Semi-regular web-link clearance – May 2010

Save a Failed Hard Drive in Your Freezer, Redux

Years ago we suggested sticking a borked hard drive in your freezer for a chance at recovering your data before the drive goes completely kaput. Developer site Server Zone highlights the same tip, with more detailed instructions for saving your freezer drive.

Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Print Driver Isolation

So what is Print Driver Isolation?  As the name implies, this feature allows some of the print driver components to be executed in a process (or processes) separate from the print spooler.  By doing this, any problems associated with faulty drivers are isolated from the print spooler service and will not cause it to fail.  For those of you that have been around since the Windows NT days, I’m sure you remember how a bad print driver could bugcheck the system.  Back then it was because print drivers were kernel-mode (Version 2) drivers.  With the move to user-mode (Version 3) drivers, bad print drivers only affected the spooler, and didn’t bring down the whole system.  With PDI, we’re taking this a step further – the isolated print drivers that are faulty affect … well, themselves.

Photo Magician

Photo Magician Converter If you’re not about to manually convert that pile of images in front of you but you’ve found the batch converters you’ve tried to be lacking, free and portable Photo Magician offers both fine tweaking and drag and drop simplicity. (via LifeHacker)

Chris Jackson: It’s Not Your To-Do List: Using Application Compatibility Tools to Diagnose Problems, Not Surface Them

No app compat tool is going to provide you with a to-do list of all the things you must fix in order to make your application compatible.

This is true for a couple of reasons. On one hand, it’s going to be impossible to find every possible bug, so this list is necessarily incomplete (Type II errors). On the other hand, not all of the tests we do can say definitively if the behavior we observed will create an application compatibility bug for you or not (Type I errors). In some cases, the behavior is actually wrong, but the application has handled the error gracefully. In other cases, the “test” has to use heuristics, so a negative outcome on the test doesn’t necessarily mean that the application is negatively impacted (even if it doesn’t handle errors), just that it might be.

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Semi-regular web-link clearance – April 2010

Your First Silverlight Application

Learn how to write your first Silverlight application. Where to get the tools, and what settings to use during development. Only 4 lines of real code stand between you and having a Silverlight application running. Join me as I begin a series with this introductory article.

Parallelism in .NET – Introduction

Parallel programming is something that every professional developer should understand, but is rarely discussed or taught in detail in a formal manner.  Software users are no longer content with applications that lock up the user interface regularly, or take large amounts of time to process data unnecessarily.  Modern development requires the use of parallelism.  There is no longer any excuses for us as developers.

It’s Not Your To-Do List: Using Application Compatibility Tools to Diagnose Problems, Not Surface Them

There are a large number of tools available to assist you with application compatibility, and part of the challenge of becoming an app compat ninja is to understand how to apply each of these tools in the most effective way. I spoke last time about leveraging compatibility evaluators, hoping to help you work these into the process in a way more likely to make you happy. This time around, I want to back off and try to address a more general misconception:

No app compat tool is going to provide you with a to-do list of all the things you must fix in order to make your application compatible.


Ever need a good quote to add scale to a number?

You know, you’re giving a presentation on sales and you want to give a number some scale.

“Last year our industry changed by 50 billion dollars – that’s the GDP of Serbia.”

Only finding those quotes used to be a pain, but with NumberQuotes you can find the quote you need fast and easy. is a great tool for writing speeches,articles, public relations, and presentations.

Give your numbers some scale today!

Understanding Windows File And Registry Permissions

Whenever something happens in a system, a principal (which could be a process or thread acting on behalf of a user or service) acts upon objects. Files, directories, and registry keys are examples of commonly known objects. The basic security mechanism of Windows involves having a trusted system component check permissions and rights (AccessCheck) before an operation is allowed to proceed. Thus, you manage system behavior by setting permissions and rights. Since you cannot appropriately set permissions without understanding what is being done under the surface, I’ll start by describing security settings on objects and how they are processed, and I’ll follow that with how to set values for them.

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