Articles from August 2008

Bug When Changing Platform (32- vs 64-bit) in Visual Studio

By Michael Flanakin @ 9:43 AM :: 2356 Views :: .NET, Development :: Digg it!

Visual Studio

Someone I work with came to me recently and showed me an interesting bug. In Visual Studio, you can force a project to be built as 32- or 64-bit by going to the project properties Build tab and specifying the target platform. He did this and then proceeded to build the app. This put all the binaries in a \bin\x86 directory. WTF!? I tried it myself and -- not that I doubted him -- I got the same results. The build directory still had the previous value of \bin\Debug, so I found this odd. I changed the build directory to \__bin\Debug and guess what... that's exactly where it went. I thought this was odd, but remembered the IE7 bug on Windows Server 2003 I mentioned a few months back. I changed it back to \bin\Debug and everything worked like a charm.

It looks like changing the target platform changes the build location and, to get around that, change the build directory to something else, save the properties, and change it back. Annoying, but at least you only have to do this once. I went ahead and added this to Connect.

Visual Studio Web Project Fails to Open with COMException

By Michael Flanakin @ 7:46 AM :: 2235 Views :: .NET, Development :: Digg it!


When opening a solution with a web project in Visual Studio, you receive the following error in a popup dialog:



Apparently, this is an issue with IIS configuration. I'm not quite sure why we get such a useless error message, tho. Very annoying. If you're not sure you're seeing this with a web project, load the solution and, when the error pops up, look at the status bar. You should see a "loading" message with the path of the problematic solution.


  1. Ignore the errors and let the solution load
  2. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the project that failed to load, click Edit <project file>
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the file and look for <UseIIS>True</UseIIS> (located at \Project\ProjectExtensions\VisualStudio\FlavorProperties\WebProjectProperties\UseIIS)
  4. Repace True with False
  5. Save and close the project file
  6. In the Solution Explorer, right-click on the project, click Reload Project

More Information

  • Applies to: Visual Studio 2005, 2008


By Michael Flanakin @ 10:49 PM :: 1893 Views :: Tools/Utilities :: Digg it!

If you're using Windows and aren't using ZoomIt, you're missing something. We all run into those scenarios where we see an image, but it's not quite as big as we'd like. For those situations, Microsoft gives us ZoomIt. There's not a whole lot to explain here. Download it, run it, and press Ctrl+1 to zoom in. From there, move your mouse around to reposition the view and press up and down to zoom in and out further. There are also options for drawing, typing, and even a timer. These are for presentations and I don't use them much, but I'm sure others find them more useful. If you haven't tried it before, ZoomIt is definitely worth at least trying once. You can even run it from the web to stay up-to-date with the latest release.

Resharper Nightly Builds: Game On!

By Michael Flanakin @ 7:09 PM :: 3247 Views :: .NET, Development, Tools/Utilities :: Digg it!

Resharper 4.0

I'm a month and a half late, but the Resharper nightly builds are back! I guess I stopped checking after not seeing any movement for a while. I'm glad to see some activity, tho. This is the most beneficial add-in to Visual Studio I've seen; especially as a productivity geek. What I've been most surprised about is the overall quality of the nightly builds in the past 6 months. Simply outstanding. If you're asking yourself whether to give it a shot or not, I say go for it. You're likely to run into minor issues, but if my experiences are indicative of how well they manage their day-to-day development, this is a team with a very tight ship. I always grab the latest and try to update a few times a week, depending on what I'm in the middle of. If you're not quite as confident as I am, grab a "works here" release. I'm sure you'll see how great this tool is in relatively short time. An absolute must-have for all code-focused developers.

Want to Buy Surface?

By Michael Flanakin @ 6:24 AM :: 1926 Views :: Technology, Microsoft :: Digg it!


Microsoft has officially posted a Surface order form. Not quite the user friendly experience I had hoped for, but I can't say I'm surprised. The order form is split into three sections: commercial hardware, development hardware and software, and services, which includes installation, maintenance, warranty, and shipping costs.

  • Commercial Hardware: $12,500
  • Development Hardware & Software: $15,000

I have to say I was surprised to see the dev version being more than the unit itself. I guess I say this because I heard there are local development tools you'll install on a development machine, not a Surface machine. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. It'll be interesting to see if/how this takes off. I did get to play with a unit last month, but haven't had a chance to really post my thoughts. They're popping up all over the place, tho, so I think more and more people will be getting a chance to play with them.

Speaking of which, if you're in the San Jose area and/or plan on going to the IDesign WCF Master Class in October, I will most likely be showing it to some people then. That's assuming the unit is still there, but I'm sure it will be. I just hope they put some more apps on it. It'd be nice to see something new.

To summarize my experience on it, I'd say that it was nice, but there's still something left to be desired. There's a lot of potential, tho. One of the biggest things is going to be showing people how they can use it. Some people have the vision it takes to see how this will enhance their apps, but others need to see something a little closer to what they're doing to get that understanding. I do think this is going to be a great platform, tho. We just need to see lower costs, a great (not good, but great) API, and a more accessible API. If this remains a niche, I don't see it going far. This is something Microsoft needs to make every developer feel like s/he has access to. Unfortunately, that may take ~3-5 years.

MSDN Subscription: September 2008

By Michael Flanakin @ 10:46 AM :: 1820 Views :: MSDN Subscriptions :: Digg it!


The following consists of the English DVD updates released under the MSDN Premium (Team Suite) subscription level for September 2008.


  • Disc 2434.23 / Part X15-07946
    • Office Suite 2007 Service Pack 1 (English, Hindi)
    • Office 2007 Servers Service Pack 1
    • Office Accounting Professional 2008
    • Office Accounting SDK
    • Office Groove™ 2007
    • Office InfoPath® 2007
    • Office OneNote® 2007
    • Office Project Server 2007 with SP1
    • Office Ultimate 2007
    • Office Visio® Professional 2007 (English)
    • Office PerformancePoint Server 2007 (x86 and x64) (Multilanguage)

For more information, see the MSDN Subscriptions Index.