Merry Christmas 2014

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic 2015


I will be back blogging in 2015 … on the wonderful world of embedded software development using C and C#. Yep I changed company in September and joined to “retrain” into an embedded software engineer doing cool stuff for submarines. It has been huge fun… but I have been heads down on work and let this blog gather some dust.

Check out my “side project”  – an STM32-discovery board powering the Xmas lights :-)


Tip – Install Windows Live Writer 2012 on Windows 8.1 using full offline install

On and off I have tried to get Live Writer (part of Windows Essentials 2012) to install on this PC – with no success. Disabling firewalls, anti-virus, resetting browser settings, running in compatibility mode all failed. The error did move around a little but the core error was “WaitForCatalog”.

Today I found a path that worked…. yippeee!

Visit to download an offline installer.

Choose English NOT British English (British English appeared to once again try and contact the internet and fail part way through the install)

Run the download.



What better way to spend Christmas Eve than… getting your pc ready for the next project

Visual Studio 2013… installed
NDepend 5 … installed
Balsamiq 2 …installed

Next up ReSharper 9. However I have chosen to go for superbly priced ReSharper Ultimate which gives you oodles of tools for .NET and the promise of ReSharper for C++ in the future.

And comes with a rather nifty new installer… which hopefully is going to leave my environment working for Visual Studio 2008 for some Windows CE projects we are advancing in 2015…


Deleting a branch in Visual Studio Online using GIT for Windows

When you use GIT branching becomes… attractive, maybe even addictive. Which is fine… then (as happened yesterday) you find that a branch really didn’t help in any way and you would like to delete that branch and pretend it never happened :-)

I’m using the GIT capability of Visual Studio Online and was stumped with how to delete the branch. I managed to remove it from my local repository with ease – but not from Visual Studio Online.

The solution turned out to be very simple but (to me anyway) was not obvious.

Install GIT for Windows. Fire up the GIT Gui and then select the Delete Branch option from the Remote menu. Simple.


Is Visual Studio 2013 ignoring your .gitignore file?

Well, it was for me. Specifically I wanted it to exclude the nuget packages folder which in theory should have been as simple as uncommenting a single line in .gitignore.

Except… VS2013 (with update 2) insisted on still checking in the packages folder. Odd.

Turns out various folks have hit the same problem and the answer turns out to be pretty simple.

  • Close Visual Studio.
  • Navigate to your .git folder
  • Delete ms-persist.xml
  • Restart Visual Studio

And hey presto, all is well.

If you exclude the packages folder then you also need to enable nuget package restore  – check out this great walkthrough.