Tech Tock

Time is of the essence.

Channel9 Support — Yes, Channel9 has support

image I don’t know about the new Channel9, I’m just there for content, but I just found out Channel9 always had a crack support team.  Some code links got creamed in the recent upgrade and they sent me a link in a couple hours.  Pretty snappy for a service I didn’t think existed.

Oh, and they say the new Channel 9 is more scalable, so feel free to tell everybody about the great videos, because it shouldn’t crash anytime soon.

October 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Channel9 Slurpy Update

I discovered a couple things since I posted the Channel9 Video Slurper instructions.

It seems that HTTrack doesn’t like pound signs in URLs, so the examples in my original post would only download the first page.  So I changed the #’s to ?’s and its working just fine.

I found a way to increase the speed.  Normally it seems throttled at 25K, but if you enter 999999 in Options/Limits/Max Transfer Rate, it will go to 100K.

Hopefully the redesign of Channel9 doesn’t break the setup.

September 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

HTTrack Project Template

I’ve been slurping a lot of video from Channel9, so I have another HTTrack tip.  As you can see here, an HTTrack project is copyable, so you don’t need to enter all the settings every time you find a new topic to download.  Just make a template project with the settings once and copy that folder in your “My Web Sites” directory whenever you want to start a new project.  Name the copied folder with the new project name.  The next time you start HTTrack, the new project folder will appear in your Projects list and you can just enter the new URLs and slurp away.


August 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

RX – Don’t Start Here

I’ve been working on a project that uses RX for several months now and its a really incredible technology, but annoyingly undocumented.  I finally decided I’d watch the videos and stop complaining that there’s no book or guide that will take me from intro through all the functionality with lots of properties and methods explained.image

Then again, the videos aren’t exactly informative.  Wes and Eric have made a total fetish out of describing IObservable in terms of the dual of IEnumberable and you’ll see that in a bunch of videos.  I’d prefer a more solution oriented approach explaining what you can do and common scenarios and then when you understand things, it might be interesting to get that aha when you see that this is the dual of IEnumerable, but introducing it with a deep dive into its duality, while it must be a geek coup, does nothing to help my understanding.  Then again, these guys are much smarter than I am, so who am I to argue.

This video is similarly abstruse.  This “in depth” video is only one minute and forty seven seconds long.  I get the impression I’m missing an hour of what I’m looking for.

This blog post, in addition to having some cool simple examples, led me in the right direction.  This video seems to be what I’m looking for, some actual code with explanations.  Too bad my media player only has a 4” screen.  Can’t wait till the new one comes.

Looks like I’m right on time, the hands on lab was just published the other day.

July 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

.Net Meetup – FX Fun

Went to the .Net Meetup Tuesday night and had a great time.  Plenty of interesting discussion and some laughs too. (All that and free pizza too). Highly recommended:

        if (yourGeekiness >= myGeekiness)

Daniel Chait (my boss 🙂 led the meeting.  The below info is mostly from Dan’s notes which he wrote on the overhead in real-time (I take credit for any errors or omissions).  As you can see, if you didn’t attend, you missed a lot.  These are mostly just the topics.  Each one generated lively discussion:

PDC 2009 started today:

Microsoft CodeName “Dallas” announced.

Microsoft “Micro Framework” open sourced:

(not including some stuff like Crypto etc)

Scott Hanselman had a podcast about it?

Azure going live in February (cloud services)

Business Model announced.

Cloud Computing : Compare Azure vs others

Vs Amazon EC2?  Amazon gives you a virtual machine, whereas Microsoft gives you specific services (i.e. web, database, WCF services).  Also cloud-based Pub/Sub model.


– For co’s & individuals

–Co less than 3 yrs. old, less than $1MM, private

– You get all Microsoft stuff basically for 3 yrs. free.

– Check out the “Program Guide” off the website for more details


– You get VS, SQL Server, and Blend, etc. to get started

– 3 year license for free


– Part of Office 2010 (was codename “Gemini”)

WPF Grid Controls?

– Using DevExpress (WinForms grid)

– Infragistics – not much new there. tech support pretty good.  glaring bugs in new versions.  difficult upgrading between different versions due to problems with style upgrades

– WPF Toolkit has a grid control: very basic, missing a lot of features (i.e. Filtering etc)

– XCeed well regarded. Been around the longest, full featured.  Cons: tech support iffy.  Licensing may be problematic – issues when you convert from demo to licensed version.

Data Direct products:

– XML converters

– Database connectors

– Difficult licenses

.NET Framework v4?

– Tasks, parallel stuff –

– WorkFlow changing a lot in V4 as well

– Documentation is very minimal at this point

– Maybe some good PDC content coming out?  i.e.

– Maybe some channel9 stuff to find?
Hello Workflow 4

WF4.0 A First Look

What do people actually use WF for?

– Sharepoint development.  Basic stuff.

Architecture in .NET Question: Model Approach to Database Access?

– ORM Software: Developers make clean code which makes horrible queries

– Call Stored Procs from software: nice queries but ugly to call

Entity Spaces

– Experience: Easy to use, decent performance but on a simple app

– In ALL cases, need to analyze queries in detail, can’t just rely on the ORM to sort it out

– Microsoft Entity Framework 1.0 – not full featured enough

– New one coming out

Linq2SQL is dead 😦

– Linq2SQL used a GUID(?) which killed query caching

– NHibernate – “granddaddy of them”.

– Cons : “Has a case of the Java’s”.  XML Configuration, FactoryFactoryFactory…, etc.

GRAND CLAIM: Try to avoid open source:

– Hmm…

– IF something is just a small, weekend project on CodePlex, probably worth avoiding.  But, like, …

– NUnit


– NCover

– NMock, moq, RhinoMock

– Log4Net, nlog

– log better, easier to configure

– Fluent NHibernate

– The MONO project

– Need to treat it more like “code” than a “product” from a vendor.  Actually understand the code don’t just consume it.

– Open source projects are driven by enthusiasm

– JQuery plugins for example

One user mono in production spoke up.

– Follows the Pareto Principle – for example doesn’t use code signing

– Implementing silverlight (i.e. Moonlight) which works on the iPhone

– Castle project – ActiveRecord implementation – says it’s at least as good as say RoR – just does property setting in code, built on top of NHibernate, scaffolding, etc.

The Munawar principle – 20% will be good, 80% will be garbage

FBK #2: Sturgeon’s Law – “90% of everything is crap”

NCover – code coverage tool

“Where’s my LINQ2 Mainframe?”

SubSonic – open source framework for stuff –

– “A Super High-fidelity Batman Utility Belt that works up your Data Access (using Linq in 3.0), throws in some much-needed utility functions, and generally speeds along your dev cycle.”

[long discourse about non programmers.  in short, they are inconvenient.]

AJAX / ASP.NET – still buying into it?  As opposed to WPF / Silverlight / Flex?

– Corollary – as a novice, what should I be getting in to

– Corollary 2 – if I want to get out of ASP.NET and get into WPF and realtime .NET desktop apps, how do I do it?

– Endless debate about Silverlight vs Flex

– Silverlight can be applied-ish to WPF knowledge

– Flex VERY easy to learn

Silverlight vs WPF?

– Third party controls maybe a bit better in WPF at present

– If heavy desktop integration, use WPF, else Silverlight by default

– Silverlight Out of Browser – still in the sandbox but just looks like the browser is missing.

– Databinding in Silverlight not nearly as good as WPF.  A bit better in 3.0 but still not great

[spontaneous demo of Castle ActiveRecord]

Good localization solution?  Want to translate our site into multiple languages….

– Sharepoint can do some of this but not ALL languages

– New version of Sharepoint (2008?) does this

– Beware of language specifics (i.e. German has long words)

– Maybe any content management solutions that exist?

– How to handle caching?

– Generate static content or regenerate on the fly every time?

– See for more

November 19, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment