Monday, January 30, 2012


97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

I happened to be on StackOverflow perusing a few questions (not that I spend much time there, ahem!), and I came across this great List of freely available programming books, which includes 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know

A few of my favorites are:

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Perth .NET User Group Meeting, Thurs Feb 2nd, 5:30pm: Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server vNext Preview with Anthony Borton

Join us at the Perth .NET user group, Thurs Feb 2nd 5:30pm, where you’ll see what’s coming up in the next version of Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. Anthony will demonstrate features from the Developer Preview versions of both Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server and whet your appetite for the Beta releases expected in February. Some of the things you’ll see include the new team explorer, code review workflow, exploratory testing, local workspaces and much, much more.

  • TOPIC:  Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server vNext Preview: Anthony Borton
  • DATE:   Thurs Feb 2nd, 5:30pm - 7:00pm
  • VENUE: Enex 100 Seminar Room, Level 3, 100 St Georges Terrace, Perth
  • COST:   Free. All welcome

Anthony Borton is the lead ALM consultant for Enhance ALM Pty Ltd, an Australian consulting and training company specializing in Application Lifecycle Management and Microsoft Visual Studio. He has been working with Visual Studio Team System full-time since 2005 and has worked with a variety of companies ranging up to some of Australia’s largest companies and financial institutions. Anthony is a sought after trainer and has delivered technical training and consulting in the United States and all across the Asia Pacific region. He is a Microsoft MVP (Visual Studio ALM), a Professional Scrum Developer Trainer and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Anthony also runs the QLD ALM Users Group and the Canberra ALM Users Group.

In addition to the usual JetBrains license raffle prize, Anthony has arranged to provide everyone that attends our February user group meeting with an invitation code for the preview of Microsoft’s Hosted TFS offering.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Windows Azure Training Kit December 2011 Refresh

The Windows Azure Training Kit includes a comprehensive set of technical content including hands-on labs, presentations, and demos that are designed to help you learn how to use Windows Azure.

The December 2011 refresh of the training kit includes the following updates:

  • 33 updated/new PowerPoint presentations

  • [New Hands-On lab] Running a parametric sweep application with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler

  • [New Hands-On lab] Running SOA Services with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler

  • [New Hands-On lab] Running MPI Applications with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler

  • [New Demo] Node.js On Windows Azure

  • [New Demo] Service Bus Relay

  • [New Demo] Service Bus Queues

  • [New Demo] Image Rendering Parametric Sweep Application with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler

  • [New Demo] BLAST Parametric Sweep Application with the Windows Azure HPC Scheduler

  • [Renamed Lab] Connecting Applications through Windows Azure Service Bus (formerly Introduction to Service Bus Part 1)

  • [Renamed Lab] Windows Azure Service Bus Advanced Configurations (formerly Introduction to Service Bus Part 2)

To coincide with the new Azure web site, Scott Guthrie's talk is worth watching: Keynote: Getting Started with Windows Azure

Sunday, January 08, 2012


Non-Uniform Distribution from a Uniform Distribution

Given a uniformly distributed random variable x (such as the output from a standard Random Number Generator), how do we generate some other non-uniform distribution, q(y)?

Solution: Generate x, and take y = f(x). But how do we calculate f() given q() ?

The required function is the inverse cumulative distribution function given by:


Example: Exponential distribution (to simulate the lifetimes of radioactive nuclei)

clip_image003[4], (τ≥0,and = 0 otherwise)


So inverse is



Saturday, January 07, 2012


Windows 7: Reclaiming Drive Space

Note: Everything that follows is performed at your own risk.

If, like me and may others, you installed Windows 7 Service Pack 1 over Windows 7 vanilla, you probably have quite a bit of wasted space on your primary drive (around 1GB). This is obviously not desirable if you have a relatively small SSD as your primary OS drive.

Given that it is extremely unlikely that anyone would ever remove Service Pack 1 and go back to vanilla, you can quite easily reclaim this space (Note: you will no longer be able to uninstall Windows 7 Service Pack 1):

  1. Open an elevated command prompt (i.e. Run as administrator).
  2. Run this command:  dism /online /cleanup-image /spsuperceded /hidesp


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