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Saqib Barlas' Blog

  • Windows Live Writer

    I'm trying out Windows Live writer to post content to my blog.  I was wondering if anyone here has used it before and how popular it's becoming.  I've wanted a tool to blog direct from my mobile, I know that a couple of years back, MSN live spaces allowed you to do that from your mobile. You would email the blog to a special email address generated for you and the content would get posted to your blog.

    Pretty neat!

    Well here goes .........

  • VSTS 2005 Release Candidate fails to install at shortcutCLRDbg32.txt file....

    I've been trying to install the Release Candidate of VS2005 Team System under Virtual PC SP1 which is running Windows 2003 RC2and it invariably fails towards the end of the main install trying to read D:\VS\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\SDK\v2.0\GuiDebug\shortcutCLRDbg32.txt telling me the file was not found and offering me the choice of Retry (which loops failing with the same message) or Cancel (which does a rollback).

    That file is on the disk and appears to be a multi-stream file. It can be opened in Notepad in the host operating system (Windows XP SP2) ie outside the VPC with no problems. Notepad displays its contents as "This is a place holder. Do not Delete". But any attempt to open it with Notepad in the VPC gives an error dialog which says "Cannot open D:\VS\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\SDK\v2.0\GuiDebug\shortcutCLRDbg32.txt file. Makes sure a disk is in
    the drive you specified" (which explains why the VS installation fails I guess!)

    SOLUTION :

    It seems to be a VPC issue (doesn't matter what version of Windows you're running).

     Here's the thing, for some reson VPC can't read this file if you use the phyiscal drive method (ie pass throught your DVD drive as the DVD drive on the VPC) .  What you have to do is share out a folder which is the root of your DVD drive on your host machine. Install it and voila you're done.

    I actually managed to share the folder mid installation when I got this error - you just have to change the drive letter on your VPC DVD drive to another letter and then share the folder a the drive letter you were installing from.

     

  • i-Mate to release the new "Star Trek" Smartphone

    I had the pleasure of playing around with one of these this Friday. It's basically a copy in terms of look and feel of the Motorola Razr V3.

    I will post up images of the phone , once I'm sure we're allowed to.  

    First impressions were the screen could have been bigger as there seems to be a lot of "dead space" around it.  The Micro SD card slot is not plug and play - it's under the SIM slot - even worse!!! Why can't HTC learn from Nokia and have a slot that allows you to remove storage cards without turning the phone off, removing the battery and now removing the SIM?

    There would be plenty of space for a normal mini SD card, changing it to a micro SD card just seems senseless.

    They have changed the usb connector to a much thinner connector type - so you can't use existing chargers.  What also seems to be the case is the same jack is used for headphones - so you won't be able to charge the phone while headphones are connected.

    The clam shell design / look and feel are really nice, but under the covers they have got it wrong. 

    Watch this space for photos

  • First GPS-enabled Windows Mobile-based smart phone

     Came accorss this new phone : the Mio  A701, its first GPS-enabled Windows Mobile-based smart phone.

    With a massive  520MHz  Intel XScale PXA270 processor 192MB of memory, a 2.7" QVGA screen.

    Here's the link on the Register

     






  • Adding Pre-compiled DLLS to your .net Solution

     

    I know most of the guys and gals will know this already, but I came accross this while working on a project.  I've been trying to get around this in previous projects.

    When you have pre-compiled assemblies (such as Microsoft Application blocks) that are used in your solution and other developers get latest from SourceSafe for the first time, they have to get the assemblies as well. If they are not part of the solution they will get compile errors and have to add the references in again manually which is a pain.

    The way around this is to add a folder to your solution called something like "Solution Items" and put all the pre-compiled DLLs in there.  That way they are all kept in one place and in Source control..  Also when you want to update them to latest versions then other developers will just have to get latest from SourceSafe and they don't get the nasty "missing reference to assembly errors"

     

    Solution Items

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