Friday, December 22, 2006

2006 Review: IT: Biggest Tech stories

Major happenings from year 2006 in the field of Information Technology

Thursday, December 21, 2006

2006 Review: Microsoft: Really lot to say

Truly Microsoft has released lots of stuff this year. And if they are not winning, at least they are giving tough time to their competitors!

More here,
http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/while_2006_is_ending_on.html?kc=MWRSS02129TX1K0000535

2006 Review: Gaming: Looks like Microsoft won the battle

Some interesting figures regarding main gaming consoles of 2006

2006 Review: IT industry: Communication skills is a key

Some interesting facts of the current year in the field of IT industry.

Behind Code Name

Everything you wanna know about Microsoft Code Name and products related to them...

A game dvd or a console?

Have a look, Blue Dragon game for Xbox 360 packaging. Btw people of japan has gone mad over this game, already more than 70k copies has been sold.

At last Team Foundation Server & Visual Studio 2005 SP1 released!

Was busy little bit, and missed out a much needed updated, yeah Visual Studio 2005 & Team Foundation Server, anyway Enjoy!

Friday, December 15, 2006

One more partner

Few days ago I read some forecast that after Vista launch, Microsoft's Partners will make more money than Microsoft. I think it’s not only true for Vista but it’s a same story on other MS products as well. Have a look at Test Manager Add-In it exploits Visual Studio Software Developer deficiency and started generating money, $90 for single user...

Flash Killer?

All right folks, now Microsoft is competing with Flash as well. This is interesting Linux, Java, FireFox, PS, Ipod, Flash etc and the list is increasing... keep watching

Thursday, December 14, 2006

At last i got one!

After long research and hard hunt of lowest price, I've finally purchased Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W70. Of course it looks awesome, I'll explore it further bare with me :)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Another TFS Permission tool

Can manage all three permissions from single dialog...

Manage WorkItem Tracking from MS Word

something different.. it doesnt use ActiveXControl, only works on standard MS Word controls..

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Way too much resources required by Vista

Have a look and its something not theoretical, I've checked it by myself.. so be careful dont upgrade to vista if you need to run other heavy software as well.. because 70% of your resources will be taken by windows vista alone.... But why?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

300! I'll say SinCity was nothing

300 a new movie based on Frank Miller comic novel, SinCity is still one of my favourite but when i saw 300 trailer in cinema, man i cant explain you.. go n watch the trailer at full size... visual, sound acting everything looks awesome.. cant wait.. 4 months to go..

Friday, December 01, 2006

Brian Harry's commitment

Last month i discussed with Brian Harry, regarding future of TFS and he promised me that he'll be publishing complete TFS Road map and here we go... Bharry Rocks!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Mohammad Yousuf achieves landmark

Mohammad Yousuf has broken 30 years old world record of highest runs scored in calender year, he has also created world record of highest number of centuries (9) in a calender year. Conversion to Islam has changes his life from every angle, he has mentioned this so many times since his conversion to Muslim. What a man..

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Google's online documents and spreadsheets

I'm using www.backpackit.com for my online notes, links and scribbles, its okee but pretty basic ... just today i saw Google's docs and spreadsheets service something really professional where not only you can edit multiple documents but you can share and get them publish... isn't it great..

Real Vista experience

Well today i explored some unique features of windows vista and after that its getting some respect out of me ;)

Bit Locker
It gives extra protection to your PC by protecting your information even if ur PC got stolen, it does it by keeping encryption key on some external device like usb, active directory etc.. which is required to boot your PC but this feature also requires some especial hardware support

Tags (Meta data)
A good feature just like blog tagging.. but the bad thing is it doesn't support all file types like TXT files are not supported

Encrypting Files (EFS)
Provides encryption/decryption on your normal files

Speech Recognition
voice dictation and commands support

Windows Backup and Restore
Looks like an excellent backup and restore operation which can take file backups and whole windows/partition backup..a much needed feature

Sleep
A new way of temporary blocking your PC something in the middle of standby and hibernate.. it takes only 4-5 sec to sleep and resume

Previous Versions
No need to worry if you delete your files accidentally or intentionally.. windows keeps previous versions and you can easily restore your deleted files..

I'll play few more days on vista.. but will install it again after January next year..

Now i know why Microsoft takes such long in shipping products

One vista feature story how it got implemented... just imagine rest of the features ;)

One more evidence

Once again people finding it difficult how to respond with microsoft upgrades... Enjoy!

Article supporting my comments on Vista

have a look!

My hands on Windows Vista

At last I’ve installed Windows Vista Ultimate Edition RTM, so here’s my first impression after playing few hours on it (its more than 1 at night.. so writing in hurry)

My notebook
Intel Core Duo 1.86 GHz
1 GB Ram
100 GB HDD
Intel Graphics Card (shared memory)

Installation
- It took more than two hours to upgrade from WinXP to WinVista (isn’t it slow)
- It took 6GB of more space after installation (isn’t it too much)

Programs Compatibility
Lots of previously installed software stopped working including
Nero, Norton, Acronis, Bluetooth etc

Performance
- If you don’t run any software it takes more then 500mb of memory all the time
- My PC becomes slow in running few software but overall performance of windows is ok
- In fact I was not able to uninstall Norton Antivirus, it gets hang every time
- Overall software install/uninstall is quite slow

New Features
- Major stuff is UI enhancements nothing else (like Glass, Flip etc)
- Overall ease of use is introduced everywhere
- Windows Transfer Utility, Network Properties, Games are good
- Still lots of windows applications are old
- I didn’t found any major stuff except some cool UI features

Conclusion
I didn’t found any major stuff in windows Vista especially if you see its release after 5 years of WinXP. Its nothing just an enhanced/improved version of WinXp although i just played few hours on it but still i don’t think so there’s some major feature or you can say major architectural change.. like still i found programs can get hang and destabilize the windows and you have to do same end task, I hate it! I won’t be using it for at least another 3-4 months or so and will back to winxp, as it'll take time to have availability of windows vista compatible software, moreover it needs more memory and hdd space which I cant spare at the moment J

Friday, November 24, 2006

Visual Studio .Net Orcas features out

Although Visual Studio .Net Orcas CTP is available but still there are bunch of features not present in CTP but will be there in the final version, so if you have to take any decisions based on Orcas release, do check out!

Short Reviews on their way..

Since last few years I'm using some useful resources like websites, services, products etc.. well i think i should share them with everyone with pros n cons of each, so keep watching...

Excellent review of Team Foundation Server

Finally someone showed up and has written something almost true about Team foundation server, not complete but fair…

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Have question on Vista?

Nice FAQ, will answer end user questions on Vista

Download and play TV Shows and Movies with XBox

One more shot! Microsoft continuously exploiting PS3 shortage in the market and truly it’s been a huge difference now as Microsoft has just celebrated first anniversary of Xbox 360 while PS3 just arrived… so Microsoft is on edge I guess...

A good year for Microsoft

A nice read... summary of the year for Microsoft.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Got an idea?

Convert your idea into business using Microsoft Office Accounting 2007.

Vista's ReadyBoost... an excellent idea

I'm feeling relief to know that my spare USB flash drives will be used somewhere.. guess where? nothing else but Vista, Vista's ReadyBoost feature will boost your computer performance by using Flash drives as memory alternatives.. nice one.. but have to wait and see..

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Samsung has created world's thinnest LCD

Today Samsung has announced that it has created world's thinnest LCD which as thin as a Credit Card which will allow more thinner/slim mobile phones. Isn't it amazing?

Office 2007 unfinished product

I installed Office 2007 and found one very annoying thing, the major feature of Office 2007 because of which somebody will think of upgrade is its new UI BUT the new UI is only available with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and the rest are same as ever. It looks like an unfinished product. Isn’t it?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Very good site for interview questions

I found a very good site for interview preparation especially for big 5 company recruitment processes.

Great Book: Essential Windows Workflow Foundation

I'v just grab a latest book right from the creators of Windows Workflow Foundation (WF), its just published last month and had some great reviews.. let me read it..

Call from Islamabad

A nice article, it shows how difficult it is to run a business in Pakistan especially the one which requires a infrastructure at mass level and how easy it is to run a business in west where you don’t have even basic issues :)

Gears of War: Next generation gaming starts here

Cant believe it.. stunning graphics, game play.. things looks like almost real.. i read some reviews.. watched some videos..its truly awesome .. people are saying its the best game available for Xbox

See you on battle field...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Reporting Model and Builder looks cool

Today I'v strated working on SQL Server Reporting Services Model and Builder, just generated a Model and created a basic report. Everything worked smoothly, i think its a good attempt by microsoft to enter into the BI domain (btw they'v purchased the report builder tool from some company).. lets see for the complex ones :)

Xbox 360 promotions reactivated!

Its first weekend after the launch of PS3 in USA and its yet to arrive in UK and BANG! Microsoft is doing XBox 360 advertisements as its released few days ago.. as today’s Metro (Daily Newspaper here in UK) completely overshadowed by XBox 360 games advertisements.. Isn’t it a cunning marketing tactic ;)

Keep watching.. the WaR..

Skype goes mobile!

This is cool.. no need to preplan your Voice Chat back in Pakistan.. neither you need headphones nor a PC as you can do VC right from your mobile, isn't it great?

Skype Rocks even more!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Hottest Wars around

These days there are two hot wars going on and as expected in both wars Microsoft is opponent :)

- Zune vs IPod
- Xbox 360 vs PS3

keep watching!

IE7 running on Linux! will you believe

Great.. no need of portability just write IE compatible pages.. kidding :)

Enjoy!

TFS Power Toys

Some cool power toys for Team Foundation Server..

Enjoy!

Windows Power Shell Released!

Here is some good news for us and especially for Administrators.. as more powerfull scripting tool has been released.. let me play with it.. :)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

.Net must have TOOLS

Well I'v compiled this list of must have .net tools... ofcourse, major part came from MSDN 10 Must Have .Net Tools.. Enjoy!

MSDN Wiki, well........ yeah! a good idea..

I think with so much information available alone on Microsoft platform, there was a much needed requirement of wiki for Microsoft.. and here we go.. MSDN Wiki :)

Microsoft Steps into Security via MS ForeFront!

Microsoft is covering Security from every direction i.e. Client, Server & Network (Edge) under the flag of ForeFront. There are lots of Security products coming like Forefront Client, Exchange, Sharepoint, ISA Security and much more.. Of course its a result of acquiring some VPN and Antivirus organizations :)

MSF updated!

Microsoft has updated MSF for Agile software development with the process guidance for Visual Studio Database Professionals... so now database developers officially comes under Team System flag :)
you can download the latest MSF at
http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=63524

Microsoft slew of products launch continues...

Microsoft has announced launch of Interop Vendor Alliance, Forefront Security Application and of course Zune following .Net 3.0 release.. and of course vista, office 2007 and Visual Studio Database Professional to follow..
So guys don’t keep your fingers crossed.. do something ;)

TFS Build Troubleshooting

Team Build TF42046: The Build Service used in the build process is not reachable

Whenever you get above error, plz make sure following:

  1. That Team Build is installed on the build machine. This can be found on the Team Foundation Server installation CD in the BB directory. Run setup to install Team Build
  2. Make sure the Team Build Service is running. Open the services MMC snapin and look for Team Build Service. Make sure the service is running. Also note the account that the service runs as; you will need it for the next step
  3. Make sure the Team Build Service account (from step 2) is in the “TFS Service Accounts” group. For more information see http://blogs.infosupport.com/raimondb/archive/2005/11/28/bbsvcacc.aspx
  4. Make sure the designated Team Build port is listening and available thru any firewalls. By default, the port used is 9191. Open a command prompt on the build machine and run “netstat”. Make sure TCP port 9191 is listening. You may want to make sure The Team Build service has this port and not another application on the build server. Make sure this port is not blocked by the window’s firewall or any other firewall in you enterprise.
  5. Make sure the paths defined in your PATH system variable do not have any invalid characters. This includes any “” around the paths. Part of the Team Foundation Build Client source code attempts to build the path to msbuild.exe using the paths defined in this environment variable. Unfortunately the exception that is thrown when the system attempt to call Path.Combine on a malformed path is masked by the misdirecting TF42046 error.
  6. If all else fails, turn on verbose tracing by navigating to the build server’s build service install directory and uncomment the trace flags in the TeamBuildService.exe.config file. You can find this file at “:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\IDE\PrivateAssemblies\”. You can verify this directory by checking the run directory listed in the properties window of the TeamBuildService found in the services snapin.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

IE7 Clear-Type Text Rocks!

Well since IE7 has arrived with almost same features as FireFox 2.0 is offering, i'm little bit confused should i use IE or Firefox, there are two features are like most in IE7 i.e. Clear-type text and Quick Tabs.. I v found awesome experience in reading websites with clear-text on .. and quick tabs is also very good in switching to the required tab..
may be i'll start using IE again ;)

Zune is out!

So guys the wait is over.. though i dont know how many were waiting for it ;) .. anyway it looks good especially i'v heard some excellent feedback of display quality and transfer rate is quite high as well.. like it did transfered 394mb in just 54 secs..

well may be Zune is for me as i'v still not got any Ipod and i'll be upgrading to vista as well.. its free upgrade for me so why not to try it ;)

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Free Microsoft eLearning!

Go and grab some elearning courses offered by Microsoft, yes! free of cost. Free courses includes WPF, WF, WCF, SQL Server 2005 etc.

Enjoy!

Team System Widgets

Some excellent resource to get everything for TFS, especially the free stuff and in the form of Widgets.

Keep exploring...

Reshaping...

My search is on and on, trying to find something new that can last with me for the rest of my life. Some interesting new domain with not much dynamic behavior as programming has, which can lead me towards consultancy, management and can help me in grabbing some good position in Big Four. Is it Information Security or Enterprise Application integration, don’t know. Its time to take some bold decisions, Lets see.

New Applications for Vista

As Vista launch is coming closer as expected there are bunch of applications debuting as well, especially utilizing WPF. Have a look

ZAM 3D - WPF Editor for Developers & Designers
http://www.erain.com/products/ZAM3D/DefaultPDC.asp
Times Reader - Times eNewspaper Reader utilizing WPF for better user expereince
http://firstlook.nytimes.com/?category_name=times%20reader

Keep Rocking!

Awesome tool for TFS

Excellent work by Attrice, you can manage following:

- Complete Source Control History
- Lock Status
- Workspace

Great!

A big week for Microsoft and thier Customers

Here you can download everything, Microsft released this week. Go and grab them by clicking on the blog Title.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

WCF or WF or WPF or WC or AJAX or LINQ?

Ah! so much new stuff, from where to start? Ahan good question :)
Start everything otherwise you'll be outdated and not able to find attractive jobs :)

Leave .Net 3.0, Start developing for .Net 3.5 ;)

hi guys, with the release of .Net 3.0 Microsoft has also released ASP.Net Atlas beta 2 and it reminded me that next year .Net framework 3.5 is coming, So quickly gets your hands on .Net 3.0 and betas/CTPs of .Net 3.5 as its coming as well. Enjoy!

.Net Framework 3.0 and supporting tools has been Released

So Guys the long wait is over as Microsoft has released .Net 3.0, lets start a new war again in implementing WCF/WPF/WF in your new projects and be ready for learning new stuff again. You can download everything from http://www.netfx3.com/

cheers!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Microsoft Live Search Virtual 3D Map is awesome

Great, i'm loving it.. so smooth, now its so easy to find your destinations with 3D map.. this is something i cant stop to appreciate from Microsoft. Must try it..

Monday, October 30, 2006

Officially announced TFS SP1 features

Following are the officially announced features of Team Foundation Server Service Pack 1

- Custom Control hosting in WorkItem
- Separate Analysis Server installation
- Performance Enhancements
- Bug fixing
- TFS accessibility from normal internet instead of just over VPN

looks good but i was expecting more features.

Team Foundation Present and Future

Finally i asked one of TFS Product Manager regarding happenings at Microsoft under TFS Flag, well truly speaking it disappointed me as most of the things i need today it'll take more than a year to come, in fact i'll say 2 years as most of the things in the coming release Orcas are finalized and my required features are not part of orcas and its already expected to release in 2nd half of the next year so forget mates :( Following are the features Microsoft is working on in upcoming releases of Team Foundation

- WorkItem workflow/hierarchy
- Tight integration with MS Project
- Test Plan and Test Case management
- Custom and default properties for Team Projects
- Share point 2007 integration
- WorkItem restricted access
- Process template improvement

Hard luck.. things will be too complicated for me now.. as my company badly needs majority of the features mentioned above..

Hunt for medium range Digital Camera

These days i'm searching for medium range digital camera, well i'm doing it since last few days and things getting narrowed down now :) . I'll be choosing among Sony CyberShot DSC-W70 and Canon PowerShot IXUS 65, both are almost identical in features but sony has slight edge coz of less price and more megapixel. Lets see which one will be mine :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Google's Personalised Home Rocks..

I'm using Google Personal Home since last 2 years and its been great.. but today i saw a brand new feature thats really awesome, it allows you to add tabs to your home page and give them a name as you like and thats it start categorizing your gadgets. Great!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

patterns & practices Guidance Explorer

Excellent stuff, no need to search in your old projects for referencing.. even you can do lot more than that..

Google Code Search has given lots of flashlights to people interested in exploring dark corners

oh good stuff.. especially i like one marketing job.. :)

Hackers find use for Google Code Search

See these days every new technology is creating space for another technology to come, isnt'it a business :)

Laser Powered Flat Screen TV

Oh man, a great news.. this is good i'm delaying my next TV purchase.. who knows it could be Laser TV ;)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Law of Demeter

Few days ago, we had our User Group Session at Microsoft House, London and there one of our friend Ian Cooper presented 10 OOP practices, and he introduced us Law of Demeter, the term was new to me but it says true things about Object Oriented Programming,

The principle says:

The Law of Demeter for functions requires that any method M of an object O may only invoke the methods of the following kinds of objects:

  1. itself
  2. its parameters
  3. any objects it creates/instantiates
  4. its direct component objects
which is ofcourse a good practice..so have a look n keep rocking..

Developer Highway Code

Yesterday i attended a session on Building Secure Applications at Microsoft House,London and the presenter pointed to a nice Security Handbook which should be on every developer desk to build secure applications. Enjoy!

Visual Studio 2005 SDK - September 2006 Finally Arrived

Here is what they says about it

"The September 2006 v3 RTM is the next milestone in the VS 2005 SDK. The v3 release contains the final release of the DSL Tools v1, contents and samples for Team Foundation Server and Team Test extensibility, IronPython website and web project samples, 5 new Visual Studio PowerToys, managed parser & lexer generator tools (MPPG/MPLEX), updated documentation and many more IDE integration samples. Note that the VSTA runtimes and documentation are still in pre-release form and they are not included in this release. This release of the SDK also includes important changes to the end user license agreement regarding platform targeting restrictions; please refer to the EULA shown in the VS SDK Setup for more details."

I hope it'll have better documentation and integration samples this time..

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Online notepad

I'm using Onenote as my local notepad, but i wanted something online as well in order to log notes even when i'm away from my lapy. So i found one very good tool called backpackit.. the basic account has got everything i need..so its all set now..

http://backpackit.com/

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Team Foundation Eventing Service good and bad

Microsoft people have tried their best to make Team F Create oundation Server customizable and extendible, well as far as customization is concern you can say its almost fully customizable but not still its quite far from fully extendible. Like in my case i have used Team Foundation eventing service in order to do some custom work item generation etc. but when it comes to validation there’s no easy way to do so. In fact there’s no way I can get pre-event notifications, anyway I’m still looking and trying to find someway and it seems threes no updates coming from Microsoft even I don’t see it in the next version.. So I’ll have to do some work around.. Will post here soon..

Visual Studio 2005 SDK V3

I'm still waiting for Visual Studio 2005 SDK, alhtough it was expected to release in the month of August but still no news from Microsoft. if somebody got some info please share..

Team Foundation Service Pack Beta

Hopefully this month we'll have MS Team Foundation Server Service Pack Beta release, it has some cool stuff plus lots of fixing as well, lets watch out.. the coolest thing that i'm waiting for is hosting of custom controls in workitems, bingo! now we can show any number of fields and data from any data source.. Team System Rocks..

I'm back, have some free time now..

I'm back, after a long busy schedule i hope now i can find some time to continue blogging. And this time it'll be mainly on MS Team System.

regards
faraz