I’ve been really annoyed for a while by the unintuitive IDE tab ordering in Visual Studio 2005+. When you type [shift+]alt+tab, you don’t get the next/previous tab in the list as would be the OBVIOUS way to do it (which probably all other IDEs do this right). No, it switches between tabs in an arbitrary hidden order related to the last acces order of the tabs.
Searching the internet for a solution to this was pretty fruitless, so I tried to tackle the problem myself. I dug through all the possible structures I could find in the Visual Studio IDE macro explorer, and was unfortunately unable to find where the tab order was kept in a window pane (if it is even accessible to the user). I thought I had the solution at one point, but realized it also just switches tabs in the order they were originally opened :-(. This is the VB macro code I came up with to do at least that, which uses “DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection” for the tab-open order.
Public Sub TabDirection(ByVal Direction As Integer)
'Find the index of the current tab
Dim i As Integer
Dim Index As Integer
Dim Count As Integer
Count = DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection.Count
For i = 1 To Count
If DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection.Item(i).ActiveWindow.Equals(DTE.ActiveWindow) Then Index = i
'Determine the new index
Index = Index + Direction
If Index > Count Then Index = 1
If Index = 0 Then Index = Count
DTE.ActiveWindow.Document.Collection.Item(Index).Activate() 'Activate the next tab in the proper direction
Public Sub TabForward()
Public Sub TabBackward()
How can incompetence of this magnitude be thriving so well? Stop supporting Microsoft!
So Microsoft sold us [company I am currently working for] a copy of Visual Studio 2010 Professional with lies about what it supported (Windows Mobile Legacy Versions [including CE]). When we complained, they spouted how VS2010 supports the newest version of Windows Mobile (Windows Phone 7), which doesn’t even exist yet (they promise a release in “Holiday of 2010”, I’ll believe it when I see it, as this is not the first missed expected deadline). Now they refuse to give us a refund on VS2010, or even let us buy VS2008 from them instead, as it’s “a legacy product”, even though we need it because it DOES support windows mobile legacy versions.
Microsoft has done this kind of thing to me, people I know, and pretty much everyone in the world too many times to count. They will never be receiving my business or money again. It feels great to see Google beating them hands down in every market Google decides to compete with them on.
Time to see if we can’t switch over to Linux or Android on these handheld systems as an alternative... (though unfortunately they seem to be locked in to running Windows CE *sigh*).
[Addition on 6/17/2010]
And Microsoft lied to me once again, though at least this time I was expecting it. I later found out I also had an MSDN subscription that came with VS2010, and called in to activate it, as online activation wasn’t working (don’t even want to mention all the mistakes they made during THAT process). I was told on the phone during this proceeding that the MSDN subscription license I had was compatible with the “VS Pro MSDN (Retail)” license, and was pointed to a list of products I could download from the MSDN Subscriptions page as soon as my subscription was activated (which took 3 days...). Low and behold, this was not true and I can not download many of the things I am needing and was planning on getting when the subscription came through (including VS 2005 or 2008), as the license is not compatible at all with what they told me.
Microsoft thrives on lying to their consumers and knowing they can get away with it. Microsoft specifically targets CEOs and tells them how important it is that they make their shop 100% Microsoft, giving completely falsified numbers and arguments to support this mockery. Microsoft jams their advertising so much into the heads of these non-tech-savvy individuals that when their IT staff tells them anything against the loud spoutings of Microsoft, the truth is lost in the wind, and even sometimes loses jobs. I have seen this happen at multiple companies, and have seen Microsoft’s lies and falsified reports more times than I can remember.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t apply to just virtual folders, but all folders under an IIS web server, as I found out a few years ago when I backed up a site that I knew would be taken down very soon (ironically, because the company [SysInternals] was being taken over by Microsoft) and mirrored it on my Home Server, which runs IIS.
The solution I used was to add a character (in my case an underscore “_”) to the end of all the directory names ending in “.com” and then doing a global regular expression replace through all files in the mirror to replace any occurrences of these directories.
All of the Windows lines of OSs from XP through Windows Server 2003 (or 2005 or 2007?) are, to my knowledge and IMO, basically the exact same thing, with just some minor tweaks and extra software for the more expensive versions. My version of XP Professional even comes with IIS (Internet Information Services - Microsoft’s web/ftp/mail server suite). One of my favorite XP hacks adds on a desperately needed functionality found only in Windows Server editions, which is allowing multiple user sessions on a machine at once. This basically means allowing multiple people to log onto a machine at the same time through Remote Desktop (Microsoft’s internal Windows VNC client). I find the most useful function by far of this is the “Remote Control” feature, which allows a second logged in user to see exactly what is on the screen of another session, and if permissions are given, to take control of it. This is perfect for those people whom you often have to trouble shoot computer problems for, eliminating the need for a trip to their location or 3rd party software to view their computer.
This hack requires a few registry modifications, a group policy modification, and a DLL replacement. The DLL replacement was provided by Microsoft in early versions of XPSP2 when they were tinkering with allowing this feature in XP. I found the information for all this here a number of years ago and it has provided itself invaluable since. Unfortunately, this does not work on XP Home edition, just XP Professional. I tried adapting it once and wasted a lot of time :-\. The following is the text from where I gotthis hack.
Concurrent Remote Desktop Sessions in Windows XP SP2
I mentioned before that Windows XP does not allow concurrent sessions for its Remote Desktop feature. What this means is that if a user is logged on at the local console, a remote user has to kick him off (and ironically, this can be done even without his permission) before starting work on the box. This is irritating and removes much of the productivity that Remote Desktop brings to Windows. Read on to learn how to remove that limitation in Windows XP SP2
A much touted feature in SP2 (Service Pack 2) since then removed was the ability to do just this, have a user logged on locally while another connects to the terminal remotely. Microsoft however removed the feature in the final build. The reason probably is that the EULA (End User License Agreement) allows only a single user to use a computer at a time. This is (IMHO) a silly reason to curtail Remote Desktop’s functionality, so we’ll have a workaround.
Microsoft did try out the feature in earlier builds of Service Pack 2 and it is this that we’re going to exploit here. We’re going to replace termsrv.dll (The Terminal Server) with one from an earlier build (2055).
To get Concurrent Sessions in Remote Desktop working, follow the steps below exactly:
Download the termsrv.zip file and extract it somewhere.
Reboot into Safe Mode. This is necessary to remove Windows File Protection. [Dakusan: I use unlocker for this, which I install on all my machines as it always proves itself useful, and then usually have to do a “shutdown -a” from command line when XP notices the DLL changed.]
Copy the termsrv.dll in the zip to %windir%\System32 and %windir%\ServicePackFiles\i386. If the second folder doesn’t exist, don’t copy it there. Delete termsrv.dll from the dllcache folder: %windir%\system32\dllcache
Merge the contents of Concurrent Sessions SP2.reg file into the registry. [Dakusan: Just run the .reg file and tell XP to allow the action.]
Make sure Fast User Switching is turned on. Go Control Panel -> User Accounts -> Change the way users log on or off and turn on Fast User Switching.
Open up the Group Policy Editor: Start Menu > Run > ‘gpedit.msc’. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Terminal Services. Enable ‘Limit Number of Connections’ and set the number of connections to 3 (or more). This enables you to have more than one person remotely logged on.
Now reboot back into normal Windows and try out whether Concurrent Sessions in Remote Desktop works. It should!
If anything goes wrong, the termsrv_sp2.dll is the original file you replaced. Just rename it to termsrv.dll, reboot into safe mode and copy it back.
The termsrv.dl_ file is provided in the zip is for you slipstreamers out there. Just replace that file with the corresponding file in the Windows installation disks.
I have included an old copy of the above web page, from when I first started distributing this, with the information in the hack’s zip file I provide.
If you want to Remote Control another session, I think the user needs to be part of the “Administrators” group, and don’t forget to add any users that you want to be able to remotely log on to the “Remote Desktop Users” group.
This is all actually part of an “Enhanced Windows XP Install” document I made years ago that I never ended up releasing because I hadn’t finished cleaning it up. :-\ One of these days I’ll get it up here. Some of the information pertaining to this hack from that document is as follows:
Any computer techy out there that has tried to troubleshoot over the phone knows how much of a problem/pain in the anatomy it is, and for this reason, I install this hack which makes it painless to automatically connect to a users computer through remote desktop, which can then be remotely viewed or controlled via their displayed console session.
I often use this hack myself when I am running computers without keyboards/mice, like my entertainment computer. For a permanent solution for something like this though, I recommend a KM (Keyboard/Mouse) solution like synergy, which allows manipulating one computer via a keyboard and mouse on another.
Your user account password must also not be blank. Blank passwords often cause problems with remote services.
The security risk for this is a port is opened for someone to connect to like telnet or SSH on Unix, which is a minimal risk unless someone has your username+password.
You have to have a second username to log into, which can be done under Control Panel > User Accounts, or Control panel > Administrative Tools > Computer Management > System Tools > Local users and Groups.
If you want the second user to be able to log in remotely, make sure to add them under Control Panel > System > Remote > Select Remote users, and also check “allow users to connect remotely to this computer”.
You also need to know the IP address of the user’s computer you want to connect to, and unfortunately, they are not always static. If you run into this, you may want to use a DDNS service like mine.
You may also run into the unfortunate circumstance of NAT/Firewalled networks, which is beyond the scope of this document. Long story short, you need to open up port 3389 in the firewall and forward it through the router/NAT (this is the port for both remote desktop and remote assistance).
You may also want to change the port number to something else so a port scanner will not pick it up. To connect to a different port, on the client computer, in remote desktop, you connect to COMPUTERIP:PORT like www.mycomputer.com:5050.
Registry Key: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\TerminalServer\WinStations\RDP-Tcp\PortNumber - Set as your new port number
This requires a reboot to work.
Make sure you don’t provide a port that’s already used on the computer, and you probably shouldn’t make it a standard port either [21 [ftp], 25 [smtp], 80 [http], etc])
You can also log into their current console session by going to the task manager (ctrl+shift+esc in full screen, or right click taskbar and go to “task manager”) > Users > Right click username > Remote control
This will ask the user at the computer if they want to accept this. To have it NOT ask them, do the following:
Start > Run > gpedit.msc [enter] > computer configuration > administrative templates > windows components > terminal services
Double click the option “Sets rules for remote control of terminal services user sessions”
Enable it, and for the “Options” setting, set “Full control without users permission”
If the ability for you to access a client’s computer without their immediate permission or knowledge is too “dangerous” for their taste, you may suggest/use Remote Assistance, which is more troublesome, but much more “secure” sounding.
I recently had to install Windows 98 through VMWare for some quick tests, and there were a few minor problems after the install that needed to be resolved. I thought I’d share them here if anyone ever needed them.
First, VMWare Tools needs to be installed to get video and some other drivers working.
Second, Windows 98 was really before the time when network cards were used to connect to the internet, as broadband technology was rare and modems were the commonplace solution, so it doesn’t make this process easy. To connect through your VMWARE bridge or NAT to the Internet (to use IE - FireFox [newer versions of?] doesn’t work on Windows 98), the following must be done through the MSN Connection Wizard (this is mostly from memory).
Open "Connect to the internet" from the desktop
Select Modem Manually [next]
Select any of the normal modems in the list on the right, like a generic 56,000 modem [OK]
Connect using my local area network (LAN) [next]
"No" to email [next]
Lastly, the default sound driver does not work, so you need to do the following [Information found here by googling]
Does anyone else find it odd that IE reports itself as ‘Mozilla’ if you access the navigator.appCodeName variable? You can test this out by putting the following in your browser as the URL
So I just plopped in an old Win98 CD (in this case SP2) to grab the QBasic files off of it for the Languages and Libraries page. I started browsing through the CD, and thought to myself “OMG... win98!”, heh. So I installed it, and wow, am I ever in super nostalgia mode.
Things I now take for granted that were major Pains in the pre-XP days (well, pre NT kernel....):
Getting non-modem LAN connections on the internet: Win98 expected people to connect to the internet via phone modems, as broadband was still unheard of then. The “Windows Connection Wizard” was a pain in the butt and you had to know just the right place to go to get it to recognize a NIC as a valid connection to the internet.
Shutting down windows improperly: If you failed to turn off the computer through the proper “Shut Down” method, the FAT file systems did not have certain type of safe-guards that NTFS does, and the computer was be forced to do a ScanDisk on startup. A ScanDisk is also run the first time windows starts after install, and seeing this old piece of software really gave me a warm fuzzy feeling... or was it a feeling of utter nausea?
RAM allocation: The DOS-line-kernel of windows never properly kept track of memory from applications, and memory leaks in applications STAYED memory leaks after the program shut down, so RAM could very quickly get eaten up. Programs called “RAM Scrubbers” were around to fix these detected memory leaks and free them.
Themes: Most people don’t know that windows themes actually originated with Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95 (I could have sworn it was originally called Windows Plus!... need to find my original CD) software package, which also first introduced the ever-popular and addicting Space Cadet Pinball (check the games folder that comes installed in XP). Most Plus! options were usually integrated straight into later Windows versions or updates. I have included below all the Themes that came with Windows 98 SE for nostalgic value :-). Enjoy!
Speaking of games, it seems 98SE also included FreeCell... I wasn’t aware it was that old. I think the “Best of Windows Entertainment Pack” (with “Chips Challenge”, “Golf”, “Rodent’s Revenge”, “Tetris”, “SkiFree”, and some other fun games) also originally came on the Plus! CDs, but am not sure of this. I believe the Best Pack also came with the CD packs that came with new computer from Packard Bell and maybe some other manufacturer for like 2 or 3 years in the mid 90s that also included the first game of one of my most favorite game series ever, Journey Man, as well as Microsoft Encarta, Britannica, a Cook Book CD and a Do-It-Yourself Book CD. Good times!!!
The first question asked during install was “You have a drive over 512mb in size, would you like to enable large disk support?”
All the 3d screensavers were OpenGL. Though DirectX was out at that point, it was still in a state of sheer-crappiness so Microsoft still used OpenGL, which it wouldn’t be caught dead using nowadays ^_^.
During install, there were lots of messages touting the operating systems features, including “By converging real-time 2d and 3d graphics ... *MMX is a trademark of Intel Corporation”. It just made me smile knowing that MMX was once so new Microsoft had to put a trademark warning like that.
Internet Explorer (5.0) started up at MSN.com already... which immediately crashed the browser! hehe
The windows update website informed me as follows: “Important: End of Support for Windows 98 and Windows ME
Effective July 11, 2006, support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows ME (and their related components) will end. Updates for Windows 98 and Windows ME will be limited to those updates that currently appear on the Windows Update website.”
Things that I miss:
The emotion behind the OS. For some reason, Windows 98 and 95 always had... a warmness to them that 2K/XP never had. I’m not sure why... but the newer operating systems always had such a stiff and corporate feeling to them.
Winipcfg! Now I am forced to go to the darn command prompt to do it via ipconfig (which was available then also), which is a pain when you have too many NICs and it scrolls the console window or when trying to help someone get their IP Address or MAC address.
Restart in MS-DOS mode! Man do I ever miss that. Especially for playing original DOOM. Good ’ol 640k ^_^. The 3.x/95/98 kernels were really based upon DOS so it was valid to have a DOS only mode, but there’s nothing stopping them from including it on newer computers... well, except that DOS didn’t support NTFS, I guess... so it would be confusing. Ah well.
FAST load time. If I recall, Win98 always loaded bounds faster than XP... probably has to do with drivers.