Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Freeing space on your computer by customizing Visual Studio

My computer has been running slowly lately which really bothers me.  I went to defrag my hard drive and didn't have 10% free space disk defragmentor recommends.

I use a utility called TreeSize which presents a navigable tree view of how much space each folder is consuming.

Previously I took for granted the fact that Visual Studio 2005 consumes 2,730 MB and Visual Studio 2008 eats up 2,562 MB.  This time I decided to look at why the are such hogs.  It turns out in my Visual Studio 2005 installation c:\program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8 there is a sub folder VC taking up 1,574MB.  This is for Visual C++ 2005 which I never plan to use.  Using Add / Remove Programs and clicking Change/Remove on Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite - ENU allowed me to easily remove Visual C++ 2005.

I'm keeping Visual C++ 2008 because I hope to play with it in the next six months or so.

During this exercise I also noticed OneNote sucking up 2,616 MB.  1,646 of it for backup files.  Our notebooks are on a network location so I don't need to be backing these up.  I turned it off by opening OneNote going to Tools, Options, Backup and unchecking "Automatically Backup".

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Books I've read this past year

These are the books I've read this past year in roughly the order I read them.

Programming .NET Components, 2nd Edition - Covers many advanced topics on application maintainability, extensibility, and reusability.  Some of the greatness was lost on me at the time because I didn't see the applications of the ideas.  I recommend reading this book after having a thorough understanding of .NET and programming.  I forgot how great this book was and I'll probably be re-reading it.

MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation - Good introductory book about the .NET framework.  Skip it if you are already comfortable with framework classes.

Extreme Programming Adventures in C# - A fun quick read.  It makes some interesting points about extreme programming.  The book discusses a small project developed by one and a half developers.  I would be more interested in a book discussing a larger team to see how the process scales.

Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction - Should be read by all programmers.  It goes into great depth discussing seemingly mundane topics and explains why they aren't trivial.

Software Project Survival Guide - Another great book by Steve McConnell.  It is thought provoking and may enlighten you to aspects of your development process you can improve.

The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master - Seemed to be Code Complete light to me.  It covered a lot of the same issues in less depth.  If you read Code Complete you can skip this book or read it first to whet your appetite.

The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering, Anniversary Edition (2nd Edition) - Discusses large scale software construction and team scalability challenges.  People often summarize it by saying you can't make a baby in nine months.  I don't think this summary does justice to the book and recommend you read it.

Windows Presentation Foundation Unleashed (WPF) (Unleashed) - This was a good introduction and overview of WPF.  You should read this book or something like it before professionally programming in WPF.

Programming WPF - This book deep dives into WPF.  After you've been professionally programming WPF for a couple weeks this book should help increase your understanding of the technology.

The Build Master: Microsoft's Software Configuration Management Best Practices - Short guide to building and deploying software.  Good read for developers who've been appointed the build master for their project.  If you find yourself in this situation consider using Windows Installer XML (WiX).  It allows you to build your install files via XML and fits perfectly with MSBuild.