Tag: software

How I Cut the Cord

About a year ago, we decided to “cut the cord” and get rid of cable. We’ve been extremely happy with our setup and multiple friends have asked which products and services we’re using. As an answer to all the questions, here is a write up explaining our setup.

Continue reading “How I Cut the Cord”

A Simple CSV Export?

The following programming anecdote was posted by a former colleague on his Facebook page today:

A couple of years ago a fellow developer was asked to take some data and export it to CSV format. He took some time and researched a library. After, the manager/architect/lead developer (all the same person), questioned why he took that time, and why he didn’t just string.Join() them together and move on. He rattled off a few special cases, escaping characters etc. and stood by his decision though the person questioning still thought it a poor one.   About once a month since then I hear a new story about home-grown, handmade CSV functionality breaking because it didn’t account for a case, character or something previously unexpected.

It’s a reminder to me that no matter how simple the task appears to be, a thought should be given to it’s longevity, future usage, and potential expectations long after the initial case for creation has been forgotten. A small investment now can go a long way.

“The only way to go fast is to go well”   For those curious, the chosen library at the time: http://kbcsv.codeplex.com/

Well said.

Windows Movie Maker 2012

I’ve been using Windows Live Movie Maker 2011 from the Windows Live Essentials 2011 pack for all of the video editing that I’ve been doing. Unfortunately, I’ve always felt it was lacking. The only output format in 2011 is WMV which doesn’t work that well on my Android phone and tablet. It also doesn’t have the greatest audio options. For example, there is no way to add in voice-overs or control the volumes of background music versus in video audio.

I was beginning to look into other video editing software until PCMag.com released an article called Windows 8 Brings Video Stabilization to Movie Maker. This article is horribly titled and only includes one paragraph about Windows 8 but it does detail the changes to Movie Maker 2012. I’ve now stopped searching for a new video editing tool and have started playing with Movie Maker 2012 to learn all of the new features. For those wondering, Movie Maker 2012 is available for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The following are 2 quotes from the aforementioned article that detail the audio and format changes to Windows Movie Maker 2012.

Audio changes:

It now lets you record voice-over narrations, and Microsoft has partnered with AudioMicro, Free Music Archive, and the Vimeo Music Store to offer licensed background music for your video projects. The editor also now shows audio waveforms beneath clips so you can see the patterns of the music and narration. Narration can either be recorded as a new track on your PC, or taken from a previously recorded video or audio file. Mixing tools let you emphasize either the video’s original sound, the narration, or the background music.

Format changes:

Output and sharing options have been changed and augmented in the new version of Movie Maker, too. Now, the default output file is an MP4 using the H.264 codec. This is a far more popular format than the WMV files that Movie Maker used to output.

My Visual Studio Theme

So I’ve finally published my Visual Studio theme on the Studio Styles website. It’s a customized version of the Ragnarok Grey theme created by Tomas Restrepro. I darkened the background then had to make a few other subtle changes for readability due to the darker background.

Ragnarok Dark as I’ve chosen to call it can be found here: http://studiostyl.es/schemes/ragnarok-dark-grey-customized

And remember to rate it if you like it!

Now a bonus for those of you that use ReSharper. The following line pasted into the bottom of the items section in the XML downloaded from the site before you import will make those To Do Comments and Not Implemented Exceptions stand out.

<Item Name="ReSharper Todo Item" Foreground="0x0000FFFF" Background="0x02000000" BoldFont="Yes"/>