| Comments

Ever since I released my version of the Foxit PDF Preview Handler, I've been flooded with comments about building a version that works for Windows XP.  You see XP doesn't have the preview host that Vista has built into the operating system.

Well, I finally had some time to hunt down some code and get it working, thanks to the help of Ryan Gregg from the Outlook team.  I released the sample code I used as a base for this as a part of our Code Trip project.  You can view my short screencast explaining one of the core pieces here using the Code Trip's embedded player:

You can download the Foxit PDF Preview Handler for XP here.  If you have Windows Vista, I recommend you stick with the existing one for Vista as it leverages the existing preview host that is built into Vista.

Hope this helps!

| Comments

One of The Code Trip sponsors, InnerWorkings, has teamed up to have a coding challenge for developers.  This is open to everyone to participate.  The winner gets an annual subscription to InnerWorkings as well as an XBOX 360 game console.

If you aren't familiar with InnerWorkings, consider this a shameless plug.  I really do believe in their product as it is a unique learning experience from what we traditionally have (i.e., lab manuals with step-by-step instructions).  They have a wide catalog of topics including ASP.NET, WCF, WPF, , CSS, etc. for organizations to choose from.  You really need to check them out if you haven't before.

All the details are available on The Code Trip web site recent post.  Head over there for information on InnerWorkings and the information on the contest.

| Comments

Our current route on The Code Trip takes us to Boulder, Colorado on March 18 to the Boulder .NET User Group!  I'm really excited about this stop in Boulder, CO as we've managed to get some help from great partners to demonstrate some very cool developer stuff they are working on.

Specifically, Quark and me.dium will be there to talk to the group.  Quark will be showing us some stuff they've been working on for WPF and Silverlight.  me.dium is a company that I met at MIX08 last week that were showing off some great stuff they've done with Internet Explorer 8.  They will be there to show the group some of that stuff and share their experiences working with IE8 early bits.

And, of course, we'll be giving stuff away.  We've got software, Windows Mobile devices, books, and more.  Be sure to show up to participate.  You can view the details of the visit on the Code Trip event section here.

See you in Boulder!!!

| Comments

For about a year now I've been using Amazon S3 services.  Mostly I'm using it for image storage for my blog and web site.  I decided to stop using Flickr for screenshot stuff and keep it to 'photographs' when I can.  I signed up for an S3 account and have been using it for screenshot type stuff since then.  If you don't know, S3 is a service that basically enables 'object' storage in the cloud.  An object can be anything really, but I'm treating it like a remote host for images.

The one thing Amazon doesn't provide themselves is a tool to manage your account...it is really an API only.  There are plenty out there that have implemented user interfaces around S3 services.  My two favorites are the S3 plugin for Firefox and BucketExplorerI use the Firefox one more than anything for uploading just because it was faster for what I needed.

UPDATE: While I still use the Firefox extension and always have it installed, I find myself using CloudBerry Explorer a LOT more.  It is the most full-featured (free) Amazon S3 tool I've seen and I love it.  They keep adding little subtle things to that make my process even easier!  Check it out today!

But the problem is that neither of the tools really incorporated *why* I was using S3 for me, which was primarily with my blog.  So a year ago I grabbed some of the sample code from the S3 developer site and whipped up a quick-and-dirty plugin for Windows Live Writer that I've been using.  I already had my Flickr4Writer plugin that I used for Flickr, but like I mentioned, I was using S3 for other image hosting now.  I was lazy though and only did a read version that inserted an image.  I was still relying on the other tools to upload, change permissions, etc. -- my workflow sucked.

Well as a part of The Code Trip, we set goals to release projects on CodePlex.  I decided to put this project out on CodePlex as far as I had it.  I immediately had a partner in Aaron Lerch.  He jumped in and within a day basically put in the remaining features that were lacking.

The result is the S3 Browser for Windows Live Writer project:

The initial 0.91 beta release is available on the project now.  Please give it a spin if you are a Live Writer and Amazon S3 user!

| Comments

We're off!  Just minutes ago The Code Trip left the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas en route to our first stop in Salt Lake City.  It's going to be a late night of coding and editing of some video.  Now that we've officially left, I'll share the actual pictures of our bus so you can be on the lookout for us:

The Code Trip

Tomorrow (late tonight) we roll in to Salt Lake for the combined .NET community user group meeting at the Franklin Covey building.  We're going to spend 2 hours talking about what we saw at MIX08.  We've got a special guest on board, Kelly White from the Portland area user experience group (PDXUX) who will be sharing his thoughts on Silverlight 2.  We'll show some of the Deep Zoom technology and some other great stuff!  Don't miss this if you are in the area.  See you soon!