Thursday, June 14, 2007
Have you tried writing a gadget yet? They're really simple and can have an immediate impact on your productivity. If you're a Canadian adult, you can enter your gadget into Microsoft Canada's contest and win some serious hardware.
The contest site has plenty of links to get you started and give you some inspiration. You have till July 16th, so get creating!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I like to let Hugh MacLeod's gapingvoid cartoons rattle around in my brain for a while before I decide if I like them or not. It's a fine line between pithy and banal, after all. This one is working for me:
Keeps my focus where it belongs, even when making custom software or mentoring the folks who are making the software. Forest and trees, don'tcha know.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Have you ever heard the career advice that you should consider doing some volunteer work in your field to gain experience? Sounds like a lovely plan, but how does someone without contacts find volunteer opportunities anyway? Or maybe you have the job you want, but you want to put your time and effort to a good cause, if only you could find one. If you're in Canada, MatchIT.com is just the ticket. Sign up, fill out a form, and get matched with needs from nonprofits. There's lots of folks looking to have their websites redone, or a registration system written, or their servers looked after. It's a chance to make a real difference, so please look into it if you have some time to spare.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Recently I had some major issues with a VPC somebody prepared for me. It came from a DVD and I just could not get it to run on Vista, though it ran great on XP. I was fairly sure that it would run OK if I could just launch VPC elevated and then open the .vmc file, but when I launched VPC (elevated or not) the only evidence of its existence was a taskbar entry (there was no window to be seen) and even that disappeared if I right-clicked on it.
I solved the first problem by granting Users access to the .vmc and .vhd files (I went with Full Control since I had them on a non-shared drive) and then the VPC ran perfectly. That was a better fix than elevating VPC every time anyway. But along the way I discovered how to fix the disappearing console. This post by Steve at EssJae.com shows what you need to do: find the options.xml file in C:\Users\%current_user%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Virtual PC and open it -- make sure the console is not up and you're not running a VPC. Scroll down and find the <console> section and you will see some very large numbers for left_position and top_position. Change them to something normal, like 10 or 100, and save the file and you'll be back in business.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
During my blogging gap, some good channel 9 videos came out. I wanted to highlight Ale Contenti: VC++ Safe Libraries and More. Ale is the new Martyn Lovell and he wants to show you the safe libraries and how to write sensible C++ code. If you like to see C++ code written live on the whiteboard (no intellisense, no compiler to find your typos) this is the video for you
But wait, there's more. How about a C++ program without pointers? Well, without explicit use of pointers. Check it out.
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Visual C++ is hiring a development manager. They have some reasonably high expectations on experience, proven track records, and so on. If you think you want the job by all means check it out. If you don`t think you want the job, but just want to keep on making C++ code and know there will be a product and a team there for you, read this quote from the job description (bolding by me):
The top 1,500 ISVs generate over 80% of worldwide software revenues. In addition to driving the global Windows ecosystem, these companies are directly responsible for $5B-$7B of yearly Microsoft revenue. Central to the success of these customers, as well as Microsoft's own internal development, is Visual C++. Given the strategic importance of the ISV segment, the Visual C++ team is on a mission to revolutionize our toolset in providing a much more productive and successful native developer experience.
We are looking for a strong Visual C++ Development Manager to drive adoption and satisfaction among professional C++ developers. We are in the starting phase of a major reinvigoration of the experience for C++ and native development targeting very large and complex development projects. The added demands of security and the advent of many-core processing create significant challenges and opportunities to create market leading technologies and tools.
The Visual C++ team is working hand in hand with the Windows division on enhancing the appeal of Vista and Windows 7 for ISV developers and with the CLR team to create a technology stack that allows layering of services to provide a seamless spectrum from native code over type safety and garbage collection to the full .Net stack.
The Visual C++ DM position features leadership opportunities across multiple areas, including Technology and Architecture Leadership and Execution, Team Building and People Leadership.
You will lead a world class C++ compiler team and C++ IDE team embarking on a virtually top to bottom re-architecture of the tools stack. In addition, you will lead a libraries team that is re-inventing the MFC and client libraries for the next decade together with the Windows WEX and Developer Division UIFX teams. You will grow a strong cross-PU architect team and a development organization.
The Visual C++ DM plays an important role in cross-team relationships (Windows, CLR, UIFX, Office, SQL) and cross-company relationships (Intel, AMD, C++ standards work).
Wow! Looks like we`re all in for a great ride. If you really know your stuff, go help. If you just like to use it, hang on!
Friday, June 08, 2007
Microsoft Canada is putting on an all-day event Saturday June 16th at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Of course it's free, and you'll see plenty of Microsoft and external speakers in multiple tracks.
I'm doing session #1 in the Developer Track in the afternoon: What's New for Web Developers in ASP.NET and Visual Studio 2008. If you're thinking "Visual Studio 2008???" that's Orcas - the new name was announced at Tech Ed in the keynote. Register while there are still spots!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I have spoken a LOT (too many times to link back) over the last year or more about getting your applications to work on Vista. When I ask for a show of hands to see who has tested their apps on Vista, I typically get less than a quarter of the room. When I ask why I hear things like "a copy of Ultimate is too expensive just to test with" or "I don't have a spare machine with the horsepower to run Glass" or even "I don't have a spare machine".
Fear not. How about a FREE evaluation VHD image of Vista, that you can run with the FREE copy of Virtual PC on the machine you have now? It might be slow, it might not do Glass, but you can find out for FREE if your app even runs, if it works under UAC, what happens if you put a manifest on it, and so on. Come on, what's stopping you? Jean-Luc David of Microsoft Canada has all the links for you.
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