Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Beta Exam 71-505: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development

As mentioned on this post, some exams of the Microsoft Certified Professional Developer certification, aka MCPD for .NET 3.5, are on beta. The new Windows Form exam (70-505) will have a beta version available for registration as of 11/21/2008. See the information at:
You can register for this beta exam for free (normal cost is 125 USD), and if you pass on it, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form.

So hurry up, because seats are limited. First-come, first-serve!

For more information about beta certification exams, see Beta Exams Announcements Blog, and also Gerry O'Brien Blog.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Shrinking the Capacity of a VMware Virtual Disk

I've being using my VMware images with virtual disks that allocate the space as needed, e.g. growable disks. VMware says that if you allocate the full capacity of the virtual disk, you will enhance the performance of your virtual machine. Since I have lots of space on my HD, I decided to convert my virtual disks from growable to preallocated type to enhance virtual machine performance. To do that, you just need to use the vmware-vdiskmanager.exe tool, for example:
vmware-vdiskmanager -r old_disk.vmdk -t 2 new_disk.vmdk
It is pretty simple, but I also want to reduce the virtual disk capacity at the same time. The original capacity was 40 GiB, and I would like to reduce it to 28 GiB. It turns out that this is not something you can do with a simple command line. I thought I could just add the -s option to the command above, but this option is not valid with the convert option (-r), only when creating a new virtual disk.

I thought about using the shrink option (-k), but this option is not to shrink the virtual disk capacity, it is only for reducing the size of the vmdk file itself that was created with the growable option. The virtual disk capacity stays the same. If you actually want to reduce the capacity of your virtual disk, then you will need to:
  • Create a new virtual disk with the desirable capacity. You can do this by either using VMware Server or Workstation GUI or using the vmware-vdiskmanager tool. For example, in my case:
      vmware-vdiskmanager -c -t 2 -s 28GB -a ide new_disk.vmdk
  • Add your new virtual disk to your virtual machine. In VMware Server, you click on Virtual Machine Settings, select Hard Disk, and then click on Add.
  • Shrink the logical partition of your existing virtual disk to fit on the new virtual disk. You can use GParted for this as described here.
  • Copy your logical partition from the original to the new virtual disk. You can also use GParted for this as described here. If you are copying a boot partition, then it will require you an additional step. After you copied the logical partition to the new disk, you will need to add the boot flag to it. To do that, just right click on the partition, select Manage Flags, then check the boot option as shown below.
Although shrinking the capacity of a virtual disk involves lots of work, to expand the capacity is way simpler. You just need to use the expand option (-x) of the vmware-vdiskmanager tool, and it will add extra non formatted space to your virtual disk.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Microsoft SDL Threat Modeling Tool

Microsoft announced the new SDL Threat Modeling Tool during the Tech-Ed EMEA 2008. The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is a Microsoft methodology which consists of a series of best practices for software developers and architects to evaluate and consider security issues when designing a product.

The Microsoft SDL Threat Modeling Tool is part of the design phase of the SDL and allows software architects to identify and mitigate potential security issues early, when they are relatively easy and cost-effective to solve. With this tool, architects can communicate about the security design of their systems, analyze those designs for potential security issues and suggest and manage mitigations for security issues.

See a demo of the SDL Threat Modeling Tool v3 or download it from here.

Also, if you will be attending Edmonton Code Camp 2008 at the end of this month, David Woods will be doing a talk on Threat Modeling.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Splitting your VMware virtual disk into multiple files of 2 GB

When I created my VMware image, I used only one file for the entire virtual disk (vmdk file). If you want to split your single virtual disk file into multiple files, then you can use the virtual disk manager that comes with VMware. This tool is the vmware-vdiskmanager.exe located in the VMware installation directory.

If you want to split your current virtual disk file into multiple files, use one of the following commands:

1. For a growable virtual disk, use the following command to split into 2 GB:
vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -r old.vmdk -t 1 new.vmdk
or

2. For a preallocated virtual disk, use the following command to split in 2 GB:
vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -r old.vmdk -t 3 new.vmdk

Monday, November 10, 2008

Testing your Security IQ

MSDN magazine published a new article about code security where you can take a code security quiz to test your security IQ:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/cc982154.aspx

For more information about .NET security, see:

Friday, November 07, 2008

MCPD .NET 3.5 Beta Exams

If you are planning to get the certification Microsoft Certified Professional Developer - MCPD for .NET 3.5, there are some exams that are on beta. You can register for these beta exams for free (normal cost is 125 USD), and if you pass on the beta exam, the exam credit will be added to your transcript and you will not need to take the exam in its released form.

The following are the MCPD beta exams currently available:
So hurry up, because seats are limited. First-come, first-serve!

For more information about beta certification exams, see Beta Exams Announcements Blog, and also Gerry O'Brien Blog.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Free Silverlight Menu and Toolbar Control by DevExpress

In addition to a free Silverlight data grid control, DevExpress is releasing a free menu and toolbar controls for Silverlight, the AgMenu Suite. It is free of charge and you can also download the source code.

See the links below for more information about these free controls:

Monday, November 03, 2008

Edmonton Code Camp 2008 - Comming on November 29th

The Edmonton Code Camp 2008 is a one-day developer conference driven by the local developer community. This year, it will be on Saturday, November 29th at:

Grant MacEwan College
Building #5, Downtown Campus (map)
Edmonton, AB

I attended this event last year and I was impressed with the organization and quality of presentations. This event is completely free and topics are based on community interest. See more details here. Do not miss it, it is highly recommended!

Patrick Smacchia's advices on starting your ISV

Patrick Smacchia is a the lead developer of the tool NDepend for code analysis and metrics. See his advices to developers on starting their own Independent Software Vendor business.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

PDC 2008 Session Videos in Channel 9

Check it out the PDC session videos at http://channel9.msdn.com/pdc2008/.