Geeks With Blogs
Chris Breisch   .NET Data Practices
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April 2007 Entries
Geekswithblogs Moves From .TEXT to Subtext
Geekswithblogs changed from being a .TEXT site to a Subtext site over the weekend.  This means that some of my mods to my page to make it look like I want are no longer working.  I will fix these as quickly as I can.

Thank you for your patience.

Posted On Monday, April 16, 2007 9:29 AM

Software Estimation With Use Case Points
There's a very good series at Tyner Blain on Software Estimation With Use Case Points. The series consists of: Introduction to software cost estimation Technical Factors of the Implementation. Primarily non-functional requirements of the system. Environmental Factors. Mostly characterizing the implementation team, but touching on process as well. Use Case Quantity and Complexity. The number of use cases and the number of steps within the use cases. Actor Quantity and Complexity. The number and type ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 12:22 PM

Environmental Overrides in EntLib V3
One of the coolest features in EntLib V3 is the environmental overrides feature. This helps you manage differences in configuration between dev, test, production, et al. Managing differences between configuration files can be done in the same view you would edit configuration settings for a particular “Configuration Node”. For each environment configured in the editor you will have the possibility to either “override” the settings for a particular environment, or keep the settings for this environment ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 11:37 AM

Fujitsu Goes 100% SSD

Engadget is reporting that Fujitsu is halting production of their 1.8 inch hard disk drives and concentrating entirely on solid state devices.  This kind of turnover has been "right around the corner" for the last 20 years.  Apparently, Fujitsu now thinks that they've turned the corner.

It's about time.

Posted On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 11:25 AM

More MS Free E-learning -- AJAX style
Clinic 5230: Developing Enhanced Web Experiences with Microsoft® ASP.NET AJAX Extensions (note to Firefox users: I've had trouble with the E-learning site in Firefox. I've added to my IEtab list) Title: Clinic 5230: Developing Enhanced Web Experiences with Microsoft® ASP.NET AJAX Extensions Course Type: Self-paced Course Available Offline: Yes Estimated Time of Completion: 2 Hours Language: English Description: In this 2-hour clinic you will learn about the rich functionality ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 10:03 AM

Are You Using HTTP Compression on Your Websites?
If not, why not? You have a wimpy server that can't handle the increased load or you just enjoy slowing down your end user experience? As Jeff Atwood explains here and here, running HTTP Compression is like getting free bandwidth. We get a 66% reduction in file size for every bit of text served up on our web site-- including all the JavaScript, HTML, and CSS-- by simply flipping a switch on our web server. The benefits of HTTP compression are so obvious it hurts. It's reasonably straightforward to ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:50 AM

Snap Preview Anywhere
I've added Snap Preview Anywhere to my blog. It generates a popup window with a preview of the site for links in my posts. Firefox users will recognize the same technology in the GooglePreview extension, and extension that does this for Google searches. If you're looking at this post in an RSS aggregator, or off the GWB main feed, you probably won't see it. You'll have to go to my blog directly to see it in action. Still, it works if you get redirected there, or click on the link in your aggregator ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:30 AM

Webcast Series on and Orcas

The Visual Basic team has put together a "Live from Redmond" webcast series aimed at the next version of Visual Basic and Visual Studio code named "Orcas". The live series starts April 18th and will continue to the end of May.

Go here for the schedule.

Posted On Wednesday, April 11, 2007 9:00 AM

Free E-learning from Microsoft on W*F
Here's your chance to learn about WPF and WWF free-of-charge: Collection 5134: Developing Rich Experiences with Microsoft® .NET Framework 3.0 and Visual Studio® 2005 This collection of 3 2-hour premium clinics teaches about the new capabilities provided by the .NET Framework 3.0. These clinics are for experienced Developers and Software Architects who are looking to adopt Microsoft's next generation technology within their solutions. Topics covered within the collection include: Windows Presentation ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 10, 2007 8:33 AM

Jeff Atwood Ends the Mac vs. PC Debate
The piece is entitled "Because They All Suck". Anyway, he's tired of this endless debate. So am I. Of all of these types of debates, actually, C# vs. VB .NET. Java vs. .NET. When I was in college is was Vi vs. Emacs. And each side always has their impassioned followers, full of points about why theirs is better and yours sucks. He thinks that both camps are wrong. They both suck. The only truly sublime end-user experiences I've had have been with computers that weren't computers-- specialized devices, ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 10, 2007 7:49 AM

Business Requirements -- The "REAL" Requirements
There's an interesting post at Tyner Blain regarding Business Requirements. Their piece is a follow-up piece to a piece by Robin Goldsmith. I find both pieces fascinating because they deal with whats and hows, two items that I find myself constantly bringing up in our design meetings whether they're with the clients or not. The difference between REAL business requirements and system requirements is not the level of detail. The difference is qualitative. Business requirements are whats. System requirements ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 10, 2007 7:37 AM

The "Truth" About Vista SP1 and XP SP3
Paul Thurrott claims to have the inside scoop on both Vista SP1 and XP SP3. Microsoft will ship Windows Vista SP1 concurrently with Longhorn Server in Q3 2007 and SP1 will include a major kernel update for Vista that will bring the client OS up to speed with the version of the Windows kernel in Longhorn Server Certainly that has been my impression for quite some time. If you spend any time trying to read between the lines with MS, that's the only reasonable conclusion. He's not happy at all about ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 10, 2007 7:24 AM

Say It Ain't So, Dell!

Dell Axim, RIP: 2002 - 2007

It's true, I no longer use mine (gave it to my father, as a matter of fact), but I was very happy to get my Axim when it came out and am saddened that Dell seems to have called an end to the line.

Posted On Monday, April 9, 2007 1:46 PM

The hardest part of being an Agile Project Manager
Brian Button writes on the hardest part of being an Agile Project Manager. It is, essentially, remembering to do nothing. Ok, not nothing, but having as little direct involvement in the team's progress as possible. Why? Because you want your agile team to grow as a team, and to be, well, agile. If Brian gives them the answers to their issues, they become less an agile team, and more of a top-down team. As he says: The idea is that the team must learn to recognize the issues that they have, understand ......

Posted On Monday, April 9, 2007 12:06 PM

If you haven't checked out, and you ever have to use a "strange" PC, you should PortableApps lets you install some of your favorite freeware apps on a portable device (like a thumb drive) and run it on any Windows system from there. You even get a nice "Start menu" if you install the Suite: There are a few things in the suite that I don't use, and at least one that's not part of the suite that I do, so I still have a little cleanup to do. Also, there are a few things I think I can ......

Posted On Wednesday, April 4, 2007 3:54 PM

.NET Cheat Sheets (and others too)
John Sheehan has compiled a nice little list of .NET Cheat Sheets for your viewing and wallpapering pleasure: .NET Format String Quick Reference ASP.NET 2.0 Page Life Cycle & Common Events Visual Studio 2005 Built-In Code Snippets (C#) ASP.NET Page Life Cycle Diagram (PNG) Visual Studio 2005 Default Keybindings C# | VB (PDF) Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX Library VB.NET/C# Comparison HTML Character Entities CSS JavaScript XHTML (PDF) Regular Expressions Microformats ASP/VBScript ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 2:57 PM

"slmgr -rearm" -- Or, Extending the Windows Vista Grace Period to 120 days
Jeff Atwood over at Coding Horror tells you how to legally evaluate Vista for 120 days (instead of the standard 30) before entering a product key. When you install without a product key, you get an automatic 30 day evaluation period.* This probably isn't news to anyone. What may be news to you, however, is that you can easily extend the 30-day Windows Vista grace period to 120 days. No hacks required. This is an official, supported operation directly from Microsoft. To extend the grace period another ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 2:10 PM

Expression Web and Expression Blend Added to MSDN Subscription
Great news from Scott Guthrie: When we originally announced Expression, one of the common questions/complaints was over why we weren't planning on including the products (especially Expression Web and Expression Blend) within MSDN subscriptions. Today we announced that we were changing this (you can read details on Soma's blog post announcing it here). Expression Web and Expression Blend will now be available at no extra charge to all MSDN Premium Subscribers (this includes customers with the "VS ......

Posted On Tuesday, April 3, 2007 12:39 PM

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