Wednesday, 04 October 2006
One of the best things about being a Regional Director is the other Regional Directors. These are wonderfully smart people who share their knowledge with each other. Most of them also share with the public through blogging. If you're an avid reader of my blog you'll have seen links to other RD blogs over time. If you'd like a one-stop-shopping approach to RD blogs let me recommend http://indepthtalk.net/Feed.aspx, which shows the first paragraph or so of each post, or http://indepthtalk.net/Community/RD.category which gives links to all the blogs and shows just headlines. There's also an RSS feed at http://indepthtalk.net/Community/RD/Feed.rss.
This is hand-aggregated content, just like TechEdBloggers and its cousins. That means not every post is aggregated, and they don't show up the instant they're posted. But it's a fantastic way to see what we're up to and to get to know some blogs you may not be reading yet. Give it a whirl!
Tuesday, 03 October 2006
Under Vista, an application can have a manifest that identifies the privilege level it needs to run. These manifests can serve other purposes, too: they're also known as fusion manifests and can be used to identify dependencies among other things. Adding one to your application starts with adding a file to your project (right click and choose Add, New Item: depending on the language you're using you might be able to choose XML file or else Text file will do.) Then you put appropriate XML in it, like this:
<?xmlversion="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0">
<description>Sample Manifest Test Application</description>
<!-- <requestedExecutionLevel level="requireAdministrator" /> -->
<requestedExecutionLevel level="asInvoker" />
<!-- <requestedExecutionLevel level="highestAvailable" /> -->
You save the file as ApplicationName.exe.manifest. (When I intend to embed the manifest, I tend to call it app.manifest instead. If you plan to embed it, the filename doesn't really matter, but then if you change your mind and want an external manifest you'll need to remember to rename the file.)
At this point, you can follow the instructions in Catherine Heller's blog. The thing is, when I first read them I thought she skipped a step or something in explaining how to do it with Visual C++ 2005. After all, the other approaches had tons of steps! There are .rc files, and .res files, and custom build steps, and unloading projects so you can open them differently, and never-mind-the-error-message notes, and all of that. And then for C++ it's just "open the project properties dialog, on the left-hand pane expand the Configuration Properties->Manifest Tool node and select Input and Output. You can enter the name of an external manifest file in the Additional Manifest Files field." But you know what? That's it! You make the manifest, put its name in the dialog, build the project.
Presto, your app has a manifest. Depending on the value you enter for requestedExecutionLevel and the account under which you run the app, you will see different behaviours at runtime.
Monday, 02 October 2006
I use the Recent Documents list on my Start menu quite a lot. I often work on a number of documents types at once, all from the same folder (organized by project, for example). I open one document that way, but then if I want some other document from that folder, it gets tiring going to Recent Documents all the time. As a result I tend to use Start, Run, and start to type the name of the folder -- since things I typed recently are remembered, it doesn't take many keystrokes:
But now on Vista I have something even easier to deal with. There's an extra choice on the context menu for the Recent documents list:
That's a timesaver for sure!
Sunday, 01 October 2006
A client of mine, International Time Recorder, is hiring in Etobicoke. Here's the job description:
Job Title: Senior Application Developer
Senior developer responsible for contributing to the design, development and implementation of commercial software solutions to a diverse marketplace.
• Contribute to the analysis and design, while being accountable for the support, development, testing and implementation of solutions and enhancements to software systems.
• Design and develop software components and features. This includes working with stakeholders in developing Detailed Functional Specifications, designing certain key components of the product and implementing the solutions.
• Support and design of maintenance and test procedures and test cases for the product.
• Participate in schedule development and ensure timely product delivery.
• Assist in the creation and implementation of concrete procedures for tracking and releasing product updates.
• Coach and mentor junior development team members in best practices for support, development, testing and implementation of software solutions conducting code reviews as needed.
Education: University Degree in Computer Science, or equivalent experience
Experience: 8 – 10 Years
• Familiarity with the following technologies: C#, ASP.NET, C++, ADO.NET, ADO, Web Services (SOAP/XML), RPC, all Windows Operating Systems, IIS, COM, Active Reports
• Two years experience in .NET development in commercial software development using C#, ASP.NET, ADO.NET
• Eight years experience in commercial Windows Application Development
• Experience in Scaleable Distributed Application design
• Three years experience in designing SQL Server databases
• Proven experience in developing database-driven Web and Windows applications with demonstrated flair for design and layout
• Two years experience as a project lead
• Time and attendance industry experience
• Experience with Microsoft Visual Studio Team Systems.
The firm is doing active development in both C++ and C#. If you're looking for a place to use both old and new skills (and a chance to get regular mentoring from me ), drop me a line and I will forward your information along.
Saturday, 30 September 2006
Friday, 29 September 2006
Fall is here and that means hammock time is pretty much over for another year. I just had to mention the hammock we got this year: small and light enough to take camping, to the beach, or anywhere else. Sets up in a minute or so. Here it is on my front lawn:
It weighs less than a pound and when it's in its stuff sack, I bet it would fit in a roomy jacket pocket. It certainly takes up less room in a beach bag than a towel, and it adjusts to handle trees of varying distances apart. It came from Lee Valley, where so much of my money has gone over the years. They'll ship anywhere. If you decide you want a Lee Valley catalog, drop me an email. I'll refer you to them and the company will give some money to charity.
Thursday, 28 September 2006
I saw this interesting graph over at Language Log:
It compares "empathizing quotient" with "systemizing quotient" -- the extent to which you connect to others' emotions and the extent to which you like to categorize things and people, and fit them into your system of understanding. (This is just for one sample of people and doesn't necessarily apply to the entire world.) You can score very high in both, or very low in both, but as this graph shows, women tend to have higher EQ and men tend to have higher SQ, though the difference between the groups is less than a typical difference between individuals. Engineers and scientists tend to have much higher SQ and also lower EQ. The green symbols on this graph are results from people with Aspergers, or people diagnosed as High Functioning Autistic. Their SQ varies but their EQ is very low. You can take the test yourself if you like. I was surprised by questions like "When I read something, I always notice whether it is grammatically correct" -- that is 100% true of me but I thought it was my little quirk, not something that would appear on a test for personality traits. Then there was "Whenever I run out of something at home, I always add it to a shopping list." Who doesn't?
My results are perfectly ordinary for someone with a PhD in engineering, I think: EQ 36, SQ 77. That puts me about where the S is in the "extreme S" label. Interesting.
Wednesday, 27 September 2006
I've been dying to announce this one. I'm leaving Tech Ed Developers one day early to go to Copenhagen and do a C++ day November 10th. There's an announcement in Danish on the msevents site now. Here's the agenda:
Kl. 9.00-10.15: Visual C++: Højere produktivitet med Visual Studio 2005
Visual Studio 2005 indeholder en lang række produktivitets-forbedringer for C++ udvikleren. I denne session ser Kate Gregory nærmere på de mange nye features og forbedringer Visual Studio 2005 tilbyder. Endeligt viser hun en række tips og tricks, som ingen C++ udvikler bør være foruden.
Kl. 10.15-10.45: Pause
Kl. 10.45-12.45: Sådan flytter man C++ applikationer til .NET
Se hvordan man flytter C++ projekter til .NET og CLR’en uden at skulle porte eller genskrive hele koden. Lær hvordan man nemt kan migrere eksisterende native C++ kode – inklusiv MFC applikationer – til at køre under .NET. Kate Gregory vil også gennemgå strategier til at vælge hvilke dele af applikationen, der skal forblive i native kode og hvilke der skal flyttes til managed kode (.NET). Og endelig viser Kate hvordan du kan bruge .NET’s klassebibliotek og du kan bygge managed ”Wrappers”, som muliggør genbrug af eksisterende C++ klassebiblioteker.
Kl. 12.45-13.30: Frokost
Kl. 13.30- 14.30: Fremtiden er nu
Så længe, der har været software, har der været pc’er med stadigt stigende clockfrekvenser. Nu lader det til at den tendens er stoppet – i dag bliver maskinerne hurtigere ikke fordi clockfrekvens stiger, men forbi de får stadigt flere CPU’er. Det betyder at selv enkeltbruger-applikationer bliver nødt til at være multi threaded. Det skræmmende ved dét, er at de fleste udviklere ikke kan skrive thread safe kode. Kom og se, hvad det kan få af betydning for fremtidens software udvikling!
Kl. 14.30-15.00: Q&A
Kl. 15.00: Tak for i dag
I will be speaking entirely in English. (I'm not sure what "Sprog: Dansk" means but I hope it doesn't mean Language: Danish.) So far I have learned the word "Tak" and hope to use it extensively. I believe "Tak for i dag" means "thanks for the day" and that is going to be my motto this fall. Should you happen to live in Denmark, or near enough to it that you could attend this, and yet not know enough Danish to muddle through this agenda, I will tell you the titles of the sessions as I submitted them:
- IDE Features for Visual Studio 2005
- Moving C++ Applications to the Common Language Runtime
- The Future is Concurrent
See you there, I hope!
The sessions for Tech Ed Africa in Sun City are now available online at http://msevents.microsoft.co.za/teched2006/Sessions.aspx. I have three sessions there, here's how they look:
Notable names on this speaker list:
- Andre de Beer
- Ayal Rosenberg
- Colin Erasmus
- Dave Webster
- Hilton Giesenow
- Jay Schmelzer
- Ken Everett
- Kimberly Tripp
- Ruari Plint
- Simon Harris
- Steve Riley
Folks I've seen speak here before, for the most part. This is always a very enjoyable conference for me and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again.
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