Scott Hanselman

ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions - plus MVC How-To Screencast

December 10, '07 Comments [59] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET MVC | Microsoft | Programming | Screencasts
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Windows Media PlayerDarn that ScottGu, he's scooped me again. Just kidding. Around dinner time this evening we released the preview of the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions at http://asp.net/downloads/3.5-extensions/.

Why?

Why release extensions when we JUST released Visual Studio 2008? There's kind of a sine wave thing going on. We stagger the BIG releases of things like .NET or Visual Studio with smaller releases of things like MVC or the Ajax Framework. So, release Visual Studio 2005, then release Ajax, release Visual Studio 2008, release MVC, dynamic data, new controls, etc. It's sometimes confusing (and believe me, I'm working them) but it gets you fresh stuff sooner.

Should You Fear This Release?

imageNo, it's pretty harmless. If you look in the Object Browser in Visual Studio you'll see that one assembly you already have has had some additions and its version rev'ed. You can see System.Web.Mvc there at the right.

I wouldn't go slapping it on a production machine unless you're living on the razor's edge, but it should be fine on a development machine if you know how to pay attention to what versions your projects reference.

What do I get for My Free's Worth?

Well, you get a number of things. You get (from the Gu) with my edits:

  • ASP.NET AJAX Improvements: Better browser history support (back/forward button integration, and server-side history management support), improved AJAX content linking support with permalinks
  • ASP.NET MVC: This model view controller (MVC) framework for ASP.NET provides a structured model that enables a clear separation of concerns within web applications, and makes it easier to unit test your code and support a TDD workflow.
  • ASP.NET Dynamic Data Support: New features that enable faster creation of data driven web sites.  It provides a rich scaffolding framework, and will enable rapid data driven site development using both ASP.NET WebForms and ASP.NET MVC. (This is hot...more on this soon...I demo'ed part of this at DevConnections)
  • ASP.NET Silverlight Support: Included will be new controls that make it easy to integrate Silverlight video/media and interactive content within your sites.
  • ADO.NET Data Services: In parallel with the ASP.NET Extensions release we will also be releasing the ADO.NET Entity Framework.  This provides a modeling framework that enables developers to define a conceptual model of a database schema that closely aligns to a real world view of the information.  We will also be shipping a new set of data services (codename "Astoria") that make it easy to expose REST based API endpoints from within your ASP.NET applications.

MVC How-To Video Screencast

I also (as the last bit of work before paternity leave) put together a 40 minute How-To Screencast on the MVC Framework as part of a series that myself and the team will be releasing. There will be a number of screencasts released this week on the ASP.NET 3.5 Extensions, but here's a special preview for you, Dear Reader, because you're reading this blog. You can get a WMV of my screencast here days ahead of the general public. ;) There will be a number of additional formats available in a few days up on the site, including iPod and other portable devices. I'm continuing to tweak my screencast style and I did my best to make sure this one looked good on smaller screens. Let me know.

IMPORTANT CODE UPDATE: After I recorded this video, Rob Conery updated some things in his Toolkit codebase. You'll want to change the code for the HTML Helpers to either:

<%using(Html.Form("action","controller",new{id=ViewData.ProductId})){%>

or

<%using(Html.Form<HomeController>(x=>x.Update(ViewData.ProductId))){%>

Where do I get more info?

Everywhere. Be sure to visit http://asp.net/downloads/3.5-extensions/ several times next week as there will be videos coming out every few days this week covering the whole release - not just MVC. There's a forum setup to discuss them, and Phil, ScottGu, myself and others will be blogging things, both good and bad, as we discover them.

Also, do check out Phil's blog as he's digging into some meaty topics while I'm changing diapers. He's got posts already on:

Enjoy!

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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Power Consumption of the HP MediaSmart HP Home Server

December 9, '07 Comments [16] Posted in Home Server | Musings | Reviews
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There's a lot of talk internally at Microsoft by users of Windows Home Server. Many have built them themselves and others have purchased or side-graded to an HP MediaSmart.

I had noticed that my DIY (Do It Yourself) Home Server was noisy and HOT. Like room-warming hot. I kept it in a closet and it was hot to the point of dangerous. That got me thinking about power consumption.

Here are some numbers that I was given permission to share. These are just one person's numbers using a "WattsUp?" device. These aren't official, but they do, I suspect, reflect a reasonable reality. Thanks BethD and BethD's Mystery Friend!

"I took power measurements on your new HP MediaSmart Server EX475 with my WattsUp? Pro power logging meter. There is a power data log in the meter that I can provide if anyone wants to see it.

Test conditions:

  • EX475 has two 500 GB HDD
  • Server and all network hardware on APC BackUPS Pro 650
  • Measurements taken for Server only
  • Server ran for 15:45 hours:minutes
  • Server room temperature 60 deg F
  • Server streamed music to two Roku SB Radios for 5 of 15 hours
  • Server performed three PC backups during the measurement period
  • Min/Max measurements do not show Server start up, only shows running min/max data

Results:

  • Volts: 112 min, 120 nominal, 124 max
  • Watts: 46.5 min, 52.2 nom, 80.2 max
  • Amps: .40 min, .41 nom, .63 max
  • Power factor: 1.00
  • kWh during measurement period: 0.841
  • Calculated kWh monthly average: 38.0
  • Calculated cost: $3.00 per month @ $0.079 per kWh

The HP data sheet does not show power consumption! But I found a UK reference showing EX475 (two drives): ~60W idle state, ~73W full load, so this data supports that claim.

Your previous WHS Beta PC was the ShuttleX and it used 150 watts nom and heated up the closet so much that I had to put in an exhaust fan. The HP Server has had no effect on closet temperature."

Very cool. I can handle 52 watts for a Home Server. Much greener.

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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Review - HP MediaSmart Windows Home Server

December 8, '07 Comments [40] Posted in Home Server | Reviews
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CIMG7852 Yesterday I received my HP MediaSmart Windows Home Server in the mail. There's two versions, the 500gig and the 1TB. I've been using WHS since Beta2 and was ready to tidy up my Frankenserver, which was largely a DIY (Do It Yourself) and I'd been having some hard drives go belly up lately. Fortunately I hadn't lost any data, since Home Server makes copies, but I was getting nervous with my existing hardware.

You might remember that I did a Podcast with the Father of Windows Home Server, Charlie Kindel. I encourage you to check it out.

The Home Server is so pretty I took it out of the Wiring Closet and put it in the Home Office. I took one of my Western Digital My Book External Drives and use it as a Backup to the Backup.

The HP MediaSmart is REALLY small. Like maybe the size of 2 technical books. It's headless, meaning it has no VGA or DVI port. No monitor. You have to remote into it with the Home Server Software, which is really no big deal.

Here's some unboxing photos. The soda can is for size reference.

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CIMG7822 CIMG7827

The tooling on the hard drive enclosures is brilliant. Mine came with bays 3 and 4 filled with two 500 gig Seagates, so I added some other SATA drives I had lying around. There were NO tools required and no cables. Just shutdown, seat the drives, push them in, boot up and tell the admin console that the drives are cool to use. Even better, the lights on the outside of the case turn Red if a drive is failing, Purple if there's a drive but it's not configured and Blue if it's configured, so I watch the lights go blue as I added each drive. It took all of ten minutes.

It defaults to the name "HPSERVER" and you get one opportunity to change it so I made it just "SERVER" so we've got \\server\software and \\server\users\scott, etc. It's very tidy. I robocopy'ed over about 70 gigs of data then backed up all the machines in the house. You're allowed ten machines. Then I installed SyncBackSE on the Home Server itself (you're not supposed to install stuff on it that wasn't written for it, but SyncBack was a natural thing to want on it and it works great as long as you only refer to your Home Server by UNC path like \\server\foo. Hm, I  should make a SyncBack UI with the WHS SDK, or they should...) and set it to backup my blog and website.

Here's a screenshot of my setup showing 1.25 TB of space. I've redirected both our "My Documents" and "My Pictures" using mklink.exe so we're both writing to the server seamlessly. It doesn't run a domain, so we have to keep our password synchronized, but the Home Server Connector software warns you if they are out of sync and handles it.

image

Mommy_3The HP software adds another button as you can see above, with some additional features like an iTunes music server, so I have my iTunes protected music streaming from there to other instances of iTunes around the house, and my unprotected music streaming via Windows Media Connect to the Xboxes. That was an unexpected treat, as I didn't know it had iTunes integration.

You will have to install the HP software on at least one 32-bit machine in order to "bootstrap" the server the first time. However, there will apparently be a 64-bit Vista Connector for 64-bit folks (like some of my machines) available as on Windows Update in the near future.

Check out We Got Served, the best Home Server Community site I've seen, especially their list of Home Server Add-Ins. Also, here's the WHS team blog and their pretty clever advertising campaign about Stay At Home Servers.

So far I'm very happy with Windows Home Server. Now I'm just waiting for Mozy to include support for it. They had better pretty soon or I'll jump ship.

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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Paternity Leave - Week 1

December 8, '07 Comments [8] Posted in Parenting | T | Z
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Here we are at the end of Week 1 of Paternity Leave. Baby T is doing very well, having already gained a pound and a half. The doctor was shocked, but this boy can eat. He's also very expressive. Z is enjoying his baby brother very much and hasn't shown any jealousy. Yet.

CIMG7805CIMG7807

CIMG7810CIMG7763

Z is also enjoying living in a cul de sac so he can ride his tricycle.

CIMG7849

You know you're a huge nerd when you look around your garage for an half-hour for some rope to pull your son around on his bike and eventually give up and just use a Cat5 patch cable. Got plenty of those. Fortunately Z doesn't realize this is a problem yet for our father-son relationship, but he will, somewhere around the time when he learns what "throwing like a girl" means.

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 91 - Eclipse and Open Source with Bjorn Freeman-Benson

December 7, '07 Comments [1] Posted in Podcast | Programming
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bjorn-freeman-bensonMy ninety-first podcast is up. In this episode, I chat about Eclipse, Open Source and both the history and future of software with Bjorn Freeman-Benson. Bjorn is the Technical Director for Open Source Process and Infrastructure for the Eclipse Foundation.

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

If you have trouble downloading, or your download is slow, do try the torrent with µtorrent or another BitTorrent Downloader.

Do also remember the complete archives are always up and they have PDF Transcripts, a little known feature that show up a few weeks after each show.

Telerik is our sponsor for this show.

Check out their UI Suite of controls for ASP.NET. It's very hardcore stuff. One of the things I appreciate about Telerik is their commitment to completeness. For example, they have a page about their Right-to-Left support while some vendors have zero support, or don't bother testing. They also are committed to XHTML compliance and publish their roadmap. It's nice when your controls vendor is very transparent.

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)

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

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.