Missing “Immediate” Window in Visual Studio 2005

I’ve done two fresh installs of VS 2005 in the last 9 months. Both times, the “immediate” window wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Normally, you start a project in debug mode, hit a break point, and then in the menu, Debug|Windows, you will see Immediate.

I don’t know why, but twice now, mine’s been gone. You can find out how to open the “Command” — ctrl-alt-A. But that doesn’t have intellisense. To get the to the immediate window if it’s not showing up in your Debug|Window menu, open the “command” window and type immed and press enter.

P.S.
Or, as Sanjot points, out just press Ctrl-Alt-I. This appears to work as well.

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Search Engine Results Badly Manipulated

I guess the golden age of the internet is already over. As far as I’m concerened, Search Engine Optimization is just a euphamism for thinly-veiled fraud. I remember the good old days when typing in a simple phrase would take you to real content that was original, helpful, and genuine. Now I find myself skipping to the second or fifth page of results sometimes just to skip over all the SEO crap. I ‘ve been very unhappy with search engine results on relatively simple things. My prior post on getting a Vista machine to use a network printer on an XP host is a perfect example. I had to go through numerous versions of my search phrase to finally find a useful result. The other ones should have worked. In fact, they were “better” in the sense that they more clearly expressed what I wanted. Unfortunately, those are the phrases that the SEO leaches jump on and ruin with unhelpful, regurgitated, ad-ridden crap. It’s become sick, really.

Where’s the next Google? Is useful search gone forever? Will someone develop a way to analyze content for true relevance that can bypass the SEO crap? I hope so.

Windows Vista Using Network Printer on Windows XP

I’ve put Vista on both my son and my wife’s machines now and I like it. It looks really nice and has a lot of nice UI innovations. I am not a big MS fan per se, but I’m not an irrational hater either. Anyway, the first real annoyance I’ve had (actually, the second — counterstrike doesn’t have sound) was trying to use the Canon MP830 connected to my XP box from a Vista box. I wasted about an hour on this. You get an error trying to install the print driver when it prompts, apparently because the XP driver won’t work on Vista. You can’t make the Vista driver available for download from the XP box (they need to patch that ASAP). What finally worked was getting the Vista driver from Canon and installing it on the Vista machine. Then go to printers, add local printer, pick new port, click next, and then type in the UNC of the printer, EG \\hostname\printersharename. I did not come up with this myself but I wanted to improve it’s page rank so here’s the link.

Complex Type Missing Members In VS2005-Generated WSDL

I was working on a web service method today in Visual Studio 2005 (.net 2.0). The return type contained an array of another type, let say X. I was using the lazy let-.net-create-the-wsld-for-me method. When I looked at the generated WSDL, the type X had no members and the sample XML that the auto-generated web page showed just had <X />. There were actually 10 or so memebers. I had flagged the class serializable. Turns out, if you don’t implement a property set, the property gets silently ignored for serialization. I guess that makes sense??

Home-Built Development PC From NewEgg

Well, I knew it would happen some day. We now have more PCs than people in our house. I’m not counting the laptop from work or the XBox 360. These are PCs that we purchased and stay in the house all the time. I recently accepted a contracting gig that will have me working from home for a while. We live in a relatively small, 4-bedroom house and my study has become my son’s gameroom. It has a large Ikea desk covering two walls on which two computers sit that are capable of playing most games reasonably well. One of those computers is theoretically mine but is usually used by a whoever’s over hanging with my son to play games. For the last several years, I’ve had a work provided laptop so I could always find some other place in the house to get some work done when I had to.

Now that I will be working from home, I need a computer and a quiet space to call my own but I didn’t want to ruin my son’s fun either. So we bought a Tromso bed and workstation to create space in his room for two computers so I could have the study to myself. Since “my” computer would be moving into his room, I needed to order another computer that would actually be mine.

TROMSO Bed

The last computer I bought was a Dell about 1.5 years ago. The four computers I purchased prior to the Dell were all home-built. I bought the Dell (E510 I believe, but their system was “undergoing routine maintenance” when I went to look at my order) for several reasons. I had become frustrated with the noisiness of the last couple of systems I had built. The power supply, hard drives, case fans, display adapter fans, and cpu fans were getting out of hand. With age, some of these systems had become so loud I felt like I was on a runway. In addition, some friends of mine had recently purchased Dell systems and were happy with them. I was able to find a 40% off coupon for systems over 1K. I was able to get 18 months same as cash. The Dell I ordered has turned out to be a good machine.

Given all of the above, when I was looking to pick up yet another PC, possibly a laptop, I first looked to Dell. Without the 40% off coupon, Dell’s prices stink. So I looked at Puget, Velocity, and a couple of other places. I wasn’t finding any deals that really turned me on. So I looked at putting together my own system at NewEgg.com. I have ordered systems from NewEgg in the past and I really can’t say enough good things about them. I spent about four hours at their site and others, putting together a non-cutting edge but solid performing machine for a reasonable price (~1200 USD).

As I mentioned, I was considering a laptop, but I just couldn’t stomach the price/performance tradeoff, particularly since this would be a development machine and I was paying for it personally. I ended up getting a micro-atx board and putting it in a “lan party” case with a handle on the top. Throw in a wireless adapter and you have a pretty nice 23 lb “laptop” minus the battery, display, or keyboard. I may end up buying a cheap laptop just so I can keep surfing the web while I’m on the throne.

The parts got here a couple of days ago and I am composing this post on my new machine which is quite quiet except for my video card fan. Overall, I am very happy with this box. A comparable box from Dell would have been ~3500 USD. Velocity and Puget were also in that price range.

Ttlanbox

Sure, you could put together a cheaper machine by cutting corners on the case, power supply, or the motherboard. But it will only cost you more later in both time and money. I usually get 3-5 years of useful life out of my home-built machines — the last couple years as hand-me-downs to relatives. I’ve had some bad experiences with AMD rigs (I know, tons of people love them) and some bad experiences with non-Intel mobos using Intel CPUs (can you say VIA 4 in one?). I am not trying to squeeze the very last ounce of performance out of my dollar. You can’t go wrong with Intel mobos and Retail CPU kits (better, quieter fans) IMO for a build-it-yourself box. Particularly if you are more interested in solid, quiet performance without hassles than that last 5% of performance or price savings.

To summarize, this is a box with a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo CPU , 4Gb RAM, 640Gb RAID 5 storage, 520W Corsair PSU, and Geforce 8600GT GPU in a portable aluminum case for 1200 USD shipped. Here are the exact parts, if you are interested.

Thermaltake VF1000SWA Silver Aluminum MicroATX Desktop Computer Case – Retail
CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 520W Power Supply – Retail
Intel BLKDQ965GFEKR LGA 775 Intel Q965 Express Micro ATX Intel Motherboard – OEM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 Processor Model BX80557E6600 – Retail
A-DATA 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1A16K – Retail
Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive – OEM
XFX PVT84JUDD3 GeForce 8600GT 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card – Retail
PHILIPS 20X DVD±R DVD Burner with 12X DVD-RAM Write Black IDE interface (ATAPI) Model SPD2413BD – Retail