Love My Surface

Joanna and Tim who I don’t know (but I do follow their blog)  have added a Love My Surface forum to their site. So if you have a Surface and you love it (or maybe you don’t) you should check it out. I have been following the blog for months. it is updated frequently and the information is current, relevant and interesting. I expect that the forum will be the same… especially if all us Surfacers go there and contribute.

Stack Overflow Cred

Buck Hicks Stack Overflow Cred BadgeOn the right side of this page there is a heading with the text Stack Overflow Cred, which is a public forum for programmers to ask and answer programming questions.

The site is run in a somewhat democratic fashion where, for the most part, the community is in charge of maintaining the quality of the site. In other words there is a self policing going on all the time with the purpose to set Stack Overflow above all other forums that have evolved into “troll caves” or a place for people to ask others to do their homework for them and everything else that has made most programming forums absolutely worthless for people looking to share and expand programming knowledge.

This “democratic” quality, as in real life, can be a double edge sword because many times the members doing the self policing can be the worst people to make new comers feel welcome to the site. I have been using forums on a regular part of my career since around 1997 so I like to think I have a good handle on forum etiquette (and a thick skin) and even I have gone through several iterations of feeling like Stack Overflow is just too hostile a place for me to be feel like I belong there.

However the help and information is so good and if you learn to play by the some times nuanced rules of Stack Overflow there is no better place to get help with programming problems. And I would be lying if I said that I don’t like the gamification aspect of it all via the reputation system or that with 1,042 points (as of this writing) that I am in the top 33% of all the people who live in that community.

Hey look at me. I am in the top 33% of Stack Overflow ranking.Stack Overflow Ranking Badge for Buck Hicks

Windows 10 Links

Windows 10 Box

Here are some Windows 10 Links that I want to save for later. Originally I was going to try and group these and put them in some order that would make sense later when I came back looking for a particular link. However as I post this I have not don’t that (yet?) so these are posted in no particular order of importance or relevance.




Microsoft store

Tips & Tricks

There is the list I have so far. I will add to this page as I come across new interesting links related to Windows 10. If you find some that I have missed please post them in the comments.

Career Opportunity

If you are currently looking for an entry level career opportunity in the technology field please send your resume to buck at buckhicks dot net with the subject line Battle Creek Area Developer.

Here is the job description of what they are looking for.

Immediate opportunity available for a C#/SQL developer in Battle Creek. This is an entry level position but candidates should be knowledgeable in developing applications using Visual Studio, C#, have a strong understanding of relational database structures and excellent communication skills.

Our development environment uses Microsoft technology (WPF, C#, SQL, ASP.NET). This position is a mixture of store support (diagnosing network issues, technology troubleshooting, and POS questions) along with development of software/applications to support our teams.

Skills & Requirements:

  • Strong knowledge of C# and SQL
  • Would be a bonus to know WPF, ASP.NET, AngularJS or JavaScript (but not a requirement)
  • Degree in Computer Science or related field, or equivalent in work experience
  • Familiarity with object-oriented programming
  • Strong problem solving skills

The job is located in Battle Creek, MI and although you don’t have to live there, to be considered, the employer would prefer that candidates live within an hour from the location.

Windows 10 Available Now

Windows 10 LogoWindows 10 is available now via Windows Updates but not everyone will see it today because Microsoft is rolling it out in waves. If you want to install Windows 10 without waiting for Windows 10 updates to do it for you. You can Install the Windows 10 media creation tool found here, which will allow you to install the 32 or 64 bit version of Home or Pro on the computer you are on or  create media for a different machine (there is a USB option also). The tool basically walks you through the entire process but there is a “Windows 10 media creation How To” here.

The nice thing about creating an ISO and burning from the media creation tool is that I now have a DVD with Windows 10 on it that I can do a clean install from in the future should I ever need to. Very handy indeed.

As I type this I am doing my first non beta/RC version of Windows 10 and am looking forward to seeing what is new since the last RC was released. I have high hopes but there was enough quirks left in the last RC that I would be very surprised if some of them aren’t still in there.

Visual Studio f6 Build keyboard mapping

Quick Tip: Enable the Visual Studio f6 Build keyboard mapping.

I have used Visual Studio since the 6.0 version (around 2001) and have installed it on more machines that I can remember. And every now and then, after a new installation, I run into a setup where the keyboard mapping gets set to something other than Visual C# 2005. And every time it happens I can never remember where or how to set it back up the way I like it. So this post is to serve as a quick reminder for when it happens again.

Go to Tools > Options > Keyboard and choose the Visual C# 2005 setting from the drop down.

Visual Studio F6


This is Water

This is Water is a commencement speech to the Kenyon College class of 2005 written and delivered by David Foster Wallace. Someone added a video to the words of the speech and the result is awesome. Everyone should watch this at least once.

This Is Water

This speech and the included video moved me like few things I find on the internet ever have. I absolutely love this and make it a point to review it on a regular basis. And I won’t claim that when I first heard it that it changed my life or anything as drastic as that. I will say that it came at the right time in my life. A time when I needed to hear it. A time when I was ready for a pivot.

Unfortunately the author has since past and the family keeps tight control of the copyright so this can not be viewed on a remote site such as the one you are on. So when you click the video it will prompt you to go to YouTube to see it. Do it. Believe me it is worth it.This-is-water

Remember. This is just water.

Liberty 1st

In an earlier post I mentioned that this was not my first attempt at blogging. In fact I have tried multiple times since I became aware that Blogs existed and before that I used to post to a static page with a web editor.

The first time I got any traction on the Internet with any kind of self publishing of content was with forums an I absolutely loved that mode of communicating on the web. And I can’t fathom the number of hours I spent arguing about politics on the web during that time. Notice I didn’t say wasted because, as I said, I LOVED IT. I am not sure if I ever made a difference beyond a few local things that I know were changed because of my involvement with them but it was a great run.

At one point in the early 2000’s I started a forum to cover politics and local issues for the city of Three Rivers to replace the one that the city had but decided to take down because I (and a few others) had used their site to stage a very vocal protest about some of the actions that the commission had taken recently taken. They were the kind of actions that, I think, looked good on paper but were in my opinion so anti liberty. So much so that I could not stand by silently and let them stand un-challenged.

This post is not to argue about whether I was right or wrong about my political opinions ten years ago. The Liberty 1st forum still exists today and anyone can go there, read the content, and decide for themselves. This post is (mostly to continue the practice and continuity of posting) to talk about one of a couple languishing projects of mine that I would like to reintroduce to the web and see if I can get some transaction on that site once again. The site is a political one and mostly takes on a libertarian slant. Although the forum never had an intentional slant because it was a place where anyone could post, regardless of their political leanings, and express their opinions to the world. Well mostly to the people of Three Rivers) but you know what I mean. All that a person needed was the courage of their convictions to state their opinions and sometimes defend them in a public (somewhat anonymous) forum.

So anyway the forum is no longer active but the blog is going to get new posts starting this week. And if you would like to contribute to a pro liberty blog regardless of whether you are from the left or the right I would love to hear from you. Send me an email or add a comment to this post.

Oh I almost forgot to post the link to the blog. The blog can be found here at the Liberty 1st Site.

Liberty1st Logo

There is a Liberty 1st forum 2.0 but by the time it was put into place most people had moved on to Face Book for the kind of thing they used to get from the forum so it is somewhat of a ghost town these days.


Visual Studio 2015 RTM July 20th

Visual Studio 2015 RTM (release to Manufacturing) set for July 20th. 2015

I am a little late on this but S. Somasegar Visual Studio 2015 Announcement the vice president of Microsoft’s Developer Division announced on June 29th that Visual Studio 2015 RTM is going to be released.

Visual Studio 2015 is a big release.  We are opening up Visual Studio to developers targeting new platforms – from cross-platform mobile development targeting iOS, Android and Windows, to game development targeting Unity, Unreal, Cocos and more.  At the same time, Visual Studio 2015 redefines developer productivity with proactive diagnostics tooling and the new Roslyn language services for C# and VB.  And together, Visual Studio 2015, Team Foundation Server 2015 and Visual Studio Online help teams to embrace DevOps with great agile backlog management, Azure cloud tooling, hosted continuous integration, and Application Insights across all the components of your application.

To celebrate the release, we invite you to join us online on July 20th to learn about the new features and technologies. You will be able to engage in live, interactive Q&A sessions with the engineering team, as well as deep-dive into technical details covered in over 60 on-demand video sessions.

For me this is bigger then the release of Windows 10 because Visual Studio is where I live for most of my day. I have been using the Release Candidate for production(ish) since it came out and have not had any major problems with it at all. And although I use Code Rush from Developer Express I like that Microsoft is adding some more “hinting” of their own.  The diagnostics tools have some new visuals the kick in automatically during debugging.

Diagnostic Tool Window


I haven’t experienced all the new features that are included out of the box but am looking forward to the announcement to learn about what I’m not using that I should be.

I mostly do WPF I am very happy with the updates there because they seem to have fixed many of the quirks that I found in the previous IDE like for instance, not being able to access fields in the Properties Windows at what seemed like very random times.  I have never used Blend beyond some limited experimentation but I plan to take advantage of the features and improvements that Microsoft has done to it on my current project in hopes that it helps me transition from traditional development to MVVM.

Compare Windows 10 Editions

Windows 10 Desktop
Click to enlarge image

Microsoft has released a Windows 10 Edition Comparison guide to help businesses (and other consumers) decide which version of Windows 10 is the right version for them.

Windows 10 Comarison Snippet
Click to make image bigger

For me the most exciting thing is that it appears based on the snipped image above they are going to allow line of business application side loading right out of the box. Please. Please. Let that be the case. I have two projects that have been held back by this limitation in the Windows 8 eco system that would benefit greatly from this change in features.

In other Windows 10 news Microsoft has put up a page to help you upgrade to Windows 10 for free assuming that you have a valid copy of Window 7, 8 or 8.1. And lastly if you are not seeing the Reserve Windows Icon in your task bar you can find out how to get it here at the Windows 10 Upgrade FAQ.

I have been running the Preview release for as long as it has been available and really like what I have seen so far. However I have run into a lot of issues using it as my default setup and cannot see how they are going to get all of them resolved before the release, which is now less then a month away.