Archives / 2005 / September
  • VSTS Code Coverage Customization

    VSTS originally used intuitive colors for code that was covered, code that was not covered, and code that was partially covered.  In beta 2, these was changed to a bunch of pastel colors, as others like Dave Donaldson notes.  Dave explains how to switch this back to the more obvious primary colors: To do this, go to Tools, Options, Environment, Fonts and Colors. Under the Display Items list, look for Coverage Not Touched Area, Coverage Partially Touched Area, and Coverage Touched Area. Then change the Item Background color for each of those as you see fit. more

  • Interesting Caching 'Feature'

    You may know that I'm a big fan of caching.  My latest pet project is the creation of a cache wrapper object that extends the capabilities of the standards HttpRuntime.Cache (or System.Web.Caching.Cache) object.  One feature that I'm implementing is capability to insert an entry into the Cache and specify both a sliding and an absolute expiration.  This scenario is not supported using the standard .NET Framework Cache object (and this will not change in 2.0), but it is a useful scenario because in a busy site a sliding expiration may never expire.  The basic idea I'm going for is "As long as this resource is being actively requested (which we'll define as having been … more

  • MVP Summit - Day 2

    So, I'm in Seattle for the MVP Summit and it is a great time to network with a lot of people I haven't seen in quite some time (and many I just saw a couple of weeks ago at PDC...).  They've been having some issues with transportation, so for instance yesterday morning about 100 of us ended up missing the first executive session altogether and half of Steve Ballmer's presentation because our bus was nearly an hour late picking us up from our downtown hotel.  Oh well, what can you do.  As usual it's an honor to have the time with Microsoft executives that they give to MVPs every year.  Sadly, there were a few MVPs who, in my opinion, abused the privilege of being able to … more

  • In Seattle

    I'm in Seattle this week for the MVP Summit followed by the ASPInsiders summit.  It's actually the longest I've been away from home since I got back from Iraq, but I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of folks I haven't seen in a couple of years.  I met up with James Shaw at the airport and we had dinner with Jason Gaylord last night at a nice restaurant near the W, where we're all staying.  I had shark, which was a first for me, and quite good.  Today is registration and dinner with our MVP Regional Team, but none of that is until later in the afternoon, so I'm trying to use this day as a catch-up-on-coding day.  We'll see how that works out. more

  • PDC Birds of a Feather Forums

    I was lucky enough to attend a few Birds of a Feather sessions at PDC05, including one hosted by Julia Lerman on Going Solo.  At many of these, the time goes by very quickly and many of the attendees have additional questions for the host or for one another that must go unanswered.  Further communication is usually limited to a few hastily exchanged business cards, but the group itself disintegrates within moments of the end of the session. Well, in answer to this, AspAdvice has set up post-event forums for ALL of the PDC05 Birds of a Feather sessions.  Couldn't make it to PDC, or to a BOF you were interested in?  Check out these forums, ask a question for the … more

  • ArmyAdvice Update

    This weekend we moved ArmyAdvice to a new software platform, Community Server 1.1.  The new software includes better support for blogs as well as better photo galleries and, best of all, forums.  I've created a variety of discussion forums which I hope people will start using and find useful.  There are a few other places to discuss Army issues online, but not as many as you might expect, especially with as much attention as the military is getting these days.  So I'm hoping that ArmyAdvice's forums will be another way that soldiers can share real information with people in a way that cuts through a lot of the garbage that we see in other media.  Time will tell if … more

  • PDC: Atlas Hands-On Lab

    I just completed the ASP.NET “Atlas” hands-on lab.  It was very well put-together considering how completely new Atlas is.  I imagine a few members of the ASP.NET team probably lost some sleep the week prior to PDC getting all of this put together in time.  You can complete the lab yourself -- it's available from the Atlas website.  At the moment it requires the Beta 2 version of ASP.NET, but a new lab targeting the RC build of .NET 2.0 should be available very soon. The lab has 5 parts and shows you first how to set up a master page to hold your Atlas script library references, then quickly moves into useful examples.  You learn how to use asynchronous … more

  • More SqlDependency Gotchas

    I wrote about some issues with SqlDependency in the latest interim build last week, but I forgot to mention one other gotcha that we ran into, which Scott Hanselman was struggling with yesterday.  The necessary trick, which is only for that build so if you're reading this post-release of ASP.NET 2.0 this shouldn't be an issue, is to modify the SQL Server database settings for the database in question like so: alter database Northwind set trustworthy on That should fix the "The conversation handle "blah" is not found" bug, if you're seeing that. more

  • Anders on C# 3.0 and LINQ

    Just came from Anders Hejlsberg's talk on C# 3.0 and LINQ.  You can actually download a LINQ tech preview from MSDN, here: The language features that had to go into place to allow for LINQ are quite impressive, and I'll have to play around with them myself to really wrap my brain around them since many of them involve rethinking how I think about programming.  However, the potential is very great, since someone proficient in C# (and LINQ) would be able to effectively work with data from many different sources (XML, Relational Database, various collection types) without having to learn separate query languages (SQL, … more

  • PDC - Jim Allchin's Keynote

    Jim Allchin gave the second keynote, which included many demos from a variety of Microsoft teams and a couple of partners.  Most of it centered around new features that will be available in Vista.  For example, their virtual memory system will be able to take advantage of external memory, such as from USB drives.  They showed off a feature called SuperFetch, but unfortunately I was dozing off for most of that demo so all I saw was that it was searching the system for various files and (presumably) pre-fetching them. One security issue Jim stressed was the ability to run applications in a Low Integrity Mode, which would basically create a sandbox around an application … more

  • PDC - Bill Gates Keynote

    Bill Gates gave this morning's first keynote at PDC 05.  As is customary, he had a video to augment his presentation.  These are usually very funny, but this one didn't do much for me (it was about Bill as a recruiter or something, but I didn't think they pulled it off well).  However, he did make a great comment that brought laughter from the crowd.  Yesterday, there was a significant power outage in LA as a result of a technician error that lasted for like half an hour (I was in the air on my way so I missed it).  So Bill quipped, "You know, I've said many times that the software industry needs to become as reliable as the electic utitility companies... … more

  • PDC - I'm Here

    Flew in last night.  I was supposed to stay at the New Otani but they oversold their rooms, so at 1am local time they finally found me (and about 8 other PDC-goers) rooms back at the airport (45 min away).  They paid for everything, as well they should, but I'm rather short on sleep now as a result.  So far PDC has been pretty cool -- I'm about to blog about the keynote and some other cool news, then it's back to talking to people for me. more

  • Handy PowerPoint Tips

    Clemens came up with a handy VBA macro that makes copying diagrams from one PPT to another much less painful.  He explains the problem in more detail in his blog entry, but the basic issue is that different powerpoint files may use different color schemes.  Copying from one to another may change all the colors in your diagram, often in ways you'd prefer to avoid. Another trick I recently learned about is PowerPoint's Presenter View.  You'll find this under Slide Show > Set Up Show, as a checkbox.  Assuming you have two monitors set up (and/or a projector for presenting), this will allow you to view notes, a running timer, and a preview of the next slide on … more

  • Old Databases and Sql Query Notifications (cache invalidation)

    Julie and I were having issues with getting Sql Query Notifications to work for ASP.NET cache dependencies (for our DevConnections talks).  The trick was this: sp_dbcmptlevel yourdatabasename,90 Julie did most of the research on this one, with help from Sushil Chordia and Leonid Tsybert from Microsoft.  She has more on her blog, but I'm noting here so I might remember this next time. more

  • I've Moved!

    I haven't posted in a while because I finally moved into my new house.  There's a bit of a backstory to this which I'll share here briefly.  Also, I'll post some pictures at some point, but since this blog is likely to move to another server soon (and the galleries will likely be a pain to move), I'll likely just wait until after the blog moves to post pics. So, the house.  WAAAAAY back in early 2004 my wife and I were looking for some land to buy which we'd eventually build on.  That wasn't working out so well, and having both of us working from home with a toddler was starting to get to be too much, so we changed tactics and thought we'd look for an interim, larger, … more