Monday, May 29, 2006
Windows Vista Beta 2 :: The Ultimate Edition

Today I got a chance to check Windows Vista x64 Ultimate Edition Beta 2. First impression is always, jaw dropping. There were some issues with the installation but after a few attempts, I got through. The problem was the minimum harddisk space required by Vista for a successful installation. This build, which is 5384, requires atleat 15 Gigabytes of free space on the partition you wist to install and another 8 to 10 Gigabytes of free space on your primary partition. Anyways the user experience is awesome as always. WDDM (Windows Display Driver Module) now has more hardware in its supporting GPU list. The idea is to provide a hassle free installation of the next generation of Windows with OS as well as required drivers. Aero showed much improvement as well from the previous built and run alot smoother then ever before. Some new Gadgets are also added into this built. Saw the first glimpse of Internet Explorer 7+. There has been some added feature in this new version of IE and my guess is its relationship with IIS 7. This is a part which I still have to explore so I am putting it on hold for the time being. Here are some screenshots of Vista running on my desktop machine. Cheers!

My Computer
Internet Explorer 7+

Control Panel Copying Files Desktop

Media Center Media Center Media Center

Folder View Taskbar Windows Defender

Ultimate Version Details Media Player 11


Thursday, May 18, 2006
What is an MVP, Anyway?

Well I came across an interesting piece of writing by Jonathan which is posted at ASP.NetPro. Jonathan talked in detail about the Microsoft MVP program, selection criteria and interviews with the member of the selection board. He also pointed out the issues with the current selection criteria for MVPs and the improvements that we are going to see very soon.

Still wondering what an MVP is and how to become one? Well then click this piece of text and get your answer. Cheers!


Sunday, May 07, 2006
Atlas Control Toolkit

Do you Want to add nested drop-downlists to your page? In-line popup support? Implement smooth show/hide support? Add water-marking support to input controls? Use dropshaows, rounded curves and much more for your existing server control in ASP.NET 2.0? Already getting cold feet and thinking about spending long hours over the weekend to write ugly, unmanageable javascripts for your existing web apps. Well, that's a life of a web developer always pushed to his limits for adding more features in his application.

Well then there's a sigh of relief for you all, we now have Atlas Control Toolkit with us. Just head over to its website here and see some beautiful, mouth watering AJAX treats. Make sure to download this toolkit and start using it from today to add some cool AJAX features in your web apps.

Wanna know more about this toolkit? Then Shawn Burke's blog is your place to be. Enjoy!


Saturday, May 06, 2006
Control Adapters in ASP.NET 2.0

How many of you are willing to alter the layout of current server controls in ASP.NET 2.0? I am sure many of you are interested in playing with the layout and change the way it looks and reacts by default. One way to achieve your goal is to either use CSS style sheets or newly introduced Themes in ASP.NET 2.0. But at the end of the day, what you are doing is to alter the presentation of your server controls or html tags. There is no possibility of changing the way your server controls react and render at client side, because it always ends up in producing html markups for server controls. Server Controls are always rigid and is not able to adapt changes. It is a bit difficult to grasp the idea at first place, so let me add more details and references to support this concept.

Control Adapters in ASP.NET 2.0 is a fairly fresh concept for web developers to hold. In the background what it does is it allows you to do pretty much with the way your web application or, in other words server controls react to the browsers. You can create your one web application to run on web browsers of all types, even on mobile devices but just adding a ".browser" file to your web app. You can differentiate where the browser that send the request is of either a browser that runs on a desktop machine or is a mobile device browser. And can produce different layouts for different browsers with some additional lines of codes.

So what's the big deal, you may be thinking? Think about producing XAML through your current web application and play with the UI to run on top of WPF (Avalon). Think about creating your controls to render at client side, so to be more user friendly. Like you can do with javascripts for client side execution. You can do pretty much with custom controls and third party tools available these days. But think about having the same feature for your existing <asp:textbox> control or anyother.

Amazed aren't you. I am having a felling that I may not be as clear in explaining the feature so I would like to recommend a few resources for you to dig in and explore this feature at your own pace.

There's an amazing demo by Plip's on creating XAML from your existing web apps. Have a look at it here.

ASP.NET team member Scotts talks about the new CSS Control Adaptor toolkit for ASP.NET 2.0. Click here if you are willing to know more.


Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Visual Studio and BSOD's

BSOD's (Blue Sceen Of Death) had annoyed me for quite a few weeks and it always appears when I am working on a project inside Visual Studio. Things got worse when they started appearing once everyhour, especially when I am downloading the latest files from Source Safe. Stop error I get always suggested the error is either related to a RAM related issues or BIOS. I tested my ram and it came out clean so I thought something else is messing up with my system. So after spending a couple of hours I found that ZoneAlarm has some issues with Visual Studio and even stopping the service wont solve the problem. So I have to completely remove it to get rid of these ugly BSODs. So remember, don't use ZoneAlarm if you are using Visual Studio for primary development purposes untill its team solve this issue.

But don't you think its odd that only Visual Studio has issues with ZoneAlarm, one of the leading firewalls in the market? Think about it :)