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Copyright: Jeff Julian

Book Review | Advanced .NET Debugging (Addison Wesley) by Mario Hewardt

Tue, 02 Nov 2010 05:36:38 GMT

Originally posted on: I first received this book, I was not sure what to expect.  When it comes to development topics on debugging the spectrum is very wide.  Most developers, including myself, only use basic techniques for day-to-day debugging. These get us through our problems quickly and they work well for 80% of the bugs we encounter.  We forgot to close a connection, we didn't set a variable, we forgot to exit a loop, we fat fingered a variable name.  All of these are daily errors we as developers face and fix with ease inside Visual Studio.  The team in Redmond has done an awesome job at making our job easier for these tasks. However, there are some bugs that are just hard to find.  There are some bugs that are not ours and we have no influence over the correction, but we must know they exist and why so that we can reroute our logic to not run into them when possible.  In today's developer economy, more and more is done by larger firms that just can not be moved quickly for repair unless you have the power and clout to make them move.  We wait for a patch or sometimes the next version for these things to be fixed.  These bugs and others that are more difficult to find and require much smarter tools that Response.Write/Console.Write, breakpoints, Stack Traces, or F10/F11 walkthrough to find.  They require SDKs and obscure searches on to find these tools.  They are not the most friendly when it comes to UI's and some were just behind-the-scenes projects that make our lives easier from those who work at Microsoft.  This book plays in this territory. Flip open the cover of this book and you will find names that you know and titles that you wish you had writing praises about the author and his book.  Most of these names come from Microsoft Corporation, so you get a sense of comfort knowing that "if they liked it, then I probably should too".  A very cool feature of this book was a List of Code Listings, a ToC of code examples which quickly turns this book into a reference guide as well as a sit down and read book.  I think other technical books could learn from this.  Some people buy books to read, other buy books for reference, I think all dev books could use a list like this to fit in both spectrums. The book does well at going into the details of the topics covered.  I was refreshed when going through the CLR fundamentals chapter after years since reading about how the CLR worked.  It didn't take long to have my passions arise about .NET from 2001 and 2002 when I couldn't get enough information about this new product that would change development (and it did).  I also learned a lot more that I didn't know about the stack as well through this, how the Windows Loader works with files and loading .NET assemblies.  Not something you deal with daily, but still interesting to know and helpful when you are looking into how it all works. Once you dive through the introduction and layout outline of the book, you get right into the different tools for debugging.  Some of them you know, some of them you wish you had known about before.  Reading this chapter causes you to want to read more because there is something on this list the average developer wants to know more about.  The next chapters are pretty deep and I would not suggest reading it if operating heavy machinery or driving a car.  Definitely good stuff, but not for the faint of heart. Chapter 3 may make you feel a little off when you read the title "BASIC DEBUGGING TASKS" and yet the information cover is not basic as all to the typical developer who does not debug at this level.  This is an advanced book so the title should read "BASIC DEBUGGING TASKS FOR ADVANCED .NET DEBUGGING".  Reading it this way will help create a level of comfort with the book.  The topics discussed in this chapter set the stage for the remainder of the book so it is important to review and understand before moving on.  This chapter concludes the Overview section of the book. The next se[...]

Windows Virtual PC | My *flicker* First *flicker* Experiences

Mon, 16 Nov 2009 15:48:10 GMT

Originally posted on:


Well I have been using WVPC for Windows 7 RTM for about a week now and there are a few things I like and a few things I don’t.

First off, why at the end of 2009 do we still not have a “multiple monitor” story that doesn’t require me to put quotations around the words.  This RDP style of one giant monitor span across your two monitors is not a solution, it hasn’t been since it came out. 

Secondly, What *flicker* is *flicker* up *flicker* with *flicker* all *flicker* the *flicker* flickering?  I have a 17 inch unibody MacBook Pro with 4gb of RAM and 16gb of ReadyBoost and Windows 7 64-bit.  I have dedicated 2GB of RAM to my virtual environment running Windows 7 32-bit.  I am seeing a constant flickering when scrolling through windows in IE, Visual Studio, and other applications.  I am guessing this is Aero running Aero with the Windows 7 installations, but the product boosts that it is possible to do Aero in the virtual so I wanted to try. 

Thirdly, what???  You got rid of Drag and Drop between Host and Virtual?  Why would you do that.  The new RDP experience most likely forced your hand, but you could have came up with a solution like GoToMyPC where an application running on each side would handle the transfer.  We need a patch with a real solution instead of some command line drive attachments or network storage as the solution that the Virtual PC Guy blog suggests. 

I do like the product though.  I have not been a fan of Virtual products in OS X ever since Parallels ate my boot camp machine and I had to rebuild.  So I have ran exclusively Boot Camp for Vista/7 and Virtual PC and now Windows Virtual PC since being a Mac user.  The get the job done with irritation, but I have found that to be true of most products.  I plan to continue using it through the life of my current project, but I do want to review VMWare Workstation again.  Before on Vista is was SLOWWWW, but if you have better experiences on WIndows 7 with it, please let me know

So what are your WVPC stories and findings?

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Community | gets an great update

Thu, 13 Dec 2007 17:07:26 GMT

Originally posted on:

(image) My favorite Regular Expression resource,, received a very nice face lift and enhancement recently and I thought you would like to know.  For sometime now, the site was sort of broken, search features were not working, paging through the expressions were flaky and it looked like it was on the verge of going away.  However, it looks like Steve Smith and the team were making some major enhancements and I am really excited to run into my next RegEx issue and being able to use this resource. 

On a side note, I am using my Windows Mobile 6.0 Bluetooth-enabled phone to chat with my Bluetooth-embedded MacBook Pro, running Vista of course, to blog this post using the Internet connection on the phone.  To get the image, I had to download SnagIt (Awesome Tool!) to my new machinei w, using AT&T's HSDPA network and it felt like I was in the office, however I am at the Microsoft office in Kansas City where no connection was available.  The enhanced digital world is amazing.


HDC | Bill Vaughn Interview - How do you make the jump to later versions of SQL Server

Fri, 19 Oct 2007 15:03:34 GMT

Originally posted on:

(image) We had a great show yesterday with Bill Vaughn, author and former VB project manager, talking about SQL Server and how developers should look at later versions of SQL Server.  Read more about Bill here and BetaV Corporation.


If you haven't made the move to SQL Server 2005, Bill discusses with us what is good and bad about the product as a developer and talks through some of the issues you might have during the migration


Listen to Bill Vaughn discuss SQL Server!


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Windows Virtual PC | Integrated Pointer Configuration

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 19:41:32 GMT

Originally posted on: I have been converting my current client’s development environment to a VPC instead of taking over my main machine as we did to get the project kicked off.  I decided to go with Windows Virtual PC now that it has RTMed, but quite a bit has changed. Once I had Windows 7 installed and VS 2008 configured, I started looking for a multiple monitor solution for VPCs.  In the past, I had just lived with the limitation of running virtual and not getting the benefit of dual monitors.  This time I wanted something else. The solution everyone was talking about a few years ago was MaxiVista, but once Vista when live and they started having problems with the new driver model, I wrote them off, however they are definitely back (I don’t know how long since they have had a Vista solution) but their latest version works with Windows 7.   (MaxiVista is a product that will extend your monitor to another computer and it’s monitors using the network) Most examples will say run two VPC and use on as a slave monitor to MaxiVista and put each one on a different monitor fullscreened.  That will definitely work, but puts a much larger footprint on my machines RAM than I want to.  So I decided to treat the VPC as the host MaxiVista server and my main machine as the slave viewer.  Then I configured the viewer to use only my secondary monitor that the host VPC does not reside on and then it worked!  Sort of. You have to disable the pointer integration with VPC to get the monitor to work because you don’t want your host PC taking the mouse away from the VPC since it is extending the monitor, so like VPC 2007, you just need to configure the VPC’s settings through Console to turn off Pointer Integration right?  Nope.  For some reason they took that feature away, but left it in the .VMC configuration file.  So open up your .VMC in Notepad and change the XML to turn the mouse off. ... false ... You will most likely have to disable the Interaction Settings as well, but MaxiVista states it has a clipboard syncing feature that should work.  I have only used this configuration for a few hours and so far I like it, HOWEVER, I tend to like everything a lot at first.  Heck I still like my Windows Mobile 6.5 HTC Pure (even though app wise, Windows Marketplace is like going to Circle-K for groceries instead of the Super Market).  I will hopefully post a few follow up posts about this topic as I use it more and more. Technorati Tags: Windows Virtual PC,WVPC,MaxiVista,Multiple Monitor,Windows 7 [...]

Downloads | Microsoft SyncToy 2.1 Released

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 18:20:04 GMT

Originally posted on:

A few days ago Microsoft released an update to one of my favorite PowerToys, SyncToy.  This is a must have if you are a portable user and you want to get a quick backup of your files (photos, videos, source code, etc) by folder for free.

SyncToy 2.1

I have been using this for a few versions now and it is great at syncing or backing up folder to folder onto USB flash or hard drives. 

The scenarios I use it in are:

  • Backup of photos pre and post processing from my D300 and D700.
  • Backup of source code to a small USB device at the end of the day.
  • Synced copy of files from large RAID drives to portable drives for portablity without the worry of lost data.
  • Zune music, iTunes music sync.

I know there are other tools and even OSes like WIndows Home Server that would do a better job of automated backup but I am ok with having a backup workflow for the different scenerios I have and leaving portable hard drives around the places I need them without having to carry them from building to building.


Mon, 26 Jan 2004 11:37:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Check it out!  Drew and Kevin have done it again.  Thanks guys! (image)

Working with Bristowe on ESF

Mon, 26 Jan 2004 00:06:00 GMT

Originally posted on:

Last night, John Bristowe and I started discussing ESF and his Newsgator extension to support the spec.  It is very cool.  With Newgator 2.0, you can build your own extensions to support other frameworks and do whatever you want inside Outlook.  He is wanting to make an ESF feed create Calendar events.  His first try was very cool.  If you don't know what ESF is, check it out here and please give us feedbackINETA is planning to be one of the first users of the format and Bristowe will be changing the Speaker feeds to support ESF. (image)

We Are Microsoft | Final Thoughts

Tue, 22 Jan 2008 16:14:14 GMT

Originally posted on: What a great event!  I want to thank everyone involved and wish all the charities good luck with their new software.  If you haven't listened to the shows yet, I highly suggest it.  You will be compelled to look at your work with the community and see different ways you can help charities with your development skills.  Here is a list of all the shows we recorded during the event, please help spread the word about these so others can get involved in their local areas either by themselves, as a user group, or with an event like this. Texas Response Unit Search & Rescue Tim Rayburn and Jason Duncan - Spina Bifida / CITY House Spina Bifida Association of North Texas / Telligent Volunteer Center of North Texas Texas CARES Toi Wright and Amber Weiss - Event Coordination Trinity Christian Academy SER Child Development Center Texas Discovery Gardens St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store North Park Missionary Baptist Church CITY House Also we had some fun videos you might want to take a look at: Road Trip Home - How We Publish From The Car Geeks With Guitars - Rock Band Performance Walk Through As The Developers Work Thanks again to everyone involved and we hope to see more and more of these events pop up in the near future in other metropolitan areas. Technorati Tags: We Are Microsoft,Charity Challenge Event,Dallas,Charity,Microsoft,Podcasting [...]