Scott Hanselman

How many PCs in the world have the .NET Framework installed?

January 20, '10 Comments [43] Posted in ASP.NET | Learning .NET | Microsoft | Win7 | Windows Client | WPF
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image I did a second .NET Framework features informal poll recently, and as with all .NET related polls the question comes up: How many PCs have the .NET Framework on it?

If you're a company that is considering creating a client application using .NET (not Silverlight, but the .NET Framework) you'd probably like to know if your end-user needs to install something extra to use your app.

So I started asking questions. We've said things here and there about the pervasiveness of the .NET Framework but I wanted to get the final word (at the time of this writing) and put it somewhere easy to fine.

After some digging, here's what I've got:

  • Well over 90% of the PCs in the world have some version of the .NET Framework installed.
  • Over 65% of Windows PCs in the world have .NET 3.5 SP1 installed.

This is a lot higher than I thought, and it's pretty cool.

The .NET Framework is smaller than you'd think (that's why I wrote SmallestDotNet). The very small .NET 4 Client Profile makes it easier (both speed and download size) to put .NET on a machine.

I think these numbers will help folks who might be considering using .NET for a client application.

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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NewsFlash: Computers are Faster Than Before - Importing Digital Video from Tape and Making a DVD

January 18, '10 Comments [14] Posted in Reviews | Tools | Win7
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Import video (2)The Wife and I travelled all over the world before we had kids (and all over the world after, actually...both boys have been on three continents) and amassed a huge pile of Video Tapes of our travels. I started with a Sony Digital 8 camera that recorded very crisp 640x480 uncompressed digital video to a standard Hi-8 tape, then "graduated" to a Mini-DV Canon camera, then most recently to a small Creative Vado HD. The Vado does 720p, but I figure next big family trip I'll talk to video prosumer Pete Brown and buy a real 1080p HD camera.

I just rediscovered a box full of these old video tapes. There's dozens of them. I remembered that I never made (slightly more permanent) DVDs or backups of these tapes because transferring video from the Digital 8 camera in 2003-2004 was a huge hassle. I have memories of messing about with firewire cards and drivers, camera timecodes and most significantly, hard drive space and CPU speed.

This tape-based digital video camera seems to pump out a gig of video per five minutes of tape, or about 20 gigs an hour. This was a big deal in 2004. Also, whatever machine I had 6 years ago had a lot of trouble keeping up and always dropped frames. I had to shut off services, background apps and defrag my hard drive because even the "tiniest bump in the road" meant a less-the-perfect transfer.

Even though I take video with my Vado HD - which saves to an internal 8gig flash memory - I basically gave up on tape=based video after this crappy experience, and dozens of tapes got put in a box. Today, his Sony DCR-TRV330 Digital Hi-8 camera still has fantastic quality and a high-quality lens (as if 6 years is an eternity).

This post is largely about the seamlessness of the process, much of which is due to everything working out of the box driver-wise in Windows 7, combined with the fact that computers are WAY faster now and hard drives are WAY larger. This of course, is hardly a newsflash, but I wanted to write this post because I was truly surprised at how this previously frustrating task actually became so easy that it was actually fun and more than a little rewarding.

Importing Video from a Digital Tape in 2010

I didn't know what to expect, but I figured what the heck, and I just turned the camera on, put in a tape and plugged it into my Windows 7 machine via a firewire cable.

Surprisingly, the camera was instantly recognized and even showed up in my Devices and Printers window (lower right).

Devices and Printers folder in Windows 7 - My Digital Video Camera shows up

A moment after the camera showed up here, this dialog conveniently popped up:

video1

I selected "Import the entire video" and "Import as multiple files." That last option will make multiple files if the there is more than 30 seconds of time elapsed between two cuts. This dialog and utility were included with Windows Live Photo Gallery, but they work so seamlessly, I though they were part of Windows.

Then, click Import...it automatically rewound the tape (nice touch) and started capturing video. The salient point here is that I didn't have to do anything other than plug it in and click OK.

 Import video

Machines today are so fast, I'm 20 minutes into this video, 35,000 frames and no drops. Piles of space free.

After the files are ripped, it was a 10 minute process to put together a nice menu, name some scenes and burn the DVD with Windows DVD Maker (which apparently comes with Windows, although a free Movie Editor requires a download).

This is so easy, I'm going to make DVDs of all these old video tapes, and I'll store the ripped video on my Windows Home Server.

It's nice to revisit things that were a problem or hassle a few years back and find they they are totally solved problems today.

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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 194 - Hello World: Computer Programmer for Kids and Other Beginners

January 15, '10 Comments [11] Posted in Podcast | Programming
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51dJNsAaLuL._SL500_AA240_ My one-hundred-and-ninety-fourth podcast is up. Scott chats with Warren Sande and his 10 year old son, Carter, about their new book "Hello World: Computer Programming for Kids and Other Beginners." Listeners can get 40% off Hello World! from Manning.com with the code "hanselm40". The offer is valid until Jan 31, 2010

Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes

Download: MP3 Full Show

Links from the Show

Links from the 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 aboutTelerik is their commitment tocompleteness. 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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2010 Survey Results: What .NET Framework features do you use?

January 14, '10 Comments [37] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET Ajax | ASP.NET Dynamic Data | ASP.NET MVC | Learning .NET | Programming | Web Services | Windows Client | WPF
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In October of 2008 I took an informal survey on Twitter. I wanted to get an idea of what features of the .NET Framework people were using.

Also, here's the disclaimer. I did this on a whim, it's not scientific, so the margin of error is +/-101%. That said, the results feel intuitively right to me, personally.

I put the poll out again last week, adding only Silverlight to the end as an option. I realize I could have added many other subsystems and choices, but I felt it would have made this new poll too different from the original. There's certainly many ways that it could be improved as a survey, but it's best to think of it more as a "which direction is the wind blowing" question, than a survey per se.

I also didn't push/promote this survey very hard, so it got only about 1250 responses, vs. the nearly 5000 from last year, but I've kept the same color and attempted to keep the scale so one could extrapolate trends visually.

Hanselman Blog Informal .NET Subsystem Survey CHART - Updated 2010 

Here's the original survey:

Hanselman Blog Informal .NET Subsystem Survey CHART - 2008

It's also worth noting that 'NHibernate' was written into the "other" option 24 times. The poll was taken with TwtPoll.

Here's my conclusions.

  • WinForms remains popular but WPF is closing the gap.
  • ASP.NET MVC is nearly as popular as ASP.NET WebForms. Remember, however, that my readership 'skews Alpha' so might be more likely to be using MVC.
  • ADO.NET Data Services is starting to get some of the appreciation it deserves, but the existence of ADO Datasets persists.
  • Lots of folks use Silverlight, in this example set, even more than WPF.

What are your conclusions and analysis?

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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Favor - Help Us Test .NET 4 Beta 2 on Windows Update (WU)

January 14, '10 Comments [37] Posted in ASP.NET | Microsoft | Programming | VS2010 | Win7 | Windows Client | WPF
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The folks in the .NET Framework Setup team have a favor to ask, and it's pretty cool info so I offered to help. Here's the deal. When .NET 4 releases, the .NET 4 Client Profile will be released as a recommended update on Windows Update (WU) for Vista and Windows 7. It'll be listed as optional on Windows XP. They need help testing the WU parts.

You may have heard, but the .NET 4 Client Profile size is WAY smaller than before. There's been lots of cool improvements since the .NET 3.5 Client Profile. For example, on Window XP the download for .NET 4 Client is just ~28Mb for machines with no framework.

.NET Framework 3.5 SP1 Client Profile

.NET Framework 4 Client Profile

Web install only Local package and Web install.
Only Windows XP SP2 or SP3 and x86 architecture. All platforms and CPU architectures supported by the full .NET Framework 4 Beta 2 except IA64.
Separate from the framework. Part of the full .NET Framework. The .NET Framework is made up of the Client Profile and Extended components that exist separately in Add or Remove Programs.
Windows Update will upgrade it to the full .NET Framework. Independent component.
  • Can be serviced separated.

  • Does not need the full framework.

You may have noticed on Soma's blog that .NET Framework 4 launch was moved back a few weeks. About 6-8 weeks after the .NET Framework 4 launches, the .NET 4 Client Profile will show up on Windows Update (WU) and Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) as it's considered part of the serviceable operating system. It'll start deploying the .NET 4 Client Profile as either optional or recommended, depending on some rules. More technical details are here on Rabi Satter's blog post on .NET Framework 4 Beta 2 on WU. Of course, corporate customers can block or delay updates also.

Before all this happens though, we'd like to test the Windows Update part of things even more.

Read Carefully - Here's the Favor.

The .NET Framework 4 Beta 2 is up on Windows Update for a while for testing, IF you set this special registry key to "opt-in" for the test. Otherwise it won't get offered to you.

If you have a machine that doesn't have any .NET 4 bits on it, make a text file on your system with a name like "NETFX4.reg" and put this text in it:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4B2WU]
"OptIn"=dword:00000001

Then double-click this new registry file to create the key. Then check Windows Update and install the .NET 4 Beta 2 Client Profile. You can also do this key manually if you like.

Alternatively, you can open an Administrator Command Prompt and paste this command in. It'll have the same effect:

reg.exe add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v4B2WU" /v OptIn /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f

Don't worry, later in the year when .NET 4 is released, it'll install over the top of your installation and upgrade it. We'd like to get several thousand more WU-based installations in the next few days, so please try this out on any machines, VMs, or other machines you have lying around.

It's a very safe install. Remember it's a small download. It can be uninstalled, and it's installed side-by-side and it will NOT break any existing .NET 1.1, 2.0 or 3.5 installations. It will NOT make any of your existing .NET apps run under .NET 4.

Here's a screenshot of the package being offered on Windows 7 in Windows Update. I put in a Registry screenshot also.

The .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Beta 2 being offered in Windows Update

And here's the same package being offered on Windows XP in Windows Update.

 The .NET Framework 4 Client Profile Beta 2 being offered in Windows Update

If you do run into any rare problems then visit the .NET Framework 4 Setup & Deployment Support Forum as they really want to hear from you. They are actively manning the forum every day. I've installed this on all my VMs and six machines around the house with no problems.

Do me a favor and spread the word (blog, tweet, etc) about this test to your Alpha Geek friends. ;)

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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.