Monday, September 29, 2008

Network Printers Shared From Vista not Printing From XP Clients

Problem: You've got a printer you've shared off a system running Vista. You're trying to print from a non-Vista client, such as XP. Print jobs show up in the print queue when you open up that printer, but the print jobs don't run until you restart the print spooler.

Solution: Turn off bi-directional printer support on the shared printer's port.  Open up the printer's property dialog (Printer | right-click | Run as administrator | Properties) and select the Ports tab. Find the port your printer is shared off of, select it, then clear the checkbox for Enable bi-directional support.

(Note: I'd love to say that based on my years of network and system support, I figured this out on my own. Not so. Google saved me with several hits on MSDN and TechNet fora.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Next Speaking Gig: Ann Arbor Day of .NET

On 18 October I'll be presenting "3 Tips to Improve Your Development Process" at the Ann Arbor Day of .NET. It's nice to have another session lined up -- I'm slowly working my way back in to regular speaking after a months-long funk where I couldn't get fired up about creating new presentations or rehashing old ones.

I'm excited about this presentation because it's all about making small changes to how you develop software: Figure out how to estimate better. Start having a daily standup.  Every once in awhile stop and look back over what you've done via a retrospective.

This gig's been poking around my head for awhile, and I'm looking forward to fleshing it out and putting it out in front of a crowd.

The folks running AADODN always do a terrific job hosting the conference. I hope to see you at there, and maybe even in my session!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

ArcReady Events: Architecting Modern Distributed Applications

ArcReady is a neat series of events hosted by Microsoft and targeted to architects or folks who are interested in software architecture.

This quarter's event is on architecting distributed apps.  There are events in Columbus on 2 October and Cincinnati on 7 October. Other events are scattered throughout the Central region, so the odds are you can find something close to you.

Check out the ArcReady site for more information on the session and for info on registering.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Dayton .NET Developers Group Needs A New Home

The Dayton .NET Developers Group is in need of a new home, starting in October.  Max Training has been a tremendous supporter of our group for two years; however, they're closing out their under-utilized Miamisburg office.

As a result, we'll need a new home come October.  If you're in the Dayton area and know of a place which can support us, please contact me via the link on the sidebar of this blog.

Here's the list of needs and wants for our meeting site:


  • Seat at least 40 people
  • Computer projector and screen or suitable wall space for projection
  • No restrictions on foreign nationals attending meetings (some Dayton-area defense contractors have this limitation)
  • Eating area, either in meeting room or nearby
  • Support regular meetings on 4th Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm

Wants (Nice to have)

  • Free of cost for facility use
  • Seat at least 60 people (special event attendance)
  • Whiteboard
  • Internet access
  • Access to meeting area without a security checkpoint

Please do contact me if you have any ideas on places that might be suitable!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back After a (Literally) Dark Period

The remnants of hurricane Ike whacked us hard last week. We were without power from Sunday through late Friday night, which has left me far behind several blog posts I've had queued in my head to write.

It's also left me far behind in my preparations for speaking at the Cleveland SharePoint User Group meeting next Wednesday. I'm excited about speaking -- I'll be covering testing in SharePoint -- but after having lost a week I'm scrambling to make sure my content won't completely suck.

I'm finally getting unburied from a few other piles of tasks and am looking forward to getting back in the swing of things. The work at QSI we're doing for Drew Robbins and his Developer Platform Evangelism Team has been wicked cool: writing labs and demos for the next wave of technologies coming out of MS. It's very cool thinking that stuff James or Steve or Dave (no longer with QSI, but he wrote great stuff while he was) have written will likely be shown up on the stage at PDC. There are also a number of SharePointy things I've got bubbling around as well.  I've lots to catch up on due to a lost week.

At the end of the day, though, our days without power pale in comparison to others' suffering. We've had a roof over our heads, and plenty of friends and family in the area whose power we could leech off of. We're lucky.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Book Review: The Productive Programmer

The Productive Programmer by Neal Ford, ISBN 0596519788.

This is a terrific book for boosting your productivity in two areas: how you work, and how you code.

The first section of the book, Mechanics, focuses on tools you can use to boost your productivity as you're working with your system. Ford launches off into an exploration of lots of little crazy tools that help you automate or ease repetitive tasks. You'll find lots of goodies from virtual desktops to shortcut tips/launchers, to using Ruby to script everything from splitting up SQL to automatically sorting your laundry and washing it for you.[1]

All these little tools and tricks add up to drastic decreases in the amount of friction you're forced to suffer through while doing your daily job. Cutting this friction lets you focus on the job at hand, instead of trying to bend your environment to your will.

The second section of the book, Practice, discusses ways to speed your development. There's an awful lot of goodness in this portion of the book, ranging from re-emphasizing critical aspects of object oriented programming, to object and method composition. Ford walks through a lot of great stories meant to get you to re-evaluate why you do things a certain way. The infamous Angry Monkeys story gets pulled out as an example, and Ford also concisely covers development principles like the Law of Demeter, Occam's Razon, and his Polyglot Programming meme.

The book's concise, amazingly well written, and a definite must-have for your bookshelf.

[1] I'm lying. Ruby won't do this quite yet, but I think Leon and Michael are working on a library for it.

.NET University New Date: 8 November

Jeff Blankenburg and I have finally nailed down more details on a .NET University event.

Originally we'd promoted 20 September as the date. Sorry, can't do. Too little time, and too much to get done. That said, we've now ironed out when, where, what, and how.

WHEN:  The Columbus .NET University event will held on 8 November, 2008.  (OSU has a weak opponent that Saturday, so you don't need to fear missing the game. Plus, I think we can likely get the game on the TV in the venue's lobby...)

WHERE: The Columbus .NET University event will be at the Columbus Microsoft office near Polaris Parkway.

WHAT: The Columbus .NET University event will be a day full of 100 level info on .NET 3.5, and it's targeted to folks who are not currently in .NET, or who are currently working in older versions of .NET. Please be clear on this: if you're someone who's an aspiring Alpha geek, meaning you're all over the .NET 3.0 release and have played around with 3.5, then this event isn't for you.

That said, this event is for your friends and colleagues who aren't as far up the technology curve as you.  Please help us get the word out to those friends and colleagues who you know have been sitting on the fence about jumping in to .NET, or need some motivation to look into the latest release.

The content for the event is still being ironed out, but will be intended to show a start-to-finish story around developing in .NET 3.5. We'll likely hit the following sorts of topics:

  • A Lap Around VS 2008
    • Using VS
    • Creating Software in VS
    • Testing (my personal fave)
  • Intro to C# and VB in the .NET 3.5 World
    • Lambdas, XML Literals, etc.
  • Web Services 101
    • Overview
    • ASMX
    • WCF
  • Data Access in .NET 3.5
  • All the Cool Webified Stuff
    • AJAX 101
    • Silverlight 101
  • WinForms is Still Alive
  • Crash Course on WPF

No promises on the content, but that's a general taste of the sorts of things you'll be exposed to.

The event ought to be quite an exciting one, and we're looking forward it!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

CodeMash Call For Speakers -- Still Open!

If you're at all interested in speaking at the hippest, mostest, bestest conference in the galaxy[1], then you should hop on over to the Speaker Submission Page at the CodeMash site and fill out a submission form!

We're looking for submissions on any interesting topic you may have in mind, and I don't care what platform, technology, or methodology you're pitching. If the topic's interesting, educational, and thought-provoking then we'll be all over it.

Submissions are open through October 22nd, so there's plenty of time for you to polish up an abstract or two and get them in!

[1] This may be slightly hyperbolic, but CodeMash is certainly the hippest, mostest, bestest conference held in Sandusky, Ohio in January, 2009.

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