ScottGu – Outstanding Visual Studio Blog

If you work with Microsoft development tools and you haven’t subscribed to Scott Guthrie’s Blog, stop whatever you’re doing right now and GO SUBSCRIBE!

This is hands-down, the single best source about upcoming Visual Studio features you’re going to find. Scott intros the new tech, breaks it down, and shows how it works. His recent entries on VS 2008 are great material for composing the “why we should upgrade” memo you know you’re going to have to write.

A tale of two LAMP virtual machines

I need a LAMP platform with PHP 5.1 or better to do some SalesForce.com integration testing. These should be a dime a dozen on VMWare’s appliance directory, I thought, so I went hunting. After trying a SUSE distro and an Ubuntu distro that didn’t quite fit the bill, I decided to try a smaller, dedicated LAMP distro.

I grabbed a VM from rPath first. I’ve used their SugarCRM appliance in the past, and I’d been pretty happy with that, so I thought they’d be a great place to start. But I couldn’t quite get the thing to work. I could start it up, and there was a web site and even an admin site, but I couldn’t get FTP to work. It looked like it had been configured for a user that the deamon couldn’t find anymore. The VM also had SMB installed, but I couldn’t get that to work either.

Obviously, I’m not a Linux guru, though I can find my way around to most of the config files, so I looked for things that were obviously messed up for the SMB and VSFTP services, but I came up empty.

Next download.

Attempt number two was a VM from VirtualAppliances.net (no longer available). Unzip, start it up, and while it boots, I read the docs and see that it’s got SMB installed, too. One better, it indicates a user and password to use, and they’ve thoughtfully set up a share to the www directory already. So when the OS was booted, I open the SMB share, and it works – first time. I edit a little php file to run phpinfo(), save it, and run it – and it works like a charm.

I’m sure that by the time I’m done, I’ll find something that I wish these guys had done better, but right now, I’m going to bask in the glow of a great out-of-the-box experience from VirtualAppliances.

Well done, gentlemen!

Web outage on AppDev

Yesterday, AppDev was down for about five hours. I’m afraid I don’t know if this was related to the San Francisco power outage, because my web hosting provider can’t (or won’t) tell me what happened. Sorry for the outage, and if you’re considering a web host, chalk this up as a less than ringing endorsement for their customer service.

(update)

More outages today. This time, it’s the database server. So much for the power outage theory. This afternoon, I was notified of another outage (mon.itor.us), so I called customer service. “All lines are busy.” Not a good sign. I finally got through to the automated attendant, which informed me that “call volume is high”, and suggested cruising the FAQ’s. Then it hung up on me.

So, needless to say, I’m looking for a new host.

Sigh.

Microsoft “7” — This can’t be for real, can it?

Microsoft is apparently calling their Vista successor “7”, according to Techmeme and Engadget. Now, I know that Microsoft has a track record of picking some odd code names, but this one takes the cake.

I think if I were picking code names at Microsoft, I’d steer clear of Borg references. Then again, maybe we’re seeing the first glimpses of their next ad campaign:

Microsoft “7”

Think sexy Borg:

… not Bill Borg: