Monthly Archives: February 2012

Visual Studio 11 Beta is here!

Visual Studio

It’s now available!

Click here to get the Visual Studio 11 Beta or the Team Foundation Server 11 Beta. (You can also pick up the Windows 8 Beta here.)

What do you think of the new UI?

I’ll write some posts on various features in the coming weeks, but I wanted to point out one of the new features in the beta is a dramatic redesign of unit testing. It now supports xUnit, nUnit, and other test frameworks so you don’t have to convert your existing tests to MS Test. Code coverage still works too! Also, unit tests can be executed in the background with every build. So, every time you hit Ctrl+Shift+B or F5, your unit tests will run in the background so you can immediately know if your code changes require a modification to an existing test or you just created a bug!

What do you think of the new Unit Test Explorer?

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Visual Studio Beta Coming Feb 29th

The beta of Visual Studio 11 will be released on February 29th. (Read more here.)

I’m already sheduled to do a dozen presentations on this release to various clients.

Are you going to download it? Let me know what you think!

New Gaming Computer

It’s been about seven years since I purchased my last gaming computer. (I bought a nice Sony Vaio about two years ago, but I bought it for presentations mostly because laptops just aren’t that great for gaming.) Today, I thought I’d share the specs on my new machine. I still buy most of my games on the XBox 360, but you just can’t beat a desktop PC for the really awesome graphics! What are you playing on?

  • Case: Rosewill Thor V2 Black Gaming Case
    • It’s a full-sized case for plenty of future expansion.
    • It’s got exterior fan speed controls to control noise vs. performance.
    • It’s got external USB and eSATA ports in the front.
    • There is a fan grill on the side that gives you some visible access to the interior.
    • At the bottom of the case, I’ve mounted a Red Liquid Neon Thunder Pattern Light just to add a cool effect and so you can see the insides electronics even when the case is closed up.
  • Power Supply: 1000 Watt Extreme Gaming Series
    • I needed a big power supply for my video card and its future siblings. 🙂
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 3960K Processor
    • 6-core 3.2GHz with 15MB L3 cache
    • And, it just looks awesome in Task Manager!

  • Motherboard: ASUS Rampage IV Extreme
    • Intel X70 Chipset
    • 8x DIMM, max 64GB DDR3
    • 4 PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, 1 PCIe 2.0 x16 slot (support only x16 and x8), 1 PCIe 2.0 x1 slot
    • 2x SATA 6Gb/s ports
    • 4x SATA 3Gb/s ports
    • 2x external SATA 6Gb/s ports
    • Support for NVIDIA 4-way SLI
    • On-board Bluetooth
    • 8 USB 3.0/2.0 ports and 12 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
    • Currently, I’m using the on-board Gigabit LAN support
    • I’m also using the on-board sound
  • Memory: 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR3-1600
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
    • 2GB RAM
    • I’ll expand this to dual cards sometime later to take advantage of SLI.
  • Monitor: ASUS VG236H
    • 23″ LCD that supports 1920×1080
    • The most exciting part of this monitor is that it supports 3D! It comes with a pair of NVIDIA glasses. The glasses connect wirelessly to a tiny box that I just stuck right under my monitor. I wanted it close by so I can adjust the depth effect whenever I want. The glasses charge off of USB as well.
  • Hard Drives: 120GB Kingston HyperX SSD & 2TB 7200RPM 6Gb/s
  • Optical Drive: 12x LG BLU-RAY Reader
    • Also acts as a DVD burner
  • Network Adapter: LinkSys/Cisco Wireless Adapter
  • I love this thing because it looks like a USB key and just plugs into one of my plentiful USB ports

My wish list for future upgrades includes

  • I’ll be loading the Windows 8 beta when it drops on February 29th
  • Aforementioned second (or third!) video card
  • New speakers
    • I’m using my old Altec Lansing surround sound speakers right now
    • I should probably research the latest dedicated sound cards too.
  • More monitors
    • First, I need another ASUS to act as my secondary monitor so I can play games across two 3D monitors.
    • I’m also looking to get a touch screen monitor for my third monitor.

Any suggestions?

Here’s a quick update on what I’m playing too:

  • Witcher 2 (PC) – I never got very far in this game because the requirements were so high – not a problem for me now. It’s a very cool game and looks awesome in 3D.
  • Kingdoms of Amalur: The Reckoning (XBox 360) – This game seems as big as Skyrim! It holds up well to my expectations, which were quite high. Why such high expecations? Writer is R.A. Salvatore (creator of Drizzt Do’Urden of fantasy novel fame); Designer is Ken Ralston (pen-and-paper RPG and Elder Scrolls veteran); Art Director is Todd McFarlane (one of my favorite comic book artists). Finally, the game studio is owned by Curt Schilling of MLB fame.
  • Darkness II (XBox 360) – I just beat the single-player game and it was as great as the first game. I started playing through the vendetta missions, but I think they’ll be better co-op.

What have you been playing?

Kansas City Developer Conference

Woohoo! I’ll be presenting at KCDC in Kansas City, MO on April 27th and 28th! It’ll be great to see my boys: Boon, Jonathan, Lee, and more!! Cigars and booze!

I’ll be presenting:

  • Improving Java & .NET Developer Collaboration and
  • Software Quality is Everyone’s Responsibility

Lots of other interesting topics and familiar speakers are also on the agenda.

KCDC

Find out more at http://kcdc.info

Are YOU going to this conference?

The Greater Midwest SQL Relay

I’m happy to be a speaker at the upcoming Greater Midwest SQL Relay put on by Oakwood Systems. The event is Saturday, February 11th from 8:00am-4:00pm. Go here to register or find out more.

My topic is:

Database Development Using Visual Studio – Today &Tomorrow – Jeff Fattic
In recent years, Microsoft has revisited the tools available to database developers. While these tools have been known to only a few people, they are really powerful and can have dramatic impact on the productivity and quality of your work at the data layer and your collaboration with other team members. This demonstration-heavy session will focus on the features available to database developers in Visual Studio 2010. Features covered in this session include getting your database code into source control, refactoring, unit testing, test data generation, and, most importantly, deployment. The session will wrap up with a preview of radical new direction Microsoft is taking with the next version of Visual Studio.

Some of my friends are also presenting – including Kathi Kellenberger & John Dempsey.