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Coding Towards Utopia...by Rob Reynolds
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Rob Reynolds

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About Me

I manage several open source projects. Need...
   ...package management for Windows?
   ...automated builds?
   ...database change management (migrations)?
   ...your application to check email?
   ...a monitoring utility?

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Chocolatey Automatic Packages
I updated three packages this morning. I didn’t even notice until the tweets came in from @chocolateynuget. How is this possible? It’s simple. I love automation. I built chocolatey to take advantage of automation. So it would make sense that we could automate checking for package updates and publishing those updated packages. These are known as automatic packages. Automatic packages are what set Chocolatey apart from other package managers and I daresay could make chocolatey one of the most up-to-date ......

Posted On Thursday, January 3, 2013 1:15 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther gems NuGet chocolatey ]

Chocolatey featured on LifeHacker!
Chocolatey was just featured on LifeHacker! http://lifehacker.com/59424... I was ecstatic to hear about this, of course now I need to write an actual comparison between chocolatey and other windows package managers. Comments on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/com... ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 12, 2012 9:30 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther chocolatey ]

How To: Improve Skype Quality
I always forget this until I need it the next time, but there is a great post that talks about how to fix your skype quality. http://pauloflaherty.com/20... 1. In Skype, Go to Tools > Options > Connection. Select the option to use ports 80 and 443. In the “Incoming Connections” box you can chose any port between 1024 and 65535. 2. Reconfirm that your firewall is correctly configured. Follow the simple visual guide here: http://www.skype.com/help/g... ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 15, 2012 3:08 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ]

From Zero To Deployed Contest–Winner Announced PLUS Extension To Most Creative
Recently we had a contest to see who could beat my time to get from no code to deployed. Thanks to everyone that participated and everyone that thought about participating in the contest. Most Creative From Zero To Deployed Contest Extended! Unfortunately there were not enough entries to award the most creative video for ZtD. So what we are doing is extending the most creative until May 15, 2011 @ 11:59 PM CST. This gives you almost two months to get your videos in! If you entered before, you are ......

Posted On Monday, March 21, 2011 12:09 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther UppercuT RoundhousE chucknorris gems ]

BareTail - Log File Monitoring Tool
I just recently started using BareTail (which is a free Tail for Windows) and I have to say it is fantastic at what it does. What is a tail? In Unix it is used to mean the end of the log file. The follow (-f) option translates into staying with the bottom, or tail end, of the file. BareTail is a Log File Monitoring tool that you can leave running all the time and it will refresh file changes without ever locking /BaretailYetAnotherLogTool_... · Real-time file viewing · Follow ......

Posted On Friday, May 9, 2008 12:37 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ]

Chocolatey - Guidance on Packaging Apps with Both an Install and Executable/Zip Option
One of the thoughts I've been considering recently with chocolatey is consistency with packages and naming conventions as chocolatey continues to grow. It's fine to name packages by the app/tool name, that's both intuitive and expected. What I am more interested in is when an application has multiple installation options (ie. an MSI and a ZIP). It can become confusing for people to install these when they don't know what they are getting if they call a package that has both. If you start with one ......

Posted On Saturday, February 25, 2012 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther gems NuGet chocolatey ]

DropkicK–Deploy Fluently
DropkicK (DK) has been in development for over two years and has been used for production deployments for over a year. Dru Sellers originally posted about DK back in 2009. While DK isn’t yet as super easy to grok as some of the other ChuckNorrisFramework tools and offers little in the idea of conventions, it is still a stellar framework to use for deployments. DK works well in environments where you know all of the environments you will deploy to ahead of time (although not required due to the ability ......

Posted On Sunday, October 23, 2011 1:32 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther RoundhousE chucknorris DropkicK ]

Extend NuGet Command Line
Yesterday I started a discussion about adding a new command to nuget.exe. It ended in creating an extension to the command line that behaves in the same way without having to dive into the nuget code base or add more complexity to it. I haven’t seen any blog posts or documentation surrounding this new concept (new in nuget 1.4) of extending the command line except for Matt Hamilton’s posts on using NuGet for plug-ins and NuGet with MEF (which are not quite this concept). Here is my experience. I ......

Posted On Friday, July 15, 2011 3:27 AM | Comments (3) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther gems ]

Iowa Code Camp Presentations
Last weekend I went up to Iowa Code Camp in Cedar Rapids and had the opportunity to do two presentations, one on NuGet and one known as the Automation Tools Roundup. ICC is one of my favorite conferences every year. It is twice a year and I try to make it to at least one of them. The people that attend this conference really make it worth the money you spend in travel expenses. Definitely recommended. Automation Tools Roundup This is my favorite session to give because it requires crowd participation ......

Posted On Friday, May 6, 2011 12:03 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther UppercuT DNUG RoundhousE chucknorris ]

Symbolic Regular Expression Exploration
This is a pretty sweet little tool. Rex (Regular Expression Exploration) is a tool that allows you to give it a regular expression and it returns matching strings. The example below creates10 strings that start and end with a number and have at least 2 characters: > rex.exe "^\d.*\d$" /k:10 This is something I could use to validate/generate the Regular Expressions I have created with both UppercuT and RoundhousE. Check out the video below: Margus Veanes - Rex - Symbolic Regular Expression Exploration ......

Posted On Saturday, April 17, 2010 2:02 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Calling PowerShell Functions with Parameters
This threw me for a loop today. You can't call a PowerShell function with commas "," or parentheses "()" and have it believe it goes to both parameters. Try running the following and see what your output is on every line call to "foo." function foo([string]$a, [string]$b) { Write-Host "a:", $a, " b:", $b } foo("A", "B") foo "A", "B" foo "A" "B" foo("A", "B") "C" rm function:/foo You may find you get different results than you may first expect. I did. Reference: http://weblogs.asp.net/soev... ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:29 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Possible Performance Counter Corruption Or Performance Counters are Just Disabled | SQL Server 2008 Installation Errors
If you are installing SQL Server 2008 (or anything for that matter) and it won't let you continue for the following reason: Rule "Performance counter registry hive consistency check" failed. The performance counter registry hive is corrupted. What does this mean? This may mean that the value in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE... NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib under Last Counter and the last number value in Counter under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE... NT\CurrentVersion\Perflib\009 ......

Posted On Sunday, August 10, 2008 5:21 PM | Comments (19) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Published Applications AKA _PublishedApplications
Less maintenance. Less work to package during your automated builds. Too easy. Remember Our Old Friend _PublishedWebsites? You’ve probably seen the _PublishedWebsites folder when building websites in automated builds. If not you can stop paying attention now. Still with me? Great! So you know how it packages up everything nicely with content files going where they should with nearly ZERO cost to your build scripts. All you need to do is override the output directory (OutDir) and you get this feature. ......

Posted On Monday, March 21, 2011 12:22 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther UppercuT ]

SQL Server 2008 Ready - VS2008 SP1 Coming Aug11
On MSDN you are greeted with this: The fun begins: Thanks Steve ......

Posted On Thursday, August 7, 2008 9:49 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Windows XP Hack: How To Use a Pipe ("|") Delimiter in Microsoft Excel With CSV Files
Have you ever wanted to open CSV (Comma Separated Values) files that use something besides comma (",") in Microsoft Excel? Perhaps you have had to use pipe ("|") delimiters or something else before because of some limitation of comma. For whatever reason, it's a pain in the butt to use Excel with CSV files that use some other delimiter besides comma (CSV by name is supposed to use commas). You can still open the file in Excel, but it's all shoved in one column instead of each column getting separated ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 9, 2008 7:19 PM | Comments (10) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

AppHarbor - Azure Done Right AKA Heroku for .NET
Easy and Instant deployments and instant scale for .NET? Awhile back a few of us were looking at Ruby Gems as the answer to package management for .NET. The gems platform supported the concept of DLLs as packages although some changes would have needed to happen to have long term use for the entire community. From that we formed a partnership with some folks at Microsoft to make v2 into something that would meet wider adoption across the community, which people now call NuGet. So now we have the ......

Posted On Friday, February 18, 2011 6:12 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther UppercuT RoundhousE chucknorris gems ]

The Evolution of Package Management for .NET
The thing to realize is that the destination is never the most important part of the journey. It’s the journey itself. When you start a journey, you are never fully sure where it is going to end up. We started the journey down package management for .NET three times with Nu[bular] (we in this context means the nu team, not me in particular, I was only involved in the last reboot) before we decided to try an existing infrastructure with Ruby Gems. I have always said that I would use the best tool ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 6, 2010 1:03 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code Personal ApplicationsToysOther gems ]

Adding PowerShell to StExBar
I’m a huge fan of StExBar. I posted about it awhile back and have since found more reasons to think this is a must have tool! It’s got an ability to give you great shortcuts at your keyboard finger tips. How often have you been like “I need a command window here” and then went through a bunch of trouble to get it there? How about {Control} + {M}? BAM! Command Window opened and pointed to that directory. I’ve been starting to use PowerShell more and I thought…hmmm – I could add PowerShell to this ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 4, 2009 10:39 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ]

TortoiseSVN Missing Context Menu After Vista Upgrade from Home to Ultimate
Recently I upgraded Vista Home to Ultimate. I could not get the context menu back. I thought I was going crazy trying to get it back. I uninstalled and reinstalled many a time trying to get it back. I still couldn’t get TortoiseSVN to show up. So I uninstalled and started a rampage through the registry to find what I needed to remove. I came across this key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\... It had an entry for Context Menus (which I had modified). I backed the key up and deleted it. Then re-installed ......

Posted On Monday, June 29, 2009 8:03 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

StExBar - A Great Add-on for Windows Explorer
One of the best utilities that I have been using recently is StExBar. It's a great utility that comes from Stefan's Tools ( http://tools.tortoisesvn.net/ ). From the site: The StExBar provides many useful commands for your everyday use of Windows explorer. And you can add as many custom commands on your own as you like. Have you ever needed to open a console window while you were using the explorer? And to have that console already set to the directory you're showing in explorer right now? Well, ......

Posted On Thursday, May 21, 2009 1:22 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ]

Rumor: VS2008 bits on MSDN
Unofficially I heard this morning that the bits are up, but I don't see them yet on MSDN Subscriber Downloads. I will say that the section for VS2008 has disappeared on MSDN. I need to hit a better server. :D ......

Posted On Monday, November 19, 2007 10:34 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Microsoft Virtual Server, Virtual Machine Additions, and Windows 7 Beta First Impressions
If you are attempting to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine, do not install Virtual Machine Additions or you will get to find out what the Windows 7 System Restore Utility can do for you. At least do not install virtual machine additions until you update your virtual machine additions appropriately. If you are running Virtual Server like I am, this mean you just need to update your Microsoft Virtual Server R2 SP1 to the Virtual Server R2 SP1 Update. Then try installing the virtual machine additions ......

Posted On Tuesday, January 27, 2009 8:51 PM | Comments (7) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ]

Enhancing VisualSVN Server to Allow Anonymous Access
Rick Strahl had a great recent post on Running VisualSVN Server for Subversion Source Control. I have been running VisualSVN Server for my repositories for a little while now and especially love how painless the setup is. Not to mention that VisualSVN Server is 100% free! One part that I especially liked was the part I have been missing and that is anonymous access to repositories. I have been thinking about having this for awhile and with Rick's post I was able to allow it: Anonymous Repository ......

Posted On Saturday, October 4, 2008 2:50 PM | Comments (9) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Replacing Notepad With Notepad2 on Windows XP SP3
One of my favorite utilities is Notepad2. I had a script to replace the original Notepad with Notepad2 on Windows, but as of Windows XP Service Pack 3, that no longer works. Luckily, I found this script from Travis: @echo off echo *IMPORTANT* echo This will kill all open instances of Notepad. echo To cancel, end this batch file now (ctrl+c), or hit any key to continue. pause echo Killing all instances of notepad running... TASKKILL /F /IM notepad.exe /T echo Backing up... call :backup %systemroot%\servicepackfil... ......

Posted On Saturday, September 13, 2008 12:05 PM | Comments (9) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

Magic Windows Trick: Query and Reset Terminal Sessions
Have you ever tried to remote into a windows machine and couldn't because the machine had exceeded its available sessions? Can't RDP into a machine because there are already 2 active sessions? Want to play party tricks on your friends and wow them with your "techie-ness?!" Say hello to my little friends qwinsta and rwinsta (AKA query session and reset session, respectively) The Disappearing Session Magic Trick Open a command line. Find the computer in your network you want to query. Type this, smile, ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 26, 2008 9:06 PM | Comments (4) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ]

Launchy - My Productivity is Through the Roof!
Launchy is the best application launcher/productivity program I have ever used. Basically when I want to open something, I no longer open the start menu. I hit {Ctrl}+{Space} and a little window pops up. I start typing and Launchy starts matching to items in my start menu, my quick launch, my Internet favorites/bookmarks, and a special folder where I store Launchy specific commands and shortcuts. Above is a screenshot of the index that I point Launchy to. These are places I normally tuck away programs ......

Posted On Tuesday, February 26, 2008 6:40 PM | Comments (2) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

Firefox Tip: Open A Closed Tab
I bet you didn't know that you can reopen a Firefox tab you have closed. Let's say for instance you closed a Firefox tab, but remembered you needed information from it immediately after closing it, or possibly you closed it by accident. 1. Click the Red "X" or type Ctrl+W to close this tab. 2. Right click on one of the other tabs and select [Undo Close Tab]. 3. And Yes! It's back ......

Posted On Monday, February 11, 2008 5:17 PM | Comments (4) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

BlogSeries: What if You Could Define Your Work Environment?
Over the next month or two I will be blogging about a topic that is likely to make you think. If I were to ask you what your perfect work environment was, what would you say? I would like you to think about the people you work with. If you could work with anyone you wanted to and have your boss be anyone you wanted, who would it be (or you could be the boss)? I would like you to think about programming languages. Would you pick just one or would you like to leave the door open to whatever best fit ......

Posted On Tuesday, December 4, 2007 10:16 AM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ Code Personal ApplicationsToysOther ProjectManagement ]

Windows Live Writer Portable And A Glimpse Into the Future With Portable Applications
Imagine if you will one future for applications. You walk up to any computer and plug in your 128GB Flash Drive (USB3 or USB4). You always have your applications with you and suddenly you have access to them through the flash drive. Your documents and files are on the flash drive as well. You don't have to have an Internet connection and you don't bog down the Operating System (if you use Windows) because you don't have anything but the base install on it. Your applications are very responsive because ......

Posted On Monday, December 24, 2007 1:26 AM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

Reporting Services Workaround
Last week I posted about a bug in the SQL Reporting Services Report Viewer for ASP.NET. I think today after someone's suggestion we found a possible workaround. If we subscribe to the DrillThrough event on a report and then reset our ReportViewer before displaying the report, it works as it should. Add the below to the default.aspx Code Behind File. Private Sub rvReports_Drillthrough(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As Microsoft.Reporting.WebForm... Handles rvReports.Drillthrough ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 28, 2007 4:33 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Reporting Services 2005 BUG - Report Linking and Paging - ASP.NET Report Viewer
Download Solution - ReportingTests.zip There is an interesting thing that happens when you use Reporting Services 2005. You find that sometimes things don't quite work like you want them to and you don't know why. Such as sorting on a boolean (not going to happen). Or Rich textboxes. Nope, that's vNext. Or wanting it to actually USE the white space that I have put into the report instead of ignoring it on a web page (pre tag anyone?). So what you do instead is start looking for ways around these ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 21, 2007 10:10 PM | Comments (10) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

VS2008 RTM: Confirmed
Microsoft has confirmed that VS2008 is released. Finally I am downloading it... :D Update: Those that are not seeing it in the tree, look here instead: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/... Scroll down to Top Subscriber downloads and look for it there ......

Posted On Monday, November 19, 2007 11:28 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

VS2008 Bits Technorati
Following the rumor mill on Technorati it appears that a few people have posted pictures of VS2008 being up. The pictures the person linked are to the database edition though. In my last post, I showed that I don't even see it in the tree. Others have mentioned that Microsoft confirmed it would be out this week in this blog post. Frans Bouma has also posted that VS2008 is available (Team Suite) ......

Posted On Monday, November 19, 2007 10:49 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

DevConnections - The Way of The ReSharper (R#)
R# is a tool that I use and absolutely love. I recommend this for anyone who uses Visual Studio and programs in C# or VB.NET. Those that use R#, we see the benefits that it brings and the absolute productivity boost that you get using it. You immediately think, why wasn't this stuff in here to begin with?! It brings about a great set of refactoring tools, and it lets you know when you open a set of code if it is going to compile or not. You can find usages in a file (it will put color codes as to ......

Posted On Friday, November 16, 2007 10:13 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Continuous Integration Helpers: CCNetConfig and CIFactory
If you use CruiseControl.NET or are thinking about setting it up, it can be daunting because of the XML document that you have to write for the configuration. If you already have it set up, you definitely want to check out CCNetConfig, a configuration editor for CruiseControl.NET. It works like many of the configuration editors such as the WCF configuration editor (comes with .NET Framework 3.0 I believe) or the Enterprise Library Configuration Editor. Definitely something worth looking at. CIFactory ......

Posted On Friday, November 9, 2007 10:01 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

DevConnections - ASP.NET & VS Keynote - Scott Guthrie
Scott Guthrie gave a great keynote this morning. As is turns out VS 2008 is almost complete and we are not getting a copy here at the conference. We will get one mailed to us however after they release it. Which means we will not really be one of the first to get it. :( Visual Studio 2008 - Of course this is going to be able to be used immediately by us due to the fact that you can target .NET Framework 2.0. That means we can just install and continue developing the same applications with AJAX integration ......

Posted On Tuesday, November 6, 2007 12:21 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

WCF Impersonation - Specifying Windows Authentication Credentials on the Service Host Side of the WCF Equation
We don't want to use AspNetCompatibility mode in case we ever want to take advantage of net.tcp or another custom binding, so is there a way to specify and implement impersonation (read: userName=,password=) on the WCF Service Host side? Did Microsoft in their infinite wisdom leave this out? I posed this question to my friend Dru today after we were having trouble finding a way to do it. So there are plenty of articles on WCF Impersonation out there, but nearly all of them originate from the client ......

Posted On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 1:29 AM | Comments (8) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther WCF ]

WCF in IIS with Websites that have Multiple Identities
Error Description: "This collection already contains an address with scheme http. There can be at most one address per scheme in this collection. Parameter name: item" A fantastic<sarcasm> thing you may come across using WCF when you deploy to a production network is that your networks group uses more than one identity per website (most likely due to different host headers). Below is a picture of what it looks like in IIS. You get there when you right click on the website (in IIS) and select ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 2, 2007 11:56 PM | Comments (14) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther WCF ]

Restricting Export Options in Report Manager
This doesn't really seem to be out there a lot, but a colleague of mine found this for me recently. http://sqljunkies.com/WebLo... Now if we can figure out how to override the default output so we can tell SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) not to ignore whitespace. Reports look great in everything BUT HTML when you want more than one space on items ......

Posted On Tuesday, October 2, 2007 2:45 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Interviews and Common Sense


That's awesome!  But we do it all the time with technical interviews...

Posted On Tuesday, September 11, 2007 9:45 PM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ProjectManagement ]

In response to: PsychoCoder's "Is There More to Life than Programming?"
http://geekswithblogs.net/P... Great post and a great question posed. Is there more to life than programming? I don't know, but I do know there are ways to "entertain" ourselves that actually make us better. Rather than answer the question directly, I would introduce my frame of reference. Everything in life to me goes back to creating things or destroying things. As coders, we create (hopefully) something beautiful to us and those ......

Posted On Monday, August 20, 2007 1:57 PM | Comments (1) | Filed Under [ Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

Silverlight RC1 released


Posted On Thursday, August 2, 2007 7:34 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

Stopping Ninjas. Easy. Stopping Hackers. Easier.
Microsoft's new tag line for Microsoft Forefront. The little skits that come with it are worth a look anyway! http://www.microsoft.com/fo... (The whiteboard defense) http://www.microsoft.com/fo... (The accordion) http://www.microsoft.com/fo... (The Trans-fat attack!) ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 31, 2007 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | Filed Under [ ApplicationsToysOther ]

VS2008 Beta2 Available

Posted On Friday, July 27, 2007 9:07 AM | Filed Under [ Code ApplicationsToysOther ]

My End of Year Roadmap to Becoming a Better Person (and Developer)
Recently I was tagged by Russ on the Justice Gray challenge. Personal Something I have been attempting over the last few years is to be healthier. What does that mean? Well for my wife and I that means making healthier decisions when we eat. We find the good substitutes. Over the past two years we realize that is not enough. A healthy diet is a good step in the right direction, but you need that level of exercise to be the catalyst for a healthy lifestyle. -I think I want to run in something, probably ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 24, 2007 11:18 PM | Comments (3) | Filed Under [ Code Personal ApplicationsToysOther ]

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