Chris Pietschmann

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


Vista Experience Update: Disk Defragmenter Revisited

About 5 months ago, way back when Vista RTM'd, I posted about how Vista now automatically defragments your hard drives. This is a really neat feature, especially since I would never remember to defrag until my system started to get noticably slow. So, I thought I would revisit this to just see how well is it working. But, How well does the automatically scheduled defrag work? I was wonder this, so I decided to check the defrag stats available from within the Disk Defragmenter tool. And to my d... [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]

Windows Vista Device Drivers for Belkin F5D7000 Wireless Network Card

Update 2009-08-08: Belkin has since released a new device driver for this network card that supports Windows Vista x32 and x64. You'll want to try their driver first before continueing on to my "work around" solution below. I did try this new Belkin driver with Windows 7 and it didn't work, so now I'm back to my work around... You can find the driver here: Belkin: Support: F5D7000 Driver Support Page Or, alternatively you can download the driver from the following direct link: Belkin F5D7000... [More]

Make your RSS feeds Auto-Discoverable

RSS Autodiscovery is a technique that makes it possible for browsers and other software to automatically find a site's RSS feed. This feature is actually support by both Firefox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 7. To make your RSS feeds auto-discoverable just include an HTML/XHTML Link tag inside the Head tag of your website. You can even include multiple Link tags, which allows you to make all your RSS feeds auto-discoverable at the same time. For Example:<link rel="alternative" type="application... [More]

PietschSoft.VE mentioned during a Microsoft Webcast on Virtual Earth yesterday

Yesterday Marc Schweigert (Microsoft Developer Evangelist) did a webcast presentation titled "Adding Mapping Capabilities to your Applications with Virtual Earth and ASP.NET AJAX". Near the end of the presentation, he mentioned the PietschSoft.VE project and gave the link to it on CodePlex and the Live Demo site. This mention is located in slide 32 of the Powerpoint deck from the presentation. You'll be able to view the webcast online, after the fact. The presentatio... [More]

DotNetKicks auto bookmarklet

Here's a bookmarklet for submitting a link to DotNetKicks that automatically passes in the URL, Title and Description. To specify the description to submit all you have to do is highlight text on the page. Try it:DotNetKicks (Auto Bookmarklet) To add this bookmarklet to your favorites, just drag it to the favorites or right-click and select "Add to Favorites". What is a bookmarklet?A bookmarklet is a small JavaScript program that can be stored as a URL within a bookmark in most popu... [More]

PietschSoft.VE got mentioned on DotNetRocks! episode #221

A couple weeks ago, I was listening to DotNetRocks! episode #218 with Dare Obasanjo when they were taling about Windows Live Services. They happened to touch on MS Virtual Earth, so I decided to email them and let them know about my PietschSoft.VE control over at CodePlex. Well, I just listened to episode #221 (I know I'm a week behind), and they mentioned my PietschSoft.VE control on the show! And, they even pronounced my name right. This is way cool! DotNetRocks! e... [More]

Why not make ASP.NET Web Matrix shared source?

ASP.NET Web Matrix was the Free ASP.NET editor back in the .NET 1.x days. The tool is actually still available for download. The other day, I was thinking... Why doesn't Microsoft make ASP.NET Web Matrix available as Shared Source? Web Matrix was a really cool tool, and it's obviously been rendered obsolete by Visual Studio Express. However, there are still alot of really cool things done in the code, and I think it would be beneficial to the community if the source code were made available. ... [More]

Spring is finally here, and the Thunderstorms have begun...

Today is the first day of Spring, and in the Milwaukee area we are lucky enough to have some rain and a thunderstorm today. I like thunderstorms so I'm glad the season is here. The only bad part is it's also the beginning of Tornado season. Update 4/15/2007: And, it also snowed about an inch a couple days ago. But, it seems to be getting warmer again... But, we'll see if it stays warm. You gotta love Wisconsin weather.

WI .NET Users Group - Having troubles finding meeting locations!

The turn out for each of the Wisconsin .NET Users Group meetings is really great. So great, there are regularly 100+ attendees. The reason for such great attendance can be attributed to two things: The presenters (mostly local talent) consistently perform really awesome, informative and educational presentations. There is a pretty large .NET community in the Milwaukee area I've been a member of the group since 2003 and attend the meetings very regularly. I've also&... [More]

C#: Give your object a Default Indexer Property

I've seen/used objects within the .NET Framework that have default indexer properties (ie: SqlDataReader, System.Collections.Generic.List). Now how exactly do I give my own custom object type a default indexer property? Well, it's actually rather simple. Heres an example of a Club object with a People collection of type Person that has a default indexer property set up: public class Club{  /// <summary>  /// Collection of Person objects in the Club  /// <... [More]

PietschSoft.VE v2.0.1 Released

I just posted v2.0.1 of my PietschSoft.VE mapping control on CodePlex. It's been just over a week since I released v2.0.0. This new release adds support for Get Route and Polyline functionality. My initial goal to release v2.0.1 was 3/19, but as it turns out I finished the main functionality for it early. This fits right inline with my goal to put out small releases often. PietschSoft.VE - ASP.NET AJAX Virtual Earth Mapping Server Control Enjoy!

C#/VB.NET: Extension Methods

Over a year ago I posted a question about doing a SQL-like IN operation in .NET. Here's the examples I posted of how it could work: Dim arrNames() AS String = New Array{"CHRIS", "TOM", "TYLER"} If strName IN arrNames Then    'do something End If Now, this would be a powerful feature since you wouldn't be required to write code that loops through the array or collection. Well, I saw some good news today posted by Scott Guthrie. ... [More]

My Top 10 Tech Netcasts (podcasts)

There are alot of podcasts being produced out there. I've had trouble over the last couple years in finding good quality podcasts to listen to. Here's a collection of the podcasts I listen to regularly: Windows Weekly - A weekly look at all things Microsoft including Windows Vista, Office 2007, and Xbox from the foremost Windows expert in the world, Paul Thurrott of the Super Site for Windows Security Now - Steve Gibson, the man who coined the term spyware and created the first anti-spyware p... [More]

PietschSoft.VE v2.0.0 Alpha - ASP.NET AJAX Virtual Earth Mapping Control

Finally, v2.0.0 Alpha is out! PietschSoft.VE is an ASP.NET AJAX Virtual Earth Mapping server control. The main purpose of the project is to provide ASP.NET 2.0 developers with an easy to use Virtual Earth mapping server control. This control abstracts away the requirement of JavaScript knowledge when utilizing MS Virtual Earth mapping within your ASP.NET 2.0 web applications. It's been way too long since I've put out a release of my PietschSoft.VE ASP.NET Virtual Eart... [More]

JavaScript/AJAX Example 1 - Load File Asynchronously and Display within TextArea

Here's a basic JavaScript/AJAX example that demonstrates the process of asynchronously requesting the contents of a file and displaying it within a textarea. Download Code Here I've done alot of JavaScript/AJAX programming from scratch (without using any AJAX frameworks) over the last couple years, so I thought I would share some of what I've learned. This is the first of a series of examples that I'll post if there is an interest. So, please let me know if you want me to post more.

Cheap PC - Build a Vista Premium Ready system for under $500 including the OS

People keep talking about how Vista (w/ Aero enabled) will only run on high-end systems, and that everyone will have to buy a new computer in order to run Vista. Well, I have a laptop thats 3 years old (2.4Ghz Celeron, 512MB Ram) and it runs Vista ok without Aero glass enabled (because it doesn't have a capable video card). Based on that, pretty much any system that is 2 years old should run Vista (w/ Aero enabled) just fine as long as it has 1GB Ram and a video card that support DirectX 9. ... [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]

I've been slacking lately...

Basically, I haven't been working on much in my spare time lately. A week and a half ago, my wife and I got back from spending a week in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We went to an all inclusive resort and everything was very relaxing. Neither of us had ever flown, so this was a whole new experience for both. Well, it basically took a week to get back in the flow of things after being in paradise for a week. And, now that I'm back in the flow, I'll be continuing work on all my side proj... [More]

Ubuntu 6.10 is the easiest version of Linux thus far!

I've installed many distributions of linux (different versions of Red Hat and Mandrake) over the past seven years to play around with and the install process was always a little cumbersome. The user doing the install was always required to have some technical knowledge to get things installed and configured. I have to say though that Mandrake 10 was the easiest, that was until now. I installed Ubuntu 6.10 last night and it was a breeze. It actually took me longer to get Microsoft Virt... [More]

Setting Up Ubuntu with virtualization on Vista x64

I've decided to make the leap into Ubuntu; well sorta. I'm going to run it in a Virtual Machine for now. I'll set it up in a multi boot on my main pc once I'm more familiar with Linux and related stuff, but then again I may keep it running in a virtual machine if virtualization works out well enough. Below are the steps I took to get things setup. Step 1: Install Virtual Server 2005 R2Since I have Vista x64 installed on my pc; I am forced to use Virtual Server 2005 R2 instead of Virtual P... [More]

Apple iPhone has been confirmed, but functionaly similar to Windows Mobile Phone

The Apple iPhone has been confirmed. I wasn't anticipating much for this thing, but it sure looks sweet. There are no keys, you just touch the screen. There seems to be alot of posibilities with this. The iPhone also runs Mac OS X. Here are some links to images of the iPhone: I wonder what kind of development tools/options they will have available for the... [More]

Get Office 2007 FREE until Feb. 26

FREE copy of Microsoft Office Professional 2007 and Microsoft Office Groove 2007 when you attend a Windows Vista, 2007 Microsoft Office system, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 launch event! The luanch events are happening between Jan. 16th and Feb. 26th; so be sure not to miss the one nearest you. Now this is pretty cool! Microsoft seems to be building a reputation of giving away some of their big products for Free at their respective launch events. They have also done this back in 2005 wit... [More]

My first look at VS'05 Team Edition for Software Testers

I've been meaning to dig in and get to know unit testing for quite some time now. Tonight I dove in and took a look at the Visual Studio 2005 Team Edition for Software Testers. Unit testing is actually quite easy to do. The Getting Started with Team System Testing Tools section in the MSDN library has some nice How-To's on getting started with unit testing using VS'05 Team Edition.

An Open Source Virtual World like Second Life

In Mark Shuttleworth's post "#6: Sensory Immersion" he mentions that the open source community needs to take the idea of Second Life and innovate. An Open Source "Second Life" like virtual world would be very cool. Granted that anyone could take the code and make their own virtual world out of it. But, then what's the point? We would end up with 1,000 virtual worlds. We would need to create some standardized protocols for this type of virtual system to run on; much the same as how the Web and ... [More]