Running IISRESET from Visual Studio

If you want a quick way of running IISRESET from within Visual Studio:

Tools > External Tools…


Add a new menu item to run C:\Windows\System32\iisreset.exe (note the checkboxes at the bottom)…


You then get a new menu item…


And the output is displayed in the Output panel…


Depending on your UAC settings, you may need to be running Visual Studio as Administrator for this to work.

UAC, Windows 10 and Visual Studio


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers]
“C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Microsoft Visual Studio 14.0\\Common7\\IDE\\devenv.exe”=”~ RUNASADMIN”

Progressive .NET Tutorials 2015

Microservices in .NET

IDL – interface definition language – swagger?

Components – don’t know what’s remote

SOA – make it being remote explicit

Microservices – bounded contexts, eventual consistency

Hard to let go of understanding everything

QA – just test the contract of each service, not the whole system – reduces problems caused by configuration problems

Don’t make services too small (Nanoservices) – can lead to too many changes in lots of places, latency (caching helps)

Monolith – staccato delivery

Break it up as each developer/team can only internalise so much

Embrace Conway’s law – check the long version of this

Eventual consistency – 2 phase commit doesn’t scale

Shared data – one source of truth, but can share out a “version” of the data

Try to avoid sharing dependencies, i.e. DTOs – duplicate theme

Enterprise service bus – becomes smart network, hard to test, locked in to vendor – keep the logic in the services instead

Anti-corruption layer for legacy code

Documentation driven design

REST in practice – reference data – ATOM feeds, very cacheable

Could use EventStore for the feed – then services poll the event feed – like a queue of orders in a restuarant



What about having a single API to cover everything?


  1. Break up into bounded contexts
  2. Ubiquitous language



Hexaganol architecture



DNS SD & SRV records – difficult to manage, so Zookeeper/etcd etc better




Everything is an actor 

3 Core Abilities of an actor 

  1. Send messages 
  2. Create other actors 
  3. Change behaviour 

Location transparency (same code in different locations) 

But URLs do have machine names in them 

Switchable behaviour web crawler 

Lighthouse (dedicated seed node) 

Dead letters 

Push dangerous calls down to children 

Supervision directives 

Functional programming in F# 

Types are sets and are composable 

Algebraic types 

Function oriented 


Pattern matching 

No ==, use let for assignment otherwise it will compare 

pure – no side effects 

Pipeline more logical than nesting paranthesis 

Currying – one input, then returns a function taking another input?? 

HOFs – parameterise all the things 

PowerShell DSC

DSC not just a Microsoft/PowerShell standard 

AWS $userdata 

Pull server 

Generates MOF file 

“WMI Tester” 

DSC resource kit – lots of modules! 

The DSC book 

Also see Chef’s site 

Microsoft DSC Resource Kit 

Check git repo for slides etc 

Keynote – Why I’m *not* leaving .NET!

ASP.NET 5: How to Get Your Cheese Back

Visual Studio & .NET on OS-X, Linux, and Windows

Going Further with ASP.NET 5

Complete Code Craft

Introduction to RabbitMQ & EasyNetQ 


Knowing what went bump in Production – modern monitoring in .net



nxlog community edition 

200GB/day of logs 

How big is the cluster? 

13 months retained 

Scheduled health checks 


embedded checks – config missing etc 


Move reads from writes 

Correlation IDs 

Reactive-interactive approaches to visualization of F# jobs

The Joy Of REPL

Monoliths to Microservices: A Journey

How do you type a backslash “\” into the Dell DRAC viewer?

If you have a UK keyboard and try typing backslash into the Dell iDRACView application you might see # appear instead.

After a lot of experimentation and frustration, the only way I could find of doing this was to check Keyboard > Hold Left Alt Key then type 92 on the keyboard number pad. Then uncheck Keyboard > Hold Left Alt Key again.

Internet of Things and Data Hackathon – 11th June 2015

I don’t have time to write a proper blog post, but here are some of the links I found useful today:

Event hashtag: #hackitmsft

Thanks to Microsoft for a fun and informative day.

Sluggish Internet Explorer performance and Browser Link

I recently experienced problems where Internet Explorer performance was sluggish, almost unusable. I could barely log in to the application I was running as there was a long lag between key presses and the text appearing. It turns out that the culprit was Browser Link, a new feature in Visual Studio 2013 that creates a communication channel between the development environment and one or more web browsers.

Disabling Browser Link solved the performance problems.

Uncheck the “Enable Browser Link” option:



My Magic Lantern bricking experience

A few months ago I managed to brick my wife’s Canon 60D. This is the story of how it happened and the things I tried doing to fix it before finally giving up and sending it off to be repaired.

Whilst using my Canon 60D (Firmware 1.1.1, ML 2.3) to take long exposures (astrophotography) I noticed it had apparently frozen up. Unfortunately I can’t remember exactly what I then did, but it was probably a good 30 seconds or more before I removed the battery and card.

I wasn’t able to start it up again no matter what combination of button presses or card/battery removals/replacements I tried.

I was seeing nothing at all on the rear screen, LCD display or in the viewfinder, no beeps or clicks, no smells. The only sign of life I could get was with one of the cards I had Magic Lantern installed on – I get either a single flash when I insert the card or occasionally a double flash – it does this every time but only with that card. No other card does anything at any time. I originally copied Magic Lantern onto two identical 16GB cards. The other card (same version of ML, same card manufacturer) does nothing.

I tried the following standard suggestions for a “bricked” camera but nothing helped:

  • different batteries – partially charged and 100% charged
  • different lenses
  • with/without lens
  • with/without card
  • using a card formatted on my PC – empty
  • using a card formatted on my PC – clean ML install
  • using a card formatted on another 60D (low-level format)

I posted my problem onto the Magic Lantern forums: Bricked 60D – no sign of life except for the SD card light with one ML card

There were a few diagnostic tools which I was able to run:

  • LED blink test
  • Startup log
  • ROM dump

After a few teething issues with incorrectly formatted cards and corrupted file copies, we managed to get the LED blink test and ROM dump to run. The LED blink test just flashes the SD card light once a second – useful for showing that it’s able to read the card and that basic startup routines are executing. The ROM dump was meaningless to me, but was of interest to the Magic Lantern developers who were able to look for possible corruption.

I also had a lot of “fun” trying to build Magic Lantern and the ROM dump code from the source. I’m a developer, but I was way outside my comfort zone with the Magic Lantern build process and embedded ARM development tooling. I got there in the end but it wasn’t fun.

We had a few red herrings and dead ends due to the aforementioned card formatting/filesystem corruption problems.

What was really needed was more detail about the startup, to try and find what was running, and more importantly, what wasn’t – and why.

The Magic Lantern developers have come up with a very clever way of doing this. Because the only way my camera could communicate with the outside world was by flashing its SD card light then the only way to get startup data out was via this light.

There are two parts – code that runs on the problematic camera which flashes the light rapidly – a bit like morse code – long blinks and short blinks. Then you need another helper camera (also running Magic Lantern) and the deblink module, which watches and decodes the blinks in realtime and displays the output.

The tricky part of this, was finding someone else local who had Magic Lantern installed and was able/willing to run the deblink process.

Thanks to Andy Harris (a regular at Reading Geek Night), we managed to give this a go. The result was something we coined “camera inception”. Below you can see my camera (furthest away), the decoding camera (middle) and then for good measure a third camera recording the output that was being decoded via the decoding camera. The reason for the third camera was that we kept running into problems where the decoding camera either turned off, or didn’t record the output anywhere on its own card. So the third camera acted as a record of what happened.


The decoding camera was set up with a very nice macro lens, looking straight at the flashing light on my camera. You can see the orange glow in this photo.



The end result was this:

Unfortunately (as is probably obvious with hindsight) the decoding process didn’t work that well so the output is a bit corrupted.

The Magic Lantern developers had a few more suggestions but it was beginning to require skills I just didn’t have – electronics and low level ARM programming knowledge.

After an interesting few months I finally had to call it a day and returned the camera to a Canon repair centre. They did a great job and the camera is back to normal, but my wallet took a bit of a battering.

I’d like to thank Alex from Magic Lantern and Andy Harris for their time and effort in trying to fix this. Hopefully this post will be helpful to anyone else in a similar situation, or at least interesting!

Tweaks for SSDs on Windows

  • Update firmware
  • Check TRIM is enabled
  • AHCI mode
  • Disable hibernation (powercfg -h off)
  • Install Intel Remote Storage Tools
  • Disable page file?
  • Turn off auto defrag (automatically disabled in Windows 7+?)
  • Turn off superfetch (optional, automatically disabled in Windows 7+?)
  • Set up backups