Geeks With Blogs
The Life and Times of a Dev Yes, we're really that weird
So I’m working on a project that requires that we create a custom URL Protocol so that when users click on a link in the web browser, an agent on their machine opens a file in the appropriate application on their computer from a network share inside of the corporation. For example, say they click on a link to a PDF in their browser that’s at path \\MyServer\Files\MyPdfFile.... ......

If you do a search for PackBits and C#, you don’t find much. I found an Objective C implementation, a C implementation, the Apple Guidelines from 1996, etc. but no solid examples in C#. For my implementation, I had to stick to the basic rules (no bigger than 128 byte chunks, in particular) for the print controller that I’m sending data to. Other compression ......

Today, I had to write an XModem implementation to upload fonts to an ImTech Mark 605 print controller. The binary upload wasn’t working as expected, which left the XModem implementation, which does seem to work as expected. These print controllers are really nice and are enabling us to do some pretty cool stuff, which I can’t describe here. Before creating ......

I haven’t been blogging much, and honestly, a large part of that is because Windows Live Writer stopped being actively developed, which was a crying shame. Well, thanks to a bunch of people’s hard work, Microsoft has released Live Writer as an open source project! That’s right, it’s now Open Live Writer. You can read the announcement on Scott Hansleman’s ......

The more I use Windows Azure, the more I like it. We’re developing a health care app, and HIPAA imposes quite a few requirements around the security of protected health information (PHI). Azure makes many, but not all, of those requirements easy to do. SQL Azure Auditing simplifies many of the auditing requirements. The disaster recovery features of ......

In the hardware world, much of the communication still happens over RS232 or RS485 serial ports. Unit testing this can be a challenge. To help with that, I’ve created a custom SerialPort wrapper, which, among other things, helps with multiple threads trying to hit the serial port at the same time. When you’re iterating over actors, this is a key bit ......

I spent the day today writing unit tests for code I wrote yesterday. No, I’m not a big fan of TDD. I am, however, a big fan of high (as close to 100% as practical) code coverage. The device I’m working on is very multi-threaded. As a matter of fact, a key principle is DON’T BLOCK! Because of this, there are quite a few Task’s, lots of awaiting, and ......

Let’s face it, EntityFramework is a pain to mock. With few interfaces, testing things that use it can be a real pain. Here’s a few things I’ve found to make it easier: Make sure that you have an interface for your DbContext object so that it can easily be mocked. If you’re doing Database First, be aware that EF 7 will eliminate EDMX support, so welcome ......

I’m working on a hardware project that involves software controlling motors, grippers and the like. I can’t go into details on the project, but it’s quite a bit of fun. I’ve learned a really important design principle for hardware interaction. I’m sure some of you that have more hardware experience than I do will simply say, “duh”, but I had to learn ......

For years, I’ve been using the “Remote Desktops” mmc plugin to manage servers in our infrastructure. I’ve upgraded to Windows 8 and Remote Desktops is nowhere to be found! I search and searched and came across a forum listing saying “Why don’t you just use Remove Desktop Connection Manager?” I downloaded it and started using it and its WAY better than ......

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