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This week I've mostly been...

Excession by Iain M. Banks, great book so far and thanks to
Howard for recommending this series of books to me.

Lean Software Development - An Agile Toolkit by Mary Poppendieck. A colleague (and fellow Certified Scrum Master) of mine Ian, has just come back from this two day course (pdf) run by Mary herself - quick chat over email about it and Ian is full of good things to say about the event, can't wait to catch up properly with him and also nab his copy of Software Factories, the authors of which are currently making waves at Microsofts Strategic Architects Forum in Redmond this week. Our CTO Colin was there so I should be able to get the low down from him when he returns.

[I'm very interested in this Software Factory concept and will be investigating further - I think I can apply some of this to the .NET CF mobile component framework I am building - expect to see some more posts on this]

MCE2005 - I've dual booted my current media server (XP Pro, ShowShifter, WebShifter, Nebula DigiTV) with MCE. Update: Installed! - but it deosn't support my DVB card (apparently the Nebula card has some sort of hardware filter and MCE requires cards with a software filter). The UI looks very nice...I can either wait for Nebula to implement MCE compatible drivers (rumours of which started back in the summer) or invest in a Nova-T MCE card. Wonder if my IrMan remote control receiver will work or will I need the MCE controller too?

Embedded Visual Basic 3.0! Some new features for a field force service solution I had a large part in creating several years ago (and still in faithful service). After being fairly heads down in VS.NET it's like a slap in the face with a wet fish! For the first few days I kept putting semicolons on the end of each line!

CSLA - Component-based Scalable Logical Architecture with Howard... not much of discussion really but something on both our "radars", we need to catch up and chew the techno-cud (tm) on this one I think. I'm in a quandry about how to do this logical partitioning, my last project used a DTO style approach and this didn't work out as expected and wasn't as clean as I'd hoped it would be.

Next week I'll be...
  • Playing with .NET transparent Winforms to create a desktop version of our Windows Mobile application KPI dashboard.
  • Writing some documentation/slides to describe the security in KPI dashboard
  • Starting the KPI/Mobile Device MMC management snapin using one of the MMC .NET shims listed here.
  • Having my first horse riding lesson after a months break from it...put the radox on standby!


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Geckoboard Countdown Widget v2

v2 is here, now with added colours! This time using the RAG Numbers widget to display your date countdown - as you get nearer the date the number will change from green to amber then red.

The new url is:!
Note 1: notice the new /rag/ path and the msg querystring param.
Note 2: the original v1 url still works

To use this on your Geckoboard add a new "Custom Widget/RAG Numbers" widget. By default the number will turn amber at 10 or less days to go and red at 3 or less days to go however you can change these with the querystring (see below).

Required querystring params
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Optional querystring params
msg: the label that appears next to the number of days (remember to encode spaces as +). The default is "Days Remaining" if you…

Resharper add-in idea - highlight IDisposable vars

[Update 18th July 2013]
@RobGibbens and Greg Hurlman picked up on this - Rob pointed out that there is an FxCop rule that can do this and Greg suggested a Visual Studio extension. I've had a quick look at the Visual Studio options and it looks like an "Editor Extension" is a good fit....hmmm, Project New, click...doh...dammit I really don't have time for this but it looks a fun little diversion! I'll update here if I get anything working.

[Original Post]
Had an interesting idea for a Visual Studio Resharper add-in the other day but don't have the time to implement it so thought I would put it out might already exist (and hopefully someone can point me in the right direction) or someone will build it (Darren Voisey where are you?!).

The idea is very simple really - when you have a variable for an object that implements IDisposable it gets highlighted or a tell-tale is displayed to let you know it should be disposed or should be wrapped in a using sta…