March 2006 - Posts

Microsoft has this new program to allow you to provide feedback on Visual Studio 2005. The cool thing is that they will actually give you stuff for signing up and completing surveys. Gratuities include software and Xbox games.

If you are interested in joining the program, go to the link below and send an E-mail. I already signed up and the guy said they were still looking for more people.

If you have been holding off using Atlas because there was no go-live license, then wait no longer. This month's CTP comes with a Go-Live license so you are allowed to use the code in a production environment. The Atlas web site has also been updated so there is a lot more information.

The easiest way to get started is to consume your existing postback code with the UpdatePanel control. As I have mentioned before, this control intercepts postback events and replaces them with callbacks.

Well, I got bored so I decided to install Windows Vista on my machine at home. I installed the February 2006 CTP (Build 5308) and I have to say it runs alright for a beta. So far most of my problems have been related to trying to get my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 to work. When I first upgraded, there was a driver already installed for it, but no sound actually worked. Creative had a driver on their web site for a previous build, but I have had no luck getting it to work. So, instead, I tried using my onboard sound card with no trouble at all.

If you are curious, I installed Vista by doing an upgrade of Windows XP. If you have any kind of virtual scsi drivers installed (i.e.: Nero, Alcohol 120%), you will need to uninstall those first. Setup will either warn you or it will just never finish. My first upgrade attempt, did not finish. I let it run overnight and came in to find that it was still running with a message that said Setup is taking longer than expected to finish. When, I came home from work and it was still running, I rebooted it and suprising it restored my Windows XP installation back to its original state.

Prior to my second install attempt, I went through the registry and manually cleaned out my Nortel VPN drivers since it never seems to uninstall right. Btw, on my last Vista install, that client never worked right because it would not pop up the login screen. My second install attempt worked well. The install does take a while mainly because it copies the file install.wim to your hard drive first which is 2.3 GB. The old i386 folder is gone and everything is insided that image file.

Once the install completed, I logged in and for the most part everything was there. It did remove the icon from my Itunes Shortcut and I had to recreate my profile in iTunes (so be sure and do an export of your library first). Various programs that were configured to start automatically were removed (not suprisingly).

The operating system looks great. The transparency effects and everything look really neat. One thing to note when running legacy applications is that some of them turn off Desktop Composition Mode. This basically makes everything look normal (removes all of the visual effects). iTunes is one program that does this, so I am guessing software companies will have to make their applications more compatible in the future with this.

There are a ton of neat things and features for me to point out. Too much for this posting, so I will continue to post info over the next couple of days.

Ok, well it's been a while since I have posted but now that I am back from vacation and everything, I should be providing more content reguarly.

Not to just regurgitate stuff from Scott's blog, but I figured some of you might find this useful for your own sites and what not. There is a new RSS Tool-Kit that includes an RSS datasource that allows you to do data binding just to GridViews, Repeaters, etc, just like you could with a SqlDataSource or ObjectDataSource. You can do binding in the wizard with it and everything. It's definitely a great way to integrate RSS feeds into your site and easily format them the way you want.

On top of that it supports caching and everything. The cache settings are of course configurable. I was thinking about writing something like this myself just today, but alas it looks like someone beat me to it. The source code is also provided if you have any need to extend it.

This is what the markup would look like to bind to a feed.

<asp:DataList ID="MyDataList" DataSourceID="MyRssDataSource"  runat="server">
     <asp:HyperLink runat="server" 
NavigateUrl='<%# Eval("link") %>' 
Text='<%# Eval("title") %>'>
  <RssToolKit:RssDataSource id="MyRssDataSource" runat="server" 

RSS Tool-Kit