What is your favorite color of grass?

I’m doing a rare geek survey!  I was out weed-beating my weeds (aka tall grass) and was wondering.  What is your favorite color of grass?  I know some people actually water their grass to make it green and grow.  That in my book creates more work and time away from geeking!  I wonder if IT Pro-types like brown grass and developers like ultra green.  PS: I guess folks who live in desert climates their favorite color is many shades of rock!


My vote is 3 shades of brown is my favorite color. 


What is yours??


Have a good weekend.


Steve

IIS7 post #42 – Flush log buffer immediately to disk

This is a handy feature I discovered in Windows Server 2008.  You can force http.sys to flush cached log entries immediately to disk.  The next time you are waiting for requests to flush to your IISLogs, go to the command prompt and type

netsh http flush logbuffer 
You’ll see an Ok.  


Then open your log files and your entries should be present.


Take care,


Steve

IISLogs RC3 released and misc notes on developing a product.

Whoo Hoo!  RC3 of IISLogs is done and out the door.  After about 9 – 12 months of tinkering, debugging, adding features and general kicking the tires.  Release candidate 3 is released and ready for testing.  It can be downloaded from http://www.iislogs.com/.  As always, we recommend perspective users test on a non-production system.   I don’t promote this product very much, but after 3 years of development, version 2.0 is almost ready for prime time.  On a personal note, doing development for a commercial product is time consuming, teadious, rewarding, and overall a fun time.  It barely makes enough money to stay afloat, by no means do I get rich.  What started out as a project to help me manage logs has turned into something special.  Almost every feature that people have asked for has been integrated into the product.  


Along the way, I’ve learned how to use Xenocode 2006 to obfuscate code.  I was supposed to write a blog posting or summary of my experiences with their product.  It is absolutely the best from my experience.  I have pretty much automated my build process with a batch file.  They accept command line arguments which makes it simple.  I use Visual Studio 2005 w/sp1 to build version 2.0.  And yes I even develop on Vista.  🙂  I ran into an issue trying to get Xenocode to work on Windows Server 2008 or I’d be developing on that platform.  One note on obsfucation, make sure to use Peverify.exe to ensure your DLL, EXE’s are ok after running the process.  Dave Wanta (Creator of ASPNetEmail and MANY other products) pointed me to this SDK tool when I first started.  


For those wonder if it is worth architecting, planning, documenting, coding, selling, maintaining a product? Many times I wonder, but it is like a little side gig that was different than running a content site.  I started and ran http://www.aspfree.com for 4+ years, it started out as hobby. :->   Maintaining a content site that grew to 10,000 to 15,000 daily visitors was HARD work.  Writing articles and publishing was challenging. It is much different than writing a product, but the same effort is required.  Both items are time consuming, but it’s great experience.  A big thanks goes to Jose Fuentes Microsoft MVP with helping with IISLogsGUI. This is the GUI tool that maintains the configuration file.  If you need a real developer, Joe is definitely worth hiring.  Along the way, here is a few tips I wanted to share.




  • Make sure there is a need for your product


  • People are willing to pay for it


  • You or someone is willing to support it


  • Make sure to provide LOTS of documentation. 


  • Consider giving away a free version that actually is worthwhile.  The first ‘free’ version we provided wasn’t very good.  IISLogsLite 2.0 was a pretty in-depth ‘free’ product.


  • Hire someone to code the parts you can’t.  In my case, I handled the Service and EXE code, Winforms coding I leave to the experts.


  • Search the internet for similar products.  There just might be something else out there already.  When I did IISLogs, there was nothing else.  As of right now, I don’t think there is anything that does what IISLogs does.


  • Either keep updating the product or discontinue it.


  • Make sure to take Security seriously.  My first rule of thumb with this product, it didn’t require to run as Administrator.  Unfortunately, to zip files in the default IISLogs folder, the account needed to be a local admin.  With some configuration changes, it didn’t require these permissions.


  • Be patient and test the product.  Yes, actually use your own product before turning over to the world.

  • Do not rush your upgrades out the door.  In 3 years, I’ve only released 2 versions.  This is the 3rd version.  Mostly due to resources things have been delayed, but before we released to production, we were certain all known bugs were resolved.

  • TEST, TEST, TEST

I think that is it for now, just an FYI.  This is my hobby, call me crazy or just a plain geek.   I have a lot of respect for companies and individuals that do this type of thing full-time!   I’ve always meant to type up a blog about my IISLogs experience. Here it is. Hope you find it useful.


Take care,


Steve Schofield
Microsoft MVP – IIS 

Windows Server 2008 Introduction MSPress book and my blog

My wife had knee surgery the other day.  I need some relaxing, yet geeky reading material to pass the time. (BTW: She is doing fine after the surgery) Mitch was nice enough to mention my blog in the book.  I thought that was pretty cool. :-} 


Here is the link to the book, which is a good read for an introduction book!


http://www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/11163.aspx


Cheers,


Steve

Free Powershell book and other Powershell info

I attended TechED USA this year.  One of the key technologies that has a lot of buzz in the ITPro space is about Powershell.  I attended a few sessions on Powershell and the Exchange Management Shell (Powershell for managing Exchange 2007).   I found a free Powershell book online.


http://blogs.technet.com/mfugatt/archive/2007/06/11/free-windows-powershell-book.aspx


Other Powershell information.




Quest Software has free AD powershell stuff



AD templates for controlling the powershell execution policy.

www.microsoft.com/downloads/
Search for Powershell

 

My favorite Powershell community site

TechED 2007 notes

I’m working the IIS booth at TechED.   All I can say is WOW!.  The place where TechED is being hosted is the largest building I’ve ever been in.  The building is Orange County Convention Center.  http://www.occc.net/ For those not familiar, TechED 2007 is being hosted in Orlando Florida.  These folks definitely know how to put on a first class operation.  TechED itself has been amazing.  There is Labs, Theater, traditional presentations, hands on-labs.   There is SO much to do and witness, we would need an entire year to visit all the cool stuff.  Here is some of my impressions of TechED and big buzz happenings.


Nothing would be fun without a little (ok a lot) of buzz.  For those who are interested in IIS space, as everyone should be, there is a web-edition of Server Core.  What is server core?  It is a command line (trimmed down) OS with no GUI.   This has been well received by many keeping track of Windows Server 2008.


BUT, yes there is something not quite added at this point….ASP.NET.  You may wonder why.  I’m not quite sure.  MS has heard loud, I mean loud and clear .NET should be implemented into Server Core.  I’m sure MS will get it in there eventually.  I’ve told several attendees that come to the IIS booth remember Windows Server 2008 is not an RTM product and still being developed. 


What I respect the most of the IIS team, they are not afraid to post information on this and take questions from the community. Bill Staples has an active blog about this very topic. Here is the link. http://blogs.iis.net/bills  Other really cool things is BDD ( Business Desktop Deployment), Powershell, Exchange 2007 are a few things I’m watching.


There are many things in the developer sector, it is overwhelming. I highly recommend anyone start planning on attending TechED 2008.  If you are attending TechED, stop by the IIS7 booth, which I’m working and trying to share my IIS knowledge.  There are several IIS product team members sharing their expertise and knowledge. Two days to go.


Take care,


Steve