Chris Pietschmann

husband, father, hacker, entrepreneur, futurist, innovator, autodidact


Awarded 2010 Microsoft MVP - Windows Live Platform

"Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2010 Microsoft® MVP Award!" I'm happy to announce that I've been awarded the Microsoft MVP award for the third year in a row. Just like last year, I've been awarded within the "Windows Live Platform" category. The "Windows Live Platform" category includes the Bing Maps SDK (both JavaScript and Silverlight Map Controls) which is the product/technology that I work with and help out others with the most in this category. Congratulation... [More]

Silverlight with WCF RIA Services Throws "Project File ... Not Found" Error When Compiling in Visual Studio 2010 RC

While working with the Silverlight Business Application template in Visual Studio 2010 RC I discovered a peculiar issue that if the project specified as the "WCF RIA Services Link" for the Silverlight Project can not be found a compile time error of "Project File ... Not Found" will be generated. This is a very cryptic error message since it's the same message that gets thrown if you delete a Project File (.csproj or .vbproj) from the hard drive but it's still references within the Solution File... [More]

Software Basics: What are Databases and Data Access Layers, and How do they relate to Web Services?

In my own personal discussions with other developers and computer users I've seen a fair amount of confusion as to what a database is. Since the purpose of almost all applications is to Create/Read/Update/Delete data, they need to connect to a database, since data persistence storage need to be provided for the application to function as intended. If you want to stick to the simplest definition below, then a file cabinet is technically a database, but now that we're in the information age we don... [More]

Bing Maps JS: Calculate Area of Circle and Draw Circle on Map

Something that can be usefull at times in being able to calculate the total Area of a circle, especially when plotting it on a map. So, I decided to slightly modify my "Draw a Circle Radius Around Lat/Lng Point" to make it also calculate the Area of the circles and display that value within the TItle of the Circle Shapes Pushpin. Remember, back in Trig class, it's fairly simple to calculate the area of a circle. You just Multiply Pi by the Radius Squared. Area = Pi * (radius * radius) Anyway,... [More]

Feb. 23rd 2010: Blogs been dark lately, but I've been busy, busy... Neuroscience what?

I've read a couple of "Intro" to neuroscience and psychology books, and what I've learned has fascinated and inspired my way more than anything I've learned about computers and electronics over the years. The Brain is truly the more complex "computer" the work has ever seen! Here's a couple books I've read that I highly recommend: A User's Guide to the Brain: Attention, Preception, and the Four Theaters of the Brain by John Ratey Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin A ... [More]

My Brother In Law Is Home After Second Tour In Iraq

My Brother In Law, Jeremy, is back now after his second tour in Iraq. This time he was gone only 12 months, instead of 18 months the first time. He has a wife (my sister) and 3 boys (3yrs, 6yrs and 9yrs) of whom were eagerly awaiting his return. The people at WXOW Channel 19 in La Crosse, WI interviewed them when he returned to Wisconsin. Written Article - "Family waits for soldiers return" Video of Interview - "Family waits for soldiers return" The above picture is from the video, and is m... [More]

Community Coding Contest 2010 - Looking for Input and Prizes

Now that it's 2010, and over a year since the first Community Coding Contest came to an end, I'm thinking about running the contest again in 2010. Last time it ran for 3 months and we had 6 really great entries. This time around I'm thinking that it may be better to accept entries for 6 months, and have the voting run for a full month. This will give much more time for entries to be submitted, and for people to work on their entries before submitting and/or voting begins. These are just some i... [More]

Prototype of OpenStreetMap Silverlight Control using DeepEarth and Bing Maps SDK

I’ve decided to expand a little on using OpenStreetMap imagery with the new Bing Maps Silverlight Control in response to the following comment posted by John O’Brien on my previous “Display OpenStreetMap Imagery using Bing Maps Silverlight Control v1” post: “Very close Chris but you will still need to enter a Bing Maps AppID. If however you create your own map from MapCore and don't use the Bing Maps services then you don't need creditials” Yes, it is t... [More]

Display OpenStreetMap Imagery using Bing Maps Silverlight Control v1

The Bing Maps Silverlight SDK documentation on MSDN contains an article on Adding Tile Overlays to the Map, that demonstrates how to overlay your own map imagery over top of the Bing Maps Imagery. However, what if you want to completely replace the Bing Maps Imagery with some other Imagery like the OpenStreeMap Imagery? In the “Adding Tile Overlays to the Map” article it shows using a “LocationRectTileSource” to add the custom map imagery overlay. To implement the OpenSt... [More]

Getting Started with Bing Maps Silverlight Control v1.0

It’s been 8 months since the CTP release of the Bing Maps Silverlight Control at MIX’08, and finally this week Microsoft released the Final v1.0 release of the control to the web.  Now, we can all finally start using the Bing Maps Silverlight Control in Production! If you’ve worked with the CTP, then you’ll want to take a look at Ricky’s “Migrating from Bing Maps Silverlight CTP to Production Version” article. It explains all the stuff you’ll... [More]

Virtual Router Project – Turn any Windows 7 PC into a Wireless Access Point / Hot Spot

Over the last week some of you may have heard about Connectify. It’s an app that unleashes the “Virtual WiFi” and Wireless Hosted Network features of Windows 7 to turn a PC into a Wireless Access Point or Hot Spot. Well, I looked into what it would take to build such an app, and it really wasn’t that difficult since Windows 7 has all the API’s built in to do it. After some time of looking things up and referencing the “Wireless Hosted Network” C++ sample... [More]

Resolve IP Address And Host Name From MAC Address using C# and Windows ARP Utility

While working on the Virtual Router project, I’ve come across a need to be able to retrieve the IP Address and Host Name of a given machine on the local network when only the machines MAC Address is known. This took a bit of research to figure out, and eventually I stumbled across the “arp.exe” utility within Windows. “arp.exe” uses the Address Resolution Protocol to provide functionality to add, delete or display the IP address for MAC (Media Access Control) addres... [More]

.NET Windows Service Installer and Auto Start After Installation

It’s not very often that I need to build a Windows Service for a specific task, and it’s even more rare that I need to create an Installer (.msi) to install/uninstall the service. Well, the project I’m currently working on ( requires me to 1) Install a Windows Service using a Setup Project, and 2) Start the Windows Service immediately after installation. Create Setup Project for Windows Service Just create a Setup Project within your Solution i... [More]

MvcMaps Preview 1 – A Unified Bing/Google Maps API for ASP.NET MVC

I spent some time lately working on bringing some of the concepts of Web.Maps.VE to ASP.NET MVC. The concepts I’m referring to are Simplicity and Ease of Development in making the implementation of mapping within ASP.NET MVC applications as simple as possible along with the Flexibility and Customizability of the Base Mapping API itself. Then I thought, Since I’m building an abstraction layer to simplify Bing Maps development, why not implement it in a flexible manor as to be able to ... [More]

Easily Convert Between HTML and RGB Colors using JavaScript

To make things easier for converting between HTML Colors and RGB Colors using JavaScript I wrote the below “ColorConverter” object. This object has 2 methods that easily allow you to convert between HTML Colors (ex: #FF33C2) and RGB Colors (ex: 255, 0, 233). There isn’t anything built into JavaScript for doing this, and it can come in very handing when working with the Bing Maps VEColor object. Usage Examples: var rgb = ColorConverter.toRGB("#FF000A"); // returns {r:255, g:0, b... [More]

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 Setup Contains a Weird Blue Mac-Style Button!

I just finished installing Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 within a Windows 7 Virtual Machine running within Windows VIrtual PC and the Final/Finish screen of the installation wizard contains a weird, blue, Mac-style Button. Ok, I know it’s not exactly how the button are in the UI of Max OSX, but it’s much closer to that than it is to Windows 7 buttons. The button looks so incredibly out of place, and I wonder who decided that it should be used, especially since it doesn’t match the... [More]

2009 Reading Goal Is On Track

I really haven't been reading enough books of the the last few years. Sure I read a ton of blogs and such online, but what about books? Books are nice, cohesive collections of information; at least most of the time. There are a lot of things I'd like to learn more about, both related to computers and not. So, sometime in January (this wasn't a new years resolution, just a coincidence), I decided to try to read at minimum 12 books throughout the year. Basically, at least 1 book each month, and af... [More]


Some of you that follow my blog may have noticed that it’s been almost a month since I’ve really posted anything. I know I’ve done this in the past when I’ve been busy working on other things (mostly to get paid), but this time it’s for an entirely different reason… My wife and I had a beautiful baby girl! And, we’ve been adjusting to our new sleep schedule of only getting 2-4 hours of sleep maximum at a time. Anyone with kids understands how it is with a newborn, and now only after having one ... [More]

Simplovation Web.Maps.VE v3.0 Now With FREE Edition!

Today, I just posted the latest Web.Maps.VE v3.0 release. The coolest thing about this new version is that is has a FREE Edition for non-commercial use! Download Web.Maps.VE v3.0 FREE Edition! There are a few new things in this latest release, but the most significant are the following performance updates: Microsoft CDN (Content Delivery Network) Support Added. This helps improve the Bing Maps content delivery speed by up to 82% JavaScript Performance Optimizations. All the JavaScript cod... [More]

Microsoft Killed the Virtual Earth ASP.NET Control

Yesterday, Chris Pendleton officially announced that the Microsoft Virtual Earth ASP.NET Control is now Dead. Frankly, I’ve considered it “dead” for a long time now since it didn’t get updated much, didn’t have a completely full feature support, has a few bugs AND you couldn’t use it within your applications because it was just a Preview (CTP) anyway. There are however a few good things to point out in the light of Microsoft killing its Virtual Earth ASP.NET ... [More]

jHtmlArea – Adding Custom Toolbar Buttons

I’ve gotten a couple questions lately about extending the jHtmlArea WYSIWYG editor, so I thought I’d post a little bit about how to add your own custom toolbar buttons to it. There is one example that is included with the component, but that doesn’t cover inserting some html into the editor, so I’m going to cover that here. You can download the jHtmlArea Editor here: This article was written with jHtmlArea v0.6.0 ... [More]

C#: Using IProgressDialog to show a “native” Progress Dialog from .NET in Windows

A few months ago I posted some code that I originally wrote back in about 2004… Well, I was looking through some more of my prototypes that I’ve written and I came across the following example of how to use the IProgressDialog Win32 Interface to harness the power of the Built-in Progress Dialog in Windows within your own .NET applications. I have test this on WIndows 7, but it should work as expected on Windows XP and Vista. The MSDN Documentation for IProgressDialog says it’... [More]

A Simple ScriptManager for ASP.NET MVC

The ASP.NET AJAX ScriptManager makes it really easy to include JavaScript references and register JavaScript blocks into the rendered Page output of an ASP.NET WebForms application. However nice the ScriptManager control is, it’s still just a WebForms control for use with ASP.NET AJAX; thus it’s use isn’t really supported with ASP.NET MVC. Also, to make things just a little more difficult, ASP.NET MVC doesn’t have it’s own “ScriptManager” implementation.... [More]

Windows 7 RTM is on MSDN & TechNet – Here’s the AKAMAI links!

I first started downloading Windows 7 Ultimate off MSDN using the old File Transfer Manager and it was taking FOREVER to download. The download started out good, then it dropped off to about 40KB/sec and said it would take about 14 hours to finish! Man, I was hoping I’d be able to get it downloaded quick so I can start updating my machines today/tonight. Then I saw a Twitter post by @Rickster_CDN mentioning a link to a page with the AKAMAI links for TechNet to download Windows 7 WAY FASTER! Act... [More]

Bing Maps Silverlight CTP: Plot/Edit Pushpin data via a ChildWindow

Recently I posted an example of using the Web.Maps.VE Bing Maps ASP.NET AJAX Server Control with the AjaxControlToolkit ModalPopup Extender over at the Simplovation Blog. Writing that example was rather simple since those two components/libraries are both written on top of ASP.NET AJAX and work extremely well together. This did however get me thinking about how to implement this same type of functionality using the Bing Maps Silveright Control CTP, and now that Silverlight 3 is out and it has a ... [More]