Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Vista and Visual Studio 2003 again..

After the computer-switch I had to set up Vista for devlopment with Visual Studio 2003 again, and was a bit disappointed by my last post about the topic - I hadn't written anything at all about how I actually set up IIS 7.0 to be able to debug and run .Net 1.1 applications! So here it is.. the short version:

  • Register .Net 1.1 ASP.NET by running the following program. The -i parameter tells the utility to install support for ASP.NET 1.1 under IIS: Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322\aspnet_regiis.exeaspnet_regiis.exe -i
  • Change the application pool to one using the .Net framework 1.1 for the application you want to debug and run

I also enabled .Net development and CGI in the additional windows components the "Windows functions" control panel applet.

Vista OEM - Network Troubles

Since I'm usually sitting at my desk developing new and interesting stuff for my company, using a slow (but cool :-) old Tablet PC wasn't the best way to be an effective developer.

Last week I got myself a new PC that will sit at my desk at work. It's a fast and brand new dual core computer with loads of memory, a big harddrive and a DirectX 10-based video card. I choose Windows Vista Business, since I've been quite happy with the way Vista has been working on my Tablet PC.

The only problem came when I was about to check in some source code to subversion. TortoiseSVN complained with a message saying it couldn't move a file in the repository. The repository is located on a network share and accessed by a small group of programmers.

I searched all over to see if this was a common problem with subversion, but found nothing. Then I noticed that I couldn't rename files on the network, and started to search for similar reports on the net. At last I found this post, which helped me fix the issue.

So why the OEM troubles heading? Read the above post - the bug has to do with something missing in the OEM version of Vista.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Kids and programming

After reading Scott Hanselman's article about how to teach kids computer programming, I once more decided to try to get my children interested in the topic that has brought me so much fun and joy.

The kids are now around 11 years old, and all enjoys playing games, doing homework and surf the web on their computers. They are creative, and can spend an evening creating images in MS Paint or making a presentation in Powerpoint.

I've previously tried to get them interested in programming using tools like KPL, but the big problem was learning the syntax. They're not yet able to learn enough statements or commands to express themselves and solve abstract problems in a textual programming language.

I went along and grabbed a copy of MIT's Scratch, which is a graphical tool for building small 2D games and animations:

Scratch uses a visual representation of statemements, variables and control blocks, and this really worked out for them. They quickly learned how to set up a small loop that tested for collisions with other objects, and that could send messages to all the other sprites making interesting things happen (like getting the sun to appear in the sky)

Allthough it is not possible to build fully fledged games in Scratch, it seems like a great tool to learn the basics of programming like I once learned on my Dragon 32 from my father (yes, we still have the old Dragon, allthough we haven't booted it up for a while).

Friday, June 08, 2007

They said it couldn't be done.. :-)

Development in Visual Studio 2003 on Microsoft Vista.

It is said that it is not possible to use Visual Studio 2003 in Microsoft Vista, and as I have written about earlier on, I set out on a small journey to find out how far I could get into using it on my Tecra M4.

Here is the current list:

  • Installed .Net Framework 1.1 - OK
  • Installed Visual Studio 2003 on Vista - OK
  • Been able to compile and build my projects under 2003 - OK
  • Debug web-based applications with Visual Studio 2003 and IIS 7.0 - OK
  • Edit and continue in Visual Studio 2003 - OK

The only thing I know I will have problems with is developing plain web applications  (you know the project type APS.Net Web Application), but since I don't use them, I wont cry either..!

Monday, June 04, 2007

My Venture into Vista Land

Phew! It takes a lot of time to install all the drivers and software one needs when reinstalling a computer...

As I wrote earlier on, I was eager to see if I could get Visual Studio 2003 up and running on Windows Vista. As some people say, it shouldn't be possible. This made me think that Vista might have some functionality that could prohibit programs from even installing, but this was not the case. Visual Studio 2003 installed in a much more clean way than the latest Visual Studio Orcas Beta (for testing out Silverlight development). Installing the Orcas beta (ok, I know it's Beta) went wrong almost ten times before I finally succeeded.

But now I have a brand new Vista installation working with all the tools I need to do my job. And it feels good. And since I'm kinda geeky, I must admit that I've turned off the Aero effects and reverted back to the old Win2K-look... But it's all in the details, isn't it?

Converting myself and my Tecra to Vista

Since my Toshiba Tecra M4 has been working for ages without being treated with  a fresh install, I finally decided that it was time to:

  1. Perform a fresh install, since the machine had become a bit slow and sluggish
  2. See if I could try a Vista install and check if I could trick Visual Studio 2003 into running on Vista.
  3. If section two failed, install Windows XP and pretend I didn't listen to any of the 2 million other developers out there telling me that this wouldn't work.

So, after a while of thinking and planning, I went ahead:

  1. Identifyed all the files on my computer that needed to be backed up
  2. Backed up all the files that I found to an external harddrive
  3. Double checked and tripple checked the above sections
  4. Downloaded and collected all the necessary drivers and software from Toshiba and others
  5. Installed Windows Vista

This all went well, except for the face that I got rather ill in the middle of the process due to an allergic reaction. This was of course a bit bad, sitting with a computer with no OS and no software..

In my next post I'll tell you how it went after I got the OS up and running!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

New Tech impresses me

Read about Microsoft Surface today, which looks like a very interesting and fun platform to play with.

The concept is using multitouch (more than one pointer on the screen, just like what Steve Jobs showed with the iPhone) on a big touch screen to navigate a delicious user interface built with WPF. In addition, a system utilizing invisible ink to tag devices like cameras and smartphones, is used to make Surface interact with devices and objects from the real world.

Microsoft says that the hardware will be kind of expensive (in the $5K-$10K range). What I really would like to see is Microsoft Surface running on a TabletPC with lots of cpu and memory. That would be a nice way of using my Toshiba Tecra M4...!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Link to PopFly

Some of my readers have pointed out that I didn't include a link to PopFly yesterday. Sorry :-) Here it is:

And here is the link to the video presentation on Channel9:

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Just read about PopFly from Microsoft, which seems to be a really cool solution for building mashups and sharing them afterwords. The whole thing is built on Silverlight, which is also what I am currently installing on my computer..

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Facebook is a cool hypeapp

I finally decided to join some of the social networks out there, and went for both linkedin an facebook.

Facebook has definitely been giving me most joy out of the two, but I suspect that Linkedn will probably give me more bang for the bucks if I'd really need it sometime in the future.

I really look forward to see if people will still enjoy writing on each other's walls and keep on connecting with long lost friends and classmates six months from now.

I really need to stay on Facebook for the nex months to see for myself :-) Anyway, without the hype there wouldn't have been any fun! Hope the hype stays.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Multitasking and the joy of Media Center

I'm currently doing some serious multitasking on my new HTCP.

The kids are watching children's tv while I'm reading my RSS feeds (and blogging). All on the same screen (thanks to NRK not sending in widescreen), thanks to our LCD flatscreen. And the kids aren't complaining about my thin Firefox window taking up approx. 1/3 of the screen.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

My new HTCP

I've been working a lot the past few days to get my new HTCP up and running. Everything seemed to work perfect, except that I couldn't get any live TV. I tried everything from reinstalling Windows Media Center (which took a while and wasn't as easy as other Windows installations) to opening up the computer making sure there were no faulty connections anywhere. I also installed a couple of alternative applications for watching TV hoping that my channels would magically appear.

The solution was to borrow another TV-card and insert it into the computer. This is a small and tight PC, so inserting the slightly bigger PVR 500 card (originally a PVR 150) was a tight fit. But when booting up the machine the new card was immediately recognized, and all my channels were instantly found!

Since my HTPC was bought used from the internet (norwegian site, I was a bit skeptic to what I could achieve in return for the faulty card. I contacted the seller, who was a real gentleman and was promised a direct return on the card. Thanks!

Now I'm of to watch some recorded TV shows!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Finally I got my self a HTPC!

After having tried to use cheap components for running a media center setup for a couple of years, I finally decided to give myself a little pre-birthday present. I bought a used HTPC originally manufactured from (in Norwegian) today! The HTPC is running Media Center XP (switching to Vista soon.. maybe..?), and has an external power supply which I hope will help keep the noise down. I'm picking it up later today, so my old DSM-320 will be up for sales now. Anyone interested? No? Hello..?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

This will be nice (Javascript intellisense and debugging)

Happy to read that Javascript intellisense and debugging will be available in the next version of Microsoft Visual Studio!

Read more over at Scott G's blog.

Thanks :-) And I'm looking forward to start using it!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Microsoft is really delivering on different platforms

While I was upgrading my Anti-virus from AVG to NOD, I needed to uninstall Microsoft Defender (I've been suspecting the two of them to cause a few problems on my computer lately). I didn't find the uninstaller for Defender, so I went over to Microsoft to download Defender's installer.

Being greeted by the validation screen, I suddenly remembered that I was running Firefox and got a little scared that I had to switch browser to be able to validate my Windows XP (no Vista yet) installation.

But I decied to give it a try, and pressed the validate button. After downloading and installing a small program, the validation process went as smooth as it does in IE, and after a few minutes Microsoft Defender was uninstalled.

Thanks for letting me use the browser I want to use, MS :-)

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Why I wont switch to Windows Vista

I'm not moving to Vista for two reasons:

1) Visual Studio 2003 wont work, and therefore I can't do my .Net 1.1 development on Vista
2) Vista needs a faster, more beefed up computer than the one I have

So, why can't I just switch to Visual Studio 2005? I have it installed, and I really like using it. It's a bit slower than VS2003 in some ways, but that's something the added effectivity of VS2005 weights up for.

No, the main reason is that I can't switch the framework version we're using in our product from .Net 1.1 to 2.0 just so that I can install a new OS!

And why can't I just buy a new computer? Because a new computer is expensive, and changing computers every year because a new and better hardware configuration or OS exists isn't an option. I remember that when I first got my M4, I really felt that it was a fantastic computer with all the memory and CPU I'd ever need. I to be honest; I haven't changed neither the OS nor any of the programs I'm using in my daily work, so in theory my computer should still be up to snuff!

A nice little utility

Just read about this fantastic tool (I can't find where I read about it, but thanks anyway..!). Since I use Mozilla Thunderbird for email and Microsoft Outlook as my calendar (reason: Thunderbird is faster, and hasn't been exposed to viruses and attacks in the same way as Outlook, and I need to keep my appointments in Outlook since ActiveSync only works with Outlook..).

This fantastic utility from Michael Scrivo really gives me the best of both worlds, I can keep on saving my appointments in Outlook without having to launch and have Outlook running with full UI in the background!

Thanks Michael!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Just wanted to post my best wishes for you all out there in tabletspace in the new year!