Scott Hanselman

Hanselminutes Podcast 174 - Hanselminutiae-five with Richard Campbell

August 14, '09 Comments [7] Posted in ASP.NET | Podcast
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richard_headshot_webMy one-hundred-and-seventy-fourth podcast is up. In this slightly unusual episode, I sit down with my good friend Richard Campbell and we share stories about scaling large websites over the years. I thought this was a really good show, if a little long and I'm thinking to have Richard on as a regular thing, if he's interested.

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Download: MP3 Full Show

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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Top 10 Tips Working Developers Should Know about Windows 7

August 9, '09 Comments [36] Posted in Win7
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Windows 7 Logo I've been tweeting about Windows 7 lately but I had a flash tonight that I should write some of this stuff down. Here's my list of the Top 10 Things Working Developers Should Know about Windows 7. I say "working developers" because if you're a .NET developer you either have run into these questions or you will, so why not put them in one place.

These are in no particular order. Also, in case it's not clear, each heading here is a link.

Windows 7 includes .NET 3.5SP1

If you're developing apps for Windows using .NET you'll be happy to hear that Windows 7 comes with .NET 3.5SP1 already installed. It's in the box, so one less thing to install for you.

Visual Studio 2008 works great on Windows 7

Have no fear. I run VS2008SP1 all day long on my Windows 7 machines (4 of them now) and it works fine*. Remember also that even though you're running Windows 7 and .NET 3.5 SP1, you can still compile for and target .NET 2.0 and Windows Vista or Windows XP clients.

You can write a single app for XP, Vista and Windows 7

...and that single EXE can "light up" on the newer OS's. I'm going to blog more about this soon, but there's a great Reference App called "PhotoView" (yes, I know, another photo app, but at least it's not Northwind). The point is that this managed WPF application runs nicely on XP, but if you run it on Vista you get Windows Search and UAC, and if you run it in Windows 7 you get Taskbar Integration, Transactional File System, Libraries, etc. One app on three Windows, working well and looking nice on all of them.

You can code to Windows 7 features today using the .NET Framework

There's a great Windows API Code Pack for the .NET Framework that's a library of source code that lets .NET folks access these new features even though they're not baked into the framework. That means .NET 3.5 SP1 developers can be writing Windows 7 apps today. This includes all the new shell features, search, the new Explorer Browser, new Dialogs and controls, and hundreds of new APIs. Check out the Windows 7 Developer Guide as well. Also, if that's not enough details there's dozens and dozens of new Win32 Samples and articles to go with them in the newly released and plainly named Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 3.5 SP1.

PowerShell is built-into Windows 7

You don't need to wonder if a machine has PowerShell. If it's running Windows 7, it's there and it's PowerShell 2.0. This not only means you can use PowerShell Scripts to automate things in your development process, but you can also use the PowerShell scripting engine in your apps without installing anything extra.

There's an extensive Windows 7 UX Guide

 Also available as a PDF, this guide helps you design your User Experience such that it fits into Windows 7 seamlessly. This includes guides for resolution, DPIs, windows sizing, alignment and control spacing. There's a great section on aesthetics as well.

There are Free Book Chapters for Upcoming Windows 7 Books

There will no doubt be a flood of Windows 7-specific books coming out soon. For now, there's a bunch of free chapters for "Windows 7 Inside Out," "Windows 7 Resource Kit" and "Windows 7 for Developers" that you can download now in PDF or XPS.

Windows 7 Training Kit for Developers

This is a nice rolled-up download of presentations, hands-on-labs and demos. It's got examples on how to use  new Windows 7 features like the Taskbar, Libraries, Multi-Touch, Sensors/Location, Ribbon Controls, and more.

There's a new "Windows on Channel 9" Site

This is a whole new section of Channel9 on MSDN that's dedicated to Windows 7 content. There are dozens of great videos, in-depth interviews with folks like Larry Osterman (the guy that makes Windows go beep) and Mark Russinovich. There's a Programming Windows 7 area with video deep drives on the new Sensor and Location Platform, Multi-Touch, Animation, and the new Graphics Architecture.

Boot to VHD Saves You Time

I'm going to beat this drum until everyone is booting to VHD. For my development machine, I'm running Windows 7 and VS2008 on my C: drive, but I sometimes boot into a Windows 7 and VS2010 Beta running on a VHD. Not a VM, no, they're too slow for me, but the Hard Drive is virtualized on the VHD. It's a nice way to keep crazy (or old) stuff in a separate place without fear of messing up partitions or my main machine! Here's a video demonstration and how to turn your Windows 7 media into a VHD ready for booting.

Did I miss anything?

Related Links

* If you install SQL2008, you'll get a compatibility warning during install. Keep installing, then just get SQL2008 SP1 and you'll be all set on Windows 7.

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 on 9 - Managing People (and wisdom with Chris Sells)

August 8, '09 Comments [35] Posted in Microsoft | Musings
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image An email went out to our organization (Server & Tools Online) by one of our GMs that had a bullet (it was bullet #2 I believe) that said:

As community engagement and quality of resources are key goals for STO we are broadening the responsibility of the community PMs who today report to Simon Muzio by creating the STO Community Team led by Scott Hanselman. Tim Heuer, Joe Stagner, Jesse Liberty and Rob Conery will report to Scott, and in addition to their strategic roles of spreading the good word about the latest developer division products and platforms with our customers and the community at large, they will help STO understand how to interact with the community, drive buzz, interest, and excitement around Microsoft technologies. The team will also broaden its mission by taking on accountability around Developer Compete technologies. We need to engage the community in an effective real conversation at the competitive level and decide which competing technologies and communities to engage with.  The team will also pilot a set of globally scalable approaches for community content contribution. This is about transitioning from Microsoft being the major content contributor on our sites to a community content contributor model. 

This means I now have a team of 4 people and, as an aside, I've got reqs (requisitions or "headcount") for possibly two more. There's no extra pile of money for me but they do tack on "Lead" at the end of my name, I think. Or "Group" at the front. I'm still not sure which, but one of them.

I have called myself, both internally and externally, and only half-joking, "The People's Programmer." I have said "Developer Liaison" and "Community Concierge." They're all fun titles, but they are all true.

Our team's job is to make sure that you're having a good time developing with Microsoft tools. I want you to feel empowered to make cool stuff. If you're not, we'll try to make it better through articles, tutorials, walkthroughs, videos, presentations, books, and more. We're worldwide multimedia professors, but we're learning from you as much as we're teaching.

Now that we've got some autonomy, we're also going to try to figure out how to reconcile all the different kinds of community people there are at Microsoft (there's lots) and how we can best work together.

We also feel that there's a lot of great content out there that's been written by you, Dear Reader, that Microsoft doesn't promote or make easily available. I want to get your content on MSDN, on ASP.NET, on Silverlight.NET. If you've got good content, we're trying to understand what roadblocks at Microsoft are making it a hard for you to contribute.

I hope you've figured out by now that I'm open to feedback. A lot of you have commented here or emailed me and I hope you've seen how we try to advocate for you. ALWAYS feel free to talk to me or *ahem* my team (that'll take a while to get used to) if you have feedback on anything we do.

<cheesy>
Thanks for being here for me Dear Reader, I really love being a part of this community.
</cheesy>

-- ScottHa

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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Windows 7 Easy Upgrade Path Truth Table/Chart

August 7, '09 Comments [23] Posted in Win7
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Ed Bott's alternative Windows 7 Upgrade Chart Wow, everyone is moving up to Windows 7. I'm looking forward, as IT Manager for the Hanselman Family, to upgrading everyone. New OS for all the cousins and uncles and what-not is always a highlight of my year.

Personally, I think Windows 7 is a good time to do a "clean" install. Most people have decent internet speeds and there's just nothing quite like the fresh minty smell of a new install.

Disclaimer: I don't work for the Windows team and I wrote this post in the dead of night completely off the clock on a PalmPilot so there might be no confusion about my motives. I'm just a techie dude who happens to work for the Big Blue Monster. This is not official anything and it's a blog. It's very likely wrong or complete nonsense. One day you'll show up and I'll have been fired, drawn and quartered and this site will be all 404s. That is all. I may start selling T-shirts containing my disclaimers in case they are in any way unclear.

There's a few choices for you:

Clean Install + Migrate: You can certainly "migrate" your settings from an old machine to a new one still doing a clean install. It's a clean install, but you're saving time by bringing lots of little things over like browser history, favorites, usernames, passwords, subtle settings. Either way, you've got choices.

In-Place Upgrade: You can also "upgrade in-place," meaning you're installing Windows 7 to c:\windows (or whatever) and it'll upgrading your Vista installation directly. Once Windows 7 is installed, you can do an "Anytime Upgrade," for example, taking Win 7 Home Premium to Win 7 Pro if you like.

There's a chart that explains this, but visually, it's too complex in my opinion. I stated working on a simpler one, then Ed Bott in his wisdom beat me to it. It's a truth table of sorts, and technical folks LOVE to collapse their tables. What may have made sense to the original designer is begging for refactoring by one of us.

The original table looks scary and sends a negative message. However, as Ed points out "Most Vista users will have clear and logical upgrade paths from their current edition to the same edition of Windows 7."

Basically, if you're going from whatever version of Vista you have to a similar (or greater) version of Windows 7, you're all set. You'll only need to clean install if you're going from a "high sku" to a lower one. Go check out Ed's chart or click on the image above and enjoy your upgrade!

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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Vista Users - Uninstall Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 before upgrading to Windows 7

August 6, '09 Comments [25] Posted in Win7
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Disclaimer: I do work for Microsoft, but is my opinion. If this walkthrough causes your ferret emotional distress, I'm sorry. Who is this? Stop calling! Jimmy no live here! You no call back!

I'm an early adopter so I've been running Beta 1 of .NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 on a Vista machine. However, Beta 1 of .NET 4 doesn't survive an upgrade to Windows 7 and leaves the .NET Framework in a goofy and unfixable state. Beta 2 won't have this problem.

So, in a nutshell if you're running .NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 on Vista you've got two options*.

1. Uninstall, Upgrade, Reinstall

  • Uninstall Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1
  • Uninstall .NET Framework 4
  • Upgrade to Windows 7
  • Reinstall .NET Framework 4 and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

Or:

2. Clean Install

  • You can do a clean install of Windows 7, which is what I did anyway, as I like my Major OS Upgrades to be fresh.

When you're talking about OS Upgrades and Early Beta Software, if you really want to be confident, I say clean install.

It an unfortunate Beta 1 bug, so tell your early-adopter developer friends (or blogs) so they don't have trouble upgrading.

Related Links

* You might be running Windows 7 RC and thinking to do an unsupported upgrade to Windows 7 RTM. If so, remember, it's not supported, but you'll have this problem upgrading too, so uninstall Dev10b1/.NET4 first.


Here's technical details on how to uninstall VS 2010 Beta 1 and .NET 4 Beta 1:

  1. Uninstall TFS Object Model (This step is Visual Studio 2010 Team Suite only)
    1. From Add/Remove, uninstall Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010 Beta 1 Object Model
  2. 2. Uninstall Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1
    1. From Add/Remove, uninstall all instances of Visual Studio 2010 (Team, Pro, etc. You likely have just one, but one can't be sure.)
    2. Be sure to see the Visual Studio Setup wizard through to completion.
  3. 3. Uninstall .NET Framework 4 Beta 1
    1. From Add/Remove, uninstall in this order:
      1. Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended Beta 1 - Language Pack
      2. Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Beta 1 - Language Pack
      3. Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Extended Beta 1
      4. Microsoft .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Beta 1
  4. Reboot
  5. Uninstall C++ 2010 Redistributable
    1. From Add/Remove, uninstall Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Beta 1 Redistributable (x86 and/or x64)
  6. Reboot

Hope this beta hassle saves you a worse hassle when it comes time for you to upgrade to Windows 7. Again this won't be a problem in .NET 4 Beta 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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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.