Virtual Memory and Performance

There’s an interesting article about performance of server apps in the July 2010 Communications of the ACM somewhat provocatively titled “You’re Doing It Wrong”.  In it, Poul-Henning Kamp, the architect of an HTTP cache called Varnish, describes the “ah ha!” moment (on a night train to Amsterdam, no less) where he realized that traditional data…

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Outlook Mailing Addresses

To fix a problem with a corrupted Outlook profile, I created a new profile which caused all my Contacts to be initialized from my Windows Live account.  Pretty much everything came in OK, but one of the annoying things is that the “default mailing address” isn’t set right.  For whatever reason, Outlook doesn’t just do…

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Using Custom Performance Counters with Windows Azure Services

Windows makes available a wide variety of performance counters which of course are available to your Azure roles and can be accessed using the Azure Diagnostics APIs as I described in my recent MSDN article on Windows Azure Diagnostics. However, it can be useful to create custom performance counters for things specific to your role…

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Skype App-to-App Channels and Microsoft Robotics Studio

For a consulting project, I’ve been playing around with getting the Skype public API to work with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (RDS) by building a DSS service that communicates with Skype. I’ve gotten this working and wanted to use the Visual Programming Language to wire up a simple test of sending datagrams through Skype.  So…

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Robotics Studio R2

As part of a project I’m doing for a Seattle startup, I’m playing with Microsoft Robotics Developer Studio (RDS).  I downloaded the 2008 release and generated a simple program to use a desktop joystick (basically a UI element displayed on the screen) to control an iRobot Create.  That worked fine – it was cool to…

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Windows Azure Panel Discussion Q&A

I am at the Azure Firestarter event in Redmond today which just finished with a panel discussion and Q&A.  Here are my notes. Q: For Dallas, do I need to use C# to access the data? A: No – it’s pretty easy to use C# classes but Dallas exposes an OData feed so you need…

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Migrating Apps to Windows Azure

I am at the Azure Firestarter event in Redmond today and just heard Mark Kottke talk about his experiences as an app development consultant with Microsoft on migrating existing customer apps to Azure.  Here are my notes; slides and sample code are to be posted later and I will update the post with them when…

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Windows Azure SQL Notes

I am at the Azure Firestarter event in Redmond today and just heard David Robinson from the SQL team give an overview of SQL Server for Azure.  Here are my notes; slides and sample code are to be posted later and I will update the post with them when they are. SQL Azure – David…

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Windows Azure Developer Overview - Notes

I am at the Azure Firestarter event in Redmond today and just heard Steve Marx give a lap around the platform.  Here are my notes; slides and sample code are to be posted later and I will update the post with them when they are. Idea behind Azure platform – we no longer think about…

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A PowerShell Cmdlet for Managing Windows Azure Diagnostics

I decided to write a PowerShell cmdlet to manage Windows Azure diagnostics.  This cmdlet will let you retrieve and delete log information in the Azure cloud for your service; right now there isn’t any easy way to do this. I started out by writing a simple spec for my tool; you can see it here. …

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