Random thoughts of wisdom - the personal blog of Michael Holm Andersen

.NET development tools

Ohad Israeli has made available the slides for the Developer's Toolbox presentation he gave recently. It's a good introduction to a bunch of tools he uses for .NET development. The slides are also assembled in a single PDF which can be downloaded here.

Vista Wallpapers

The "Windows Vista Starter" includes a bunch of great wallpapers designed with 'the vista look' in mind - the WindowsNow website have put together a zip file containing all the images - Enjoy!

My first Sidebar gadget


For a long time I've been quite unpleased how the "WebSMS" interface of my mobile phone company (Telmore) worked:

  1. First of all I had to login to the system  (every time!!).
  2. Then I have to click through two menus to get to the WebSMS interface.
  3. When I click "send" I have to confirm that I in fact *really* want to send an SMS.

Way, way to much work - in fact it's almost faster to use the phone!! So I've been thinking about creating my own WebSMS for a while.

However, after upgrading to Vista, I decided it would be really cool to create a Sidebar gadget instead - so I can send SMS messages directly from my desktop.

So .. here it is - my first Windows Vista Sidebar gadget - I'm using JavaScript to trigger an AJAX postback (no visible postbacks, please!) and a custom build Web Service which communicates with a remote SMS Gateway API.

It would of course be really cool that the gadget could also receive the reply (the SMS behaves like it was sent from my own mobile phone), however this would require much more work - well, yet another topic on my ever growing "To Do" list...

53 CSS techniques

After my "geek day" (and evening/night) at Kims place, where we looked at advanced CSS, and I (at last!) got Kim hooked on .NET :-) .. I've been trying to improve my CSS skills - and yesterday I found a truely great article on Smashing Magazine called 53 CSS-Techniques you couldn't live without.

Vista UAC - performance killer?

I've turned User Account Control (UAC) off in Vista due to the "never ending" troubles they cause, when you're trying to run Visual Studio, copy files from Inetpub, and the list goes on...

However - there might be another reason to disable UAC. According to Rick Strahl UAC might slow down your performance quite a bit, sometimes up to 2-3 times!! Check out this blog post from Rick's blog and decide for yourself.

Vista, IIS7, VS.NET, AJAX aka. debug problems!!

VS.NET debugging is still causing problems, especially if you're trying to debug AJAX enabled websites on IIS7. Scott Gu have a great blog post about this, however his advice *only* works on non-AJAX websites. As soon as one try to debug an AJAX enabled website the, all to known, security failure pops up.


So, what you need to do, in order to debug, is to move the Application/Website to the "Classic .NET AppPool" (instead of the default one) - This (for whatever reason!) fixes the problem and you can, once again, be a happy - debugging - ASP.NET developer! :-)

ASP.NET, Coffee and lots of snow!


Denmark is covered in tons of snow at the moment, so today is an unplanned day off - quite nice, actually .. gives me time to play around with the AJAX enabled Windows Sidebar gadget i'm working on (a gadget to send SMS).

By the way - If you have some time to spare, check out the MIX '07 University page .. lot's of cool stuff/downloads.

Microsoft goodies and the joy of Vista.

The developers at Redmond must be working around the clock these days. They're releasing software at a pace where it's "hard work" just keeping up - the most interesting (I think) the last couple of weeks are:

I upgraded my computer to Windows Vista Business (32 bit) - And to my big surprise (almost) all my devices are supported, however some of the old utilities needs to be "Vistalized", so I Googled a bit for some Vista utilities and came across WINDOWS VISTA Software Archive.

Especially the (free) screencapture utility WinSnap is highly recommended.

Also .. if you're wondering whether .NET 3.0, WPF, AJAX, Gadgets etc. is worth your while, you should check out the "Dinner Now" sample application Microsoft have put together - Go to and take a look at the video, awesome stuff .. and best of all CodePlex contains full source code for everything!

New blog design and comments too!

I've updated the design of my blog a bit. Even more important I've enabled the "Comments" and "Trackbacks" feature, however you have to register (one time only!) to comment blog posts - so sign up and let's talk!!!

Virtual PC 2007 RC1 available

Microsoft has submitted "Virtual PC 2007 RC1" to public domain. The Virtual PC product will continue to be completely free, also when it's launched in final release. The two greatest things about the 2007 release vs. the 2004 is ..

  1. It will run on Vista (as host Operating System)
  2. It will let you install Vista as Guest OS, which means you can install Vista on a virtual machine and test everything you need BEFORE actually installing Vista on your PC - and, ohhh, by the way - Despite popular belief, it actually *is* possible to debug in VS.NET 2005 SP1 on Vista - Check out  [1]  [2] if you're having this issue (too!).