# Saturday, December 22, 2007

The screen on my Dell laptop was very very broken earlier this year:

The nice Dell people came out and fixed it under warranty, but they were missing a part in the stuff they sent to the repair tech. The missing part was sent to me to install myself (don't worry, it's self-adhesive.) A box arrived roughly the size of those MSDN CD shipments - about 4" x 6" x an inch or more thick. Inside there was a lot of foam and other padding, and these (I added the penny for scale):

That's six little black dots on their self adhesive backing. Turned the six screw heads around the edge of my laptop from uncovered to covered:


I like the look, but why couldn't they have trusted the tech with them as part of the first repair?


Saturday, December 22, 2007 5:43:05 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Friday, December 21, 2007

Raymond Chen asked why QuickEdit mode isn't always on for command prompts. Then he gives a cogent explanation of why, but he left me wondering what QuickEdit mode is and why I never knew about it. I copy things out of command prompts (or DOS boxes as I usually call them) all the time - usually file names, but sometimes results from things I ran or commands that I am pasting into instruction manuals. As you may know, this generally involves getting into "mark mode" first:

But there is such a thing as QuickEdit for a command prompt, and it basically means you're always in Mark mode. You can change the properties for the shortcut (on my Vista machine, the Visual Studio 2005 command prompt is in C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Visual Studio 2005\Visual Studio Tools and that's probably where it is on yours too.) Here's the option:

You have to consent to using your admin powers when you save this change, and then that command prompt is in quick edit mode every time you launch it.

It may not save much time but it saves so much frustration! Hope it helps you too.


Friday, December 21, 2007 5:13:32 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Thursday, December 20, 2007

Long ago I blogged about a motto of ours: Fail Fast. Some people replied with comments like "why fail at all?" but that misses the point. Mottos are short and pithy; a more accurate version of the motto would be "if you're going to fail at all, get it over with at the beginning." Here's another take on the concept ... how a week's stall while a decision gets made can cost a company thousands of dollars in hard costs. It's my experience it costs far more in reduced morale and productivity over time.


Thursday, December 20, 2007 4:54:56 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are you going to Mix? Still trying to decide? Maybe The Signal can help you decide ... or get you warmed up if you're already committed to attending.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007 1:58:29 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Soma blogged this before Tech Ed Developers and I actually snagged a few bullet points to add to my slides, but I never posted a pointer to the original. It's nice to see some firm numbers and as always nice to see "higher ups" remembering C++.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007 1:48:14 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Monday, December 17, 2007

So, you're the proud owner of a ton of Visual Studio 2005 projects. And you've heard that converting them to 2008 projects is pretty much a flawlessly easy thing to do ... just open the project, let the conversion wizard run, and save it. Done! Except that if you have a hundred projects, that would be a crummy way to spend your time. Who has a hundred projects? Well a book might, or a course, or a presenter with tons of demos kicking around (I resemble that remark), or a development team with a lot on the go, I suppose.

Anyway, even if you only have dozens, wouldn't you like to be able to deal with them practically instantly instead of opening each in VS, watching the wizard do stuff, clicking Next and Finish on relatively pointless dialogs that essentially mean Are You Sitting Comfortably? No problem. John Robbins has a cool tip for you, but it's so short I can include it here in its entirety.

Open a Visual Studio Command prompt. CD your way to the folder with your project in it. Issue this command, subbing in your own sln file name:

devenv /upgrade MySoln.sln

Move on to the next folder. That's gotta be faster than watching wizards work! Remember, typing is a valuable skill even for the developers of today.



Monday, December 17, 2007 4:32:34 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Sunday, December 16, 2007

As I've mentioned before, I don't generally consider snow in December to be newsworthy around these parts. It's normal and in fact, it's nice. But we're in the midst of a storm that's getting a lot of attention. One headline told us "You'll be Telling Your Grandchildren About This Storm" which seemed a little over the top. But this morning's radar capture tells me they weren't kidding:

This makes the capture from three years ago seem positively anemic. Back then I said I'd never seen the whole circle filled in, nor had I seen orange for snow... this one has red! OK, it's not near us, but it's still on the screen.

Since I don't live under a rock, I knew this was coming. I did my errands Saturday and today we're tucked up safe and warm with only housework and coding to do :-)


Sunday, December 16, 2007 10:32:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    
# Saturday, December 15, 2007

I can't remember where I heard about this now... I had thought it was Steve Clayton but I just searched without success. So, unattributed then, here is a cool thing:

Thats's from http://www.google.com/trends?q=c%2B%2B%2C+c%23&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

The top pair of lines is searches (blue C++, red C#) and the bottom is news references. You can run this on a single thing to track it over time or on a set of things to compare them, whatever works for you. Here's what you might demonstrate with a single term:


I bet you those blipups are anniversary articles. Anyway, imagine what you can do with this! Have fun!


Saturday, December 15, 2007 10:25:49 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #