eWorld.UI - Matt Hawley

Ramblings of Matt

To Content Editors of VS.NET 2005 Express Pages

June 29, 2004 17:12 by matthaw

Not sure how to report this, so I figured this would be a great way to do it...

The "Creating a Console..." and "Creating a Windows..." links under the C# Express "Learn How to Program" are directing you to a "labprod" server instead of "lab.msdn.microsoft.com".

To everyone else, if you replace "labprod" with "lab.msdn.microsoft.com" you can get to the pages successfully. I don't think any of the other pages have this problem.

Categories: .NET
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Important VPC Note

June 29, 2004 16:59 by matthaw

Now that Beta 1 of Visual Studio .NET 2005 has been launched, and most developers **know its not that great** of an idea to install betas on their host machine (or main production machine), you should note 1 important thing about using VPC backup images.

Don't "save your state" when you plan on overwriting your current VPC hard drive with an older *cleaner* version. The image ends up blue screening on the next attempted boot and you have to end up copying the VPC hard drive image over again.

Just a friendly note from someone who had this happend to them

Categories: General
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Express Profiling

June 29, 2004 16:21 by matthaw
Is it just me, or does it look like Microsoft tried to generalize the users of each express product? (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/express/)

Categories: .NET
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Review: MoodLogic

June 29, 2004 00:24 by matthaw

This weekend I ran across a utility called MoodLogic in the search for an application that would allow me to easily sort my music library as well as generate music mixes easily. With tag lines like "The Ultimate Music Experience" and "We make Mixes from the best music in the world...Yours" I have to truly agree.

I've only been using MoodLogic for 2 days so far, but I'm thouroughly impressed with their services. When you add your music to the library, your music is "activated" with their services. Don't let this frighten you, though, as its more of a way to easily retrieve information about that music file like its Artist, Genre, Album and more.

The real power is when you wish to create "instant" mixes (as I like to call them. You easily pull up the interface, choose which Genre you want, your tempo, mood, and the length of the mix...and shazzam! you've got a new mix that can easily be imported into Windows Media Player, Winamp, or iTunes. To do this, just click the Play button at the bottom of the interface and your chosen player is launched...its that simple.

The other cool thing about MoodLogic, is that it integrates with TiVo's Home Media Option allowing you to play any of your mixes directly from the TiVo or have MoodLogic play songs from a particular Genre, Artist, or Mood. It can even "Suprise" you by generating a random mix and play it through your TiVo.

Unfortunately, MoodLogic isn't free, however for the power it provides, the $39.95 one time fee is well worth it. If you want to give it a trial run, they do have a 14-day trial.

Worth checking out if you own a TiVo or listen to music all day at work:

Review: CodeBrarian VS.NET Add-In Framework

June 28, 2004 21:44 by matthaw

My first "official" review is on Brady Gaster's CodeBrarian Add-In framework. Brady first mentioned his framework on his weblog, and states:

"The goal of Codebrarian is to provide a flexible, extensible Visual Studio.NET add-in that other developers can extend as they see fit."

I have to say, it truly is flexible, and extensible, making a plugin super-easy for those of us who do not know how to do such a thing (I'm included in this ). Brady's framework installs a VS.NET addin that allows you to plug-n-play new plugins that inherit from his interface. The documentation is nowhere to be found, but I found it extremely easy to understand once I opened up Codebrarian.dll in Reflector and followed his Highlightor plugin.

After I understood what needed to be done, I started my own plugin to interface with WebDeploy (don't expeect this to be released, any time soon that is). After adding a reference, I created a new class and implemented the plugin interface, added a the MenuText and CommandName properties, and just re-displayed the FilePath that was passed into ProcessCodeFile. After building, I dropped the compiled assembly into the Codebrarian's directory, restarted VS.NET, and wahla! My plugin was active and working.

As this is the first public release, its pretty well "built tough." (thanks Ford!) I would personally like to see more options on where the plugin architecture would come into play, like instead of having it only in the solution explorer, but in the editor screen, and in a menu item. The plugin's themselves can tell the architecture where they would like to be shown, and depending on where the plugin was activated, a different procedure can be called.

Truly a simple plugin architecture, I give it 4 floppy disks! 1 Floppy1 Floppy1 Floppy1 Floppy

Becoming a Reviewer

June 28, 2004 17:30 by matthaw

My good friend Jeff read my latest review on VisualBlogger 2004, and made a comment stating I should do this on a more professional basis. Hmm, not a bad idea. I think I may start doing this, however I promise not all of my reviews will be bad...if I find something I like, I'll make a note of it.

So, I guess I'll thrown out this statement, if you've got a utility or tool that you want reviewed, I'll be your man. Just shoot me an email, and we can discuss logistics. In the meantime (and my downtime), I'll start hunting around for those useful tools.

Categories: General
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Review: VisualBlogger 2004 - Beta 3

June 28, 2004 17:02 by matthaw

So as I stated previously, I said I'd give VisualBlogger 2004, Beta 3 a better run for its money...I'm not so sure how long that will last. It still seems to be missing that ease of use that I love so much in BlogJet, however this post is written entirely within VisualBlogger 2004.

The good...

  • The UI is a lot better, getting around the program is a bit easier now that we have an actual menu bar.
  • I do like the office feel.
  • I do like the code snippit functionality, however whenever you insert the code, the dialog should dissapear.

Now, for the bad --

  • I'm still not keen on the sideways submit button.
  • The configure blogs UI is horrible, no, horrendous. I got in there and (without reading the documentation) was completely at a loss for what I needed to do. Ohh - okay, so this tree menu on the right, those are my blog providers, okay, how do I add my blog to it? Ohh, right click...gotcha. Not intuitive at all, sure it looks a little better, but it still works like crap.
  • Now, how to exit the configure blogs dialog, right - red "X".
  • File -> Exit ... I can't exit? Are you serious? You mean I have to just keep this open 24-7 until I shut down my laptop? No, wait, there is another red "X" at the top right hand corner, phew.
  • Seems like a lot of the menu bar isn't wired up yet...thats okay, its a beta...though how come I can't format my font? I guess I'll just use the toolbars, err.
  • So you want a picture? Okay, click the button - ohh, shoot, you gotta write the url first, then highlight the url, then click the image button. Good thing I finally opened the user guide.
  • Ditch the "Flat" style of controls, they look terrible - go for the "themed" look of XP.
  • Again, I just state that the "Property Grid" for advanced options looks terrible, I know you've already stated its just a test, but err, it looks terrible.

So, you wanted my comments, and you got them...I realize my comment's aren't necessarily pro for VisualBlogger, but I think its a tool that is far from being a competitor with w.bloggar and BlogJet. Just wondering, have you used either of those to see what they got right, and how they do things rather than trying to reinvent the wheel? The way I look at it, is "could my mom setup and use this program?" Right now, no - not in a heartbeat, she'd delete just about as fast as I'm going to. Just a thought...

All things set aside, I give this:

Update: The post was originally written in VisualBlogger, but for some reason the stupid tool craps out on me and I can't: 1) submit my post, 2) exit VisualBlogger, 3) Close my post. It gives error messages each time, something about updating my entry...okay, so as you probably figured, I've now opened BlogJet and going to post via that. Time to Ctrl-Alt-Delete and close, then delete VisualBlogger 2004.

You might be a geek if...

June 26, 2004 20:29 by matthaw
...you go to a fancy resturaunt and tell them your name is "Lan" in hopes that when they call your name they say "Lan party of 3".

Categories: General
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Get Credit Through PayPal

June 26, 2004 00:12 by matthaw

PayPal announced today that you can now get "Buyer Credit" through them. It's basically a online credit card that goes through them that you can use to pay for items without having any money in your account. Setup and authorization takes about 30 seconds (so they say), and you get 90 days same as cash.

Sounds pretty cool for those desparately in need of things, plus it gives users that have PayPal as their "collection agency" (I use that term loosely) an extra method to receive payment. Sweet indeedy.

Categories: General
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Updated Utility: WebDeploy

June 25, 2004 23:35 by matthaw

WebDeploy has now reached a stable 1.1! When I started working on the next wave of things, I figured I'd only have 2 or 3 items, and it would go to 1.0.1, but as I got in and tested it more myself, I actually found a lot more bugs. This version doesn't have any breaking changes, again, but it does enhance the product to a mature level. I'm hoping this version is nearly bug free...but, what about the changelog? Ahh, here it is...

  • Added the active profile name to the title of the form.
  • Added column sorting to "Files able to be copied", "Folders to include", "Exceptions" and "Copied Files" dialogs.
  • Changed the name of "Files to Copy" dialog to better represent the dialog's functionality.
  • Changed bug submission architecture to use my tracking provider.
  • Fixed loosing changes to profile when moving back & forth between steps in configuration.
  • Fixed exception being thrown when a profile is deleted and no active profile is set. The "Quick Deploy Profile" becomes active.
  • Fixed instance where you could deploy when no extensions have been chosen.
  • Made some minor UI changes.

Nice list, right? I thought so. This utility is not for the faint of heart now, its a full fledged bad boy on the street, so watch out, otherwise it'll kick your butt when you're not looking.

"Like always, WebDeploy is freeware, and the source code is not available. If you have any further suggestions, comments, ideas, or problems, please do not hesitate to contact me or post them on this blog post.

If you wish to download WebDeploy, click here. You will need the .NET framework v1.1.4322 to run WebDeploy."

^ how redundant are these last 2 paragraphs - I don't think they've changed since 0.6 release several months ago. I guess its good to stick with what works!

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