Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Visual Studio 2010 IDE Goes WPF!

I just went through my backlog of blog posts (incredible how fast they pile up) and stubled upon a post by Jason Zander from the Visual Stduio 2010 team about the new look and feel of the IDE. As indicated by the CTP bits from PDC08 and the new .NET 4.0 designers we could expect more changes in the good old Visual Studio IDE. It looks very slick as you can see in the screenshoot in Jasons post A New Look for Visual Studio 2010.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Problems with getting the new TargetsNotLogged feature to work in VSTS2008 SP1

I guess many people have hade similar experiences as us since upgrading to TFS 2008 with build logs being way to verbose. Fourtunately SP1 fixed this problem for us like Aaron Hallberg describes in his post "Orcas SP1 TFS Build Changes".

Unfourtunately there was a misstake in this patch which lead to only the first project reference got eliminated (also described by Aaron in this post "TargetsNotLogged Hotfix Available"). But the good news is we have a hotfix (kinda obvious by the title in the above mentioned post).

So why the heck am I writing this post? Well as it turns out there seems to be a glitch in the installer when installing SP1 on a build server, the problem is that the new version of the file "Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.targets" is not installed. So what you need to do is to copy it from a development machine running any team edition and replace the one on your build servers, you can find the file under the following path: C:\Program Files\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\TeamBuild.

Don't forget to make sure that you are copying the file from a machine that has SP1 installed.

UPDATE 2009-02-15: As Buck points out in the comment you only have this problem if you can keep your fingers out of the cookie jar :) (I know I couldn't) and have made any changes to your "Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.targets" file. If this is the case then the installer will not replace it since it doesn't consider it to be the same file since it used the original datestamp on the file when patching.

Also I missed that my good friend Mathias Olausson also posted some notes on this issue in particular he some info on how you could quickly verify if you have this problem or not which I completely forgot about:

open your "Microsoft.TeamFoundation.Build.targets" file and check that it contains the line <TargetsNotLogged Condition=" '$(TargetsNotLogged)' == '' ">GetTargetPath;GetNativeManifest;GetCopyToOutputDirectoryItems...
have a look a Improved build performance with Team Build SP1 + hotfix KB958845 to read the whole post.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Siftables, the toy blocks that think

I just watch the latest talk from TED 2009 given by David Merrill who is a grad student at MIT, where he is working on new technologies for interacting with digital media. In his talk he gives and absolutely awsome demo on their current project called Siftables, it is really awsome and I think this will have some major impact on how we think about interacting with computers atleast when it comes to dealing with digital media.

It's a short presentation only 7 mins so take a break from whatever your doing and have a look: David Merrill demos Siftables, the smart blocks

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Getting started with Azure: Watch thoose VM hours!

About a week or two ago I recieved my invitation to participate in the Azure CTP, unfourtunately I was in the middle of reinstalling with Windows 7 Beta 1 then and discovered that the Azure SDK didn't function properly at the momement so I had to setup yet another development machine.

Anyways, I'm finally on track with the Azure stuff and started playing around it. It was a breeze to get a simple hello world kind of service up and running, altough I'm expecting to hit some snags later on once I get into more details in a more real world like scenario.

The warning though as the title of this post states is that you can go through your alloted VM hours quickly if you don't cleanup apropriately. I did some experimenting afer talking to a good friend that knew about some problems with running out of the alloted hours.

The VM hours starts ticking as soon as you have started to deploy to the staging server no matter what state your service is in once you've uploaded it the clock starts ticking. Given that you get 2000 VM hours you can run a service for 83 days, I'm not sure what the deal is if you upload multiple services since I didn't try that. So the leasson is delete your services if you aren't working with them.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Monitoring the health of your TFS servers using "TFS Performance Report Pack"

Grant Holliday is surely a swell dude :) before he joined Microsoft to work with Team System he gave us an awsome report to track performance on our TFS through a performance heat map report (you can find it here if you aren't already running it be sure to give it a try).

No he is back with even more goodies in what look like it will become part of a future power tools release, namely the TFS Performance Report Pack which is loaded with reports to monitor the health of your TFS servers (you can download it and read more about the reports here).

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Win7 From the Trenches: Update on running ITunes 8 in VirtualBox

Just wanted to give some feedback on running ITunes 8 in a virtualized environment, even though it works good enough I have had to revert to using my server (running Windows 2008) as my ITunes machine :) abit weird but hey I need my ITunes...

The reason for this has to do with the fact that my laptop has a wireless network adapter that do not support promiscuous mode. This results in me having to use the "NAT" feature of VirtualBox and it is simply dead slow, it is impossible to work with any kind of downloads from ITunes.

So unless your network card supports "promiscuous mode" you shouldn't use the solution describe in my previous post: Win7 From the Trenches: Getting ITunes 8 to run on Windows 7 Beta 1

Win7 From the Trenches: Enabling Hyper-V Remote Administration

As I've written in my earlier posts I had some problems locating the Hyper-V administration console under Windows 7 Beta 1. As it turns out it's actually quite easy (found a nice little post on the subject here).

All you have to do is download the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 7
and install it, unfourtunatelly this simple puts the bits on your machine (this is what got me) and you have to explicitly enable this particular feature.

Todo this you'll have to open your control panel and click on the “Turn Windows Features on or off”, then you'll have to locate the "Remote Server Administration Tools" and under there you'll find it under "Role Administration Tools". Great so now your set to go, right?

Nopes if your like me and simply are running in workgroup mode at home the admin tool will not work very well with the hyper-v server unless you do some configuring. Personally I have given up at the moment I did follow the guidance provided by the eminient John Howard in his post: Configure Hyper-V Remote Management in seconds. It simply won't work for me and I'll give it another try once I have some time over to create an proper domain for my machines in my home network.