VS.NET 2005 – Beta 1 to Beta 2 in 100 minutes

100 minutes – that’s what it took to remove Beta 1 and install Beta 2 on my Fujitsu Laptop (P4 1.7 GHz, 512 MB). I include the full details below :-

Uninstall VS.NET Beta 1 : 10 AM to 10:16 AM (16 mins)
Uninstall MSDN for VS.NET 2005 Beta 1 : 10:16 AM to 10:22 AM (6 mins)
Uninstall VS.NET 2005 Device Emulator : 10:22 AM to 10:23 AM (1 min)
Uninstall VJ# Redistrib Beta 1 : 10:23 AM to 10:24 AM (1 min)
Uninstall .NET SDK Beta 1 : 10:24 AM to 10:27 AM (3 mins)

Install VS.NET Beta 2 : 10:30 AM to 11:23 AM (53 mins)
Install MSDN Beta 2 : 11:24 AM to 11:44 AM (20 mins)

Not bad for something that’s still in Beta:-)

My first MSDN chat

Yesterday (Apr 27th, Indian time), I hosted my first chat on MSDN India Community Chats.

Title : Visual C++ 2005 – Language Enhancements

Description : Join this chat to know the goals behind C++/CLI, how it’s an improvement over the now-obsolete MC++ syntax, handles & pointers, the new managed array syntax, implicit boxing, templates, generics, deterministic destruction, STL.NET, IJW and higher interop performance.

I couldn’t use the Chat-Host application as it required a moderator to activate me as Chat-Host and unfortunately, two of the moderators were in Singapore for the Asian Region MVP summit and the third one was on the Bangalore highway, so I ended up using the browser chat interface for the chat. I enjoyed the experience and though fewer people turned up than normal (probably reflects how C++/CLI is not very popular in India), those that turned up were seriously interested in the new features for C++ coders.

Maybe I’d do one again in future, though I hope there’d be a moderator to activate me as Chat-Host – keeping track of questions was tough with the browser interface and the Chat-Host app has an easy-to-use interface for answering questions.

Send mail without specifying an SMTP server

Frequently, this question pops up in newsgroups and forums where people ask how they can detect the user’s SMTP server (usually to send a mail from the app without using MAPI). I always reply with my solution of querying the MX record for the target domain and then SMTP-chatting to that server directly – it’s easy to do, it works on any machine and it’s also the fastest way to send email (minimum number of SMTP hops).

I wrote an article demonstrating a class that does exactly this (it derives from an ATL7 class, so you’ll need VC++ 7 or higher)