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Round up v0.2

Another round up of some of the best bits I've seen in the blog-sphere recently.



Really getting into these blogs. The best bit is that the guys are all speaking from experience...

How to Doom your IT operations in 3 easy steps

Classic Technical Lead Blunder

Unit Testing Business Logic without Tripping Over the Database

Udi Dahan
I really like this guys take on SOA. A great blog with some down to earth views on software architecture

SOA…so what!

The one where Udi *really* gets fired up…LOL


.NET tools round up (via Larkware)

.NET validation framework (DBC) – interesting implementation using attributes

Nifty tip on ASP.NET 2.0 – how to take your app offline and redirect to a holding page in 1 simple step (via Larkware)

Windows Mobile

Why can’t I upgrade to WM5.0? (Windows Mobile team blog)
Despite trying to reassure you, the reader, that he’s not a ‘marketing wonk’ when Mike Calligaro uses the phrase “amortize this cost” in his second point he isn’t helping his case…just kidding…some good reasoning about why the WM platform isn’t such a clean cut case for upgrades once you take into account the Mobile Operators, hardware and logistics of an upgrgade...

Simple expense tracker for WM SmartPhone 2003 (via Keni)


Maxthon Tabbed browser
Excellent IE replacement, installed and in use for 5 hours and already I took the plunge and made it my default browser! Liking the mouse gestures – they actually work and the NetSnippets integration -

Windows Media Player Visualisations (free!)
Very Very Cool visualisations for WMP (and media centre compatible – yay!)


Hiya James Simmonds, I was searching around for info on how to start a home based business. I found your blog.

I was reading your post and believe it or not it’s helped me. Every tip I get helps, even if its just new phrases I have never used before, its helps me be a better mentor. This is my business link - work from home moms - check it out and see what you think.

Anyways James Simmonds, you have a good site. I'll be back.

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Walk-Thru: Using Wolfpack to automatically deploy and smoke test your system

First, some history... The advent of NuGet has revolutionised many many aspects of the .Net ecosystem; MyGet, Chocolatey & OctopusDeploy to name a few solutions building upon its success bring even more features to the table.

I also spotted that NuGet could solve a problem I was having with my OSS System Monitoring software Wolfpack; essentially this is a core application framework that uses plugins for extension (Wolfpack Contrib) but how to unify, standardise and streamline how these plugins are made available? NuGet to the rescue again - I wrapped the NuGet infrastructure (I deem NuGet to be so ubiquitous and stable that is has transcended into the software "infrastrucuture" hall of fame) with a new OSS project called Sidewinder. Sidewinder allows me to wrap all my little extension and plugins in NuGet packages and deploy them directly from the Wolfpack application - it even allows me to issue a new version of Wolfpack and have Wolfpack update itself, sweet huh?


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
date: "yyyy-mm-dd" format, this is the target date to countdown totz: timezone offset in hours from GMT that you are in. Can be negative if you are behind GMT
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…