Scott Hanselman

TopDesk 1.4.1 released with Windows Vista flipping on Windows XP

February 5, '06 Comments [3] Posted in Reviews
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Video_fliptilingVideo_tilingThe TopDesk 1.4.1 task switching software I alluded to last week is now out and available for download. 

You can get a free 30 day trial, and it's only $9.95 if you want to buy it. There's also discounts for 2 or 3 licenses. The company is just one guy in his spare time and what he's accomplished is pretty sweet.

If you've already bought it, you just got a massive free upgrade.

I've been chatting with James of Otaku Software on and off over the last year, and I (greatly) pressured him to try out the "Aero" Vista style of Flip3D task switching. He told me he was totally too busy to make it happen, but chatted me days later with a prototype...a true programmer to the last, he couldn't sleep until he'd tried it.

It's not only fantastic eye candy, but it does allow one to switch REALLY fast if you you have a video card worth it's salt.

NOTE: It DOES have a fairly large working set as it's dealing with screenshots and such, so don't immediately write it off just because it looks fat in the Task Manager. There is four options like "use less memory, more CPU" that you'll see during the very nice installer and also available in the options. For me, the memory usage is not as bad as Outlook and I use that all the time! ;) Also, if you're already running an alternative ALT-TAB like TaskSwitchXP and you choose to bind TopDesk to ALT-TAB, there can be only one, so be warned.

Note that the sample video/animation at the right is on Windows XP, NOT Windows Vista. The videos are really impressive. I'm looking forward to Vista.

You can still use TopDesk's "Expose" OSX-style tiling as well. There's a lot of screenshots, videos, and customizabilty here.

Go get it!

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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Re-re-discovering Jeff Atwood

February 5, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Musings
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Codinghorror_xsmall_notextI've got WAY too many blogs to read. Seriously. There's a lot of info out there, and I was cleaning out my blogroll today and realized that somewhere along the line I'd removed/deleted/lost/fat-fingered Coding Horror. I've spend the last 20 minutes re-reading his old stuff. If you enjoy my blog you'll enjoy his. The quality/quantity ratio of his posts is VERY high. I end up reading his blog every week along with larkware.com, but I can't figure out for the life of me how it got yanked from my subscriptions.

Anyway, Jeff sets the bar high, check him out.

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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Confessions of an Audio Visual Geek

February 3, '06 Comments [10] Posted in Gaming
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AVClubAre we born this way? There's lots of arguments regarding nature versus nurture. There's various controversial characteristics that some groups believe are in-born, while others believe it's choice.

Oh, yes, you know what I'm talking about. It's that which darn not speaks its name, but I'm coming out today, baby.

I'm a recovering AV Club Geek. Some were band camp, others drama. I was a geek. To be clear, there are many kinds of geeks, so don't just lump us all into one bowl. There were geeks, freaks, nerds, dweebs, spazzes, losers, dorks, really I could go on.

I knew early...I think before I could talk.

My wife supports me and realizes that this wasn't a choice. Who would choose to be this way? No, I came out of my sweet mother's womb knowing how to wire a complete home theater with Betamax. Of course, Betamax hadn't been invented at that time, but I still knew, deep in my DNA.

  • I disassembled clock radio telephones and put them back together. Remind me one day to tell you about the time I took one apart when it was still plugged in. Don't remember much of that day.
  • I threaded the projector. No one else could. I changed reels during "Roots."
  • I feel it in my bones that we need a new receiver like my dad can smell rain coming, but my wife won't let me even mention it until both speakers stop working.
  • I knew the ramifications of PAL vs. NTSC before I was allowed to cross the street. I quietly theorized the neighbors over that way were either PAL or SECAM.
  • I'm sad that my son will never listen to Spiderman like I did on 12" Vinyl. I hope he'll get to create a crystal radio or a motion detector with a 9V battery. I wired a battery and some capacitors to my doorknob so nearly the whole thing would discharge enough amps to keep folks out of my room.

If you might be an AV geek who didn't admit it growing up, come out now. There are groups for this kind of thing. You may already see the signs as an adult that you didn't as a child.

  • You might know how to get 1024x768 at 60Hz out of any funky laptop drivers.
  • You might know how to get ATI drivers on a T42 to stretch the LCD Panel to fullscreen when it's also outputting to projector.
  • You know how to make a <gasp> Word Document look good when presenting using only hot keys - Alt-V,Z,T,Enter - or that Shift-Alt-Enter is your friend when presenting code in Visual Studio.NET.
  • You know that the Xbox 360 doesn't upconvert standard 480p DVD output to 720p because of the Macrovision legal guidelines preventing High-Def non-HDMI output from being upconverted. 
  • You tried to tape every episode of the original Star Trek series on VHS in SP, two per tape, with custom labels while meticulously trying to remove the commercials. "Pause...damn, too slow, stop, rew, play.......pause! perfect, Rec...wait...un-pause. Perfect. 'Mirror Mirror' is nearly complete!" You were both disappointed and thrilled when whole seasons were released on DVD because it became 'easy' for anyone to reach this level of accomplishment.

These are only some of the signs. Schedule an intervention today. If you can help just one person...

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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Anthem.NET Released

February 2, '06 Comments [3] Posted in ASP.NET | ViewState | Tools
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Anthem is 1.0.0! It's free, it's AJAXy and it's available now.

"Anthem.NET is a free, cross-browser AJAX toolkit for the ASP.NET development environment that works with both ASP.NET 1.1 and 2.0."

There are lots of great AJAX libraries out there, but I'm partial to Anthem. His stuff is ViewState aware which helps you in a number of ways and extends the server-side metaphors in a very natural way.

As an aside, interestingly, Community Server uses a private branch of Anthem. ScottWater uses both Anthem and ComponentArt's stuff, drawing a distinction between using Anthem when raw data is sent to the client versus using CA's when the UI is updated.

Most of all, I like that Anthem is fully supported in .NET 1.1. Not everyone can upgrade to .NET 2.0 tomorrow when they've got paying clients today, myself included. Do check out the source, it's pretty clever and elegant (remembering that AJAX itself is a huge hack. ;) )

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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James Snape sniped by Microsoft

February 2, '06 Comments [4] Posted in DasBlog
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James Snape, programmer, .NET wonk, English Guy, DasBlog contributor, theme writer, and Audio Visual guy in high school, all around a generally pleasant fellow much like you and I (except possibly for the English thing) is being sucked into work at Microsoft after five years working at Exony.

He's buddies at Exony have this little message for James:

"Thank you to James Snape from all at Exony Ltd, good luck at Microsoft you will be sorely missed."

We all wish James good luck working for The Man. Go ahead over to his blog and see if you can crash DasBlog with congratulatory comments on this post. If it crashes, it's likely his code in DasBlog. If it doesn't crash, it's totally mine. ;)

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.