Archive for July, 2007

What’s in WPF for .Net Framework 3.5 Beta 2?

Posted in WPF on July 31, 2007 by Shaun

I was lead to this post on MSDN today.  There’s some decent information covering what’s in WPF with the release of the .Net Framework 3.5 beta 2.

thanks to Rob on the network for his original post.

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Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 released.

Posted in Ajax Links on July 31, 2007 by Shaun

Microsoft have released a nice set of goodies for us developers to play with.  Visual Studio 2008 (Orcas) Beta 2 is out.  seems that this release is a full install not a Virtual package like other releases so be warned.  you’ll also want to be sure you have enough bandwidth for this one as it’s a 3Gig download for the image.  VS2008 Express editions are also available for download.

Along with VS2008 is the .Net Framework 3.5 which aims to improve and build on Framework 3.0 which was a minor increase to include the WPF stuff.

Silverlight has two releases out, theres the RC for 1.0 and a refresh of 1.1.

ASP.Net Futures has also had a release that included support for VS2008 and Silverlight.

Plenty to play with there.

These releases are a good step towards final release and Microsoft are starting to include something called go Live licensing with these versions, aparently this means you can deploy to working environments and upgrade to the final release and full licence without needing to start from scratch.  handy if you want to get cracking on the cutting edge.

Brad Abrams has a load more detail on his latest blog entry on this.

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Fixing the Wireless card on HP DV5157 running Ubuntu

Posted in Linux on July 28, 2007 by Shaun

As mentioned in previous posts I was having a lot of trouble gettsudo apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcuttering the built in wireless card to work on my HP laptop.
ubuntu had correctly identified the Wireless device and had attempted to intsall the correct driver but something wasn’t quite right as i couldn’t connect to any wireless points.

I had tried using the ndiswrapper to fix this on earlier installations but this just got me a wireless connection that wouldn’t resolve despite passing the correct security details.

Please note before continuing: these instructions are passed on solely to demonstrate what worked for me on my hardware. I can’t guarantee that these instructions will work for you, nor do I guarantee that this is the best way to do it.
Your mileage may vary.
Please back up ALL important data before you attempt to do anything that might corrupt your installation or dammage your hardware.
You follow these instructions entirely at your own risk.

OK that said, this is what I did to get my Wireless networking working on Ubuntu Feisty (7.04) on a DV5157eu HP Pavilion Laptop)

This is all done via a terminal session.
1. check which eth device is your wireless card (eth0 is usually your wired connection) ifconfig -a will list all known devices
2. type (without quotes): ‘sudo apt-get install bcm43xx-fwcutter’ – this will download the firmware for the broadcom bcm43xx wireless device
3. type (without quotes): ‘sudo modprobe bcm43xx’ – this applies the firmware
4. type (without quotes): ‘iwconfig’ – Configures the wireless interface.
5. type (without quotes): ‘sudo iwlist eth1 scan’ – eth1 is the eth port my wireless card was on make sure you pick the correct port for you.

I then exited the terminal and unplugged my wired connection. You could try rebooting at this point, I was busy looking through the network dialogs to try and nudge the wireless scan when I noticed the network Icon had changed and a dialog popped up asking me for my password. I input my security details and bingo I was connected to my wireless router.

You may also get a dialog asking you for the keyring password if you have the keyring installed and managing your passwords for you.

I hope this helps.

Ubuntu Linux on a HP Pavilion DV5157eu Laptop (DV5000 series)

Posted in Linux on July 28, 2007 by Shaun

Ok so it’s been a few weeks now since I started to seriously use Linux. I thought it would be good to post somedetails about the hardware I’m running it on so others can use this as a reference.

I currently have Ubuntu running on my laptop. the Laptop is a HP DV5157eu :
AMD Turion 64 ML-34 processor
2 Gig ram
ATI Radeon Xpress 200M graphics with 128Mb ram
10/100 Ethernet & 802.11x wireless (Broadcom)
Built in sound USB Firewire and a flash card reader.

The initial state of the machine after install was pretty much fully working. There were some graphics glitches which I fully expected as ATI cards are notoriously bad on Linux – not the fault of the OS but the fault of ATI as they don’t appear to be agressively pushing Linux support in the same way as Nvidia. I needed to use the open source drivers as oposed to original ATI drivers.
I did get the graphics running nicely though by following the instructions linked to via Lummie’s blog to get the compiz fusion desktop running.
I also had to fiddle a bit to get the wireless working properly (I’ll post a short tutorial on that soon) but it’s all now running really nicely.

I’m running the 64 bit version of Ubuntu and apart from a bit of fiddling to get the 32 bit version of java installed (due to application compatibility issues) everything is running nicely and the OS is extremely easy to use.

my next plan is to try and get virtualization running via the Xen virtualisation. this will allow me to dump my windows partition and put windows into a virtual layer for the few time’s I’ll need it.

I’m still running Windows XP 64 bit as my main OS on my Home Office PC, but I plan to partition this soon so I’ll have Windows XP 32 bit and a 64 Bit version of Ubuntu on there too. if i plan it right I should have enough space to include a partition that I can use to play with other Linux Distributions.

How broad is your skillset?

Posted in General Blah! on July 14, 2007 by Shaun

In the past 12 months I have gone through many changes. I’ve relocated back to the North of England, I’ve changed jobs and I’ve become a convert to the non Microsoft camp of software.

I haven’t become anti-Microsoft or anything like that; well, not more than most of us in the software development industry are anyway.  But I have found a whole new respect and love for other development languages and operating systems.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve tried out Linux (Ubuntu and Fedora7) on my laptop and have found that far from my expectations for it to be clunky and hard to use, it’s actually incredibly fast and unbelievably easy to use.  there are differences with windows and these will take some getting used to over time, but the same could be said for switching to Vista from XP and I had made that move for a while during Beta testing too.

I was talking to a colleague yesterday about how impressed I have been with Linux and how I am learning Java.  I was really enthusiastic about learning new things and expanding my knowledge, broadening my experience and discovering a whole new world.

What struck me most during our conversation is just how blinkered and restricted some developers are.  He kept umming and erring and being very negative about Linux and Java, despite having never actually used Linux and I’m not aware that he has developed anything in Java either.  His complaints were about speed and stability, which as far as i can tell are all historical issues with Java and Linux… well stability has never been an issue as far as I know.  Linux may have had a reputation for being the OS for hard core developers and scripting guru’s; but I believe this is all changing with more user friendly distributions being made avaliable.

One statement my colleague made was that ‘Microsoft must be doing something seriously wrong if Linux becomes popular’.  Well I guess they are doing something wrong as Linux is incredibly popular.  the thing with Microsoft, isn’t so much that they have the killer OS but that they have the killer marketing machine.

Microsoft aren’t all bad, I still believe that we are where we are today in IT and computing, largely thanks to the momentum given by Microsoft.  the common file types, the common user interface that means you can move to a different office, sit in front of a computer and just use it. The sheer number of ‘novice’ computer users who are able to use a computer, even if it is just to send email and browse the web.  it’s all good stuff in it’s own way.

I have defenitely changed my attitude, I’m not for or against any single platform, I am fast becoming for all the different platforms and the rich variety of options and useability they offer.

My thought for the day: Just how broad is your skillset?

getting Feisty with Linux

Posted in Linux on July 10, 2007 by Shaun

I’ve recently been bitten by the Linux bug.  A few of my co-workers are into Linux and watching them play with the new Ubuntu release (Feisty Fawn) got me interested in trying it out myself.  Initially I plumbed for the new Fedora 7 release in 64 bit but found the video and wireless drivers to be a bit too flakey.  Ubuntu was a bit easier to sort out so I’m sticking with that for now.  I’m stuck without a fully working wireless device on the laptop, but i can live without that for the time being.  the graphics are running nice though and I’ve even managed to get the 3D desktop effects working real smooth like.

A few things strike you when you start using Linux, first off it boots damn fast and is available for use immediately.  No waiting for services etc to load up in the background.

Second, it looks real nice out of the box, even when the drivers aren’t actually running properly.

Sure it takes a bit of getting used to after using Windows for so long but the distributions are getting friendlier and easier to install, and the amount of free software available for download via the included download managers is unbelievable.

I’ll keep the updates a rolling in as my experience with  Linux go on.