Scott Hanselman

Invirtus Virtual Machine Optimizer

June 9, '06 Comments [6] Posted in Reviews | Tools
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I've got a pile of demo VMs that Stuart and I and others work on and once they're all setup they tend to get pretty big. After some work recently an 8 gig VM ballooned to nearly 10 gig! There's all sorts of tips and tricks on how to compact VMs, usually by defragging and zero'ing out free space. However, I don't have the time to do this kind of stuff manually, and when I DO run through these processes manually I'm rarely satisfied with the results.

Before and After - a 9 gig VM becomes a 3 gig VM

Invirtus VM Optimizer is a clever little tool that solved this particular problem. It's an ISO image that you mount within your guest OS. I used the "Automatic Corporate" edition.  It autoruns on mount and I waited for about 20 minutes. After it was done, I ran the Virtual Disk Wizard that comes with Microsoft Virtual PC (Invirtus works on VMWare also) and compacted the 9.9 gig VM down to 3.4 gigs in another 10 minutes.

So, a total of 30 minutes later I had a VM that was 1/3 the size, ran faster and now fits on a single-layer DVD when the original one wouldn't have fit on even a dual-layer one.

Full disclosure: The first Microsoft Virtual Disk Wizard compact operation failed with an obscure error message. I ran chkdsk on both the host and guest OSes, and ran again and everything worked fine. I don't think this had anything do to with Invirtus.

Here's what I can say about Invirtus VM Optimizer - It did exactly what Invirtus said it would do! Always nice to have software work EXACTLY as advertised. Frankly, I would have been thrilled with a 50% size reduction, and was VERY surprised to get 66% as a bonus. I use VMs all the time and the price is a no brainer, US$40 for personal and US$160 for Corporate. Paid for itself in one use.

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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TechEd 2006 Approaches

June 9, '06 Comments [4] Posted in TechEd | ASP.NET | Ruby | DasBlog | Speaking | XML | Web Services | Tools
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Teched2006TechEd 2006 approaches...it's going to be a busy week. I hope I'll see you there!

Here's what I've got in the hopper...I've added a second session, this time with Keith Pleas.

  • Sunday All Day: TechEd Pre-Conference Seminar - Architecture. If you're at TechEd on Sunday, come to the Architecture PreCon hosted by Ron Jacobs. I'll be interviewed by Ron on various subjects from 3:00 PM - 3:45 PM. Be sure to check out David Ing's talks in the afternoon!
  • Monday Morning: Book Signing 10:30 AM Conference Bookstore: How dorky is this? If you're a nerd and want another nerd to sign books that also double as a booster seat, I'll be at the Conference Bookstore along with the authors of ASP.NET MVP Hacks lowering the value of your purchase with a sharpie!
  • Monday Evening: INETA: I'll be at BeanTown.NET on Monday June 12, 2006, 5:30 – 7:30pm at Adesso Systems, One Liberty Square, 7th Floor, Boston, MA (directions) if you want a break from TechEd and want to eat pizza with nerds and talk tools. We're going to (attempt to) tape this session with Camtasia and post it on the Wrox/Wiley site.
  • Tuesday Afternoon: ARC310  Dirty SOAP: A Dynamic Endpoint without ASMX - How and Why?
    Day/Time: Tuesday, June 13 4:30 PM - 5:45 PM  Room: 257 AB
    Speaker(s): Patrick Cauldwell, Scott Hanselman
    Not every large system in the wild can use .NET 2.0, ASMX and "Indigo". Often the real world isn't very pretty, or formal use of .NET ASMX Web Services doesn't lend itself to a particular solution. Corillian's software handles a quarter of the nation's retail banking online population with .NET. The system is built with a contract-first approach using WSDL and a custom binding to generate in-process service proxies. When it came time for Corillian to present their Operations as SOAP, we created a dynamic endpoint - WITHOUT ASMX. We then extended it to support POX (Plain Old XML). In this session, we discuss the architectural and design ramifications of managing a dynamic endpoint and how this decision will positively or negatively affect our move to WCF.
    Track(s): Architecture - Session Type(s): Breakout Session -Session Level(s): 300
  • Tuesday Night: John Lam and I are hosting a Birds of a Feather, thanks to Stuart Celarier, at TechEd on Ruby and .NET on Tuesday, June 13 at 9:00 PM. What a nice way to end the day!
  • Wednesday Morning: DasBlog Roadmap 10:00 AM -11:30 AM) at the WCF/Connected Systems lounge/cabana/whatever-they-call-it-this-time. We'll be talking Roadmap on the 2.0 version of DasBlog. We may just change the name of DasBlog to WTF and subsume all the W*F Microsoft Frameworks. It could totally happen.
  • Thursday Morning: ARC216  Deploying and Managing Your Own Enterprise Framework
    Day/Time: Thursday, June 15 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM  Room: 160 ABC
    Speaker(s): Scott Hanselman, Keith Pleas
    Looking at deploying your own enterprise framework? What are some of the things you should watch out for? Come to this session to get some advice on ways to deploy and manage your own enterprise framework. We look at issues with versioning in the various tiers as well as dealing with multi-tenancy and the versioning issues it creates. We also cover managing and operating applications based on your enterprise framework, with an emphasis on designing a health model and enabling health monitoring.
    Track(s): Architecture - Session Type(s): Breakout Session - Session Level(s): 200
  • Thursday Morning: Fly Away!
  • All Week: One other thing, I'll be wandering around with my microphone and recorder taping micro-minutes for a TechEd podcast in two weeks.

Whew! What the heck was I thinking!

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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Hanselminutes Podcast 20

June 8, '06 Comments [1] Posted in Podcast | ASP.NET | XML | Tools
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HanselminutesMy twentieth Podcast is up. This episode is all about Office 2007.

We're listed in the iTunes Podcast Directory, so I encourage you to subscribe with a single click (two in Firefox) with the button below. For those of you on slower connections there are lo-fi and torrent-based versions as well.

Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

NEW COUPON CODE EXCLUSIVELY FOR HANSELMINUTES LISTENERS: The folks at XCeed are giving Hanselminutes listeners that is Coupon Code "hm-20-20." It'll work on their online shop or over the phone. This is an amazing deal, and I encourage you to check our there stuff. The coupon is good for 20% off any component or suite, with or without subscription, for 1 developer all the way up to a site license.

Our sponsors are XCeed, CodeSmith Tools, PeterBlum and the .NET Dev Journal. There's a $100 off CodeSmith coupon for Hanselminutes listeners - it's coupon code HM100. Spread the word, now's the time to buy.

As I've said before this show comes to you with the audio expertise and stewardship of Carl Franklin. The name comes from Travis Illig, but the goal of the show is simple. Avoid wasting the listener's time. (and make the commute less boring)

  • Each show will include a number of links, and all those links will be posted along with the show on the site. There were a number of sites mentioned in this episode, some planned, some not.
  • The basic MP3 feed is here, and the iPod friendly one is here. There's a number of other ways you can get it (streaming, straight download, etc) that are all up on the site just below the fold. I use iTunes, myself, to listen to most podcasts, but I also use FeedDemon and it's built in support.
  • Note that for now, because of bandwidth constraints, the feeds always have just the current show. If you want to get an old show (and because many Podcasting Clients aren't smart enough to not download the file more than once) you can always find them at http://www.hanselminutes.com.
  • I have, and will, also include the enclosures to this feed you're reading, so if you're already subscribed to ComputerZen and you're not interested in cluttering your life with another feed, you have the choice to get the 'cast as well.
  • If there's a topic you'd like to hear, perhaps one that is better spoken than presented on a blog, or a great tool you can't live without, contact me and I'll get it in the queue!

Enjoy. Who knows what'll happen in the next show?

Now playing: Audrey Niffenegger - The Time Traveler's Wife, Part 2

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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iRiver clix

June 7, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Movies
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HanselmaniclixMight the iRiver clix be the first Portable Windows Media Player to not suck? It's very possible.

$200 for 2Gig, the same price as the 2gig iPod Nano, but this one does movies and has a 2.2 inch screen and has an FM tuner (nice for NPR) and a voice recorder. Wallpaper to the right.

Just in case you have one and want to know what makes it tick, here's how to take yours apart.

Anyone have one of these bad boys who also had an iPod? It's calling me. Sounds like something Omar would like, but he went for a Philips GoGear with 6 gigs for $180.

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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Free PowerShell IDE

June 7, '06 Comments [6] Posted in PowerShell | Bugs | Tools
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PowershellideHoly crap! Run, don't walk, over to http://powershell.com/ to pick up the FREE PowerShellIDE from ScriptInternals. (The direct download link is here)

Do your best to spread the word and these link. Why? Because:

A. PowerShell rocks the house. Check out my Podcast on it, when it was still called "Monad."

2. It's freaking FREE.

Jeffrey Snover, PowerShell Architect and all-around nice guy sez:

Check out the amazing PowerShellIDE at http://PowerShell.com .   Many of you probably already know Dr Tobias Weltner from his product SystemScripter http://www.scriptinternals.com.  The PowerShell team has been talking to Tobias on and off for years now and those discussions have clearly paid off.  PowerShellIDE is a free "experimental editor" whose functions will be integrated into SystemScripter.

The things that I really like are the rich intellisense, rich syntax coloring, rich inspection capabilities, and rich debugging that PowerShellIDE brings to the table.  Did I mention that it was RICH?  Check it out yourself and you'll see exactly what I mean.  This tool can really accelerate learning and scripting PowerShell. 

One word of caution:  Be careful using PowerShellIDE, if you drool too much on your keyboard, it could stop working.  :-)

Jeffrey Snover
Windows PowerShell Architect

To use PowerShellIDE, you need to install Microsoft Windows PowerShell Beta first. This product requires the .NET 2.0 Runtimes which you can get here:

.NET Framework 2.0 Runtimes for X86
.NET Framework 2.0 Runtimes for X64
.NET Framework 2.0 Runtimes for Ia64

Microsoft Windows PowerShell is available here:

Microsoft Windows PowerShell for X86
Microsoft Windows PowerShell for X64
Microsoft Windows PowerShell for Ia64

And download PowerShellIDE here.

Potential "competition" (either way, we all win) for PowerShellIDE is, of course, Karl Prosser's totally fabulous PowerShell Analyzer. Karl really should release his Alpha ASAP because the functionality in his editor is slightly ahead of PowerShellIDE. These two guys need to either TALK to each other and join forces or start a giant WordPerfect vs. Word thing in the PowerShell world.:)

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.