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  • A Reusable Builder Class for Javascript Testing

    - by Liam McLennan
    Continuing on my series of builders for C# and Ruby here is the solution in Javascript. This is probably the implementation with which I am least happy. There are several parts that did not seem to fit the language. This time around I didn’t bother with a testing framework, I just append some values to the page with jQuery. Here is the test code: var initialiseBuilder = function() { var builder = builderConstructor(); builder.configure({ 'Person': function() { return {name: 'Liam', age: 26}}, 'Property': function() { return {street: '127 Creek St', manager: builder.a('Person') }} }); return builder; }; var print = function(s) { $('body').append(s + '<br/>'); }; var build = initialiseBuilder(); // get an object liam = build.a('Person'); print(liam.name + ' is ' + liam.age); // get a modified object liam = build.a('Person', function(person) { person.age = 999; }); print(liam.name + ' is ' + liam.age); home = build.a('Property'); print(home.street + ' manager: ' + home.manager.name); and the implementation: var builderConstructor = function() { var that = {}; var defaults = {}; that.configure = function(d) { defaults = d; }; that.a = function(type, modifier) { var o = defaults[type](); if (modifier) { modifier(o); } return o; }; return that; }; I still like javascript’s syntax for anonymous methods, defaults[type]() is much clearer than the Ruby equivalent @defaults[klass].call(). You can see the striking similarity between Ruby hashes and javascript objects. I also prefer modifier(o) to the equivalent Ruby, yield o.

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  • A Reusable Builder Class for Ruby Testing

    - by Liam McLennan
    My last post was about a class for building test data objects in C#. This post describes the same tool, but implemented in Ruby. The C# version was written first but I originally came up with the solution in my head using Ruby, and then I translated it to C#. The Ruby version was easier to write and is easier to use thanks to Ruby’s dynamic nature making generics unnecessary.  Here are my example domain classes: class Person attr_accessor :name, :age def initialize(name, age) @name = name @age = age end end class Property attr_accessor :street, :manager def initialize(street, manager) @street = street @manager = manager end end and the test class showing what the builder does: class Test_Builder < Test::Unit::TestCase def setup @build = Builder.new @build.configure({ Property => lambda { Property.new '127 Creek St', @build.a(Person) }, Person => lambda { Person.new 'Liam', 26 } }) end def test_create assert_not_nil @build end def test_can_get_a_person @person = @build.a(Person) assert_not_nil @person assert_equal 'Liam', @person.name assert_equal 26, @person.age end def test_can_get_a_modified_person @person = @build.a Person do |person| person.age = 999 end assert_not_nil @person assert_equal 'Liam', @person.name assert_equal 999, @person.age end def test_can_get_a_different_type_that_depends_on_a_type_that_has_not_been_configured_yet @my_place = @build.a(Property) assert_not_nil @my_place assert_equal '127 Creek St', @my_place.street assert_equal @build.a(Person).name, @my_place.manager.name end end Finally, the implementation of Builder: class Builder # defaults is a hash of Class => creation lambda def configure defaults @defaults = defaults end def a(klass) temp = @defaults[klass].call() yield temp if block_given? temp end end

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  • Next generation Three MiFi unit - call for questions to put to Three

    - by Liam Westley
    I've been invited to a preview of the next generation Three mobile Mi-Fi unit in their London offices this week. If you've got feedback on the current MiFi unit; niggles, wish list items or general feedback, or you've got any questions about what the next generation MiFi unit might be, drop me an e-mail or post a comment with your question on this blog. I'll be taking any questions from my blog or my twitter account @westleyl to Three, and if I get an answer I can publish, I'll add to this blog post with the details. Thanks Liam

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  • JavaScript Class Patterns

    - by Liam McLennan
    To write object-oriented programs we need objects, and likely lots of them. JavaScript makes it easy to create objects: var liam = { name: "Liam", age: Number.MAX_VALUE }; But JavaScript does not provide an easy way to create similar objects. Most object-oriented languages include the idea of a class, which is a template for creating objects of the same type. From one class many similar objects can be instantiated. Many patterns have been proposed to address the absence of a class concept in JavaScript. This post will compare and contrast the most significant of them. Simple Constructor Functions Classes may be missing but JavaScript does support special constructor functions. By prefixing a call to a constructor function with the ‘new’ keyword we can tell the JavaScript runtime that we want the function to behave like a constructor and instantiate a new object containing the members defined by that function. Within a constructor function the ‘this’ keyword references the new object being created -  so a basic constructor function might be: function Person(name, age) { this.name = name; this.age = age; this.toString = function() { return this.name + " is " + age + " years old."; }; } var john = new Person("John Galt", 50); console.log(john.toString()); Note that by convention the name of a constructor function is always written in Pascal Case (the first letter of each word is capital). This is to distinguish between constructor functions and other functions. It is important that constructor functions be called with the ‘new’ keyword and that not constructor functions are not. There are two problems with the pattern constructor function pattern shown above: It makes inheritance difficult The toString() function is redefined for each new object created by the Person constructor. This is sub-optimal because the function should be shared between all of the instances of the Person type. Constructor Functions with a Prototype JavaScript functions have a special property called prototype. When an object is created by calling a JavaScript constructor all of the properties of the constructor’s prototype become available to the new object. In this way many Person objects can be created that can access the same prototype. An improved version of the above example can be written: function Person(name, age) { this.name = name; this.age = age; } Person.prototype = { toString: function() { return this.name + " is " + this.age + " years old."; } }; var john = new Person("John Galt", 50); console.log(john.toString()); In this version a single instance of the toString() function will now be shared between all Person objects. Private Members The short version is: there aren’t any. If a variable is defined, with the var keyword, within the constructor function then its scope is that function. Other functions defined within the constructor function will be able to access the private variable, but anything defined outside the constructor (such as functions on the prototype property) won’t have access to the private variable. Any variables defined on the constructor are automatically public. Some people solve this problem by prefixing properties with an underscore and then not calling those properties by convention. function Person(name, age) { this.name = name; this.age = age; } Person.prototype = { _getName: function() { return this.name; }, toString: function() { return this._getName() + " is " + this.age + " years old."; } }; var john = new Person("John Galt", 50); console.log(john.toString()); Note that the _getName() function is only private by convention – it is in fact a public function. Functional Object Construction Because of the weirdness involved in using constructor functions some JavaScript developers prefer to eschew them completely. They theorize that it is better to work with JavaScript’s functional nature than to try and force it to behave like a traditional class-oriented language. When using the functional approach objects are created by returning them from a factory function. An excellent side effect of this pattern is that variables defined with the factory function are accessible to the new object (due to closure) but are inaccessible from anywhere else. The Person example implemented using the functional object construction pattern is: var personFactory = function(name, age) { var privateVar = 7; return { toString: function() { return name + " is " + age * privateVar / privateVar + " years old."; } }; }; var john2 = personFactory("John Lennon", 40); console.log(john2.toString()); Note that the ‘new’ keyword is not used for this pattern, and that the toString() function has access to the name, age and privateVar variables because of closure. This pattern can be extended to provide inheritance and, unlike the constructor function pattern, it supports private variables. However, when working with JavaScript code bases you will find that the constructor function is more common – probably because it is a better approximation of mainstream class oriented languages like C# and Java. Inheritance Both of the above patterns can support inheritance but for now, favour composition over inheritance. Summary When JavaScript code exceeds simple browser automation object orientation can provide a powerful paradigm for controlling complexity. Both of the patterns presented in this article work – the choice is a matter of style. Only one question still remains; who is John Galt?

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  • JavaScript Class Patterns

    - by Liam McLennan
    To write object-oriented programs we need objects, and likely lots of them. JavaScript makes it easy to create objects: var liam = { name: "Liam", age: Number.MAX_VALUE }; But JavaScript does not provide an easy way to create similar objects. Most object-oriented languages include the idea of a class, which is a template for creating objects of the same type. From one class many similar objects can be instantiated. Many patterns have been proposed to address the absence of a class concept in JavaScript. This post will compare and contrast the most significant of them. Simple Constructor Functions Classes may be missing but JavaScript does support special constructor functions. By prefixing a call to a constructor function with the ‘new’ keyword we can tell the JavaScript runtime that we want the function to behave like a constructor and instantiate a new object containing the members defined by that function. Within a constructor function the ‘this’ keyword references the new object being created -  so a basic constructor function might be: function Person(name, age) { this.name = name; this.age = age; this.toString = function() { return this.name + " is " + age + " years old."; }; } var john = new Person("John Galt", 50); console.log(john.toString()); Note that by convention the name of a constructor function is always written in Pascal Case (the first letter of each word is capital). This is to distinguish between constructor functions and other functions. It is important that constructor functions be called with the ‘new’ keyword and that not constructor functions are not. There are two problems with the pattern constructor function pattern shown above: It makes inheritance difficult The toString() function is redefined for each new object created by the Person constructor. This is sub-optimal because the function should be shared between all of the instances of the Person type. Constructor Functions with a Prototype JavaScript functions have a special property called prototype. When an object is created by calling a JavaScript constructor all of the properties of the constructor’s prototype become available to the new object. In this way many Person objects can be created that can access the same prototype. An improved version of the above example can be written: function Person(name, age) { this.name = name; this.age = age; } Person.prototype = { toString: function() { return this.name + " is " + this.age + " years old."; } }; var john = new Person("John Galt", 50); console.log(john.toString()); In this version a single instance of the toString() function will now be shared between all Person objects. Private Members The short version is: there aren’t any. If a variable is defined, with the var keyword, within the constructor function then its scope is that function. Other functions defined within the constructor function will be able to access the private variable, but anything defined outside the constructor (such as functions on the prototype property) won’t have access to the private variable. Any variables defined on the constructor are automatically public. Some people solve this problem by prefixing properties with an underscore and then not calling those properties by convention. function Person(name, age) { this.name = name; this.age = age; } Person.prototype = { _getName: function() { return this.name; }, toString: function() { return this._getName() + " is " + this.age + " years old."; } }; var john = new Person("John Galt", 50); console.log(john.toString()); Note that the _getName() function is only private by convention – it is in fact a public function. Functional Object Construction Because of the weirdness involved in using constructor functions some JavaScript developers prefer to eschew them completely. They theorize that it is better to work with JavaScript’s functional nature than to try and force it to behave like a traditional class-oriented language. When using the functional approach objects are created by returning them from a factory function. An excellent side effect of this pattern is that variables defined with the factory function are accessible to the new object (due to closure) but are inaccessible from anywhere else. The Person example implemented using the functional object construction pattern is: var john = new Person("John Galt", 50); console.log(john.toString()); var personFactory = function(name, age) { var privateVar = 7; return { toString: function() { return name + " is " + age * privateVar / privateVar + " years old."; } }; }; var john2 = personFactory("John Lennon", 40); console.log(john2.toString()); Note that the ‘new’ keyword is not used for this pattern, and that the toString() function has access to the name, age and privateVar variables because of closure. This pattern can be extended to provide inheritance and, unlike the constructor function pattern, it supports private variables. However, when working with JavaScript code bases you will find that the constructor function is more common – probably because it is a better approximation of mainstream class oriented languages like C# and Java. Inheritance Both of the above patterns can support inheritance but for now, favour composition over inheritance. Summary When JavaScript code exceeds simple browser automation object orientation can provide a powerful paradigm for controlling complexity. Both of the patterns presented in this article work – the choice is a matter of style. Only one question still remains; who is John Galt?

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  • My Message to the Software Craftsmanship Group

    - by Liam McLennan
    This is a message I posted to the software craftsmanship group, looking for a week-long, pairing / skill sharing opportunity in the USA. I am a journeyman software craftsman, currenlty living and working in Brisbane Australia. In April I am going to travel to the US to attend Alt.Net Seattle and Seattle codecamp. In between the two conferences I have five days in which I would like to undertake a craftsmanship mini-apprenticeship, pairing and skill sharing with your company. I do not require any compensation other than the opportunity to assist you and learn from you. Although my conferences are in Seattle I am happy to travel anywhere in the USA and Canada (excluding Hawaii :) ). Things I am good at: .NET web development, javascript, creating software that solves problems Things I am learning: Ruby, Rails, javascript If you are interested in having me as visiting craftsman from the 12th to the 16th of April please reply on this mailing list or contact me directly. Liam McLennan Now I wait…

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  • Chester Devs Presentation and source code &ndash; &lsquo;Event Store - an introduction to a DSD for event sourcing and notifications&rsquo;

    - by Liam Westley
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/twickers/archive/2013/11/11/chester-devs-presentation-and-source-code-ndash-lsquoevent-store.aspxThank you everyone at Chester Devs Thanks to Fran Hoey and all the people from Chester Devs. It was a hard drive up and back but the enthusiasm of the audience, with some great questions does make it worthwhile. Presentation and source code My presentation, source code, Event Store runners and text files containing the various command line parameters used for curl is now available on GitHub; https://github.com/westleyl/ChesterDevs-EventStore. Don’t worry if you don’t have a GitHub account, you don’t need one, you can just click on the Download Zip button on the right hand menu to download all the files as a single ZIP file.  If all you want is the PowerPoint presentation, go to https://github.com/westleyl/ChesterDevs-EventStore/blob/master/Powerpoint/Huddle-EventStore.pptx, and click on the View Raw button. Downloading and installing Event Store and Tools Download Event Store http://download.geteventstore.com – I unzipped these files into C:\EventStore\v2.0.1 Download Curl from http://curl.haxx.se/download.html – I downloaded Win64 Generic (with SSL) and unzipped these files into C:\curl version 7.31.0 Running the tools I used in my presentation Demonstration 1 (running Event Store) You can use one of my Event Store runner command files to run the single node version of Event Store, using default ports of 2213 for HTTP and 1113  for TCP, and with a wildcard HTTP pattern.  Both take a single command line parameter to specify the location of the data and log files.  The runners assume the single node executable is located in C:\EventStore\v2.0.1, and will placed data files and logs beneath C:\EventStore\Data, i.e. RunEventStore.cmd TestData1 This will create data files in C:\EventStore\Data\TestData1\Data and log files in C:\EventStore\Data\TestData1\logs. If, when running Event Store you may see the following message, [03288,15,06:23:00.622] Failed to start http server Access is denied You will either need to run Event Store in an administrator console window, or you can use the netsh command to create a firewall permission to allow HTTP listening (this will need to be run, once, in an administrator console window), netsh http add urlacl url=http://*:2213/ user=liam You can always delete this later by running the delete; netsh http delete urlacl url=http://*:2213/ If you want to confirm that everything is running OK, open the management console in a browser by navigating to http://127.0.0.1:2213. If at any point you are asked for a user name and password use the default of ‘admin’/‘changeit’. Demonstration 2 (reading and adding data, curl) In my second demonstration I used curl directly from the console to read streams, write events and then read back those events. On GitHub I have included is a set of curl commands, CurlCommandLine.txt, and a sample data file, SampleData.json, to load an event into a DDDNorth3 stream. As there is not much data in the Event Store at this point I used the $stats-127.0.0.1:2113 which is a stream containing performance statistics for Event Store and is updated every 30 seconds (default). Demonstration 3 (projections) On GitHub I have included a sample projection, Projection-ByRoom.txt, which will create streams based on the room on which a session was held on the DDDNorth3 agenda. Browse to the management console, http://127.0.0.1:2213.  Click on Projections, New Projection, give it a name, Sessions-ByRoom, and copy in the JavaScript in the Projection-ByRoom.txt file.  Select Continuous, tick Emit Enabled and then click on Post. It should run immediately. You may by challenged for the administration login for the management console, if so use the default user name and password; 'admin'/'changeit'. Demonstration 4 (C# client) The final demonstration was the Visual Studio 2012 project using the Event Store client – referenced directly as C:\EventStore\v2.0.1\EventStore.ClientAPI.dll, although you can switch this to the latest Event Store client NuGet package. The source code provides a console app for viewing projections with the projection manager (HTTP connection), as well as containing a full set of data for the entire DDDNorth3 agenda.  It also deals with the strategy for reading newest events backwards to older events and ignoring older events that have been superseded. Resources Event Store home page: http://www.geteventstore.com/ Event Store source code on GitHub: https://github.com/eventstore/eventstore Event Store documentation on GitHub: https://github.com/eventstore/eventstore/wiki (includes index to @RobAshton’s blog series on Event Store at https://github.com/eventstore/eventstore/wiki#rob-ashton---projections-series) Event Store forum in Google Groups: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/event-store TopShelf Windows service wrapper is available on github: https://gist.github.com/trbngr/5083266

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  • DDD North 3 Presentation and source code &ndash; &lsquo;Event Store - an introduction to a DSD for event sourcing and notifications&rsquo;

    - by Liam Westley
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/twickers/archive/2013/10/15/ddd-north-3-presentation-and-source-code-ndash-lsquoevent-store.aspxThank you everyone at DDD North Thanks to all the people who helped organise the cracking conference that is DDD North 3, returning to Sunderland, and the great facilities at the University of Sunderland, and the fine drinks reception at Sunderland Software City.  The whole event wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors who ensured over 400 people were kept fed and watered so they could enjoy the impressive range of sessions. And lastly, a thank you to all those delegates who gave up their free time on a Saturday to spend a day dashing between lecture rooms, including a late change to my room which saw 40 people having to brave a journey between buildings in the fine drizzle. The enthusiasm from the delegates always helps recharge my geek batteries. Presentation and source code My presentation, source code, Event Store runners and text files containing the various command line parameters used for curl is now available on GitHub; https://github.com/westleyl/DDDNorth3-EventStore. Don’t worry if you don’t have a GitHub account, you don’t need one, you can just click on the Download Zip button on the right hand menu to download all the files as a single ZIP file.  If all you want is the PowerPoint presentation, go to https://github.com/westleyl/DDDNorth3-EventStore/blob/master/Powerpoint/DDDNorth-EventStore.pptx, and click on the View Raw button. Downloading and installing Event Store and Tools Download Event Store http://download.geteventstore.com – I unzipped these files into C:\EventStore\v2.0.1 Download Curl from http://curl.haxx.se/download.html – I downloaded Win64 Generic (with SSL) and unzipped these files into C:\curl version 7.31.0 Running the tools I used in my presentation Demonstration 1 (running Event Store) You can use one of my Event Store runner command files to run the single node version of Event Store, using default ports of 2213 for HTTP and 1113  for TCP, and with a wildcard HTTP pattern.  Both take a single command line parameter to specify the location of the data and log files.  The runners assume the single node executable is located in C:\EventStore\v2.0.1, and will placed data files and logs beneath C:\EventStore\Data, i.e. RunEventStore.cmd TestData1 This will create data files in C:\EventStore\Data\TestData1\Data and log files in C:\EventStore\Data\TestData1\logs. If, when running Event Store you may see the following message, [03288,15,06:23:00.622] Failed to start http server Access is denied You will either need to run Event Store in an administrator console window, or you can use the netsh command to create a firewall permission to allow HTTP listening (this will need to be run, once, in an administrator console window), netsh http add urlacl url=http://*:2213/ user=liam You can always delete this later by running the delete; netsh http delete urlacl url=http://*:2213/ If you want to confirm that everything is running OK, open the management console in a browser by navigating to http://127.0.0.1:2213. If at any point you are asked for a user name and password use the default of ‘admin’/‘changeit’.   Demonstration 2 (reading and adding data, curl) In my second demonstration I used curl directly from the console to read streams, write events and then read back those events. On GitHub I have included is a set of curl commands, CurlCommandLine.txt, and a sample data file, SampleData.json, to load an event into a DDDNorth3 stream. As there is not much data in the Event Store at this point I used the $stats-127.0.0.1:2113 which is a stream containing performance statistics for Event Store and is updated every 30 seconds (default). Demonstration 3 (projections) On GitHub I have included a sample projection, Projection-ByRoom.txt, which will create streams based on the room on which a session was held on the DDDNorth3 agenda. Browse to the management console, http://127.0.0.1:2213.  Click on Projections, New Projection, give it a name, Sessions-ByRoom, and copy in the JavaScript in the Projection-ByRoom.txt file.  Select Continuous, tick Emit Enabled and then click on Post. It should run immediately. You may by challenged for the administration login for the management console, if so use the default user name and password; 'admin'/'changeit'.   Demonstration 4 (C# client) The final demonstration was the Visual Studio 2012 project using the Event Store client – referenced directly as C:\EventStore\v2.0.1\EventStore.ClientAPI.dll, although you can switch this to the latest Event Store client NuGet package. The source code provides a console app for viewing projections with the projection manager (HTTP connection), as well as containing a full set of data for the entire DDDNorth3 agenda.  It also deals with the strategy for reading newest events backwards to older events and ignoring older events that have been superseded. Resources Event Store home page: http://www.geteventstore.com/ Event Store source code on GitHub: https://github.com/eventstore/eventstore Event Store documentation on GitHub: https://github.com/eventstore/eventstore/wiki (includes index to @RobAshton’s blog series on Event Store at https://github.com/eventstore/eventstore/wiki#rob-ashton---projections-series) Event Store forum in Google Groups: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/event-store TopShelf Windows service wrapper is available on github: https://gist.github.com/trbngr/5083266

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  • What makes a Software Craftsman?

    - by Liam McLennan
    At the end of my visit to 8th Light Justin Martin was kind enough to give me a ride to the train station; for my train back to O’Hare. Just before he left he asked me an interesting question which I then posted to twitter: Liam McLennan: . @JustinMartinM asked what I think is the most important attributes of craftsmen. I said, "desire to learn and humility". What's yours? 6:25 AM Apr 17th via TweetDeck several people replied with excellent contributions: Alex Hung: @liammclennan I think kaizen sums up craftmanship pretty well, which is almost same as yours Steve Bohlen: @alexhung @liammclennan those are both all about saying "knowing what you don't know and not being afraid to go learn it" (and I agree!) Matt Roman: @liammclennan @JustinMartinM a tempered compulsion for constant improvement, and an awareness of what needs improving. Justin Martin: @mattroman @liammclennan a faculty for asking challenging questions, and a persistence to battle through difficult obstacles barring growth I thought this was an interesting conversation, and I would love to see other people contribute their opinions. My observation is that Alex, Steve, Matt and I seem to have essentially the same answer in different words. It is also interesting to note (as Alex pointed out) that these definitions are very similar to Alt.NET and the lean concept of kaizen.

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  • Dual Screen will only mirror after 12.04 upgrade

    - by Ne0
    I have been using Ubuntu with a dual screen for years now, after upgrading to 12.04 LTS i cannot get my dual screen working properly Graphics: 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RV350 AR [Radeon 9600] 01:00.1 Display controller: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD] nee ATI RV350 AR [Radeon 9600] (Secondary) I noticed i was using open source drivers and attempted to install official binaries using the methods in this thread. Output: [email protected]:~$ sudo apt-get install fglrx fglrx-amdcccle Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following packages will be upgraded: fglrx fglrx-amdcccle 2 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 12 not upgraded. Need to get 45.1 MB of archives. After this operation, 739 kB of additional disk space will be used. Get:1 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/restricted fglrx i386 2:8.960-0ubuntu1 [39.2 MB] Get:2 http://gb.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/restricted fglrx-amdcccle i386 2:8.960-0ubuntu1 [5,883 kB] Fetched 45.1 MB in 1min 33s (484 kB/s) (Reading database ... 328081 files and directories currently installed.) Preparing to replace fglrx 2:8.951-0ubuntu1 (using .../fglrx_2%3a8.960-0ubuntu1_i386.deb) ... Removing all DKMS Modules Error! There are no instances of module: fglrx 8.951 located in the DKMS tree. Done. Unpacking replacement fglrx ... Preparing to replace fglrx-amdcccle 2:8.951-0ubuntu1 (using .../fglrx-amdcccle_2%3a8.960-0ubuntu1_i386.deb) ... Unpacking replacement fglrx-amdcccle ... Processing triggers for ureadahead ... ureadahead will be reprofiled on next reboot Setting up fglrx (2:8.960-0ubuntu1) ... update-alternatives: warning: forcing reinstallation of alternative /usr/lib/fglrx/ld.so.conf because link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf is broken. update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /etc/OpenCL/vendors/amdocl64.icd because associated file /usr/lib/fglrx/etc/OpenCL/vendors/amdocl64.icd (of link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf) doesn't exist. update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /usr/lib32/libaticalcl.so because associated file /usr/lib32/fglrx/libaticalcl.so (of link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf) doesn't exist. update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /usr/lib32/libaticalrt.so because associated file /usr/lib32/fglrx/libaticalrt.so (of link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf) doesn't exist. update-alternatives: warning: forcing reinstallation of alternative /usr/lib/fglrx/ld.so.conf because link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf is broken. update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /etc/OpenCL/vendors/amdocl64.icd because associated file /usr/lib/fglrx/etc/OpenCL/vendors/amdocl64.icd (of link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf) doesn't exist. update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /usr/lib32/libaticalcl.so because associated file /usr/lib32/fglrx/libaticalcl.so (of link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf) doesn't exist. update-alternatives: warning: skip creation of /usr/lib32/libaticalrt.so because associated file /usr/lib32/fglrx/libaticalrt.so (of link group i386-linux-gnu_gl_conf) doesn't exist. update-initramfs: deferring update (trigger activated) update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-25-generic-pae Loading new fglrx-8.960 DKMS files... Building only for 3.2.0-25-generic-pae Building for architecture i686 Building initial module for 3.2.0-25-generic-pae Done. fglrx: Running module version sanity check. - Original module - No original module exists within this kernel - Installation - Installing to /lib/modules/3.2.0-25-generic-pae/updates/dkms/ depmod....... DKMS: install completed. update-initramfs: deferring update (trigger activated) Processing triggers for bamfdaemon ... Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf.index... Setting up fglrx-amdcccle (2:8.960-0ubuntu1) ... Processing triggers for initramfs-tools ... update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.2.0-25-generic-pae Processing triggers for libc-bin ... ldconfig deferred processing now taking place [email protected]:~$ sudo aticonfig --initial -f aticonfig: No supported adapters detected When i attempt to get my settings back to what they were before upgrading i get this message requested position/size for CRTC 81 is outside the allowed limit: position=(1440, 0), size=(1440, 900), maximum=(1680, 1680) and GDBus.Error:org.gtk.GDBus.UnmappedGError.Quark._gnome_2drr_2derror_2dquark.Code3: requested position/size for CRTC 81 is outside the allowed limit: position=(1440, 0), size=(1440, 900), maximum=(1680, 1680) Any idea's on what i need to do to fix this issue?

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  • Custom built accounts package running on windows vista , printer selection box not now appearing

    - by liam hester
    This package has a printer function for documents which always brought up the printer selection box from which one picked the appropiate printer. Now recently,almost certainly as a result of windows updates, when I select PRINT nothing happens. The printer is working fine, and indeed a 'direct print' option to the default printer which is a matrix printer works fine, as it does not invoke the printer selection process. Does anyone know if there is a particular setting which might be causing this to happen. It works fine still on all previous windows versions XP etc, but will not work on Vista or later versions. Or is there a program code fix that anyone could suggest. Many thanks Liam

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  • Sneak peek at next generation Three MiFi unit – Huawei E585

    - by Liam Westley
    Last Wednesday I was fortunate to be invited to a sneak preview of the next generation Three MiFi unit, the Huawei E585. Many thanks to all those who posted questions both via this blog or via @westleyl on Twitter. I think I made sure I asked every question posed to the MiFi product manager from Three UK, and so here's the answers you were after. What is a MiFi? For those who are wondering, a MiFi unit is a 3G broadband modem combined with a WiFi access point, providing 3G broadband data access to up to five devices simultaneously via standard WiFi connections. What is different? It appears the prime task of enhancing the MiFi was to improve the user experience and user interface, both in terms of the device hardware and within the management software to configure the device.  I think this was a very sensible decision as these areas had substantial room for improvement. Single button operation to switch on, enable WiFi and connect to 3G Improved OELD display (see below), replacing the multi coloured LEDs; including signal strength, SMS notifications, the number of connected clients and data usage Management is via a web based dashboard accessible from any web browser. This is a big win for those running Linux, Mac OS/X, iPad users and, for me, as I can now configure the device from Windows 7 64-bit Charging is via micro USB, the new standard for small USB devices; you cannot use your old charger for the new MiFi unit Automatic reconnection when regaining a signal Improved charging time, which should allow recharging of the device when in use Although subjective, the black and silver design does look more classy than the silver and white plastic of the original MiFi What is the same? Virtually the same size and weight The battery is the same unit as the original MiFi so you’ll have a handy spare if you upgrade Data plans remain the same as the current MiFi, so cheapest price for upgraders will be £49 pay as you go Still only works on 3G networks, with no fallback to GPRS or EDGE There is no specific upgrade path for existing three customers, either from dongle or from the original MiFi My opinion I think three have concentrated on the correct areas of usability and user experience rather than trying to add new whizz bang technology features which aren’t of interest to mainstream users. The one button operation and the improved device display will make it much easier to use when out and about. If the automatic reconnection proves reliable that will remove a major bugbear that I experienced the previous evening when travelling on the First Great Western line from Paddington to Didcot Parkway.  The signal was repeatedly lost as we sped through tunnels and cuttings, and without automatic reconnection is was a real pain to keep pressing the data button on the MiFi to re-establish my data connection. And finally, the web based dashboard will mean I no longer need to resort to my XP based netbook to configure the SSID and password. My everyday laptop runs Windows 7 64-bit which appears to confuse the older 3 WiFi manager which cannot locate the MiFi when connected. Links to other sites, and other images of the device Good first impressions from Ben Smith, http://thereallymobileproject.com/2010/06/3uk-announce-a-new-mifi-with-a-screen/ Also, a round up of other sneak preview posts, http://www.3mobilebuzz.com/2010/06/11/mifi-round-two-your-view/ Pictures Here is a comparison of the old MiFi device next to the new device, complete with OLED display and the Huawei logo now being a prominent feature on the front of the device. One of my fellow bloggers had a Linux based netbook, showing off the web based dashboard complete with Text messages panel to manage SMS. And finally, I never thought that my blog sub title would ever end up printed onto a cup cake, ... and here's some of the other cup cakes ...

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  • Commercial Software Development – my presentation for DDD Scotland now available for download

    - by Liam Westley
    Thanks to everyone who voted me onto the DDD Scotland agenda, and for the fantastic audience some of whom you can see in Craig Murphy's photos of the event, http://www.flickr.com/photos/craigmurphy/4592461745/in/set-72157624025673156 http://www.flickr.com/photos/craigmurphy/4592467645/in/set-72157624025673156 I hope those who came enjoyed the session had a good time, and for them or those who were on one of the other tracks, or who couldn’t squeeze in; I’ve uploaded the presentation for you to download.  I created a more simple, and smaller, PowerPoint without all the fancy animations and video clips, which is available as a compressed ZIP file,   http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/dddscot/commercialsoftwaredev.zip I also printed the presentation with speaker notes (which contain most of the information I was talking about) using PDFCreator, which is available as an Adobe Acrobat PDF here,   http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/dddscot/commercialsoftwaredev.pdf ... and if PowerPoint presentations don't do it for you, also thanks to Craig Murphy, you can watch a video of the presentation that I gave at DDD8 in Microsoft TVP, Reading,  http://vimeo.com/9216563

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  • Thanks to .Net Developers Network in Bristol - Hyper-V for Developers slides not available for downl

    - by Liam Westley
    Thanks to the guys at .Net Developers Network (http://www.dotnetdevnet.com) for inviting me down to Bristol to present on Hyper-V for Developers.  There were some great questions and genuine interest, especially surprising for a topic that often has a soporific effect on developers. You can download the original PowerPoint file or the PDF complete with speaker notes from here, http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/dotnetdevnet/HyperV4Devs-PPT.zip http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/dotnetdevnet/HyperV4Devs-PDF.zip I should be back for DDD SouthWest (http://www.dddsouthwest.com).  You can get voting from Monday 29th March 2010, and for a change my proposed topic is not about virtualisation! Finally, apologies to Guy Smith-Ferrier for dragging him away from the Bristol Girl Geek Dinners (http://bristolgirlgeekdinners.com) crew so I could catch my train back to London.

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  • Last week I was presented with a Microsoft MVP award in Virtual Machines – time to thank all who hel

    - by Liam Westley
    MVP in Virtual Machines Last week, on 1st April, I received an e-mail from Microsoft letting me know that I had been presented with a 2010 Microsoft® MVP Award for outstanding contributions in Virtual Machine technical communities during the past year.   It was an honour to be nominated, and is a great reflection on the vibrancy of the UK user group community which made this possible. Virtualisation for developers, not just IT Pros I consider it a special honour as my expertise in virtualisation is as a software developer utilising virtual machines to aid my software development, rather than an IT Pro who manages data centre and network infrastructure.  I’ve been on a minor mission over the past few years to enthuse developers in a topic usually seen as only for network admins, but which can make their life a whole lot easier once understood properly. Continuous learning is fun In 1676, the scientist Isaac Newton, in a letter to Robert Hooke used the phrase (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/268025.html) ‘If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants’ I’m a nuclear physicist by education, so I am more than comfortable that any knowledge I have is based on the work of others.  Although far from a science, software development and IT is equally built upon the work of others. It’s one of the reasons I despise software patents. So in that sense this MVP award is a result of all the great minds that have provided virtualisation solutions for me to talk about.  I hope that I have always acknowledged those whose work I have used when blogging or giving presentations, and that I have executed my responsibility to share any knowledge gained as widely as possible. Thanks to all those who helped – a big thanks to the UK user group community I reckon this journey started in 2003 when I started attending a user group called the London .Net Users Group (http://www.dnug.org.uk) started by a nice chap called Ian Cooper. The great thing about Ian was that he always encouraged non professional speakers to take the stage at the user group, and my first ever presentation was on 30th September 2003; SQL Server CE 2.0 and the.NET Compact Framework. In 2005 Ian Cooper was on the committee for the first DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper! day, the free community conference held at Microsoft’s UK HQ in Thames Valley park in Reading.  He encouraged me to take part and so on 14th May 2005 I presented a talk previously given to the London .Net User Group on Simplifying access to multiple DB providers in .NET.  From that point on I definitely had the bug; presenting at DDD2, DDD3, groking at DDD4 and SQLBits I and after a break, DDD7, DDD Scotland and DDD8.  What definitely made me keen was the encouragement and infectious enthusiasm of some of the other DDD organisers; Craig Murphy, Barry Dorrans, Phil Winstanley and Colin Mackay. During the first few DDD events I met the Dave McMahon and Richard Costall from NxtGenUG who made it easy to start presenting at their user groups.  Along the way I’ve met a load of great user group organisers; Guy Smith-Ferrier of the .Net Developer Network, Jimmy Skowronski of GL.Net and the double act of Ray Booysen and Gavin Osborn behind what was Vista Squad and is now Edge UG. Final thanks to those who suggested virtualisation as a topic ... Final thanks have to go the people who inspired me to create my Virtualisation for Developers talk.  Toby Henderson (@holytshirt) ensured I took notice of Sun’s VirtualBox, Peter Ibbotson for being a fine sounding board at the Kew Railway over quite a few Adnam’s Broadside and to Guy Smith-Ferrier for allowing his user group to be the guinea pigs for the talk before it was seen at DDD7.  Thanks to all of you I now know much more about virtualisation than I would have thought possible and it continues to be great fun. Conclusion If this was an academy award acceptance speech I would have been cut off after the first few paragraphs, so well done if you made it this far.  I’ll be doing my best to do justice to the MVP award and the UK community.  I’m fortunate in having a new employer who considers presenting at user groups as a good thing, so don’t expect me to stop any time soon. If you’ve never seen me in action, then you can view the original DDD7 Virtualisation for Developers presentation (filmed by the Microsoft Channel 9 team) as part of the full DDD7 video list here, http://www.craigmurphy.com/blog/?p=1591.  Also thanks to Craig Murphy’s fine video work you can also view my latest DDD8 presentation on Commercial Software Development, here, http://vimeo.com/9216563 P.S. If I’ve missed anyone out, do feel free to lambast me in comments, it’s your duty.

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  • Upgrading Windows 8 boot to VHD to Windows 8.1&ndash;Step by step guide

    - by Liam Westley
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/twickers/archive/2013/10/19/upgrading-windows-8-boot-to-vhd-to-windows-8.1ndashstep-by.aspxBoot to VHD – dual booting Windows 7 and Windows 8 became easy When Windows 8 arrived, quite a few people decided that they would still dual boot their machines, and instead of mucking about with resizing disk partitions to free up space for Windows 8 they decided to use the boot from VHD feature to create a huge hard disc image into which Windows 8 could be installed.  Scott Hanselman wrote this installation guide, while I myself used the installation guide from Ed Bott of ZD net fame. Boot to VHD is a great solution, it achieves a dual boot, can be backed up easily and had virtually no effect on the original Windows 7 partition. As a developer who has dual booted Windows operating systems for years, hacking boot.ini files, the boot to VHD was a much easier solution. Upgrade to Windows 8.1 – ah, you can’t do that on a virtual disk installation (boot to VHD) Last week the final version of Windows 8.1 arrived, and I went into the Windows Store to upgrade.  Luckily I’m on a fast download service, and use an SSD, because once the upgrade was downloaded and prepared Windows informed that This PC can’t run Windows 8.1, and provided the reason, You can’t install Windows on a virtual drive.  You can see an image of the message and discussion that sparked my search for a solution in this Microsoft Technet forum post. I was determined not to have to resize partitions yet again and fiddle with VHD to disk utilities and back again, and in the end I did succeed in upgrading to a Windows 8.1 boot to VHD partition.  It takes quite a bit of effort though … tldr; Simple steps of how you upgrade Boot into Windows 7 – make a copy of your Windows 8 VHD, to become Windows 8.1 Enable Hyper-V in your Windows 8 (the original boot to VHD partition) Create a new virtual machine, attaching the copy of your Windows 8 VHD Start the virtual machine, upgrade it via the Windows Store to Windows 8.1 Shutdown the virtual machine Boot into Windows 7 – use the bcedit tool to create a new Windows 8.1 boot to VHD option (pointing at the copy) Boot into the new Windows 8.1 option Reactivate Windows 8.1 (it will have become deactivated by running under Hyper-V) Remove the original Windows 8 VHD, and in Windows 7 use bcedit to remove it from the boot menu Things you’ll need A system that can run Hyper-V under Windows 8 (Intel i5, i7 class CPU) Enough space to have your original Windows 8 boot to VHD and a copy at the same time An ISO or DVD for Windows 8 to create a bootable Windows 8 partition Step by step guide Boot to your base o/s, the real one, Windows 7. Make a copy of the Windows 8 VHD file that you use to boot Windows 8 (via boot from VHD) – I copied it from a folder on C: called VHD-Win8 to VHD-Win8.1 on my N: drive. Reboot your system into Windows 8, and enable Hyper-V if not already present (this may require reboot) Use the Hyper-V manager , create a new Hyper-V machine, using half your system memory, and use the option to attach an existing VHD on the main IDE controller – this will be the new copy you made in Step 2. Start the virtual machine, use Connect to view it, and you’ll probably discover it cannot boot as there is no boot record If this is the case, go to Hyper-V manager, edit the Settings for the virtual machine to attach an ISO of a Windows 8 DVD to the second IDE controller. Start the virtual machine, use Connect to view it, and it should now attempt a fresh installation of Windows 8.  You should select Advanced Options and choose Repair - this will make VHD bootable When the setup reboots your virtual machine, turn off the virtual machine, and remove the ISO of the Windows 8 DVD from the virtual machine settings. Start virtual machine, use Connect to view it.  You will see the devices to be re-discovered (including your quad CPU becoming single CPU).  Eventually you should see the Windows Login screen. You may notice that your desktop background (Win+D) will have turned black as your Windows installation has become deactivate due to the hardware changes between your real PC and Hyper-V. Fortunately becoming deactivated, does not stop you using the Windows Store, where you can select the update to Windows 8.1. You can now watch the progress joy of the Windows 8 update; downloading, preparing to update, checking compatibility, gathering info, preparing to restart, and finally, confirm restart - remember that you are restarting your virtual machine sitting on the copy of the VHD, not the Windows 8 boot to VHD you are currently using to run Hyper-V (confused yet?) After the reboot you get the real upgrade messages; setting up x%, xx%, (quite slow) After a while, Getting ready Applying PC Settings x%, xx% (really slow) Updating your system (fast) Setting up a few more things x%, (quite slow) Getting ready, again Accept license terms Express settings Confirmed previous password Next, I had to set up a Microsoft account – which is possibly now required, and not optional Using the Microsoft account required a 2 factor authorization, via text message, a 7 digit code for me Finalising settings Blank screen, HI .. We're setting up things for you (similar to original Windows 8 install) 'You can get new apps from the Store', below which is ’Installing your apps’ - I had Windows Media Center which is counts as an app from the Store ‘Taking care of a few things’, below which is ‘Installing your apps’ ‘Taking care of a few things’, below ‘Don't turn off your PC’ ‘Getting your apps ready’, below ‘Don't turn off your PC’ ‘Almost ready’, below ‘Don't turn off your PC’ … finally, we get the Windows 8.1 start menu, and a quick Win+D to check the desktop confirmed all the application icons I expected, pinned items on the taskbar, and one app moaning about a missing drive At this point the upgrade is complete – you can shutdown the virtual machine Reboot from the original Windows 8 and return to Windows 7 to configure booting to the Windows 8.1 copy of the VHD In an administrator command prompt do following use the bcdedit tool (from an MSDN blog about configuring VHD to boot in Windows 7) Type bcedit to list the current boot options, so you can copy the GUID (complete with brackets/braces) for the original Windows 8 boot to VHD Create a new menu option, copy of the Windows 8 option; bcdedit /copy {originalguid} /d "Windows 8.1" Point the new Windows 8.1 option to the copy of the VHD; bcdedit /set {newguid} device vhd=[D:]\Image.vhd Point the new Windows 8.1 option to the copy of the VHD; bcdedit /set {newguid} osdevice vhd=[D:]\Image.vhd Set autodetection of the HAL (may already be set); bcdedit /set {newguid} detecthal on Reboot from Windows 7 and select the new option 'Windows 8.1' on the boot menu, and you’ll have some messages to look at, as your hardware is redetected (as you are back from 1 CPU to 4 CPUs) ‘Getting devices ready, blank then %xx, with occasional blank screen, for the graphics driver, (fast-ish) Getting Ready message (fast) You will have to suffer one final reboots, choose 'Windows 8.1' and you can now login to a lovely Windows 8.1 start screen running on non virtualized hardware via boot to VHD After checking everything is running fine, you can now choose to Activate Windows, which for me was a toll free phone call to the automated system where you type in lots of numbers to be given a whole bunch of new activation codes. Once you’re happy with your new Windows 8.1 boot to VHD, and no longer need the Windows 8 boot to VHD, feel free to delete the old one.  I do believe once you upgrade, you are no longer licensed to use it anyway. There, that was simple wasn’t it? Looking at the huge list of steps it took to perform this upgrade, you may wonder whether I think this is worth it.  Well, I think it is worth booting to VHD.  It makes backups a snap (go to Windows 7, copy the VHD, you backed up the o/s) and helps with disk management – want to move the o/s, you can move the VHD and repoint the boot menu to the new location. The downside is that Microsoft has complete neglected to support boot to VHD as an upgradable option.  Quite a poor decision in my opinion, and if you read twitter and the forums quite a few people agree with that view.  It’s a shame this got missed in the work on creating the upgrade packages for Windows 8.1.

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  • XP Mode (Windows Virtual PC for Windows 7) no longer requires hardware virtualisation - hurrah !

    - by Liam Westley
    Windows Virtual PC (aka XP Mode) When XP Mode was released, it insisted on hardware virtualisation being present on your CPU and enabled in the BIOS.  Given that Windows Virtual PC was based on an improved Virtual PC 2007, which provided hardware virtualisation as a user selectable option, I did wonder why on earth Microsoft thought this was a good idea.  Not only do many people not have a CPU with hardware virtualisation support, some manufacturers don't provide a BIOS option to enable this setting, especially on laptops - yes Sony, Toshiba and Acer, I'm looking at you. Dumb and dumber This issue became a double whammy; not only was Microsoft a bit dumb on not supporting Windows Virtual PC without hardware virtualisation, your hardware manufacturer was also dumb in not supporting the option in the BIOS. Microsoft update to Windows Virtual PC Belatedly, Microsoft has seen the problem with this hardware virtualisation requirement and has now released a new version of Windows Virtual PC that works without hardware virtualisation.  This is really good news for those with older (or limited) CPUs and rubbish BIOS firmware. You can details of how to download the new versions of XP Mode here, http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/03/18/windows-virtual-pc-no-hardware-virtualization-update-now-available-for-download.aspx And there is also an explanation of why the hardware virtualisation requirement was in place for previous releases, http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2010/03/18/windows-virtual-pc-now-without-the-need-for-hardware-virtualization.aspx

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  • Thanks to NxtGenUG Manchester - Hyper-V for Developers presentation now available for download

    - by Liam Westley
    Thanks to Steve and Andy at NxtGenUG Manchester for making me very welcome and for the guys who didn't head down the pub for a Guinness for St Patrick's Day and came to NxtGen instead.  I hope you all got something from the presentation, if not technical insights, at least a can of Guinness of Tunnocks caramel wafer as swag. As promised here is the presentation in both PowerPoint and Adobe PDF format (with speaker notes), http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/nxtgenugmanc/hyperv4devs-ppt.zip http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/nxtgenugmanc/hyperv4devs-pdf.zip Since I gave the presentation Microsoft has released XP Mode (Windows Virtual PC for use under Windows 7) without the requirement for hardware virtualisation. Read more about that here, http://blogs.msdn.com/Virtual_PC_Guy/ For anyone who has seen this presentation at other user groups, there is a new section at the end of the presentation dealing with the various networking configurations under Hyper-V; not connected, private network, internal network and external network.  This includes details of what these mean, and a Venn diagram to aid understanding of the implications.

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  • Final ever Virtualisation for Developer slidedeck from NxtGenUG Cambridge

    - by Liam Westley
    Thanks to Chris Hay, Allister Frost and the guys from NxtGenUG Cambridge for hosting an evening of virtualisation, and for their secretary Rachel Hawley for sorting out all the dates and details ;-). It was a good turnout so close to Christmas, obviously the bribe of home made mince pies got some people out on a cold wintery December evening.  Big thanks to Allister for driving me to the railway station to ensure I made the 22:29 train, made all the easier by quaffing a couple of very well kept pints of Adnams Broadside in The Punter after the presentation. For those who want the last ever slide decks, they're available here in PDF and PowerPoint format,   http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/nxtgenugcambs/Virt4DevsPdf.zip   http://www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/nxtgenugcambs/Virt4DevsPowerPoint.zip And a final thanks to all the user groups who have hosted a Virtualisation or Hyper-V talk in the past two years, and gave me a chance to enthuse developers about virtualisation, Dot Net Developers Network, Bristol * (http://www.dotnetdevnet.com/) DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper 7, Reading (DDD7) NxtGenUG, Oxford * (http://www.nxtgenug.net/Region.aspx?RegionID=3) NxtGenUG, Birmingham (http://www.nxtgenug.net/Region.aspx?RegionID=2) DeveloperDeveloperDeveloper Scotland 2, Glasgow (2011 event details) DevEvening, Woking (http://www.devevening.co.uk/) VistaSquad, London (R.I.P. 2010) NxtGenUG, Southampton (http://www.nxtgenug.net/Region.aspx?RegionID=9) GL.Net, Gloucester (http://www.gl-net.org.uk/) NxtGenUG, Manchester (http://www.nxtgenug.net/Region.aspx?RegionID=11) London .NET User Group, London (http://www.dnug.org.uk/) VBUG, Bracknell (http://www.vbug.co.uk/events/default.aspx?region=Reading) NEBytes, Newcastle Upon Tyne (http://www.nebytes.net/) VBUG, London (http://www.vbug.co.uk/events/default.aspx?region=London) NxtGenUG, Hereford (http://www.nxtgenug.net/Region.aspx?RegionID=10) NxtGenUG, Cambridge (http://www.nxtgenug.net/Region.aspx?RegionID=8) * twice, for both Virtualisation for Developers and Hyper-V for Developers Virtualisation for Developers  2008 - 2010 R.I.P. Hyper-V for Developers 2009 - 2010 R.I.P.

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  • DDD East Anglia, 29th June 2013 - Async Patterns presentation and source code

    - by Liam Westley
    Originally posted on: http://geekswithblogs.net/twickers/archive/2013/07/01/ddd-east-anglia-29th-june-2013---async-patterns-presentation.aspxMany thanks to the team in Cambridge for an awesome first conference DDD East Anglia.  I definitely appreciate how each of the different areas have their own distinctive atmosphere and feel.  Thanks to some great sponsors we enjoyed a great venue and some excellent nibbles. For those who attended my Async my source code and presentation are available on GitHub, https://github.com/westleyl/DDDEastAnglia2013-Async.git If you are new to Git then the easiest client to install is GitHub for Windows, a graphical UI for accessing GitHub. Personally, I also have Git Extensions and Tortoise Git installed. Tortoise Git is the file explorer add-in that works in a familiar manner to TortoiseSVN. As I mentioned during the presentation I have not included the sample data, the music files, in the source code placed on GitHub but I have included instructions on how to download them from http://silents.bandcamp.comand place them in the correct folders. Also, Windows Media Player, by default, does not play Ogg Vorbis and Flac music files, however you can download the codec installer for these, for free, from http://xiph.org/dshow. I have included the .Net 4.0 version of the source code that uses the Microsoft.Bcl.Async NuGet package - once you have got the project from GitHub you will need to install this NuGet package for the code to compile. Load Project into Visual Studio 2012 Access the NuGet package manager (Tools -> Library Package Manager -> Manage NuGet Packages For Solution) Highlight Online and then Search Online for microsoft.bcl.async Click on Install button Resources : You can download the Task-based Asynchronous Pattern white paper by Stephen Toub, which was the inspiration for this presentation from here - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=19957 Presentation : If you just want the presentation and don’t want to bother with a GitHub login you can download the PowerPoint presentation from here.

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  • Finally, I have my HP 6910p laptop running with 8Gb RAM

    - by Liam Westley
    Today, I received two Corsair Value Select 4Gb DDR SO-DIMMs (from overclock.co.uk) for my aging HP 6910p to give it the extra lease of life to keep it going until the end of 2010.  And here is the proof that Windows 7 64-bit happily sees all 8Gb, There are no 4Gb modules are officially supported for the HP 6910p (they didn’t exist when it was first build).  I was taking a bit of a gamble, and relying on the UK distance selling regulations which meant that even if they didn’t work I’d be able to send them back, getting a full refund and only paying for the return postage. I’d read Keith Comb’s blog back in 2008, (http://blogs.technet.com/b/keithcombs/archive/2008/07/05/loading-a-hp-6910p-with-8gb-of-ram.aspx) where he mentioned ‘trying’ out 4Gb samples of SO-DIMMs in a HP 6910p laptop, but there still appears to be no mentions of running this configuration in any other blog. Seeing how the 8Gb of memory is used is made easier with the new Resource Monitor available in Windows 7.  With two copies of Visual Studio 2008, Outlook, Firefox (with 30+ tabs), TweetDeck (an infamous memory hog) and VMWare workstation running a virtual machine allocated with 2Gb of memory, you might have no ‘free’ memory remaining, but the standby memory is an awesome 2.4Gb, and once the VM is up and running the Hard Faults/sec hovers around zero,   It’s the page fault figure which really counts, because reducing that value means that you are preventing the Windows 7 system drive from being used for virtual memory paging operations.  Even after only a few hours of use it’s noticeable that disc access has been reduced and applications feel more responsive and ‘snappy’.  I did consider the option of purchasing an SSD to replace the main drive, rather than go for 8Gb of RAM, but I think I’ve probably made the correct decision. Given my hobby topic of virtualisation, I take the view that you can never have too much memory.   It was also a decision made easier by the price differential between 8Gb of RAM compared to a decent size SSD.  In the 18 months since Keith Comb tested the first 4Gb SO-DIMMS they have plummeted in price, at just under £100 per 4Gb, they are around a fifth of the price when launched. So if you ever wondered if a HP 6910p can handle 8Gb, now you know.

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  • Running Windows Phone Developers Tools CTP under VMWare Player - Yes you can! - But do you want to?

    - by Liam Westley
    This blog is the result of a quick investigation of running the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP under VMWare Player.  In the release notes for Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP it mentions that it is not supported under VirtualPC or Hyper-V.  Some developers have policies where ‘no non-production code’ can be installed on their development workstation and so the only way they can use a CTP like this is in a virtual machine. The dilemma here is that the emulator for Windows Phone itself is a virtual machine and running a virtual machine within another virtual machine is normally frowned upon.  Even worse, previous Windows Mobile emulators detected they were in a virtual machine and refused to run.  Why VMWare? I selected VMWare as a possible solution as it is possible to run VMWare ESXi under VMWare Workstation by manually setting configuration options in the VMX configuration file so that it does not detect the presence of a virtual environment. I actually found that I could use VMWare Player (the free version, that can now create VM images) and that there was no need for any editing of the configuration file (I tried various switches, none of which made any difference to performance). So you can run the CTP under VMWare Player, that’s the good news. The bad news is that it is incredibly slow, bordering on unusable.  However, if it’s the only way you can use the CTP, at least this is an option. VMWare Player configuration I used the latest VMWare Player, 3.0, running under Windows x64 on my HP 6910p laptop with an Intel T7500 Dual Core CPU running at 2.2GHz, 4Gb of memory and using a separate drive for the virtual machines. I created a machine in VMWare Player with a single CPU, 1536 Mb memory and installed Windows 7 x64 from an ISO image.  I then performed a Windows Update, installed VMWare Tools, and finally the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP After a few warnings about performance, I configured Windows 7 to run with Windows 7 Basic theme rather than use Aero (which is available under VMWare Player as it has a WDDM driver). Timings As a test I first launched Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, and created a default Windows Phone Application project.  I then clicked the run button, which starts the emulator and then loads the default application onto the emulator. For the second test I left the emulator running, stopped the default application, added a single button to change the page title and redeployed to the already running emulator by clicking the run button.   Test 1 (1st run) Test 2 (emulator already running)   VMWare Player 10 minutes  1 minute   Windows x64 native 1 minute  < 10 seconds   Conclusion You can run the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP under VMWare Player, but it’s really, really slow and you would have to have very good reasons to try this approach. If you need to keep a development system free of non production code, and the two systems aren’t required to run simultaneously, then I’d consider a boot from VHD option.  Then you can completely isolate the Windows Phone Developer Tools CTP and development environment into a single VHD separate from your main development system.

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  • Short interview I gave about Commercial Software Development is now available

    - by Liam Westley
    At the DDD8 conference in January I gave a quick interview to Sara Allison expanding my Commercial Software Development presentation (available here).  The interview has just appeared on the Ubelly.com site, run by some of the Microsoft UK team,   http://ubelly.com/2010/04/how-to-succeed-in-commercial-software-development-2 For those of you for whom video just isn't enough, you can get Commercial Software Development in person at DDDScotland and DDDSouthWest.

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  • Hyper-V for Developers - presentation from London .NET Users and VBUG Bracknell

    - by Liam Westley
    Thanks to both London .NET User group and VBUG Bracknell for allowing me to present my Hyper-V for Developers talk last week.  A weekend at DDD Scotland followed by two user group presentations means I'm a bit late getting the presentations uploaded to the blog, so many apologies if you've been waiting.   LDNUG - www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/LDNUG-HyperV4Devs.zip   VBUG - www.tigernews.co.uk/blog-twickers/VBUG-HyperV4Devs.zip Also, at VBUG Bracknell I was asked if you could configure a Hyper-V server to user wireless networking (which might be useful if you have a laptop for demonstrations).  Well here's the post from Ben Armstrong (Virtual PC Guy) which details how that can be configured,   http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2008/01/09/using-hyper-v-with-a-wireless-network-adapter.aspx ... and it's also detailed on the TechNet wiki as part of running Hyper-V on a laptop,   social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/hyper-v-how-to-run-hyper-v-on-a-laptop.aspx

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  • Killer content for my Kindle - The Economist with no need for an iPad - yipeee!

    - by Liam Westley
    I admin it, I was jealous of someone's iPad. They were reading The Economist, for free, as they were a print subscriber. I'm a print subscriber too. However, I don't have an iPad or an iPhone, just an Android phone and a Kindle. As soon as I got the Kindle, I looked up how to get The Economist on it. £9.99 per month. Hmmm, twice as much again as a my print subscription and I wanted to maintain the print subscription. No way Amazon. Fortunately some nice person wrote similar comments on The Economist subscription for Kindle, but added a very important additional nugget of information; and there is no need, as a print subscriber you can just use the free Calibre e-book creation tool anyway. So I downloaded it, searched for The Economist online 'recipe', entered my login name and password (part of my print subscription) and off went Calibre to screen scrape every single article from the Christmas 2010 issue into a .mobi file, complete with front cover image and full indexing. It's wonderful. Truely wonderful. Every section individually indexed, with each article separated and all inline images preserved. It even feels wonderfully retro, back to the days when The Economist only used black and white images. So many thanks the guys behind Calibre and The Economist recipe creators. Finally, I have my essential Kindle content that I've been waiting for.

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