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  • What is the R Language?

    - by TATWORTH
    I encountered the R Language recently with O'Reilly books and while from the context I knew it was a language for dealing with statistics, doing a web search for the support web site was futile. However I have now located the web site and it is at http://www.r-project.org/R is a free language available for a number of platforms including windows. CRAN mirrors are available at a number of locations worldwide.Here is the official description:"R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. It is a GNU project which is similar to the S language and environment which was developed at Bell Laboratories (formerly AT&T, now Lucent Technologies) by John Chambers and colleagues. R can be considered as a different implementation of S. There are some important differences, but much code written for S runs unaltered under R. R provides a wide variety of statistical (linear and nonlinear modelling, classical statistical tests, time-series analysis, classification, clustering, ...) and graphical techniques, and is highly extensible. The S language is often the vehicle of choice for research in statistical methodology, and R provides an Open Source route to participation in that activity. One of R's strengths is the ease with which well-designed publication-quality plots can be produced, including mathematical symbols and formulae where needed. Great care has been taken over the defaults for the minor design choices in graphics, but the user retains full control. R is available as Free Software under the terms of the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License in source code form. It compiles and runs on a wide variety of UNIX platforms and similar systems (including FreeBSD and Linux), Windows and MacOS."

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  • APress Deal of the Day - 13/Apr/2012 - Pro WPF and Silverlight MVVM

    - by TATWORTH
    The APress $10 deal of the day for today is "Applied WPF 4 in Context" (http://www.apress.com/9781430234708) starts with a simple introduction to WPF and then shows a complete WPF application from sketch to completed code. This APress web site states "This book can be used by a junior developer to learn WPF and understand how to architect a layered application, and it can also be used by a senior developer as a reference for developing scalable WPF applications. " - this summerises the book very effectively as it is indeed an excellent book both for learning WPF and as a reference for development. I recommend it to all Dot Net development teams.

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  • Apress "Introducing Visual C# 2010" - ISBN 978-1-4302-3171-4 - Conclusion

    - by TATWORTH
    After having spent several weeks reading this book (1230 pages before the index!), I can thoroughly recommend this book as a practical introduction to Visual C# 2010 both to people learning C# and to experianced C# users. It introduces C# through practical examples then gives a good introduction to the Dot Net framework. After dealing with Data Access, it gives a brief introduction to variousUI technologies. The final section deals with advanced topics including a thoroughly practical intruction to windows services. There are copious coding examples and useful tips. Many chapters begin with a quick problem solver solution reference. In short "Introducing Visual C# 2010" in the words of the sub title, is an excellent start to your C# journey with an expert by your side leading by example.

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  • Apress Deal of the Day - 22/Feb/2010 - Entity Framework 4.0 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach

    - by TATWORTH
    Todays $10 deal from Apress at  http://www.apress.com/info/dailydeal is "Entity Framework 4.0 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach" Whilst I am still wary of using the Entity framework and I would caution against its use for updates in financial systems, unless you use a technique such as you can find on pages 509-512 of this book. This book is very impressive as I found the answer to this in about 2 minutes from the time I downloaded the e-book. Entity Framework 4.0 Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach With this book, you will learn the core concepts of Entity Framework through a broad range of clear and concise solutions to everyday data access tasks. Armed with this experience, you will be ready to dive deep into Entity Framework, experiment with new approaches, and develop ways to solve even the most difficult data access challenges. $49.99 | Published May 2010 | Larry Tenny

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  • Using a saved password for remote desktop access from Windows 7

    - by TATWORTH
    This past week I have been accessing a remote server by remote desktop access from a Windows 7 PC. Whilst I could save the password, windows 7 will not use it if the remote system is not fully verified. The fix is excellently documented at http://www.perceptible.net/post/2009/02/03/How-To-Enable-Use-of-Saved-Credentials-with-Remote-Desktop-to-Almost-Fully-Authenticated-Machines.aspx I used it and the connection process stopped asking for the password to be re-entered! (n.b. no gpedit -force is required)

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  • Useful utilities - NotePad++ add-ons

    - by TATWORTH
    There are some useful plug-ins for Notepad++ at http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/notepad-plus/index.php?title=Plugin_Central These plug-ins include a hex editor and other useful tools. One tool that I especially like is to ability to run the current file. This is very useful when working on batch files.

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  • Fiddler - A useful free tool for checking Web Services (and web site) traffic

    - by TATWORTH
    Recently I had reason to be very glad that I had Fiddler. I was able to record some web service traffic and identify a problem as Fiddler can record both the call to a web service and response from the web service. By seeing the actual data traffic I was able to resolve a problem found in testing in less time than it has taken me to write this blog entry! This tool is also useful for studying general web site traffic. Fiddler is available from http://www.fiddler2.com/fiddler2/ There are training videos available on the above site.

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  • Virtual CloneDrive - Free Utility

    - by TATWORTH
    At http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html, SlySoft have made available, Virtual Clone Drive."Virtual CloneDrive works and behaves just like a physical CD/DVD drive, however it exists only virtually. Image files generated with CloneDVD or CloneCD can be mounted onto a virtual drive from your hard-disk or from a network drive and used in the same manner as inserting them into a normal CD/DVD drive. Probably the best virtual drive software, Virtual CloneDrive allows you to enjoy the freedom of a virtual drive and is completely free."

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  • Programming Windows Identity Foundation - ISBN 978-0-7356-2718-5

    - by TATWORTH
    This book introduces a new technology that promises a considerable improvement on the ASP.NET membership system. If you ever had to write an extranet, system you should be aware of the problems in setting up membership for your site. The Windows Identity Foundation promises to be an excellent replacement. Therefore the book Programming Windows Identity Foundation - ISBN 978-0-7356-2718-5 at  http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780735627185, is breaking new ground. I recommend this book to all ASP.NET development teams. You should reckon on 3 to 5 man-days to study it and try out the sample programs and see if it can replace your bespoke solution. Rember this is version 1 of WIF and give yourself adequete time to read this book and familiarise yourself with the new software. Some URLs for more information: WIF home page at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/security/aa570351.aspx The Identity Training Kit at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=c3e315fa-94e2-4028-99cb-904369f177c0 The author's blog at http://www.cloudidentity.net/

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  • What is the Coded UI feature of VS2010 and VS2012?

    - by TATWORTH
    A question recently arose as to what is coded UI? It is a feature of the ultimate and premium versions of Visual Studio 2012 (and 2010).It is described as "Automate user interface tests to validate application UI"Here are some useful links about it:http://codedui101.blogspot.co.uk/2011/07/what-is-codedui.htmlhttp://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vstudio/ee957688.aspxhttp://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd286726.aspxhttp://www.microsoft.com/visualstudio/eng/products/comparehttp://www.dotnetcurry.com/ShowArticle.aspx?ID=798http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/kmcgrath/Introduction-to-Creating-Coded-UI-Tests-with-Visual-Studio-2010

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  • "From the Coal Face" - 1 - What ILDASM can reveal!

    - by TATWORTH
    In a place far, far away, there was a project where the Architect decided on using embedded TSQL in a Dot Net application, rather than use stored procedures. I located ILDASM.EXE (my Framework 3.5 version lives at C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.0A\bin on my home development PC) and created a shortcut to it in the SendTo folder. Now I could set about doing a simple demonstration to the Architect by taking one of the Dot Net EXE's with the embedded TSQL and sending it to ILDASM.  Since I had written most of the embedded TSQL, it was a matter of seconds before I located the embedded TSQL within the Exe. The TSQL that was supposed to be safely hidden within the EXE was easily located and and copied. (It should also be noted that we could have encrypted the stored procedures on loading them to the database.)

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  • O'Reilly deal of the week to 23:59 PT Sept 11 - Back-to-School Special

    - by TATWORTH
    At http://shop.oreilly.com/category/deals/b2s-2012-special.do, O'Reilly are offering up to 50% off a range of E-books, together with reductions on other items."Get definitive information on technology for developers, designers, admins – whatever you are or want to be. With our Back-to-School Special, you choose what to learn and we give you the tools to make it happen. Save 50% on eBooks and videos, 40% on print books from O'Reilly, Microsoft Press, SitePoint, and No Starch, or 30% on courses from O'Reilly School of Technology." There are some 37 books and e-books on offer together with 3 videos.

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  • April 2012 Patch Tuesday

    - by TATWORTH
    Next Tuesday, Microsoft will issue a number of critical patches. I urge you to apply the patches to your desktop PCs A.S.A.P. , then deploy to your test servers, test, get signoff and deploy to production.More information can be obtained at:http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9225883/Microsoft_slates_critical_Windows_Office_IE_patches_next_week_including_head_scratcher_?taxonomyId=17http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletin/ms12-aprhttp://www.scmagazine.com/microsoft-to-sew-up-11-security-vulnerabilities-next-week/article/235396/http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/microsoft-readies-patch-for-gaping-ie-browser-security-holes/11366

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  • TOP 25 Most Dangerous Software Errors for 2010

    - by TATWORTH
    A top 25 most dangerous list of software errors has been published at http://www.sans.org/top25-software-errors/ Insterestingly the top error listed was cross site scripting. So what do you do if have to accept HTML input? I suggest that write a white list filter function to allow through only acceptable mark-up. A basis for such a function can be found in the common filter function at http://commonfilter.codeplex.com/

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  • Free Pluralsight Videos for this week

    - by TATWORTH
    Pluralsight have issued two free videoshttp://blog.pluralsight.com/2012/09/05/video-end-the-global-pollution-crisis-in-javascript/http://blog.pluralsight.com/2012/08/31/video-fake-it-until-you-make-it-with-fakeiteasy/Their exact words were: Free Videos this Week End the Global Pollution Crisis... In Javascript Too many globally scoped variables and functions can make Javascript code difficult to work with, particularly on large projects. See how to simulate the concept of namespaces using objects. Fake it Until You Make It with FakeItEasy FakeItEasy is a .NET framework for easily creating mock objects in tests. See how easy it is to FakeItEasy with complex nested hierarchies.

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  • Free book from Microsoft - Building Elastic and Resilient Cloud Applications - Developer's Guide to the Enterprise Library 5.0 Integration Pack for Windows Azure

    - by TATWORTH
    At http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29994, Microsoft are are offering a free book  - "Building Elastic and Resilient Cloud Applications - Developer's Guide to the Enterprise Library 5.0 Integration Pack for Windows Azure"The Microsoft Enterprise Library Integration Pack for Windows Azure is an extension to the Microsoft Enterprise Library 5.0 that can be used with Windows Azure. It includes the Autoscaling Application Block, the Transient Fault Handling Application Block, a protected configuration provider and the Blob configuration source.The book is available as PDF, mobi and epub formats.

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  • APress Deal of the Day - 19/Nov/2011 - Beginning GIMP

    - by TATWORTH
    Today's$10 Deal of the Day from APress at http://www.apress.com/9781430210702 is "Beginning GIMP". "In this fully-updated second edition, author and long-time member of the GIMP community Akkana Peck introduces the GIMP and shows you everything about it that you'll want to know—including how to prepare images for display on web pages, touch up digital photos, tap into powerful filters, effects, and plug-ins, and automate tasks using scripts." For those of you unfamilar with GIMP it is the GNU Image Manipulation Program and it is available for free from http://www.gimp.org/downloads/   Can't code withoutThe best C# & VB.NET refactoring plugin for Visual Studio

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  • PluralSight video on Automated Web Testing with Selenium

    - by TATWORTH
    I am part-way through an excellent video at http://www.pluralsight.com/training/Courses/TableOfContents/selenium on Automated Web Testing with SeleniumSo far everything I have seen leads me to consider that this is an excellent demonstration of Selenium and I recommend to all ASP.NET developers who want to be able to automate testing of their web pages.Selenium is a free tool you can download from http://seleniumhq.org/download/

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  • NMap 6.01

    - by TATWORTH
    NMap 6.01 has been released at http://nmap.org/download.html"Nmap ("Network Mapper") is a free and open source (license) utility for network discovery and security auditing. Many systems and network administrators also find it useful for tasks such as network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring host or service uptime. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. It was designed to rapidly scan large networks, but works fine against single hosts. Nmap runs on all major computer operating systems, and official binary packages are available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. In addition to the classic command-line Nmap executable, the Nmap suite includes an advanced GUI and results viewer (Zenmap), a flexible data transfer, redirection, and debugging tool (Ncat), a utility for comparing scan results (Ndiff), and a packet generation and response analysis tool (Nping)."Home page is at http://nmap.org/  Nmap is free to download and use. You can download the source and compile it yourself if you so require.

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  • Buy ReSharper 6 - Get Version 7 Free!?

    - by TATWORTH
    A tip that has just been passed to me by my good friends at Jet Brains.JetBrains ReSharper is approaching its new major release later this summer. We're delighted to announce a limited 2-in-1 offer: all new and upgrade ReSharper 6 licenses purchased on or after June 1, 2012, are entitled to a free upgrade for the upcoming ReSharper 7. Below is a list of features and improvements that will be included in ReSharper 7: Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate support. Visual Studio 2012 RTM support will be provided as soon as it is available.Continued support for Visual Studio 2005, 2008 and 2010.Support for Windows 8 and for developing the new trend of Metro style applications.New code inspections and quick-fixes for different languages, including C# and VB.NET.Multiple JavaScript support improvements.Enhanced XAML development support pack.More ReSharper functionality for SharePoint, ASP.NET 4.5, ASP.NET MVC 4, and Silverlight 5.Unit testing improvements, including support for MSTest 11, NUnit 2.6, Jasmine and PhantomJS.Compatibility with dark schemes in Visual Studio 2010 and 12, and overall support for custom themes.More improvements in quick-fixes, code annotations, code hierarchy views, and refactorings. Enjoy ReSharper 7 free, when you upgrade to ReSharper 6 or buy new licenses now.

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  • Apress Deal of the day - 5/Feb/2011

    - by TATWORTH
    Today's $10 Deal of the Day from Apress at http://www.apress.com/info/dailydeal is: Pro ASP.NET 4 in C# 2010, Fourth Edition ASP.NET 4 is the latest version of Microsoft's revolutionary ASP.NET technology. It is the principal standard for creating dynamic web pages on the Windows platform. Pro ASP.NET 4 in C# 2010 raises the bar for high-quality, practical advice on learning and deploying Microsoft's dynamic web solution. $59.99 | Published Jun 2010 | Matthew MacDonald I am reviewing this book at the moment but I was already sufficiently impressed by this book to have bought the PDF the day it was available last December.

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  • From the Coalface - 3 - Work as hard as you can to be as lazy as you can!

    - by TATWORTH
    The saga of the Change Log A recent conversation reminded me of the need for change logs within a database, to record when various change scripts were run. Creating such the required table is simple. A typical table for this consists of: Id - identity Integer primary key ChangeFileName - NVARCHAR(128) to hold the name of the file run. DateAdded - DateTime non-null with default value of getutcdate() Purpose - NVARCHAR(128) Rerunnable - Bit non-null default 0. By good design of the table only two data values normally need to be supplied. Two stored procedures, one for inserting data and one to list in reverse sequence the log complete the database essentials. The complete implementation can be found in the CommonData solution at http://CommonData.CodePlex.Com By including a call the add Change Log stored procedure, each script can log its name and purpose for posterity. The scripts that were applied to say the UAT system and their sequence of application can be readily identified for running on the Live system. Formatting XML XML is often produced as one continous string with no embedded CR/LF. To get it into human readable form, open it in visual studio, swap to another tab and back and click the format document button. The XML will then be nicely formatted!

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  • Tales from the Coal Face - Reporting errors

    - by TATWORTH
    One of the questions that comes up frequently, is "Is it worthwhile to report errors?".Last weekend, after installing the latest StyleCop I loaded up my copy of Power Collections. I found that StyleCop was now correctly picking up a lot of missing "this." statements, however there were now a number of false positives. Anticipating the need to submit sample code, I cleaned the solution and zipped it up.I reported this at http://stylecop.codeplex.com/discussions/357319.  The stylecop administrator promoted this report to a work item (see http://stylecop.codeplex.com/workitem/7285) and I uploaded the previously prepared Zip file. The StyleCop team was able to locate the problem and it is "Fixed in upcoming 4.7.27".The conclusion:Report errors!  Prepare sample code illustrating the error.

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  • The Obscured C Competition is Back!

    - by TATWORTH
    The Obscure C competition is back at http://www.ioccc.org/ The Competition is open to the 12/Jan/2012. The aim of the competition is: To write the most Obscure/Obfuscated C program under the rules at http://www.ioccc.org/2011/rules.txt. To show the importance of programming style, in an ironic way. To stress C compilers with unusual code. To illustrate some of the subtleties of the C language. To provide a safe forum for poor C code. :-) Even if you are not a C programmer, it is worth looking at some past entries at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Obfuscated_C_Code_Contest

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  • New Items in ReSharper 7!

    - by TATWORTH
    At http://tv.jetbrains.net/videocontent/webinar-whats-new-in-resharper-7 there is an excellent video on a selection of the new items in ReSharper 7.As I have said before, if you develop in C# or VB.NET, you should use ReSharper. Now it has been extended to allow unit testing of JavaScript. The above video mentions a possible extension to ReSharper for F#.There are more videos on ReSharper at http://tv.jetbrains.net/channel/resharper

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