Contains the collected wisdom of Encodo


39 Articles


3 years Ago

How Encodo sets up new workstations

Published by Marco on

     We’ve recently set up a few new workstations with Windows 8.1 and wanted to share the process we use, in case it might come in handy for others.

Windows can take a long time to install, as can Microsoft Office and, most especially, Visual Studio with all of its service packs. If we installed everything manually every time we needed a new machine, we’d lose a day each time.

To solve this problem, we decided to define the Encodo Windows Base Image, which includes all of the standard software... [More]

Who’s using up my entire SSD?

Published by Marco on

Hard drives => SSDs

 In the old days, we cleaned up our hard drives because we didn’t have enough space for all of our stuff. Our operating systems, applications and caches took up a reasonable portion of that hard drive.

Then we had gigantic hard drives with more than enough space for everything. Operating systems, applications and caches grew. Parsimonious software was no longer in vogue because it was a waste of time and money.

SSDs replaced hard drives, improving speeds drastically and... [More]

An introduction to PowerShell

Published by Marco on

On Wednesday, August 27th, Tymon gave the rest of Encodo[1] a great introduction to PowerShell. I’ve attached the presentation but a lot of the content was in demonstrations on the command-line.

  1. Download the presentation
  2. Unzip to a local folder
  3. Open index.html in a modern web browser (Chrome/Opera/Firefox work the best; IE has some rendering issues)

We learned a few very interesting things:

  • PowerShell is pre-installed on every modern Windows computer
  • You can PowerShell to other machines... [More]

4 years Ago

REST API Status codes (400 vs. 500)

Published by Marco on

In a project that we’re working on, we’re consuming REST APIs delivered by services built by another team working for the same customer. We had a discussion about what were appropriate error codes to return for various situations. The discussion boiled down to: should a service return a 500 error code or a 400 error code when a request cannot be processed?

I took a quick look at the documentation for a couple of the larger REST API providers and they are using the 500 code only for... [More]

How to configure Visual Studio 2013 with licenses from a multi-pack

Published by Marco on

If you’re only interesting in what we promised to show you in the title of the article, then you can jump to the tl;dr at the end.

Silver Partnership

Encodo is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program with a Silver Competency. We maintain this competency through a combination of the following:

  • A yearly fee
  • Registration of .NET products developed by Encodo (Punchclock and Quino in our case)
  • Customer endorsements for .NET products that Encodo has developed
  • Competency exams

This involves no... [More]

ELI5 answer to: How and why do computer programs crash?

Published by Marco on

This article originally appeared on earthli News and has been cross-posted here.

ELI5 is the “Explain LIke I’m Five” forum at Reddit. I recently answered the question “How and why do computer programs crash?” and thought the answer might be worth cross-posting (even though the post itself never gained any traction).

What is a program?

Programs comprise a limited set of instructions that tell them what they should do when they encounter certain inputs under certain conditions.

Who writes... [More]

A list of lesser-known OS X keyboard shortcuts

Published by Marco on

This article originally appeared on earthli News and has been cross-posted here.

The post Please share your hidden OS X features or tips and tricks (StackExchange) yielded a treasure trove of keyboard shortcuts, some of which I knew and many that I’d never heard of or had long ago forgotten.

I collected, condensed and organized the ones I found the most useful below.

Finder & Open/Save dialogs

  • + + G shows a location bar where you can type a path (/ or ~ also works in Open/Save). This... [More]

5 years Ago

Ignoring files with Git

Published by Marco on

This article originally appeared on earthli News and has been cross-posted here.

The helpful page, Ignoring files (GitHub), taught me something I didn’t know: there’s a file you can use to ignore files in your local Git repository without changing anyone else’s repository.

Just to recap, here are the ways to ignore a file:

  • Global .gitignore: you can designate basic exclusion directives that apply to all repositories on your system. This file is not committed to any repository or shared with... [More]

Time Machine Backups

Published by Marco on

This article originally appeared on earthli News and has been cross-posted here.

I continue to be mystified as to how Microsoft has not managed to create a backup system as seamless and straightforward and efficient as Time Machine for OS X. The software is, however, not without its faults. As is usual with Apple software, Time Machine becomes quite frustrating and unwieldy when something goes ever so slightly wrong.

When it works, it works very well. It is unobtrusive. You have hourly... [More]

Windows Live accounts and Windows 8

Published by Marco on

This article originally appeared on earthli News and has been cross-posted here.

tl;dr: If your Windows 8 is mysteriously moving your Windows and taskbar around, it might be because of your Windows Live account synchronizing settings from one machine to another.

Starting with Windows 8, you can connect your local user account to your Windows Live account, sharing your preferences and some Windows-App-Store application settings and logins.

I had this enabled for a while but recently... [More]

How to convert a Virtual PC 2007 VMC file to work with Hyper-V

Published by Marco on

Windows 8 was made publicly available a few weeks ago. As usual, Microsoft manages to guarantee compatibility with a lot of software, but there are a few tools that will simply no longer run.

One of these is Microsoft’s own Security Essentials product, which has been completely replaced with Windows Defender, which is built right in to Windows 8. So that one’s easy.

Another is Microsoft Virtual PC 2007. It doesn’t run under Windows 8 at all. Neither is the configuration format that it uses... [More]

8 years Ago

How to configure a local firewall for OpenVPN (Part II)

Published by Marco on

The following tip was developed using Ubuntu 9.1x (Hardy Heron) with OpenVPn 2.1rc19. It builds on the the setup from Part I.

This post has been updated since publication to include FORWARD directives for the strangers list as well.

Part I of this guide to configuring a local firewall for OpenVPN introduced you to using iptables on Linux. It also included a script for OpenVPN that opened and closed the firewall for specific IP addresses. If you haven’t read it already, you should probably... [More]

How to configure a local firewall for OpenVPN

Published by Marco on

The following tip was developed using Ubuntu 9.1x (Hardy Heron) with OpenVPn 2.1rc19.

Once you’re done with this tutorial, make sure to read Part II, which includes some crucial updates.

There are dozens of guides around that describe how to optimally configure the iptables firewall on Linux for OpenVPN. There’s even a script installed by default that is extremely well-commented and shows to how close down the firewall, then open up only very selected ports and protocols for optimal... [More]

9 years Ago

Create indexes for all foreign keys in SQL Server

Published by Marco on

At Encodo, we use Quino to model our databases for our projects when we can. Quino spoils us by automatically taking care of a lot of the grunt work involved in creating and maintaining a schema that performs well. Automatically creating indexes for foreign key fields is such a nicety.

On a recent project, we decided to try using Microsoft’s Entity Framework (EF) instead of embedding Quino. Unlike Quino, EF uses the database as the model, so we had to get used to writing models using the... [More]

Eject/Change a CD from Windows inside a XEN-VM using VNC

Published by Marco on

At Encodo, we currently run Debian Etch on our servers, with a Xen hypervisor managing a bunch of individual virtual machines (VMs). Most of the VMs also run Debian Etch, but one of them runs Windows Server 2003 instead. We use this machine for testing integration with Microsoft technologies like Sharepoint, Exchange and so on. Recently, we had to re-install the Exchange instance on that server and were faced with the problem of having to change the CD without rebooting the VM. Luckily, we... [More]