Scott Hanselman

Making a list and checking it thrice

November 27, '06 Comments [7] Posted in Musings
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My Amazon.com Wish ListAfter reading Omar's list of recently purchased gadgets, poor man that I am, I figured I'd update my Amazon.com wishlist.

It's a kind of window shopping, I find, updating one's list. I don't make purchases of any kind frivolously, so I like to add things to my wishlist and let them sit there for a while. If they stick around for a while without me deleting them, I'll be more likely to consider getting it.

What's on your wish list this holiday season?

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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In search of the perfect monospaced programmers font - Inconsolata

November 26, '06 Comments [35] Posted in Tools
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I'm always looking for a good monospaced programmers font. There's lots out there to choose from. Some strongly prefer bitmapped fonts with no hinting. Personally I REALLY prefer heavy antialiasing with the a smooth, almost blurry (not pixelly) feel. Here's some I've used, but I'm currently leaning away from my previous favorite, Consolas, and using Inconsolata that Tomas turned me on to.

I think (hope) we can all agree that Courier New isn't where it's at. And yes, I run at 14 or 15 point all the time.

(I realize that these are huge in width and that they will goof up my site's horizontal scroll bar for a week or so, forgive me, they looked lousy when thumbnailed.)


Inconsolata - my current monospaced font, and the most Mac-like you can get on Windows (including Monaco, IMHO)

   


Courier New


Bitstream Vera Sans Mono


Consolas (included with Vista and Office 2007)

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 disable Windows Desktop Search explorer integration after installing Office 2007

November 24, '06 Comments [5] Posted in Tools
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If you were as shocked and disappointed as I was when you found, after installing Office 2007 and installing the Desktop Search 3.0 to enable "Outlook Instant Search," that the default Search behavior in Explorer had changed without asking you, you'll want to change this registry key.

In RegEdit, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Desktop Search\DS and set "ShowStartSearchBand" to 0, and you'll get the default search behavior back.

And while you're at it and poking around in the registry, you might as well go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndex and set FilterFilesWithUnknownExtensions to DWORD with the value of "1" in order to enable full-text searching of files (like code!) that Explorer by default skips over.

Don't you hate it when you KNOW that there's a file in that directory with the text "foo" - you can SEE the file - but the standard explorer search doesn't even bother to look in in the file? That's because it doesn't even bother to look in files that don't have their extension registered with a known IFilter. But you don't care, just flip that bit in the registry, and you'll get full-text search of REAL FILES (not "indexed three hours ago") from your trusty Explorer search bar.

Or, go download Chris Sells' .reg file over in my Power User Windows Registry Tweaks section. Either way, take back your Explorer!

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 Best Practices Analyzer Tools

November 23, '06 Comments [0] Posted in ASP.NET | Programming | Reviews | Tools
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It'd be nice if there was some project inside (or outside) Microsoft to unify all "Best Practices" knowledge under one tool. Perhaps one of these tools is the beginning of that?

Two years ago, Microsoft released the well-thought-of SQL Server Best Practices Analzyer, in June the BizTalk Server Best Practices Analyzer, and in July one for Exchange.

Now it looks like the "Best Practices Engine" is being abstract into this project at CodePlex called the Microsoft Best Practice Analyzer (BPA) and I think it's just a fantastic idea. It appears to be a clean up of the ASP.NET Analyzer from June.

It comes with a sample plugin that analyzes ASP.NET 2.0 applications. I pointed it at one of mine and it found a few problems with solutions that were right on on the money.

This is starting to look like a list of all Microsoft's Paint programs.

I really hope that this is the beginning of an integration into an "Enterprise Application Best Practices Analyzer," perhaps headed up by the Patterns and Practices team? I'd like one tool I can point to a system and say "is this cool?"

Thinking in the vein of Brian Windheim's statement that "the number of non-software artifacts in any project should approach zero," it seems to me that there's less usefulness in creating amazing documents (but still ultimately just prose) like this one on ASP.NET Security Best Practices if, in my words, "a Word Document has no teeth." Making a great document like that into a plugin for an engine like the BPA makes the manifestation of its intent an order of magnitude more useful.

If the BPA, all derivitives, and the patterns & practives Guidance Explorer were combined, I think the resulting tool would be truly amazing.

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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PortableApps Suite 1.0 Released

November 23, '06 Comments [2] Posted in Reviews | Tools
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Here's an action item for you, dear reader, and finally a decent reason to put your USB key to work other than just holding family photos.

Download and install the PortableApps Suite from PortableApps.com. It's free, released 1.0 a few days back, and it's a collection of totally portable apps (they don't touch your hard drive) and an integrated menuing system that can run automatically via Autoruns.inf.

  • Standard Edition - 90MB, includes ClamWin Portable (antivirus), Firefox Portable (web browser), Gaim Portable (instant messaging), OpenOffice.org Portable (office suite), Sudoku Portable (puzzle game), Sunbird Portable (calendar/task manager) and Thunderbird Portable (email client) and runs comfortably from a 512MB drive.
  • Lite Edition - 30MBs, Uses AbiWord Portable (word processor) instead of OpenOffice.org Portable and runs comfortably from a 256MB drive.
  • Base Edition - 1MB, If you'd like to pick and choose exactly which apps to include, you can try Portable Apps Suite (Base Edition). This is a stripped down package with just the PortableApps Menu, PortableApps Backup utility and custom folders, icons and autorun. It's less than 1MB installed, so it's a great option for smaller drives.
    [
    PortableApps]

This suite also includes a backup application that will backup your apps, settings and documents (on the drive in a specific location) to your local hard drive.

I use this Suite on a tiny 2GB drive (that Omar turned me on to) that lives in my wallet (The best wallet I've ever owned, only US$5.50 from Umbra). On the drive is a 1 GIG TrueCrypt disk - my "getaway drive" - and the other gig is for Portable Apps. I run the standard suite, plus Notepad2, uTorrent and TorPark. There's lots of additional apps you can add.

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.