Andrej Tozon's ***OLD*** blog

In the Attic




This should be my last post here on blogspot, I'm moving this blog to its new home. Thanks to FeedBurner the RSS feed address will remain the same, so resubscribing won't be necessary.


Got back from my one week holiday. I obviously picked the wrong week for my leave - I wouldn't exactly call the air temperature of 12 degrees C during the day - the "summer time". And that was in our "coast capital" - Koper. But It was a working holiday anyway so I'm not complaining.

And as the summer is progressing... I've just found out that one of our super/mega/hyper/whatever market here in Ljubljana is carrying cherry/vanilla/decaf flavours of one of my favourite drinks...


Few Friday links, Beta Wave ahead...

If you happened to miss any of these...


TableAdapters & connection strings in VS2005

When you create a new TableAdapter for your DataSet using Configuration Wizard, VS kindly generates new code file for you and adds the specified connection string to application settings. The problem is that connection string also gets included in the auto generated code file and consequently embedded into compiled assembly, which may result in "unexpected behavior" in production environment, like application trying to connect to the wrong server and stuff... Not to mention potential security risks...
To turn this behavior off and store your connection string to configuration file only, select (Connection string) setting in your project's Settings page and switch its GenerateDefaultValueInCode property to false.


VS 2005 July CTP

I've been working with Visual Studio 2005 intensively for over a month now and one thing that annoyed me most was this bug, which caused certain keys to stop responding in VS IDE. It first happened during my VSTO presentation on NTK and it’s been haunting me ever since.
I downloaded and installed July CTP a few days back and after experimenting with it a bit, I decided to go with it completely. Keys don’t seem to freeze anymore, IDE looks more responsive, there are a few new settings and some cosmetic changes (like tabs).
VS installation, however, indicated that SQL Server Express did not install correctly, but looks like it’s working anyway.
On top of all, WSE 3.0 July CTP, which goes along with VS2005 July CTP, was also released yesterday.
Busy summer…

On a side note… VS 2005 Beta 2 VPC image is also available for MSDN subscribers. Yes, the whole shebang (Windows 2003, Office 2003, VS 2005 Beta 2, SQL Server 2005 CTP) already installed and ready to use.


VSTO2005: Outlook Add-ins

Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 (VSTO) family is getting bigger: after initial Word and Excel support and InfoPath refresh (available for MSDN subscribers), now there's Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Office — Outlook (Beta), allowing developers to write Outlook Add-ins in managed code.


NTK2005 files

The following files from my NTK2005 talk/lab are ready for download:

Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005
PowerPoint slides

ClickOnce Lab
PowerPoint slides
Demo code
Hands-On-Lab manual


Microsoft NTK2005 conference, Portoroz

I'm back from the 10th NT conference, held in Portoroz, Slovenia, where I gave a talk about Visual Studio Tools for office 2005 and had a lab on deploying applications using ClickOnce. I will post PowerPoint presentations and demos on this site in a few days. If you have a question about using these new exciting tools and technology, you're more than welcome to post a comment here or email me.


Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2

First Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 bits are available for MSDN subscribers to download. I guess april 15th wasn't such a bad guess after all. The real experience begins in a week... ;)


CodeZone SI/SLODUG portal

There's a discussion going on here and here about the new SLODUG portal, which was recently put up by local developers' community. By the developers, for the developers. So, what's the problem? I don't really know the reason why they decided on the MS' CodeZone implementation; personally I think it's not intuitive, limited and somehow outdated. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly agree we developers need a meeting place to share our knowledge but the problem might lie elsewhere. Go to David’s si.Blogs page and count how many developers’ blogs are listed. Not many. I think we should first encourage our developers to start their own blogs by putting up a site like or, then syndicate all blog entries and integrate them with a simple forum (e.g. in a way that blog comments show up as forum posts). Looks like codezone-si certainly is going this way, but the tool, chosen for this, might be a bit awkward.

I wish the codezone-si catches on, we need this kind of community. However, making people contribute to it, is another story.



Patterns & Practices Enterprise Library

If you ever used any of the Microsoft Application blocks  in your application, you'll love the Enterprise Library, released by Microsoft Patterns and Practices group. The library is composed of seven application blocks, all extendable, designed to work together and, what's best, very easy configurable with new  Enterprise Library Configuration Console.

The library includes QuickStart samples (C# and VB.NET), application blocks' source code (with unit tests).

Excellent stuff. Go get it!


SQL blogs

I've just run into Dejan Sarka's SQL blog while searching for his »valueListString-to-rowset« SQL User-Defined Function he presented at the last Slovenian Developer Users Group (SLODUG) last week. Subscribed.

You can also check other SQL (Solid Quality Learning) blogs here.


news:// in the Outlook Express

Wow, so long time and no posts…

Anyway, this one took me quite some time to figure it out: I use Outlook Express as a newsgroup reader and I was used to starting it by simply typing news:// in the command prompt. I don’t know, I’m just more of a keyboard guy and I liked this shortcut; I don’t really use desktop icons and, if possible, start Word by typing winword.exe.
So, invoking OE from the command prompt worked fine for me, until I installed XP SP2 on my machine. From that moment on, OE just wouldn’t  show me newsgroup posts anymore. All the newsgroups were there, the posts were retrieving from the server successfully, except when I clicked on one to see the whole post, this app just moved the selection focus to the newsgroup name again. Weird. I knew this was somehow connected to the security enhancement features of SP2, but I just couldn’t find any information about this issue anywhere on the net. Maybe because this wasn’t really an issue. After a month or two, I asked myself a question: how many people starts their OE the way I do? And I went and finally started it “the proper way” – by Start menu. Woohoo, works.


Google Desktop Search

Wow! When I installed Lookout a couple of months ago I thought it was great having all of my emails indexed for instant access. And now comes this great tool from Google… First, it installs as its own web server running on port 4664. After that, it indexes some of your office documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Email (Outlook, Outlook Express), temporary internet pages and AOL IM conversations. It even integrates into your common Google search page ( by adding the “Desktop” option on the page and including your desktop hits among the web results. Searching speed is just amazing. Very useful also for searching for the files you know you once downloaded from the web but can’t remember which folder you have put them in :) As this is a beta product, I am sure they will add indexing support for even more file types in the future. Can’t wait.

Other news I’m excited about: Looks like Visual Studio 2005 is going to support C# Edit and Continue feature after all. Yes!



Mexico City, December 2002. Sandra and I arrived to the ruins of Teotihuacan around 8 a.m. We were among the first to arrive to the site that morning and were immediately attacked by the hawkers trying to sell us stuff. One guy has been tracking us the whole day, offering us a couple of statues, made of obsidian stone - representing the sun & moon gods. We kept lowering the price the whole day and actually ended up buying them just before we left the place. As it turned out, the price was more than reasonable, compared to other deals offered to us later.
The face on this picture belongs to Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent Aztec god. Taken at Teotihuacan, the temple of Quetzalcoatl. Canon EOS 300 w/ Sigma 28-135 lens.



Word(s) of the day

Gulosity... Synaesthesia... Schlimazel... Words like these mean anything to you? Sure, you’ve heard them, you have some vague idea of their meaning, but you’d rather not go throwing them at people just like that… Subscribe to one of the Word of the Day RSS feeds out there, just to be sure of what you’re talking about. Expand your vocabulary. And knowledge.

1., RSS

2., RSS

3., RSS


Medieval careers: what's your distinct personality?

The Discoverer
»Your distinct personality, The Discoverer, might be found in most of the thriving kingdoms of the time. Your overriding goal is to go where no one else has ever gone before. Regardless of the number of available natural problems to be solved, it is not unusual for you to continually challenge yourself with new situations or obstacles that you have created. You are an insatiable explorer of people, places, things and ideas. You thrive on constant change and anything new or different. On the positive side, you can be creatively rational as well as open minded and just. On the negative side, you might be an impractical and indecisive procrastinator. Interestingly, your preference is just as applicable in today's corporate kingdoms.«

To boldly go…

Find out what’s your distinct personality here.
Found via Chris Sells’ blog


HBO is coming

Finally! HBO, the popular TV movie channel, is coming to Slovenia. 12 hours of movies a day, for 12 Euros per month, with introductory first two weeks free of charge. Beginning tomorrow, September 23rd.

The movies? Well, first three months include the premieres of Ocean’s eleven, A Knight’s tale, Training day, first chapters of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter ... Nothing new and exciting, really.

I’m more excited about the recent release of the Star Wars Trilogy on DVDs (on my Amazon wish list ;) Apparently George Lucas made some additional changes to the trilogy for this release. Read full review on The Digital Bits.


A week with Canon EOS 300D

I've got a new toy - Canon EOS 300D, a digital SLR camera. After owning EOS 300 & 300v, this one's my entry into digital photo world. I have to agree with Andrej - it does feel plasticky, especially the included 18-55 EFS lens, which is more like a toy product. However, the lens is very light and the pictures aren't so bad either. I just wish it wouldn't make squeaky noises when zooming in and out. Maybe oiling it wouldn't hurt :)

The following are some pictures of kittens, playing in my back yard, taken with this camera and my Sigma 28-200 lens.


Although there is plenty of software ready on the included CD, I'd recommend complementing that collection with David's GetCanon! tool for easy camera-to-PC picture downloading.


GMail Invites available...

I've got four (4) GMail invites to give away.

If you'd like to have one, leave a comment with a valid e-mail address and I'll send it to you. 



Čara, the Maine Coon cat


The books are here

Every now and then I browse through my Amazon wish list and pick a few items I’d like to have. Three books made it to the latest package that arrived earlier this week: 

·        Steve McConnell's Code Complete (2nd ed.),  After reading so many positive reviews about this book I decided on getting a copy

·        Roger Zelazny’s Lord of Light, a classic Sci-Fi novel, was also recommended to me

·        Holy Blood, Holy Grail (Baigent, Lincoln, Leigh). This one has been on my list for quite some time now. I’ve first heard the story behind Rennes-Le-Chateau about 5 years ago and took immediate interest in it. This book is considered one of the best on the subject

As a developer, I naturally started with Code Complete :). To find out more about this book, go see this interview with the author on MSDN TV. 


.NET Framework 1.1 SP1 released

The following flavours are available:

.NET Framework 1.1. SP1 for Windows Server 2003
.NET Framework 1.1. SP1 for other Windows versions

.NET Framework 1.0 SP3

More info on what's included is here.



Google day

Thanks to Matija and Goran, my coworkers (yes, it was a joint effort, don't ask), I now have a GMail account. You can help me test it by sending me your mail on andrej.tozon at While I wait to get some invites to give away, I would want to follow this lead.

I also signed up for Google AdSense program and added some ad space to my blog. Just to see how this works out…

Having said that... I google a lot. Mostly for information, but there's more to it. Google's calculator not only performs advanced mathematical calculations, but is also a measure unit converter. To convert a person's height to centimeters simply enter this in the search field: 5.9 feet in cm and you'll get the result. Needless to say, I don't use the Windows calculator anymore.
Another Google's best is the Definitions. Type define: programming in the search box and you will get back various definitions from various dictionaries available on the web.
More Google tools on this page.


Flickr test

I thought it would be nice to share some photos on this blog so I decided to give Flickr a try. This picture is from my recent holiday in Rome. It was taken with my Canon EOS 300v, using Vivitar's wide angle lens.


VS.NET: File-copying projects and referencing all of them from the same project

I've been asked this question a few times in a last couple of months.

Sometimes you want to shorten the time needed to start up a new project for your component by simply copying the files of an existing, possibly similar project you worked on before. While this solution will generally work, you will encounter some problems when referencing both components (the original and the copy) from the same project in the solution. Sure, you've changed the name of the copied project, all of the files, possibly even the namespace your component resides in. But when you try to add a reference to the new component from the main project, already referencing the original component, nothing happens. There's no warning, message box or anything, and your new component just won't show in the references list.

You check the new project's properties, change the assembly name if you haven't done that already [funny thing - if two or more projects in your solution have the same assembly name assigned to them, the solution will compile without any warning, but you will be stuck with only one executable/dll - the one which compiled last].
Now, all project properties seem alright, but VS still refuses to add the new reference. It's because when you copied the project, you also copied its GUID, an unique identifier, by which, evidently, VS keeps track of the projects.

So, in order to get this thing done, you have to create a new GUID and assign it to the new component project. I haven't found any easier solution, so this is what I would do:

1. Generate new GUID: from the VS Tools menu, select item Create GUID - this will bring up a new window, which will help you create a new GUID for your project. In the GUID Format section select the option 4. Registry format. The resulting GUID will be shown in the result section of the window. You can generate new GUID by hitting the New GUID button. When you're fine with the generated number, click the Copy button, which will copy the number to the clipboard.

2. Paste the GUID in the project file: in your favorite text/XML editor, open the .csproj file, which resides in your new project's folder. Find the text ProjectGuid = "{XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX}" and replace existing GUID with new by pasting it from the clipboard.

3. Save the file and reopen the solution in VS.

I haven't found any better way to do this but it gives me an idea for a VS plug-in...



Microsoft released the RTM version of Windows XP SP2, which will be available through Windows update/Automatic updates service in the next few days. Because of the size (about 265 MB), you might also consider downloading the package through the TechNet XP2 Site or MSDN Subscriber Downloads.

I guess the most obvious changes you'll notice after installing SP2 will be the new Windows Security Center, improved Firewall and handy pop-up blocker. However, the SP2 focuses on stronger security and better manageability. Microsoft sees it as an essential security update, making this package a required install.


Want to use Messenger services in your application?

Check out the dotMSN Class Library, written in C#, which lets you use the MSN Messenger Service in your own applications. Provided example shows you its basic features, which include (taken from the site):

·        Connecting / disconnecting with the MSN Messenger service
MSNP8 protocol

·        File transfer

·        Fires events when contact go online or offline or change status

·        Automatically synchronizes contact lists and keeps contact data up to date

·        Create/Remove contactgroups

·        Convenient enumerating through contacts in different lists

·        Request or receive conversations

·        Multiple users in one conversation

·        Send messages

·        Received messages include information about font, charset, color, decoration

·        Privacy settings of the contactlist owner

·        Provides hotmail inbox status

·        Error handling

Related: Microsoft releases beta version of web based MSN Messenger – runs in your web browser, no need for client install… Cool!


Microsoft exam 70-301

Microsoft has announced new exam, which targets developers, who use Microsoft Solutions Framework 3.0, is going to beta testing in September 2004. Exam 70-301, titled Managing, Organizing, and Delivering IT Projects by Using the Microsoft Solutions Framework 3.0, will count as an elective to both MCSD (.NET) and MCSE (Windows Server 2003), and passing it would also get you the MCP status.

To pass the exam, you should have solid experience with managing and delivering IT projects, using MSF v3. The requirements cover activities through the whole project lifespan, from organizing the team to deployment of the solution. Recommended are the following courses: 1846: Microsoft Solutions Framework Essentials and 2710: Analyzing Requirements and Defining Microsoft .NET Solution Architectures

Now, if you ever thought of getting to know the MSF in more detail, I think this exam will give you a great opportunity to test your knowledge on the subject and a chance for further study. I for sure will give it a try :)


Ministry in House of the Molé

Ministry released a new album last month. Houses of the Molé brings back the Ministry I once knew in the early 90s, when Psalm 69 was released. Fast, heavy sounding songs, loaded with samples from US president G. W. Bush, shoud easily be recognized as the best work Al Jourgensen has released in years. The political statement seems inevitable, as each of  the songs starts with the letter ‘W’, except  the opening No “W”, which kind of makes the Al’s point. No “W”, mixed with Orff’s Carmina Burana, also makes one of my favorites on this album. All in all, this is a great album, but The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste still remains my favorite Ministry CD.

Skinny Puppy, also a great industrial band from the past, have released a new album too. Yet, The Greater Wrong of the Right did not convince me :-(

Looks like the Revolting Cocks are next… Remember Beers, Steers & Queers?


.NET Rocks!

About a decade ago, there was a Visual Basic site, called Carl & Gary's VB Page, which was my regular stop for all my VB projects, information and programming research I was doing back then. Just a couple of months ago I (finally) took a closer look at the .NET Rocks!, to realize, that Carl, the host of this show, is actually THE Carl, who was running that VB page. That site simply rocked. As does the .NET Rocks!, the internet audio show, hosted by Carl and Rory :), originally targeted for .NET developers, but it is so much more. Currently, they are giving away the Toshiba Portégé® M200 Tablet PC, so hurry to enter and win! :)


Roman Holiday

Spent a week in Rome, Italy & enjoyed it. Very much. It was all I expected. Ancient Rome ruins, the catacombs, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, … The food is great, coffee excellent :) I found out that there is a considerable price difference in coffee price, when you order it inside (the bar, ~1 EUR) or outside (table, ~3 EUR). The pizza might not always be what you would expect, but the pasta really never disappoints.


VS 2005 Beta 1

Yesterday the net started buzzing... Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 is released... Express family of VS 2005 products is introduced... MSDN Product Feedback Center is launched... All this revealed on TechEd Europe in Amsterdam.
The Express products are, as it says, »lightweight, easy-to-use, easy-to-learn tools for hobbyists, enthusiasts, and novices who want to build dynamic Windows applications and Web sites.« They are supposedly going to sell very cheap. The family includes VB, C#, C++, J#, WebDev and SQL Server express products.

While waiting to get my hands on its big brother, I gave a C# Express a try. It looks nice, feels good and the included RSS ScreenSaver Starter Kit really puts an extra touch to the package.


Feline Corneal Sequestrum

Today I took my cat (his name is Georgy) to a vet for a surgery. He developed the corneal sequestrum, a kind of an ulcer, on the right eye. This condition seems to be quite common among the Persian, and the cause can't really be determined. It might be the result of some kind of eye irritation, feline herpesvirus, lack of tear production (some cats even sleep with their eyes open, causing the eye to dry) or corneal ulceration.
Although the sequestrum was already very deep, the operation didn't last too long and right now, Georgy is already awake from his anesthetic sleep.
We're having our next visit to the vet's scheduled for the next Monday, when the surgeon is going to remove the stitches. Hopefully, the surgery is going to be a success.


First post

Today seems like a good day to start blogging. I've just returned from the one-week vacation I spent on adriatic coast, where I enjoyed hot sun and some cold beer, whilst trying to put my mind away from the work.

So what can you expect from this blog? Well, in my future posts, I hope to start covering all of the aspects of software development, focusing primarily on .NET development. I am a long term VB developer, have been experimenting with .NET development since the early betas, now switched to C# as the primary .NET language. Other than computing, my interests include music (synths, samplers & stuff), movies and pets (yes, I have a cat, 11-year old black Persian) so you'll find me writing about those as well.