October 2005 Entries
Features in Visual Basic 2005 that are different to previous versions
Here's Ken Getz take on the new features that stands out in Visual Basic 2005 in his article: The Living Language - Visual Basic 2005
Posted On Monday, October 31, 2005 2:16 PM | Comments (2)
Telefonica's acquisition of O2


   Read all the juicy details about Telefonica's Takeover bid for O2 at the Unwired


Snippet: The Offer of 200 pence per O2 Share represents a premium of approximately 22 per cent. over the middle market price of an O2 Share of 164.25 pence at the close of business on 28 October 2005, being the last dealing day before this announcement.

O2 Shareholders will be entitled to receive an interim dividend for the six months ended 30 September 2005 of 1.54 pence per O2 Share, which is expected to be paid on 2 December 2005 to the registered holders of O2 Shares at the close of business on 11
November 2005.

O2 will retain its existing brand and will continue to be based in the UK. O2's operating business will be led by the current management and Sir David Arculus and Peter Erskine will join the Board of Directors of Telefónica.

Posted On Monday, October 31, 2005 1:57 PM | Comments (1)
The XPS file format

This is Microsoft’s new electronic paper format, an alternative to the PDF format. Office 2007 supports 'Save As' to both of these formats via Add-ins, download 'Save As PDF or XPS' here.

For more details on the XPS file format, see Jeff Bell's blog post:

Unlike the Office Open XML Formats, XPS does not attempt to capture the full structured richness of an Office document. As an electronic paper format, it is all about a high fidelity representation of the output only. Because of this, creation of an XPS document from Office is a one-way, export operation.

Update: 6th December 2009

As there seems to be a lot of interests in the XPS file format by Microsoft, I thought I would add more details and useful links to this blog posting.

How do I open a XPS file? / How do I create XPS file?

XPS Viewer comes preinstalled with Vista and Windows 7, for older OS you need to download the XPS Viewer here

Useful tip 1:

Save a web page as a single .XPS file

prerequisite: XPS Document Writer - allows "Print to file" to save a webpage as a XPS file. If you are not running Vista or Windows 7 then you either need to install .Net Framework 3.0 or XPS essential pack.

I use this method when I can't save a web page as a html/mht format, usually you know when a web page cannot be saved as html when you get the following warning dialog box:

Method to save a webpage even if you see this dialog.


So instead of trying to save as html/mht, I would do a "print to file" using the Microsoft XPS Document writer printer driver. Printing a webpage works more often than saving a webpage. Long gone are the days when you have to take ridiculous number of steps to create a PDF file, this method of saving to XPS does not require Adobe Acrobat Distiller, GhostScript etc. as the webpage you see gets saved directly to XPS file which can be opened and printed later using a XPS viewer such as IE7.

Save webpage as XPS file by printing to XPS Document writer


Clicking on print allows you to save the displayed webpage as a XPS file.

Printing to XPS Document Writer is like "Print to file" operation


Now you can open the XPS file for later printing in your favourite XPS viewer application such as IE8:

Webpage in XPS file format for later printing


Posted On Monday, October 31, 2005 9:17 AM | Comments (111)
SharePoint Data View Web Part Extension Functions in the ddwrt Namespace

The Data View Web Part is often under utilized but has vast capabilities in SharePoint, it can be used to perform the following:

  • Define a query and data source from which to retrieve the XML data. Data sources can be SharePoint lists or external databases such as Microsoft SQL Server.
  • Define the XSLT transformation that converts XML retrieved from the data source into HTML. FrontPage offers a WYSIWYG experience for editing these XSLT views, including live data preview.
  • More details at:

    Posted On Saturday, October 29, 2005 6:51 PM | Comments (1)
    What is Microsoft After Dark, the launch show webcast?

    In this webcast the Vice Presidents of the soon to launch products: Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006 talks about and answers questions from customers and partners whilst they play blackjack against each other to win a free trip to the San Francisco launch for a partner that they have selected.

    Examples of questions discussed in this webcast:

    Why are the 3 products being launch together?
    What is the difference between Windows Workflow Foundation and Biztalk?

    Posted On Saturday, October 29, 2005 6:53 AM | Comments (1)
    Google Base to Launch

    According to TechCrunch: "Google Base will be launching soon, perhaps even today. Dirson has a screen shot up on Flickr and additional images are on Wouter Schut’s blog.

    Google Base appears to be a service to publish content directly to google and have them host it in a centralized way. If so, this would be going completely against the accelerating trend of decentralized publishing. "

    Posted On Friday, October 28, 2005 12:56 PM | Comments (1)
    London Tube planner on Windows Mobile

    Calculate journey times on the Tube, To get Tube 2 for MS Smartphone click here and for Pocket PC here. Costs between £10-20.


    Posted On Friday, October 28, 2005 9:27 AM | Comments (1)
    So when is CRM 3.0 coming out?

    Snippet: "Microsoft officials insisted that CRM 3.0 is on track to RTM in the next 60 days "if all goes well." A new broadscale beta of CRM 3.0 went out this week, Microsoft execs acknowledged. The new release features tighter Office and SQL Server Reporting Services integration, among other features."

    More at:,1995,1878711,00.asp?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535

    Posted On Friday, October 28, 2005 8:21 AM | Comments (1)
    BBC suspends Blackberry network

    Following on from the ZDNet article posted earlier, The Register has published a similar article with details of the fault:

    Snippet: "The bug related to a rare conjunction of circumstances whereby v4.02 failed to properly compensate for an unusual memory allocation error generated by a company's mail server and consequently appended a partial message to another email. Neither the original message or the appended partial message were ever exposed outside the company's firewall and the bug did not generate any external risk."

    "Customers using v4.02 may obtain this fix from RIM or install v4.03," it adds.

    Posted On Friday, October 28, 2005 6:21 AM | Comments (0)
    Doom on your mobile phone

    Now I have a good reason to carry around a Smartphone....

    Posted On Thursday, October 27, 2005 2:25 PM | Comments (13)
    Launch ASP.NET 2.0 Development Server From Any Folder

    Robert McLaws has created a shell extension for launching ASP.NET 2.0 Development Server on any folder...

    For more details and to download the installer see:

    Posted On Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:58 AM | Comments (1)
    Event in UK : The Mobility Opportunity with Microsoft : December 16, 2005

    Abstract: IDC and Gartner research will be shared to show the mobility opportunity and you will leave with a number of whitepapers including the recently published "Windows Mobile – unleashing business processes".

    Posted On Thursday, October 27, 2005 9:30 AM | Comments (1)
    SharePoint v3 Screenshots [In spanish]

    This link may be a little outdated now, for proper screenshots (in english) see PDC05 SharePoint Presentations or videos on Channel 9 msdn.

    Posted On Thursday, October 27, 2005 5:58 AM | Comments (1)
    Using TRY/CATCH to Resolve Deadlocks in SQL Server 2005

    TRY/CATCH blocks can be used to help resolve a deadlock.

    SQL Essentials: Using TRY/CATCH to Resolve Deadlocks in SQL Server 2005

    Posted On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 1:43 PM | Comments (1)
    New Generation of Microsoft Certifications

    Considering a Microsoft Certification? these new generation of Microsoft Certifications could be right for you.

    Posted On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:37 AM | Comments (0)
    SELECT TOP bug in SQL Server 2005

    Davide Mauri has found a bug in SQL Server how did they let this slip through...

    Posted On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:28 AM | Comments (1)
    An Analysis of Microsoft and IBM's Collaboration Goals

    Here's a Gartner paper comparing collaboration products by Microsoft and IBM...

    Posted On Wednesday, October 26, 2005 11:13 AM | Comments (1)

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