Visual Studio Achievements Program Brings Gamification to Development

Published by hirantha at 12:59 PM under Microsoft | Software Development

Developers who use Microsoft Visual Studio have a new way to highlight their skills, get recognition for the amazing work they do every day, and add some competitive fun to the development day.

Visual Studio Achievements, a Visual Studio plug-in, enables developers to unlock badges and compete against one another for a place on a leader board based on the code they write, its level of sophistication, and the Visual Studio capabilities they use to do so. Developers finally have the ability to actually show their friends, colleagues, project managers, spouses and customers how good they are at what they do all day and sometimes into the night.

Each time you earn a badge, a unique page is created with your profile picture, the badge and a description. You can tweet about achievements, share them on Facebook, and show a list of achievements on your blog using the Visual Studio Achievements Widget.

Download : Visual Studio Achievement Add-in

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Install Windows 8 in bootable VHD

Published by hirantha at 4:24 AM under Microsoft | Windows 8

So the Windows 8 developer preview is out, now you can install this in a virtual machine to try it out, but it is more fun to run it direct on your hardware. However this build is pre-beta, so not ready to do all your daily “ production” work on. You can solve this by dual booting, but it is cooler to boot of a VHD! Booting from VHD was introduced in Windows 7.

Now there are several methods on the Internet to make this work, I have found this procedure so the procedure is the simplest and quickest.

No need to use WAIK, DISM, x-image, sysprep, WIM2VHD. Even no need for BCEDIT!


A  guide with screenshots is here:


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Visual Studio LightSwitch

Published by hirantha at 8:36 AM under Microsoft | Software Development

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch gives you a simpler and faster way to create high-quality business applications for the desktop and the cloud. LightSwitch is a new addition to the Visual Studio family.

See “What’s New in Beta 2” for information on new capabilities, installation options, and compatibility notes for this release. Unfortunately, due to the many improvements in Beta 2, projects created in Beta 1 cannot be opened or upgraded. You can find instructions for moving your existing projects forward on the LightSwitch team blog.

Download : Microsoft Downloads

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Windows 7/2008 R2 SP1

Published by hirantha at 8:25 PM under Microsoft | Security | Windows 7

The very first service pack for Windows 7 should be popping into your Windows Update right around now. There are few areas that might cause some issues. Here’s what to watch for.

  • Whitelisting / Blacklisting: Whitelisting software may not have checksums yet to verify all the files that are modified by the service pack.
  • Firewalls: Third party firewalls may find that some of the low level hooks they use have changed.
  • Disk Encryption: In particular full disk encryption that modifies the boot process may find that some of the changes it did are undone by the SP install
  • Custom hardware: If you are using drivers other then those that are included in Windows 7 (or 2008 R2)
  • Dual boot : Linux dual boot might cause some issues

Resources :

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Microsoft Attack Surface Analyzer - Beta

Published by hirantha at 2:58 PM under Microsoft | Security

Attack Surface Analyzer is the same tool used by Microsoft's internal product teams to catalogue changes made to the operating system by the installation of new software.
Attack Surface Analyzer takes a snapshot of your system state before and after the installation of product(s) and displays the changes to a number of key elements of the Windows attack surface.

This allows:

  • Developers to view changes in the attack surface resulting from the introduction of their code on to the Windows platform
  • IT Professionals to assess the aggregate Attack Surface change by the installation of an organization's line of business applications
  • IT Security Auditors evaluate the risk of a particular piece of software installed on the Windows platform during threat risk reviews
  • IT Security Incident Responders to gain a better understanding of the state of a systems security during investigations (if a baseline scan was taken of the system during the deployment phase)

Download Attack Surface Analyzer - Beta

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