Fighting against Bloated Software

Today, hard disk space, memory and internet speeds are cheap, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to write bloated software. Not surprisingly, software development tools tend to be the biggest offenders in this space – massive applications that eat up your disk space and hog system resources.

What can you do if you need to run resource-hungry developer tools all day? You could go buy faster, bulkier computers that can hopefully take the load. You’ll have to guard against constant computer cooling fan noise, but one advantage may be reduced heating bills in winter. You’ll need a bigger backpack too!

What developers really want is productivity everywhere. When you have super-thin lightweight computers like the MacBook or Surface Pro 4 that let you work from anywhere, isn’t it time to call out bloated software? Portability can be performant if software development tools cooperate. This article discusses some of our most-used development tools, comparing them against lightweight efficient counterparts.

I hereby declare an an all-out war against bloated developer tools – make them light or I’m switching!

Read the whole article on TDN over HERE.

Adios!

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10 Awesome Features of Visual Studio Code

If you have been following the Microsoft developer space of late, you may have thought to yourself, “It’s a new Microsoft.” These realizations were none the more evident than if you attended the recent //BUILD developer conference. Change is in the air for Microsoft developers and it seems all for the better.

Sure you love the richness of Visual Studio as an IDE and the comforts of managed .NET code. But, just to get started, you have to download and install Visual Studio (several Gigabytes) and setup your developer environment, all before writing even a “Hello World” application. Compared that to the experience of a college kid who may start programming with just a lightweight text editor on a Mac. It’s time to lower the barrier to entry and invite everybody else to our beautiful garden of .NET.

Enter Visual Studio Code – a free, lean, cross-platform version of your beloved Visual Studio. With a lightweight installation, you can enjoy most full-featured benefits of Visual Studio on a Windows, Mac or Linux machine. This article highlights 10 of the compelling features of VS Code, which aims to be your one-stop rich code editor across any developer platform.

Write up as TDN article over HERE!

Adios!

Write C# on a Mac like a Champ!

Let’s face it – Apple makes some of most desired notebooks in the industry. The MacBook Pro Retina is loved by many developers for its screen real estate and silent but robust performance. The MacBook Air, on the other hand, offers portability and long battery life for productivity. If you own one of these, you know that you’re not alone in your love for notebooks with glowing fruit!

If you are a Microsoft stack developer, you may want to use a Mac as a development machine and write C# code – is that even possible? Alternatively, you may have always been a Mac developer, but are interested in .NET going Open Source and want to try out some native ASP.NET on OSX. Either way, your goal is to marry up two of the best things for developers: quality Mac hardware and C# comfort. Good news – they happily coexist! Let’s talk options ..

Write up as TDN article HERE!

Adios

Device Mirroring Options for Mobile Developers

Are you a mobile app developer? Want to show off your creations or plain project your phone screen onto a larger canvas? Yep, you need a mirroring solution and thankfully, there are several options no matter which platform you are on. Check out my article on the Telerik Developer Network on device mirroring options for mobile developers.

Write-up & tooling over HERE @ the Telerik Dev Network.

Adios!

 

Most bang for your pixels!

Running Windows 8/8.1 on a high resolution display? May be you have one of the new 4K monitors or the ultra high DPI laptops. Are you sure you are getting the most of your pixels?

I recently put Windows 8.1 on my last remaining laptop, one with resolution much more than 1080P (1920×1080). To my dismay, several desktop applications looked plain blurry! Font text was inconsistent in size between applications and icons/imagery appeared pixelated around edges. However, a lot of the native Windows applications, like IE or File Explorer, looked fine. So what’s the deal? If you are ever stuck with less than crisp displays while running Windows 8/8.1, read on ..

  • First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. Make sure you have the latest Windows uppdates and running the latest drivers for your video/graphics card. Lot of OEM vendors have updated their Windows drivers and there is no excuse not to be running the latest.
  • Once you know it is not a driver issue, it must be something software. Turns out, Windows caters to a huge number of screen sizes and there has to be some compromises made in terms of defaults. Most of the non-geek population isn’t as concerned about screen real estate like we developers. So, Windows defaults to a bit of display scaling if the native resolution is much higher than 1080P. Much like what OSX does for the MacBook Retinas out of the box.
  • If you trust your eyes and want to shut off this automatic scaling for high resolutions, Windows gives you granular as well as blanket options. For me, Chrome browser, for instance, looked really blurry. So, right click on the program (either from the Taskbar/Desktop or the actual EXE in Program Files) and get to the Properties. Then switch to the Compatibility tab.

ChromeProperties

  • See the checkbox for “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings”? That’s the one you want to have checked. The result – smaller fonts, bigger real estate & crisp edges/icons/imagery.
  • Now, you can do this one at a time for applications you select, or one time for every application in a sweep. Head to the Display settings in Control Panel and turn on the custom scaling for all displays with appropriate text size. Once set, automatic scaling will be turned off and all applications display native resolutions. You can always fine tune magnification inside individual applications.

GlobalTextSetting

Result – ultra high resolution DPI nirvana and more stuff on screen with the increased real estate! Your eyes are your responsibility though 🙂 . Hope this helps.

Adios!