippets in our articles and presentations. The reason is two-fold. First, while I can't publicly...
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    Why MSDN publishes more Managed Code than Native Code Information

    • 50 Comments
    From time to time, I get queries like “Why is Microsoft forcing managed code on us?” or “Why is Microsoft abandoning native code?” and so on. As MSDN is a key Microsoft public interface to developers, I thought I’d answer that from my own perspective...
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    Microsoft Acquires SysInternals

    • 48 Comments
    From the standpoint of someone working at Microsoft and responsible for the Windows SDK, this is incredible news. We are basically acquiring some of the best tools for that space (low-level, hard-core devs) as well as the services of two very talented...
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    June 2006 CTP Windows SDK and .NET Framework 3.0 Released

    • 19 Comments
    Hot on the heels of last month's public Beta 2 release, we've released a June 2006 CTP for the Windows SDK . Note that this build of the Windows SDK is to be used with the following: Windows Vista (Build 5456), Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2003...
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    Retrieving special folder locations the right way (and some history)

    • 26 Comments
    Raymond Chen has a great one page piece in this month's TechNet magazine about why you should use the Shell API to retrieve special folder location information (such as the Fonts folder), why the Shell Folder registry key should not be used and how that...
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    Windows SDK Team Releases First Part of the "Vista Developer Story"

    • 21 Comments
    Earlier this year, the Windows SDK team started working on the "Windows Vista Developer Story". This massive 500+ page document provides real content to developers looking to get started writing Windows Vista applications using the new Windows SDK. ...
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    New Windows Vista and WinFX Sites Launched

    • 23 Comments
    In addition to the launch of the first public Windows Vista Beta since last year's PDC, we have also published a complete redesign of the MSDN Windows Vista and WinFX developer centers in order to create a seamless, unified experience for users moving...
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    Windows Vista, STI and a Story about Customer Service

    • 18 Comments
    One of the most exciting things I’ve seen since I started to work at Microsoft is how open the development teams are to listening and helping our customers when a problem arises. One case in point took place over the past couple of weeks. Without...
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    Video from Product Team on new products

    • 1 Comments
    In the latest installment of "Microsoft After Dark", the product teams speak of the new innovations related to SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006: http://www.microsoft.com/winme/0510/25540/welcome.htm
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    Great Resource Site for Preparing Your Applications for Windows Vista

    • 10 Comments
    A member of another team here at Microsoft dropped by and chatted with us a bit about a great new site that enables developers to prepare for Windows Vista. This site - http://www.devReadiness.org - contains lots of great technical articles and interviews...
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    Notes from the PDC - Final Bits

    • 3 Comments
    I think one of the most interesting things I heard all week were the constant remarks along the lines of "Microsoft sure kept that secret. I had never heard of it!" This was said in reference to such technologies as Microsoft Workflow Foundation and Microsoft...
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    Get Visual Studio 2005 today!!

    • 14 Comments
    While the official launch is still November 7, you can get Visual Studio 2005 today with an MSDN Subscription[1]. If you have an MSDN Subscription - if not, this is a great reason to get one! - you can obtain the final versions of the following products...
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    Getting Started with WPF (Avalon)

    • 8 Comments
    One of the best things about working at Microsoft is being paid to learn. This is especially true in my job as it specifically deals with providing developer content for three of the newest and most exciting technologies we’re delivering: Vista, Windows...
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    Hello blogging world!

    • 15 Comments
    My name is Tom Archer and I’ve joined Microsoft as a Program Manager for the MSDN Online team. This is my first blog-entry so I thought I’d introduce myself and give a bit of background about me and what I’ll be doing here at Microsoft. Some of you...
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    Windows Vista September CTP and Compatibility Matrix Update

    The Windows SDK team has now released their September CTP to match the Windows Vista September CTP. While Windows Vista September CTP is only available to beta and TAP members, you can use the Windows SDK on "downlevel" machines - Windows XP SP1 or Windows...
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    Notes from the PDC - Day 2 (Windows Workflow Foundation)

    • 7 Comments
    Back in the mid-1990's, a very good friend of mine left the software company we both worked for and founded a company dedicated to developing software solutions for dental/ortho offices. The idea he had then was a bit revolutionary at the time for a PC...
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