Internet Explorer 10: Platform Preview 2 now available

  • June 29, 2011
  • James Skemp
Released earlier today, Internet Explorer 10: Platform Preview 2 is now available for download. Just the other day at work I had fired up IE10PP1 to see if a new version was available, so I'll just go ahead and assume Microsoft was zeroing in on my brainwaves with this. I definitely like the direction they've gone with these platform previews, so I hope to see that continue. And that's about all I have to say about that.

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The Kinect is selling really well; but is that good for gamers?

  • November 29, 2010
  • James Skemp
Techmeme had a couple of interesting titles this evening. "Kinect is Selling 2X as Fast as the iPad" and "Microsoft: Over 2.5M Kinect Sold." Even if I thought I had the space for it (I'd have to move furniture every time I wanted to play it in my current apartment) I still wouldn't pick up the Kinect. Why? First there's the price. At $150 you might as well buy a PSP (which I did) or a Nintendo DSi.

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Review: Beginning ASP.NET 4 In C# and VB

  • March 28, 2010
  • James Skemp
The following book review is for Imar Spaanjaars’ Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB. While I’ve already read Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 by Imar Spaanjaars and moved rather far beyond it, when I had the opportunity to recieve his new book on ASP.NET 4 for review, I took it. Would I still feel strongly about recommending his work as the #1 choice for those new (or relatively new) to ASP.

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Using F8 on Sun VirtualBox 3.1.2 when installing Windows XP

  • February 7, 2010
  • James Skemp
For various reasons, I had need to install Windows XP on a new virtual machine earlier today (with Windows 7 64-bit as the host). For whatever reason, when getting to the point of accepting the licensing terms, before installation, I was unable to use the F8 key. After searching about, I found a number of Mac and Ubuntu users with the same issue, but no Windows users. The left control, shift, alt, and even right control (which I knew wasn't going to work, but an Ubuntu user swore by it and I was out of options) buttons did nothing to help.

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Steps to setting up a Windows Server 2003 Web Server on VirtualBox

  • October 24, 2009
  • James Skemp
The following goes through the steps needed to setup Windows Server 2003, with Web server capabilities (IIS 6 in this instance), on a Sun VirtualBox virtual machine. Why Windows Server 2003 when Server 2008 is out and available? Because a large number of hosts (mine included) haven't made the switch yet. Requirements Sun VirtualBox. We want this in particular for the great networking functionality, but other apps, like Microsoft Virtual PC, will work fine as well.

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Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition on Sun VirtualBox 2.2.4 - Notes

  • June 27, 2009
  • James Skemp
As part of a test environment, I setup Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition, both the core and full installations, using Sun VirtualBox 2.2.4. Here are a couple of notes on the base installs. With the core install, it's not immediately obvious, but you need to select Other User once the system is installed, and enter Administrator for the username, with no password. As soon as you log in, you'll be prompted to add a password.

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Disabling Messenger auto sign-in on the Xbox 360

  • January 19, 2009
  • James Skemp
Shortly after logging into Xbox Live the Xbox 360 will attempt to log into Windows Messenger, by default. While I tried to find how to disable this, all of the articles I found were irrelevant, since they were written during the 'blades' interface. Here's how I stumbled on it. Press the Xbox button on your controller. Go to the Settings tab. Select Profile.

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Installing Windows 7 beta on Virtual PC 2007

  • January 16, 2009
  • James Skemp
I couldn't find the other articles, so just in case I lose another one, here's an overview of installing Windows 7 beta on a virtual machine. Oddly, I didn't have Virtual PC 2007 SP1, which seems to be a common issue. Installing the Windows 7 Beta with Virtual PC 2007 SP1

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Browser environments for testing

  • November 20, 2008
  • James Skemp
In a previous post I mentioned using virtual machines for testing. Here's the three virtual machines that I feel cover the most options for browser testing (on Windows):  Current versions Looking at the top 10 browsers for this site, using data from Google Analytics, we have; Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Mozilla, Opera, Playstation 3, Konqueror, SeaMonkey, and Camino. Of those, Internet Explorer and Firefox, obviously, account for the largest amount of traffic, at about 86% of all visits.

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How to really compact Virtual PC hard drives

  • November 18, 2008
  • James Skemp
No names mentioned, but I've recently been using a number of virtual machines for testing purposes. One machine has Internet Explorer 6 and Firefox 2 installed, while a second has Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 3, and the most recent versions of Opera, Safari (for Windows) and Chrome. However, the virtual hard drives were 10 GB each, due to a large number of apps being installed that didn't need to be, for our browser-based testing.

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LogParserPlus.com launched

  • September 26, 2008
  • James Skemp
Since I now have actual content, there can be more visitors to Log Parser Plus, outside of the government. In additon to posting the articles here, I'll be posting a number of articles to Log Parser Plus in an attempt to make Microsoft's Log Parser utility that much easier. The initial focus will be on IIS-related queries, but who knows where it'll end up.

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I like the Gates/Seinfeld ads

  • September 12, 2008
  • James Skemp
Maybe that makes me out of it, but I like the Microsoft commercials. No, they don't really tell me anything without digging, but they're just fun, and sometimes even funny. Granted, they don't bash anyone like the "I'm a Mac" commercials, but ... Keep doing them, and I'll keep watching 'em.

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Internet Explorer Virtual PC images - hidden, but back

  • September 4, 2008
  • James Skemp
When Microsoft released IE 7 they also offered an image / virtual hard drive that could be used to test Internet Explorer 7, without installing it on your machine. Good idea. While they're buried, Microsoft has released a number of other images, which expire in January '09. Internet Explorer Application Compatibility VPC Image Come on Microsoft, release some that don't expire, but that have some other limited functionality.

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Brief Notes on Essential C# 3.0: For .NET Framework 3.5 (2nd Edition)

  • August 16, 2008
  • James Skemp
I'll be updating this as I read, but the date/time of the post will remain the same. This will by no means make up for a reading of the book - Essential C# 3.0: For .NET Framework 3.5 (2nd Edition). (Link to my review will be posted once I finish the book.) I work primarily on the Web, so that will be my main focus from reading this book. Some chapters may not be present here, depending upon what I think is note-worthy at the time.

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Review: Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB

  • July 11, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following is a book review of Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB, written by Bill Evjen, Scott Hanselman, and Devin Rader. Having read Imar Spaanjaar's Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB (review), I was expecting a number of good things from this book. Imar's book is really great in that he shows you how to build a Web application with ASP.NET 3.5. However, with Professional ASP.

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Wrox feedback - July 11 2008

  • July 11, 2008
  • James Skemp
I never heard from them on my last batch of feedback for the Professional version, and they still aren't posted, but Imar confirmed the one errata I pointed out on his book. Additional errata for Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB: Page 579, last sentence: Welcome.html should be Welcome.htm Page 581, first paragraph: Welcome.html should be Welcome.htm (x2) and Start.html should be Start.htm Page 628: Figure 13-1 is the incorrect image.

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How to change your default language in Visual Studio 2008 (the right way)

  • July 2, 2008
  • James Skemp
There's a number of resources online on how to change the default language in Visual Studio. However, none of them are correct. They all state that you should reset your settings to default and then re-setup your settings. Huh? Instead, if you modify the CurrentSettings.vssettings file, you can keep all your other settings, without the pain of having to re-import everything else. First, find your settings file, which appears to default to the My Documents\Visual Studio x\Settings\ directory.

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Wrox feedback - June 29 2008

  • June 29, 2008
  • James Skemp
Read my review of Beginning ASP.NET 3.5: In C# and VB. Some errata for 978-0-470-18757-9, Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB: pg 247, second to last sentence on the page: <h3> should be <h1>. pg 253: Figure 5-13 is incorrect. pg 487: Figure 9-12 is incorrect. pg 527, second to last sentence on the page: Listing 10-13 contains no highlighted text. I was expecting more errata to be listed.

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Review: Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB

  • June 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following book review is for Imar Spaanjaars’ Beginning ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB. Update July 11 2008: Review of Professional ASP.NET 3.5 In C# and VB. Update March 28 2010: Review of Beginning ASP.NET 4 in C# and VB.  I’ve picked up copies of Beginning ASP.NET 2.0; Build Your Own ASP.NET 2.0 Web Site Using C# & VB; Beginning ASP.NET 2.0 E-Commerce in C# 2005 From Novice to Professional; and Microsoft ASP.

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Review: Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Step by Step

  • June 8, 2008
  • James Skemp
The following book review is for George Shepherd's Microsoft ASP.NET 3.5 Step by Step. Based upon the title, 'Step by Step,' you might think that Shepherd's book will actually cover ASP.NET 3.5 in detail, piece by piece. While it's true that he does this, he does it to very little detail. He also makes numerous assumptions throughout the text, which may have you scratching your head more than you usually would, picking up a new language.

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Testing out the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

  • June 4, 2008
  • James Skemp
Just some dummy content while using the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000. I tried it with both 'extenders' up when typing the below. Hello I would like to welcome you to the second Annual Convention on the ergonomics of keyboards. If you would please turn your attention to the right, you'll notice that we've done away with all the formalities and gone with simple dishes. I hope this is to your liking.

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Directories to parameters with IIS 6 and wildcard redirection

  • May 29, 2008
  • James Skemp
Some parameters have been changed to protect the innocent.  This could be old news, and since I'm talking about IIS 6, I know it is. But, I just discovered the other day how to pass parameters to a file using IIS 6, a virtual directory, and a URL that contains directories below the virtual directory. So, at work I had a horrible URL like the following (ignore the invalid space): /filename.

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MSN stole your Windows 98 version of IE?

  • May 23, 2008
  • James Skemp
While installing Windows 98 Second Edition on a Virtual PC 2007 virtual machine, I was running into issues with IE being hijacked by the MSN connection wizard. In fact, they've also hijacked the Connect to the Internet shortcut on the Desktop. However, if you run icwconn1.exe from the Run menu, you should be able to connect successfully, instead of having MSN try to find a modem.

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My Visual Studio 2008 Preferences

  • April 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
This is almost purely for my own benefit. Tools > Options (showing all settings) Environment > General  Animate environment tools (unchecked) Environment > Startup At startup: Show empty environment Download content every: (unchecked) Projects and Solutions > Build and Run Before building: Prompt to save all changes Text Editor > All Languages  Display: Line numbers (checked) Text Editor > All Languages > Tabs Indenting: Smart Tab: Tab size: 4 Indent size: 4 Keep tabs Text Editor > C# > New Lines New line options for braces (uncheck all) New line options for keywords (uncheck all) Text Editor > CSS > Format Style: Semi-expanded Text Editor > HTML Format Insert attribute value quotes when typing (unchecked) Miscellaneous Auto ID elements on paste in Source view (unchecked) All other settings are left to default.

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Upgrading Vista Home Premium to Vista Ultimate (right now)

  • April 17, 2008
  • James Skemp
About 30 minutes ago I started upgrading from Vista Home Premium to Vista Ultimate, using a NFS copy of Ultimate I received at the Heroes Happen {Here} event in 'Madison' (today). For the most part, everything is backed up, so it should be a painless install, no matter what happens. Five steps; Copying Windows files Gathering files Expanding files Installing features and updates Completing upgrade What's initially scary is the "Your upgrade may take several hours to complete.

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Adding .NET functionality to Windows Vista Home Premium Internet Information Services

  • March 22, 2008
  • James Skemp
I had previously covered how to install IIS 7 on Windows Vista Home Premium. This time I'll be briefly covering what you need to enable ASP.NET as well. As before, you'll want to select Control Panel from the Start menu, then click on the Programs link. Next, click on Turn Windows features on or off. Expand Internet Information Services, followed by the World Wide Web Services and Application Development Features.

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How to install Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 on Windows Vista Home Premium

  • March 21, 2008
  • James Skemp
This guide covers Windows Vista Home Premium SP1, and may differ for other versions. I'll also only be covering the basic, default, installation. A guide covering the addition of additional features, like .NET capabilities, may be released as well. While limited, Windows Vista Home Premium allows Internet Information Services (IIS) 7 to be installed with little fuss, using the Control Panel interface. First, select Start > Control Panel.

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Windows Vista SP1 installation: painless

  • March 19, 2008
  • James Skemp
Granted my machine came new with Windows Vista (Home Premium), but that doesn't nullify the fact that Windows Vista SP1 installation was a breeze on my business machine. The listing of enhancements is pretty impressive, and does much to alleviate the disappointments I had regarding certain aspects (such as the fact that SP1 supposedly changes the file copy/move functionality back to Windows XP; one of the things I really liked, once I found out about it, was that Vista doesn't keep working with the file action in the background, once the window is removed.

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