Sushila Patel's Weblog

When the going gets tough, upgrade

  • Silverlight <Grid>

    I had attended couple of sessions on Silverlight few years ago, bumped into couple of blogs until recently that I actually got to work on it. Well I must say I am xapped so far.

    Still learning to float in the Silverlight ocean, here is what I would like to share based on my mindset as C#/ASP.NET Developer.

    I created my first Silverlight Application using VS.NET 2010. Everything was same old same old till I began coding. Normally for the ASP.NET application I would start with <table> tag to drag and drop control. May be I was missing that in the editor, or may be not. This control was in the toolbox.  

    Well with Silverlight we can use <Grid> control. The main.xaml page that is created by default already has a <Grid> tag.

    In the Grid we have to define columns and rows as below


    We can drag and drop controls in this Grid and below is how that would look

    Figure 2

    It may initially be bit unusual for few like me who have used % for width and height or <td> and <tr> tags

    In case of Silverlight we can set height and width by giving attributes like "Auto", pixel size or "<number>*" i.e "3*"

    How does it consider the width and height for the page?

    That's defined in the <Projectname>.html /<Projectname>.aspx file that resides in the Web application. The width and height is 100%. So no worries here.

    Figure 4

    Well not really, for this width and height to work wonders remove the designheight and designwidth of the <usercontrol> in .xaml as  given below

    Figure 3

    This may sound simple, non technical too. But if we are used to ASP.NET controls, Silverlight basic controls(alignment) or getting used to it can be little bit different. 

    I use VS.NET 2010, but Microsoft Expression Blend is preferred for designing...

    Why I haven't swtiched to Expression Blend yet, hmmm ummm...working with VS.NET 2010 editor seems like being at home with just the interior changed from ASP.NET to Silverlight. Blend would mean like changing homes, will design using it soon...


  • Weekend, Vista Ultimate and my laptop

    Probably everyone having a love/hate relationship with Microsoft is talking about Windows Vista these days.

    Not to say some of my Anti-Microsoft friends are taking pride saying they have Vista installed on laptops/desktops. Reason could be the eye candy UI, features, watching TV or just about anything that the old Windows OS did not provide according to them.


    I have Microsoft Vista Ultimate on my desktop for quite some time. The upgrade from Beta version to the final version was quite a journey. As of now I am impressed by the end product.


    My oldie laptop Toshiba A35-S159 (with memory upgraded from 512MB to 1GB) is running on Windows XP Pro which absolutely isn't problem. Until recently that I started suffering from the Upgrade to Vista syndrome.


    I am a bit reluctant to use the Upgrade feature for installing the new OS. A clean installation is always my preference. Taking backup of all important files -> installing new OS -> install all required software to the new OS are the steps I normally take assuming that I have lots of patience!


    This time though I tried upgrading Windows XP pro to Windows Vista Ultimate after making sure that the Windows Vista Upgrade advisor gave me a green signal. There was a straight face on the Graphics card and couple of things that may/may not work after the Vista installation. Not serious enough to change decision of upgrade.


    I started my installation and got the unhappy Windows Vista compatibility Report on my desktop with message about uninstalling the Toshiba Configfree and DVD-RAM Driver Software/BD Driver Software.


    As far as Toshiba ConfigFree Error:

    I rectified this error by uninstalling Toshiba Configfree (Toshiba Configfree wasn't installed at all on my System. As the error persisted every time I tried installing Vista, so all I did was download Toshiba ConfigFree from the Toshiba site, install it and uninstall. Well this worked!)


    Regarding DVD-RAM Driver Software/BD Driver Software Error:

    This was something I thought was related to Nero/Roxio software that was installed on my system. I sincerely uninstalled it.

    Error persisted. I gave search for keywords like DVD/CD/BD. I managed to uninstall anything and everything that showed me the traces of these culprit words. This wasn't really of any help.


    The whole upgrade experience wasn’t smooth so I thought of doing a clean install.

    The clean installation gave me a good looking blue screen saying that the ACPI BIOS isn’t compatible.

    Well Toshiba's site did have some BIOS upgrade which wasn't of any help. The error still persists and I think only some update on the BIOS compatibility from Toshiba will help.


    Digging and searching more about this I found John’s Blog about Problems upgrading to Windows Vista which also talks about same issue.


    Below is relevant extract from Toshiba Windows Vista Express Upgrade Promotion site

    Toshiba offers Windows Vista drivers and Windows Vista-compatible BIOS upgrades for computer models that have a valid Windows Vista Capable sticker. It may be possible to upgrade to Windows Vista on some Toshiba computer models that do not have a Windows Vista Capable sticker, but Toshiba cannot guarantee that all features of the computer will function correctly after the upgrade. Microsoft’s Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor may be able to indicate whether or not your computer has the minimum hardware requirements for Windows Vista, but a positive report from the Upgrade Advisor is not a clear indication that the specific features of the computer will function correctly after an upgrade to Windows Vista.

    My laptop does not have any Vista capable sticker. So will wait and watch if Toshiba can figure out a way to satisfy disappointed old customers!


    On brighter note spending few hours of Sunday with Vista installation was worthwhile as going outdoors was practically not possible with East coast rain and flooding.

    Well today is Boston Marathon. Boston Marathon has seen extreme weather conditions with too high/ low temperatures; today is no different with the cloudy weather and few showers. The enthusiasm of the ones participating in marathon and the spectators is commendable, no matter if it’s rain or shine. Cheers for the spirit!