Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Laptop Performance vs. Network Drive

Symptom: When working from home using a company laptop, ever notice that the corporate laptop appears to be much slower on your home network? Well, I have had this problem for a while. After a closer look, I found whenever I switch to Windows Explorer or trying to open a file, it will take almost a minute for it to showup.

Root Cause: In my case, I found out the root cause is actually a bunch of network drives that are causing this performance problem.
There are 4 network mapped drives on my laptop which access various resources on intranet. Some are setup by IT so that they will be mapped whenever you boot you computer on company intranet. However, at home, connection to intranet is slow or non-existent. Whenever you make Windows Explorer visible or showing a File dialog, Windows explorer will try to map all of them one by one. That is, the more network drives you have, the longer you have to wait until Windows decide to give up on reconnecting these network drives.

Solution: I end up created a VB script to batch start/stop the mapping. At home with limit access to internet, I will run the scripts to stop all the mapped drives. At work, I will run the script to start the mapping.

The vb script to stop network drive:
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
On Error Resume Next
objNetwork.RemoveNetworkDrive "X:", "True"
objNetwork.RemoveNetworkDrive "Y:", "True"
objNetwork.RemoveNetworkDrive "Z:", "True"

To start network drive:
Set objNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
On Error Resume Next
objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive "X:" , "[your URI]"
objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive "Y:" , "[your URI]"
objNetwork.MapNetworkDrive "Z:" , "[your URI]"

Friday, September 03, 2010

What's in a RIA Software Engineer's Tool Chest

Major Power Tools
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Adobe Flex Builder, Flash Builder
  • Adobe Coldfusion Builder
  • SQL Server Management Studio
  • IE
  • FireFox
  • Google Chrome
Eclipse Plugins

Firefox Plugins
  • Firebug
  • Html Validator
  • Screengrab: take screenshots of browser content (including Flash)
  • YSlow
  • Web Developer

Free or really affordable utilities
  • Data Dictionary Creator: manage and generate data dictionary
  • Service Capture: capture HTTP traffic in/out of local computer, with built-in parser of Flash Remoting content
  • Fiddler: capture HTTP traffic, well known in .NET community
  • JSON Viewer: all you can ask for to navigate, search, format JSON data string
  • VNC: remote desktop
  • Tortois SVN, CVS, GIT: version control with Windows Explorer integration
  • Tour De Flex: Air application showcasing Flex controls and sample code
  • Skype: IM, talk, video conference, share desktop, ...
  • Google Desktop: search code, design document with ease
  • GIMP: free replacement for Photoshop
  • Sysinternals: a group of Windows Utilities now owned by Microsoft. Here are a few of my favorites:
    • Process Explorer: advance task manager, mostly used to search for locked resources
    • Port Mon: serial port traffic analyzer
    • Autoruns: manage autorun programs that can start through various mechanisms
  • Depends: Dependency Walker
  • WinMerge: graphical diff, can be easily integrated with Tortoise clients

Online Resources in Browser Bookmarks
  • Google Code Search: search open source code
  • Google Analytics: keep tab on web site usage
  • Stackoverflow: ask questions, search for answers, and answer some questions. Occasionally get job offers due to your answers here
  • EETimes: resource on embedded, semiconductor development
  • TechCrunch
  • DZONE: daily digest of tech blogs similar to TechCrunch
  • ScottGu's Blog: MSFT VP of several .NET products
  • MIX: Video, PPT of past conference
  • PDC: Video, PPT of past conference
  • GOOGLE IO: Video of past conference
  • BeanStalk: online SVN server
  • Github: onlien GIT server
  • Gist: code snippet management
  • CFLib.org: Coldfusion library

Open Source Software
  • FlexLib: Flex controls
  • AS3Core: Actionscript 3 utilities
  • PureMVC: MVC framework, popular in Flex community
  • Cairngorm: official MVC framework in Flex community
  • Report.NET: .NET PDF library
  • ZedGraph: .NET chart library
  • SQLite: light-weight database, popular in embedded community
  • NUnit: .NET unit testing framework
  • FlexUnit: Flex unit testing framework
  • Java Look and Feel Graphics Repository: official JAVA icon set
  • Visual Studio Image Library: came with Visual Studio Installation
  • Web Application Icons from WebAppers.com
  • famfamfam.com

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Flex Builder - TODO, FIXME in "Tasks" view

Here is a plugin that adds support for TODO comments in "Tasks" view.

It was created for Flex Builder 2 in 2006, but I tested, it also works for Flex Builder 3.

Here is link to the request on Adobe's JIRA: FlexBuilder should parse //TODO comments into the normal Task panel . I have voted for this issue.

However, Dirk obviously did a good job in his plugin, such that Adobe decided to defer and closed the issue!?