Monthly Archives: September 2012

VS2012 Express for Desktop

I’ve been waiting for this for a while so I was glad when they finally released this. Now for some initial feedback.

First off, the download was reasonable – size and speed wise. The installation was, lets just say ok – as I had to reboot since it had to update some libraries that were is ‘use’ at the time. Registration was also not too bad – since I have an old existing Hotmail/Live account where more of the details were already populated. Running it for the first time is where the shock comes in… it is as ugly as hell (reminds me death, all grey and boring). Unfortunately the same would apply to any of the other Express and even full versions of VS2012.

VS2012 Express For Desktop development

Functionality wise it provides just the very basics – not that you can expect anything more. Since I haven’t installed the ‘full’ express version I cannot comment on any other functionality that version might have. Anyway, The only templates worth mentioning is the Windows Forms, WPF and Console ones. Again, one cannot expect anything more of this release. Interestingly enough, when creating a new project the framework version cannot be changed on the ‘create project’ dialog screen. You can only change this ‘after’ the project has already been created.

One nice thing is that you can still create custom toolbars with ‘external’ commands – I use it to run a source backup tool I created some time ago. Another thing to remember is that this tool can be installed in Windows 7, unlike the full Express version that can ONLY be installed on Windows 8. The Web express version can also be installed on 7 (plus the TFS Express version).

If you excuse the way it looks (wearing shades to protect your eyes) then this tool is not that bad… Just wish they allowed old fashioned ‘themes’ to change the look and feel of the entire editor. Ah well, it is an ‘Express’ product… Fortunately you can import your VS 2010 color and font settings to get all your customizations back (even though it does moan about a whole bunch of settings that are not applicable to this edition which you can ignore)

In order to try it out you can follow this link.

If you like to change the overall theme and don’t like the built-in Light or Dark there are some more options if you look at this blog entry.

Getting list of disabled users in AD

Having to quickly help some colleagues find a list of all the currently disabled users on a domain I created a quick Powershell script (with some help from Google of course).

I suspect other people might also like to know how to do it so here is a copy of the script.

This script is easily modifiable to search for all kind of other ‘stuff’ in AD as well.

A little perspective

I saw a picture of solar flare this morning comparing it to the size of the Earth. Years ago as a kid I used some old mainframe stream paper to ‘draw’ the solar system at scale (1/1 000 000 000 000). That really puts the whole solar system into perspective (about 9 meters long to fit Pluto on furthest point). The following things could/can be observed using stuff at this ‘scale’.

Scale 1:1 000 000 000 000
Object Description
The Sun A little ball of 1 millimeter in diameter
Earth would be 15 centimeters away from the sun (Moon about 0.4mm away from Earth)
Jupiter about 0.8 meters away (and 0.15mm in diameter)
Saturn about 1.3 meters (rings about 0.2mm in diameter)
Neptune about 4.5 meters
Pluto around 6 meters (average, varies from 4.4m to about 7.3m)
Voyager 1 is about 18 meters away
1 light year is about 11 kilometers away (10.8km)
Proxima Centauri (The closest star) would be about 45 kilometers away!
Sirius (The brightest star) about 93 kilometers away!
Betelgeuse about 6940 kilometers away! (diameter roughly 1 meter estimate)
Alnilam (Epsilon Orionis, middle star of the Orion belt) about 14 000 kilometers away
The largest star known (estimated) has a diameter of about 1.5 meters
Milky way galaxy diameter about 1 000 000 kilometers!
Andromeda galaxy about 24 000 000 kilometers away!!
Speed of light about 1 meter per hour!!!

Kinda put things into perspective – especially the speed of light
Earth compared to Sun flare

Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO