Free Office 365 eBook

Microsoft is offering Microsoft Office 365: Connect and Collaborate Virtually Anywhere, Anytime (ISBN 9780735656949), by Katherine Murray, as a free eBook in PDF, EPUB and MOBI.  More info here


Visual Studio 2010 - only a dead snail is slower

At my current client, I'm using Visual Studio 2010 inside a VM and the overall experience was, well...excruciating.  Turns out that VS uses the GPU to help rendering the designers, IntelliSense, etc.  Well, since a VM provides a software video card, the result is a painfully slow experience.  A quick search lead me to this Code Project tip and the solution is shockingly quite simple: just disable hardware acceleration in the VS settings!

Menu: Tools/Options

Select: Environment/General

In the Visual Experience section: uncheck "Automatically adjust..." and "Use graphics hardware acceleration..."

Your mileage may vary.

The Browser You LoveD To Hate


Syncfusion offers free Metro style icons

Syncfusion if offering a free icon editor that let you customize 600+ Metro style royalty free icons.  What's cool is that the editor can export in JPG, PNG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, ICO and XAML

Browse the library and download the tool here.





Microsoft Canada's Windows 8 Camp

A Windows 8 Camp is a free, two-day event. During the Camp, you’ll discover HANDS-ON how to build your first Metro Style App for Windows 8. You’ll learn from experts in a low-key, interactive way and apply what you’ve learned with support from Microsoft Canada.

How do I register?
Registration is fast and simple!  Select the link for the appropriate city to the right!
Space will be limited. Register today to secure your spot!

What do I need to bring?
Any device capable of running Windows 8 and Visual Studio Express.
We recommend that you install the necessary software prior to the event. If the software is not already installed, you will need a partition with ~30 GB of free space to install the bits.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Visual Studio 11 Beta
Download the Windows 8 SDK samples


April 3rd & 4th
Fairmont Pacific Rim
April 10th & 11th
Le Centre Sheraton
April 16th & 17th
King Edward Hotel


GesturePak for Kinect

Carl Franklin of .NET Rocks fame just released a cool tool called GesturePak for Kinect along with a full dnrTV episode demonstrating the use of the tool.  So what's GesturePak?  It's a Kinect gesture recorder that come with a class that you can use in your apps to make them Kinect aware.  Cool eh?

Here's the tool:








 And a Kinect enabled WPF app using the gesture:

Adobe Shadow

Adobe released a tool that looks promising: Adobe Shadow.  It's a tool that allow you to do live testing of HTML rendering on iOS and Android devices from Mac or PCs.  Shadow is available for free from the Adobe Labs site.  No word about if it will remain free or become a paid product at some point.

Here's a quick overview video from Adobe:

Office 365 - First impressions

I'm planning to move my main email from the domain to my personal domain.  I'm currently using a hosted Exchange account but wanted to try Office 365 since Microsoft offers a 30-days free trial.

Setting up the account was easy and no credit card is required for the trial.  The default domain name being not that pretty (, I added my personal domain name.  This domain is registered at GoDaddy so my initial thought was that I would only have to point the MX records to Microsoft's servers.  Well, you can but to get all the service bell and whistles, you really need to change your name servers to the Microsoft ones.  Yikes!  Would that mean losing finer control on my domain?  No because you can easily manage A and CNAME records using the friendly interface.  This also means that if you already have a, you can still use it.  This video goes thru the process of adding a domain and keeping the existing public Website:

I have a couple of Hotmail accounts that I use for registering to mailing lists or Websites so one feature I first thought I'd use was the ability to connect other email accounts. 

Well, it turns out that the feature is not that useful.  For Hotmail/Live type of account, Office 365 gets new mail but leaves it on the original account and if you delete it from the Office 365 account, it's not deleted on the Hotmail/Live account (more details in this thread).  Looks like this would be possible if using a POP3 account so for me, setting multiple email accounts in Outlook is still a better choice.  Note that if you have a GMail account, make sure to turn on POP3.  This video explains how:

I didn't like the default login page URL.  Luckily, it's easy to change.  All you have to do to get something like is to add a CNAME pointing to

Now I do I move my existing emails to the shiny new account?  Office 365 has some migration utilities but since I have the luxury of having both account live at the same time, the simplest way I found was from the current account, right click on a folder and select Move to the Office 365 account.



So let's end this post on a funny note  ;-)


Want color back in Visual Studio 11?

Visual Studio 11 Beta (AKA Dev11) introduces a brand new controversial look and feel.  I won't try to explain what changed, this blog post from the Visual Studio team does that in great details. 


Many people, for a lot of different reasons, think that this is a bad move.  If you don't like the new look and feel, you can make your voice count by voting here to get the old look back or at least, a little color back.

Reduced Pricing on Azure Storage and Compute

Microsoft announced these reduced pricing an Azure storage and compute:

  • Windows Azure Storage Pay-As-You-Go pricing has been reduced by 12% ($0.14 to $0.125)
  • 6 Month Plans for Windows Azure Storage have been reduced across all tiers by up to 14%
  • Windows Azure Extra Small Compute has been reduced by  50% ($.04 to .$02)

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