Chris Pietschmann

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


Image Editing Tools: Here's what I use

If you follow my blogs (here,,, Twitter (@crpietschmann, @BuildAzure, @BuildHoloLens) and Open Source project then you're familiar that I have a number of custom drawn images and screenshots that I author to go with various content I'm authoring. Something I've never posted on is what tools I use for editing / creating all these images. The reason I felt this would be worth posting is that I do NOT use Photoshop or any other professional tool. In fact I use FREE... [More]

Tools Don't Make You Great

Every career and industry has it's own set of tools that are commonly used. Software Development is no different. These tools offer varying degrees of functionality that help people do their jobs. To a certain extent these tools do help people do better work, more work, faster work, etc. However, there is a limit to this affect. As a software developer targeting web and Microsoft platforms, I use Visual Studio every day. There are many features that have been added to this tool over the years th... [More]

Develop Software for the Microsoft Windows Platform for FREE

I've been lucky enough to get 2 free MSDN subscriptions over the last few years, so I've never needed to purchase Visual Studio, Office or SQL Server. The first MSDN subscription I won in a blogging contest back in 2006, and the second I got when I won the Microsoft MVP award earlier this year (2008). Before you start to think that I'm braging; just let me point out that I am very greatful for this. Below is a list/guide that I would follow if I wasn't so fortunate, and I'm not talking about sof... [More]

XNA and XBox 360: Not until you pony up some ca$h!!

I recently got an XBox 360; and until I got one I didn't fully realize what all its features are. This is a really sweet system! So, naturally I downloaded the XNA Game Studio Express to check out what's all possible with building homebrew games for the 360. After registering my gamertag with the XNA Creators Club and installing XNA Game Studio Express on my PC, I took the following steps: Go on XBox Live Marketplace and download the Free XNA Game Launcher. Run the XNA Game ... [More]

Can you run Mac OS X within Virtual PC 2007 on Windows?

Does anyone know if Mac OS X can be run within Virtual PC 2007 under Windows? I've searched and can't find any evidence of this being possible. I am thinking about possibly doing this because I would like to do some software testing on Mac OS X, and I would rather spend less for just the OS than buy a Mac Mini. Mac OS X - $129.00Mac Mini - $599.00 If anyone has any clues please let me know. Update 5/22/2007:The day I originally posted this, I also contacted Ben Armstrong, through his blog (V... [More]

Virtual PC 2007 released with improved performance!

Microsoft released Virtual PC 2007 today. I've been waiting for this since Virtual PC 2004 wont install on the 64-bit version of Vista. I just installed Virtual PC 2007, turned on hardware virtualization and loaded up the Ubuntu virtual machine I previously installed on Virtual Server 2005. I'm actually seeing that the exact same Ubuntu virtual machine performs much better under Virtual PC 2007 running on the same PC as it did under Virtual Server 2005. I did see one peculiar th... [More]

Visual Studio 2005 Add-In: Get the total number of line of code in your solution

Here's a Visual Studio 2005 Add-In that shows you the total lines of code within your solution/project. It also show the breakout of each individual file. Currently it doesn't include line counts from files within any WebSites that are included inside your solution. But overall this Addin is simple and to the point. Besides, it's open source so you can fix/modify it in any way you'd like. Visual Studio 2005 Line Counter Add-In + Source Code 

New Web Service that exposes MSDN content for your consuming needs!

Microsoft released a new XML Web Service that provides access to the content stored in the MSDN/TechNet Publishing System (MTPS). Using this new service, you can integrate documentation, technical articles, whitepapers, images and other content available from the MTPS system into your own application. This looks really cool! I can't wait to see what cool things people do with it. Below are some links for more information:Announcing the MTPS Content ServiceMTPS Content Service Documentationmsdnm... [More]

DotNetKicks: Social bookmarking site for .NET

This site is similar to Digg, except that it's just for developers. is a community driven, social bookmarking site for .NET and other Microsoft development technologies. I encourage others to try out DotNetKicks.

A couple cool WinXP TaskBar enhancement tools

I've come across two cool WinXP TaskBar enhancement tools. Visual Task Tips - This tool provides a thumbnail screenshot of each app when you mouse over the it in the taskbar. You may have seen this feature in some of the screenshots of the Windows Vista Beta, but this tool brings that functionality to Windows XP. I noticed the thumbnail is a somewhat live preview; just open up a video in Media Player and watch a somewhat choppy version of what's playing be shown in the thumbnail. Taskbar ... [More]

Cool Utility to get CPU/Fan Temperatures of you DELL Laptop/Notebook

Dell Inspiron 8x00 fan control utility by Christian Diefer I don't know why DELL doesn't have a utility you can use to read the CPU/Fan Temperatures of you DELL Laptop. I have an Inspiron 1100 and this little utility works perfectly. It even allows you to control the Fan speed. Get It Here: He even has a command prompt version you can use. There is a full compatibility list of all the DELL Notebooks that this utility will work with... [More]