July 2008 Blog Posts

Tech City Bowl Follow-up and Reviews on Blogs

I wanted to write a follow-up post to say that a manager from Tech City Bowl posted a comment on my blog only a couple of days after I posted my rant about an experience there.  He has offered a solution to our predicament that I feel is quite satisfactory, and he apologized that we were not better served when we were there the first time. My son will be able to go to Tech City Bowl to bowl his first game after all.  Hopefully the staff is informed of how to address these types of situations better in...

posted @ Friday, July 18, 2008 9:21 PM | Feedback (0)

Virtual PC – Drag and Drop Feature

Sometimes you just have to try something, even though you can’t imagine that it will work.  Usually, the result is slight disappointment that the software didn’t anticipate what you wanted to do, but occasionally the process yields pure joy.  Virtual PC just gave me such joy. I have a virtual machine running on my right-hand monitor, and I needed to get a file from my physical workstation over to it.  I haven’t yet set up any shared drives, so I wasn’t sure of the best way to get the file over—in this case a VS 2008 settings...

posted @ Wednesday, July 16, 2008 4:53 PM | Feedback (0)

Rant: Bowling alley frustration

As part of getting settled into Redmond, I thought it would be good to join a bowling league.  I haven't bowled in league for a long time due to wrist and hand pain, but I figured a few games a week shouldn't bother me too much. Each week, my son has asked if he could come bowling with me.  We told him that this week, we'd all go together to bowl a game before my league began.  As we got there, we decided we'd actually just have my son bowl a game by himself, so that he could bowl...

posted @ Tuesday, July 15, 2008 1:01 AM | Feedback (4)

My first Virtual PC under Vista or x64

It’s been quite awhile since I created a virtual PC; a couple of years probably.  This is the first time I tried to create one under either Vista or x64.  Here were some interesting findings… I used the wizard to create the first virtual PC and its hard drive.  I booted to a Vista x64 install and walked through the first stages of the process with no problems.  After an hour to an hour and a half, it rebooted and I thought I was going to be well on my way to having my virtual PC ready to use. ...

posted @ Monday, July 14, 2008 2:23 PM | Feedback (1)

HP MediaSmart Home Server and Photo Sharing

We invested in an HP MediaSmart Server EX470.  This server will become where we store our documents, music, photos, video, and more.  One of the major draws for me was the photo/video sharing website that you get out of the box.  Our family website has been down for months because the “server” (read: old Pentium 2-450 Mhz box with a 20GB HD) has been offline.  So we are really eager to get a family website back online.  Our families are missing seeing the boys, so we want to at least show them some pictures! Besides the hardware problems with...

posted @ Thursday, July 10, 2008 6:40 PM | Feedback (4)

Binding to Nullable Values in XAML

I stumbled upon some behavior awhile back that struck me as odd.  I had a nullable property in my ViewModel that I was binding to in Silverlight, but I found that whenever the value was cleared out by the user, the property setter was not called. I narrowed it down to a simple application that has properties for Name and Age, as follows: 1: public string Name 2: { 3: ...

posted @ Wednesday, July 9, 2008 2:07 PM | Feedback (15)

Custom Controls Everywhere – In XAML

You’ve heard me preach it before.  Custom Controls Everywhere, damn it!  It’s my mantra, my MO, one of my core beliefs for application development. As I started getting used to XAML, I kept thinking about how I’d implement custom controls everywhere and utilize the pattern in the same way I have before.  Since the concept applies equally well to ASP.NET and WinForms, I of course assumed that I would want to apply it to XAML (either Silverlight or WPF) too.  However, while actually doing my work in XAML, I restrained from creating custom controls right off the bat, instead...

posted @ Monday, July 7, 2008 5:05 PM | Feedback (1)

Starting to get LINQ

I’m finding that I’m using LINQ more and more for simple problems that would otherwise have longwinded solutions.  The brevity that LINQ offers is pretty powerful, and I appreciate that LINQ allows me to express what I want clearly and get the desired result. One example today was when working with a custom calendar control that has a list of selected Days.  A Day is also a custom control, and it has a Date property.  I wanted to convert the list of selected Day controls into a list of selected dates....

posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2008 5:01 PM | Feedback (0)

This alias is either really cool or just plain wrong

I was working in a custom control today that exposes a dependency property of type System.Collections.ObjectModel.ObservableCollection<System.DateTime>.  After typing that type name a few times I decided it was time for a using statement at the top of the file to shorten things up.  But even ObservableCollection<DateTime> is pretty long. I recalled reading about how applying the using statement to create aliases.  I wasn’t sure if it would, but sure enough, the following worked like a charm: 1: using DateTimeList = System.Collections.ObjectModel.ObservableCollection<System.DateTime>; That lets me declare my...

posted @ Wednesday, July 2, 2008 4:44 PM | Feedback (1)