Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

BerXpert's Blog

Today I had a little issue trying to create a new project from VS2010 to my just recently installed TFS 11 express :

I confirmed in security manager that I had all access possible….

To fix it I installed Team Explorer for Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Beta  from here

It installed the VS 2011 beta shell, from here Team Explorer works as expected and a new project can be created:

Once the new project was in place all expected task from VS2010 are available, like to create tasks, bugs, define builds, etc.

All expected items are available from the Web site:


Next post,   where are all those fancy graphs?   [maybe express version has only source control]

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WOL + tablets make the world go round

I had played  with WOL (Wake-On-LAN) some years ago but now with the way tablets are spreading and being able to RDP from them to any computer this old school trick makes it too easy to turn your computer on from anywhere and be able to log into it remotely (for those little things that your mobile browser just can’t do yet).

I want o give a shout out to Mathew who’s post had me up and running in Win7 in less than 5 minutes.


PS: try the WOL Sniffer, it works like a charm.

Blogging from the other side… (The Last Post By Derek Miller)

I have been meaning to write this down but as always the muse has escaped my thoughts these past few days. I was inspired a while ago by a writer called Derek K. Miller; like a viral cat video his last tweet and his famous “last post” caught my eye. After reading them and googling the heck out of him and his story I asked myself if I would do such a thing when I died and the answer (which wouldn’t surprise those who know me) would be Absolutely YES!

Now the question would be… what would I write about. I believe my family and loved ones would take a huge chunk of space but I also would love to recall if possible anyone who ever touched my life in any way, from childhood to adulthood and so on. Now imagine if every person in the world had that same chance; to have the the knowledge that their time was near and being able to send a message from the other side. What would some of the ones that we lost too son would have said.

I think Derek as many other had done in the past made clear that death is not the end that we can keep tweeting and blogging from the other side. I think we should all start the habit of scheduling tweets and posts and along the way compose a journal of the whom and how that changed our lives. You might not be surprised by the message your grandmother or wife would leave you but wouldn’t it be nice if we could all tell that person who gave you a ride or shared a cab with you on a rainy day in a distant location of how that moment made you feel. I do think it would make some of our digital noise more pleasant. Now go and read his story and start writing yours.

Google your SQL

We all have one snippet that we use several times daily (excluding logins/passwords), well here is one i like when working in SQL:


I call it my very own tiny Google. I am sure this has been posted before but I wanted to share it again. Not only you will get a much smaller set of stored procedures to look into but you also have a sense of when was it last modified (with this version).

Now, what do you paste more than 100 times a day?

Post Mortem

On a world where image is all it is a breath of fresh air to see how companies like Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare are handling media response to their “down time”. As Oscar Wilde would say: “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” and on an ever expanding internet world many face the same issues as the big guys on the block when scaling up and scaling out.

As seen on Mashable’s Post Mortem section no matter how strong our error handling frameworks are there is always room for improvement as seen on Facebook’s article on their “worst outage ever”. We are used to seeing the “FailWhale” but what most people don’t see is how Twitter is usually quick to post on their blog the what, and how the problems were solved. As many sites are moving to other dbms’ like MongoDB we learn a bit from FourSquare’s “re-indexing” problems.

I believe every developer team should have a Post Mortem Wiki or blog were new resources can learn from previous mistakes and a sense of collective knowledge can be shared by the whole team.

Have you implemented this idea in your daily life? Is this part of your Development team practices? Let me know.

Manage your files graphically

I can’t believe I still go back to this app, but I just can’t argue with simplicity. Have you ever wanted to know which files or folder are the elephants in your hard drive? Well if this is your case try SpaceMonger. This nifty utility will show you in scale your files and folder according to size on drive.

SpaceMonger treemap

SpaceMonger Treemap

If you do find something better send me a comment and I’ll surely try it out.

Update: Thanks to @cyberllaco for letting me know that WhatSize has the same functionality for Mac users.

WordPress + Windows Live Writer 2011

I am glad to hear that Windows Live Spaces will now use WordPress as their default blogging platform. For those (rare individuals) who use Live Spaces a tool will be offered to move your content to WordPress.

And along the same lines comes the announcement that Windows Live Writer (which I love!) will also default to WordPress.

Tip: Check out some cool WordPress plugins for Windows Live Writer here.

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How to Upgrade WordPress Automatically with GoDaddy Hosting

If you are like me you hate having to download the latest WordPress Install and FTP’ing it to your server to update it. A simple solution is to give your WordPress folder write permissions. Note: this is a security risk but done quickly at off hours it will save you some troubles. If you have your site hosted in GoDaddy launch the the Hosting Control Center and navigate to the File Manager. Now click on your WordPress folder (it might be root or different depending on your install). Click the Permissions icon at the top next.

Setting up folder permissions

Setting up folder permissions

After that you will see a small panel open up. Select the Write checkbox and click OK.

Applying write permissions

Applying write permissions

Now go to your WordPress dashboard and click on the Upgrade link; here click on the Upgrade Automatically button. You should see the install details with a successful confirmation on the page.

And there is nothing more to it. The same process can be applied to inner folders for themes, plugins and file uploads issues. This is one of the downsides of having a higher security setting on the shared servers.

Try it out and have fun 🙂

Note: Thanks to Kofla Olivieri for confirming the same process works for TypePad too.

I’m in Plugin Hell

Doesn’t it suck when you get so used to a plugin that you assume it is part of the original product? To the point where you refuse to use other people’s system if they don’t have that plugin installed… yes I know!

Sadly when that same plugin decides to “Go Rogue” it really wipes the smile of your face. I had that happen using one of the most popular extensions for Visual Studio: Productivity Power Tools (free). For those of us using the Ultimate version of VS2010 Going to the Data Menu is a lost cause. Schema Compare and Data Compare both crash VS upon clicking.

For those in the same pickle…  I have found a hack to keep on working but it really doesn’t solve the issue.

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A brighter future for WordPress

I am glad to discover that on WP 3.0 WordPress and WordPress MU have merged. For all those running WP and holding off on using MU this are some cool news.

Also some new plugins open new doors to flexibility and adaptable code. HookPress is a plugin that offers webhooks, these can be used to develop Push notifications (very popular now due to some mobile devices) and more. It is still in a development phase but I believe it can lead to many more automated publishing schema.

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