Visual C++ 6.0

At work we maintenance a set of legacy applications developed with Visual C++ version 6.0. This version of the IDE came out back in 1998. So it is relatively ancient technology. However it works. And there are no surprises when maintaining the software we support. The problem is that developers like to work with the latest and greatest tools. In fact I have a trial copy of Visual C++ 2005 at work for side projects.

At home I also run Visual C++ version 6.0. This allows me to view work that I take home, as well as work on my side software development business. I bought my copy of Visual C++ a long time ago. It has and continues to serve me well. Recently I have been writing software to release on my new blog Black of Hat. My latest program is Crawl. It was written in Visual C++ version 6.0. Details on the program can be found on my post entitled Crawl Program Released.

I am still debating whether to purchase an upgrade to Visual C++ version 6.0. An upgrade would be beneficial to learn how to develop in the Dot NET environment. But for now my goal is to knock out programs quickly.

Windows Explorer

With this post, I want to get back to some basics. Specifically I want to talk about Windows Explorer. Not Internet Explorer (the browser). I want to talk about Windows Explorer. This is the program that let's you navigate your disks and cd-roms and such. It is light years ahead of the old directory command from the DOS days.

You can start up Windows Explorer by right clicking on the Windows Start menu, and then clicking Explore. You can also run the executable "Explorer.exe". Right clicking on an object within Explorer usually let's you choose from a number of options in a context menu.

Choosing About from the Help menu in Explorer tells you interesting things such as the version of Windows you are running, and also how much RAM you have on your computer. I bet there are a lot of other cool features of Explorer that I don't even know about. I hope that Explorer is one piece of Windows that we agree Microsoft did a good job with. Wouldn't you say so?

The Visual Studio Family

I recently installed a trial copy of Visual Studio 2005 Team Suite. To tell the truth, I do not know much about this software. Just hoping that I can dig a little into dot Net development. My background is legacy Visual C++ development.

The thing that amazed me is that the installation program for Visual Studio 2005 mentioned that many components were being installed. Here is a list of some of the ones that caught my eye:
  • MSXML 6.0 Parser
  • .NET Component Framework 1.0 SP3
  • .NET Component Framework 2.0
  • Visual J# 2.0
  • SQL Server 2005 Mobile Edition
  • SQL Server 2005 Express Edition
My hope is that I will be exposed to these components/tools in the months to come. I had got to get a move on this learning. The trial version of the software expires in 180 days. And the full version costs a whopping $800 to purchase.

Don't Forget Explorer

I saw a question on a software development board about how to restart Windows Explorer. This is one that I actually know the answer to. First you need to bring up the Windows Task Manager. Then you must kill the "explorer.exe" process. When it is killed, you choose File New Task from the Windows Task Mangager menu. And you type in "explorer.exe" in the open dialog. It will take a little while for Explorer to restart and show the desktop, task bar, and start menu. But this comes in handy when things go awry with Windows Explorer.

The new thing I recently learned about Explorer is that there are a number of optional command line options for the program. For example, "/n" will

[Open] a new single-pane window for the default selection. This is usually the root of the drive Windows is installed on. If the window is already open, a duplicate opens.