A code monkey in Research

One developer's view of (a little bit of) Microsoft Research, Cambridge

More easy IPC

Last time I talked about .NET Remoting and concluded that it was very nice for .NET to .NET communication, but not much use for anything else – and it’s deprecated too. How’s a lazy programmer like me meant to get other sorts of applications talking to each other with minimal effort? I still think that WCF… Read more

Easy peasy IPC-sy

Windows provides a wide range of inter process communication mechanisms, from very low level sockets (which can easily be used from managed applications too) to much more sophisticated WCF. However, the lighter weight ones tend to require a lot of fiddling with message structures and processing, and the heavier ones are, well, rather costly for simple… Read more

Phone magic

If you’ve never come across Scam School before, do take a look at it – it normally offers a bit of entertainment on a Thursday. One in particular caught my eye recently: there have been a few episodes using smart phones as props in magic tricks, but in this one Greg Rostami does something clever… Read more

What’s in a window?

It’s probably not too surprising that one of the important bits of functionality in Project Colletta is relating a window on the screen (a HWND to be precise) to a document, in particular, to the file path of the document appearing in that window. The VSTO APIs provide access to document details for all of… Read more

I’ve only ever written one application

Actually, I mean, I’ve only ever written one application startup – in the same way I’ve only ever written two make files, one for applications and one for libraries, I just keep changing the words… OK, that’s obviously a facetious statement, but it is true that almost all my .NET desktop applications have a very… Read more

NoReplyAll Lite

So far, all of the Office add-in work I’ve been talking about here has been based on VSTO, but some users of NoReplyAll have complained about having to install the .NET Framework (or, in some cases, install whatever version I’d chosen to use, because they’ve standardised on an earlier one, and don’t want to, or… Read more

Collecting URLs part 2

Using Ctrl-Shift-C is quick and convenient, but only if you remember it; and moving the mouse pointer all the way down to the Notification Area really is far too much like hard work. How about adding a control to the browser itself? Well, it’s pretty easy to add something to Internet Explorer’s menu or toolbar,… Read more

Collecting URLs

Another one of those itches that need to be scratched: someone posted a query internally asking for tools that would copy URLs for all open browser windows to the clipboard. I don’t know if such a tool exists but I thought it would be a fun exercise to write one regardless, especially since I had… Read more

NoReplyAll Add-In 3.1

A new release is available today: fixed some resource locking problems, added support for 64 bit Outlook in the installer, and added self-BCC…. Read more

Add-in for 64 and 32 bit Office

My NoReplyAll add-in, which I’ve talked about before, uses absolutely nothing that ties it to 32 or 64 bit Outlook – it’s all “anycpu” with no architecture specific dependencies. However, the latest installer is 32 bit, with the result that the add-in won’t appear in 64 bit Outlook. This wasn’t a problem with a ClickOnce installer… Read more