Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Cool Tools

Being a software development consultant, I usually work onsite using the client's computer equipment. This means that every year or so, I have to personalize a new development machine and spend the day installing my own box of tools, assuming that I remember what all they were and where I got them. This time, however, I wrote them down as I installed them so that I could list them here, as well as have them available next time (a form of self-Googling).

Scott Hanselman has compiled a platinum, nay Elementium, list of sweet developer tools, from which most of these tools can be found, but a few are not on Scott's list.
These are tools I'm/'ve evaluated that have not been oficially blessed.
  • MagicDisc - Virtual CDROM utility. Mount various image formats rather than burn them to disc first. It can also create an image from an existing CD/DVD.
  • Easy BCD - Manage Windows Vista (and later?) boot loader entries to boot all your fave OSes.
Colophon: Velvet Acid Christ - Hex Angel, DJ Brad Miller

Monday, November 19, 2007

NUnit GUI and project config files

I've used NUnit as the unit test framework on a number of projects and all used their own config files to hold connection string settings, etc. On several occasions, I've also used TestDriven.net, which is an awesome Visual Studio addin for running unit tests. On my current project, however, I create an NUnit project for my unit test project and store the .nunit file in the same folder as the unit test project's .vbproj file (I'm not using VB by choice ;-) ).

And since I'm using Visual Studio 2005, I don't need to modify the unit test project's Post-Build Event script text to copy/rename the app.config in the output folder because VS does that now.

The problem I ran into was that the config file wasn't getting picked up. I double-checked to make sure the configuration was correct and that the config file was being copied/renamed properly, but it still didn't work. After futzing around with it a bit more, I determined that app.config needs to be copied/renamed the same as the .nunit file name and location.

And to make the arrangement portable across projects, I name the .nunit file the same as the VS project nams. So now my Post-build Event script now looks like this:

:: This script copies and renames app.config to .config
:: so that the NUnit GUI application will consume it.
:: Example:
:: MyTestProject.nunit
:: MyTestProject.config
copy /Y "$(ProjectDir)app.config" "$(ProjectDir)$(ProjectName).config"


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Rainwalk Therapy

I went for a walk in the neighborhood this evening because it was a beautiful day here in North Texas. Along the way rain began to fall, a few drops at first, escalating to a brisk shower. My first reaction was to scamper out of the rain because that's what we generally do when rain starts to fall on us. But since there was no shelter anywhere nearby and I was already in clothes that were supposed to get wet and dirty (gym clothes), I decided to just let myself get soaked. The rain subsided after 10 minutes or so and it was then that I realized what a communal experience it was to have the Earth's rain fall on me. I felt more grounded at that moment than I have in some time now. So I hereby resolve to walk in the rain at least twice per year, weather permitting! ;-)

Disclaimer: Should you decide to join me in this experience, please be sensible and stay indoors if there is any thunder or lightning. Better yet, go to a window or covered patio and witness the magnificence of lightning first hand.