Blog ala Vidar

SQL, AppFrame and other cool technologies

Monthly Archives: January 2009

Live Mesh

Microsoft released Live Mesh (beta) to the public April last year. I’ve only been using it a couple of days, but I wish I had noticed this before! On www.mesh.com the slogan is “Sync, share, and access the information you care about – wherever you happen to be.”. I think this explains most of it. Live Mesh is a service from Microsoft that you can connect to either using your browser (from anywhere in the world), or using an application installed on your PC. If you install this application, it integrates with windows explorer. All Mesh-folders have a blue folder-icon. If you got a folder you want to share with mesh, you just right-click it and choose “Add folder to Live Mesh”. You can also add permissions on this folder so your friends can get access to it. I’ve tested this with a folder I call “VS projects”. On my spare time I’ve been working a bit with an IRC client. I wanted to share the source code with Jan Leon, so I gave him permissions to the folder, and 30 seconds later, he had it on his desktop without doing ANYTHING. Live Mesh did the synchronization automatically.

On all folders you’ve got a little extra window on the right. There are three tabs. News, Members and Synchronized Devices.
On News you can see all information about the folder. Who added or deleted which files. New members of the folder etc.
In the Members tab you can see who’s got permissions to this folder and what permissions the user got. As long as your friend got a live-address (for use with MSN or similar), you can add your friend to this.
On the Synchronized Devices tab you can see which computers (and sites) are connected to this folder at the moment, and where your changes will be synchronized.
I’m now using this for backup. I’ve only got a couple of documents I don’t want to loose. Nothing confidential, just a lot of work to redo if lost.. All other files and applications can be downloaded from the internet, so no need to worry there.

NB! Be aware that there are a limit on the size of your folders. It’s about 5GB, so you shouldn’t worry too much.

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#AppFrame@EFNet

As some of you might have noticed, I’ve had #AppFrame@EFNet as my personal message on MSN. What does this actually mean?

IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is a technology developed as early as in 1988. It’s a chat protocol. The main idea is that there are several servers connected in a network, which clients can connect to to chat with others. The idea behind MSN is in many cases very similar to IRC. The only main difference, in my eyes, is the channels. If you want to start a group discussion on MSN you have to invite several people to your conversation. This can easily be a mess. What do you do if you just need help with something, or want to chat about one topic and don’t care who answers? Well, MSN does not have any features like this. IRC on the other hand has channels. You can join any channel you want. I’ve started #AppFrame (# means it’s a channel) on the EFNet network. Anyone can join to chat, or get help with AppFrame related technologies. NB!!! THIS IS NOT AN OFFICIAL SUPPORT CHANNEL FROM OMEGA!

You can also join other channels to chat, or get help with other technologies. I myself have joined #Haugesund (my hometown), #sql and #appframe. There’s also channels like #vb, #aspnet etc.

Looking forward to have a chat with you on IRC!

Norwegian Podcast

Einar Ingebrigtsen (Chapter Lead of NNUG Vestfold) have just started a Norwegian podcast. You can find it at http://www.ingebrigtsen.info/ . His first podcast is a intervju with Jon Arild Tørresdal about Agile development. Jon Arild is by the way the Chapter Lead of NNUG Bergen. You might notice his accent. He’s from Haugesund but have lived in Bergen for quite some time.

NB! I might have to start podcasting soon 😉 In English though..

SMO

SQL Server Management Objects is a set of .NET objects from Microsoft. This replaced DMO (Distributed Management Objects) in 2005. You can use SMO to communicate with a SQL Server the same way you do with Management Studio. For example, you can list all tables, script them, find your permissions+++. You even use it to communicate with SQL Server Agent to make jobs etc!

The last days I’ve been working on a little application we’ll use to script over a database automatically. First we’ll delete all a-objects, then we’ll script them in from another database.

I’ve made an example project, so you can see how easy it is. First connect using a ServerConnection, and then setting the gServer. With gServer I can access any object I want on the server. To access a table, you use: gServer.Databases(“YourDatabaseName”).Tables(“YourTableName”)

To generate all my scripts, I’m looping the Script-method on the Tables property. I add a parameter vOptions so I only get what I want (dependent on which checkboxes are checked.

Click here to download the test project.

Windows 7

About 24 hours ago I started installing Windows 7 Beta 1 (build 7000). First I tried upgrading my Vista installation. After about half an hour with extracting files etc, it stopped at 21%, wanted to reboot. After the reboot, it started at 21%. In the mean time I was playing drums on Guitar Hero World Tour. My neighbors HATE it. It doesn’t take more than two minutes before they start hammering on my door etc. Anyhow.. It still was at 21% so I went to bed. Haven’t slept much lately… When I woke up, it was still at 21%, so I decided to cancel the upgrade, and do a fresh install. Rollback worked perfectly, so I managed to get into my vista installation to copy out the files I “needed”.
Bug 1: upgrade didn’t work

Fresh install didn’t take long. Immediately after it was finished, I started installing all my usual applications. MSN, Visual Studio, SQL Server +++. The only thing I have had problems with so far is daemon tools and similar applications. For those of you that are not familiar with this, it’s a tool to mount ISO-files like a virtual CD/DVD-ROM. After a while I found one that works pretty good: Virtual CloneDrive. If you got any other program to do this, which is FREE (as in free of charge, don’t care if it’s open source or not), and does ONLY mount files, not all the other bullshit like Nero etc, please let me know…

After installing everything I needed, I started exploring the new features. There’s actually some very nice features, but we’ll get back too them soon. I first want to notify you about the other bugs I’ve found.

Bug 2: problems with restarting
After windows update, windows wanted a restart. I pressed “restart” and went over to my mom to have dinner etc. 6 hours later I came back home and noticed the “shutting down” screen. I of course used the power button, and restarted it again. The same thing happened the next restart. Although, I didn’t have this problem the last restart. Have no idea why though. I haven’t started looking at logs yet.

Bug 3: windows explorer stops working
Have no idea what happened, but suddenly windows explorer couldn’t find any of my hard disks. I tried killing explorer.exe and starting it again, without success. I’ve had this problem in XP before, but then it normally works fine after killing it. Restarting worked though, as always 😉

These are the “only” bugs I’ve found so far. I’m a multitask-dude, so I always install several programs at the same time, while doing hundreds of other thing. Windows 7 seems to have no problem with this. I’ve had various problems with this in both XP and Vista.

So, over to the new features. Most of your are probably familiar with “gadgets” in Vista. In Windows 7 you still got gadgets but they’re not locked to the sidebar. You can drop them wherever you want on the screen (as shown on the screenshot). This is of course just to show you. I normally don’t use any gadgets 🙂

UAC (User Account Control) is something that have annoyed many people in Vista. I think UAC is a good idea, but it should warn you about things that really matter, and not EVERYTHING you do. I myself have set it to the “Shut up and let me do what ever I want because I (think I) know what I’m doing“-mode. In Vista there was only on and off, but in Windows 7 there’s 4 settings.

One of the features I’m a big fan of is the new taskbar. Instead of having a taskbar just for opening applications, you can now hover for example the IE-icon, and then get a preview of all your tabs. If you click any of them it opens IE in the correct tab. This also includes all other applications. By using the right-click option “pin this program to taskbar”, you can add applications to it. I’ve pinned putty (which is a SSH-client). If I click it, and the application isn’t opened, it will start it. Pretty neat, especially with the preview functionality.

You also got this “pin” functionality in the start menu. Nice if there’s for example documents you need to add to some kind of favorite list or similar.

Another cool feature is the window management. If you’ve got several windows open, and you “shake” one of them, it will minimize all other windows. If you shake it ones more, it will restore the other windows. You can also dock windows by just moving them around. If you move the window to the left of your screen, it docks the window to 50% of the left. If you move it to the top of your screen, it maximizes it.

This is the biggest changes I’ve seen compared to Vista. There’s also a lot of small changes, like the action center which notifies you if there’s something wrong. For instance before I installed an antivirus application, it said I had to do it. It doesn’t popup and it isn’t annoying in any way. It’s just a red flag waiting to be clicked on.

They’ve also included “Send feedback” on all windows. This automatically connects to http://connect.microsoft.com and reports issues by itself.