Happy Birthday

Monday, 20 April 2009

Saturday was my birthday, and amongst other things I got these nice presents..

Pride and Prejudice Blu-Ray Cover

This is the re-mastered Blu-Ray edition of the 1995 BBC Production of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I admit I am a bit of an Austen fan, and whilst Mr Darcy diving into the pond doesn’t seem to have the same effect on me as it does on many of the women I know, this is probably my favourite film adaptation. The icing on the cake is of course that Elizabeth’s nice Uncle and Aunty are Mr & Mrs Gardiner – Yay!

Pinocchio 70th Anniversary Blu-Ray Cover

Pinocchio – 70th Anniversary Edition. This film has special memories for me, and particularly so on my birthday. For growing up as a child, one of the highlights of my birthday party would be my Poppa showing his collection of short films on his Super-8 movie projector. In the era before video/DVD players, this was a real novelty. One of my favourite films was a short extract from Pinocchio - the bit where Pinocchio and Geppetto cause Monstro the whale to sneeze by lighting their fishing boat on fire (they were inside the whale at the time).

I ended up watching the whole movie in the afternoon, but the kids found it a bit scary in places. I’m not certain, but I think that may be the first time I’ve seen the entire movie.

Packet of Arnott's Iced Vovo biscuits

Finally, just the thing for completing any evening’s movie watching – a packet of Iced Vo-Vos. The iced biscuit of champions!

Bookmark spring cleaning

Monday, 13 April 2009

Over the years I’ve managed to accrue quite a collection of bookmarks – 643 to be exact. I try to maintain a logical filing hierarchy by using folders, though it is interesting that some of those folders are not used as much as they use to.

Also I’ve found that the new features in Firefox 3 mean that I more often just start typing in the address bar and rely on the intelligent completion to list matches from my bookmarks (as well as from recent browsing history) rather than using the mouse to navigate down to the right bookmark menu item.

I use the XMarks Firefox extension (formerly Foxmarks) to synchronise my bookmarks between home, work (and anywhere else I choose). This is a great way to populate my bookmarks on a new machine too.

I also use the Bookmark Duplicate Detector extension to ensure I don’t try to add a bookmark for a site I’ve already got (probably not quite as likely with the extra icons Firefox 3 displays).

But even with all this, I know there are lots of bookmarks that are no longer valid. Some tools to validate your bookmarks include:

I first tried AM-DeadLink and it worked quite well. I then installed CheckPlaces and it also worked as expected.

If you just use Firefox, then CheckPlaces would probably be all you need. For those who use IE or Opera then AM-Deadlink is worth a look.

SQL Server 2008 SP1

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

The first service pack for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 is now available. The list of bug fixes is in KB 968369.

There’s also update for the Feature Pack and Express Edition too.

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 :-)