May 31, 2005
Microsoft Release Codes, Decoded
(un)Official Microsoft Definitions for Release Codes
Alpha - Our attempt at humor. Maybe it will install, maybe it won't. Ha ha, sucker, now go write your blog post titled "My experience installing...".
Tech Preview - You know that prototype we've been screwing around with? Well dude, we got totally trashed over the weekend, and Brian posted the bits!. They're out there man. He made up this, like, "Tech Preview SDK" installer, and slipped it on to MSDN, and people are freak'n downloading it! The marketing guy is so pissed because now he has to write up a bunch of stuff trying to make it look like we posted this on purpose. Poor Brian. He's been re-org'd over to the Microsoft Train Simulator team.
CTP (Community Tech Preview) - We know this build is very broken and incomplete, but we're putting it out there anyways. You're not going to complain though, because if it weren't for these CTPs, you'd have to wait 6 - 12 months to see anything new.
Beta RC (Beta Release Candidate) - We were going to call it a Beta, but we had a bad feeling about this one, so we decided to hedge and throw that "RC" on there at the last minute. If you find nasty bugs, hey buddy, it's a Beta "RC".
Beta - You might actually want to install this and check it out. It will install on a clean box, and the product will launch without error (at least errors that you'll see). Many of you will ask if you can "go live" and use this in a production environment. There's enough of you that've we've created a persona for you called "Fool", as in "Fool built their production Victoria Secret Web site on beta software and debuted it during the Super Bowl." We love you man, but we also think you're freak'n nuts.
RC (Release Candidate) - We know it's not quite good enought to sell, but we're not sure why, and our QA department is tired of looking at it. That's where you come in. Could you QA this thing? We'd really like to start making some bucks off it.
RTM = Sellable (a.k.a. the Ka-ching release). This is last release before the product becomes fully functional.
RTM + SP1 - Wow, we had no idea that much stuff was broken. Thanks for finding all the bugs, but next time could you find them and tell us when it's still an RC? We fixed some, and classified the others as "Not bug". Hey, you have to reboot eventually anyways, right? Oh, and there were some features that didn't get done in time for RTM, so we threw those in here too (they'll generate the need for an SP2). Enjoy. By the way, we've just posted this really cool Alpha of the next verson. You should check it out.
Connection Pooling Myths
I had always thought that if you were using connection pooling, you should avoid changing the connection state information (such as sending a "use someOtherDB", for example), because when you pull connections out of the pool, who knows what state they'd be in.
It turns out I was wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. (and incorrect, even)
When a connection gets pulled out of the pool, an "exec sp_reset_connection" quitely gets sent, and this resets the connection state. With SQL 2000, a few things (like the isolation level) don't get reset, but most things, including the current database, do. With SQL 2005, everything is supposed to get reset.
Now, questioning everything I thought I knew, I did some searching and came across a good doc on other connection pooling myths.
Closed Source CVS hosting
I was looking for hosted CVS for some closed-source projects, and I came across this great list of CVS hosting services. Does anyone know of any others, esp for closed source projects, or have any strong recommendations for any on this list?
UPDATE: I did some searching myself. If you're looking for CVS hosting providers who let you host closed-source projects, check out:
If you know of more, let me know, and I'll add them to the list.
May 27, 2005
If you've ever thought about setting up a project on SourceForge, then you need to read this. It does a better job of just hand-holding you through the process than anything else I've found.
bonus track: SourceForge Theme Song
Pinning the Toolbox in Visual Studio 2003 hangs the IDE
I've run into this bug a few times, where I pin the toolbox open and Visual Studio hangs. I don't know what causes it. I can go for very long periods of time without it happening, but once it starts, every time I pin the Toolbox open it causes the hang.
Closing the Server Explorer seems to fix the problem. Once the server explorer is closed and the problem goes away, the server explorer can be opened again.
The Multi-Core Era
Intel Corp. today announced the launch of Intel's new dual-core processor Pentium D for use in desktop PCs.(via Sci-Tech Today)
The U.S. chip giant also sees shipments of multicore processors, including the Pentium D unit, making up 70 percent of all the processors it supplies for desktop computers by the end of 2006.
This is expected to rise further to over 90 percent by the end of 2007.
Welcome to the Multi-Core Processor Era.
Nokia ships linux based "Internet Tablet" (Nokia 770)
Calling this thing a "Tablet PC" is really a stretch, as it has no hard drive, etc. It's really more of an uber PDA.
Also, did I read correctly that the battery life is only 3 hours?
May 26, 2005
C#, a toy language? C++ is back in the game.
VB developers, please extend a warm welcome to all the C# developers, who will now be joining us at the "You're Using a Toy Language" clubhouse. According to grumpy old programmer, with .NET 2.0, "The truth is that this new development in C++ seriously undermines the justification for C# as a language. C++ programmers yet to learn C# simply don't need to now. What's the point? They will find the full productivity of Visual Studio 2005 right there at their fingertips supporting the language they know and love. Why should they move to something that is slower and less feature rich?" (emphasis mine)
He goes on to say "So C# will become the natural home simply for those poor folk who have already invested time in it, and possibly for Java types moving to .NET and smart enough to avoid J#."
(via The Sellsinator)
Workaround: Uninstall Netscape
Installing Netscape 8 apparently breaks the XML rendering in IE.
Uninstall Netscape 8
Navigate to the following:
Highlight and right-click the node titled "xml" and select delete.
Restart Internet Explorer
I wonder if this is also the fault of a vendor.
May 25, 2005
All this time, and I never knew...
I never knew that you could break a line between the dots, as in:
works in C# also
WriteLine("this is a test");
How ignorant am I?