• Announcement: Welcome to Windows Coding 2.0

  • Use Windows Server 2008 as a workstation.

    Windows Server 2008 is the fastest OS I have ever used. It’s truly amazing at how fast it performs every task I throw at it. With this said, below is a guide on how you can customize it to look just like vista. Making it a great looking development machine!!!

    "1. Enable Hardware Virtualization

    My workstation is a x64 machine with hardware virtualization capabilities. This means I can run Hyper-V on my machine. Even if your machine's hardware supports virtualization it is most likely not going to be enabled by default. You have to enable it via your BIOS setup.

    2. Install the latest Graphics and Audio drivers

    Being a server OS Windows 2008 carries with it basic graphics and audio drivers. To utilize the full strength of your hardware ensure you install the latest drivers for both graphics and audio hardware. Only with the proper graphics drivers will you be able to enable the "Aero" experience on Windows 2008.

    3. Desktop Experience Feature

    The Desktop Experience Feature enables a bunch of stuff that is by default present on a desktop OS. Most importantly it includes Themes, Windows Media player and the Aero related features. You will have to enable it form the Server Manager. The "Turn Windows features on or off" / "Add remove windows components" has all been rolled into the Server Manager now.

    Server Manager > Features > Desktop Experience

    Installing the Desktop Experience feature does not enable them. You have to manually set them up.

    4. Themes

    To enable Themes you will basically have to enable the Themes Service. Again being a server OS it is not enabled by default.

    Services.MSC > Themes

    Set the start up type to Automatic

    Enabling the Aero Theme.

    For this go to Control Panel > Personalization >Theme and select Windows Aero

    5. Search

    Search is also disabled by default on Windows 2008. Searching is important for me as I use it a lot to find my emails. To enable search you will have to add the File Services Role via Server Manager.

    Server Manager > Roles > File Services > Windows Search

    Outlook relies on this search service.

    6. Disable Shutdown Event Tracker

    Since I am using it as a workstation I do not want to keep a track of all the Shutdowns. The Shutdown Event Tracker is the pop up that you get asking you for a shutdown reason. To disable it

    Open mmc.msc

    Add the Group Policy snap-in

    Under Administrative Templates expand System

    Set Display Shutdown Event Tracer to Disabled

    7. Audio

    For audio you need to enable the Windows Audio service. You do this by setting the startup type to Automatic.

    Services.msc > Windows Audio

    Ensure you have proper drivers for your audio hardware... for me the default driver was not enabling the headphones ... it started working fine after I got the proper driver.

    8. SuperFetch

    As a workstation, enabling SupertFetch will give you that additional bit of responsiveness. The SuperFetch services is disabled by default and when you try to enable it you will most likely get an error message "The operating system is not presently configured to run this application"

    You will have to make two registry changes to enable this service. I basically copied them over from my Vista machine.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters

    EnablePrefetcher DWORD 3

    EnableSuperfetch DWORD 3

    9. Get a codec pack.

    For media hungry buffs download a codec pack. This will ensure you can play all media files.

    10. Enable Hyper-V

    With Hyper-V you can run virtual machines on your workstation. This is useful if you want to run your tests on older OS versions. Enabling  Hyper-V is easy

    Server Manager > Roles > Hyper-V

    Remember you need a Hyper-V enabled Windows 2008 licence and also your hardware has to support virtualization.

    Also If you are using an existing VHD it may ask you to re-Activate Windows as it detected hardware changes.

    One good thing about Windows Server 2008 is that it no longer asks for the i386 folder like Windows 2003 while you enable features.

    11. Processor Scheduling

    As pointed out in a comment on my previous post; On Windows Server 2008 background services are given preference over interactive programs. You can change this behavior by

    Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Advanced > Processor Scheduling

    Setting this to Programs will make foreground programs more responsive.

    12. Visual Effects

    One thing you will notice on Windows Server 2008 is that by default you will not see Preview Thumbnails in your Documents / Music / Video folders. This has to be enabled explicitly.

    Control Panel > System and Maintenance > System > Advanced System Settings > Advanced > Performance > Settings > Visual Effects

    Based on your preference you can tweak these settings.

    13. Power Options

    Do your bit for a Green World! The Balanced (default) power plan on Windows Server 2008  does not turn off hard disks by default. On Vista hard disks are turned off after 20 mins. You can change this by

    Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > Change plan settings

    It does take a bit to kick start the hard disks when you resume work but that's a sacrifice worth making for a greener world."

    Source ( Using Windows Server 2008 as a SUPER workstation OS )

    Posted to Blake Niemyjski by Blake Niemyjski on 02-11-2008
    Filed under:
  • Top Three Reasons I cannot wait for Microsoft SQL Server 2008.

    There are many new features that are being shipped with Microsoft SQL Server 2008. But there were only a couple on that list that really stood out as a reason for me to upgrade to SQL Server 2008. What features are you most excited about in the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 release?
    1. Data Compression: Enable data to be stored more effectively and reduce the storage requirements for your data. Data Compression also provides significant performance improvements for large I/O bound workloads like data warehousing.
    2. Backup Compression: Keeping disk-based backups online is expensive and time consuming. With SQL Server 2008 backup compression, less storage is required to keep backups online and backups run significantly faster since less disk I/O is required.
    3. T-SQL Intellisense: It is about time that SQL Management Studio gets Intellisense. Source ( Is SQL2K8 Really a dot Release )

     For a list of more features that will be included in Microsoft SQL Server 2008, please visit the source.

    Source ( What's New in SQL Server 2008? )

    Posted to Blake Niemyjski by Blake Niemyjski on 02-11-2008
    Filed under:
  • Got Posters?

    Chris Bowen’s did a search last month for all posters available on Microsoft Downloads. This is what he found:

    Source ( Got Tech Posters? )

    I also just did a search for myself and only came up with four results.

  • Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0


    Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0 is the third publicly released version of the Device Emulator for ARM-based devices. This emulator will also release with Visual Studio 2008. Device Emulator 3.0 will replace the executables and DLLs from previous releases (1.0 and 2.0). The main addition with Device Emulator 3.0 is the new automation API for the device emulator manager, which allows developers programmatic access to perform the same operations on installed emulator images that can be performed interactively on the Device Emulator Manager drop-down and context menus.

    Download ( Microsoft Device Emulator 3.0 )

  • Windows SideShow Device SDK for .Net Micro Framework 1.4


    Windows SideShow is a feature of Windows Vista that enables users to access information from their PCs on auxiliary displays. The Microsoft .NET Micro Framework 2.0 SP1 is the efficient runtime that powers today’s most popular SideShow-compatible devices.

    The Windows SideShow Device SDK enables developers to build SideShow-compatible devices using the .NET Micro Framework 2.0 SP1. It includes sample code; portrait and landscape SideShow UI for QVGA displays (320x240); USB and Bluetooth connectivity; and the SideShow device simulator, which allows developers to test their firmware without physical hardware.

    Download ( Windows SideShow Device SDK )

    Posted to Blake Niemyjski by Blake Niemyjski on 01-22-2008
    Filed under:
  • .NET Framework Library Source Code now available

    I've been waiting for this day for a very long time. Starting today you can view or debug the source code to the following .NET Framework libraries:

    • .NET Base Class Libraries (including System, System.CodeDom, System.Collections, System.ComponentModel, System.Diagnostics, System.Drawing, System.Globalization, System.IO, System.Net, System.Reflection, System.Runtime, System.Security, System.Text, System.Threading, etc).
    • ASP.NET (System.Web, System.Web.Extensions)
    • Windows Forms (System.Windows.Forms)
    • Windows Presentation Foundation (System.Windows)
    • ADO.NET and XML (System.Data and System.Xml)

    Shawn burke has a great blog post on how to configure your Visual Studio 2008 install to allow you to view the source code. Please continue at source for all the details on how to implement this feature.


    Source ( Configuring Visual Studio to Debug .NET Framework Source Code )


    Posted to Blake Niemyjski by Blake Niemyjski on 01-17-2008
  • ReSharper 3.1 Released

    Jet Brains has finally released ReSharper 3.1. This is the first and much needed update to ReSharper since Visual Studio 2008 was released to manufactures.  ReSharper 3.1 also contains new functionality like Solution Analysis (The ability to check an entire solution for errors/code improvements) and many bug fixes.

    Download ( ReSharper 3.1 )

    Release Notes ( ReSharper 3.1 )

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