One of my favorite Windows utilities, MiniBin, has just been retired by its developer, so I’m creating a post here to make the download available after its binaries get pulled from the original website.
MiniBin is a free recycle bin for your Microsoft Windows system tray area; the area next to the clock in your taskbar.
Please note that the MiniBin project has ended. This means: no more updates and no more support. Yes, I know… but it had to end somewhere. MiniBin was first published in 2004 and enjoyed updates until 2012. As it’s bug-free and feature-complete in it’s current state, I decided it’s time to move on to new horizons.
For the time being, you can still download the final version of MiniBin, the recycle bin for your system. But this download will vanish into the void within the not so far future. So, get it while it’s still available!
ASP.NET MVC might be the new kid on the block, but there are still a host of compelling advantages to ASP.NET Web Forms.
The ASP.NET Web Forms MVP project is about bringing the love back to Web Forms through a renewed approach to using it – an approach that facilitates separation of concerns and testability whilst maintaining the rapid development that Web Forms was built to deliver.
This is really cool stuff – we’ve just started using it in our development and I can already see the benefits to plain Web Forms or MVC. Granted, if you’ve already developed a pure MVC site, this probably won’t be useful to you, but if (like most of us, I assume) you have an existing ASP.NET Web Forms site and want to try the features of MVC without completely rewriting your framework, I highly suggest checking this out.
I’ll try to see if I can abstract out some of our internal examples for a future blog post. =)
Internet Explorer beat Firefox on the Acid3 test? I think it must be a cold day in hell. 😉
(IE9 is actually pretty badass; I’m very impressed with the work Microsoft has done to step it up in this release. Feels like an actual competitor to Chrome/Firefox, not a ball and chain like previous IE releases.)
My favorite feature of VS2010 so far is the excellent extension support, which allows me to add in my favorite plugins from the Microsoft Visual Studio Gallery.
Since there are thousands of plugins in the gallery right now, I thought it might be useful to share the most useful extensions I’ve found (and currently use) so far:
In alphabetical order…
AnkhSVN AnkhSVN is a Subversion Source Control Provider for Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and 2010. AnkhSVN provides source code management support to all project types supported by Visual Studio and allows you to perform the most common version control operations directly from inside the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE.
The Pending Changes dashboard gives you a unique insight in your development process and provides easy access to the source code and issue management features. The deep source code control (SCC) integration allows you to focus on developing, while AnkhSVN keeps track of all your changes and provides you the tools to effectively handle your specific needs.
Code4Blog Code4Blog is a Visual Studio 2010 extension that allows to convert any code supported by Visual Studio IDE to HTML format with the same structure and colors. Main purpose of this extension is to prepare a code snippet to be published in rich documents, for example in blog posts, Microsoft Word documents or Help files. Some additional styling could be applied: max width and height of the code block, custom background (per code line), font family and font size, line numbering and others. Code4Blog is now published on CodePlex. You are welcome to work with the source code directly!
PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2010 PowerCommands 10.0 is a set of useful extensions for the Visual Studio 2010 adding additional functionality to various areas of the IDE.
Visit the VSX Developer Center at http://msdn.com/vsx for more information about extending Visual Studio.
PowerConsole This extension provides an extensible VS command window with default PowerShell integration. You can now script Visual Studio interactively in PowerShell, and enjoy familiar VS style syntax coloring and tab-completion.
Prerequisite: Visual Studio 2010 RC (or above) + Windows PowerShell v2 (or above). After installation, open the new tool window from View->Other Windows->Power Console.
Regex Editor This sample was built to ease your pain when working with regular expressions. It rehosts the editor in a dialog box and provides a basic language service to provide colorization, brace matching, sample testing grouping and selection tracking. It shows re-hosting of the editor in a tool window, and provides a nice starting point for similar projects.
VS10x Code Map VS10x Code Map is a Visual Studio 2010 extension that displays a graphical nested representation of the current editor window code (C# and VB.NET). It helps the developer visualize type nesting, implemented interfaces, regions, member type and scope, as well as quickly navigate to their respective position in the code editor.
Incredibly useful tool for managing multiple remote desktop (RDP) connections, and allows you to view, connect, and disconnect from groups of server connections as a whole or individually. If you use RDP often, this is well worth the download. (And it’s free!)
Until Microsoft come up with an official solution there is a working workaround for this problem.
This problem only appears to affect people who have not got Visual C++ Installed.
1.) Download VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.exe from here … http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=294de390-3c94-49fb-a014-9a38580e64cb
2.) Start the installation VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.exe
3.) Wait for the error message to come up – DO NOT CLOSE THE WINDOW!
4.) Copy the temp. folder where the patch has been unpacked to a new folder, for example onto your desktop.
5.) Close VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.exe that you started in 2.)
6.) Navigate to <drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Tools and find vsvars32.bat.
7.) Change the permissions on the file to allow everyone to edit it.
8.) Start VS90SP1-KB971092-x86.msp from within the saved folder and the process should complete.
Finally! This problem was bugging me for so long – I just now thought to research it and found this article. Very helpful!
Prevent Startup Programs from Running Twice in Windows XP
A way to solve the problem of programs in the Startup folder being executed twice on Windows XP logon. The applications may appear doubled in msconfig.
Under Windows XP, programs placed in the Start MenuProgramsStartup folder may be running twice. This occurs even though only one shortcut or icon for each program appears in the Startup folder when viewed through Windows Explorer. When you use msconfig (Startup tab) or autoruns (Logon tab) to inspect the Startup listings, they appear twice. Unchecking one or both disables the program from running at all.
This situation can occur if the user-specific Startup folder is deleted from the user’s profile. When that happens, Windows looks for user-specific startup programs in the All Users startup folder instead. This causes doubling, because the programs from the All Users startup folder are executed once for All Users and again for the current user.
Press Ctrl+D or choose Font from the Format menu. (If you are using Word 2007, press Ctrl+D or click the Home tab of the ribbon, then click the small control at the bottom-right of the Font group.) Word displays the Font tab of the Font dialog box. (Click here to see a related figure.)
Hold down Alt+Ctrl and, at the same time, press the plus sign on the numeric keypad. The mouse pointer turns into a clover symbol.
Click on the Strikethrough check box in the Font dialog box. (As you move the mouse pointer to get ready to click, the mouse pointer may change back to an arrow instead of a clover; this is OK.) When you click, Word displays the Customize Keyboard dialog box with the insertion point blinking in the Press new Shortcut Key box. (Click here to see a related figure.)
Type whatever shortcut key you want to use for the strikethrough format. Just hold down whatever combination of the Alt, Ctrl, and Shift keys you want, and then press the desired key to go with that combination. If the combination is already taken, that information shows just below the Customize Keyboard dialog box, and you can then change to a different shortcut key. (A good combination to consider is Alt+Shift+S or Ctrl+Alt+S, neither of which are used in a default installation of Word.)
Click the Assign button. The shortcut key is now assigned to apply strikethrough formatting.
Click Close to dismiss the Customize Keyboard dialog box.
I haven’t tried using my favorite XP junction tool, NTFS-Link, since I upgraded my home computer to Windows Vista, and I’m a little apprehensive since the filesystem has changed a bit. Nonetheless, if you are still using XP, NTFS-Link is an excellent tool for those of you already familiar with symbolic links via other operating systems, such as Linux.
Luckily, Windows Vista does include a command-line tool for creating symbolic links, similar to “ln” in Linux. However, it’s not quite as straightforward. Here’s the scoop from How-To Geek:
Using the mklink Command
The command that you need to use is mklink, which you’ll use from the command line. Just type it on the command line to see the options:
Creates a symbolic link.
MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target
/D Creates a directory symbolic link. Default is a file
/H Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link.
/J Creates a Directory Junction.
Link specifies the new symbolic link name.
Target specifies the path (relative or absolute) that the new link
DotNetNuke is an open source web application framework ideal for creating, deploying and managing interactive web, intranet and extranet sites. The combination of an enterprise portal, built-in content management system, elegant skinning engine, and the ability to display static and dynamic content makes DotNetNuke an essential tool for ASP.NET developers.
The Small Business Starter Kit provides a sample of a business promotion website suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides a template for customizing and creating a site for your own business out-of-the-box, with advanced features including integration with SQL and XML data sources for content and data management.
dasBlog is a blogging engine that offers elegant visual aesthetics, powerful easy to use features, and a unique application architecture. dasBlog requires no database engine, using file-based content management with an architecture that ensures excellent performance.
I started looking for free/open-source ASP.NET applications to run on my development instance of IIS (since IIS is already running on my machine), and stumbled upon this list today:
As a big ASP.NET advocate, I’m loving the recent surge in open source / free ASP.NET applications that are hitting the web – And what’s more because Microsoft have given us some great building foundations with the frameworks like the ASP.NET Membership Provider, a lot of these open source programs are very high quality! More so than some of the paid applications.
I thought it would be a good idea to create an ever growing list of all the open source ASP.NET applications I could find – Obviously I haven’t had chance to download or install every application so I can’t vouch for them
Update: This application will help you track down which applications are using which ports on Windows – very helpful for debugging if the steps below don’t solve your problem, or if IIS is not the only application answering on port 80: http://winnetstat.zapto.org/
Also, if you don’t specifically need all the features of XAMPP, but would like to run PHP/MySQL applications through IIS, give Web Platform Installer a try. Through WPI, you can choose to install PHP directly within IIS (so that IIS can serve both ASP.NET and PHP applications on port 80, for example) and you can also have a ton of applications installed and configured automatically for you, such as Drupal, WordPress, and Moodle (among many others). However, if you are still looking to run XAMPP specifically, or just run an Apache instance along with IIS, check out the instructions below. Thanks for visiting!
I’ve been having ridiculous problems with the color profiles on my Samsung SyncMaster 225BW. I’m pretty sure that it’s not Samsung’s fault, since the monitor is by far the best I’ve ever had, but any color-profile aware application ends up looking like crap (see screenshot above, or this blog post).
Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to get the original CD/software for the monitor if you’ve lost it, but it seems that the best workaround for this is to remove the existing (faulty) color profile and replace it with a working color profile, such as one from Adobe:
Now that I’ve finally made the leap to install Windows Vista on my home computer, I thought it might be useful to dig through some old (and new) guides to keep Vista from annoying me as much as it did when I first tried it out in beta. Luckily, things are going much more smoothly this time. Here’s a helpful tip from the How-To Geek about how to run a command as an Administrator from the Vista Run box.
FYI: The Run option is not enabled by default on the Start Menu. You’ll either need to open it by using the Win + R key combination or by enabling it through the Taskbar Properties, using the steps below:
Right click on the taskbar, then choose properties.
Once in the “Taskbar and Start Menu Properties” dialog, click the “Start Menu” tab, then click “Customize…”
Scroll down to the “Run command” option, and check it.
Close the dialog.
Now, you’ll have the “Run…” command back in your Start Menu, but it’s worth noting that the newer Vista “Start Search” bar is a lot more versatile than the older “Run…” command. In either case, from “Start Search” or from “Run…”, the following steps will help you to run a command as an administrator (from How-To Geek):
To try this out, go to the run box and type in something (cmd, for example)
Now instead of hitting the Enter key, use Ctrl+Shift + Enter. You will be prompted with the obnoxious User Account Control dialog… but it will then open up a command prompt in Administrator mode.
This seems to be a pretty common problem in Windows Vista, related to invalid/corrupt color profiles – if you’re experiencing this issue, you’ll see a beige color bleeding through the image from the background where a white background should be. Here’s an example (thanks to matthewrowan.spaces.live.com!):
After a little searching for how to change the background color, I found other people with this symptom describing it as an off color, yellow tint, orange or yellowish tinge, beige, cream colored background which, shows through the picture itself, distorts the colours, or bleeds through pictures. In most situations the problem went away in slide show mode. This was an annoying issue, making me avoid looking at pictures whatsoever in Windows Photo Gallery. This wasn’t that much of an issue because I do not use photos or pictures often on my development machine. But before I was going to install Vista on my other computer where I view photos constantly, I needed to ensure that I would not have this issue.
Great article from How-To Geek about playing classic Oregon Trail on Windows…
I am a sucker for nostalgic computer games. Oregon Trail was the first computer game I ever played on the Apple IIe system. With the help of the Enhanced Apple IIe Emulator and some virtual floppy discs we can relive those golden memories on your current PC. I am playing this on my Windows XP box. I am not sure if it works with Vista.
The first thing you need to do is download AppleWin 1.14.0 This is a zip file so just go ahead and extract it where you like. I just put it on my desktop. Open the folder and double click on the AppleWin.exe icon to launch the emulator. To start the virtual machine click on the Apple button on the upper right side.
An NTFS junction point (JP) is a feature of the NTFSfile system version 3.0 or later. It is a type of NTFS reparse point. Junction Points can be used in a similar way to symbolic links — allowing the creation of a link to a folder that is, for most intents and purposes, the same as the folder itself. This has many benefits over a Windows shellshortcut (.lnk) file, such as allowing access to files within the folder via Windows Explorer, the Command Prompt, etc. Junction points can only link to directories, and moreover, local directories only; junction points to remote shares are unsupported. For linking to files, possible alternatives to junction points (aside from shortcuts) include hard links (which have the restriction that the file must belong to the same logical volume), and symbolic links (which are only included in Windows Vista and newer, but do work over network shares). The Windows 2000 and XPResource Kits include a program called linkd to create junction points; a more powerful one named Junction was distributed by Sysinternals‘ Mark Russinovich.
While I’m still limited to using NTFS Junction Points (versus Symbolic Links, available in Windows Vista), I do really like the idea of having C:\Users\ link to C:\Documents and Settings\ (who the hell came up with that naming convention anyway?) – similar to how C:\Documents and Settings\ is a symbolic link to C:\Users\ in Windows Vista.
Luckily, there is a utility for just that purpose, available here:
I saw a post this morning showing you can run Windows applications from a virtual Windows install on your Linux Desktop. Although this may seem like it’s not that big of a deal, anyone who virtualizes another OS such as Windows from within VMware knows it can
sometimes be a hassle to switch between your Linux desktop and the Windows one since you only have access to application windows within each OS and your Guest OS is limited to running within the VMware window. The advantage of integrating the guest OS into your existing desktop allows you to easily switch between different applications and use applications side by side regardless of what OS they are on. As you can see in the pic above (click to enlarge), this method gives you access to the StartMenu from your Linux desktop as well as placing guest OS applications in the Gnome panel. The original website provided a method that needed some modification to work for me. Additionally, the following guide will show you how to safely set this up on an existing Windows partition.
Another awesome post from Lifehacker…maybe I should just add their RSS feed as a widget on the sidebar. 😉
If you’ve ever done any serious Windows troubleshooting, you’ve no doubt come across a freeware utility or two by Sysinternals—like the excellent, previously mentioned Process Explorer. You may also know that Microsoft eventually bought up every Sysinternals utility and bundled it into a single suite of apps. Now Sysinternals has launched a new way to access their library of must-have utilities quickly and easily from any internet-connected PC.
First, you can point your browser to http://live.sysinternals.com/ for no-nonsense access to any Sysinternals tool. Even better, though, you can open up Windows Explorer and point it to \\live.sysinternals.com\ to browse and launch any Sysinternals app as though you’ve already downloaded and installed it on your computer. That means next time you’re doing tech support for friends and you forgot your PC Rescue Kit, you can quickly get to any Sysinternals tool for help. At the very least, though, it’s a quicker way to start the BlueScreen screen saver on a friends computer.