When I grow up I want to code in c#

Odd Behavior in Windows 8 and VS 2012

A pretty basic feature seems to be broken

I upgraded my work laptop to Windows 8 Enterprise, tracked down the secret incantation to add the key and activate it.  Installed VS 2012 Ultimate on it (release) and started playing.  All seemed fine.  Minimal issues with Win8, a couple of odd ball apps that failed (the drop protection on my HD, the one shipped with the Dell machine) and had to track down a wired network adaptor driver.  But other than that, the OS seemed to be a smooth upgrade.

VS, on the other hand blind sided me.  I opened and created a couple of projects, looked over the projects it let’s me create (now that I am on a win8 machine) and all seemed well.  Then I went to try something in ASP.NET.  Created a project, wrote some demo code, hit f5 with the supreme confidence that it would fire up a web server and show me the pages.  Crash.  Instead of showing me my web site, it gave me this…


I tried a couple of times, attempting to define insanity (doing same thing again and again expecting different results), no luck.

Repaired VS, no luck.

Uninstalled the web part of VS, reinstalled, no luck.

Create simple web application and left it alone, no luck.

Searched the web, and found several folk were having the same issues, wondering when MSFT was going to fix.

I can right click and browse with… and get the site to work.  I can type in the URL, (http://locahost:63985/) and it works. 

Any one find a fix?  I want my f5 back.


Okay, a quick update.  I installed a couple of extra browsers, Mozilla and Chrome, and then changed the default behavior to use FireFox.  Oddly, it won’t let you do that form the project level, but you can at the page (or in this case the controller level) and it effects the project level.  Then when I “start without debugging” or “start with debugging” and tried it with FireFox.  All was well. 

Hoping it was a association of some sort that was broken, and that by unselecting and re-selecting IE it would fix the disconnect, I tried again.  Fail.

So, concerns.

  • I can’t start (debug or no, f5 or ctl-f5) with IE selected.
  • I can’t select another browser at the project level.

Anyone  else see this?  Anyone have a fix?



Seems I am not the only one, and that it is not just win8/vs2012.  From what I can gather it is a vs in 32 bit, OS in 64 issue that crops up on occasion.  I have a work around. 



Moving my personal site to Azure Web sites

For several years I have maintained a personal web site, mainly to share photo’s and news with friends and family, run a “bragging rights” football pool, and to play with asp.net.  Most of the time it was hosted on a aging laptop in my basement.  Biggest advantage, free and complete control.  Lots of disadvantages.  No scaling (not a real problem, the 10 people that logged in and out really never strained the laptop), no UPS, so if I took a power hit, it was down. 

So, in keeping with the cloud, I decided to move it to the new Azure Sites.  Seems like the thing to do, and since MSFT is kind enough to give me some time as a Azure Insider, it would make good use of it.

First, I moved by DB.  My database was originally hosted on a sql vm inside my house.  And it was 2 separate databases, one for the site, one for asp.net membership.  I combined the databases, moved my huge user list (10 people) and then migrated the db to SQL Azure.  went very smoothly, thanks to the sql migration wizard on codeplex.   I took a quick look around, and all the data made the migration.

Next, I repointed all my connection strings to the SQL Azure db in my local site.  I then ran the site and did a quick smoke test on the site running in VS while bouncing against SQL Azure.  Once again, all is well. 

Went out, created the web site from the “quick” template, published the site to the xxx.azurewebsites.net domain I created, and tested.  Man, this is too easy.

Repointed my DNS and tried it.  Fail.  Dug in and found out that I had to promote the site to “reserved” to get anything other than the xxx.azurewebsites.net domain to respond.  Did that, added the host name on the configuration page, and we are back to testing.  And, it worked.  To easy. 

I cranked up the scale factor a bit.  I now have a migrated a site from my aging, wheezing laptop, to a monster DC in the sky. 

Why is IaaS important in Azure…

Three weeks ago, Microsoft released the next phase of Azure.  I have had several clients waiting on this release.  The fact that they have been waiting and are now more receptive to looking at the cloud. 

Customers expressed fear of the unknown.  And a fear of lack of control, even when that lack of control also means a huge degree of flexibility to innovate with concerns about the underlying infrastructure.  I think IaaS will be that “gateway drug” to get customers who have been hesitant to take another look at the cloud.  The dialog can change from the cloud being this big scary unknown to a resource for workloads.  The conversations should have always been, and can know be even stronger, geared toward the following points:

1) The cloud is not unicorns and glitter, the cloud is resources.  Compute, storage, db’s, services bus, cache…..  Like many of the resources we have on-premise.  Not magic, just another resource with advantages and obstacles like any other resource.

2) The cloud should be part of the conversation for any new project.  All of the same criteria should be applied, on-premise or off.  Cost, security, reliability, scalability, speed to deploy, cost of licenses, need to customize image, complex workloads.  We have been having these discussions for years when we talk about on-premise projects.  We make decisions on OS’s, Databases, ESB’s, configuration and products based on a myriad of factors.  We use the same factors but now we have a additional set of resources to consider in our process.

3) The cloud is a great solution looking for some interesting problems.  It is our job to recognize the right problems that fit into the cloud, weigh the factors and decide what to do.

IaaS makes this discussion easier, offers more choices, and often choices that many enterprises will find more better than PaaS.  Looking forward to helping clients realize the power of the cloud.