June 2008 - Posts

Did you know that you can use Live Mesh to share and sync your Visual Studio settings between computers ?

Here is how to do this in Vista (with Live Mesh client installed):

  • Go to your VS2008 folder (usually C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\Visual Studio 2008), right-click on Settings folder and select “Add folder to your Live Mesh…”

 Share and sync your VS settings with Mesh

  • On each of your Mesh Windows devices you’ll end up with a Settings shortcut on the desktop (Mesh folders are not sync by default).

Sync folder with Live Mesh

  • Double-click the shortcut to set your local VS settings folder (usually C:\Users\YourUserName\Documents\Visual Studio 2008\Settings).
    The “Show synchronization options” allows you to define sync rules for each device.

 

Pros:

  • Automatically sync your VS settings between your computers without the need to export/import from a USB key.
  • The beauty of Live Mesh is you can sync your folder whatever its location on your devices file system, so you do not need to have the same Win account (which is part of the VS settings folder path) to share your settings.
  • Share with friends or your dev team! From the Live Mesh pane you can add members to your folder, set role and send an invitation email.

Cons:

  • When you change settings on a computer, other device get a “Visual Studio 2008 is configuring the environment for first time use”
  • If you use custom font in Visual Studio, it won’t be shared with your xml settings file, but you could sync your Windows/Fonts folder with….. Live Mesh! And you can also specify a note with the “New post” link:

Annotate your Live Mesh folder

 

Need a Live Mesh invitation? Try www.sharemesh.com

 

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After a 9 months beta period, project codename “Princess Leia” was released on June 12 and has now a name: Léana.

Unfortunately while we went live we encountered dramatic issues (project leader was not hurt), so we had to go back to dev for some hard bug fixes.

After several intensive days the product seems stable enough but remain on heavy monitoring.

Finally product team is very proud of their "baby" and wait for your feedback!

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I get this issue everyday in Vista: I try to move/delete/rename folders and get a “you need permission to perform this action” error.

Note these are not system folders, just some personal folders, and this is not related to UAC or drive hardware.

I have this issue regardless which account I use (User or Administrator).

At first you may want to look in the security tab and give full control permission to everyone… but that does not solve the problem! (and this is a bad practice)

 

If you experience the same, here is what you can do to get elevated privilege to perform your action:

!!Very Important: First you must close all opened explorer windows!!

Click on the Windows “start” orb and type “explorer”.

 

In the results pane right-click in “Windows Explorer” and select “Run as administrator”.

Now you can browse to your folder and move/delete/rename it!

Keep in mind that any new explorer window that opens will be running as administrator… to get your explorer windows to open WITHOUT elevated privilege, close all open explorer windows again, and then open an explorer window normally.

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Vector Magic is an online tool that converts bitmaps into vector images. It provides a wizard that helps you through the process, so you can easily generate your vector graphics from bitmaps, then import into Microsoft Expression Designer or Blend. I already used it several times and the results are amazing! It is also impressive to have such a service as a website!

http://vectormagic.com/


First step is to upload your picture (gif or jpg):

 RunAtServer logo

At first the tool try to identify your image (logo or photo):

The correct type is automatically selected for you:

Then you match the quality level of your picture:

This step is for logos:

You get a list of colors palettes related to your logo, with the best match selected for you:

Finally the tool vectorizes your image and show a preview of the result with a comparison to the original:

Now you can download your image as a vector file!

Note: this service is not free anymore, but you can try it (upload, vectorize, preview, get unlimited png images and 2 vector results) without any subscription.
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In Windows Live Mail (build 12.0.1606) there is an inconsistency in the Export/Import accounts process that I have just reported to the product team:

You can export your e-mail accounts or newsgroup subscriptions with File / Export / Accounts… menu, then select each account and press Export, this will generate several iaf files.

But the File / Import menu does not have an entry for Accounts… wtf!?

In fact you will find this feature in Tools / Accounts / Import menu, which is a bit surprising!

Another feedback I made is to have an “Export All” button from the accounts list.

Also the newsgroup subscriptions export does not work quite well as it just save the newsgroup server settings and not your subscriptions in it.

 

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Expression Encoder 2 is out, but you might wonder where is the Publish to Silverlight Streaming feature ??

Remember you had to install a plugin for that purpose.

You still need a plugin and the updated version is there:
http://download.microsoft.com/download/2/2/a/22a8da23-ffa7-4e5a-8fed-8239d3a7b322/SLSPlugin for Expression Encoder 2.msi

Now you can encode your videos with Expression Encoder 2 and publish right to your free 10GB Silverlight Streaming account!

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Some pictures from Microsoft TechEd 2008 Developers in Orlando:

(Some credit go to Rodrigo Diaz)
Mashup powered by Microsoft PopFly, check it out! www.popfly.com

 

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There are plenty of events during June in 6 Canadian cities to celebrate the Zune availability in Canada starting June 13, 2008.

>> Tonight in Montreal a free concert at La Tulipe.

More infos:
http://zunenews.ca/comingzune/default.aspx

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The CTP of this wonderful blogging tool is now available!
Here is a list of new features:

Video and Image Publishing Enhancements

  • Upload videos to Soapbox
  • Image cropping and tilting
  • Additional border styles (reflection!)
  • Support for LightBox and other image previewing effects (like Slimbox, Smoothbox, and others)
  • Support for centering images
Editing Enhancements
  • Auto Linking
  • Smart quotes/typographic characters
  • Word count
UI Improvements
  • Revised main toolbar
  • Tabs for view switching
  • Improved category control with search/filtering

Too bad there is no “Export/Import accounts” feature yet!

>> Download link

 

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Following my Silverlight 2 beta 2 Mega-FAQ here is a FAQ on Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 preview as announced at TechEd 2008:

Is customer support offered with the Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview?
Support for pre-release products is offered on the Microsoft Discussion Forum where you can solicit feedback and help get your questions answered by the Expression community.

When will Expression Blend 2.5 be final?
We have not announced a release schedule for Expression Blend 2.5 however it is our intention to release it as soon as possible after Silverlight 2 is finally released.

When will Expression Studio 3 be released?
We have not announced a release schedule for Expression Studio 3.

Is Expression Blend 2.5 compatible with the tools in Expression Studio 2?
Yes.

Does Expression Blend support Silverlight 2?
Expression Blend will fully support Silverlight 2 in a future release. At TechEd we released an updated preview of Expression Blend 2.5 (Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview) to enable designers to start immediately exploring the power of Silverlight 2. We are currently evaluating how best to release this to market once Silverlight 2 is finally released, however we are committed to releasing preview versions to support the Silverlight 2 preview versions.

Customers who purchase Expression Studio 2 or Expression Blend 2 will receive the future version of Expression Blend that supports Silverlight 2 for free.

Are the features in Silverlight 2 Beta 2 exposed in Expression Blend 2.5 June Preview?
A large number of the features of the Silverlight 2 Beta 2 are available, specifically those which focus on the visual, design aspects of the platform.

Is Expression Blend 2.5 June 2008 Preview compatible with Visual Studio 2008 SP1?
Yes.

Where can I download Expression 2.5 2008 June Preview?
The preview can be downloaded from http://www.microsoft.com/expression/try-it/

Why isn’t the full Expression Studio included in MSDN Subscriptions?
We recognize the tremendous interest in the Microsoft Expression product line within the existing MSDN subscriber community and have included Expression tooling in the premium MSDN subscription levels as a result.

  • Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team Suite with MSDN Premium includes Expression Studio.
  • All other MSDN Premium levels include Expression Web and Expression Blend.

Developers with design responsibilities want access to Expression just as designers with development responsibilities want access to Visual Studio. We provide tooling for each group with the MSDN subscription levels above--for developers who do design--and the new Expression Professional Subscription--for designers who do development.

Which Expression products are included in each MSDN subscription level is a business decision reflecting our desire to continue meeting the needs of professional developers while delivering an "MSDN for Designers" option that appeals directly (and uniquely) to professional designers.

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