21 March, 2015

Windows 10 – running side by side with Windows 8.1

If you wish to try out Windows 10 (at the time of writing meaning build .10041) on your actual hardware as opposed to some virtual machine you can certainly do so if you utilize the VHD approach. This will allow Windows to run off the actual hardware of your laptop.

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It is a process that requires some steps though, so grab a cup of coffee and stay awake.

1) First – create a VHD file (Virtual Hard Drive)

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2) Let it run. It will take some time as you have selected fixed size file (or disk if you will). This gives the best performance

3) Rightclick on the newly created disk and select “Initialize Disk”

4) Format the disk as “Simple Volume”

5) (you can double check that you indeed do have a file called C:\VHD\WIN10.vhd)

6) Now – insert your USB key with the Windows 10 ISO image into your laptop

7) Boot the laptop from this USB drive (press F12)

8) Press the Install Now button

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9) When arriving at this page – select the “Custom: Install Windows only

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10) Now – be careful here! You do not see your newly created VHD disk onto which you want to install Windows 10. This is the disk you want to see before continuing.

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Press Shift + F10 and you will gain a command prompt:

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11) type the following

diskpart [enter]

select vdisk file=c:\vhd\win10.vhd [enter]

attach vdisk [enter]

12) Now return to your drive overview, press Refresh and witness your vhd file (represented as a hard disk)

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13) Select this second hard disk and run the usual installation process

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14) You now have a dual boot system and are good to go

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UnitTesting – not all arrays are created equal

Attempting to compare 2 arrays today that indeed was supposed to be containing the exact same values using the Microsoft built-in Unit testing framework (Microsoft.VisualStudio.TestTools.UnitTesting), I was greatly surprised to learn that neither Assert.Equal nor Assert.AreSame does work for arrays?

It turns out that an entirely different Assert object is to be used for that purpose!
The CollectionAssert.AreEqual(expected, actual) is what you want to use for array comparison as seen below.

    //clone object
var newDisp = disp.CloneWithoutContentData();
Assert.IsNotNull(newDisp);
Assert.IsNotNull(newDisp.Content);

CollectionAssert.AreEqual(new byte[0], newDisp.Content.Data);
CollectionAssert.AreEqual(new byte[0], newDisp.AttachmentList[0].Content.Data);

Well – you learn every day (luckily!)


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24 November, 2014

Visual Studio: where has my Intellisense gone?

A life without Intellisense is a heavy one. Growing used to relying on Intellisense when programming in Visual Studio – life is difficult when it suddenly decides to stop working.

Luckily, I found a way around this. Basically, it’s just a reset of VS settings which actually also fixes the missing Intellisense.

  • Tools
  • Import and Export settings…
  • reset all settings
  • DONE
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26 July, 2014

FIX: Nokia 930 and faulty zoom?

Man, having bought a crispy new phone from my preferred manufacturer I was all excited. That excitement lasted only for so long as I quickly learned of the troublesome pinch/zoom functionality of the screen. Hell – my old Nokia 925 was way better. This one responded instantly in contrast to the case with my brand new Nokia 930!

What is the problem? Well – who should have known that this particular phone comes with a setting that makes the screen quite unresponsive? Once you know and turn that off – your phone works the way it should work, namely instantly!

TURN OFF THE SCREEN MAGNIFIER!

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24 July, 2014

Install an assembly to GAC on Win2012

Man, things are never static!

One used to be able to just drag/drop an assembly into the assembly gac to have it installed. Say hello to Windows Server 2012 and this is no longer an option? So without having to install all sorts of development tools or other stuff – you can use PowerShell to perform this action. I can’t think of any other way of doing it actually.

1. Open a PowerShell command prompt and enter the following
(note that your lines are the $publish.GacInstall(“<full path to my assembly>”))

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2. Run this from an elevated admin PowerShell console

3. Done.

25 June, 2014

InternalsVisibleTo: PublicKey-extraction

So Microsoft, why does it have to be so unnecessary difficult to setup a InternalVisibleTo attribute on an assembly? Your tooling is really not making it easier, although they are there hidden (sn.exe).

So, to cut to the bone. To extract the full public key and not only the Public Key Token which is kind of a shorthand for the public key, you need to use the sn.exe tool.

1) Open a developer admin command prompt (admin)

2) Type sn.exe –Tp <name of your signed dll> > key.txt (note the  -Tp switch)

3) You will find the public key as well as the token in the text file (key.txt)

In the below the ‘> key.txt’ pipe is not shown, but merely for the purpose of this blog post.

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4) Insert the value into the assemblyinfo.cs like this:

5) [InternalsVisibleTo(“<assemblyname>, PublicKey=<long number>”)]

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23 June, 2014

FIM 2010 - SQL MA: Setting up multi-valued tables

Experience tells me that setting up the combination of a multi-value table and the FIM 2010 SQL MA calls for some extended documentation and walkthrough. The documentation on the FIM 2010 product once again excels in it’s level of (lack of) quality.

So – let’s cut to the bone straight away. I have a table that holds all my Staff, but with singular values only for all properties. Let’s for the sake of this walkthrough agree that I wish to provide all staff with the option of filling more than one job function at the same time. This calls for a multi valued field called JobFunction.

I wish to be allowed to model this situation in my database (source) as well as in my FIM 2010 MV (MetaVerse). Let’s start with the source system (the database) then move on the the FIM 2010 part of things.

External System: Database (source)

Below is the main table (left) and the secondary table (right). The left table holds all single value fields whereas the right will hold all fields on a (referenced) user that can take multiple values.

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The same tables are seen below with data.

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The key to all of this modeling is that the secondary table needs to have 3 columns only. A reference [employeeID] to the staff in question (CA0000011), the name of the attribute [AttributeName] this row describes (JobFunction) and the value of this attribute [AttributeValue] (Janitor, Sales Rep…).

In more pragmatic terms the above means that the staff member (CA000011, John Carpenter) has 3 job functions namely Janitor, Sales Rep. and Teacher.

With this in place we can set up FIM 2010 to understand this model.

FIM 2010 (SYNC):

First of – we need to set up a field on the Person object in the metaverse to receive these incoming multi values. This fields I’ll call JobFunction and mark it as multivalued.

First – setup the user (Person) with a property of type string and multivalued.

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Setup of the MA: the name of the table (tblStaffMultiValues) that holds the multivalue fields.

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Press “Multi-value” on the Columns page.

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Here is the key to all of this: The dropdown control should hold the NAME of the database table column that holds the property Name. In my case this is the AttributeName column (value = JobFunction).

Next is the column that holds the value. Only string types are supported so only one option there. This dropdown should hold the NAME of the database table column that holds the property Value. In my case this is the AttributeValue column (values = Janitor, Sales Rep…)

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Finally – upon import and sync of data you should see a Person with a multivalue JobFunction as per below.

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That’s how (easy?) it is to setup the multivalue thing on the FIM SQL MA.