Sep 29, 2005

GreatNews RSS Reader

In the past I've used FeedReader to keep track of RSS feeds, mainly because of it's ability to minimise to the system tray, but I've recently gotten a bit sick of it. It doesn't handle all the feeds that well and it keeps thinking the MSDN feeds have been refreshed when only one or two new articles are posted.

So I went looking and eventually came across GreatNews. It's a real pleasure to use, is quick and has a nice clean interface (with multiple layouts as well).

If you feel like a change, try it out.

Sep 26, 2005

Team Foundation Server Beta 3

Following on from PDC Microsoft normally makes a bunch of technologies available for download. This time it's no different.

They have just made Team Foundation Server Beta 3 available for download from the MSDN subscribers site.

They have also made the Visual Studio 2005 Release Candidate available as well.

The best thing about the TFS Beta 3 can be used in production and it is supported through to the release. According to an article on the MSDN site: "Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server Beta 3 can now be used in a production environment. Microsoft is committed to supporting a complete migration from Beta 3 to the final RTM version of Team Foundation Server. Details of the Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server Beta 3 Go-Live license will be forthcoming. "

Time to get a download happening...

Sep 20, 2005

The LINQ Project

ObjectSpaces is reborn! The LINQ project is a codename for Microsoft's new object/relational framework that will be built into .NET 3.0 (yes it's already on the drawing board).

The syntax and the inbuilt language integration means that you can do mapping and object retrieval directly in your code without having to reference any other framework(s) and the project borrows from many of the concepts common to any mature object relational framework.

My only gripe is that at the moment it looks like it only uses attribute based mappings. There is no external mapping facility so slight schema changes are a little difficult to handle, also some of the interactions (such as dbtype descriptions) have the potential to be too database specific since they incorporate syntactical elements of the target database. Apart from that, it's got a lot of potential and could actually mean the end of demand for products such as the AtomsFramework, etc.

Sep 19, 2005

Developer Toolbar for IE

The IE team has released a developers toolbar for IE that makes a lot of nifty features available for developers.

The story is on the IEBlog website and the download is available as well.

Some features that I really like
- DOM explorer (as a pinnable toolbar inside IE)
- Highlighting of divs, tables, etc
- Inbuilt ruler for measuring distances
- Preconfigured windows resizing option

Really nice stuff :-)

Sep 18, 2005

Windows Vista Beta 1

The latest MSDN shipment finally arrived an in it was a shiny new copy of the Longhorn Beta 1 release (aka Windows Vista). I'd thought about downloading it before, but any MSDN download over 1 Gb I usually wait for.

My impressions first up were from a user perspective (ignoring all the funky stuff under the hood) and it seems like quite a good update to the O/S. Obviously there are other sites that explain it all in more detail and I'd recommend you go have a look at Paul Thurott's site for example.
My biggest problem I had was that IE7 didn't work with my application. It seems to be something to do with the viewstate or something - I'll have to investigate.

Oh - one big tip - don't install it in VirtualPC 2004 unless you have to. It's dead slow and painful to use. If you've got the disk space make and use a spare partition (eg using Partition Magic) and install to that. The performance difference is massive especially if you don't have truck loads of RAM.

Sep 16, 2005

Battlefield 2 Signatures

There's a cool little utility on the Battefield 2 OGN site that generates signatures containing your Battelfield 2 stats.

The link is and there's an example at the bottom of the page.

Sep 15, 2005

Microsoft Shows Off Office 12

Microsoft have put out a press release with some screen shots of the various apps in Office.

The look and feel is quite a departure from Office 2K3, etc and seems to be built around the Windows Vista (formerly Longhorn) interface with some stylistic "help" from SAP (the diagonal edges to tabs for instance).

Check it out at