Scott Hanselman

You aren't using Resource Monitor enough

August 5, '14 Comments [21] Posted in Tools
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Most folks learn how to use Task Manager pretty quickly. We've all been on the phone with non-technical-relative and ask them to open up Task Manager.

As we move from user to technical-user we are introduced to SysInternals tools and perhaps Process Monitor for finding out what's happening to a disk. However, I find that for quick questions that using Resource Monitor is faster to access and the information is easier to interpret.

You can bring Task Manager up, of course, by right clicking the Taskbar and clicking Task Manager. Or, hit Ctrl-Alt-ESC as a hotkey for Task Manager.

From Task Manager, you may never have noticed the Open Resource Monitor link at the bottom of the Performance tab.

image

Click that and open up a whole new insight into what's going on.

Disk

This is all great stuff but I find myself exploring the Disk tab the most.

Disk Activity

Remember to sort by Read or Write bytes/sec. I often sort by Total and often find things like DropBox in there.

CPU and the CPU usage of Services

Task Manager is great but it doesn't easily show how much CPU is being used by a Service. Resource Monitor not only lets you easily Filter processes with a checkbox, but you can also sort services by CPU usage.

Service by CPU time

On the CPU tab, is an Associated Handles pane. If Resource Monitor is a well-kept secret, then Associated Handles is a secret within a secret. You can search across all processes for an open file name (or any handle), as well as filter by Process or Service.

Filtered by Chrome

Network Activity

The Network Activity tab is super useful and jam-packed with information. It makes it easy to find a process from a port or TCP connection.

Network Activity

You have this tool and all these views now, and I suspect you might not be using it to the fullest. Perhaps you pull from a number of smaller applets or shareware utilities to pull it all together.

Once I reminded myself that Resource Monitor could be launched directly from the Task Manager (an app that I have open often a lot already) I started using it even more. I may just pin it to the Taskbar!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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How to create a file with a . dot prefix in Windows Explorer

July 30, '14 Comments [30] Posted in Tools
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If you right click in Windows and try to make a new text file with a . period/dot in front of it:

image

Name the file...something like .gitignore, for example.

image

You'll get the "You must type a file name" error.

image

But, rather than typing .gitignore, if you include an ending dot also, like

.gitignore.

Then it works fine.

image

Thanks, Mads, for the tip!

NOTE: We're assuming that you have "File name extensions" turned on, because if you don't, you're likely not a programmer. ;)

image

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Exploring cross-browser math equations using MathML or LaTeX with MathJax

June 23, '14 Comments [12] Posted in Tools
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Let me just start by saying that I got a C in Calculus. It just didn't click for me. I'm aces at basic math, but you lost me at limits. That said, I have always found MathML to be fascinating, and I'm surprised that even now over 15 years after MathML's first release that is has such minimal browser support. Other than Firefox, and surprisingly iOS Safari, there's basically no widely available native support.

Perhaps it's because MathML is, well, XML. You wanna express something simple like 2+2, except stacked up with a line? Here's that:

<mstack>
<mn>2</mn>
<msrow> <mo>+</mo> <none/> <mn>2</mn> </msrow>
<msline/>
</mstack>

That's rather verbose. Most math folks that I've talked to (including a very nice Stanford professor I met on a plane recently) use LaTeX to express Math. The professor I met edited whole academic papers in raw LaTeX and compiled them to PDF. He was surprised when I explained that he was a programmer but perhaps didn't realize it!

LaTeX looks like this, for the 2+2 example:

\(2+2\)

I'd show you some more complex MathML examples but it would get pretty crazy very quickly.

The landscape for writing equations easily online using either MathML or LaTeX is, from my untrained eye, rather chaotic, link-rotty, and messy. Many Math and MathML online resources are full of link rot or their apps have been forgotten. While looking for a MathML to LaTeX convertor I found four different sits that promised to deliver only to discover that their back end systems are gone.

It seems that there are two places online that are shining examples of online Math rendering and that's MathJax and Math.StackExchange.com. MathJax is "an open source JavaScript display engine for mathematics that works in all browsers" and Math.StackOverflow.com is well, StackOverflow for Math people. What's special about Math.SO is that it's integrated MathJax's fantastic library into it's main editor.

NOTE: Not all StackExchange sites have the integrated math preview due to the size of the libraries involves. It's not something that you just "throw in just in case."

Here's an example where I'm typing some LaTeX into StackOverflow's site. In this case, I'm using Chrome.

image

They are using MathJax's library here. I can right-click on the equation, and ask "show math as MathML" and get this popup:

image

How does MathJax manage all this without actual browser support for MathML (or LaTeX?)

You configure MathJax like this, telling it what to look for when doing inline math. Sometimes it's bracketed by $ and $ and sometimes by \( and \).

<script type="text/x-mathjax-config">
MathJax.Hub.Config({
tex2jax: { inlineMath: [['$','$'],['\\(','\\)']] }
});
</script>
<script type='text/javascript' src='http://cdn.mathjax.org/mathjax/latest/MathJax.js?config=TeX-AMS-MML_HTMLorMML'></script>

For Tex as in this example, MathJax is using HTML and CSS, generating the inline Math equations into a series of DOM elements.

image

When using MathML proper, you can configure MathJax to use native MathML rendering when it's available. Only FireFox really supports that. This page lets you switch between HTML-CSS using Web Fonts, MathML, or SVG. SVG looks a little rough to me, but HTML-CSS always looks nice.

image

Bottom line, if you have a need to express mathematical equations of any kind online, you're going to want to use MathJax. Love them, thank them, appreciate them.

NOTE via Wikipedia: The MathJax project was founded by the American Mathematical Society, Design Science, and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and is supported by numerous sponsors such as the American Institute of Physics and Stack Exchange.

Oh, and if you're English, "Maths."


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About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Download Visual Studio Express

June 19, '14 Comments [33] Posted in Tools
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http://downloadvisualstudio.com

visual-studio-2013-logoYou liked http://downloadsqlserverexpress.com, so, here's http://downloadvisualstudio.com because I like you so much.

Here are the direct links to all the Express SKUs for Visual Studio. They are all completely free.

NOTE: I wrote this post on my own, and not as a representative of Microsoft. That's their copyrighted logo over there on the right, and these downloads are all Microsoft's.

Visual Studio 2013 Express for Web

Visual Studio Express 2013 for Web provides the core tools for creating compelling, innovative web applications and services. This includes the ASP.NET editors for HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, etc.

Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows (Desktop)

Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop enables the creation of desktop apps in C#, Visual Basic, and C++, and supports Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and Win32.

Visual Studio 2013 Express for Windows (Store)

The tools include a full-featured code editor, a powerful debugger, a focused profiler, and rich language support that you can use to build apps that you write in HTML5/JavaScript, C++, C#, or Visual Basic. Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows also includes tools for Windows Phone 8.0 development and Windows Phone emulators that you can use to test how your Windows Phone apps will run on different devices.

Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2013

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server Express 2013 is a source-code-control, project-management, and team-collaboration platform at the core of the Microsoft suite of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) tools.

Hope this helps! All these links were dug out of http://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/download-visual-studio-vs with Fiddler.

Thanks to Tobias Schmidbauer for help with the Update 3 links!

Also, if you already have Visual Studio 2013, you might just want Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 (That's 2013.3)


Sponsor: A big thank you to my friends at Octopus Deploy. They are sponsoring the blog feed this week. Using NuGet and powerful conventions, Octopus Deploy makes it easy to automate releases of ASP.NET applications and Windows Services. Say goodbye to remote desktop and start automating today!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Download SQL Server Express

June 17, '14 Comments [60] Posted in Tools
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There's a funny blog post about how to download SQL Server Express from Long Zheng. It surprisingly how complex some companies make downloading things. I've always thought that a giant Download Now button is the best way, but perhaps that's just me?

Downloading SQL Server Express is unnecessarily hard, and it's made harder by the new Microsoft Download Center "download multiple files" interface that doesn't include descriptions or primary file recommendations. It should be a list of links, and you should be able to right click and Save As.

Introducing http://downloadsqlserverexpress.com 
(this short link goes directly to this post)

So, I've done the HTTP sniffing and work, and written this blog post in the hopes that it helps you (and I'm bookmarking it for myself, for the future).

Download SQL Server 2014 Express

Download SQL Server 2012 Express

Download SQL Server 2008 Express R2 SP2

You can get back here via downloadsqlserverexpress.com. Tell your friends.


Sponsor: A big thank you to my friends at Octopus Deploy. They are sponsoring the blog feed this week. Using NuGet and powerful conventions, Octopus Deploy makes it easy to automate releases of ASP.NET applications and Windows Services. Say goodbye to remote desktop and start automating today!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.