Andrej Tozon's blog

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The books are here

Every now and then I browse through my Amazon wish list and pick a few items I’d like to have. Three books made it to the latest package that arrived earlier this week: 

·        Steve McConnell's Code Complete (2nd ed.),  After reading so many positive reviews about this book I decided on getting a copy

·        Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light, a classic Sci-Fi novel, was also recommended to me

·        Holy Blood, Holy Grail (Baigent, Lincoln, Leigh). This one has been on my list for quite some time now. I’ve first heard the story behind Rennes-Le-Chateau about 5 years ago and took immediate interest in it. This book is considered one of the best on the subject

As a developer, I naturally started with Code Complete :). To find out more about this book, go see this interview with the author on MSDN TV. 

Google day

Thanks to Matija and Goran, my coworkers (yes, it was a joint effort, don't ask), I now have a GMail account. You can help me test it by sending me your mail on andrej.tozon at gmail.com. While I wait to get some invites to give away, I would want to follow this lead.

I also signed up for Google AdSense program and added some ad space to my blog. Just to see how this works out

Having said that... I google a lot. Mostly for information, but there's more to it. Google's calculator not only performs advanced mathematical calculations, but is also a measure unit converter. To convert a person's height to centimeters simply enter this in the search field: 5.9 feet in cm and you'll get the result. Needless to say, I don't use the Windows calculator anymore.
Another Google's best is the Definitions. Type define: programming in the search box and you will get back various definitions from various dictionaries available on the web.
More Google tools on this page.

VS.NET: File-copying projects and referencing all of them from the same project

I've been asked this question a few times in a last couple of months.

Sometimes you want to shorten the time needed to start up a new project for your component by simply copying the files of an existing, possibly similar project you worked on before. While this solution will generally work, you will encounter some problems when referencing both components (the original and the copy) from the same project in the solution. Sure, you've changed the name of the copied project, all of the files, possibly even the namespace your component resides in. But when you try to add a reference to the new component from the main project, already referencing the original component, nothing happens. There's no warning, message box or anything, and your new component just won't show in the references list.

You check the new project's properties, change the assembly name if you haven't done that already [funny thing - if two or more projects in your solution have the same assembly name assigned to them, the solution will compile without any warning, but you will be stuck with only one executable/dll - the one which compiled last].
Now, all project properties seem alright, but VS still refuses to add the new reference. It's because when you copied the project, you also copied its GUID, an unique identifier, by which, evidently, VS keeps track of the projects.

So, in order to get this thing done, you have to create a new GUID and assign it to the new component project. I haven't found any easier solution, so this is what I would do:

1. Generate new GUID: from the VS Tools menu, select item Create GUID - this will bring up a new window, which will help you create a new GUID for your project. In the GUID Format section select the option 4. Registry format. The resulting GUID will be shown in the result section of the window. You can generate new GUID by hitting the New GUID button. When you're fine with the generated number, click the Copy button, which will copy the number to the clipboard.

2. Paste the GUID in the project file: in your favorite text/XML editor, open the .csproj file, which resides in your new project's folder. Find the text ProjectGuid = "{XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX}" and replace existing GUID with new by pasting it from the clipboard.

3. Save the file and reopen the solution in VS.

I haven't found any better way to do this but it gives me an idea for a VS plug-in...

XP SP2 RTM

Microsoft released the RTM version of Windows XP SP2, which will be available through Windows update/Automatic updates service in the next few days. Because of the size (about 265 MB), you might also consider downloading the package through the TechNet XP2 Site or MSDN Subscriber Downloads.

I guess the most obvious changes you'll notice after installing SP2 will be the new Windows Security Center, improved Firewall and handy pop-up blocker. However, the SP2 focuses on stronger security and better manageability. Microsoft sees it as an essential security update, making this package a required install.

Want to use Messenger services in your application?

Check out the dotMSN Class Library, written in C#, which lets you use the MSN Messenger Service in your own applications. Provided example shows you its basic features, which include (taken from the site):

·        Connecting / disconnecting with the MSN Messenger service
MSNP8 protocol

·        File transfer

·        Fires events when contact go online or offline or change status

·        Automatically synchronizes contact lists and keeps contact data up to date

·        Create/Remove contactgroups

·        Convenient enumerating through contacts in different lists

·        Request or receive conversations

·        Multiple users in one conversation

·        Send messages

·        Received messages include information about font, charset, color, decoration

·        Privacy settings of the contactlist owner

·        Provides hotmail inbox status

·        Error handling

Related: Microsoft releases beta version of web based MSN Messenger – runs in your web browser, no need for client install… Cool!

Microsoft exam 70-301

Microsoft has announced new exam, which targets developers, who use Microsoft Solutions Framework 3.0, is going to beta testing in September 2004. Exam 70-301, titled Managing, Organizing, and Delivering IT Projects by Using the Microsoft Solutions Framework 3.0, will count as an elective to both MCSD (.NET) and MCSE (Windows Server 2003), and passing it would also get you the MCP status.

To pass the exam, you should have solid experience with managing and delivering IT projects, using MSF v3. The requirements cover activities through the whole project lifespan, from organizing the team to deployment of the solution. Recommended are the following courses: 1846: Microsoft Solutions Framework Essentials and 2710: Analyzing Requirements and Defining Microsoft .NET Solution Architectures

Now, if you ever thought of getting to know the MSF in more detail, I think this exam will give you a great opportunity to test your knowledge on the subject and a chance for further study. I for sure will give it a try :)

Ministry in House of the Mol

Ministry released a new album last month. Houses of the Molé brings back the Ministry I once knew in the early 90s, when Psalm 69 was released. Fast, heavy sounding songs, loaded with samples from US president G. W. Bush, shoud easily be recognized as the best work Al Jourgensen has released in years. The political statement seems inevitable, as each of  the songs starts with the letter ‘W’, except  the opening No “W”, which kind of makes the Al’s point. No “W”, mixed with Orff’s Carmina Burana, also makes one of my favorites on this album. All in all, this is a great album, but The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste still remains my favorite Ministry CD.

Skinny Puppy, also a great industrial band from the past, have released a new album too. Yet, The Greater Wrong of the Right did not convince me :-(

Looks like the Revolting Cocks are next… Remember Beers, Steers & Queers?