Scott Hanselman

Reviewing a Decade of Digital Life - The size and the direction of personal media

December 29, '10 Comments [29] Posted in Musings
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As 2010 winds down, I was looking in my \\SERVER\Photos\2000 folder and reminiscing about how old and fat I am and how young and thin my wife is, when I noticed how different the folder sizes were. I noticed the sizes of the photos, their pixel sizes and the camera that created them.

Here's some observations, calculations and comments from a guy who has 12 years of family life in digital form. I'm curious of your observations of your own media as well, Dear Reader.


Or, if you like charts with callouts:


Or, if you're not into the whole brevity thing:

In the Old Days

Kodak DC265I started with a Kodak DC265 Camera. This camera used Compact Flash cards and created JPG files at 1536x1024 (1.5 megapixels!) that were an average of  300k in size.

I took a massive 263 megs of photos in 1999.

Here's an example shot from that camera, un-retouched. Click for full size.


Casio EX-Z3 I used this camera until June 22nd, 2003 (according to the EXIF data embedded in my photos) when I got a Casio EX-Z3. My very first picture with this camera was of my wife across the camera at me. It was numbered CIMG0001.JPG ;) and it was 2048x1536 and a whopping full megabyte in size. This was a 3.2 megapixel camera.

2003 was the first year my yearly photo folder nearly reached a gig in size.

Here's an example shot from that camera, un-retouched. Click for full size.


The Kinda Modern Era

EX-Z750_ff[1]My first son was born at the end of 2005 and I upgraded to a Casio Exilim EX-Z750 (I like small pocket cameras) to take pics of him. The EX-Z750 was 7.2 megapixels and created pictures that were 3072x2304 and about 3 megs in size. I remember being blown away by this camera.

The number of photos I took in my son's first year nearly doubled the previous year and the 2006 folder alone is almost 10gigs.

Here's an example shot from that camera, un-retouched. Click for full size.


As they say about babies, the first baby gets a million photos (or at least two thousand) and the second baby gets less.

In fact, the year of baby #2 created over three thousand photos and that number goes up every year.

Canon EOS D40 In 2008, I bought two cameras. First, a Canon EOS D40 in an attempt to "get serious" about photography. Two years later I still don't know how to make those cool photos where the person is in focus and everything else is blurry. Sigh.

The canon creates about 2-3 meg JPEG files (or RAW if you insist) that about are about 3008x2000. It's the best camera I've owned when I can get things in focus. I wish it was faster and that it was in my pocket.

Here's an example shot from a speedboat (for no other reason than speedboats are cool) using the Canon D40, un-retouched. Click for full size.


Second, a Fuji Finepix F70EXR which I regret buying. It's a 10 megapixel and is the smalled 10x optical zoom (that I never use) and makes photos of 3616x2712 that are about 4 megs each. However, it has horrific low-light support (as do most point-and-shoots) and it's grainy as heck. It's a mess. I intend to replace it with a Canon PowerShot S95 as soon as my wife "releases the funds."

Here's a shot from the Fuji. Click for full size.


2010 The Year of the Wi-fi Memory Card

fujifinepixIn 2010 I collected over 6500 photos totaling 20gigs. I am not a photographer or a photography enthusiast. I'm just a dude with a good lookin' family that I like to take pictures of.

I attribute this "success" to three things:

  • Three good quality cameras were available at any time.
    • The iPhone 4 has a great little 5 megapixel camera. Having this in my pocket (or any phone with a 5Mb camera) meant I took more pictures in the moment.
    • The Canon EOS D40 (a slightly "prosumer" DSLR) meant I tried harder to be a photographer
    • The Eye-Fi Wi-Fi SD Card in my Fuji Finepix F70EXR meant that digital photos showed up on my server as soon as the camera got within my home's wireless cloud.


The #1 most significant purchase for me photography-wise in 2010 was an Eye-Fi Pro Wi-Fi SD Card. It  removed the "go download the photos to computer step."

No joke, this card is amazing. You take photos and whenever the card is in range of wi-fi it'll geo-tag your photos and drop them in a folder. The wife is bananas over this card. Read (watch) my review.

I'm creating more media year over year. This post doesn't touch on video, but let's just say that I captured my FIRST digital video file on June 23rd, 2003. It was one megabyte, about 320x240 at 15fps. Today, everything I capture is 1280x720p at 30fps and I don't even think about file size.

The only thing I think about is backups. Here's to a digital 2011!

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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This Developer's Life 1.1.0 - Disconnecting

December 18, '10 Comments [2] Posted in Musings | Podcast
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DSCF4564In this episode of "This Developer's Life" Rob and I take you with them as they unplug and spend some much needed time with our families.

Download Here

This week it's just Rob and I - I'm off to Disneyland with the wife and boys, and Rob gets to hang out with his girls for a week as their mom goes on a retreat in California.

    You can download the MP3 here (58 minutes) and visit our site at

    Please consider subscribing with iTunes, or Zune. Or if you have a BitTorrent client and would like to help save us bandwidth money, as well as the bragging rights of downloading legal torrents via RSS, get our Torrent Feed at ClearBits.

    The bandwidth and other costs for this week's show were picked up by Twilio:

    Need SMS or Voice call capabilities for your application? Check out Twilio.

    … and SublimeSVN


    Easy Subversion Management for Windows

    See you next time!

    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 244 - Kayak, OWIN, Open Source Web Servers and more with Benjamin van der Veen

    December 18, '10 Comments [1] Posted in ASP.NET | Open Source | Podcast
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    image Scott sits down with open source developer Benjamin van der Veen to talk about his C# Web Server, Kayak, as well as OWIN, Open Source Web Servers and his thoughts on where server-side web development is going.

    Download: MP3 Full Show

    Links from the Show

    NOTE: If you want to download our complete archives as a feed - that's all 244 shows, subscribe to the Complete MP3 Feed here.

    Also, please do take a moment and review the show on iTunes.

    Subscribe: Subscribe to Hanselminutes or Subscribe to my Podcast in iTunes or Zune

    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.

    Building quality software is never easy. It requires skills and imagination. We cannot promise to improve your skills, but when it comes to User Interface and developer tools, we can provide the building blocks to take your application a step closer to your imagination. Explore the leading UI suites for ASP.NET AJAX,MVC,Silverlight,Windows Forms and WPF. Enjoy developer tools like .NET Reporting, ORM, Automated Testing Tools, Agile Project Management Tools, and Content Management Solution. And now you can increase your productivity with JustCode, Telerik’s new productivity tool for code analysis and refactoring. Visit

    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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    Visual Studio Explosion! - VS2010 SP1 *BETA* Released and Context

    December 10, '10 Comments [33] Posted in ASP.NET | ASP.NET MVC | Bugs | IIS | Microsoft | MSDN | VB | VS2010
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    Link to VS2010 Wallpapers Site It's a holiday miracle! OK, maybe not a miracle, but folks have been working hard on Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1. The BETA was released today. See how BETA is in RED? That's because it's a beta.

    Funny thing about beta service packs. They are Service Packs so there are lots of good bug fixes. But it's beta, which means we, Dear Reader, are not sure if they've missed some.

    It's beta software, so be careful. Back things up, maybe take a disk image.

    There is a go-live license, which means you can use this software today and use it in production. Upgrading from SP1 Beta to SP1 "final" will be one step.

    If you hate betas, feel overwhelmed, don't like being on the cutting edge and don't want obscure details, stop reading now and go here.

    Download Links:

    Here's the curent Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta README file.

    Beta Caveats (That's a fancy word for "Warning")

    Be aware that Microsoft is in the middle of a lot of Beta Releases. It's your choice to play now or wait.

    First, MOST of this beta stuff works together just fine. You may have seen my PDC talk where I used all of this together to build an application.

    For example, all this works together today:

    • VS 2010 SP1 Beta
    • ASP.NET MVC 3 RC2 (releasing VERY VERY SOON - install it over the top to maintain Razor IntelliSense)
    • Razor Tooling
    • SQL Compact Edition 4 Beta
    • Entity Framework 4 Code First (CTP5)

    There may be some bugs, so If you need things to not break at all, then just wait a month or two for all this Beta to calm down. For example, the new "Async CTP" isn't compatible with the web tooling.

    Some folks have asked, "When will the beta releases be over and I can start working with final code?"

    ASP.NET MVC 3, WebMatrix, IIS Express, SQL Compact Edition 4 and more will all be released in mid-January. Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1 will finalize a few months later. Use VS2010 today and come spring you'll have some new improvements that will build on VS2010 and make coding more enjoyable. They'll all work together.

    That said, if you have a little patience, I encourage you to check out Visual Studio 2010 SP1 Beta. There's LOTS of great fixes, updated features and new tooling. Here's a sense of what's updated. We'll get a more complete (meaning "official") list nearer to release. This list isn't complete. I'm working on getting a complete list.

    What's in Visual Studio 2010 SP1 BETA

    In addition to fixes for bugs and things reported via Microsoft Connect, there's also these updates to Visual Studio 2010.

    Web Bug Fixes

    Just over 100 bug fixes related to web development, including fixes for JavaScript/CSS/HTML editors, crash bugs, design view bugs, and Visual Web Developer bugs.

    HTML5 Schema Support

    We’ve added *initial* support for HTML5 to the HTML editor so you can get IntelliSense and validation for HTML5 elements and attributes (choose HTML or XHTML5 from the schema drop-down). Includes support for popular new elements, e.g. video, audio, section, header, etc., and data-* attributes. The implementation is not complete and we are continuing to work on providing a great HTML5 experience for a future version of Visual Studio. There are *no* IntelliSense updates for HTML5 JavaScript APIs, e.g. Canvas, Cross-document Messaging, DOM Storage, etc.

    IIS Express Support

    Support for IIS Express as a local hosting option for Web Sites and Web Application Projects, including the option to set it as the default for new projects. No need to be an administrator to use IIS Express, including creating new sites from within Visual Studio. IIS Express supports:

    • SSL
    • Classic & Integrated pipeline modes
    • Basic & Windows authentication
    • Edit & Continue in debug
    • Creating new virtual directories when using IIS or IIS Express in Web Sites

    Here's IIS Express appearing in a dialog choosing where a new Web Application should be:

    IIS Express

    Project Properties has been updated. Note the choices for IIS Express, Visual Studio Development Server, etc.

    IIS Express

    Here we're able to add a New Virtual Directory from within Visual Studio.


    Note, SP1 does *not* include IIS Express, you need to download and install it separately. IIS 7.5 Express Beta 3 can be installed using Web PI 3.0 via the UX or directly via this direct link. Note that you don't need WebMatrix to get IIS Express now (win!).

    IIS Express Beta 3

    SQL Compact Edition 4 Tooling

    I've blogged about EF Code First ("Entity Framework Magic Unicorn") before, which released a CTP5 today. I've also talked about SQL Compact Edition 4, a tiny xcopyable file based SQL Server. I showed them all working together in my PDC talk PDC10: Building a Blog with Microsoft "Unnamed Package of Web Love"

    In that talk, I was able to open SQL Compact Edition 4 database files directly in Visual Studio. Internally we call that "SQL Compact Edition Tooling." Microsoft folks often refer to the Runtime and the Tooling separately.

    Here's the SQL Compact Edition 4 Tools for VS2010 SP1 Beta that I used in my PDC talk. Additionally Web Deploy v2 is coming, and will allow you to easily migrate SQL Compact 4 to SQL Server directly when you outgrow the former. You can install both of them directly from the Web Platform Installer 3.0.

    Go here to install Web PI 3, shut it down, then run it again from the Start Menu and select the things you want.

    Additional Good Stuff

    • Silverlight 4 Tools for Visual Studio 2010 plus RIA Services is now included in the box along with Silverlight 3 support.
    • Unit Testing on .NET 3.5 – Today all unit tests are run under .NET 4. While acceptable for most users because of the compatibility done in .NET 4, this caused problems for some of you with .NET 3.5-specific dependencies.
    • IntelliTrace F5 for 64 bit and SharePoint projects – This is awesome for me as I needed IntelliTrace on x64 literally yesterday.
    • Performance Wizard for Silverlight – Now you can use the profiling tools on Silverlight apps as well.
    • VB Compiler runtime switch – This switch will enable Visual Basic developers to target their apps and libraries at platforms where the full VB Runtime hasn’t traditionally been available. Should be a win for VB on phone, XNA, etc.

    Some Choice Bug Fixes (my choice)

    • The XAML editor respects control visibility
    • Offline Helper View with Index (is back)
    • IntelliTrace with F5 on Sharepoint Projects
    • More C++ MFC support for Windows 7 shiny things
    • Silverlight startup performance improvments

    Simple Conclusion in Context

    • Keep using Visual Studio 2010 and feel no pressure to install a beta anything. There's lots of great stuff in VS2010 to explore.
    • If you install VS2010 SP1 beta, don't uninstall it if you can avoid it. Rather, wait for SP1 final which will upgrade your beta cleanly and leave you in the best state.
    • If you want to see the update wave of Web Tools and get some beta bug fixes, install the SP1 Beta and report bugs. If you're using SQL Compact, check out their tools as well.
    • If you aren't installing the beta tools today, then relax, and install the final web tools stuff in the January then VS2010 SP1 later in spring.
    • When it's all released, you'll be able to install all this as one package from Web Platform Installer. You'll run Web PI, select Visual Studio 2010 SP1, then install.

    Related Links


    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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    BACKUP YOUR CRAP: Missing Operating System, Backups, Disk Images, Home Servers, BootRec, BootMgr, RebuildBCD, FixBoot and Problems, Plural

    December 8, '10 Comments [55] Posted in Hardware | Musings
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    HanselmanDesktopDecember2010 Today I was sitting in what I like to call "Conference Room B" but what other people call "Quiznos Sandwiches," talking to Damian and Vishal over Office Communicator. We were running a meeting and sharing screens and suddenly my laptop's little hard drive light started going bananas.

    OK. That's bad, but I've seen it before.

    I hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up Task Manager, but nothing happened. About 30 seconds later I got a message from Windows saying basically "um, I totally see that you hit Ctrl-Alt-Del and I told that security screen to come up but him no worky."

    I've seen this dialog literally like TWICE in my life. That's bad.

    So I'm sitting there watching this light *BOOM* WHOA*** BLUE SCREEN.

    Whoa! Ok, so it's writing out the memory dump....WHAT? Error Writing Dump, Hardware Failure, NO CARRIER...

    I've never seen that. Ever.

    I reboot.

    BIOS says Hardware Device Error. The hard drive is dead. My year old $600 OCZ VerteX SSD that I bought myself and put in my work computer to be more productive is dead. And not dead in that plug it into another machine kind of dead. Not in a Super Nintendo blow hard on the contacts and reinsert kind of dead. Not in a Jonah Hex touch me and come back to life just for a minute dead. Not AMC's Walking Dead.

    It's a coaster now.

    I leave Quiznos that moment, walk over to the local computer shop and say "proprietor! Sell me your finest hard drive!" He has a single random 500gig 7200RPM laptop HD he sells me for $77.

    I go home and boot off my Windows Home Server Restore CD. My machine was backed up this morning at 2am. Restore takes a few hours over wired Ethernet and I boot.

    However...I forgot I had some 100meg System Partition on my laptop that isn't backed up, so I get No Operating System Found. Not to be confused with "Missing Operating System," this means that my machine was totally restored, except for the boot stuff that's needed. That was on that little 100 meg partition.

    I boot into my Windows Disk, and when it comes up to the first menu, I hit SHIFT-F10. That brings up a command prompt. They hide it with that obscure hotkey because Captain, Thar Be Whales Here. You can get hurt.

    I type


    In case you haven't figured it out, if you find yourself typing DISKPART, EVER in your life, you've got problems. Plural.

    Then from the prompt:

    DISKPART> list disk

    Disk ###  Status          Size   Free
    --------  --------------- ------ -----
    Disk 0    Online          465 GB   0 B

    DISKPARK> select disk 0

    Disk 0 is now the selected disk

    DISKPART> list partition

    Partition ###  Type       Size 
    -------------  ---------  ------- 
    Partition 1    Primary    465 GB

    DISKPART> select partition 1

    Partition 1 is now the selected partition

    DISKPART> active

    Partition 1 is now active

    Then I reboot, startup with the Windows 7 DVD again and go back into the Windows Recovery console with F10 from the first dialog.

    Now it's Boot Sector time, son!

    I've got a Windows installation on C:\Windows on an active partition. That's the one I restored from a disk image, remember?

    However, I've got no boot information, no master boot record (MBR) and no Boot Configuration Data (BCD.)

    From the recovery command line:

    BCDBOOT c:\windows



    After this I rebooted and was greeted by the most beautiful sight I've seen today. My desktop. Exactly as it was this morning at 2am.

    My other files? The ones I changed? Safe in DropBox and syncing from the cloud to my machine as we speak, Dear Reader.

    Sure, I realize that all this command line partitioning was an edge case and not completely related to my whole message of "backup your stuff," but this was my afternoon, so I've shared it with you.


    • Have a backup strategy my friends. Not only that, but seriously, test your restores. Backups are great. I do them all the time. Backups always work. Restores fail all the time.
    • Backup some stuff to the cloud. I don't care whose cloud, pick one. I used to use Mozy, now I use KeepVault because it backs up my Windows Home Server to the cloud, as well as my desktops.
    • Make local disk images to external hard drives. I have a 2TB external drive that I make weekly images to use Acronis TrueImage. Just in case everything goes bad. If you are a presenter and traveler type like me, always be ready with a Virtual Machine on a USB Key or a Disk Image on a hard drive in case things go bad the night before a presentation.
    • You can make VHD (Virtual Hard Drive) images from physical disks for free with Disk2VHD if you're really fancy and advanced.
    • Given what's going on with Windows Home Server and Drive Extender, I don't know what to think. I can say though, that this is the fourth time that having a drive image (not just files backups) have had me typing on the same machine that died the very same day.

    Friends. Stop. Go backup your machines. Then backup your spouse's, girlfriend's, boyfriend's, parents, grandparents and Uncle Ronnie's.

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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.