My Gestalt

Understand the chaotic world by developing meaningful perception through the acquisition of seemingly disparate knowledge.

Collect information in large quantity with precise detail and connect the dots of meaning to form your own picture of the universe.

Act upon it

Knowledge and understanding without action is waste.

Be Grateful

Never underestimate the power of gratitude.

Charity

Forgiveness will make your heart happy. Forgiveness is not about someone deserving it, it's about healing your heart.

Tuesday
Sep232008

LINQ to SQL T4 template for Visual Studio 2008

Damien Guard has made his T4 Templates Output to VB (yeah!).

LINQ to SQL T4 template for Visual Studio 2008

The latest update to my template for generating LINQ to SQL classes from DBML is now available.

If you want to customize the LINQ to SQL code generation phase in your project without additional tool dependencies this could be what you’re looking for.

I was looking for a better way to customize the Linq to SQL CodeSpit and this lets us do it from inside Visual Studio in a very painless way.  No extra tools required.  CodeSmith and CodeRush are still quite valueable, but this method integrates very nicely without requiring extra tools.

Thanks to Jim Wooley for pointing me to it, I was not aware how far this had come.

What's T4?  In short, It's Native Code Generation inside Visual Studio 2008 (and 2005 with extensions)

Oleg Sych explains most of it here.

When I first saw this, I did not think it was what I needed, it turns out it was EXACTLY what I needed, I just didn't know it.  This is well worth your time to investigate if you are doing any code generation for LINQ. (or anything else for that matter, T4 doesn't care, you can codegen a UI using XAML or HTML with it quite easily).

Friday
Sep122008

FIX - Can't Open your Solution in Blend 2.5?

It seems that the Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview doesn't like extra bits in your .SLN file that it doesn't recognize.

I had a couple Silverlight Solutions suddenly stop opening in Blend.

One of my developers is using VisualSVN and committed his .SLN File.

Blend doesn't like the following lines at the bottom of the .SLN file:

GlobalSection(SolutionProperties) = preSolution
    HideSolutionNode = FALSE
EndGlobalSection
GlobalSection(ExtensibilityGlobals) = postSolution
    VisualSVNWorkingCopyRoot =
EndGlobalSection

Delete those lines and magically the solution now opens again in Blend.

I'm sure this is a Beta thing and hopefully the next release will rid us of these annoyances.

Thursday
Aug212008

Photosynth now Free to the Public with 20GB of space

Webware(CNET) - Microsoft launches 3D wonder Photosynth for consumers

“On Wednesday night, Photosynth, a technology demo from Microsoft Live Labs, is graduating from its "ooh, that's pretty" status to being a viable Web service for consumers.

via: Greg's Cool [Insert Clever Name] of the Day

This is revolutionary technology... When people start to figure out what they can accomplish with it, I believe digital photography will take a huge leap forward in our ability to create and share incredible work, extremely easy.

Monday
Aug182008

Support for Blu-ray... How about just plain old ISOs...

I just read this:

A forthcoming addition to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)'s Windows operating system will give users the ability to burn optical discs encoded in the Blu-ray high-definition movie format directly from their desktops and without having to use third-party software, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft Windows To Support Blu-ray HD Content -- InformationWeek

And I am still left wondering, why has it taken this long to just get a plain old ISO burner for Windows built into the standard release.  Yes, I know there is a "command-line" tool in the Resource Kit, but for crying-out-loud, isn't it about time that we are able to Mount, Create and Burn ISOs with Explorer.

What I would like to see BUILT INTO ALL SHIPPING VERSIONS OF WINDOWS:

  1. Right-Click a mounted CD/DVD drive and get a "Save to ISO File" option.
  2. Right-Click an ISO File and get "Create Disc" and "Mount as Virtual Drive" options.

I am sure that piracy, DRM, etc. have had a hand in it, but this is something I expect any relatively modern OS to handle for me without 3rd Party tools.

Friday
Aug082008

Who Am I at NBCOlympics.com

I tried to register for the Silverlight content (since it seems I must to get better interaction...) and I got this lovely response.


RegisteredNBC


 


That username really blows... no way to change it, and no way to logout because it is so long and the site is fixed width.  I can't create another account because my email address is already used.


HTML really sux for a lot of things.  UI is one of them.  Why didn't they just do the whole site in Silverlight or at least give you that option... This HTML/Flashy site is really bad.  The saddest thing is that this is supposed to be "da bomb" for Silverlight and it's grand entrance into the Web  2.0 world.  Did Microsoft have any input on how to make this usable?  Did they have ALL the input?  If it is the latter then I am extremely disappointed in them for botching the introduction of Silverlight to the world of media downloading enthusiasts.  I am suspecting they had very little do do with it and the dictations were made by a bunch of middle management weenies that don't have a clue about usability and the modern world of computing.


Not that this would fix the reason I got a GUID for a UserID that I can't change.  For such a high profile site, this is an atrocious UI.  Overall extremely disappointed... you can't force the "Enhanced" Player to Full Screen.  Bad choice, so much for watching on my HTPC... and by the way, my timezone for Arizona is wrong, if I used this for the scheduler, then I would miss everything by an hour, I captured this at 1:25pm.


Overall this site is the biggest let down in the history of platform introductions.

Wednesday
Jul162008

100% Speculation- What Microsoft does not want you to know about Netflix streaming

When I read this, I thought... WTH, there is nothing wrong with demanding an XBox Live Account...  I complain constantly about unfair pricing and things like that... It's fairly clear that reading an RSS Feed does not give you a good picture of the Netflix arrangement.



TG Daily - What Microsoft does not want you to know about Netflix streaming


Anyway, I already HAVE an XBox Live Gold membership so getting those extra group watch and share features are a great boost to the new XBox Live.  Overall, what I saw during the E3 announcements was quite impressive.


What would I have liked to have heard that I DIDN'T?



  • Official VB Support for XNA
  • Silverlight being used for the Streaming of Netflix (I do not believe they are using Silverlight in the Fall release, but really hope I am wrong)
  • XBox enabled to use Silverlight Applications (I seriously doubt this will be done any time soon, but I am convinced it should be done)

I think with these 3 additional thing the XBox could take on a whole new life, it opens the door WIDE for private stream delivery.  We do not want to get stuck in the same rut for Internet streaming that exists in Cable and Satellite services now.  It could also be made a case for Corporate Content delivery via XBox.


Think about it, these things are dirt cheap content delivery and interaction systems.  This IS the Network Terminal we talked bout 10 years ago when the internet first became popular. 


Microsoft would gain HUGE ground if they moved the XBox into this arena, forget MediaCenter, this IS the only livingroom box we need if it ran Silverlight and attached to remote applications.


We need VB Support to really drive grassroots content.  So if Microsoft really wants to be a permanent fixture in our Living room, let it run Silverlight, VB and make it quiet.

Thursday
Jun262008

Silvester - A Silverlight Twitter Widget

I have updated the Twitter widget on the right to Silvester.

Silvester - A Silverlight Twitter Widget

I did this for a couple of reason.  I really wanted a low impact Silverlight Widget on this page, and Silvester provides the best Twitter interface for a Blog that I have seen so far.  I took me a whole 5 minutes to do the update to the markup to place it on the page. 

Someday I wall actually update this blog engine to something recent... I don't want to go through the hassle of moving all my content and figuring out how to deal with the permalinks, not that I have so much traffic, I just want to do that because I have links to my own posts referenced all over the place in OneNote and I don't want them to become useless, a permalink is supposed to be permanent.  I will write a handler to do it when I have time and enough inclination to change engines.

Thursday
Jun262008

Silverlight Control Contracts Diagram - For Skinning (Quite useful)

Tired of digging into controls with reflector or wading through the XAML from Blend and trying to figure out what is comment between controls?  This diagram is quite helpful when you are creating new styles and wondering what to include.

Silverlight Control Contracts Diagram - For Skinning

This was featured on Silverlight Cream #226 a while ago, but I just discovered it.

Friday
Jun202008

BitNami and Development Installations

I just discovered Bitnami... How have I never seen this before? I know about all the VM Appliance stuff and I use it occasionally but I really don't like VMs.  It's not a matter of speed really,its just a personal opinion for how I like to run things.  I used to really like VMs and I do still run several, the thing is, what if I want to install something like Redmine on a Windows machine then decide I don't need it on that machine, uninstalling from most other techniques are a horrid experience, usually easier to repave.

BitNami stacks make it incredibly easy to install your favorite open source software. Application stacks include an open source application and all the dependencies necessary to run it

BitNami :: BitNami Stacks

Bitnami changes that by making everything run in an isolated place that you can just nuke if you don't want it and everything continues on, no registry problem, no DLL Hell (which we still have no matter what the Marketroids tell you).  So far I am very pleased with what I am seeing, especially from the Ruby Space.

Microsoft needs to learn about how to make installations simple.  Installing Visual Studio is an all day process, and if you screw it up or put anything beta on that installation, repave is the only real way out.

I would really like to see Microsoft make Installable Appliances that live independently of my OS.  There is really no reason this cannot happen today and in Windows 7 this would be a great target of opportunity, but it won't happen due to what.... backward compatibility.

You know what... I don't care, they should just bite the bullet and make a real 64bit OS that is hardened and nothing can touch it except itself.  All programs should live in a sandbox that we can destroy at will.  How long does it take to copy a DVD? 5 Minutes, 10?  that is how long it should take to install Visual Studio.

Tuesday
Jun102008

Telerik releases a CTP of their Silverlight controls

via Tim Heuer: Telerik drops some Silverlight control goodies

One of the things I love about the Microsoft developer ecosystem is the partner channels that are enabled to create great add-ons to our platforms and frameworks.  Our partners in this space usually get to the better implementations before we do, taking on the task of filling some gaps in unique implementations while our teams can focus on providing the best framework for enabling that construction.

Their controls implement support for DataBinding, the new VisualStateManager model, Templates/Styles, etc.  Some of the controls they are providing are some that you may find interesting or enhance the existing control suite from the Silverlight core:

    • Menu
    • TreeView
    • Upload
    • RadCube
    • RadNumericUpDn
    • RadProgressBar
    • Animation framework

One of their key features is they’ve decided to make these source code compatible with WPF.  The full WPF are not yet available.  You can download the CTP for free right now on their site and view some sample implementations on their sample site.

I have had the pleasure of working with Telerik for several years and have found their controls indispensable for building my applications.  If their Silverlight Controls even remotely compare to the quality of their Asp.Net controls, I will be finding them at the top of my tools list as well.

One of the great things about Telerik is that when you post something on their Forums, they respond quickly, offer demo code to get you going and fix reported bugs (within reason) in the next available version and sometimes will even send you an immediate hotfix. This sort of customer care is what I really admire about Telerik.

I expect to see many more controls coming in the official release, these are just a few to get us started.

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