Elbow Room

On the 6th Doncha posted a WordPress blog (http://wordpress.com/blog/2006/12/06/running-out-of-space/) saying you could upgrade your WordPress account, and get up to 10 gig of storage space. The main question was, what could you do with all that space?

As a developer I’d love to have a space to place my projects. Whether it’s a small sample, or a complete application I’m giving out, it’d be nice to be able to host in a place I have control over.

Next, I’ve been experimenting with some software to do videocasts. A videocast is a capture of your screen as you work, with an accompanying audio track. I think it would be great to be able to take my blog to the next level, with extra material.

Finally, I love digital photography. Some of the high quality images though have pretty hefty file sizes. I’d love to have a gallery to display by best works.

That’s what I’d use 10 gig for. Elbow room.

.Net University Comes To Birmingham Alabama

Next week Microsoft will be sponsoring a free event in Birmingham, Alabama called .Net University. This will be the evenings of December 11th and 12th doors open at 5:30 pm, event starts at 6:00 pm.

This is an opportunity to learn about version 3.0 of the .Net Framework and it’s new technologies, including Windows Presentation Foundation, Windows Workflow Foundation, Windows Communication Foundation, and CardSpace. All attendees will receive a certificate and spiffy T-Shirt. Best of all, the cost is free!

I can speak from personal experience, having attended the very first .Net University session in the country when it was held in Montgomery. This was a great event that quickly brought us up to speed on the new additions to the .Net Framework. Well worth a couple evenings of your time.

To learn more about .Net University, see it’s website at http://www.dotnet-u.com/

For more information on this event, see the Bug.Net user group site at http://www.bugdotnet.com/

To register follow this link: https://www.clicktoattend.com/invitation.aspx?code=113947

Arcane Combinations: Multiple Monitors and VirtualPC

I really like Virtual PC, in that it lets me keep all of my development environments separated. I only have to load what I really need, and if my environment gets hosed it’s easy enough to rebuild or restore from a backup.

What I don’t like though, is that I lose my multiple monitor capability. I really like having the ability to drag my Visual Studio watches and other debugging windows into a second window. Fortunately, I’ve discovered an answer.

First, create a second virtual PC. This can be a bare bones system, I removed a lot of the extras like games and such prior to installing. I also run it using a minimal 256 meg of memory.

Now, go get yourself a copy of MaxiVista. I first blogged about this great product on August 30th of 2006: https://arcanecode.wordpress.com/2006/08/30/9/ . MaxiVista allows you to go over the network take over a second computer, and use it as a second monitor. Remember yesterday when I said to the network a Virtual PC looks just like a real one?

Install the MaxiVista server program in your main development Virtual PC. Now install the MaxiVista viewer program in the second virtual machine you just created.

Now there is a final, but very important step you need to take. Before you launch either Virtual PC, you need to go into the settings for each one. Go down to Mouse, then be sure to uncheck the box that says “Use Pointer Integration”. If you don’t do this for both virtual machines, none of this will work right.

Now you are ready to go, just launch both machines, and maximize each to full desktop and you’ll be using Virtual PC with multiple monitors!

A couple of things you should note. By turning off pointer integration you will not be able to simply drag your mouse outside the virtual pc to the host one. You will need to hit the right ALT key to release the mouse. Not a big deal, especially since the intention is to run in full screen mode, but something you should be aware of.

Also, this assumes you are running Windows and have a legal copy for each virtual machine you setup. If you have a limited number of copies of Windows, there is one other way to get it working.

I loaded Ubuntu Linux into a Virtual PC environment, then WINE, then the MaxiVista Viewer component. I actually got it to work as a secondary monitor, although MaxiVista’s remote control capabilities did not work. This isn’t something I use every day though, just tried as an experiment so your mileage may vary.

There you go, an arcane combination that will allow you to use multiple monitors with a Virtual PC!