Development

General development musings.

Chester Devs Presentation and source code – ‘Event Store - an introduction to a DSD for event sourcing and notifications’

Thank you everyone at Chester Devs Thanks to Fran Hoey and all the people from Chester Devs. It was a hard drive up and back but the enthusiasm of the audience, with some great questions does make it worthwhile. Presentation and source code My presentation, source code, Event Store runners and text files containing the various command line parameters used for curl is now available on GitHub; https://github.com/westleyl... Don’t worry if you don’t have a GitHub account, you don’t ......

DDD North 3 Presentation and source code – ‘Event Store - an introduction to a DSD for event sourcing and notifications’

Thank you everyone at DDD North Thanks to all the people who helped organise the cracking conference that is DDD North 3, returning to Sunderland, and the great facilities at the University of Sunderland, and the fine drinks reception at Sunderland Software City. The whole event wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors who ensured over 400 people were kept fed and watered so they could enjoy the impressive range of sessions. And lastly, a thank you to all those delegates who gave up their free time ......

DDD East Anglia Cambridge, 29th June 2013 – a review

Cambridge This one day conference was held on Saturday, 29th June, in The Hauser Forum on the Cambridge Science Park, to the west of the city. It was a fantastic venue, with three seminar rooms, a spacious atrium for enjoying lunch and coffee breaks, and a balcony in the sunshine overlooking some ponds and farmer's fields. Cambridge was very easy for me to get to from London, and is a rather attractive city, with the only downside being the clash with graduation weekend which meant the hotel rooms ......

DDD East Anglia, 29th June 2013 - Async Patterns presentation and source code

Many thanks to the team in Cambridge for an awesome first conference DDD East Anglia. I definitely appreciate how each of the different areas have their own distinctive atmosphere and feel. Thanks to some great sponsors we enjoyed a great venue and some excellent nibbles. For those who attended my Async my source code and presentation are available on GitHub, https://github.com/westleyl... If you are new to Git then the easiest client to install is GitHub for Windows, a graphical ......

DDDNorth2 Bradford, 13th October 2012 - Async Patterns presentation and source code

Many thanks to Andy Westgarth and his team for organising a fantastic conference at the rather elegant Bradford University School of Management. Also, a big congratulations to all the delegates who gave up there free time to come and hear us speak and who were, in general, enthusiastic and asked some cracking questions to keep us speakers on our toes. For those who attended my Async my source code and presentation are now available on GitHub, https://github.com/westleyl... If ......

DDDSouthWest 4.0 26th May 2012 - Async 20/20 presentation

As I wasn’t voted in with my nominated sessions I presented a 20/20 talk on the new async functionality coming with the .Net Framework. This was based on the PechaKucha presentation format, where you have only 20 slides with only 20 seconds per slide, and it progresses automatically. It was the first I’d attempted, so thanks to the organisers for allowing me to have a go. Although creating the slide deck was definitely easier than a one hour presentation, it was much more stressful giving the talk ......

MSDN Magazine on your Kindle

Here in the UK we recently had a long weekend due to a public holiday. So what better time to sit back in a comfy chair with the laptop and read the latest MSDN Magazine online? Unless you have children, of course, keeping them trapped in the house for three whole days would be a nightmare. So that means heading out and about on buses, trains and heading off to the Isleworth Spring Fayre. Now you can read the MSDN Magazine web site on a smartphone but on a 9cm screen it’s not ideal, and I don’t really ......

DDD North, Sunderland - Commercial Software Development slides and link to video

Many thanks to the audience in Sunderland for the great reaction to my talk on Commercial Software Development and getting into the spirit of the presentation. It was great to ask an audience if they'd been to meetings in the past week, then ask them to put their hands down if those meetings had agendas, and still see most of the hands stay up. Clearly we all still have work to do on eliminating such an atrocious waste of developer resource. I've uploaded the Powerpoint as a PDF with speaker notes ......

Go Asynchronous with C# 5 - presentation, source code and links from NxtGenUG Birmingham - 13th September 2011

A big thanks to my lively audience at the NxtGenUG Birmingham group tonight who provided excellent feedback. I enjoyed the live coding to try to explore the limits of the framework, even though it was interrupted by my PC turning itself off and leading me to thinking I'd trashed my SSD drive. You can find my presentation online at Prezi.com over here, and the source code for the demos is available here. During the presentation I mentioned there were some additional blogs and articles that are well ......

Go Asynchronous with C# 5 - presentation, source code and links from London .Net Users Group - 1st September 2011

A big thanks to my lively audience at the London .Net Users group last night who provided excellent feedback. They even led me to some live coding to discover how the TaskEx.WhenAny deals with the tasks which didn't complete first - apparently they are immeadiately disposed of and their results are lost. Let's hope the release documentation for the Async libraries makes this very clear. I also must thank EMC Consulting for providing the facilities and beer, and Adgistics for providing the pizza, ......

Jon Skeet is starting a new series on C# 5.0 Async

Jon Skeet has started a new series of blogs on Async focussing on the underlying technology beneath the Async CTP and Async methods coming in C#5.0. http://msmvps.com/blogs/jon... Jon's blogs have a clear and deceptively easy to read style that belies the complex topics being discussed and is perfect for demystifying the technology behind Async so they are well worth the investment, and I'm looking forward to them hugely ......

New Visual Studio Async CTP refresh now works with VS2010 SP1

While I was away on a two week holiday in Morocco I notice that the Visual Studio team have dropped a very welcome SP1 refresh that means you can now play with the Async CTP with Visual Studio 2010 SP1. It also means you can program against ASP.NET MVC 3.0 and use the Aysnc CTP at the same time. Visual Studio Blog - SP1 refresh announcement - http://msdn.microsoft.com/e... Lucian Wischik's Blog - design changes - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/luc... ......

Misreporting of variable values when debugging x64 code with the Visual Studio 2010 debugger

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin-top:0cm; mso-para-margin-right:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:10.0pt; mso-para-margin-left:0cm; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans... mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; ......

Microsoft Async CTP for DDD9 UK Developer Conference - slides and source code now available

UPDATE 25th April 2011 - Visual Studio Async CTP (SP1 refresh) now available. http://geekswithblogs.net/t... Thanks to all the nice comments from people who attended my presentation at DDD9, and extra thanks to Jon Skeet, Mark Rendle and Mike Hadlow for coming on stage for the last ten minutes to help debate whether the Async CTP is the correct way to go to enhance C# 5.0. The presentation is available at Prezi.com ......

Final ever Virtualisation for Developer slidedeck from NxtGenUG Cambridge

Thanks to Chris Hay, Allister Frost and the guys from NxtGenUG Cambridge for hosting an evening of virtualisation, and for their secretary Rachel Hawley for sorting out all the dates and details ;-). It was a good turnout so close to Christmas, obviously the bribe of home made mince pies got some people out on a cold wintery December evening. Big thanks to Allister for driving me to the railway station to ensure I made the 22:29 train, made all the easier by quaffing a couple of very well kept pints ......

DDD9 - voting now open for the UK's premier community event

If you are interested in software development including a heap of great open source frameworks, then get over to the DDD9 web site and vote for some sessions for the next DDD conference. It will take place at Microsoft's UK headquarters in Reading on 29th January 2011. http://developerdeveloperde... I've proposed a session on the new Async CTP announced at PDC, but there's loads more interesting stuff such as Ruby, CQRS and jQuery Mobile, so get your votes in now ......

Last chance to see ... Virtualisation for Developers at NxtGenUG Cambridge, Tuesday 14th December

As a farewell to 2010 I'm also saying farewell to presenting my Virtualisation for Developers and Hyper-V for Developers presentations with a final outing at NxtGenUG in Cambridge (my first visit to a user group in The Fens). I may have some homemade nibbles and party stuff to liven up the evening, and a certain Rachel Hawley has suggested a santa hat might be appropriate too. It's going to be a fun night. Sign up details are available here, http://www.nxtgenug.net/Vie... And ......

Commercial Software Development – presentation slide decks for DDD Dublin

A bit early this post, as I haven't talked yet, but allows me to use the fast WiFi to upload the presentations in advance and make sure they are there after my talk. I've created a low bandwidth version of the presentation with less graphics and animated slides as separate pages, available as a PDF (or PDF in a ZIP file), http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... ......

Virtualisation for developers - presentation from VBUG London (16 September 2010)

Thanks to VBUG London for hosting my penultimate Virtualisation for Developers talk (the last one is at NxtGen Hereford in October). It was a real whirlwind tour of VirtualPC, VirtualBox, VMWare Player, Workstation, ESXi and Hyper-V Server. Sorry, Citrix, you were mentioned but didn't get in. I've uploaded the slidedeck as both PowerPoint and a PDF with the speaker notes (where all the good stuff is). Virtualisation for Developers PDF (ZIP'd) Virtualisation for Developers PowerPoint (ZIP'd) I'm down ......

Virtualisation double presentation from NEBytes on 15th July now available

Thanks to the Andy and Ben and all the guys at NEBytes for the late reschedule of my night of virtualisation, and for putting me up overnight. I hope that the late arrival (due to a delayed British Airways flight) didn't spoil the night, and the home made malt loaf helped make up for it. I've created PDFs of both presentations complete with speaker notes so you get all the content behind the main slides, including a heap of URLs to various resources, Virtualisation for Developers (Virtual PC, VMWare ......

Hyper-V for Developers - presentation from NxtGenUG Oxford (including link to more info on Dynamic Memory)

Many thanks to Richard Hopton and the NxtGenUG guys in Oxford for inviting me to talk on Hyper-V for Developers last night, and for Research Machines for providing the venue. It was great to have developers not yet using Hyper-V who were really interested in some of the finer points to help them with specific requirements. For those wanting to follow up on the topics I covered, you can download the presentation deck as either PDF (with speaker notes included) or as the original PowerPoint slidedeck, ......

Commercial Software Development – presentation slide decks for DDD SouthWest 2.0

Thanks to everyone who voted me onto the DDD SouthWest agenda, and a big thanks to all who attended the session and took the time to give feedback to rank me No.3 in the overall conference in presentation skills. There were some good feedback comments, which I'll try to make sure I take note of for future presentations. For those who came to the session, or even for those who were on one of the other tracks, I’ve uploaded the presentation for you to download. I created a more simple, and smaller, ......

Short interview I gave about Commercial Software Development is now available

At the DDD8 conference in January I gave a quick interview to Sara Allison expanding my Commercial Software Development presentation (available here). The interview has just appeared on the Ubelly.com site, run by some of the Microsoft UK team, http://ubelly.com/2010/04/h... For those of you for whom video just isn't enough, you can get Commercial Software Development in person at DDDScotland and DDDSouthWest ......

Finally, I have my HP 6910p laptop running with 8Gb RAM

Today, I received two Corsair Value Select 4Gb DDR SO-DIMMs (from overclock.co.uk) for my aging HP 6910p to give it the extra lease of life to keep it going until the end of 2010. And here is the proof that Windows 7 64-bit happily sees all 8Gb, There are no 4Gb modules are officially supported for the HP 6910p (they didn’t exist when it was first build). I was taking a bit of a gamble, and relying on the UK distance selling regulations which meant that even if they didn’t work I’d be able to send ......

Hyper-V for Developers - presentation from London .NET Users and VBUG Bracknell

Thanks to both London .NET User group and VBUG Bracknell for allowing me to present my Hyper-V for Developers talk last week. A weekend at DDD Scotland followed by two user group presentations means I'm a bit late getting the presentations uploaded to the blog, so many apologies if you've been waiting. LDNUG - www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-tw... VBUG - www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-tw... Also, at VBUG Bracknell I was asked if you could configure a Hyper-V server ......

Commercial Software Development – my presentation for DDD Scotland now available for download

Thanks to everyone who voted me onto the DDD Scotland agenda, and for the fantastic audience some of whom you can see in Craig Murphy's photos of the event, http://www.flickr.com/photo... http://www.flickr.com/photo... I hope those who came enjoyed the session had a good time, and for them or those who were on one of the other tracks, or who couldn’t squeeze in; I’ve uploaded the presentation for you to download. ......

Last week I was presented with a Microsoft MVP award in Virtual Machines – time to thank all who helped

MVP in Virtual Machines Last week, on 1st April, I received an e-mail from Microsoft letting me know that I had been presented with a 2010 Microsoft® MVP Award for outstanding contributions in Virtual Machine technical communities during the past year. It was an honour to be nominated, and is a great reflection on the vibrancy of the UK user group community which made this possible. Virtualisation for developers, not just IT Pros I consider it a special honour as my expertise in virtualisation is ......

Thanks to .Net Developers Network in Bristol - Hyper-V for Developers slides now available for download

Thanks to the guys at .Net Developers Network (http://www.dotnetdevnet.com) for inviting me down to Bristol to present on Hyper-V for Developers. There were some great questions and genuine interest, especially surprising for a topic that often has a soporific effect on developers. You can download the original PowerPoint file or the PDF complete with speaker notes from here, http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... ......

Running Windows Phone Developers Tools CTP under VMWare Player - Yes you can! - But do you want to?

This blog is the result of a fellow twitter, @CraigHawker, mentioning that he was not allowed to run CTP tools on his development workstation at work. I decided to perform a quick investigation of running the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP under VMWare Player. I decided upon VMWare as in the release notes for Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP it mentions that it is not supported under VirtualPC or Hyper-V. Some developers (like Craig) have policies where ‘no non-production code’ can be installed ......

Thanks to NxtGenUG Manchester - Hyper-V for Developers presentation now available for download

Thanks to Steve and Andy at NxtGenUG Manchester for making me very welcome and for the guys who didn't head down the pub for a Guinness for St Patrick's Day and came to NxtGen instead. I hope you all got something from the presentation, if not technical insights, at least a can of Guinness of Tunnocks caramel wafer as swag. As promised here is the presentation in both PowerPoint and Adobe PDF format (with speaker notes), http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... ......

Running Remote Desktop Connection client (mstsc.exe) from inside Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

One of the annoying absences in Hyper-V Server 2008 is the lack of a remote desktop connection client (mstsc.exe). This is due to the (welcome) reduction in clutter within Server 2008 Core, on which Hyper-V Server is based. However, a remote connection client allows you to logon at a Hyper-V server console and then remote connect to the virtual machines directly which can be quite useful. Thanks to this blog by Jason Huitt, http://jasonhuitt.com/blog/... ......

Hyper-V for Developers presentation - GL.NET, Gloucester

Thanks to Jimmy Skowronski and the guys at Gloucester.NET user group for inviting me over to give my Hyper-V for Developers talk. Additional thanks to Marc Gravell for giving me a lift from Gloucester town to Symantec (kindly providing facilities) and for DevExpress for supplying the pizzas for tonights user group. As promised, here are the slides to download as either PDF or PowerPoint, http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... ......

Hyper-V for Developers - UK tour dates

For those who would like to know when I'll be presenting my Hyper-V for Developers talk around the UK, to see if they can pop in, here's the latest dates (always subject to change), 13th August 2009 DevEvening, Woking 16th September 2009 Edge UG, London 14th January 2010 NxtGenUG, Southampton 17th February 2010 GL.Net, Gloucester (details) 17th March 2010 NxtGenUG, Manchester (details) 25th March 2010 .Net Developers Network, Bristol (details) 8th May 2010 DDD Scotland (if voted in, vote here) 13th ......

Excellent blog post on how to resize virtual disc partitions under VirtualBox (... and should work for other virtualisation platforms)

Via Mehul Harry on Twitter (http://twitter.com/MehulHa... I discovered this superbly detailed blog on how to resize a virtual partition running under VirtualBox, http://www.my-guides.net/en... There is an issue with resizing Vista paritions with the Gnome Partition Manager, but the fix for that is detailed here, http://www.howtogeek.com/ho... Resizing partitions is always a pain and I like the ......

Using Gnome Partition Editor (GParted) to transfer Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V Server R2 images to different drive; but you'll need a Windows 7 Recovery Disc to actually get it to boot

UPDATE 15 February 2010 : See Virtual PC Guy's Blog here for a crucial item of information about the Windows Startup repair not restoring the Hyper-V service as an automated service. Basically once you reboot, although the o/s loads, you cannot run any virtual machines. To resolve this you should remote login to the Hyper-V Server (or direct for Windows Sever 2008 R2) and execute the following command; bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype auto I had recently successfully used Gnome Partition Editor ......

Step by Step: Trac on Windows, how to install a brand new SubVersion and Trac installation onto a Windows System

What is Trac and why would you want it? I have already documented in a previous blog how I restored my Trac backup from hosted-projects.com (see http://geekswithblogs.net/t... but given I also mentioned my use of Trac in a recent presentation at the .NET developers conference, DDD8, (see http://geekswithblogs.net/t... I thought it only proper to document how to install both SubVersion and Trac from scratch on a new Windows system. ......

Step by step: Trac on Windows – restoring a Linux backup of Trac onto a Windows system

Introduction In September 2006 I made a major decision on my company Source Code Management (SCM) strategy and signed up with http://www.hosted-projects.... which provide a hosted solution for SubVersion, Trac and Bugzilla. A few years earlier, I’d already moved my SCM from SourceSafe to SubVersion hosted on my own server on a local network. However, I really wanted to move to a hosted provider so I could have remote access to the SCM without worrying about firewall configuration and software updates, ......

Thanks to NxtGenUG Birmingham for a great evening out

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the NxtGenUG Birmingham meeting. Obviously so good, one of the guys from the Oxford meeting last week turned up again - ah, the lure of free pizza. You can download the updated PowerPoint slidedeck here, most of the important stuff is in the speaker notes; http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... Also, thanks as well to Guy Smith-Ferrier for giving me a lift back to New Street station, and for joining forces to create ......

Commercial Software Development – my presentation for DDD8 now available for download

Thanks to everyone who voted me onto the DDD8 agenda. It’s always an honour to have a topic voted into a conference by an audience of fellow developers, especially when it is a non technical topic such as this. I hope those who came enjoyed the session had a good time, and for them or those who were on one of the other tracks, or who couldn’t squeeze in; I’ve uploaded the presentation for you to download. I created a more simple, and smaller, PowerPoint without all the fancy animations and video ......

Hyper-V for Developers presentation - NxtGenUG Southampton

Thanks to John and the guys at NxtGenUG Southampton for the invitation to come down to and present on Hyper-V for Developers tonight. And thanks to the tips, definitely have new stuff to look into, will look into PowerTab for improving my PowerShell experience (thanks to Rob Cooper aka @robcthegeek). I’ll also take the hint of using a proper ‘Southampton’ image. Next time you’ll have the Titanic as a desktop background instead of the mighty Spitfire whose first test flights were from Eastleigh airport ......

How to enable RemoteApp (via RDP 7.0) within VirtualBox or VMWare running Windows 7, Vista SP1+ or Windows XP SP3

UPDATE 10 May 2010 : I finally discovered where the Remote Desktop team documented this process last December and thought it might be useful; blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/... UDPATE 20 February 2010 : Sorry for how long the final solution took to discover, but thanks to Aaron Parker's blog entry at http://blog.stealthpuppy.com we now have the final missing pieces that allow remote applications to be hosted within a standard Windows XP SP3 virtual machine. ......

Multi monitor support for a Windows 7 guest operating system under VirtualBox, for different sized monitors

This nugget was generated by a fellow developer from the London .Net User Group who was trying to use multiple monitors with a virtual machine running under VirtualBox. His guest operating system was Windows 7, and he was attaching from a Windows XP host operating system. I did suggest he might look at VMWare Workstation to run guest operating systems and this happily supports multiple monitors, even if the monitors are different sizes. Even the latest free VMWare Player can handle multiple monitors, ......

How to setup a SQL Server alias and when is a connection alias useful for developers?

UPDATE: 5th January 2012If the client machine does not have SQL Server Configuration Manager, then head over to this MSDN article, http://msdn.microsoft.com/e... Qureshi has written an excellent comment for how to use the command line utility, cliconfg.exe, on a client machine which lacks SQL Server Configuration Manager. Isn’t this old hat? In a distant SqlBits, far, far away (actually the very first SqlBits) I gave two grok talks; the first on developers using SQL Server ......

Hosted exception collection for .NET applications made easy – Exceptioneer.com

I own a company, Tiger Computer Services Ltd, which is an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) providing .NET software solutions to clients in the London area. One of the most significant considerations when running a small ISV is the cost of supporting software in the field. For some clients, support is not a billable item, especially if the fault is within the software we have provided. This means that every time the telephone rings, we bleed money, and if we have to actually go on site to resolve ......

Installing a second hard drive on my HP 6910p – one step closer to a virtual machine users dream machine

I’ve previously described my reasoning for buying a business laptop like the HP 6910p, http://geekswithblogs.net/t... I’m now feeling even better about that decision after the latest ‘upgrade’ to my main laptop; adding a second internal hard drive to simplify my use of virtual machines. The problem I use virtual machines quite regularly. One major client has a legacy application that requires Visual Studio 2003, which in turn requires Windows XP Professional as ......

How to enable PowerShell in Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

After reading Tim Anderson’s blog article (here) on his installation of Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 I glibly added a comment that R2 now includes PowerShell 2.0 for local management of virtual machines using PowerShell scripts. Of course, I hadn’t actually tried this before commenting .... Why would you want to use scripting on Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 If you have never installed Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 you may not realise the limited options provided by the local management tool. Based on Windows Server ......

Virtualised networking issues? Sometimes it's the most obvious thing, Doh!

I just provided some help to a friend setting up a small virtualisation network on single machine, for demonstrating a new software technology at user groups and conferences. A few tweets and e-mails went back and forth as we discussed virtual networking options, static IP configurations and using NEWSISID to enable imaging VMs from a initial 'gold' image. Getting the machines to talk to each other on an isolated virtual network was proving to be way more difficult than it should have been. At this ......

Hyper-V for Developers - presentation from Edge UG 16 September 2009

Thanks to Ray and Gavin for organising another top EdgeUG meeting in Microsoft Cardinal Place and for everyone who attended my talk on Hyper-V for Developers. The audience had to deal with a huge amount of technical information that I crammed into the hour - hopefully it didn't put them off their pizza. Fortunately the Stack Overflow master and author of C# in Depth, Jon Skeet, was on hand after the break for a interesting glimpse into code contracts coming with VS2010 and C# 4.0. For those who weren't ......

Hyper-V for Developers - presentation from DevEvening 13 August 2009

Thanks to Alex and Matt for organising another top DevEvening user group in Woking and for everyone who attended my talk on Hyper-V for Developers. Apologies for over running and hope it didn't stop you from enjoying your meals. I think I achieved a good warm up for Sebastien Lambla's talk on best practices in MVC. For those who weren't there last night, the presentation provides an overview of Hyper-V Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 running Hyper-V, tools that you can install to help you out, ......

Review: DisplayLink USB to DVI adapter, adding an external display to a laptop or desktop

DisplayLink USB Last week I wrote a review of a Kensington USB docking station which included DisplayLink technology to allow an external display to be added to a laptop via a USB 2.0 port. I described how I used this docking station to enable the holy grail of three external screens on my laptop. You can read about it here, http://geekswithblogs.net/t... Declaring an interest On publishing, I promoted the blog post via Twitter where recently someone had bemoaned ......

Review: Three external screens from a single laptop with help from DisplayLink

As a developer I’ve become used to multiple monitors to increase my productivity. Debugging applications is much easier when one monitor is running Visual Studio and a second monitor is displaying the application being debugged, or SQL Management Studio, or your Locals window. When I plugged my latest HP 6910p laptop into the docking station I was amazed to find that it supported dual external displays; both the DVI and analogue VGA ports can be active simultaneously. It’s a real advantage to get ......

DDD Scotland - Virtualisation for Developers presentation

Thanks to all the guys who turned out to the first presentation of the day at DDD Scotland where I gave my presentation, Virtualisation for Developers. As promised you can download the PowerPoint slide deck using the link below. Check out the speaker notes for all the resources and URLs I mentioned along the way. http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... Thanks again for inviting me up to speak at DDD Scotland and creating a fantastic event. UPDATE And a video of an earlier ......

WebDD 2009 - a review

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2nd May 2009 - Liam bringing Virtualisation for Developers to DDD Scotland

The voting is over, and my session 'Virtualisation for Developers' has been voted in for DDD Scotland. You can find out about the other proposed sessions, register to attend and sign up for the geek dinner at http://www.developerdayscotland.com/.

Definitely looking forward to Glasgow and seeing you all there.

VirtualBox - 64 bit guests on 32 bit hosts - still need hardware virtualisation

Just a clarification of my comment on a recent release of VirtualBox supporting 64 bit guests on 32 bit hosts. This is NOT a solution for a system which is not already a 64 bit CPU with hardware virtualisation. The relevant section from the VirtualBox 2.1.2 User Guide is section 1.6, as shown below. 1.6 64-bit guests Starting with Version 2.0, VirtualBox also supports 64-bit guest operating systems. Starting with Version 2.1, you can even run 64-bit guests on a 32-bit host operating system, so long ......

Thanks to NxtGenUG Oxford last night who came to my Virtualisation for Developers talk

Thanks to everyone who turned out last night at Research Machines in Didcot for the NxtGenUG meeting. It was very enjoyable and I got a good crowd asking lots of questions, which always shows they're paying attention. You can download the updated PowerPoint slidedeck here; http://www.tigernews.co.uk/... Most of the important stuff is in the speaker notes, including the SWAG questions for those who want a cheat sheet for my repeat performance at NxtGenUG ......

TOP 25 Most Dangerous Programming Errors

A useful reminder of what not to do when you are creating software...

http://www.sans.org/top25errors/

VirtualBox 2.1.0 released - 64 bit guests on 32 bit hosts

The guys behind VirtualBox are definitely working hard even on the run up to Christmas. Go to http://www.virtualbox.org/ and you can download v2.1.0 which includes experimental support for 64 bit guests running on 32 bit hosts. Also the networking is getting easier - which promises no manual bridging, which given the comments I've received on my quick guide would be a great improvement. Will be giving it a try later today ......

Firefox 3.0 - Hoots mon, where’s my page title?

History I have to admit that I’m a browser laggard, I haven’t installed Google Chrome, and I was a late comer to upgrading from Firefox 2.x to Firefox 3.0. I wasn’t always like this. I actually used to pay for Opera rather than deal with Internet Explorer back in the days of Windows NT4 days. Recently I’ve been lazy. Firefox 2.x had all the stuff that I used to pay for in Opera; tabbed browsing, opening entire folders of favourites etc. So the following may not come as news to some people in terms ......

DDD7 - Virtualisation for Developers - see Liam speak on 22 November 2008 (UK)

Thanks to everyone who voted for my 'Virtualisation for Developers' session at DDD7. I'm really looking forward to giving the presentation and by the end of November I should have some Hyper-V experiences to include as well as covering Virtual PC, Virtual Server, VMWare and VirtualBox. What DDD7 (www.developerday.co.uk) When Saturday, November 22, 2008 - 9:00 to 17:00 Where Microsoft Thames Valley Park Reading, Berkshire RG6 1WG England I would advise anyone who is keen to attend DDD7 keeps an eye ......

Hyper-V Integration Services - Vista must be SP1 when a guest for installation

Just had a twitter conversation with a fellow developer and tester Ben Hall regarding Hyper-V Integration Services (think 'additions' or 'VMWare Tools' for Hyper-V) and the limitation that you have to be running Vista as a guest it has to be SP1 to support installation of Integration Services. If one of your aims is to test software/deployment on non-SP1 Vista that's a bit of a killer. I found a gerat blog that lists how to 'upgrade' Vista to SP1 so you can install Integration Services, http://www.virtualizationad... ......

UK MSDN Roadshow dates for Feb 2009 - and after the Birmingham event join Guy Smith-Ferrier and myself for an evening on Virtualisation at NxtGenUG

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VMware one day sale - today, Monday 1 December 2008

VMware workstation is 25% of today at the www.vmware.com estore, use CyberMondayDeal code to get the discount.

Thanks to Oliver Sturm for the top tip.

Virtual Box under Windows XP – configuring a bridged network (before v2.1.x)

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VirtualBox 2.0.6 released

Changelog available here http://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Changelog.

Note: last time I upgraded from 2.0.2 to 2.0.4 the installation 'removed' all virtual network adapters during the process, which required me to do a bit of fiddling afterwards to get the existing VMs to connect to the correct virtual network adapter (blog to come on how to sort that out)

DDD7 - Virtualisation for Developers powerpoint available for download

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An Evening with Virtualisation - NxtGenUG Birmingham, Feb 2009

My presentation "Virtualisation for developers" has been officially selected as the warm up act for Guy Smith-Ferrier at The Next Generation User Group in Birmingham on 12th February 2009. More seriously, many thanks to Guy for allowing me to join him in a double session on such a great topic. Here's the abstracts, Virtualisation For Developers with Liam Westley Not used virtualisation technology yet? As a developer, you are missing out on some great time saving technologies. Concentrating on the ......

SysPrep usage with Vista when creating virtual machines

At my presentation last night, one of the questions I received from some of the members of the .NET Developers Network user group was whether you could use the SysPrep tool under Windows Vista. This is essential if you want to create a single Vista virtual machine image, from which you create 'clones' to support multiple virtual machines running concurrently on the same network. I googled the following post on the train back to London, http://www.windows-noob.com... so ......

Thanks for a great evening at .NET Developers Network in Bristol

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DDD7 - agenda is now live - 22 November 2008

The developer day agenda for 22 November 2008 has now been published so you can start planning and blogging about how the sessions you'd like to go to always clash ... http://www.developerday.co.... Obviously the highlight is at 10:40 where you can learn all about Virtualisation for Developers. Good news for me, is that Everest only holds 50 so no need to mic up and you get close to the audience. I remember a SubVersion talk I did for DDD2 which was great fun in that room ......

PDF and eBooks - I know it's a marginal cost but are Manning take it to extremes?

Manning Publications has a program called MEAP. MEAP stands for Manning Early Access Program - basically buying a book as a PDF before the paper version is published, in fact, before it is even finished. Good for new technologies like ASP.NET MVC of Silverlight. Now I know that electronic versions have a marginal cost compared to paper versions, but Manning are taking this to extreme levels; In April, I bought the MEAP title, The Art of Unit Testing, $24.99 By August, the completion of The Art Of ......

MSDN renewal pricing (UK)

It’s that time of year again for my company. The decision has to be made on renewing my MSDN subscription. Actually it’s been two years since I made that decision as the last time I renewed my MSDN Universal became a Visual Studio Team System for Software Developers with Premium MSDN subscription (thank you, Redmond marketing department), purchased as a two year eOpen license. In my cash flow projections for my company, I have roughly £1,000 + VAT pencilled in for my MSDN license. It hurts a bit, ......

DLL hell on Windows 2000 - or, how not to install an app five years ago

A client recently contacted me regarding a legacy application, written when I was at a previous company, that was now refusing to save customer records due to a failure to validate e-mail addresses. The application runs on Windows Professional 2000, and is a web application with minimal ASP content, and a HTML generation engine written in Visual Basic 6.0. From the Application Log error messages the client provided it was clear that the issue was with a COM object, VBScript Regular Expressions v5.5. ......

Want to test apps against IE6, IE7, IE8 on XP SP2, XP SP3, Vista ? - Microsoft has VMs for you

Reading Virtual PC Guys' blog, http://blogs.msdn.com/virtu... and discovered that Microsoft has made available Virtual PC hard drive images (VHDs) for various version of IE and various operating systems, all enabled until January 2009. They are available here, http://www.microsoft.com/do... ......

Thanks to Conchango for hosting Silverlight User Group

Conchango hosted the first Silverlight User Group last night. It was great to see people discussing real world problems they have encountered and how they are really stretching Silverlight to the limit. A 3D demo of MRI scans within a Silverlight browser control was very impressive. Tim Sneath, evangelist for the Silverlight team, was over from Redmond and did a very informative round up of the current state of Silverlight development and the envisaged roadmap to release of 2.0 RTM. A great start ......

NxtGenUG Oxford - CI Factory talk

Thanks to all who attended the NxtGenUG Oxford meeting last night, always good to see a different user group in operation. Apologies for not achieving the promised 20 minutes to create a CI server from a completely clean Win2003 server installation - but 26 minutes isn't too shoddy. As promised you can download the slidedeck for my CI Factory talk from here. Make sure you view it with the speaker notes as they give all the background information. On the 'Demonstration' slide the notes include the ......

London .NET User Group - CI Factory talk

Thanks to all who attended the London .NET User Group meeting last night, a great turnout and lovely weather for slurping beers in the streets of Clerkenwell afterwards. As promised you can download the slidedesk for my CI Factory grok talk from here, and if yoiu want an extended version I'm presenting at NxtGenUG in Oxford on Wednesday 6th August. In the one hour or so I'll hopefully have time to actually create a SubVersion repository, edit the CI Factory setup file to create a new build server ......

LINQPad - what a great little tool

I highly recommend downloading a free tool called LINQPad (http://www.linqpad.net) which execute LINQ queries and acts as a stripped down query analyser for your SQL Server databases. I love the ability to view the real T-SQL generated for the LINQ query, or as the lambda expression. It's incredibly simple, requires no install (other than .NET 3.5). It has that key attribute of good quality software; it deals with one simple task and executes it perfectly. I also like the author's suggestion to use ......

The joy of file synchronisation with Allway Sync Pro

I’m an itinerant developer armed with a laptop which means I have to deal with the issue of keeping my files synchronised with my file server. Source code is easy, it’s under version control. That leaves items such as documentation, Outlook PST files and MSDN downloads which are way too big and way too binary for version control systems. For years I've been synchronising my files with a set of Windows Briefcase folders, when they came in with Windows 95. They worked fairly reliably. I put up with ......

Software Developement as a Craft - 'The Craftsman' by Richard Sennett

I was listening to the BBC Radio 4 social science documentary strand Thinking Allowed earlier in the week (from my backlog of DAB radio recordings) and they were discussing a new book 'The Craftsman' by Richard Sennett. The book deals with the concept of learning a craft, as opposed to the acquisition of pure academic skills. It dealt with the sort of manual crafts that you might expect to be included, such as jewellers, wood workers, etc. To my surprise Richard Sennett mentioned that he has spent ......

ASP.NET MVC Preview 2 (March CTP) - support for shared hosting

I've been investigating the ASP.NET MVC framework for some months, in between a major client project in January and holidays in Frebruary. In that time the ASP.NET team have been beavering away and released the MVC Preview 2 March CTP (download it here). Jeffrey Palermo has some great blog posts over at codebetter.com which detail some of the improvements. The big news for me was that I could finally upload any applications to my development site, which is on a shared hosting server at discountasp.net, ......

Virtual PC on two monitors without additional software

I've finally moved my main development environment on my desktop to Vista, and had the issue that I still do quite a bit of work for one client in Visual Studio 2003 which is not supported. No problem - run up a Virtual PC 2007 image running XP Pro SP2 with just VS2003 and SQL Server 2000 and I have a perfect solution. On a dual core processer with virtualisation support and lots of memory it runs fine. However I also run on dual monitors and I'm very used to developing with VS on one screen, and ......

UK MSDN Roadshow 2008 - registration now open

For those who couldn't make the VS 2008/SQL 2008/Server 2008 launch in Birmingham in March, we have dates for the MSDN Roadshow in April around the UK. I'd register now if you're interested as these events sell out really fast. Here's the Microsoft blurb; Now the roadshow is coming to a city near you A short while ago you expressed interest in the MSDN Roadshow, which means you're now one of the first to hear that registration is open. We're anticipating high demand, so you'll need to act fast before ......

Development tools - CodeRush and Refactor Pro

Oh dear, what a long time since my last blog - a hectic pre Christmas projects, a three week Christmas and another major software development in January have really had an effect. Fortunately I'm getting back on track with new development and once I'm back from a holiday in the Caribbean I'm hoping to get some serious research into new technologies including the MVC framework from Microsoft and getting my CI Factory installations up to date. As part of this new push, I looked into finally taking ......

SqlBits - notes from grok on using NTFS file encryption to secure SQL Server databases on laptop computers

This is a summary of the grok talk I gave at the SqlBits day at Microsoft UK in Reading on 6th October 2007. Thanks for all the delegates who finished lunch early to make the grok talks and I hope it proved useful. The target audience for this grok talk was those developers using SQL Server (2000 or 2005) on their laptops who might want to secure those databases. This issue is becoming more important as horror stories of lost laptops containing sensitive customer information now seem to appear every ......

hosted-projects.com, 12 months on - now that's what I call customer service

I signed up to a SubVersion and Trac hosted service nearly 12 months ago with the aim of moving all my source code repositories from my local server onto a centrally managed system hosted by hosted-projects.com. At first I was concerned about reliability of access, availability levels and the level of customer support I would receive for what is a bargain US$15 per month (with an additional US$15 per month for nightly backups). Those concerns were completely unfounded. In the past year I have had ......

Wot, no serial port on my main dev PC - time for virtualisation!

I've just been porting some old .NET 1.1 code to .NET 2.0. I started work on a Windows service which communicates via an RS232 serial port (remember those?); a common interface standard for broadcast television equipment. I started up my Windows service which I'd just ported to .NET 2.0 and it hung when trying to send the second command to the serial port. I suspected the RS232 library and Win32 API calls, but then the light went on - I only have an RS232 port due to a bluetooth dongle, and it doesn't ......

I want IE7 but I want to test my VS.NET 2003 applications on IE 5.5 - fiddly but can be done

I bit the bullet and installed IE 7 on my main development machine (Windows XP SP2). I had held back due to the fact that one of my main clients has an Intranet web application running under IE 5.5 / IE 6.0 and I need to develop against that as the benchmark standard. Thanks to the wonderful Multiple IE installer I quickly had IE 3.0, IE 4.01, IE 5.01, IE 5.5 and IE 6.0 all available for testing my ASP.NET application. The only tricky bit was getting Visual Studio 2003 to run the ASP.NET application ......

Grok talk at Fest07 - 23rd May 2007

I will be presenting a grok talk at Fest07 at Microsoft campus in Reading; 'Continuous Integration for newbies made easy - A quick guide to CI Factory'. Those who have read my posts on CI Factory installation will be familiar with the subject, but feel free to come along and say hello if your attending. I'll have my build server with me - an external notebook drive with VirtualPC image and I'll be giving a brief overview of how CI Factory got my build server up and running in a couple of days, with ......

CI Factory - my final setup

Here's the culmination of my research into CI Factory and how I'm not using it to develop my open source RapidDB libraries. This is a fairly personal setup, as it only has a single developer (me), two development machines (currently an office desktop PC and a roaming laptop) and a build server which is not publicly accessible via the Internet. An MSDN and Microsoft Partner Action Pack subscription are busy covering my software license requirements. Summary: Development PC 1 : Desktop, XP Pro SP2, ......

CI Factory with NUnit (rather than MbUnit)

I decided to add some unit tests into my first CI Factory project. First I used a reference to MbUnit.Framework.dll in my test project, this is the unit test framework which ships with CI Factory, and all worked fine. No disrespect to MbUnit, but I decided I really wanted to use NUnit so I can utilise the larger amount of documentation and community knowledge that exists for NUnit (even though it might not be as flexible as MbUnit). So I added NUnit 2.2.8 (.NET 2.0 version) underneath my CI Factory ......

CI Factory - getting it working with your development tools in D:\Program Files

Before we dive in make sure you read my introduction post here, and that you have followed the screen cast on how to setup CI Factory. My notes will basically follow that procedure and highlight the differences when you have development tools on your D: drive. This is an early list, but hopefully it should give people pointers on how to get going quickly; I'm assuming that your development PC already has Visual Studio 2005, and SubVersion 1.4.3. In addition I had to install NCover 1.5.5 beta and ......

CI Factory - my first day of real use - phew!

A friend from the London .NET users group, Peter Ibbotson, on hearing that I had started looking into Cruise Control .NET for continuous integration said that before doing anything I should look at Zi Makki's blog about CIFactory, a master setup tool for creating a source code tree complete with various tools such as SubVersion, NCover, NDepends all hooked into CruiseControl.NET with NAnt as the build script automating the processing. Well, I've just spent a challenging but very satisfying day and ......

What punishment fits the crime - SELECT with no ordering

I'm busy maintaining a system which I didn't write, and keep hitting stored procedures which produce lists from drop down selections where it is a simple SELECT of two or three columns, with NO ORDER BY clause (or default sort in the database) to sort the list appropriately. I don't want to count the number of tickets in Trac I've dealt with on this one. So what punishment do you think is justified for this heinous crime? Probably not the death penalty. In the UK maybe sitting through ten episodes ......

Trac project management - how we mark a ticket for testing

I use a Trac/SubVersion combination from www.hosted-projects.com for my source code control and project management, including for some of my clients. However, the work flow for marking items as requiring testing isn't really there when you don't have dedicate test teams who can be given ownership of tickets for testing. We tried adding items to the keywords field but it doesn't appear on all the default reports and is generally hard to use. We think we have a solution though. When a ticket is resolved ......

Delimited data - a pragmatic approach

In quite a few projects I have to process delimited data in some form, either from App.Config settings or via interfaces to other applications and systems. Normally people use CSV formatting, separation by the comma character, however that makes life complicated if the data needs to contain commas as well. Export a Microsoft Excel worksheet as CSV and look at the complex rules about using double quotes to retain commas, thereby introducing issues when a cell contains both a comma and double quotes ......

IISRESET - doesn't do what it says on the tin

Flame me for being naiive but I have my 'World Wide Web Publishing' service set to Manual restart. Why hog resources on my laptop if I don't need it? When I'm developing web apps I start it. When I use 'iisreset' though it doesn't actually restart this service. Odd behaviour that, you think it would reset the service status to that prior to the iisreset being issued. Google iisreset and in the KB article here's the Microsoft comment on 'iisreset' The default behavior if no options are specified is ......

Code analysis in VS.NET 2005 and resource files

I just ported the first assembly of RapidDB over to .NET 2.0 in VS.NET 2005, and with gritted teeth hit the Build menu and ran Code Analysis. Having run FxCop on previous .NET 1.1 projects, I was ready for the list of warnings, some of which I really wouldn't agree with, and which I'd have to exclude within the FxCop project file. No need, the exclusion of messages on specific code blocks is now handled by attributes so you can easily spot what is being skipped right in the source code itself. In ......

Handy utility rediscoverd after reinstallation of entire system - RAMDRIVE

Ever developed an application that at a client's site required a specific drive letter, or you don't want to be editing an application's configuration file all the time (and accidently 'releasing' the development version)? Although you can personally map a drive letter to a share for use in Windows applications, an ASP.NET application or a Windows service won't have access to your drive letters as they do not run in your user session. What you need is a new volume at a system level available to all ......

How to reinstall - the steps you take now for the next time.

After installing a much larger hard drive in my laptop (to preserve a .NET 1.1 pristine partiion) I just nearly two days installing the mountain of software that is a programmer's development system. Here's my top tips for making this easy (or rather, easier); 1. For each machine you own keep a record in Excel of everything you install on the system (add/remove programs isn't good enough). Include serial numbers and the location of the software if you can, i.e. Software Serial No Install On Uninstall ......

SharpZipLib, minor tweak to samples allows opening of ZIP files in Windows XP SP2

The free C# ZIP library (http://www.icsharpcode.net... is great for reading and creating ZIP files. However, I came across a problem with ZIP files created using the samples in their help file when opening them under Windows XP SP2. Windows XP refuses to view the files and wants you to 'unblock' them, but when you follow the instructions the 'unblock' option is not available. I found out it was a simple fix, documented in the help file but not actually used in the ......

VistaDB - hands up if you use it or think it's a good idea

Just wanted to get an idea of how many people might use VistaDB and whether we should consider a database library in the RapidDB system for VistaDB? Let me know if you are using it already or are planning to use it in the future. Normally getting a database into RapidDB takes around 2 days of work, if the database system doesn't have significant exceptions to the norm (such as Oracle). Oh, and of course, I get a free copy of the system for developing the layer if I include the following press release ......

Internationalisation (en-GB)*

A nice little problem with cultures. An XML file within my RapidDB development system could not be loaded outside the en-GB culture (it probably worked in en-US too). This was kindly pointed out to me by Sergey Koshcheyev, the guy behind NHibernate. Not surprisingly he runs with a default Russian culture. My first guess was date formats, but I was wrong. It was the use of decimal points in values being loaded from the XML file. Whereas UK and US would write 51.34, Russian, in common with many other ......

Idiot's Guide to Replacing SourceSafe with SubVersion

My PowerPoint presentation from the DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper! from 22 October 2005 is now available for downloading at http://codecorner.tigernews.co.uk/codecorner/presentations/ddd2-subversion.zip

It comes complete with speaker notes containing all the step by step instructions for the demonstrations within the presentation.

Pesky users closing browsers - you can still get them to 'logout' properly

I regularly have applications which restrict access to a single logon, on a single PC, with the same user name. To achieve this all users have to logout properly, so that they clear down a unique logon GUID is the system database. Being human, not all of them click on LOGOUT within the application; instead they just close the browser directly. When they next try to logon they are warned someone is already logged on with the same user name and have to confirm that they should log the other user out. ......

Write or Wrong? Using attributes with property set method and NUnit

After creating a class with property set/get and creating NUnit tests to stress the methods, I found I was typing the same numbers again and again for the maximum length of the string value of the property. Worse, it was too easy to make a typo and have my NUnit test not reflect the true expected maximum length. So I created a MaxLengthAtrribute class which defines the maximum length of a property (incidently based on a field size in a database). For example, a Surname property get/set method might ......

SQL Server 2000 - utility to execute SELECT and save to CSV

Just wrote a very quick and dirty utility to allow a SELECT from a SQL Server database and save to CSV. It was for a one off data extraction for a client for a query not currently in the main web based application. Due to using MSDE there are no SQL client tools to use to do this job, and I didn't have the MSDE manager at hand. Anyway full details and source code for the utility are now at http://codecorner.tigernews... ......

Adding 'created by' and 'history' to your Xml documentation with NDoc

In your XML documentation comments include the tags as shown below, with a single created element, and multiple history elements; /// <REMARKS>If <B>propertyHolderVari... parameter is used then the caller must ensure a private property variable has been declared elsewhere in the class module.</REMARKS>/// <CREATED>Liam Westley 09 Feb 2004</CREATED>/// <HISTORY>Liam Westley 02 Nov 2004, added propertyHolderVariableName parametere</HISTORY>/// ......

Hiding system tables and stored procedures in SQL Enterprise Manager

This may be something you all know, but I keep coming across developers who don't know that it is really easy to hide system tables and stored procedures in SQL Server Enterprise Manager. Step 1 - Highlight the server in SQL Server Enterprise Manager, right click and select Edit SQL Server Registration properties... from the pop-up menu. Step 2 - In the Registered SQL Server Properties dialogue box, remove the tick from Show system databases and system objects. This will only hide the system objects ......

Converting enumeration values to/from String values

Triggered by the blog by Chris Breisch on string enumerations I finally got around to posting a code snippet on my development resource site about converting enumeration values to and from String values. You can find it here. The codecorner site will be my regular mirror of any blog tips I post, and I hope that anyone who knows the London Underground system will appreciate the unusual design of the site ......

SQL Server 2005 June CTP

Downloaded the SQL Server 2005 June CTP from MSDN over the weekend to install with VS.NET 2005 Beta 2 on a clean XP Pro o/s. As it the June CTP downloaded I installed VS.NET 2005 beta 2 which I already had ready. My mistake. You must install SQL Server 2005 June CTP first as the setup will refuse to run if it detects VS.NET 2005 Beta 2. A lot of uninstalling (about 10 items in add/remove programs) and it's working fine. Now I can find out if VS.NET 2005 and subversion (an open source, source code ......