VMWare Workstation 6.0 (Beta) Released

The new version of VMWare 6.0 is out in Beta and it has some exciting new things. In addition to the new features listed below (from their email), it also supports x64 and up to 8 gb of RAM!

  • Support for Windows Vista – Use Windows Vista as host operating system
  • Multiple monitor display – You can configure a VM to span multiple monitors, or multiple VMs to each display on separate monitors.
  • Integrated Virtual Debugger – Workstation integrates with Visual Studio and Eclipse so you can deploy, run, and debug programs in a VM directly from your preferred IDE
  • Automation APIs (VIX API 2.0) – You can write scripts and programs to automate VM testing.
  • Headless mode – You can run VMs in the background without the Workstation UI.
  • Easy Upgrade or Downgrade of VMWare Virtual Machines — A new Convert Hardware Version wizard steps you through the process of upgrading or downgrading virtual machines between Workstation versions 4, 5, and 6.

You can get the Beta from here and get more details in the release notes here. And of course check out the known issues before you do anything. I have not tried this myself – yet. Maybe if I can take some time out over the holidays. I personally prefer VMWare to Virtual PC anyday and am quite excited about this new release. Big Smile

New Vista Media Center Remotes

There are a couple of new Vista based remotes coming out in the next few months, which incorporate SideShow – sure looks sweet.

Visual Studio 2005 SP1

The release of Visual Studio Service Pack 1, seems to have created a lot of interest – rightfully so – about time all those annoying bugs with VS05 are fixed. If you have not seen it then go and get the Service Pack 1  – it is a hefty install coming in at approx. 431 mb. 

Running on XP/2003:

Although I did not have to do this myself I know some colleagues who had a problem installing the SP1 where the installation was interrupted with an error saying “Error 1718. File FileName was rejected by digital signature policy.”. This happens if there is insufficient contiguous memory to verify the MSI’s signature. To work around that situation you need to change this policy. To do so check out KB 925336 from Microsoft.

Running on Vista:

If you are running Vista then you also need to get the SP1 Vista Update after you have downloaded and install the SP1 mentioned above. On installing this on Vista you need to ensure the following:

  1. UAC is switched *ON*
  2. You have the SP1 bits (the 431 mb download) available.
  3. Run the Vista update bits as admin (right-click and select “Run as Administrator”)

If you don’t have the above Vista update installed it might still work fine (I have not noticed any issues, but I have not used each and every aspect of Visual Studio 2005 in Vista, so there might be some surprises). I do get the following warning when running this without the update:

(Click on the image to see the full size)

Alternatively, you should think about slipstreaming the VS 2005 SP1 package as that will save loads of time (especially if you are in a development team or have multiple machines to install this on). Also note, you might not be able to fit the MSDN Library files on the same DVD as the file size comes in at a pretty big 3.2 gb!

If you are not sure what is slipstreaming, it essentially means to combine the bits of an original distribution and a subsequent release (such as a service pack) into one package which effectively results in the updated set of bits.

On a tangent, if you are running XP and each time you install that you need to install SP2 separately then you might want to slipstream that into one package as shown by Paul Thurrot here step by step.

Book might be out sooner

I think the WCF Book that I recently finished is out earlier than a week and should be available on Jan 15th instead of the 22nd, however Amazon still shows the availability of Jan 22nd. Big Smile

WCF "Compact Edition"

This is quite cool; I got this via one of the Avanade communities. The .NET CF team is working to port WCF to the compact framework and as you can see below it will support a subset of the WCF. You can get more details on this post by Roman, though there are more WCF details on that and not as much as the WCF “Compact Edition”, it is still quite exciting. Who knows, maybe the next edition of the book can include this.

Essential Audio and Video Codecs

If you are running Vista x32 or x64 and want to play the usual set of audio and video files (such as mp4) you might need additional codecs. The one which has worked with me on Vista x64 is called the K-Lite Mega Code Pack v1.61; however as I said in my previous post, it might have caused an issue in DVD playback though I am not 100% sure of that.

"Jerky" Movie playback in Vista

I don’t know if this is a Vista x64 issue, but when I am watching a DVD on the laptop the movie playback is quite jerky and as a result very irritating. I have tried both Media Player and Media Center and unfortunately get the same result. Interestingly though, a few weeks ago, between the two (Media Player and Media Center), one of them was jerky but the other was smooth (I forget which was which), but now both are the same. The movie itself plays fine, it just seems to buffer up every 2 seconds (sort of in a loop) and then quickly catch up. I tried all combination but no luck. The only thing I could think of that has changed since the last time and this was that I added the mp4 codecs. All this means is, in the end it gives you a headache. Sad.

Cool MCE

I recently came across this advertisement in one of the magazines. There is a company called Passive Technologies who have released a pretty cool looking MCE machine called lifeStation. It looks like an appliance and still runs MCE 2005; I would recommend to wait when they upgrade to Vista. I don’t own one, so I don’t have any first hand experience. I also don’t know how much it costs, but it is bound to be pricey.

The specs are pretty impressive, it runs a Core Duo Mobile (making it run cooler), supports HD (has both HDMI and HDCP), 750 gb of storage, and is supposed to be “near silent”. If anyone has tried it, please drop me a note here with the feedback.

Torture

A conversation with Pardesi who is on dialup, (can I say “Loser”) reminded me of this. Wink

Torture 2.0

VSTO 2007 Released

Microsoft has released the Visual Studio Tools for Office 2007 bits. These are also know as VSTO 2005 SE (Visual Studio Tools for Office Second Edition). In addition to all the new Office 2007 applications (Word, Excel, InfoPath, Outlook, PowerPoint, and Visio), these also support Office 2003 applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Visio).

You can get more information on MSDN.

Table of Contents

A number of you have pinged me asking the Table of Contents (TOC) for the Book that I recently finished. I don’t know why it does not show up on Amazon or even on the publishers site, but here are a high level TOC. If you want the detailed TOC’s then let me know and I can dig those out as well.

PART 1 Introducing Windows Communication Foundation
CHAPTER 1 Introducing Service-Oriented Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
CHAPTER 2 Introducing WCF Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
CHAPTER 3 Exploring the WCF Programming Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

PART 2 Programming with WCF
CHAPTER 4 Installing and Creating WCF Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
CHAPTER 5 Hosting and Consuming WCF Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
CHAPTER 6 Managing WCF Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179

PART 3 Advanced Topics in WCF
CHAPTER 7 Implementing WCF Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
CHAPTER 8 Implementing Reliable Messaging and Queue-Based Communications . . . . . . . 249
CHAPTER 9 Using Transactions in WCF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
CHAPTER 10 Integrating with COM+ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 301
CHAPTER 11 Working with Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335
CHAPTER 12 Developing Peer-to-Peer Applications with WCF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
CHAPTER 13 Implementing SOA Interoperability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 401

PART 4 Appendixes
APPENDIX A QuickReturns Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 425
APPENDIX B History of Microsoft Web Service Implementations . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
APPENDIX C WCF and .NET Framework Installation Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 441

Arrest over opened gift, seriously?

I guess it is moments like these which give us a break from the realities of the world and allow us to see the lighter moments of life.

BBC has a story, of a mother in the US, who got her son arrested because he opened his Christmas gifts early. I guess, he can counter-sue her for “distress”, and she can counter-counter-sue (is there such a word?) for pain and anguish! Ah, America, the land of litigation … Confused

Snap Preview

As you can see the links on this blog now show a preview, this is using Snap Preview and it can give you a preview of the link before you click on it and is quite cool. You can signup for free with nothing to sign up or anything, just add the <script> tag and away you go.

If you want to add this to your CS implementation, the easiest way is to follow the following steps:

  1. Login as a Site Admin
  2. Once logged in, click on the Administration tab.
  3. Click on Settings
  4. Click on Site Name and Description
  5. In the Raw Header section, add your <script> tag and save.

{Via Scott Water}

Upgraded to CS 2.1 SP1

I finally upgraded the blog to Community Server 2.1 SP1 today – its been out for a little while but did not get the time to upgrade till now. Everything seems to be running fine, but if you find something broken then let me know.

The next version of CS, does have lots of code-names, but I don’t know what to make of it. It is supposed to be out sometime in Q1 07.

Update: I found out some more information on CS 3.0

William Laughing

Update: Meenakshi has been bossing me around (as usual) to update this post. It might help if she actually started blogging herself instead. (If you don’t see another post here, that might be because I have had a few broken bones) Wink

Meenakshi got this video attached to one of the spam emails. William is very cute, and though the sounds his dad makes aren’t quite that funny, William of course disagrees.


Video: William laughing