Fiddler plugin – neXpert performance analysis

Friday, 3 April 2009

An interesting add-in for Fiddler - Microsoft neXpert. It “automates the classic performance best practice checks and produces a HTML report on the issues found in a Fiddler capture”.

Visual Studio 2008 at 100% CPU scrolling text

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The Visual Studio text editor has been feeling very sluggish. It finally got so annoying, when just holding down the down arrow to scroll down was taking 1 second per line (and devenv.exe would peak in CPU % Task Manager), that I decided I needed to figure out what the problem was.

Running devenv.exe with the /safemode option resulted in a well-performing editor, so the next step was to isolate which add-in(s) was the culprit..

  1. Resharper 4.5 nightly build..
  2. TestDriven.NET
  3. Gallio
  4. CAT.NET
  5. Spelling add-in
  6. VisualSVN
  7. Visual Studio SDK
  8. WiX

And that did the trick. Looks like this bug has been identified in WiX, so hopefully the next public build will resolve the problem. In the meantime, the workaround is to unload any WiX projects in your solution.

Now to re-install everything again :-)

SAS and typeperf

Monday, 30 March 2009

It’s nice to learn new things.

For instance at last week’s Adelaide SQL User Group, as part of Dan Grecu’s talk on how he manages his SQL Server infrastructure, he showed a script that uses typeperf.exe. That was new to me, even though it’s been around since at least Windows NT 4.0. It records the values of specified performance counters to the command window or a file.

Then this morning on the bus I was listening to RunAs Radio episode 101, where Alan Sugano mentioned SCSI, SATA and SAS. I’d heard of the first two, but not the third. Fortunately Richard asked Alan to define them. So SAS uses SCSI but rather than having 8 or 16 devices all sharing the same bus, each device is on its own connection, so they don’t have to wait their turn to send or receive data. For this reason it sounds like it’s becoming quite popular, particularly for servers.

Famous again?

Saturday, 21 March 2009

My parents actually noticed this photo on the front cover of the “Belair line renewal” brochure (PDF), and then my son happened to notice the brochure and asked “Why are you in this photo Dad?”

Passengers boarding train at Blackwood Station

Have a close look at the tallish guy closest to the left of the train. Yes, I reckon that might be me! You may recall, as a regular train commuter this isn’t my first brush with fame. Moving to ABB Grain (who are on South Tce) I did stick with the Belair train for a while (hopping off at Unley Park station to transfer to a bus down King William Rd), but then realised that the 218 bus is generally quicker.

The Belair line is being fixed up this year, however it’s the only line that isn’t being electrified, which is just ridiculous. I’ve heard that “it’s tricky because the Belair line runs next to an existing freight line and also goes through some tunnels”. Give me a break! These are simple engineering problems that can easily be solved.

The Belair line has never been the same since the government sold off one of the lines to become a standard-gauge freight line. Reducing it to a single track has meant that trains now need to wait on sidings to pass each other, and as a consequence the trains virtually never run on time.

What I would love to see is they fix up the line, electrify and standardise the gauge and lease back the other line so that services could finally return to normal. That seems sensible and logical to me, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

ASP.NET MVC 1.0 and Ouch

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Looks like version 1.0 of ASP.NET MVC is finally released. I’ve had a tiny play with some of the previews, but I really want to spend a bit of time getting up to speed with this.
On a completely unrelated note, I’ve managed to injure my back today. I was riding to work and all of a sudden it felt like my lower back had a big spasm. I started to walk back home and quickly realised that I wasn’t going to get very far. Happily my Dad was able to come over and pick me up. He’s had personal experience himself of doing his back very badly, so was quite concerned – plus it happened that it was his bike I was riding (mine not having survived the trip home from this year’s tour). I’m a reasonably tall fellow and I wonder if the fact that Dad’s bike is a bit smaller might have been a contributing factor.
So a rapidly-booked appointment with the Chiro and some Nurofen Plus leaves me a little more mobile now that I was earlier today, but it sounds all going well the pain will be there for a little while longer, and cycling and basketball might have to take a break for a bit. I had also been hoping to still get over to Wagga for CodeCampOz but sitting in a car all day doesn’t really sound that comfortable right now either.