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Saturday, April 29, 2006

My close encounter with Windows Vista Beta 2

Finally I got chance to get hold of Windows Vista Beta 2 Build 5308 (64-bit). I installed it on my AMD Computer without any problem. Most of the hardware were automatically detected. The only problem I faced is related to my Compro TV Gold TV Tuner adapter. So no FM and Cable TV on my Vista, untill I get hold of the Vista 64-bit drivers. I need to try the 32-Bit Drivers with 32-Bit Vista. For this purpose, I plan to make use of Virtual PC.

Coming back to the New User Interface Elements, here's below some screenshots that I captured.

1) Notepad - trying to close notepad without saving. Notice the button captions (Save, Don't Save and Cancel). I wonder what will happen to VB program's MsgBox command which does not provide any such captions. A good thought which needs to be experimented.

2) Regular "Save As..." dialog box user interface:

3) Control Panel Icons

4) Windows Explorer - check out the funky disk drive icons.

5) Taskbar tooltip - move your mouse to the application in the taskbar to get this:

6) And finally the Vista Desktop view

Friday, April 28, 2006

Visual Studio 2005 Express is Free Permanently

Extract from Dan Fernandez's (Lead Product Manager - Visual Studio Express) Blog.

Dear Visual Studio Express community,

We are incredibly excited to announce that effective April 19th, 2006, all Visual Studio 2005 Express Editions including Visual Basic, Visual C#, Visual J#, Visual C++, and Visual Web Developer Express will be free permanently!

Prior to this pricing announcement, Visual Studio Express Editions were promotionally discounted to be free for one year, starting on November 7th, 2005. With this announcement, the promotional discount for Visual Studio Express is now permanent and Express will continue to be free.

The key reason for the pricing change was you. You’ve helped make Visual Studio Express a runaway hit, and we’re proud to announce that in the five months since its launch, Express has been downloaded over 5 million times!

In addition to announcing that Express is free, we also have some very cool new content with something for everyone including:......................

Please visit Dan Fernandez's blog for for complete details....

World's First Map of Internet Country Codes

The world's first map of internet country codes. Phone codes too, alphabetic and numeric lists.

Visit this link for downloading the READABLE closeup image (2.8MB).

Created by : VisiBone. Please visit the VisiBone home page to get more such stuff which includes JavaScript Regular Expressions, HTML Tags, Color Chart etc.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Test your eyes - ALZHEIMERS' EYE TEST

Count every "F" in the following text:



...................... 3?


Really, go Back and Try to find the 6 F's before you scroll down.

The reasoning behind is further down.

The brain cannot process "OF". Incredible or what? Go back and look again!!

Anyone who counts all 6 "F's" on the first go is a genius.
Three is normal, four is quite rare.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Windows PowerShell (Monad) Has Arrived

Finally a relief for Unix Shell (SH, KSH, CSH, BASH....) Programmers. Those working with Windows, didn't had a powerfull shell other than the CMD.EXE.

Microsoft introduced the Monad Shell(MSH), which is now named as Windows PowerShell. I guess its nick should be PSH :-) Windows PowerShell will RTW (Web download) in Q4 2006 .

Visit the complete PowerShell MSDN Blog website for more details.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Building a Search Engine for your Website (Microsoft Platform Only)

Many of us come across the requirement of building a search engine for a website. Have you ever known that this is very simple if you are using Microsoft Platform. Below are some links that I have come across. Thanks to Google!

Yes, the answer is Microsoft Indexing Services. Here's a good article link from website which gives complete details of the same. The article includes the installation of MS Indexing Services as well as sample code in .NET

Another link on Index Server Tutorial can be found at website.

One more good link at on this Free Microsoft Search Engine

Will update this post once I find a solution for Non-Microsoft platforms :-)

Hindi Language

You can install Hindi Languages in latest version of Windows and check out the Hindi Keyboard Layout at:

Monday, April 24, 2006

How do I determine which version of IIS / ASP I'm running?

  1. If you are running Windows Server 2003, you are running IIS 6.0 / ASP 3.0 (though some people like to call this ASP 4.0).
  2. If you are running Windows XP, you are running IIS 5.1 / ASP 3.0.
  3. If you are running Windows 2000, you are running IIS 5.0 / ASP 3.0.
  4. If you are running Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 9x, you can determine which version of IIS / PWS you are running by one of the following methods:


' returns "Microsoft-IIS/4.0" for IIS 4.0 + ASP 2.0


Look for Windows NT 4.0 Option Pack in Add/Remove Programs (Control Panel). If it is there, you are running IIS 4.0 (NT Server) or PWS 4.0 (NT Workstation or Win9x).


  • Do a search for ASP.DLL on your system
  • right-click it and select Properties
  • Check the version tab:

IIS 3.0 shows 1.x
IIS 4.0 shows 2.x
IIS 5.0 shows 5.0.2195.x
IIS 5.1 shows 5.1.2600.x
IIS 6.0 shows 6.0.3790.x

And........... Windows Vista uses IIS 7.0 :-)

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Register & Unregister a DLL from Windows Explorer

Back in my developer days when I was building DLLs and OCXs, I was constantly registering and unregistering DLLs using the command line (find me a dev who isn't a command line junkie - I still have two prompts open as I type this). As time's gone on, I submitted to using Windows Explorer more and more to do things and (this is going back many years), someone told me how to setup a shell extension to DLLs to allow you to register and unregister them directly. I guess I kept that file around all these years and it's useful to find it again now I'm installing test builds regularly. Hopefully, it's obvious how this works when you see the registry file below. Simply save as xyzzy.reg and merge it into the registry.

@="regsvr32.exe %1"
@="regsvr32.exe /u %1"

Once you click on a DLL in Windows Explorer, you'll see two new options to Register and Unregister DLLs. Normal disclaimer applys about messing up your registry if you choose to use this etc.

Virtual Vista

I've been asked a few times now about how to get Windows Vista running inside Virtual PC and/or Virtual Server. Finally here's the answer:

First up, to get it working you are going to need the latest Virtual Machine Additions that come with the current version of Virtual Server. Download it (for free) from If you're a Virtual PC user, you're still going to need the Virtual Server Additions (VMAdditions.iso).

Create a new Virtual Machine. Give it at least 512Mb of memory. Put the Windows Vista DVD into the drive (either physically of mount the ISO). Boot the virtual machine. Setup starts. Enter your Product Key. Select the Custom Installation option (Upgrade is greyed out). Click Advanced. Create a new partition and format it. I've seen a "feature" whereby even though you now have a formatted partition on which to install, setup ignores it - reset the virtual machine and re-run setup - it always works second time around. Once you have selected a partition on which to install, setup will continue (go and do something else for a couple of hours - this part takes a long time). Setup will end and ask you for a username a computername and your timezone, then it automatically logs you on.

Next you have to install the Virtual Machine Additions - until you have done this, the machine is VERY SLOW.

For Virtual Server select: Edit Configuration, then scroll down and select Virtual Machine Additions, check Install Virtual Machine Additions and click OK.

For Virtual PC: Right Click the CD icon in the lower left hand corner of the Virtual PC window, Select Capture ISO Image, then Browse for VMAdditions.iso that you’ve taken from a Virtual Server install.

Click through the setup screens, reboot and you're done.

The local administrator's password is blank - so set it please.

Windows Vista speeds up with time, especially after the initial install - so leave it running for a long while (overnight) before you start "playing".

Enjoy - Dave.

Source: Dave Northey's Blog

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Using Notepad as a Virtual Diary!

This is real cool tip for people who use notepad to write down any info on a day to day basis. In Notepad:

1) Create a blank text file with .LOG as the first line of the file, followed by a carriage return [Enter].
2) Save and close the file .
3) Double-click the file to open it and notice that Notepad appends the current date and time to the end of the file and places the cursor on the next line.
4) Type your notes and then save and close the file.

Each time you open the file, Notepad repeats the process, appending the time and date to the end of the file and placing the cursor below it It simply serves as a virtual diary !