Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Testing Responsive Design using Mozilla Firefox

If you are developing a website that uses Responsive Design techniques, there are several tools available for you to test Responsive Design.

One of the most commonly used tools for testing Responsive Design in the past is the use of the Opera Mobile Emulator: http://www.opera.com/developer/mobile-emulator

However, if you are not concerned with the use of specific devices that have different screen sizes and you just want to test out your media queries that are used as part of  your Responsive Design, you can do this directly using Mozilla Firefox!!

In Mozilla Firefox, use the Shortcut Key Combination: Ctrl + Shift + I.  This will bring up the Developer Tools.

On the right hand side of the Developer Tools, you will find a button for Responsive Design:

 You can then click on the Responsive Design button to highlight/select Responsive Design:

Once the Responsive Design button has been selected, you should see a screen like the following in Firefox that will allow you to choose various different screen sizes to allow you to test out your media queries:

In addition, if you will be bouncing back and forth between using Responsive Design techniques and non-Responsive Design techniques, you can also use the Shortcut Key Combination Ctrl + Shift + M!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Provide feedback on the next version of Windows!!

Microsoft finally has decided that it will allow users to provide feedback on what features will go into the next release of Windows (Windows 10).

You can offer suggestions and vote on existing suggestions here: https://windows.uservoice.com/forums/265757-feature-suggestions/filters/top

You can read about some of the top requested features here: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2835218/windows-10-the-top-10-features-users-want-microsoft-to-add.html#tk.nl_today

Friday, October 17, 2014

Free PowerShell Editor - PowerShell Plus

If you are used to using PowerGUI, you may already know that once Dell acquired PowerGUI, there has not been activity or development of the product.

Fortunately, Idera has stepped up to the plate and has released PowerShell Plus, a free PowerShell Editor with many of the same features as PowerGUI:


Overall, the look and feel is much more modern than PowerGUI and it is nice to know that PowerShell Plus natively supports PowerShell v. 3.0 and above (no support is provided for PowerShell 2.0 and below).

I am looking forward to using this editor as my replacement to PowerGUI for developing all of my PowerShell scripts and to fill in the gaps left by the PowerShell ISE editor.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Unable to launch Enterprise Library 6 Configuration Console

I have worked with Enterprise Library in the past and have just recently began working on projects that are using .NET v. 4.5 or later.  Since earlier versions of Enterprise Library did not support .NET Framework v. 4.5, this was one of the first times I tried using Enterprise Library 6.

I went ahead and downloaded the Enterprise Library from here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=38789

However, when I went ahead and extracted the EnterpriseLibrary6-binaries, I discovered that I was unable to launch the Enterprise Library Configuration Console!  Each time I attempted to launch the Enterprise Library Configuration Console, I would get an exception message dialog indicating that the application had crashed!

This was unusual since I had always simply extracted Enterprise Library in previous versions and run the Configuration Console earlier.

Well, after further examination, I found the following text in a ReadMe file:


Summary: This package contains Enterprise Library configuration console, MSMQ distributor service, merge configuration tool and a script to download binaries for all application blocks from NuGet.

In order to get all the binaries, run the install-packages.ps1 script.

Note: For the Semantic Logging Application Block Out-of-Process service, a separate package is available for download.

The most up-to-date version of the release notes and known issues is available online:

Microsoft patterns & practices

Aha!  So I had to run a PowerShell script in order to download all of the necessary binaries to get the Enterprise Library Configuration Console to run.

Of course, after I ran the install-packages.ps1 PowerShell script, I was able to successfully launch the Enterprise Library Configuration Console!!

Send e-mails through Windows Azure

If you want to send e-mail messages through Windows Azure, you can go through the trouble of setting up IIS SMTP and then configuring it to work with your e-mail provider or host such as GMail, Yahoo!, GoDaddy etc. or you can use one of various SMTP Hosting providers that provide SMTP Relay services.

If you are using Windows Azure, using an SMTP Relay service becomes easier with SendGrid (http://sendgrid.com/)

SendGrid is available as an add-on to Windows Azure and it offers a variety of pricing options including sending 25,000 e-mail messages per month for FREE!!!

Best of all, you can simply set up your Windows Azure Virtual Machine for the standard SMTP port of 25 and then just configure your application to use the SendGrid user credentials to send e-mail messages.  That is all there is to it!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Deleting a Team Foundation Server project

If you need to delete a Team Foundation Server Team Project, you can delete the Team Project directly from the Team Foundation Server Admin Console as is outlined here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff357756.aspx

Of course, there is a greater likelihood that some of the artifacts from the Team Project may remain even after the deletion, therefore, the recommended strategy to delete a Team Project is to use the command line as is outlined here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms181482.aspx

While in most scenarios you will probably not need to delete a Team Project, this option is handy if you are performing a migration from another source control system (such as VSS), where the migration may not have completed successfully.  In those instances, it is useful to simply delete the Team Project, re-create it and restart the migration.

Resuming a failed VSS Upgrade

I was performing a VSS Upgrade to TFS recently and after many hours of running, the VSS Upgrade seemed to freeze and not continue processing.  As you can probably guess, canceling the operation had no effect, thus requiring me to kill the actual VSS process.

I wasn't sure about the state of the migration at that point, but I decided to re-launch the VSS Upgrade wizard just to see what options were available.

Below is the dialog that I saw:

Upon re-launching the VSS Upgrade Wizard, I was presented with the option to resume a previous upgrade!  Therefore, all of the hours spent on performing the analysis and migration could potentially be saved!

Of course, you will have to determine whether or not this option is viable for you.  If you are migrating a recent VSS 2005 database that returned with a clean analysis, a resume may work out just fine.  However, if you are working with an older VSS 6.0 database that might be on its last legs due to the numerous errors in the database, it is probably safer to simply start the upgrade all over again.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Upgrading older versions of Visual SourceSafe databases

I recently was working on a project for a client where they had a Visual SourceSafe database dating back more than 15 years!

As you can probably guess, they wanted to migrate that old VSS database to TFS as well.  I was able to successfully open the database in VSS 2005 and run the analyze and repair but when I went to run the VSS to TFS upgrade, I got the following error message:

Well, as it turns out, the database was running a much older version of VSS than v. 6.0!!  Therefore, it required an upgrade before I could successfully migrate the source code over to TFS.

Fortunately, MSDN had an article on how to run the upgrade on the VSS database to prepare it for migration to TFS:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/library/x8d2h3te%28v=vs.80%29.aspx

I had to run the ddupd command against the VSS database in order to upgrade it to the latest version of VSS (VSS 2005). 

Once I upgraded the VSS database, I was able to successfully run the VSS to TFS upgrade wizard and begin the migration process!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Windows 10 Technical Preview available for download

Windows 10 Technical Preview was just released a few days ago and you can now download it and testing it out.

You can read more about the new and exciting features in Windows 10 here: http://blogs.windows.com/business/2014/09/30/introducing-windows-10-for-business/

You can grab a copy of Windows 10 Enterprise edition here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-windows-technical-preview-for-enterprise?i=1

If you want the Home version of Windows 10, you can grab that here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/preview-download?ocid=tp_site_downloadpage