Guidance for Using Optional and Named Parameters In C# & .NET 4.0

April 20, 2010

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Best Free Transcoder – XMedia Recode

February 25, 2010

The jury (of just me) is out!

Over the last few years I have tried too many free transcoding tools including: MediaCoder, Handbrake, Super, Format Factory, Any Video Converter, BeSweet and almost every other free tool I could download (thanks especially to Doom9 for their help over the years).

For the last few years, my stable has been MediaCoder, although I have had a love-hate relationship with its stability between versions (introduction of bugs), the annoyingly periodic A/V synchronisation issues that happen for me and other general problems that occur seemingly randomly.

Recently however I discovered XMedia Recode. I am absolutely delighted and I highly recommend this software! It is a German site, but it can be viewed in English through Google Translate.

Of special mention, I had a home DVD that would correctly play on a DVD player but would not correctly play on the 3 different PCs that I tried. From one of those PCs, XMedia Recode actually properly converted this DVD, even though the PC couldn’t properly play it! Go figure!

According to the home page, XMedia Recode can directly convert unprotected DVDs and nearly all popular audio and video formats including 3GP, 3GPP, 3GPP2, AAC, AC3, AMR, ASF, AVI, AVISynth, DVD, FLAC, FLV, H.261, H.263, H.264, M4A , M1V, M2V, M4V, Matroska (MKV), MMF, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, TS, TRP, MP2, MP3, MP4, MP4V, MOV, QT, OGG, PSP, (S) VCD , SWF, VOB, WAV, WMA and WMV.

Its major features include: batch processing, AVISynth support, a whole swag of video and audio processing options (including cropping, colour correction, aspect ratio selection, zoom, direct stream copy, multi-pass encoding, volume correction and normalisation, and the adjustment of the framerate, bitrate and resolution) and more than 30 profiles/templates for various devices such as Pocket PC, iPod, iPhone, PSP and PS3.

What is it that they say about German engineering?…

This is good, reliable, working software. In fact, it is the best free transcoder I have found – so I take off my hat to you Sebastian Dörfler.

Web Development Links

February 15, 2010

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VMware “.vmem” Files and Antivirus Program Incompatibility

December 16, 2009

I have been using a local virtual machine using WMware products on a Windows 7 host that also runs Microsoft Forefront Client Security (MFCS).

MFCS is configured to schedule a scan of the disk on a nightly basis from 2am. As I have painfully noticed however, if I allow the virtual machine to be in a running state overnight, then even by 10am MFCS is still thrashing the hard disk at 100% and thus making my host machine almost unresponsive.

After an investigation, I discovered that the disk was thrashing on a VMware virtual machine “.vmem” file. This file type is apparently a backup of the virtual machine’s paging file that only exists while the virtual machine is running, or if it has crashed.

So in order to solve the problem I added “*.vmem” to the list of files to exclude when MFCS performs a scan.

Program Specification Through the Mechanism of Automated Tests

December 7, 2009

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Showdown: Testing Private Methods Versus Public Methods

December 6, 2009

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TeamReview 2010 Installation Problem

November 5, 2009

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