2012 brings an updated blog engine

So here’s the obligatory test post.

I finally updated to BlogEngine .NET 2.5.

While I considered writing my own … who am I kidding … I have too much to do already so it’s nice to have something new, modern, and fresh.

I’m now using Feed Burner for my RSS feed and if you’re using your web browser to read this, I’m using the MetroLight theme.

Thanks to everyone who made this great, free blog engine.

Tech Ed 2011 Hardware

What’s great about computers today and good virtualization software is that you can do more with less.

However, I continue to pick areas where I need as much or more hardware on the road with me. While the promise of the cloud and Internet in general is great. I can’t always count on reliable connectivity back to my servers. And since I tend to do demo heavy talks, I’m forced to travel with a fair amount of kit.

For Tech Ed 2011 in Atlanta, I’m doing an all-day workshop on virtualization for developers and two sessions. The sessions can be fulfilled with just one of my W510s. My workshop however, demands a bit more.

So, what am I packing?

  • Two Lenovo W510s
  • Two Intel 160 GB Gen2 SSD in external cases over eSata to W510s
  • One Lenovo X61
  • One 8-port HP Switch with VLAN support
  • One DLINK 4-port router
  • One QNAP TS-259 Pro+

This configuration will let me show Hyper-V Live Migration as well as run a full Visual Studio 2010 Lab Management demo domain with a DC, SCVMM host, TFS, Build, Developer, and Tester machines and of course a Hyper-V host to run lab machines.

Hope to see you there!

[Edit] Fixed bulleted list.

Atlanta in May

Where will you be the week of May 14, 2011? I hope it’s with me and a bunch of other great folks at Tech Ed 2011.

It looks to be another great show. I’m lucky enough to be presenting an all-day workshop on virtualization for developers as well as two sessions.

One session is on using Expression Blend 4 as a developer. The second is on Team Build 2010.

I hope to see you there. And if you’ve not registered, there’s still time for both the show and/or my pre-con.

If you’re coming to my pre-con, drop me a mail with your t-shirt size. See the contact link on the blog.

See you there!

VSLive 2011 Las Vegas workshop files

Thank you to everyone who attended Ken and mine’s workshop on April 18, 2011 at VSLive in Las Vegas.

You can obtain updated slides from the conference downloads site.

I’ve posted a zip file on my SkyDrive for you to download which includes our license, docs, and source files.

Please return to this post as we may more or update the zip in the future.

Update: reminder, you’ll need to get your own flickr developer key to work with the sample.

The Globals.cs file in the Common Library source has commented out variables that you need to update before the code with compile and run.

Thanks again for coming!

Brian and Ken

Are You Running the Ultimate Version of Visual Studio 2010?

I’m doing a talk today at DevConnections in Orlando, FL today. The talk is primarily about all the yummy goodness that Microsoft ships out of band from the core Visual Studio product boxes. In addition, I cover what’s in the SKUs above Visual Studio 2010 Professional edition—Premium and Ultimate.

So here’s a list of the items I either showed a demo of, or mentioned.

Product/Feature Minimum SKU Notes
SQL Server 2008 R2 Express N/A  
Silverlight Tools for Visual Studio 2010 Professional Download
Silverlight 4 Toolkit April 2010 N/A Download
Windows Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio Professional Link inside Visual Studio or download
Windows Azure AppFabric Professional Download
Windows Phone Developer Tools N/A Integrates with existing Visual Studio or provides Express
Silverlight for Windows Phone Toolkit N/A Requires Phone Developer Tools
Windows Phone 7 Design Templates N/A Requires Blend for Windows Phone
Database Development Premium Feature of SKU
IntelliTrace Ultimate Feature of SKU
Unlimited Load Testing Ultimate Benefit
Project Server Connector Ultimate Benefit
Lab Management Ultimate Benefit (also via Test Professional 2010)
Team Foundation Server 2010 Professional Benefit
Team Foundation Server Power Tools Professional Download
Various Power Tools Professional See Extension Manager in Visual Studio

Feature of SKU means it’s in the box.
Benefit means you get it if you have the SKU and valid MSDN Subscription
N/A under Minimum SKU means it works with command-line tools or doesn’t technically require Visual Studio 2010 to work

Links from VSLive VS ALM Workshop

Thanks to everyone who attended my workshop on this past Sunday!

Here’s the links I took down for you all:

TFS 2010 Power Tools (September Release)

Article on Customizing Work Items

What do the Code Metrics Columns *really* mean?

CodePlex Project for Custom Workflow Activities for Build

Tech Ed 2010 Europe in Berlin (talks on lots of yummy stuff like Branching and Merging)

Branching and Merging Guidance

TFS Integration Platform

Lab Management GDR (everyone wants)

Tool to help configure MOSS/SharePoint Server 2010 with TFS Dashboard


Run Two Copies of Microsoft Test Manager

I had the need today to run two copies of Microsoft Test Manager (aka MTM.EXE) so that I could copy data from a Test Case from one Team Project to another. Unfortunately, MTM.EXE is a single-instance application. I considered a few different options including RDP to another machine or account. Thankfully, I got a great tip from a fellow VS ALM geek, Anna Russo.

The trick you ask? Duplicate MTM.EXE and MTM.EXE.CONFIG and rename. I chose to create MTM2.EXE and MTM2.EXE.CONFIG. And there you go, two instance of MTM running side-by-side.


Thanks Anna for the tip. You’ll find MTM.EXE at %Program Files%\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\Common7\IDE. You’ll of course need Administrator rights to duplicate the files in that directory.

About the author

Brian A. Randell is a Partner with MCW Technologies, LLC. Brian is also currently a Visual Studio ALM MVP.

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