July 2006 Archives

Feed Break-up

Lately a shocking thing has happened.  People have started reading my blog.  While this probably isn’t surprising to you (the reader) it is highly surprising to me (the author).  I started blogging as a way to make it easier for me to find stuff in Google.  When something wasn’t immediately clear using the keywords I had tried I would blog about it making sure I used the appropriate keywords so that I would be able to find it again.  This also helps out other people and even now 70% of my site traffic comes from people using a search engine and landing on some random article.  The ones about generating excel files in C# and what to do if SourceSafe tells you your ss.ini file is not found seems to be consistently popular.  When other people started arriving at my site, I found this highly motivating and posted more.  Occasionally, a work colleague would stumble upon my blog as an answer to a work related question – another unexpected business benefit to blogging.

However, since I have been regularly posting about my experiences with Team Foundation Server, many more people have subscribed to my blog – so I can only assume that they are subscribing for TFS information.  I say this is an assumption because when I do drift off-topic those posts seem to get most response.

Recently, I’ve been feeling hesitant about posting certain things because I know they’ll show up in the RSS aggregators of people subscribed to my blog and I worry that I’ll be giving stuff they are not interested in.  To resolve this, I have created a few more feeds.  They are:-

  • Martin Woodward Uncut.  The current RSS feed containing all my posts.  Expect to see the odd random gadget and personal post here (but no pictures of my cat or random confessions of love for my wife / family / cat / sheep that live in the field outside my window).
  • Martin Woodward’s Teamprise Feed. Posts about Teamprise.  These also appear in the Teamprise developer blogs feed which I would encourage you to subscribe to if you are interested in our company as the people I work with are probably more interesting than me and definitely cleverer.
  • Martin Woodward’s Off Topic Feed. Just the random stuff and non of this work-related rubbish.  Intended for friends who have a healthy dis-regard for my day job.
  • Martin Woodward’s Microsoft Feed.  Posts about Visual Studio Team System, Team Foundation Server, .NET programming etc.  Everything Microsoft related.  If you arrived at my blog via the link http://www.woodwardweb.com/Vsts then this may be for you.
  • Martin Woodward’s Java Feed. Stuff about work I do in the Java and Eclipse areas (including Teamprise).  I am currently coding in Java during the day so have a few articles here that I have been hesitant to post.  The conflict between these last two feeds is what has motivated me to offer different feeds.

OK.  There you have it.  I hope you stay with the main feed as I hope that stuff I find interesting is interesting to you – however if things are getting a bit annoying but you don’t want to loose out on Teamprise or Team Foundation Server related bits then you can just get the relevant posts.  I should add that I regularly tag posts with more than one category so if an article has both Java and Microsoft interest then it will appear in both feeds at the same time along with the Uncut feed.  You’ll also frequenltly see Teamprise information showing up in the Microsoft feed.  If anyone needs a feed to keep up with all of my feeds then let me know :-)

I recently did an interview for Port 25 (the website for Microsoft’s Open Source Lab).  If you would like to listen to the podcast then it is now available here.

The interview was recorded in a week when NTLM authentication was high on my mind (as you can tell).  However Ed has since done a fantastic job and led the work to implement the full NTLM stack based on details gleaned from the excellent book “Implementing CIFS, by Christopher R. Hertel”.  This book is not the “official” specification, but is very readable and is drawn from the work done by the Samba team.  As discussed in the podcast, one of the interesting things I learnt it that Microsoft’s Open Source Lab’s team have actually contributed some patches into the Samba group – which is a good thing.  Ed’s work has now been released in Version 1.1 of Teamprise – one of those new features that nobody will really notice, it *just works*.

Anyway, feel free to listen to the podcast.  While I have been a keen listener to podcasts since the beginning, this is the first time my voice has appeared in one (and I doubt I will make a habit of it).  However, hopefully you won’t find it as painful to listen to as I did.

Teamprise V1.1 Released

Today we released Teamprise V1.1 to the general public (available here).  Version 1.1 is a maintenance release to address several issues that our customers have reported. Most notably, Version 1.1 now fully supports NTLM authentication (including NTLMv2). If you were previously unable to connect to your Team Foundation Server then we urge you to try this release. Version 2.0 will be available later this year and will include work item editing features along with additional source control functionality (users purchasing Version 1 will get a free upgrade to Version 2.0 when it becomes available).

In addition to the NTLM support, Teamprise Explorer is now a Universal Binary on the Mac, meaning it will run on Intel based machines with much improved start-up times.  Also the 1.1 client can talk to CodePlex.  For the full release notes for 1.1 see the following forum post.

If you want to connect to TFS from Eclipse, or from Mac, Linux etc then give Teamprise a try (a fully functional 30–day evaluation license is available from the website).

UPDATEBrian Harry has posted a new utility to help you determine the trial expiration dates on your server.  View Brian's post for more details.

Like a lot of early adopters, we installed the Team Foundation Server 180–day trial edition so that we could use is right away while we were waiting for our TFS license key.

Anyway, if you want to know what the installation date of your TFS server is then the easiest way is to type the following command in a Visual Studio 2005 command prompt:-

tf changeset 1 /server:http://servername:8080 /noprompt

Where servername is your TFS instance.  I get the following result:-

Changeset: 1
User: tfssetup
Date: 20 February 2006 19:57:54
  add $/

During the installation, Team Foundation Server creates the root branch of the source tree and this is the first changeset on your system.  If you add 180 days to this date then you get when your trial will expire.

Now, in my case it is even more confusing.  I installed the Release Candidate of TFS on February 20th, and then upgraded to the 180–day trial edition of TFS on March 21st.  A fact that I can tell from my installation log file located on the Team Foundation Server in the following directory:-

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server\Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Foundation Server - ENU\Logs

Which date will be used for the expiry of my server?  Well at the moment I have no idea, so I am assuming the earlier of these dates will be used just in case…

However, for most people who went straight to the 180–day trial, the command at the top of this post will give them the date of initial install.


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