Archives / 2005 / January
  • ReSharper Appreciation Day

    Honestly, every day is ReSharper Appreciation Day, but I appreciate it most when I can't use it. I feel physically ill. I'm not kidding. I can't think of a single product that's ever made me so productive[1]. Trying to get anything done without it is like running backward through mud with my hands tied behind my back while balancing a school bus on my nose. Awful.

    I get giddy like a schoolgirl with a new dolly when I get to share the my joy with someone that hasn't used it yet. Even people that usually have the "just give me VS and leave me alone" attitude (including me) love it. It's so many things to so many people. It's everything to me.

    ReSharper is so great that the Delfonics wrote a record for it. Dy-no-mite!

    [1] I do mean product, not technology. .NET still holds the extra-special place in my heart

  • Favorite Visual Studio 2005 feature of the day: Better VSS integration

    Look at the image below and pinch yourself. It's real!

    I still use VSS at home and was shocked when I got a similar dialog when moving a file from one project to another. I crossed my fingers, tried a rename and waddayaknow. BAM! It worked. The rename thing is one of (the many) reasons people choose other source control systems. Happy day!

  • Favorite Windows Forms 2.0 Feature of the Day: Improved ListView

    So much has been released about everything .NET 2.0 in the past year and a half that stumbling upon something new is the exception, not the rule. Such was the case for a me and some new ListView features, both available only to XP and 2003: Grouping and Tiles. If you've ever used Windows Explorer you probably know what these are, but I'm going to include a screen shot anyway because it's more fun to see them in action in a .NET app. Easy!

  • Keep those memories alive

    More and more of your life is probably being distilled into 1s and 0s and placed onto the fragile platters inside your computer. Cheap, writable optical drives are far too common to let fear get you down. Do something about it, man!

    I recently bought a couple Sony Dual-Layer DVD writers for the office. That's 8.5GB on a single shiny disc, my friend. If you haven't checked out hardware prices in a while you're probably thinking "Wow, that's some pretty amazing technology. They must sell for several hundred thousand dollars, right?"


    These things are $61. ExtremeTech has a new article about dual-layer DVD burners you may want to check out. Interestingly, the drive technology is more advanced than the media; DL discs are hard to come by, as are 8x DVD+R.

    It's also worth noting that Picasa 2 is out, which is much improved and includes DVD-writing backup functionality. This is especially attractive because it does differential backups.

  • Favorite C# 2.0 feature of the day: Anonymous Methods

    I haven't done anything particularly interesting with anonymous methods yet, but the simple fact that they reduce clutter in Windows Forms makes me one happy camper. Consider the following bit of code, something which you've probably seen a thousand times:

    And now, the same thing (effectively) using an anonymous method:

    You can define all of your event handlers inline in a single method, if you choose, and forward any calls to appropriately named methods.

  • Partying like it's January 11, 2005

    If you or a loved one sent me email on or after Jan 11, you'll want to do it again.

    My superfast Raptor decided to bite the bust ~1,189,920 hours before I expected it to. I've always been religious about daily backups, but was slightly bitten by this one: I'd just installed XP on a new superfast AMD64 and, you guessed it, forgot to set up the daily backup. Woke up to check my email a few days ago and heard the click of death. My most recent backup was from Jan 11, so I'm stuck there for a while until everything gets back up to speed.

    Thank you.

  • Windows Compute Cluster Edition supports x64 only

    The past few months have been very interesting for 64-bit Windows. First, Microsoft decides that XP Pro 64 will only support x64, and now Windows Compute Cluster Edition will RTM with only x64 support. The former was a surprise, but not entirely unexpected, considering that Itanium's place is in a rack and not a desktop. The cluster news is borderline shocking. I can't wait to see what's next.

  • Favorite Visual Studio 2005 feature of the day

    I've had a lousy week, so I thought I'd spend a bit of time in VS 2005 to boost my spirits[1]. I haven't done much in it since the early CTPs, and things have come a long way. I'm incredibly happy to see that a number of improvements center around simple time-savers. One of the first ones I ran into was this:

    Context menus on controls in the designer list all of their ancestors.

    Can I get a "heck yea"?

    Clicking on ancestor controls can be a real pain sometimes. The property browser's dropdown is helpful, but you need to have good names, otherwise you need to figure out if you're looking for "groupBox8" or "groupBox12". The context menu below is for a TextBox in groupBox3, which is in Panel2 of bottomSplitter and so on.

    [1] To cap it off, I had a rather lengthy widom teeth pulling session today and the painkillers they gave me are only killing the pain. What's up with that?

  • Coolest ticket selector ever

    I don't know how many times I've blindly purchased seats in theaters I've never been to after failing to make sense of the convoluted seating charts. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra's implementation is fantastic: The view of the seats from the stage, and it shows the view from a section when you hover over it.

    After picking the section, it shows you the seats in the section. Pick from the available seats and you're done. Bravo!