Scott Hanselman

I'm digging Skype more and more, the I'm tired of all the different "Me" issues. Also, moving your Skype contacts.

January 13, '05 Comments [8] Posted in Diabetes | XML
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skype1.jpgI'm digging Skype more and more. I'm GlucoPilot (note the custom URL handlers). The new Skype 1.1, while it apparently has some installer issues (I haven't faced) is a great improvement over 1.0.

The best new addition is conference calling. It seems to only be as good as the worst connection in the conference. I spoke with Omar in California and Adam in Brazil (this week), and it seemed a little dodgy due to Adam's connection.

Skype is great but I have to problems. One is simple, the other is unforgivable.

1. It's yet another identity. As far as I'm concerned my email address is the closest thing to "who" I am online that I can get. I'd rather not have ANOTHER 'nick.' But, I can live with this.

2. The real issue is that I have three computers and (unless I'm nuts) Skype doesn't allow storing your Skype Contacts remotely and don't even have an export function.

This is nuts. But, I figured I could look in Applicationdata\skype, etc and manually merge XML files, right?

GASP. This is the first time in recent memory that I looked at a settings file for a NEW application (especially a 'viral marketing' one like Skype) and didn't find XML config underlying. Skype uses a binary format to store your contacts list locally. Frankly - SHOCKING.

However, someone pointed me to www.jyve.com which purports to offer another abstraction layer on top of Skype and manage contacts. We shall see.

For now, there's a lot of Me's out there.

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 detect where and if the .NET Framework SDK is installed?

January 11, '05 Comments [0] Posted in Programming | Tools
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FrameworklocationJohn Wood put up a cool command-line Cyclomatic Complexity analyzer and inside he runs around looking for the location of ILDASM.exe so he can do his calculations on the underlying IL (so it's largely a text processing exercise). I complained to him that his tool failed to find the SDK on my machine (probably because I have 3 different CLRs instaled).

How do you find out where the .NET Framework SDK is installed? Aaron Stebner to the rescue. The values beneath HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\VisualStudio\SxS\FRAMEWORKSDK tell you where the SDK is installed. If there's a 7.1 value, you know where the .NET 1.1 Framework SDK is installed. If there's an 8.0 value, you know where the .NET 2.0 Framework SDK is installed. The value on the other side of the version number is the location.

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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On the record, I owe Richard Grimes lunch - Free .NET Fusion (Assembly Loading) Workshop

January 11, '05 Comments [0] Posted in Programming | Tools
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I owe Richard Grimes lunch. Heck, dinner even. He has posted a fantastic self-paced workshop that delves into the details of the .NET Assembly Loader (Fusion).

Location of .NET assemblies and how to change the default locations

  • Using .NET tools to resolve problems with assembly locations and how to fix broken applications
  • Sharing assemblies with the GAC, updating GAC dependencies with publisher policy files, GAC references
  • Dynamic loading of assemblies, partial named assemblies

I'm in awe of the effort that has been put into this. It's a better reference than MSDN when it comes to these details. It's all incredibly well organized, linear as appropriate, and easy to read. Assembly loading is a difficult issue, and I've never seen such a fine reference.

Thanks Richard!

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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Scott's List of Great Tools for your TabletPC

January 7, '05 Comments [2] Posted in Gaming | Tools
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John Lam just got his Toshiba M200, much like my M205, this series of Convertible Tablets are fast becoming the de facto standard.

What should John install on his new Tablet? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Scott's Tablet PC "Must Have" Software List
(assuming you already have other appropriate tools and add-ins)

  • ArtRage - It's free, and it's amazing. If you remember being blown away the first time you used Kai's Power Tools, you'll feel the same way with ArtRage. In the You can create some AMAZING art with an organic quality I've just never seen on a PC. If you do one thing this weekend, install it and use the "Load Tracing Paper" Feature.
  • Paint.NET - This is a must have tool Tablet PC or not, but since the 2.0 version added Ink support, you'll find it very comfortable for making annotations to screenshots.
  • MaxiVista - Use your Tablet PC as a virtual second or third monitor! I use my M205 as a third monitor that keeps Outlook open.
  • ShareKMC - Different from MaxiVista, ShareKMC is a PAIR of programs that act as a virtual Keyboard and Mouse to control your Tablet PC from you main machine. When I don't want to use the Tablet as an extension of my main computer, I want to use my main computer's keyboard and mouse as an extension of my Tablet!
  • Wallpaper Gyro - The Toshiba M205 has a Gyroscope installed so no matter how you hold it, when you press the hardware "orient" button on the edge of the screen the system will switch to the correct orientation. Wallpaper Gyro will not only automatically change your wallpaper when the orientation changes, but it allows you to have different wallpaper for each orientation!
  • InkPlayer - Easily create Macromedia Flash playbacks of animated ink stokes!
  • MathPractice and Fraction Practice - Great for the young people in your life. A series of Tablet PC-enabled FlashCards that let kids practice Math with Ink!
  • MuseBook Concert (site in Korean) - Not completely Tablet-specific, but create and use an electronic music score and sheet music on your Tablet PC. Different from MusicPad.
  • OneNote - duh, but don't forget SP1!
  • X-Think Calculator or MathJournal - Fantastic support for ink along side equations, these are worth download the trials just to see. If not, at least be prepared by downloading the free viewer.
  • Alias SketchBook Pro - It costs, but it has a very different style and goal (IMHO) than ArtRage, and the output is different in philosophy. ArtRage is largely about paint, and Alias is about pencils and sketching.
  • Tablet PC PowerToys - Get any and all of these, but I use:
    • Physics Illustrator - This one helped me out when I went back to finish my degree and was stuck in Physics 203.
    • New York Times Crossword Puzzle - This one is the bomb-diggity. Even the wife digs it. The only complaint is it's not re-sizable, but the Zoom to 640x480 feature of the Toshiba Tablet fixes that. The Crossword app lets you download today's Crossword for solving off line. Fantastic for the bus or train ride to work.
    • Pool for Tablet - This is worth at least $20, but it's FREE. A wonderful game of Pool with all the graphics and physics to make you smile, and it's all TabletPC enabled. Be sure to try playing over a wireless network with a friend.
    • Snipping Tool - A new tool that some folks haven't seen yet, this lets you "cut out" portions of the screen for annotation. It's the Pen's take on the traditional screen shot tool.
    • Web Search Power Tool - This is the one I wrote lo these many years ago in 17 minutes , and got $2500 for my troubles. Even more useful when combined with Google Desktop Search.
    • Music Composition - Free and it lets you write Sheet Music with your Tablet PC
    • Energy Blue Theme - An Media Center-inspired theme for the Tablet PC
    • Make your own Handwriting Font - A winner of the Tablet PC applet content, you can make your own TrueType Font out of your Handwriting. Amazing.
  • TabletPC Enhancements for Outlook - Outlook isn't exactly TabletPC-friendly. An Outlook-Addin, you can create Appointments and Tasks in Outlook using Ink.
  • MindManager for the TabletPC - If you use Mind Mapping software, it's even more intuitive and comfortable when the application has seamless Tablet PC support.

Note: Here's a friendly link to this post.

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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Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta detects ATL.DLL as spyware?

January 6, '05 Comments [2] Posted in Programming | Tools
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Looks like someone got their MD5's in a twist. Be careful with the new Beta. The screenshot below shows the new Microsoft Spyware Tool detecting Microsoft's own ATL.DLL from my SnapStream BeyondTV installation as being evil Spyware from another company. That's not good! I changed the recommended action to IGNORE for safety.

Spywareitsbeta

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.