How many times have you tried to upload or email your Visual Studio solution, only to find out that your zip file contains files and folders that you didn’t mean to include, like the bin, obj and other folders. What about source control bindings? Yes that too will get included.

Well I came across a great utility called Clean Project from Ron Jacobs that cleans your Visual Studio solutions so you can quickly upload or email.

This functionality is available inside Visual Studio and also from the Windows Shell.

Getting Started

You can install CleanProject from Tools –> Extensions Manager in Visual Studio. Then search for CleanProject. In the References section below I listed links to other locations you can download the project from.

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Emailing A Solution

If you want to email your solution:

  1. Select Tools –> Clean, Remove Source Bindings and Zip Solution
  2. Attach the zip file to your email and send

CleanProjVS

Windows Shell Folder Command

You can also run CleanProject from the Windows Shell. Just right click the folder you want to clean and select Clean, Remove Source Binding and Zip Solution from the context menu.

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Resources

 

Thanks Ron Jacobs for your hard work on this utility. I look forward to further enhancements and/or other tools in the future.

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microsoftflightSadly on July 25, 2012 Microsoft announced it has cancelled further development of Microsoft Flight and the team has been scrapped and any plans for future content have been scuttled.

That’s too bad because I was really enjoying Flight and just started to fly in the new Alaskan Wilderness pack.

Microsoft has commented that they will continue to support the community that has embraced Microsoft Flight and that it will continue to be offered as a free download. You will also be able to buy any of the DLC material.

I’ve bought all my DLC material from Steam as they have sales and bundles. If you like Microsoft Flight and are thinking about buying any DLC…watch for sales on Steam. I suspect with development grounded, the prices won’t remain as high as they are now.

The community complained that the flight simulation lacked extensive terrain, aircraft and support for 3rd party content. Perhaps Microsoft should open up Flight and let the community extend it.

Anyway for the time being, I will continue to enjoy what Microsoft Flight brings until such a time a new simulator emerges from Microsoft. Maybe we will see a flight simulator tailored to Windows 8.

The Steam Summer Sale has started, and all Microsoft Flight DLC is 40% off until July 23rd.

Check out the sale here: http://store.steampowered.com/dlc/203850/

I just purchased the Microsoft Flight: Alaskan Wilderness pack. I’m very excited to give this a try.

Alaskan Wilderness

Office 2013 New LogoOn July 16 2012, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the immediate availability of the Customer Preview for the NEW Office 2013! This latest version of Office provides a lot of new features including new support for Touch Input, Cloud services integration (SkyDrive), Social collaboration and the Metro UI.

Office 2013 Customer Preview can be installed in just a few easy steps and installs within minutes and can co-exist and run side-by-side with an existing version of Office, which means there is no need to uninstall your current Office installation to try out the latest version, which is pretty neat.

“Office at Its Best on Windows 8

Touch everywhere. Office responds to touch as naturally as it does to keyboard and mouse. Swipe your finger across the screen or pinch and zoom to read your documents and presentations. Author new content and access features with the touch of a finger.

Inking. Use a stylus to create content, take notes and access features. Handwrite email responses and convert them automatically to text. Use your stylus as a laser pointer when presenting. Color your content and erase your mistakes with ease.

New Windows 8 applications. OneNote and Lync represent the first new Windows 8 style applications for Office. These applications are designed to deliver touch-first experiences on a tablet. A new radial menu in OneNote makes it easy to access features with your finger.

Included in Windows RT. Office Home and Student 2013 RT, which contains new versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote applications, will be included on ARM-based Windows 8 devices, including Microsoft Surface.

Office Is in the Cloud

SkyDrive. Office saves documents to SkyDrive by default, so your content is always available across your tablet, PC and phone. Your documents are also available offline and sync when you reconnect.

Roaming. Once signed in to Office, your personalized settings, including your most recently used files, templates and even your custom dictionary, roam with you across virtually all of your devices. Office even remembers where you last left off and brings you right back to that spot in a single click.

Office on Demand. With a subscription, you can access Office even when you are away from your PC by streaming full-featured applications to an Internet-connected Windows-based PC.

New subscription services. The new Office is available as a cloud-based subscription service. As subscribers, consumers automatically get future upgrades in addition to exciting cloud services including Skype world minutes and extra SkyDrive storage. Subscribers receive multiple installs for everyone in the family and across their devices.

Office Is Social

Yammer. Yammer delivers a secure, private social network for businesses. You can sign up for free and begin using social networking instantly. Yammer offers integration with SharePoint and Microsoft Dynamics.

Stay connected. Follow people, teams, documents and sites in SharePoint. View and embed pictures, videos and Office content in your activity feeds to stay current and update your colleagues.

People Card. Have an integrated view of your contacts everywhere in Office. The People Card includes presence information complete with pictures, status updates, contact information and activity feeds from Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.

Skype. The new Office comes with Skype. When you subscribe, you get 60 minutes of Skype world minutes every month. Integrate Skype contacts into Lync and call or instant message anyone on Skype.

Office Unlocks New Scenarios

Digital note-taking. Keep your notes handy in the cloud and across multiple devices with OneNote. Use what feels most natural to you — take notes with touch, pen or keyboard, or use them together and switch easily back and forth.

Reading and markup. The Read Mode in Word provides a modern and easy-to-navigate reading experience that automatically adjusts for large and small screens. Zoom in and out of content, stream videos within documents, view revision marks and use touch to turn pages.

Meetings. PowerPoint features a new Presenter View that privately shows your current and upcoming slides, presentation time, and speaker notes in a single glance. While presenting, you can zoom, mark up and navigate your slides with touch and stylus. Lync includes multiparty HD video with presentations, shared OneNote notebooks and a virtual whiteboard for collaborative brainstorming.

Eighty-two-inch touch-enabled displays. Conduct more engaging meetings, presentations and lessons, whether in person or virtually, with these multitouch and stylus-enabled displays from Perceptive Pixel.”

 

Installing the new Office Customer Preview

  1. Before getting started, you should review the Office 2013 System Requirements

  2. To start the Office 2013 Customer Preview installation, visit http://office.com/preview

  3. If you are a home user, click on the "Sign Up" button. Business users can click on the "Office 365 Enterprise"

  4. Complete a new user profile and create a new Microsoft account. Note – If you are currently an Office 365 subscription user, you’ll need to sign up for a new Microsoft account that is different from your Office 365 login credentials to test the Customer Preview

  5. Once you’ve signed up for a new Microsoft account, login to http://portal.microsoftonline.com with your new ID

  6. From the Office 365 Admin home page, click the "Download Software" admin shortcut

  7. Click the "install" button. This will launch the new "Click-to-Run" installer. (What’s Click-to-Run? Here’s a technical overview of this new technology)

  8. The new Office installer will launch via Click-to-Run technology.

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Review the Microsoft Office licensing agreement and then click the “Accept” button in the lower right corner.

Within a few minutes, the core of Office will start to install.

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Then choose a look and feel to personalize your new Office client applications.

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Click on the “Take a look” button if you would like to get a quick introduction to what’s new.

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At this point, you can start to use Office. The rest of the installation will continue in the background and wrap up quickly.

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Installation Complete

After the click-to-run installation completes, you’ll see a new group in the Start menu. Here is where you’ll get to see the new application icons. They are definitely Metro inspired.

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Here is the new Word splash screen which is briefly displayed as Word loads up.

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Word 2013

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Excel 2013

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OneNote 2013

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Final Thoughts

I really like the new Office 2013 experience. You should try it out for yourself.

1_officecta_page

The other day there was an automatic update for SkyDrive for Windows, which added performance improvements, reliability and better integration with Windows.

Among the changes are a new logo, an updated white icon for the system tray for Windows 7 and 8, and a new status window.

A New Logo

This update brought us a new SkyDrive logo, which  falls in line with the Metro look and feel that is coming in Windows 8.

New SkyDrive Logo

A New Status Window

Part of this update includes a new status window to see what is going on with SkyDrive and whether everything is up to date. You can see this new status window by clicking on the SkyDrive icon in the system tray. This status windows lets you know if SkyDrive it up to date, provides you the time it last was updated and also information on the size and files being synchronized.

You may also notice the all white system tray icon “Cloud”.

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We also see the new logo in the Windows Explorer:

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Apart from the above, most of what changed in this update is not visible to users. “As with most updates,  "this one improves performance, reliability, and compatibility of SkyDrive," so people depending on the service can rely on the system to automatically sync files.” – Mike Torres, from Microsoft.

If you have SkyDrive for Windows installed, then you should get this update automatically. If you don’t have SkyDrive for Windows…I recommend you go and download it now from the SkyDrive web site.

twitter_avatar_UserVoice_normal

Recently I setup a UserVoice Feedback and Help Desktop account for one of my software products. This is a fantastic service that allows your users to submit feedback and improvement suggestions on your product. Your users can then rate the importance of the feedback and you get to interact with them by accepting it, etc.

“Surveys are great, but your audience has ideas and feedback that don’t fit a multiple-choice form. UserVoice Feedback™ makes it easy to collect this feedback – prioritized by votes – from your customers via a simple feedback forum.” 

They have different plans to choose from and also offer a completely free plan that you can get started with in seconds.

They also offer a feedback widget which you can easily add to your website, which allows your users to submit feedback directly from your website without having to leave your site or login to another system.

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Clicking on this widget brings up the feedback UI as shown here:

image

Your users can then start submitting feedback and as they type, matching content will be displayed so they can see what’s already submitting and won’t submit something that already exists.

If you’re interested in your users feedback and ideas to improve your products, then you should consider using UserVoice’s Feedback Management Software.

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