The big Four Zero

Monday, 18 April 2011

Today I am 40 years old!

I know this because as you can see the in the photo below, I'm wearing a badge (made by my daughter) that says "40 years old" Smile

Photo of David wearing a '40 years old' badge

Yesterday I celebrated the occasion with family and friends at a picnic lunch in Belair National Park. The weather couldn't have been better and I think everyone really enjoyed themselves (I know I did).

Extra special thanks to my lovely wife Narelle who worked very hard to make it a fantastic day, Narelle's Mum & Dad for decorations, barbecue knowledge and other help, my Mum and Dad for having me in the first place Smile, my sister Fiona for putting together a wonderful birthday scrapbook, and my kids for helping with the games.

Renaming date-named folders using PowerShell

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Since I've been using the Windows 7 Import Pictures and Videos wizard to upload photos from our digital camera, we've used the directory naming scheme of YYYY-MM-DD. Prior to this, I'd written my own custom photo importer in C++ as I didn't like the naming schemes that Windows XP offered. Unfortunately I'd chosen YYYYMMDD instead.

I'm now consolidating all our digital photos onto our Windows Home Server. This makes them easier to browse on the big screen using Windows Media Center, and has the added benefit that they also get backed up to the cloud via a subscription to CrashPlan.

I discovered the downside to having the different naming schemes when you go to view the photos in Media Center – it displays the folders out of order because they don't all follow the same format.

PowerShell to the rescue:

cd \\homeserver\photos
dir | Where-Object {$_.Name -match "^\d{8}$" } | Rename-Item -NewName { $_.Name -replace "^(\d{4})(\d{2})(\d{2})(.*)", "`$1-`$2-`$3`$4" }

This finds directories matching the old naming scheme and renames them to conform to the new one.

My C++ importer imported all photos into a single folder, so to avoid overwriting the same folder if you imported twice on the same day, I would add a .0 (or .1 etc) to the end of the folder to ensure it was unique. There weren't too many of these though, so I dealt with them manually.

Free licenses for WP7 EQATEC Profiler

Friday, 8 April 2011

If you're a Windows Phone 7 developer, you may have come across Eqatec's Profiler. As far as I know, it's currently the only performance profiler that supports WP7 applications (Red Gate have indicated that they will support WP7 in 2011 Q4).

I've made use of Eqatec Profiler already, as there is a free version available, but with some restrictions (such as only profiling a single assembly).

Now in exchange for trialling their analytics product, they're offering upgrades to give you free licenses to the less-restricted versions.

As well as WP7, the product also support profiling regular .NET, Silverlight, Services, ASP.NET and even .NET CF.

I participated in the analytics evaluation and got 21 points which entitled me to a 'Professional' profiler license (normally $US399).

So what did I think of the analytics product? Well it seems quite solid, and didn't have any noticeable impact on my test apps. If you were selling software commercially then it might be of interest, but the price is prohibitive for those of us who have only released free software so far.

Windows 7 Boot to VHD

Monday, 4 April 2011

For my own reference, some useful resources about boot to VHD:

Following instructions from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd979534%28WS.10%29.aspx

Diskpart

create vdisk file=C:\VHD\test.vhd maximum=25000 type=expandable      select vdisk file=C:\VHD\test.vhd      attach vdisk      create partition primary      assign letter=v      format quick FS=NTFS label=VHD
exit

 

PowerShell:

PS C:\VHDs> .\Install-WindowsImage.ps1 -WIM D:\sources\install.wim

Index   Image Name
[1]     Windows 7 Home Basic
[2]     Windows 7 Home Premium
[3]     Windows 7 Professional
[4]     Windows 7 Ultimate

Done.

PS C:\VHDs> .\Install-WindowsImage.ps1 -WIM D:\sources\install.wim -Apply -Index 4 -Destination v:
Applying "Windows 7 Ultimate" to v:...
WARNING: This may take up to 15 minutes...

V:\Windows\System32\bcdboot V:\Windows
bcdedit -v
bcdedit /set {GUID} description=”Windows 7 VHD”

Useful utility BCDEdit - http://neosmart.net/downloads/software/EasyBCD/EasyBCD%202.0.2.exe

Including generated files as input for a project

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Sometimes you may have a project in your solution who’s sole purpose is to generate files that need to be referenced by a second project. If the files are fixed, then it’s just a matter of adding a link to them in the second project, but what about when you don’t know at build time how many files will be generated?

It turns out that MSBuild can handle this situation. For example, given the following solution:

image

Note that we’ve added a reference for the Generate project to the IncludeProjectOutputs project. We’ve also set ‘Copy Local’ to false as the only reason for the reference is to enforce building the projects in the right order (we don’t actually refer to the Generate assembly within the IncludeProjectOutputs code).

So that the executable output from the generator project is run, add the following to the generator project’s project file:

<Target Name="AfterBuild">
  <Message Text="After build execute $(TargetPath)" Importance="high" />
  <Exec Command="$(TargetPath)" />
</Target>

In the project that should be including the generated files, add the following:

<Target Name="IncludeGenerated" BeforeTargets="ResolveAssemblyReferences">
    <ItemGroup>
        <Content Include="$(ProjectDir)..\Generate\*.txt" >
            <CopyToOutputDirectory>PreserveNewest</CopyToOutputDirectory>
        </Content>
    </ItemGroup>
</Target>

In this instance, we’re including all .txt files from the ..\Generate folder. Because we define the <Content /> item, they’re added as content (equivalent to the ‘Content’ build action). I haven’t tested it, but conceivably you could also add to <Compile/> or <References/> too.

The ability to add ItemGroup elements within a Target element was added in .NET 3.5. The advantage of this is that the filenames matching the pattern of the Include attribute are evaluated in the execution phase. This contrasts with normal ItemGroup elements, which are assigned values during the evaluation phase of the build. See MSBuild Items for more details.

Building this project gives the following result:

Microsoft (R) Build Engine Version 4.0.30319.1
[Microsoft .NET Framework, Version 4.0.30319.431]
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 2007. All rights reserved.

Build started 2/04/2011 8:49:43 AM.
Project "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs.sln" on node 1 (default targets).
ValidateSolutionConfiguration:
  Building solution configuration "Debug|Mixed Platforms".
Project "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs.sln" (1) is building "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs.csproj" (2) on node 1 (default targets).
Project "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs.csproj" (2) is building "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\Generate\Generate.csproj" (3) on node 1 (default targets).
ResolveAssemblyReferences:
  A TargetFramework profile exclusion list will be generated.
GenerateTargetFrameworkMonikerAttribute:
Skipping target "GenerateTargetFrameworkMonikerAttribute" because all output files are up-to-date with respect to the input files.
CoreCompile:
Skipping target "CoreCompile" because all output files are up-to-date with respect to the input files.
_CopyOutOfDateSourceItemsToOutputDirectory:
Skipping target "_CopyOutOfDateSourceItemsToOutputDirectory" because all output files are up-to-date with respect to the input files.
CopyFilesToOutputDirectory:
  Generate -> C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\Generate\bin\Debug\Generate.exe
AfterBuild:
  After build execute C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\Generate\bin\Debug\Generate.exe
  C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\Generate\bin\Debug\Generate.exe
  Generated file
Done Building Project "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\Generate\Generate.csproj" (default targets).
ResolveAssemblyReferences:
  A TargetFramework profile exclusion list will be generated.
GenerateTargetFrameworkMonikerAttribute:
Skipping target "GenerateTargetFrameworkMonikerAttribute" because all output files are up-to-date with respect to the input files.
CoreCompile:
Skipping target "CoreCompile" because all output files are up-to-date with respect to the input files.
_CopyOutOfDateSourceItemsToOutputDirectory:
  Copying file from "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\Generate\stuff.txt" to "bin\Debug\stuff.txt".
CopyFilesToOutputDirectory:
  IncludeProjectOutputs -> C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs\bin\Debug\IncludeProjectOutputs.exe
Done Building Project "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs.csproj" (default targets).
Done Building Project "C:\dev\Sandbox\IncludeProjectOutputs\IncludeProjectOutputs.sln" (default targets).

Build succeeded.
    0 Warning(s)
    0 Error(s)

Time Elapsed 00:00:00.20