Sam Gentile::Longhorn

An INETA Speaker and Microsoft Solutions Architect MVP Looks at Windows Vista, Indigo and WinFX from a Development Experience

  • The Power and Impact of Blogging

    Many people much more profound than me have written at length about the power of blogging and the big effects it has had on diminishing book sales and conference turnouts, and mainstream media. I am quite aware of that and the good mine has done for me (consulting gigs, jobs, MVP, INETA, etc.) and the .NET community in the 3 and 1/2 years it's been going. I want to say something and I am not sure if it's profound or not. Yesterday, I linked, in my New and Notable, to the utterly fantastic blog of Rob Caron, and I said, “There is so much great stuff in Rob Caron's New Team System Stuff - 2005-07/31 and Suggested Reading -2005-07-31 posts, that I suggest reading it all. I know I will!” Believe it or not, I printed it all out yesterday and spent the whole night reading it all and it really struck me that the quality of the VSTS and Agile bloggers and posts were so good that essentially I was getting a full education, that in the 90's I would have turned to a book or a conference for. There was so much fantastic VSTS stuff I read last night that a book could be assembled just from last night's posts! That struck me as profound. If you look at that trend and then the whole way that the relationship with Microsoft has changed due to the many bloggers, it's very profound. I can tell you, having had a relationship with Microsoft with 22 years, we all now have a level of access to designers, key players that we never, ever had. Then if you take the volumes of great information that they post, many people have questioned, what do I need a conference for?  For me, conferences are still important for that personal interaction and socializing with your peers but there's no question that there is a subset of Microsoft/.NET key bloggers you could read every day and be very educated and up to speed, as well as getting virtually everything that was discussed at conferences as well as materials. So what's the message? An investment in reading quality bloggers every day will increase your knowledge and make you a better Developer/Architect/Marketer, and also your own blog could do wonders for your career and exposure. Your thoughts?
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  • Installed Windows Vista Beta 1 on Main Laptop

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    Those who know me well know that I can't stop playing with bleeding edge technology and that I get real fustrated when I can't get something to work. For the last week, I have been attempting to run Windows Vista in a huge VPC (1.2 GB of virtual RAM). I would get so fustrated as everything took forever - it would literally take 20-30 seconds for a window to come up and some things much longer. As the VirtualPC Blog says, “Windows Vista Beta 1 does not have drivers for our emulated video card, SCSI adapter and sound card.  The video and SCSI drivers are installed as part of the Virtual Machine Additions - however there is no way to get our sound card to work.” So aggainst all common wisdom, I installed Windows Vista on my main Toshiba Satellite P25-S609 with 2 GB online RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce FX G05200. Holy crap, what a difference!! Not only did it install flawlessly and works great, but its very responsive and lightening quick! I am actually able to do all my work with my regular apps with no penalities.

    I was able to get my sound card to work. I thought I had a problem with my NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 device driver but I installed the Supplemental Driver Pack and now I have the full NVIDIA driver with 1440x900! It also installed drivers for all my other devices that weren't picked up before. Loving it!

    I got VS.NET and the WinFX SDK installed but I could not get any version of Yukon to install. I couldn't get July VSTS to install on Vista either but as Rob notes it's untested-). So Beta 2 of VSTS client works for me together with the WinFX SDK + the Microsoft Visual Studio Extensions for WinFX Beta 1 which are neccessary for VS integration. The Monad shell works too as well as Office 2003.

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  • TweakVista and Disabling Services

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    Via the almighty Mike G, I found out about the awesome TweakVista program and site. On the site, is a much better and more thorough guide to disabling services, than my haphazard method I tried, in Parts 1 and 2.
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  • Yukon June Does Not Install on Vista Beta1?

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    As we all know, the June Yukon CTP is the required build for the July releases of Whidbey. So in order to do a Whidbey July install to do WinFX development on Vista, the setup program of Yukon fails the check for supported OS. Remember, that this WinFX Beta1 release supports Visual Studio 2005 Beta2 and the .NET Framework 2.0 beta 2.  There is also an updated WinFX SDK, including documentation, samples and tools available for this release. Ideas?
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  • Struggling with the WinFX 'download' install - WinFX SDK ISO Image - Tirade

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    So, for two days, I have been struggling with the Microsoft® WinFX ™ Software Development Kit for Microsoft® Pre-Release Windows Operating System Code-Named "Longhorn", Beta 1 Web Setup. It was getting me quite pissed off as the initial download is only 977K and then it downloads and installs the rest over the .NET. The problem, like the Platform SDK, is that it really doesn't work. I don't know if the servers are overloaded or the whole thing is flawed but it trickles down and constantly quits. There is no auto-restart or download manager like MSDN downloads. It shouldn't take 3 days to download a damn SDK at T1 speeds and still not have it. Much to my relief, they have either added a full ISO install link today or I just noticed.

    <TIRADE>
    Well, that's not much better. I broke down and installed GetRight Download Manager but Microsoft should fix this problem. While I'm at it, the whole Windows Genuine program is absolutely insane. Every single time I try to download this SDK, I have to run a program to verify that I am running a “genuine” Windows installation. Hey Microsoft, I have been a loyal customer for 22 years and have a damn MSDN Universal! Don't ask me every single time if I have a genuine Windows copy! And if you do, make sure you ask me ONCE and not every single time I click on the download in a new browser session!
    </TIRADE>

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  • First Post from Vista and Perf - Don't Forget to Defragment!!

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    Here is my first post from IE7 running on Windows Vista Beta 1. Yesterday, I was so knocked out by the wonderful easy setup program (and probably jet-lagged) and I said the perf was “much, much better.” It's not. It still sucks. It even almost verges on usable or so it seemed. I thought to myself that it can't possibly be this bad and it isn't. The first thing I did is invoke the first golden rule of OS performance: DEFRAG the USB 2 drive that you installed on. It turned out that the USB drive was a mess and defrag brought performance up to acceptable figures. I then shut down a few unused services like Pen Input (Why is this on by default???) and increased the paging file to 4 GB. I am bringing over Yukon and Whidbey July before I install the SDK and will report on that experience when they get over.
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  • Windows Vista (Longhorn) Beta 1 Setup Experience Excellent and Perf Good

    So I am sitting in the Belfast Airport, drinking my StarBucks and waiting for my plane. My USB drive is connected with Windows Vista Beta 1 installed on it from last night. Get this. The install for Vista is painless and easy that I only had to answer three questions in the install and 2 could have been defaulted!! That's usability my friends. If you are expecting the fiasco of the build from last PDC, this is a whole different world. As said, install on a VPC is trivial and with 1280MB VPC, the performance is much, much better than last year's model, Excellent job (Longhorn) Vista Team!
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  • New Laptop and Longhorn

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    Greetings from Longhorn. My hard disk went yet again on my WinBook as it was time for another trip, this time for INETA next week to Florida. Faithful readers will recall that on my last trip, to Redmond, it had an infamous disk meltdown. The WinBook's hard drive seems to be tied intimately to knowing when I need it most and melting appropriately. Since WinBook could not replace my drive in time for my INETA trip and now I am in a frantic mode to restore all my disk contents, presentation and code, I went out and bought a whole new laptop. This time I thought Longhorn in advance and thought big. I bought a Toshiba Satellite P25-S609 with the new Theater style wide screen (2000x900) with an NVidia GeForce FX Go5200 video card with 64MB DDR VRAM. Other features of this bad boy include 17.0 inch diagonal WXGA, DVD multi-drive (with record), harmon/kardon speakers, Pentim IV 3.0Ghz, 802.11a/g wireless, 80GB hard drive and 1GB on-line RAM. It actually runs Windows XP Media Center which is kind of freaky even after you upgrade to XP Professional.

    I've got some great news for the Longhorn faithful though. You may recall from my initial reports that it was pretty hard to run at all. I am happy to report that on this machine, it is not only responsive but fairly fast! This is under VPC2004 emulation too as I was not able to install it natively for now as Longhorn insisted on taking the whole drive and wiping out other Windows installs rather than nicely going to it's own little corner, err directory. But I am psyched! This is definitely usable. Well, I better get back to installing all my regular software for my presentation.

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  • Five Silly Mistakes to Make When Installing Longhorn

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    Tim Sneath “Five Silly Mistakes to Make When Installing Longhorn“ is extremely useful. I wish we had this before we installed. Pay special heed to: “Don't bother installing it as a Virtual PC image unless you have a seriously well-specified machine; certainly not if you plan to play around in any depth with the sample applications that ship as part of the SDK. By well-specified, I mean a machine with more than 1GB RAM, a 3GHz processor, and ideally a separate hard drive / controller for the Longhorn image. I could swear that I heard the sound of laughter from my laptop when I fired up Longhorn for the first time as a Virtual PC image. (On the other hand, installing Windows Server 2003 / Whidbey / Yukon works a treat in a Virtual PC, and I've been using this combination quite happily since spring.) “ Mine was indeed laughing even though it was a 2Ghz Pentium IV laptop and 1GB Ram. He makes the critical point that most people don't get, “this is a developer preview release. This is the earliest in the product cycle we've ever given out bits without requiring stringent NDAs, to the best of my knowledge (although the first beta of Windows 2000 - Windows NT 5.0 as it was known at the time - was pretty ropey too). “ This is so true and I as a bleeding edge early adopter am very grateful for this and will deal with these scenarios. The point is, as with any software this early, is if you are not prepared to bleed heavily, then don't install it-)
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  • Sam Does the Longhorn Thing

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    Thanks to Robert for setting up my Longhorn Blog and this great site! For those who don't know me from my long-running CLR and .NET Blog, my name is Sam Gentile. I am an INETA Speaker, .NET Consultant, Author and overall early adopter geek. I guess my early adopter days go back to the Beta of OLE 2.0 (1992)  which became COM, through NT's early betas, (many other betas and alphas along the way), MTS, COM+ and into NGWS, .NET where I was in the .NET Early Adopter Program (EAP). I have since shipped four .NET products into production, particularly this one. I have been a developer since 1985 starting with DOS and Windows 2.0! I guess that dates me-) I now consult for various clients like 3Leaf Solutions, Microsoft, Groove and others on advanced .NET projects.

    I am pretty pumped by what I have seen already in Longhorn and have installed Longhorn, and written my first simple application. I have a passionate interest in Longhorn becoming the “managed OS” from Microsoft. I am pretty much an internals kind of wonk so I will initially taking apart Avalon and such in Ildasm, Reflector and such and trying to figure out what's going on underneath. I hope you will join me on this journey as I learn and try to share with the community what I have learned and tools I develop.

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