|| Sunday, 25 September 2005
I already have one box (the Shuttle XPC) that is running Windows Server Codename Longhorn Build 5219. Because it wasn't all that much of a hassle when compared to Beta 1 of Windows Vista, I decided to set up Longhorn on my laptop - and try to work with that installation for a week, while I am in Seattle for the MVP & AspInsiders summits. Boy did I end up with an installation marathon...
Lessons learned in this Sunday's "don't try this at home kids" department:
- Don't assume that ATI drivers for your IBM X31 will install on Longhorn. They refuse, making for rather crappy UI performance. By the way, on failing, setup suggests to install a VGA driver first.
- None of the network adapters were found - neither the onboard LAN, nor the onboard WLAN. When you peek into Computer Mangement, it is your guess which of the two "Ethernet Controller" is which.
- Don't only update the driver for one, even if it is the LAN one. Your ISA 2004 client installation will mysteriously fail. After installing drivers for all LAN equipement, it just works.
- Minor annoyance: the OS-provided sound driver produces hisses et al. Not too bad, but annoying if you plan to watch loads of Channel 9 movies. Your guess is correct: the vendor-provided driver refuses to install.
- No standby. That sucks royally.
- You learned about that in my previous post - no .NET 1.1 for you by default.
- Installing VS can be so much fun, especially if MSXML 6.0 refuses to install as part of the default install. Doing it separately works so much better. And the "Locate File" dialog for the VM driver irritated me only for the better part of a minute...
- Before installing the Atlas VSIs, you better start VS at least once. Otherwise the Atlas installation will fail. Only mildly interesting.
- Do I need to mention that Virtual PC networking doesn't work? That one didn't change for the better, which will make me dual boot into XP.
On a different note: default installs of 5219 have a blank password for Administrator. And IIS 7 is installed by default, which really baffled me. I'm so trained to enable features after install that at first I was thinking it was not part of the bits I got...
Seen today on Windows Server Codename Longhorn, Build 5219 (the PDC build). At first, I thought Paint.NET was kidding me, but once I checked with Windows Explorer, I knew this was for real. Doh!
|| Wednesday, 21 September 2005
Before PDC, I decided I'd need a new PC for testing purposes - Team System (Beta 3 coming soon), IIS 7.0 on Longhorn Server as well as Windows Vista definitely do run a lot faster when not in VirtualPC. That's what I got myself:
That's a Shuttle XPC SB81P, a Pentium P4 630 (3Ghz, 2MB Cache, FSB800), 2GB of RAM, a 250GB WD SATA HDD and one of my old DVD-RAM drives. Nice setup, and not too expensive either.
|| Tuesday, 20 September 2005
Before heading to PDC, I got my new cell phone - the Sony Ericsson W800i. Hence I didn't have time to put it through the paces, which I then did the past couple of days (how shocking: I never bring my cell phone to the USA). What a difference from the SPV C500! It has great battery lifetime, it starts up really fast compared to the C500, and important functionality is easy to reach.
There are a couple of smart technical choices that I love: for one, the wired headset comes in two parts - one connects to the cellphone and has the mike, the second part connects to the former using a standard stereo jack. Read: I can use my excellent Etymotic ER 6 with it! For phone calls, listening to music (it is after all an MP3 player shipped with a 512MB card in the box) as well as listening to the radio (yep, can do that too, nice touch).
It comes with a USB cable, and it connects to your PC by default as a mass storage device. No need for special software if you want to transfer files - how cool is that? (I already thought about abusing it as a "toolbox" instead of a USB memory stick) If you want to sync with Outlook et al, that is still possible - but you then need software (included). And of course the phone is being charged when connected to USB. Having to install ActiveSync so my C500 would charge annoyed me royally.
The only snag so far: you can use WAV files for ring tones, however, when trying to assign them to individual contacts they are not shown - they are filtered out. For the general ringtone it works fine. Definitely a bug, but not a real issue: Audacity to the rescue I converted the WAV files to MP3.
Finally, the design. My brother's opinion: "schwul" (faggy). I have to agree - white seems to be a real bane since Apple entered the scene of digital lifestyle accessories.
demonstrated it last week at the PDC, now he released the new version of the Web Development Helper
to the public. Read more about the exciting new features here
|| Sunday, 18 September 2005
The Seattle Post Intelligencer has the by far best analysis on the "Mono BOF" at the PDC - read it here (Builder UK article for contrast). From the marketing aspect of the BOF refusal to the impact Mono will have to shops that bought into Windows (zilch, that is), those two articles cover all bases.
Especially the one I also like to point out: Mono will always play catch up with .NET (unless the development pace at MS slows down, but there was no such sign at this year's PDC). I had to laugh out loud when the Seattle PI quoted Somasegar as saying that "it's [Mono] a good science experiment that is happening there". And a warning that if it eats into their revenue, they will reconsider their current position. Given that Mono not only implements the ECMA standard, this certainly is an option. Taking further into consideration that MS sure as hell won't risk a class action suit from shareholders growling about lost money because of Mono, this is a threat scenario the Mono project better prepares for.
Before you flame me for the previous paragraph: I am project manager on the open source #develop project, so spare me the FUD blames. Especially if you are IANAL.
|| Saturday, 17 September 2005
The only way for me to not come home with tons of books is to give bookstores a wide berth. This is not an option at a PDC where so many new books are presented, and so many other ones are deeply discounted. Hence the list:
- Threat Modeling We got that book during Monday's Attack and Defense preconference session. Free, of course.
- Coder to Developer That was on my list for a (too) long time.
- Presenting Windows Workflow Foundation I didn't make it to any of the giveaway sessions, so I bought a copy.
- Programming Windows Presentation Foundation I wonder why I couldn't resist <g />
- Visual Studio Tools for Office Since I saw VSTO 2005 for the first time at an event in Redmond this year, I was looking forward to playing with it. Here's my ticket.
- The best of Verity Stob Special thanks to Gary Cornell from Apress for giving me a free copy! A real classic. Shame on you if you don't know Verity Stob, however, about everyone I told about the book so far was like "Verity Who?". You're definitely reading the wrong rags.
- Mastering Windows Server 2003 Affectionately know as "the Minasi", I simply could not pass up on that book on Friday - 42 USD! Compare that to the regular selling price of 55 Euro...
A hopefully luggable list of books...
|| Friday, 16 September 2005
The conference is over, and my brain is full - full of (semi)stupid ideas what I'd like to try with all those new technologies I saw this week. Task #1 for next week is to set up a VPC with Whidbey Beta 2, because I no longer have such an image, but need it for LINQ, Atlas et al. So plenty of good reasons to go back in time.
What did I see today? The obligatory session list:
- Using the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework with Relational Data
- Using the .NET Language Integrated Query Framework with XML Data
- Tips & Tricks: Developing and Testing with Virtual PC
- Windows Presentation Foundation ("Avalon"): Going Under the Hood to Understand the Architecture
The day started with Luca Bolognese's talk on DLINQ (Luca was PM on ObjectSpaces, so it is your guess...). His samples contained a few "references" to James Gosling, and it was a fun session to start with on the last day (whoever came up with deadlock victim had some humor too) Luca weighed in on the top three questions on DLINQ:
- Do you support stored procedures?
- Do you support database xyz?
- How's your performance?
For #1, this is an unqualified yes. For #2, a provider needs to be written. And last but not least: at runtime, you only incur conversion to SQL, and the generation of objects. So no significant hit should be expected.
We got a voucher for the aforementioned today together with disc six of "The Goods". Of course I went to the site to register with the unique PIN - but what did I have to read in the small print? Offer good only to Professional Developers Conference (PDC) 2005 <snip /> registered attendees who are Canadian or US citizens.
You are kidding me, right? First, announce the swag during the keynote. But keep mum on the limitations for us non-Americans! Sure enough I wrote an email to the email address given for questions or concerns. You bet. After JASJARgate, this would be the second annoying thing (I don't mind that the session evaluation drawings are limited to Americans).
Update: According to Euan Garden, this has been addressed.
The day started out with one of those famous spoof videos - this time about a "variation" of Windows error reporting, dubbed WE-SYP (we share your pain). Error reporting tied to a - let's call it - "multimedia" chair. Fun to watch.
Right after that, Bob Muglia showed off what we can expect from Windows Server in the next couple of year. Windows Server 2003 Compute Cluster Solution was demoed together with Excel Services - impressive. TxF (transactional NTFS) wasn't any less exciting, just like the identity solutions - and, of course, IIS 7.0. We got the bits for the latter today.
Sessions I attended today:
- Windows Communications Foundation ("Indigo"): A Deep Dive into Best Practices Using the Windows Communications Foundation
- ASP.NET: Future Directions for Developing Rich Web Applications with Atlas (Part 2)
- ASP.NET: A Sneak Peek at Future Directions in Web Development and Designer Tools
- Windows Vista & "Longhorn" Server: Under the Hood of the Operating System—System Internals and Your Application
- ASP.NET: Deep Dive into the ObjectDataSource Control
The under the hood session for Longhorn server had one interesting tidbit - they aim to require mandatory signing for kernel mode drivers on x64 platforms - bye bye kernel root kits!
Bradley Millington quite overshot his allocated timeslot for the ObjectDataSource control, but he covered interesting areas: filtering and master details, custom sorting and paging, updates inserts deletes as well as transactions and caching. Seeing realistic examples is a welcome change. A good place for you to start: the Advanced Data Scenarios section of the Quickstarts. (Note: those links point to http://beta.asp.net, and I don't think that Whidbey docs will be up and running there forever, given that "Orcas" starts appearing on the horizon).
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