Reconditioning My Development Environment

by Codewiz51 12. January 2010 08:19

I was assigned to a project in San Antonio by my company for half of 2009. Now that I am back home, I've been getting my development environment reconditioned:

  • Install all necessary updates for Windows XP
  • Install all necessary updates for Windows Vista
  • Update platform SDK's for Windows XP.
  • Install the Visual Studio 2008 Feature Pack (for TR1 extensions) on the Vista VM
  • Install XNA and Silverlight tools
  • Check in all files to VSS 2005
  • Analyze and repair VSS 2005 databases
  • Make sure that WinROTT and DCDFLIB compile
  • Unit test compile output
  • Backup web site to my hard drive


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Life | Programming

Upgrading my PC, and why I am avoiding it...

by Codewiz51 12. June 2009 07:54

I have an old Gateway GT5040 retail PC.  I've upgraded the video card to a fancy dual output ATI Radeon something or other (18 months ago).  I've upgraded RAM (9 months ago).  I ditched my 19" dual CRT monitors for a 20" Asus flat panel wide screen monitor (last month, I miss dual monitors, but love the space savings). I will probably upgrade to a much needed larger and faster hard drive.  (The stock Seagate drive is both noisy and incredibly slow.)

However, Dell, HP and other vendors have a problem.  The PC I own is fast enough for my purposes.  My son is happy with the game speed (it's 'OK' he says.) I'm happy with the speed of C++ source compilation.  I am even satisfied with the speed that Oracle XE and SQL Server Expressions versions are able to provide on this old hardware. The virus protection programs have improved in sophistication to the point that Windows XP, for all practical purposes, is as safe to use as Vista, without the asinine UAC popping up 100 times per day asking "permission" to continue.

Will I upgrade to new hardware?  Probably not (at least for a while).  After living through my son's experiences with Vista on his HP laptop, and my own experiences with Vista executing in VMWare, I do not want to own a PC that uses Vista as it's primary OS.  After looking at Beta downloads of Windows 7, I don't see any compelling reason to spend good, hard earned money to replace Windows XP.


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More Impressions of Microsoft Vista...

by Codewiz51 14. January 2009 21:11
  • After working a little longer with Vista, I have to peg UAC as a most inconvenient feature. I understand the why's and wherefore's of UAC, I just don't like the intense user interaction that is required.
  • I like the IE protected mode. Except, the user needs a way to copy files to some location other than the internet temporary files folder so ActiveX controls that need to process a file can be directed to the correct location. Asking a user to copy files to the internet temp directory is a bit unwieldy.
  • Too many whiz bang graphics. How the heck do you turn off wall papers in Vista? (I ended up creating a one pixel bmp file.) The interface is just too busy in my opinion.
  • I was pleased that OracleXE installed and operated flawlessy on Vista. My hat is off to the Oracle crowd for this acheivement.
  • I don't like the fact that being a member of the debug users group is not enough to allow debugging under Visual Studio 2005. (Hey Microsoft, some of us don't have the option of upgrading at the moment.)
  • I am just now getting into the 6.0 and 6.1 Platform SDK, so it's a little early to discuss changes to the SDK. So far, I like what I see. (But I am worried about the fate of WTL on the next version of Windows.)
  • The Visual Studio 2005 documentation seems to open a lot more quickly under Vista.
That's about it for tonight.



My First Impressions of Vista as a Development Platform...

by Codewiz51 13. January 2009 19:29

I haven't posted in a couple of days. I've had to set up a Vista test and development platform. One of our customers is investigating rolling out Vista soon. We've have to take a hard look at one of our flagship software releases to get it in shape for Vista.

Our customer mandates a locked down environment for Windows XP and no doubt will maintain this policy for Vista. I agree with the purpose of this policy and I generally try to emulate the environment as closely as possible in my development work. This means not turning off UAC, not disabling protected mode for IE and not relaxing file and registry permissions. I also like to develop as a standard user on XP, althought VS 2005 won't let me do this on Vista.





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