Visual Studio 2008 toolbox loads slowly on large projects…

I am working on a very large project that has 70+ assemblies and dozens of different user controls. Every time I open up the Forms designer to work on a Form, it takes a ridiculously long time to do so. I just assumed this was my machine being underweight for the project.

So fast forward to today. I happen to have reset my workspace so my toolbox wasn’t set to auto-hide. As I opened up my Form to work on it,  I notice the Toolbox start flickering and loading all the controls in the project. Hmmm….Looks like we found why the Form load is so slow. Why on earth it takes up to minutes to read all the controls in the application is mind boggling, but now I know it does it sets me on the path to fix it.

After researching the settings in Visual Studio, I find this little hidden gem.

Tools->Options->Windows Forms Designer->General->AutoToolboxPopulate

Set this bad boy to False and you get rid of the annoying lag.  You will not get the controls to appear automatically in your toolbox now though, so be aware of that. You will need to add them manually. Oh, the horror. The horror……. Ha.

Enjoy the savings of time and hair pulling.

Autopopulate option

Windows 7 is officially bad ass…………

I got a virus on my Windows Vista machine that caused it to run slower than all holy hell. I decided, well, now must be the time to upgrade my OS. No one ever wants to go through the new OS nightmare of having to reinstall every program they use. Especially not a guy in the IT field that uses a whole lot more than just Office.

So, I went full out and put on Windows 7 64-bit. Oh yeah. I finally get all 4 gigs of my ram. I expected the OS to be pretty much Vista with a new name.

Luckily, its not. I have only had it installed for about a day now but I see all sorts of little changes that make my experience SOOOO much better.

The themes are really cool. The desktop background rotates a nice image  every hour or so. I definitely like the variety, but thats not my big happy change.

The UAC is a lot more friendly than it used to be. I like the prompts as it make me feel a bit in control, but in Vista I disabled UAC altogether because nothing worked when it was on. Windows 7, not a problem. I run Visual Studio 2008 and don’t have any of the Vista issues I had.

The biggest thing I found I like so far is the taskbar. I am not only able to “pin” my programs to it, which is a great timesaver, but I can pin my documents to the program as well. I open and close the same 4 documents all the time. Now, its easy to pop into the word icon and go right to my document. Great time saver.

The other major timesaver I use is the ability to see all the windows for a process when I click on the taskbar icon. It is so much easier to figure out what IE window I want to go to or explorer folder when I can see the image of it at a glance. 

Windows 7 gets my vote as a great new OS for productivity. Vista is a smelly pile of crap once you get used to the new Windows.

Crazy day of travel..

I hopped on my ridiculously early flight to Colorado Spring this morning and was happy to get an exit row seat. About 5 minutes before departure from the Tampa airport(TIA) two security guards board the plane. Routine check, right?
Nope. They begin talking with a passenger in the back of the plane and then escort him off.

Freaky, right? So we are all left with the though of wtf? Why was this guy escorted off the plane.

We take off and land at Houston then I board this plane called the Continental Express for Colorado Springs. What a tiny piece of crap. My head hit the ceiling and the seats were so small I had to disengage my arm rest to fit my legs. Anyway, I arrive safe and sound at the Colorado Springs airport.

I checked in at the Broadmoor hotel. This is an amazing hotel by the way. Fast forward to the me having drinks at the bar at midnight. I talk with a few people and find out that General Petraeus is staying here. I thought that was pretty interesting.

But wait…..Whats more interesting?

I met a lady who was sitting by the fire outside who said she was a famous author that was going on Opera and the Jay Leno show. She was smashed out of her mind and said she was marrying the gentleman with her because he had saved her from a racoon. Can’t make this up folks. She had met him that night and decided they must be married.

Suffice it to say, plastered plastered plastered. So, I will be watching Leno to see if she really is as much a crackpot as I think or if I get proven wrong.

Its 3am in my time zone, so good night.

Would you like a ticket for having a bike rack in Tampa, FL?

What a lovely city Tampa is for bicyclists. They have great trails and an abundance of bike lanes in the nicer communities. However, if you want to transport your bike on a bike rack, Tampa is not the place for you.

Today my wife got pulled over for what…speeding? nope….illegal lane change?…nope…..having a bike rack blocking a portion of her license plate? ding ding. You got it.

Apparently in a city that is being hit by the economic slump, the police have nothing better to do than pick on law abiding citizens.

The officer said that he could write a ticket for the obstruction of her license plate by her bike rack which is a non-moving violation. What a pile of crap.

So, next time you are out and want to take your bike out to the bike trail on your bike rack, remember the gestapo Tampa Police Department may decide you deserve a ticket.

Oh…What about the Tampa Police Department and their bike cops with their bike racks? Oh…They are above the law as usual, of course.

The police should be out to protect our way of life and keep us safe; not pick on law abiding citizens trying to go about their day.

Write your mayor, sheriff, and congressman to try and get this fixed.

Thought on complexity….

After reviewing the new database design for a project I am working on, I invariably declared that no one can do anything straight forward and simple anymore.

In a world of exceedingly complex thoughts and designs, developers inevitably strive to push the bounds in ways never thought possible. In essence, simplicity does not serve the ego well enough., Brian Seekford

The joy of watching your Polycom Soundpoint IP 650 rebooting endlessly…..

So…I was provisioning a new Polycom 650 and came across a lovely mind numbingly painful situation.

Let’s start out from the beginning. I went to the Asterisk box and created the proper [mac].cfg files in the tftp boot folder. I set the appropriate phone[ext].cfg files and the sip.cfg file. I then confirmed with my DCHP server that the option 66 setting was correct to the tftp://192.168.22.100 address of the pbx.

So far so good. The phone boots up and then tries and load its application module. It says application loaded and then reboots. Hmm…WTF.

I do what all good IT folks do, bang my head on a couple of walls and visualize throwing the phone through various windows.

So I go back to the TFTP server and lo and behold, there is no SIP.ld or bootrom.ld. Great, someone decided to delete these.

I went to Polycom’s website, fearing they were still overly paranoid folks and not going to make their firmware available(as it was a couple years back), but was pleasantly surprised to find an entire archive. I downloaded the new split package, pretty cool to get the smaller files, and loaded it onto the TFTP site.

Phones rebooted and downloaded the new application and bootrom. All good right? Sure…that is until it rebooted continuously again. Damn. More head banging and vicious thoughts of gutting the phone.

I review the boot logs and find that its looking for a logo-600.bmp. Hmm..>Why would anybody have deleted that? Well, they did. So I make  new logo file and uploaded that to the TFTP server along with the missing SoundpointIPWelcome.wav file and the phone decides its happy again and boots up.

Why in the world does the phone REQUIRE that all misc files are present is beyond me, but that’s how it works.

So if your Polycom is rebooting continuosly AND you see boot logs on your tftp site (if not, you haven’t configured it to point right) then make sure all MISC files are available along with your SIP and BOOTROM files. One missing bitmap can cause your PBX empire to crumble.

Godaddy Virtual Servers and RDP are not my friend…

It seems to be every day or so I try and RDP into my virtual server I have hosted at GoDaddy, and the thing just decides I shouldn’t be allowed to connect. It’s a wonderful feeling to know you can see your pages being server, processes still active, but the RDP connection just gets instantaneously rejected. If I had but a clue why this happens, but I chalk it up to their proprietary virtual server quirks.

One of these days they will get their act together and I won’t have to issue a reboot request every time I want to terminal in.

UPDATE: So after talking with the GoDaddy folks, I find out that they have a single license for the virtual servers. Only one connection is allowed in at a time. When you are used to Windows normal 2 connections, this is pretty annoying. If your connection drops and you try to reconnect, it doesn’t always honor the reconnect. It sits in some sort of limbo and blocks up the port. The only way to fix it is to reboot the server. Fun, right?

If you want to avoid this, just make sure you log off after every session. Start ->Logoff. Not the lovely Red X, that just disconnects you leaving the session logged on.