Below you will find pages that utilize the taxonomy term “Microsoft”
December 15, 2020
Improve Remote Desktop frame rate to 60fps by enabling AVC 4:4:4 encoding
I am a great fan of Remote Desktop and have been using it for over a decade. It’s built in and just works. One gripe of mine has always been the poor framerate which makes animations and transitions super janky by default. In RDP 10 it turns out this can be massively improved by enabling a screen encoding based on AVC/H.264 video. By enabling the group policy “Prioritize H.264/AVC 444 graphics mode for Remote Desktop Connections” under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop Services > Remote Desktop Session Host > Remote Session Environment, I was able to get a glorious 60fps, almost double what I was getting before.
May 27, 2019
Missing StoreKey PFX certificates when building a Visual Studio 2019 UWP project
I came across an interesting issue updating my UWP app to Visual Studio 2019 and a new Azure DevOps pipeline. “Associate with Store” no longer adds password-less PFX files named *TemporaryKey.pfx and *StoreKey.pfx to your project to sign your store submissions – instead in VS2019 it now adds the certificates to your local user store only. Which means when it comes to build, you get errors like C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\Enterprise\MSBuild\Microsoft\VisualStudio\v15.
August 7, 2016
An ode to Surface 3
It is increasingly looking like the Surface 3 is going to be discontinued. Microsoft is running out of stock on the 128GB / 4GB RAM model. Third party vendors are heavily discounting it, suggesting a clearance. The biggest sign of its demise is that Intel are simply going to stop making the quad-core Cherry Trail Atom processors that power the Surface 3 and other tablets like it. This is a crying shame.
July 6, 2015
Windows 10 on Mac Bootcamp - fixes (Updated)
Update 19th August 2015: Apple have released Bootcamp 6, which fixes all of the below when using Windows 10. If you already have Bootcamp 5 installed, run the Apple Software Update utility to get the latest set of drivers. The only oddity I’ve had with Bootcamp 6 is that is resets your DPI scaling to 200%. Windows 10 on Bootcamp (Macbook Pro 13 inch, Bootcamp 5.1) has some teething issues as of build 10162.
September 15, 2013
Windows 8.1's user-hostile backup story
Update 13th June 2015: It looks like Microsoft has reversed course and reinstated the Windows 7 Backup and Restore feature in Windows 10! Success! Update 16th Sept 2013: What follows is a rant written after upgrading to 8.1 and seeing my automated backups just stop working and the backup restoration function also removed. An afternoon was wasted faffing about with the new File History feature which still refuses to backup files not on my system drive and deliberately ignores files in the SkyDrive folder, preventing you from having a local backup.
October 28, 2012
Why I won’t be returning my Microsoft Surface RT
I’ve picked up a Microsoft Surface RT from the “temporary” New York Times Square Microsoft Store. While the purchasing experience was a bit of a mess (untrained sales staff – I ended up having to type my own details into their POS terminal as I’m not quite sure the guy knew how to type), I managed to make off with a properly boxed (I skipped getting the staff to unbox it and walk me through the “Out of Box Experience”) 32GB Surface, Type Cover and VGA adapter.
April 22, 2011
Working on an online MS Money replacement
I am finally fed up of having to install Microsoft Money and set up syncing of the data file, so I’ve decided to try and build a web based version. Mint.com does not support non-US markets and apparently does not even support adding your own transactions that have not been downloaded from a bank. “Private Money” is the codename and it looks a bit like this at the moment: The stack:
April 19, 2011
Thoughts on ASP.NET MVC3 Update and Entity Framework 4.1
Microsoft have now released an update to ASP.NET MVC3 imaginatively called “ASP.NET MVC3 Update”. This update upgrades NuGet, bundles Entity Framework 4.1 with all new templates, adds HTML5 template support and splits the jQuery libraries off into NuGet packages so they can be upgraded individually. The bundling with new MVC projects is a sign that Microsoft has selected Entity Framework as the “chosen” ORM layer from now on. Linq2SQL is not flexible enough when dealing with pre-existing database schemas and third party solutions such NHibernate are difficult to get pointy-haired boss approval.
November 27, 2010
That upgraded WPF 4.0 Text rendering again
Just to hammer the point home about how important it is to upgrade to .NET 4.0 if you are using WPF, here are some comparison screenshots of the text rendering in WPF 3.5 and 4.0: Pay attention to the difference between the text rendering on lines 2 and 3. Line 2 shows the new Display formatting mode available in WPF 4.0. This renders the text the same way as the rest of Windows – the shape of the font is distorted so that lines fall on pixel boundaries.
October 31, 2010
Evernote has no patience, drops WPF over fixed issues
Much noise has been made about Evernote’s new Windows client. For version 4, they dropped WPF/.NET and released a C++ native application. They were pretty damning with their reasoning: Evernote 4 is a major departure from Evernote 3.5 in every way. While 3.5 added tons of great new features, there were some problems we simply couldn’t fix: the blurry fonts, slow startup times, large memory footprint, and poor support for certain graphics cards were all issues that the technology behind 3.
October 24, 2010
Free Cloud-based online Microsoft Money using Dropbox
I have used Microsoft Money to manage my finances for coming up 6 years now and still find it the best personal finance app around. The last version in the UK was 2005 after Microsoft cancelled the product and let Quicken take the market. Microsoft then discontinued the international versions in the wake of Mint.com and other Yodlee-based web applications. Mint.com appears to be the most successful of the bunch and was bought by Quicken to replace their terrible Quicken Online.
March 16, 2010
No native Japanese text in Windows Phone 7 … yet
The first preview version of the Windows Phone 7 SDK is out and it doesn’t support Japanese (or non-Latin) text in the English ROM. This is a huge disappointment. One of the major advantages the iPhone has over almost every other smartphone platform (and the major reason I bought mine in the first place – I needed Japanese language support) is the built in support for non-Latin languages and their input methods.
February 23, 2008
XNA2.0 Dependency checking
After a lot of trial and error using Process Monitor and Virtual PC, I have finally sussed out exactly what XNA2.0 games on Windows need to run. The requirements are slightly different to XNA 1 games. Direct X runtimes There are four files that need to be installed in the system32 folder for XNA to initialise properly. They are: xinput1_3.dll x3daudio1_3.dll d3dx9_31.dll, and xactengine2_9.dll The first three can be placed alongside the application exe and then load fine, but xactengine2_9.
February 23, 2008
Free pro Microsoft tools for students
Wow. Microsoft has just launched “DreamSpark” – a programme that lets higher education students download pro Microsoft development tools – not the cut-down Express versions of Visual Studio, but the full Professional editions. UK Microsoft student champ Ed Dunhill sums it up the best on his blog here. You get access to: Visual Studio 2008 Pro The whole Expression suite SQL Server 2005 Developer edition Windows Server 2003 Standard (and hopefully soon 2008) The best bit is a whole years XNA Creators Club subscription FREE!
December 18, 2007
Taskbar invisible over Remote Desktop
I frequently use Remote Desktop (RDP/Terminal Services) to access my machines running Vista SP1 RTM. 90% of the time, after connecting, I get this annoying problem with the Start bar: Only the Start button itself is visible. This happens on all my Vista machines, both SP0 and SP1 This happens no matter what version of Remote Desktop I am using, the XP version or the “new” Vista one It only appears to happen when the computer was originally using the Aero DWM composition engine and originally in a different resolution to what I am asking the Remote Desktop session to render It happens wether or not the taskbar is at the top or bottom of the screen So far the only way to get the taskbar back I have found is to click the lonely Start button, click Windows Security, choose Start Task Manager, kill the explorer.