Development Tools

– Super awesome UML modeling application.

– The ultimate keyboard shortcut program.


– Screen capture application



Microsoft Office – Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint are all essentials.


MultiMon – Multi-monitor application that extends the taskbar

Persisting Dates and Numbers using CultureInfo.InvariantCulture

When persisting a date as a string, it is a good idea to use the invariant culture to format it—this ensures that a consistent format is always used internally, regardless of the culture used for presenting dates to the user.


string dateToSave = DateTime.Now.ToString(System.Globalization.CultureInfo.InvariantCulture);

In addition, the InvariantCulture is useful for storing data that will not be displayed directly to end users. Storing data in a culture-independent format guarantees a known format that does not change.

For example, screen coordinates are generally serialized as a comma-delimited list (x, y). If these coordinates are not serialized/de-serialized using an invariant culture, depending on the current UI culture, the list separator could end up being a semi-colon and as a result will not be valid as screen coordinates and will cause a system exception.

Just remember, when storing formatted numbers or dates in files, using InvariantCulture is the best option.

Visual Studio Plugins

Here’s my favorite Visual Studio plug-ins. All of these are links for the 2010 version of Visual Studio.


Resharper – Invaluable extension for refactoring, code completion, code tips, and a ton of other cool stuff.

Developer bundle which includes ANTS Performance Profiler, ANTS Memory Profiler, Exception Hunter, & .NET Reflector Pro

Winforms Controls – an extensive library of UI controls.

Visual Studio PowerCommands – PowerCommands 10.0 is a set of useful extensions for the Visual Studio 2010 adding additional functionality to various areas of the IDE.

Visual Studio Productivity Power Tools – Power Tools are a set of enhancements, tools and command-line utilities.

Visual Studio Power Tools – Adds additional functionality for the modeling tools.

Visual Studio Color Theme Editor – Allows users to customize the Visual Studio 2010 color palette used for menus, toolbars, tabs, title bars, and other environment colors.

Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) Power Tools – A plug-in to Visual Studio, Alerts Explorer provides a graphical user interface that supports flexible subscription of alerts based on check-in, work item change, or build completion.

How to Post Source Code in WordPress

Below is an example of how to post source code for wordpress.  Use the SourceCode tag to past code directly from Visual Studio.  To preserve all formatting, including tabs, past in the HTML view.

    /// My Class
    class MyClass
        /// Main
        static void Main(string[] args)
            // Write to Output
            Console.WriteLine("Hello World");

The language parameter controls how the code is syntax highlighted. The following languages are supported:

  • actionscript3
  • bash
  • coldfusion
  • cpp
  • csharp
  • css
  • delphi
  • erlang
  • fsharp
  • diff
  • groovy
  • javascript
  • java
  • javafx
  • matlab (keywords only)
  • objc
  • perl
  • php
  • text
  • powershell
  • python
  • r
  • ruby
  • scala
  • sql
  • vb
  • xml

If the language parameter is not set, it will default to “text” (no syntax highlighting).

Code in between the source code tags will automatically be encoded for display, you don’t need to worry about HTML entities or anything.

Configuration Parameters

The shortcodes also accept a variety of configuration parameters that you may use to customize the output. All are completely optional.

  • autolinks (true/false) — Makes all URLs in your posted code clickable. Defaults to true.
  • collapse (true/false) — If true, the code box will be collapsed when the page loads, requiring the visitor to click to expand it. Good for large code posts. Defaults to false.
  • firstline (number) — Use this to change what number the line numbering starts at. It defaults to 1.
  • gutter (true/false) — If false, the line numbering on the left side will be hidden. Defaults to true.
  • highlight (comma-seperated list of numbers) — You can list the line numbers you want to be highlighted. For example “4,7,19″.
  • htmlscript (true/false) — If true, any HTML/XML in your code will be highlighted. This is useful when you are mixing code into HTML, such as PHP inside of HTML. Defaults to false and will only work with certain code languages.
  • light (true/false) — If true, the gutter (line numbering) and toolbar (see below) will be hidden. This is helpful when posting only one or two lines of code. Defaults to false.
  • padlinenumbers (true/false/integer) — Allows you to control the line number padding. true will result in automatic padding, false will result in no padding, and entering a number will force a specific amount of padding.
  • toolbar (true/false) — If false, the toolbar containing the helpful buttons that appears when you hover over the code will not be shown. Defaults to true.
  • wraplines (true/false) — If true, line line wrapping will be disabled. This will cause a horizontal scrollbar to appear for long lines of code.

Here’s more information:

Dataset Visualizer Replacement

This is pretty nifty:

Here’s some information I copied from the website.

Righthand Dataset Debugger Visualizer

RightHand.DataSet.Visualizer is an MDI application that lets you inspect DataSet structure and its data plus tons of other useful operations on DataSet.


Run to a breakpoint in your application, hover over a dataset variable either in editor or in one of the debugger windows (locals, auto, watch, …). Click on the arrow near magnify glass and pick RightHand DataSet Visualizer. Here is an example:


Main Screen

The main screen also provides the ability to either save or load dataset through usage of WriteXml and ReadXml methods. See File/Open, File/Save and File/Save As.. menu items. When you are done using visualizer you can commit changes and exit (File/Commit And Exit) or just exit and cancel changes.

Table MDI child window

Master-Detail view

Images in grid

Print Preview

Hello World!

Hello , this is the first post of my new blog. I’ve been kicking around the idea of creating a blog for myself for a while now, but I’ve never had the time to get one set up. I’m constantly stashing away emails with cool tips and tricks related to .NET, SQL Server, as well as general programming topics. I eventually lose these files or forget they’re there and I’m always frustrated when I can’t find something.

My hope is this blog will serve as repository for this information for myself as well as anyone else that is interested. Don’t expect any consistency in how often I publish or the topics that I write about. I’m also a gadget guy, so I imagine I’ll have many posts related to the latest and greatest toys that I’m drooling over.