Archives / 2004 / February
  • Longhorn suggestion for security and usability

    Before you allow any old program to just pop up and become the window with focus, check to make sure the user isn't typing something. Wait a few seconds before popping up. Not only is it frustrating, it could be a huge security problem. If I'm typing a document in word, and I need my credit card information or SSN, so I go to my secure app and copy it into the clipboard and go back to Word. Right before I paste and hit enter, some program that sends email to the world has figured out that it urgently needs to interrupt me for a comment, which it will immediately post to every blog on the planet, and my credit card goes out to the world.

    It would be an easy thing to implement. The user could adjust the amount of time to wait before allowing a program to pop up, or you could also supply an option that would not allow other programs to pop up at all, but would instead keep them blinking in the task bar area until you click on them. Alternatively it could play a sound so you could stop typing, and the program would then pop up, now that the user is cognizant of it.


  • .NET Rocks! Friday went off without a hitch

    Looks like our hard work paid off. After last week's live show and the problems we had with audio skipping, etc, we completely deconstructed our process, put it back together, and load tested it. That really paid off. There were no problems reported with our server (yet) or connecting that we have pointed to as being on our side.

    Ted Neward and Bruce Tate did a great job of putting Java in good perspective for us. At one point we had Rory and Dan Appleman on Skype, Bruce on the phone, and Ted and I in the studio.

    On the show, Dan mentioned that Desaware is now selling their complete COM and .NET libraries for about 500 bucks each, and that includes source code! I was also pleased to learn that all their .NET products were written in VB.NET. If that isn't a good testimonial as to why VB6 programmers should move to VB.NET, I don't know what is. I'd like to hear about other major products and/or websites that were written with VB.NET.

    Also on the show, we had the nice people from PerForce on the line to talk about their SCM product, which really sounds great. I plan on using it in-house. I also played and sang our theme song, Toy Boy on accoustic guitar (a first).

    Anyway, the show will be online Monday. Even if you don't code in Java you may eventually have to interop with it. It's interesting stuff regardless of what you are using now.


  • New 2-hour .NET Rocks! with Scott Hanselman now online!

    He's back and he's pissed! Not really, but we've always wanted to say that. Scott Hanselman talks with Carl and Rory about the following:

    * ASP.NET
    * Declarative Programming
    * "Word Documents have no teeth"
    * Client Side Validation
    * Code Generation - CodeSmith
    * Caching
    * Performance Counters in ASP.NET
    * Perf Testing
    * "A caste system for APIs"
    * other ideas: blogging trends, usenet, google, toolbars, future interfaces,
    * where he's speaking this quarter....
    * DevDays
    * Whidbey
    Also in this show: Carl Franklin reads letters from the teeming millions, Rory presents "Google Weirdos"; a list of search terms that people have entered into Google only to land on his weblog, Carl presents the "Linux Vulnerability of the Week", and as always, lots of fun.
    This is a 2 hour show.
    About Scott Hanselman:
    Scott Hanselman is Chief Architect at the Corillian Corporation, an eFinance enabler. He has over a decade of experience developing software in C, C++, VB, COM, and currently VB.NET and C#. Scott is proud to have been appointed the MSDN Regional Director for Portland, OR for the last three years, developing content for, and speaking at Developer Days and the Visual Studio.NET Launch in both Portland and Seattle. Scott was in the top 5% of audience-rated speakers at TechEd 2003 in Dallas. Scott also spoke at the Windows Server 2003 and VS.NET 2003 Launches in 4 cities. He's spoken internationally on Microsoft technologies, and has co-authored two books from Wrox Press. In 2001, Scott spoke on a 15-city national tour with Microsoft, Compaq and Intel featuring Microsoft Technologies and evangelizing good design practices. In 2002, he was a highly rated speaker at TechEd Malaysia, giving 3 sessions, including one on the .NET Framework. Scott has also spoken twice at VSLive, and was made a Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET in 2004. His thoughts on the Zen of .NET, Programming and Web Services can be found at
    Data Dynamics, makers of Active Reports .NET
    Code Magazine - Microsoft technologies in-depth for IT Managers and Developers
    Peter Blum - Award-winning ASP.NET Validation controls that fit your budget.


  • .NET Rocks! streaming audio problems fixed! Ready for Friday

    I just thought I'd let all my listeners know that we've fixed all the problems with the live audio stream, including skipping and pausing. We successfully stress tested the server tonight using the load testing tool. We can now support about 350 live clients during a show. That's roughly 10 Megabits split up into 35K streams. It sounds good at 35K so we went with it.

    We were unable to get the bitrate dithering working. We think it's because we're streaming over HTTP. You may need to use MMS for that, but we don't know. Anyone? In any case, we will (at some point) be bouncing our live stream off of Microsoft, so we have the potential for many more live listeners.

    I've got the live stream playing now at The last three shows are repeating indefinitely, so if you need your fix...

    We're on-schedule to have Friday's show online Monday. Thanks to everyone who gave us feedback!


  • Longhorn Feature Request - Multiple Cursor Inputs

    Calling all Longhorn team developers! I would like to be able to have multiple cursor inputs. Two or more mice, two or more keyboards, etc.

    This came out of my desire to have a touch screen that actually works. I want to use a big plasma touch screen as an audio/video workstation. Lots of knobs, switches, and levers. Many times I have to pull two or more faders simultaneously. This is imposssible with Windows because there's only one mouse.

    Now, I know what you're thinking. How would API calls like GetCursorPos work? Well, you'd have your default input device, and then you'd have multiple real or virtual input devices.



  • Reading, Moving, Tweaking, and Testing Windows Media Services

    We're in the middle of a huge post-mortem on Friday's show. This involves analyzing logs, looking at performance counters, and physically moving machines, culminating in a stress test somewhere around midnight. We're going to use the load simulator on about 15 PCs in-house If anyone wants to participate in the test later, respond here and we'll tell you when to “let her rip” and what URL to use.



  • Scott Hanselman Friday on .NET Rocks! Live!

    Scott Hanselman will join Rory and I Friday Feb 20, 2004 (today) at noon EST live on .NET Rocks!   He'll be talking about lots of things related to ASP.NET

    Our new format is a 2 hour live show starting at noon EST. We edit the show over the weekend and make it available on the website the following Monday. You still get to listen to the download anytime, but you can win prizes and talk to the guests if you listen live.

    Audio Links and details at



  • Chris Kinsman and Jesse Ezell discuss their .NET success stories on .NET Rocks!

    In this, the second installment in our ongoing ".NET Success Stories" series, Carl talks with Jesse Ezell and Chris Kinsman about projects they have developed and successfully deployed with Microsoft .NET languages, tools, and technologies.

    Chris talks about a huge project done for an insurance company that successfully uses ASP.NET and Windows Forms with autodeployment. As well, he talks about some applications he wrote for slot machine management at a casino.

    In the second half, Jesse Ezell discusses an application he helped develop for Articulate Software that utilizes Flash as a server application to convert Powerpoint presentations to Flash.

    Chris Kinsman is president of Vergent Software, one of the founders of Guided Design and formerly the VP of Technology for, a web site that provides information for developers. He has extensive experience with ASP, Web Farms, Clustering, Data Access, and Scalability. His books include "Visual Basic.NET Developer's Guide to ASP.NET, ADO.NET and XML" and "C# Developer's Guide to ASP.NET, ADO.NET and XML". Chris has spoken at a variety of conferences including VSLive and Microsoft TechEd, and is the track chairman for ASPLive.

    Jesse Ezell is the co-founder of Activehead, a .NET consulting company in Joplin, Missouri. Jesse has been working with the .NET framework since the early betas, is an active member of the .NET community, and spends the majority of his time designing and coding .NET software solutions.


  • Nearly 47000 downloads of .NET Rocks! in January!

    I just got the latest statistics from MSDN. When I put them together with stats, I see that we had a record month in January. Almost 47K complete downloads and/or complete streams (having a 200 level response code) just in January alone. I can't wait to see Februarys.

    In fact, I'm going to put up a statistics page so the world can see how many downloads we're serving up. I have no idea why sopme companies like to keep statistics a secret.

    Well, I'm off to work on the stats page.


  • Speaking at TechEd in San-Diego

    I just found out that I'll be speaking at Tech-Ed in San Diego. I have at least one talk, maybe more. I'll keep you posted. Now we have to do a show from there, Rory...


  • Great drum sound with only 2 mics

    To add more evidence to my argument that you don't need to spend more than a couple hundred bucks on a microphone, listen to this my latest in-studio creation. I used only two Marshall large diaphragm condenser mics (less than 200 bucks) about 4 feet from the kit on either side pointing to the middle of the set. For EQ I only brought up the low end a bit, that's all. I also copied out a snare hit, added reverb, and looped it to add a little spice to the snare. Other than that, it's perfectly flat.


  • Get at your local DevDays!

    If you want to get the PDC build of .NET Widbey (including VS.NET, VB.NET, C#, and ASP.NET) get your butt over to DevDays in your local area. In particular, I'm concerned that not enough people will show up in Hartford, and they'll have to cancel it. DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN! Register today to let Microsoft know that you WANT YOUR WHIDBEY!  </soapbox>


  • Chris Sells and Rory interview Carl on .NET Rocks!

    Carl Speaks! Chris and Rory interview Carl about communications programming (serial, sockets, and MIDI), teaching, and the meaning of life. It's a fun and informative show, that you shouldn't miss.  Carl talks about his framework for communicating over sockets to PocketPCs and other devices where web services and remoting are not supported or don't make sense. Chris wonders why Carl still uses VB.NET (joke) and Carl asks the proverbial question "Can't we all just get along?"  Rory is in a state of shock over the fact that he is interviewing Carl from Chris Sells' house.
    This is not a live show. We will be doing live shows in earnest starting February 20.
    Sponsored by DataDynamics, makers of ActiveReports .NET ( and Code Magazine (


  • Rockhead Update

    With all the buzz and hoopla over our new live format, I thought I'd let you all know what the next few weeks have in store.

    There will be no live show this Friday or next. We will start doing the live shows regularly on Friday, Feb 20th. Rory will be co-hosting via Skype on the 20th and 27th, and then he will be IN THE FLESH on Friday, March 5th.

    Monday (Feb 9) we will air a show recorded a while back in which Chris Sells and Rory interview me (it was Chris' idea). It's actually a pretty technical show, and very funny (I think).

    The following Monday (Feb 16th) we will air the second in our “.NET Success Stories” show with Chris Kinsman and Jesse Ezell. Both have some great stories about real projects that they've done with .NET technologies. 

    That Friday (Feb 20) we will go live with a show pitting .NET against Java in an all-out bitch-slap smackdown. Actually, it will be a semi-civilized discussion with two Java and .NET Wonks that you may know: Ted Neward ( and Bruce Tate (of Bitter Java fame). That will be quite a show. In fact, I can forsee Rory getting into it more than myself, not having done a lot of Java.

    The following Friday, Feb 27, we'll interview the one and only Scott Hanselman. You had a taste of his genius in show number 17 (about a year ago) and now he's back to lay even MORE cool-ass websites and links on you.

    We have a public schedule online at

    I am writing a Windows Service in VB.NET that will call a web service to determine if there is a new show available and automatically download the new stuff to a directory of your choice.  That will make it easy for you to be a true fan!

    Also, we're courting Sprint as a regular sponsor.  With Sprint's PCS wireless Internet card I listen to the live .NET Rocks! stream (and other shows) on my iPaq. I get about 50Kbs on it, and it works wherever Sprint PCS phones work. I got the card at Radio shack for about 300 bucks, and I pay 80 bucks a month for unlimited Internet use. It works just about everywhere. I truly hope they go for it.

    More to come!


  • Check out Bob Reselman's novel, Coding Slave

    Bob is going to come on the show in a few weeks and talk about it.  The URL is There are some sample chapters up there. I read the beta. It's pretty cool.

    Bob is one of us. He's a developer turned author, and I was intrigued by this book. I'm not used to reading novels about developers, but this is worth the read. 



  • .NET Rocks! Live 1.0 is now online

    Hey, it's our first Live .NET Rocks! Show EVER! Oh yeah, we recorded a show live at the PDC, but we didn't broadcast it live! What's more, Carl's co-host is none-other than the infamous Rory Blyth

    This show is 2 hours long, and commenced Friday, January 30, 2004 at 12PM EST, 9AM PST.

    In the first hour, Bill Vaughn and Peter Blackburn talk about SQL Reporting Services, Microsoft's foray into the data reporting market.

    In the second hour, Carl and Rory welcome noted VB and PC guru Dan Appleman to talk about marketing hype, how developers are spending their time, and his new book Always Use Protection

    Rory is moving to New London March 1st. So, the new live show format will commence March 5th, and will be only format for .NET Rocks! going forward. Remember! Friday's at Noon Eastern!