Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2008

What's the Primary Purpose of your Consulting Firm's Web Site?

Woohoo, look at all the cool services we provide! We're awesome! Did you see all the companies we've worked for? We won awards too!

Weeeaaaaahhh . Wrong. You just missed the boat, pal.

What does a consulting firm do? They solve problems. How do they solve problems? Occasionally they leverage products but for the most part, consulting firms solve problems with smart, experienced, motivated people. The industry-accepted term is intellectual capital.

So, what's the most important thing to a consulting firm? Well, cash flow and profitability rank number one but where does cash flow come from? That's right: services. And who executes on those services? People.

When is the last time you got a call like this? "Well, I was searching the Internet and your firm came up so I thought I'd give you a call." Never happens. I expect anyone handling calls for a consulting firm wouldn't even know how to route this call. Business operates on relationships. If I'm a comp…

Visual Studio: Help for the Monday Morning Developer

Lately, I've been refactoring a C# WinForms application that ported from VB6 via a commercial converter. Let's just say the resulting code wasn't pretty. As a result, I've been refactoring the heck out of it. I'm down about 3000 lines of code to date. Nice.

This morning, I decided to change the namespace. I used Visual Studio's refactoring tool to perform the rename. Love it. Then, I start getting this error:



I search everywhere. There's absolutely no evidence of this previous namespace in the code. Where is this guy? Finally, I re-read the error more carefully and decide to check Project Properties. Yep, sure enough, the StartUp object is still using the old namespace:

Ok, so I'm operating a little slowly this morning. My bad. However, how come VS.Net couldn't have included Startup object in the rename refactoring? Further, how about throwing the Monday morning developer a bone and simply direct me to look at the Startup object. Appreciate it.

Want to Learn BizTalk Server?

Until recently, I labeled myself BizTalk-curious but more accurately it would have been BizTalk-clueless (and...curious). I ordered "Foundations of BizTalk Server 2006" but haven't had a chance to tear into it yet.

Serendipitously, (now there's a word you didn't expect to read here...) my firm just hosted BizTalk 101 for a client. As a Microsoft partner, Microsoft was good enough to deliver a 3-day, online introduction training. Vishal Arora, the instructor performed brilliantly.

I'm certainly far from expert status but with this training, I at least can eliminate my BizTalk-clueless moniker. If you're a partner and want to get into BizTalk, this training is a great place to start. I recommend leveraging it in conjunction with a client.

Windows Live Mail

I've written about the Microsoft Live product line before. Live Writer is one of my favorite on/offline-friendly tools. Now Live Mail comes along. It's still beta (but hey, Gmail has been beta for what...3 years?) but looks very promising.

My wife runs her business from her Hotmail account (I know, I know...it's on the list). She's traveling for a conference soon and wanted a way to plow through some of her mountain of emails while on the plane using her new Insprion 1525 Vista laptop. However, we've yet to pull the trigger on Office 2007.

Worst case, I figured she could leverage Outlook Express but I ran across a post referencing offline mail options. #2 on the list was Live Mail. Super. I'm loading it now and will report back.

...good grief Live products take forever to load...

Installing the .Net Framework 3.0 SP1 on Windows 2003 Server

I'm building an [automated] build server requiring the .Net 2.0 and 3.0 runtime. Unfortunately, at my client, they leverage a proxy server. The standard .Net 3.0 SP1 framework redist is really just a bootstrapper. Logged in as a local admin on the box, I didn't have the opportunity to authenticate the installation EXE with my domain credentials. So, the install kept timing out.

Finally, I found this helpful post from Aaron Ruckman on how to download the very elusive, full framework package. It's here, BTW (x86).

I finally get the full installation EXE downloaded to a fileshare, re-run the install and wham--"XPSEPSC: XPS must be installed..." Excuse you? This isn't an XPS...it's a VM.

I found a few MSDN posts here and here outlining the problem. I'm still not clear on what XPSEPSC does (Google yielded little) but you can download it here(x86). After installing XPSEPSC, the framework installed without issue.

Update:
Somewhat related, there is no .Net 3.0 SDK…

Wi-Fi under Vista

We just bought my wife a new Dell Inspiron 1525 for her business. It came with Vista Home Ultimate. This is our second computer with Vista and for the most part, I love it and haven't had any issues--except for wireless configuration.

Home
We have 802.11 pre-n at home so I configured it with all the security bells and whistles. However, oddly, I had to dumb down to WPA-Personal from WPA2-Personal to get the 802.11g laptop to connect. I'm still not sure why but WPA2 just wouldn't fly. This was also true for my Dell desktop talking 802.11g.

Public
I enjoy working at Panera from time to time: good snacks, quiet (relatively...compared to my house and work environments), and the Wi-Fi is decent (and free). My wife brought her laptop there recently and I could not for the life of me get the 1525 connected to Wi-Fi. I couldn't even get Vista to tell me what networks were available. Both my other two 802.11g laptops under XP connect just using the "View Available Wireless Net…