Tech Tock

Time is of the essence.

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


AutoMapper should be called AwesomeMapper.  It does a simple job simply so I can avoid mapping tedium.  It will map between a viewmodel and a DTO in a couple lines of code when the property names are the same and takes lambdas when the names are different or any conversion is involved.

The only thing I could ask for so far is that it could support simple conversions like between decimal and double.

One hint is to set the target to an interface if your target has more properties than your source.  Otherwise you’d have to write an ignore clause for each unmapped field.  Its still quick and easy and the interface documents your mapping in a simple way.

Get it.

July 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment


I Missed the Boat

I’m sure Lab49’ers had a great time at the summer kickoff party.  I unfortunately had an unexpected conflict :(.

AndroideroidsAndroid + Asteroids + multiplayer = Androideroids (video)

One Lab49’er knows the guy who made this.

10 Thumbs Up for SketchFlow

On the question of design tools it seems Lab49 UX designers overwhelmingly recommend SketchFlow.  By MS?!? Yup its by Microsoft.  They hate to love it.

Also noted for “casual use”:  Balsamiq and GoMockingBird

Visualizing the World Cup


Rick Winslow noted:  The ingenious information designers at NYTimes have produced dense, interactive visualizations of each game.

They have integrated player stats, areas of play, events (shots on goal) and more for the entire length of the game in a very tiny, mobile friendly footprint (less than 500×500 pixels).


There’s a cool world cup schedule guide too.

June 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

An Improved Google Stock Watcher

image I may be late again, now that Google is Ditching Windows, but I finally posted the code for my Google Sidebar Stock Monitor app.

Google made this very nice stock monitoring app for their sidebar, but it had one really annoying bug where saving new settings can delete tickers from your list.  Fortunately, the code was included under an Apache license, so I played around with it a bit and made my own version.

I fixed the annoying bug in Google’s version and added a bunch of features, noted here.  Primarily it allows you to monitor a bracket around the price to see if a stock is approaching a high or low target.

You can download the gg file here.  With Google desktop installed on your system, just click on the gg file to install it to your sidebar.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

.Net Logger

In a recent small project I needed a logger. I would normally use Log4Net, but I couldn’t get it to work within the allotted 1/2 hour.  Since I chose it because it was easy, I tossed it aside.

I didn’t want the hassle of Enterprise Library and its heavy handed uber configged implementation.

This little logger on CodePlex with the goal of simplicity worked immediately with no trouble.  It’s now my preferred logger for small projects.

February 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

GMarks – Google Bookmarks Utility


Use GMarks to add a hotkey for quick search of your Google Bookmarks in Firefox.  Just press Home Home and you can search all your bookmarks.  The picture above shows some of my .net bookmarks.

It will help you create subfolders and has a useful sidebar view:


January 31, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Tables to Go

FireFox add-on OutWit Hub is great for exporting tables from the web into Excel.  It has a few quirks, but follow these directions and you’ll get good results:

After installing, you’ll get a new icon in FireFox:


Navigate to a page with tables and click the W button next to the address bar.

Highlight “tables” in the tree list on the left:


Click into the data panel at right and select all (ctl-A):


Right click and select Export Selection As CSV:


This will make a file that will open with proper columns and rows in excel.

Many other menu items, like copy cells and export to excel didn’t get excel friendly data for me, but knowing the above makes this a valuable tool.

January 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Cool Tool Roundup


imageRooler is just awesome  when you want to see measurements on the screen.

WPF Control Template Utility

This utility is simple and shows the default control template.  Just what you need when customizing controls.  On the other hand, when creating controls, you may want to start from scratch (in Blend of course)…

It’s pretty nasty that VS 2008 won’t show a visual representation of a Template XAML but Blend will.  I just started using Expression Blend today and I like it.

WPF Colors

This color chart is handy.  Then again, why search for colors, when you can just pick one at, or just use Blend.



I was about to use the snoop utility to try to understand a running app, but then a colleague walked by and solved my problems with Blend


Reflector, seems like it should be on this list, but I still haven’t used it much, though I know a lot of folks who love it

January 19, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 1 Comment

Code Blogging Utility – CopySourceAsHtml

CopySourceAsHtml (free on CodePlex) will do exactly what it says.  It’s a Visual Studio 2008 add-in.  It adds a “Copy As Html” menu item in your right click menu inside Visual Studio.  The source code will be copied with all its color coding intact, perfect for blogging.

See the results in this post.

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

MS Dev Labs – Echo

There’s some cool .Net tools over at MS Dev Labs, but the concept definitely reminds me of something.

I’ve blogged about lab projects Pex here and Chess here.

November 20, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment