Chris Pietschmann

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

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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]

IT’s A GIRL!

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]

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]

What's the Minimum Hosting Cost for Windows Azure?

NOTE: Azure pricing and functionality has changes alot since this post was written making the details below out of date. Microsoft has announced the initial pricing for Windows Azure, SQL Azure and .NET Services. My question is still "What is the Minimum it will cost to host a small website/application on Azure?"If your application is racking up "Compute" time when ever it is "live", then that equals a total of approximately 720 hours of "compute" time for a total of $86.40 per month.If you stor... [More]

Managed JScript on the DLR from Microsoft is DEAD!! WHY?!??

I’ve been questioning here and there as to what happened to Managed JScript on the Dynamic Language Runtime. The most recent preview release is really old, and it has since been taken out of any further preview releases of the DLR, where as IronRuby and IronPython continue on. No More Managed JScript on the DLR? For some time I never really got any good answers. Well, it’s really sad to hear that apparently Microsoft decided to drop it completely. According the this link, a member on the DLR ... [More]

Awarded 2009 Microsoft MVP - Windows Live Platform

Congratulations 2009 Microsoft MVP! Dear Chris Pietschmann, Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2009 Microsoft® MVP Award! This award is given to exceptional technical community leaders who actively share their high quality, real world expertise with others. The Microsoft MVP Award provides us the unique opportunity to celebrate and honor your significant contributions and say "Thank you for your technical leadership." Toby Richards General Manager Community... [More]

Windows 7 Beta: Change the Logon UI Background Image

Apparently, Windows 7 will "officially" support Logon UI Background Customization. The previous link describes what needs to be in place (a registry key and image file) for you to be able to have Windows 7 use any image you want as the Logon UI Background. What the previous link doesn't specify is if this works with the Windows 7 Beta (build 7000). Actually, I just test and confirmed that it does work perfectly in the Windows 7 Beta. Good news for us of whom can't (or don't want to) run a newer ... [More]

Cheap PC 2009 - Custom Built PC under $500 that includes Windows Vista Home Premium

Two years ago I posted "Cheap PC - Build a Vista Premium Ready system for under $500 including the OS". I can't believe that was two years ago already! Anyway, the original premise of the post was to point out that you could build a "cheap" PC for under $500 that included and could run Windows Vista with "Aero" Glass Enabled. After I wrote that post I decided that I would try to remember to write a post like that every year to serve two purposes: 1) chronicle wh... [More]

Live Framework: Connecting to the Local Live Operating Environment (LOE) for Offline Applications

One of the things the Live Framework has to offer is a Local Live Operating Environment you can connect to so that you can Offline Enable your Live Framework Enabled Desktop Applications. I found the process of getting it to work a little tricky (especially since I was running Win7 Beta; I'll explain down further) so I've decided to write up a summary of my experience to help anyone else interested. This was written using the Live Framework CTP. Connecting to the Live Operating Environment Th... [More]

I've jumped on the "Anti-IE6" band wagon

There have been a lot of talk online for a while now about the much desired demise of Internet Explorer 6, and other out dated web browsers. I don't think I've used IE6 since the first Beta of IE7, and I haven't used Firefox 2.0 since Firefox 3.0 was released. However, I can see that there are still a few users that visit this blog of whom are still using some of these OLD versions of these web browsers. So, I am joining the effort to "Push up the web" by including the scri... [More]

Using LINQ to SQL with SQL Server Compact Edition

I'm currently building a desktop application that needs to store a bunch of data on the users computer, so I've decided to use SQL Server Compact 3.5 for this. There's only one problem, Visual Studio 2008 doesn't support using LINQ to SQL with SQL Server Compact. However, the .NET Framework does and there's a work around to get it working in VS'08 that I'll describe below. In case you aren't aware of what SQL Server Compact 3.5 is, here's the short description that Microsoft gives on their webs... [More]

Simple Port Scanner Written in VB.NET 2003/2008

I was looking over some of the old prototypes I've written in the past, and I can across a Simple Port Scanner that I originally wrote in VB.NET 2003. I originally wrote this back in 2004 (I think), and even posted a compiled version on my website that I have since removed/deleted. So, since it's just sitting on my hard drive collecting virtual dust, I thought I'd post it here in case anyone else can find it usefull. This Port Scanner implements Multi-T... [More]

Windows 7 Beta - Media Player 12 - Bigger Focus On Playing Media/Content

A couple days ago I posted some of my thoughts on the Good and Bad Parts of the Windows 7 Beta, but it was a somewhat incomplete list. So, I've decided to expand upon that list in an additional post. Why? Well, because there are some rather nice improvements worth mentioning that I didn't mention in the previous post. Windows Media Player 12   Bigger Focus on the Playing Media The most noticable (IMO) change to Media Player in v12 is the bigger focus on the media cont... [More]

Windows 7 Beta Has Good and Bad Points - A Short Review

I've been using the Windows 7 Beta (build 7000) for a few days now, and I've starting to form opinions on some of the new changes that have been made. There are good and bad things about this next version of Windows; so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts with anyone interested. Windows 7 Beta Good Points I thought I'd start with the Good Points first, this way you wont just read the bad first and stop reading the article thinking Windows 7 sucks. There are actually some good improvements ... [More]

SQL Compact And The "Unable to load DLL 'sqlceme35.dll'" Runtime Exception

I installed SQL Server Compact 3.5 x86 and started testing it out when I got a nice "Unable to load DLL 'sqlceme35.dll" runtime exception. This seems like odd behaviour for a clean install. In a fairly quick search I found an article on the SQL Server Compact Team Blog that covers a couple possible causes/solutions for this exception. http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlservercompact/archive/2007/10/26/can-t-find-p-invoke-dll-sqlcemenn-dll.aspx My Solution - Target x86 Only Even though there are 5 possi... [More]

Top Posts of 2008 Plus Overall Traffic Stats

Now that 2008 has come to a close, and I finally have a full two years of traffic history that I can use for comparison I've decided to post a traffic summary as well as list the top posts of 2008. Top Posts of 2008 Here's a list of my most popular posts from 2008. This list only counts the posts I've posted during 2008. JavaScript ForEach Equivalent - 38,171 pageviews .NET 3.5: JSON Serialization using the DataContractJsonSerializer - 8,454 pageviews ASP.NET: Create ... [More]

Single Instance WPF Application in .NET 3.x

If you do a search on implementing a Single Instance application in WPF you'll get quite a few results. From what I've seen there are really only 2 solutions. One is really simplistic and the other offers more functionality; both of which are fairly simple to implement. Method 1: Checking Existing Processes By Name This is the simplest to implement. All you do is check if there is more than 1 running process with the same name as the current process. Here's the code: public partial class App : A... [More]

Windows speech recognition saves the day!

Since my arm/hand was injured last week, I have started using the Windows Vista Speech Recognition and it is helping me to type since I can only type with one hand.  It still takes a little while to type things, but it does help with some of the frustration.  In fact I typed this post by dictation, with a little help of one handed typing.  Speech recognition is fairly simple to use but it does take some getting used to; you need to learn the commands and I have yet to get it worki... [More]

Vista Sidebar Gadget for Pandora Radio

I see that Pandora has released a Windows Sidebar Gadget themselves. You can find it here: http://www.pandora.com/on-windowsgadget I found the Pandora Sidebar Gadget. This gadget lets Pandora live within the Vista Sidebar, thus not taking up (waisting) any valuable taskbar space. This gadget is simple and it just works. Awesome job Brad! You can download it here: http://www.bgreco.net/gadgets/pandora/

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]

Internet Explorer 6, wont you ever die?!

I've come across the http://iedeathmarch.org website a couple times recently, and I definately agree. And I quote from the site: "Internet Explorer 6 will be SEVEN years old on August 27th [2008]. It came out a few weeks before the Twin Towers fell. It came out before the Nintendo GameCube. It came out before the first iPod. It's time to put a deadline on dropping IE6, and I say that time is now, and the deadline should be soon... say like, March 2009. That's roughly ... [More]

Busby SEO Test

Busby SEO Test is Polluting the Internet with Link Spam!!! For awhile now (a couple months I believe) I've been getting Comment Spam for this "Busby SEO Test" contest. The commenters post some crap comment, and they enter their name as "Busby SEO Test" and put in their contest landing page as their URL. It's almost impossible to figure out who is behind this 'contest' since searching for "Busby SEO Test" on Google just pulls up all these ... [More]

Intel Core i7 920 - Initial Thoughts, Overclocking and Windows Vista

I recently upgraded my main desktop machine to a new Intel Core i7 920 CPU and all its glory. Here's a write up of my experience in choosing the Core i7 (over the Core 2 Quad) and my experiences with it so far. Thoughts Before Upgrading - Core 2 Quad or Core i7? My previous machine was an AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2Ghz) with 4GB DDR2 800Mhz Ram. The system ran great, but it was two years old and my requirements for using Virtualization (via Virtual PC) have increased so it's time for an upgrad... [More]