CodeCamp coming to Charlotte

by Mike Linnen 3. March 2005 06:07
CodeCamp coming to Charlotte
Well I signed up for the CodeCamp that is coming to Charlotte, NC on April 30th 2005. Early registration was opened to Developers Guild members. There are only 200 seats so I was glad I got in early. I have never attended a CodeCamp before but as I look at the Session Lineups of other CodeCamps I think I will not be let down. It was announced at the Developers Guild meeting this month that Design Patterns was the top track requested so far on the polls they did.

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Software

Vault Rocks

by Mike Linnen 18. February 2005 18:20
Vault Rocks

Well I finally got around to checking out Vault by SourceGear. I used to be an avid source safe user for a long time. I have even used SourceGear's SourceOffSite for a while on a project for BattleBots.  However I have been forced to use PVCS at my day job. I have never liked the client for PVCS and now that I work virtual I dislike it even more. I won't go into details about why I dislike PVCS because this post is about Vault.

    Some reasons I chose Vault:
  • Free for single users
  • Works on SQL Server
  • Built on .Net Built with remote users in mind
  • Seems to be getting good reviews from users
  • Works a lot like source safe (from a functionality perspective). Have I mentioned how much I hate PVCS :)
  • Integrated with a Bug Tracking program also authored by Sourcegear

You can see some other good reasons why to use Vault over Source Safe from Eric Sink CEO of Source Gear.

Installing Vault on my local machine was a real breeze. Installing it on WebHosts4Life was a little trickier, but not that bad at all. Using the client application has been a real joy. I have used it off and on for 2 weeks now and I have to say it has some cool built in features. It is also very responsive as far as I can tell. I don't have any real big projects under source control yet, but just using it with what I have is very fast.

    Some of the coolest features I like:
  • Adding new files by folder with file extension filtering (already tailored for .Net development).
  • Showing what source is out of sync due to changes made localy or in the repository.
  • Merging local files with repository files is a breeze when local changes where modified without the source being checked out.  All you have to do is check out the files and an automatic merge can be done.
  • Searching for files by many options
  • Treating check ins as one complete transaction (although I don't see how to place new files in this transaction, but that is not really necesary)

All in all I would highly recommend Vault to anyone. If I ever get a project that requires multiple developers I will definantely be using Vault as my source control program.

I am in the process of adding NAnt tasks for Vault command line operations.  I know I can do this already by using the NAnt exec task but I wanted to capture the errors and success state that comes back as xml from the Vault command and expose them as properties that can be acted appon within NAnt build scripts.

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Software

ActiveHome X10 SDK

by Mike Linnen 12. February 2005 08:38
ActiveHome X10 SDK
Just noticed that ActiveHomePro has an SDK that allows you to script your own X10 programs. It also allows for monitoring of X10 commands. Craig Andrea is using it to monitor his build status. Cool idea!

Useful Article on Pocket PC to Desktop control

by Mike Linnen 30. December 2004 07:16
Useful Article on Pocket PC to Desktop control

I think the Creating Desktop Application Remote Controls with the .NET Compact Framework (Part 1) article will prove to be helpful when I begin to build my Home Automation project. The Pocket PC can act as a remote for my entire system.

Couple things I might have it do:
  • Play audio
  • Control video equipment
  • Turn on/off lights
  • Enable/Disable the security system

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Software

Pocket PC has Arrived

by Mike Linnen 17. December 2004 19:23
Pocket PC has Arrived
Well I got my Dell Axim x50v before xmas so I had to give it a spin. First thing I wanted to do was try some Video and Audio out on the Media Player. Well as long as you have a file under 10 mb the mp3s would work ok but over 10 mb the player would pause. Sounded like the player was having an issue with memory when trying to play a large file. So I searched around a bit and I found MortPlayer. It is a freeware application that handles the larger files. I played an 18 mb mp3 file with no problems at all. This application looks like it is packed full of features. I am sure it will replace Windows Media play just fine for my audio needs. Now I just need to find a good video player.

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Misc

List of .Net tools

by Mike Linnen 10. December 2004 15:18
List of .Net tools
Here is a great list of .Net Tools.

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Software

DataSet Constraint issues

by Mike Linnen 10. December 2004 04:33
DataSet Constraint issues
I have run into the "Failed To Enable Constraint" exception many times while using datasets. I always find it to be a very tedious job to determine what the actual error is. Here is a good post that shows how to trouble shoot this problem.

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Software

VS.NET locked files

by Mike Linnen 10. December 2004 04:25
VS.NET locked files
I like to have one solution with multiple projects that compile DLL's to a common folder that all other progects reference. The problem is that VS.Net locks the DLLs. Well this article tells how to get around this.

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Software

SendMSN tryout

by Mike Linnen 10. December 2004 03:47
SendMSN tryout

I got a chance to try out SendMSN just a few minutes ago and I wanted to pass along my input.

The binaries are built on .Net 1.1 so I was unable to use it on my work machine since we are stuck on 1.0 Framework for now. I suppose I could have recompiled it on 1.0 but I wanted to give it a spin right from the download.
The configuration is very simple. All you need is your screen name and MSN Messenger login information.

The command line options are easy to use also. /m:"my message" /r:recipient@hotmail.com

You can even use the Emoticons in the message. The recipient must have you on his/her buddy list or else the message will not get to them.

Potential Uses:

  • Caller ID notification for Home Automation
  • Stock Allerts
  • IP Address change notification
  • Home Automation Alerts
  • The door bell rang. A URL could be sent along in the message that can take me directly to my video camera pointing at the front door.
  • The Home Security detected a break in My home
  • Video cameras detected motion
  • The snail mail arrived
  • Build notifications
  • Message was left on my answering machine

Since SendMSN needs to log into the Messenger, send the message and log out of Messenger there can be a delay before the message actauly reaches the destination. I might want to create a Windows Service that stays logged into Messenger to speed up the notifications for things like Security alerts.

I noticed that SendMSN can detect if the recipient is online or not. I may want to change the code so that a message can be guaranteed delivery. If the recipient is offline wait for him/her to come online and then send the message. I may also want to email the message if the recipient is offline.

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Software

Interesting way to test web pages

by Mike Linnen 9. December 2004 20:40
Interesting way to test web pages
Just found a small article that details how to unit test web pages using Cassini. This is an alternative to using NUnitAsp. I have not tried this out yet but I thought it was interesting.

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Software

About the author

Mike Linnen

Software Engineer specializing in Microsoft Technologies

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