Live Essentials Evilness

Hey, Microsoft, please stop trying to reset my home page and change my search preferences when I install the one tool from Live Essentials that I find useful, Live Writer (which is awesome, by the way).  I’m pretty sure my browser already has a preferences section wherein I can set my home page, and likewise […]

Where is Outlook 2010 Export

In an example of extremely intuitive user experience, the latest version of Outlook has moved things around in the interests of ribbonizing everything.  This would be fine if in fact the trendy new ribbon UI was organized in a fashion that was, well, based on logic.  Sadly, at least in the case of Exporting data, […]

Entity Framework Invalid Object Name dbo.Albums

Continuing in working with the MVC Music Store sample application, the next thing I ran into after installing the SQL database by hand, was an error on the home page saying: Invalid object name ‘dbo.Albums’. Description: An unhandled exception occurred during the execution of the current web request. Please review the stack trace for more […]

Database cannot be opened – version 655

I’m working with the new MvcMusicStore sample application, and immediately I’m having trouble with the database.  When I try and open the .mdf file that’s in my App_Data, I’m presented with this error message: The database ‘C:DEVSCRATCHMVCMUSICSTORE-V2.0MVCMUSICSTORE-COMPLETEDMVCMUSICSTOREAPP_DATAMVCMUSICSTORE.MDF’ cannot be opened because it is version 655. This server supports version 612 and earlier. A downgrade path […]

ViewBag does not exist in current context

If you’re working with the ASP.NET MVC 3 MvcMusicStore demo and you run into the error message: The name ‘ViewBag’ does not exist in the current context It’s probably a sign that you are running on an older version of ASP.NET MVC (or a pre-release of MVC 3). You can download the latest version of […]


Consider a scenario where you have a many-to-many relationship, but it’s nullable.  For instance, maybe you have Articles and Categories (or Tags), and an Article can have 0 to N Categories/Tags.  Now, you want to pull in a set of Articles that are uncategorized.  Using SQL, you might write a query like this:


Sharp XV-Z9000U Projector Wont Power Up – Solution

I have a fairly old projector that recently required a new bulb.  It’s a Sharp XV-Z9000U model, which has bulbs that last for something like 2000 hours, and the projector has a timer in it that starts warning you when you’re approaching this number.  Ultimately, when you’ve ignored the warnings long enough (because the existing […]

Lessons Learned Performing Harry Potter Book Kata

Last week at CodeMash I went through the Harry Potter Book Kata with Steve (@underwhelmed).  This is an interesting kata because it pretty much starts out very straightforward and things progress very quickly, and then you are faced with a brick wall in terms of how to proceed with the algorithm.  I recommend you give […]

Unit Test Naming Convention

I’ve been writing tests and unit tests for quite a while, and naturally my personal preference for naming them has evolved somewhat with time.  Initially, I didn’t really know what I was doing and the default organization tended to be something like “given a class, Customer, all of the tests will go into a class […]