How To: Install Windows 7 on VirtualBox 2.1 – Create a virtual machine

January 20, 2009 by Cedric Boudoya

Today, I will go through the step by step instructions to setup VirtualBox for Windows 7. First of all, You will need to install VirtualBox. Follow my VirtualBox installation guide from a previous blog post if you need the step-by-steps.

Figure 01 Read More »

How To: VirtualBox 2.1 Installation Guide

January 15, 2009 by Cedric Boudoya

In this step-by-step guide, we will install VirtualBox 2.1. This article is the first in a multi-part series on installing Windows 7 beta on a VirtualBox virtual machine. Let’s get started…

  1. Get the virtual box binaries  and its source code from
  2. Launch VirtualBox-2.1.0-41146-Win_x86.msi
  3. Click Next

    Figure 01 Read More »

ASP.NET 3.5 Charting Control – Formatting Tooltips as Date

December 15, 2008 by Damien White

Chart Tooltip I’m sure you all have heard that there is now a free ASP.NET charting control that is an add-on to ASP.NET 3.5. If you haven’t or need one of the bits, check out ScottGu’s blog. I recently started using the component and it’s really nice. While working with it, I ran into an issue formatting Date values in the tooltips, so I figured I would share my findings.

In order to format the tooltips, I needed to use one of the supported keywords in order to get the proper value (#VALX). I used an example from the samples as a guide when formatting my tooltip. The chart from the samples shows a chart like the one in the picture off to the left with the tooltip and multiple formatting. Based on the samples, I had the following code in my ASPX.

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Gift Ideas for the Geek

November 30, 2008 by Damien White

Christmas is fast approaching, and often I’m asked what to get a fellow tech geek. There is an infinite amount of things I could write about, but I’ll pick a few items from some popular categories. In this post, we’ll look at three categories, books (“serious” gifts), Office Space gear (“fun” gifts), and USB gadgets (“quirky” gifts). For the book and Office Space category, I own the items that I’ve listed. The USB gadgets are funny things I’ve found on the web, and don’t personally have them, so I can’t give detailed reviews of them like the other items. These gifts range in price from around $10 to $40 and are all available on the web. If you are looking for something more expensive, you can always check out my past post: Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 Review.

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Microsoft Announces Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0

September 30, 2008 by Damien White

Woman Reading News

Yesterday, Monday, September 29th, Microsoft announced the next version of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework. For even more information on this, September 29th – October 3rd is Visual Studio Team System 2010 week on Channel 9.

Microsoft has been busy this week announcing exciting changes, and Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4.0 is certainly at the top. It’s always very exciting when new versions of Visual Studio come out (or maybe that is just me).

It’s too early to tell everything that will be included in the final release. However, one would assume that final versions of things like ASP.NET MVC and ASP.NET AJAX 4.0 will be included. Personally, I would like to see the ASP.NET features to come earlier, especially ASP.NET AJAX. We haven’t had a new release for the ASP.NET AJAX since the 1.0 release. ASP.NET AJAX found in .NET 3.5 is really just the ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 Extensions that were bundled as part of the release. ASP.NET developers are starting to move more and more towards using things like jQuery. This doesn’t mean that most of us ASP.NET developers are giving up on ASP.NET AJAX just yet, but it doesn’t seem to be a good sign for the future of ASP.NET AJAX. I would hope and expect that we will see something similar as the ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 Extensions being released so that we can start using it before 2010.

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jQuery and Visual Studio

September 30, 2008 by Damien White

Cool Stuff! Microsoft has announced that they will be shipping jQuery with Visual Studio going forward. For more information on this announcement, you can refer to Scott Guthrie’s or Bertrand Le Roy’s announcement. It will be licensed under the MIT license (as it is now) and will not be altered from the original source. The one feature that will be added is Visual Studio IntelliSense  which is an excellent feature to have “built-in” rather than having to “hack” it. One thing to note is that this isn’t a replacement for the Microsoft ASP.NET AJAX Library. This is simply an addition which will compliment the existing ASP.NET AJAX Library and as you can see, everything plays nice together. Read More »

Get and Set Properties using .NET Reflection

September 29, 2008 by Cedric Boudoya


I would like to set the text value on a textbox control. It sounds easy enough. First, I would like to create a textbox web control then I would like to access one of its properties “Text” and set the text to “Hello World”. Well what do you need to do to write your code in a generic way so you are can abstraction of the fact that the web control is actually a text box, it could be any web control.

We will visit different ways to be able to this.

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ASP.NET AJAX Page Methods

September 07, 2008 by Damien White

PageMethods Demo

If you’ve read things of mine, such as my Wrox Blox Hands On ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit, or posts on the ASP.NET Forums, you may have noticed I talk about using ASP.NET AJAX Page Methods lots of the time. Lots of developers using ASP.NET AJAX overuse the UpdatePanel, or use it in situations where it doesn’t make sense. One example of this that I explore in my book is the comparison between using an UpdatePanel for a cascading drop-down effect vs. using the ASP.NET AJAX Control Toolkit’s CascadingDropDown Control with Page Methods. In short, the CascadingDropDown was far more efficient. Most of the time the reasoning for choosing the UpdatePanel is that developers don’t “think” about the repercussions of the UpdatePanel, nor do they think about other approaches to the problems they’re trying to solve. One of my favorite posts on UpdatePanels that I constantly refer developers to is Dave Ward’s blog post titled “Why ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanels Are Dangerous”. The post does a great job of discussing the point of UpdatePanel overuse and gives an example of using Page Methods for a task instead of the UpdatePanel. Since I still encounter developers who fall into the UpdatePanel trap, I figured it would be a good idea to discuss Page Methods a bit further.

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Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 Review

September 02, 2008 by Damien White

I have been using what can only be described as a wonder in the quest for a paperless office.   Here was my problem, I have countless documents that I consume/produce, for example, bills, invoices, receipts, contracts, etc.  All of these documents end up in various file folders, and things are impossible to find.  For example, let’s say I need to find an invoice for a book I ordered.  So starts the fun… “Let’s see, I think I bought that last year,” off to the 2007 Receipts folder.  “Now when did I get that, maybe Q4 or so?”  Flipping through various size receipts, I would look for the receipt.  Of course, if this flipping weren’t bad enough, often times these things get out of order where perhaps a receipt from March is mixed in with the Q3 files.  Even if the files were organized perfectly, it would still be hard to find something specific in just a few seconds. 

There are just so many disadvantages to paper beyond just finding information.  What about a fire?  Now you need to store the file folders in a fireproof cabinet.  Then there is water damage, spills, rips, etc.  Storing documents on a server with backups seemed like the obvious choice to solve all of these problems.  Of course, I don’t want something time consuming or super expensive.  I found my answer with the Fujitsu ScanSnap S510 Instant PDF Sheet-Fed Scanner

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C# 3.0 – Auto-Implemented Read-Only Properties

August 22, 2008 by Damien White

This isn’t a new topic by far, but I still encounter the question of how to implement a read-only auto-implemented property, so here it goes.

As I’m sure you are aware, C# 3.0 has a wonderful feature known as auto-implemented properties (sometimes referred to as Automatic Properties). These clean up our code quite a bit when we have properties that are simply backed by a private member, and all we do it get and set that value. Read More »