Remote Desktop spanning two monitors

Thursday, 29 June 2006

If you participate in the Windows Vista beta program and you use Remote Desktop, then you might want to have a look at the new RDP client. There's a version for XP SP2 and 2003 SP1.

The main feature that interested me was that it now supports spanning multiple monitors. I've installed it on my XP SP2 box at home, and I can now connect to my XP SP2 box at work and have my desktop span across both of my monitors! I didn't even need to install the new client on my work box to get this either.

The resolution limit is up to 4096x2048

Transactions and Unit Testing with NUnit (part 2)

Sunday, 25 June 2006

The good news - I got the transaction unit testing code to work. Two traps that caught me out:

  1. Make sure the test fixture class inherits from the class defined in the transaction library assembly.
  2. Make sure your machine has a valid DNS entry! Turns out mine didn't as I'd reinstalled the OS a couple of months back, and our Active Directory DNS had kept the old record with a SID for the old machine - hence the new install had a different SID and wasn't allowed to update the DNS record.
    This had the effect that the remote server could not resolve my workstation to get the RPC conversation working properly.

Code analysis without buying Visual Studio Team System

Sunday, 25 June 2006

If you download the Microsoft® Windows® Software Development Kit (SDK) for Beta 2 of Windows Vista and WinFX Runtime Components, then you actually get the C++ compiler that includes support for the "preFAST" /analyze code analysis feature.

Normally, you'd only get this if you purchased Visual Studio Team System for lots of $$$.

I installed it, and managed to get Mozilla Firefox compiled (just a couple of patches required - problems with the new headers in the SDK conflicting with Mozilla code).

The easiest way to analyze the code is to edit your mozconfig file and add the following:

ac_add_options --enable-optimize="-analyze"

I've uploaded a build log that includes the various warnings. Many are spurious, so the trick is to weed out the noise and find the ones that are relevant.

Customising Visual Studio.NET 2005 for Single and Dual Monitors

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

I have been using a dual-monitor setup for a couple of years now, and find it a very practial way to develop.

I also work from home, and use Remote Desktop (RDP) to connect back to my workstation at work. The problem is that RDP only works on a single screen - so when you launch Visual Studio, all the windows that were anchored on the second screen now are messed up.

The solution is to use the Import and Export Settings wizard to save two window layouts - one for a single screen and one for a dual screen. You can then load these settings to reset the window layout for the appropriate monitor.

To automate the process even further, you can create some Visual Studio Macros and assign them to a custom toolbar so that you can do it all with a single click of your mouse.

Here's my macro code that loads the two different window settings:

Sub RDPLayout()
    DTE.ExecuteCommand("Tools.ImportandExportSettings", "/import:""U:\My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\Settings\rdp.vssettings""")
End Sub
 
Sub DualMonitorLayout()
    DTE.ExecuteCommand("Tools.ImportandExportSettings", "/import:""U:\My Documents\Visual Studio 2005\Settings\dual monitor.vssettings""")
End Sub

Transactions and Unit Testing with NUnit

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Roy Osherove has written a useful library that adds support for wrapping your unit tests inside a transaction (using MSDTC/COM+) which means that you can test your data-layer code and not worry about messing up your database.

The only problem is I can't get it working for me:-(

  1. Microsoft increased the security around using COM+ in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1
  2. The database I'm testing against is on a remote server (running 2003 SP1)

So even after reading this KB article, I still can't get it to work. The unit test just hangs, and I think it's because MSDTC is having problems of some kind.