Chris Pietschmann

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


Vista Experience Update: Vista Sidebar Gadgets

There 11 Sidebar Gadgets that come baked into Vista. Some basic ones like a photo  Slide Show, Calendar, Clock, CPU Meter, RSS Feed Headlines, Weather and a couple more. But, what if I want to create one that offers different functionality? How can I create a custom Sidebar Gadget? It's actually rather easy to do. As long as you are comfortable with HTML, JavaScript and CSS with splash of XML. The Gadget Development Overview article in the MSDN library explains how easy it is t... [More]

Vista Experience Update: Windows Vista x64 runs 32-bit Internet Explorer by Default

The Internet Explorer shortcut in the Quick Launch toolbar and in the Start menu of Vista x64 will run the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer by default. Why run the 32-bit version if IE on the 64-bit version of Vista? There are actually two shortcuts for Internet Explorer in the "All Programs" menu. Why two and what's the difference? Here's the title of each and the exe's they run: Internet Explorer"C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" Internet Explorer (64-bit)"C:\Progra... [More]

Vista Experience Update: DVD Backup Programs

Vista doesn't have any DVD backup programs builtin, but I'm just testing a couple of the popular DVD backup programs and they work perfectly. The programs I've tested: DVD Shrink 3.2 DVD Decrypter DVDFab Decrypter - Free Edition I'm actually seeing that the performance of DVD Shrink is a little higher on Vista 64-bit versus the same machine running WinXP 32-bit. Updated 9/24/2007: I added links above to pages where you can download the above mentioned software.

64-bit Vista no longer available on MSDN?

Apparently I downloaded the 64-bit version of Vista at a good time. They have since removed it from the list in MSDN subscriber downloads. I wonder why they removed it? Update 12/11/2006: I don't know exactly when they put it back up, but Vista x64 is back up on MSDN Downloads.

Vista Experience Update: Vista automatically defragments your hard drives for you

I guess this is one of the changes they made to always keep Windows running smoothly. When Windows Vista is installed it automatically sets up a schedule to defragment your hard drives once a week. You no longer need to remember to defrag your hard drives once in awhile in order to keep your system running efficiently. Now, this is a feature that I was a little surprised they didn't add in XP, but I'm glad it's here in Vista. One thing I always thought was a little interesting is if you check ... [More]

I have Windows Vista Ultimate x64 installed in a dual boot with WinXP Pro

The installation went really smooth. I just booted up the box with the Vista intallation DVD in the drive, and installed Vista on a newly created partition (not the partition WinXP is on). And, it setup dual boot automatically. It couldn't have been easier. Oh, yeah, and it only took 15-20 minutes for the install; that really beats the approximate 1 hour WinXP takes. Vista runs extremely smooth and the overall experience feels smother than WinXP Pro on the same pc. The specs of m... [More]

I now have my key for Vista Ultimate

I just recieved my Vista Ultimate product key from MSDN after many failed attempts earlier today. I don't know if it'll work for everyone now, but at least I wont be one of the many hammering the system. Also, my download of both the x86 and x64 ISO's have finished. I have to say my over all experience of getting Vista (ISO image and product key) from MSDN was pretty good, especially since their server are being hammered so much by everyone with an MSDN Subscription wanting to downloa... [More]

Windows Vista is currently available on MSDN

And, thanks to the MSDN Subscription I won at the Deeper in .NET event, I am lucky enough to get Windows Vista for Free. Yippee!! As you probably know there is only one installation DVD to install all editions of Vista. Finally, only one disc to keep track of. But there are however seperate discs for both x86 and x64 editions. Both of which are up on MSDN right now. Also on MSDN are the product keys for Visa Business, Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium and Vista Ultimate. When I requested th... [More]

Wisonsin .NET Users Group website - Some enhancements may be coming...

After the last Wisconsin .NET Users Group meeting (on Tuesday) I discussed with Scott and a couple others some potential ideas for enhancing the groups website. Hopefully in not too long, we will be working on a new website for the group. A couple of the ideas we've come up with are adding Blogging and/or Forums functionality. These feature sets would allow members to contribute more easily and communicate with one another outside the meetings. If you are a fellow WI-INETA member, ... [More]

WI-INETA: Overview of Web 2.0 with Larry Clarkin

Larry Clarkin presented at tonight’s WI .NET Users Group meeting on the topic of "Overview of Web 2.0". He provided a very good description of what really is "Web 2.0"; and he had a whole 5 days to prepare. The reason he had only 5 days to prepare is because the presenter that was scheduled for tonight couldn't present. Well done Larry You can view the presentation notes here: One of the items discussed was Google, Yahoo and MS Virtual Earth mapping. If you are i... [More]

Virtual Earth v4 is out now with 3D maps!

I know this post is a bit delayed, but a couple days ago Microsoft released Virtual Earth v4. Basically this new version is v3 with some stuff added. The major addition is the 3D maps. Now this feature is cool. I still have to check compatibility of my PietschSoft.VE3 control with the VE4 JavaScript library. I also think I may be spawning off a new PietschSoft.VE control for this new version. Check it out: Virtual Earth v4 Interactive SDK

MS Virtual Earth: New version on the way!

Microsoft announced yesterday that they will be releasing a new version of the Virtual Earth Map Control next week on Nov. 7. They are stating that existing sites using versions 2 and 3 will not be impacted and will continue to work. They also mention an upcoming marketing campaign surrounding this next release. Could this new version be v4? What cool new features will they be adding? Service Notice: New Map Control - November 7, 2006

Scott Guthrie interviewed on Hanselminutes

Scott Hanselmen interviews Scott Guthrie (ScottGu) covering Ajax, ASP.NET 2.0, extender controls, CSS adapters and more. I'm sure you know who Scott Guthrie is, but just in case you don't: He's a General Manager within the Microsoft Developer Division, and he heads up the dev teams that work on .NET CLR, .NET Compact Framework, ASP.NET / Atlas, Windows Forms, WPF, IIS7, Commerce Server, Visual Web Developer and Visual Studio Tools for Avalon (WPF). Download here: Hanselminutes: <Scott ... [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 

Building a "successful" blog...

Yes, I know there are tons of posts on other blogs that describe how to create a "successful" blog. Since, I've been bloging for over two years now, I thought I'd share some things that I've learned. Below, in the order they came to mind, are some tips for building a successful blog: Make sure you have an RSS feed. This one is crucial, otherwise how would people subscribe? Pick a main theme to center your blog posts around. For instance my blog centers around .NET and web development. ... [More]

ASP.NET: Extend BoundField Control - Add MultiLine support

I've been working with the data controls and it's somewhat cumbersome to use a TemplateField control everytime you want to just have a MultiLine TextBox. So, I decided to extend upon the BoundField control to add MultiLine support. It is actually rather simple to do. Using the BoundTextBoxField control in the page: <%@ Register Namespace="CustomBoundField" TagPrefix="custom" %> <asp:GridView ID="GridView1" runat="server"><Columns><custom:BoundTextBoxField ... [More]

Polymorphic Podcast: Awesome .NET Podcast!

I've searched for quality development related (specifically .NET) podcasts, and there really aren't very many. The Polymorphic Podcast is an awesome .NET podcast with some really great content. I really recommend checking it out. Listen: Polymorphic Podcast

VirtualPathProvider: Store .ASPX and .HTM files for your application in xml file or database

With the VirtualPathProvider you can server pages from your website without the files actually existing on the disk. And this doesn't use url rewriting. The VirtualPathProvider actually allows you create your own virtual file system within your application. You can store the pages of you site within an xml file, a database or any other method you would like. In my opinion this is one of the coolest new features in ASP.NET 2.0. The virtual file system you create can store virtually any file that... [More]

Wisconsin .NET Users Group (WI-INETA) Website is lacking...

I've been thinking about it awhile now and have the following comments/suggestions to make regarding the Wisconsin .NET Users Group (WI-INETA) website. The current WI-INETA website is lacking in the following areas: The "Next Meeting" info on the homepage is often outdated to the previous meetings info. The only "usefull" content on the homepage is the next meeting announcement. The discussions forum is framed into the site shows a "The res... [More]

I Found a bug in the Rating control in the Atlas Control Toolkit

I found a bug in the current release (60731) of the Atlas Control Toolkit. The bug I found is caused when you use the Rating control within a User Control and you have multiple instances of your User Control on a page. I hope this bug gets fixed soon, it sucks for someone who likes to make things reusable using User Controls. View the Work Item I add over at CodePlex

PietschSoft.VE3 v0.05 Released

Tonight I released v0.05 of the PietschSoft.VE3 Virtual Earth mapping control for ASP.NET. Major enhancements this release brings: Added GeoRSS and VECollection Layer support Added simple VS Design-Time support Added VEMap.VEMapJSInclude property so the control can be pointed to a Virtual Earth mapping .js file (a custom one) other than the one hosted by Microsoft. I'm trying to put out a new release with every couple features/fixes that are done. If you have any q... [More]

PietschSoft.VE3 is now on CodePlex

I am still hosting the demo site but I have moved the project into CodePlex. The CodePlex site offers a Discussion board (forums) and Issue Tracker. This will allow me to better support the PietschSoft.VE3 map control and library. I have also placed PietchSoft.VE3 under the Microsoft Shared Source Community License (SS-CL). I hope this will clear up any licensing questions regarding the use of this control. PietschSoft.VE3 - ASP.NET Virtual Earth Map Control

PietschSoft.VE3 v0.03 plus Demo site!

The PietschSoft.VE3 library is really taking shape and has been downloaded 100+ times already. I've even had someone contact me about using my code as the basis for a mapping control they need to create for a project they are working on. See it in action: In case you haven't heard of or seen this project; the PietschSoft.VE3 library is an ASP.NET server control that wraps up the functionality provided by  Microsoft Virtual Earth ... [More]