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Derek Plote

Recent Articles

Getting WebEx to work with Windows 10

I recently upgraded my machine to Windows 10 and when it came time for a client meeting over WebEx was dismayed to see the following error: WebEx won’t work with Windows 10? Oh no! I tried Chrome, IE, and Firefox, but it wasn’t working in any of them. I thought maybe I’d have to set […]
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Why you should probably be using Single() rather than First()

One thing I run into a lot when reviewing C# code that uses LINQ is that we developers tend to gravitate towards using First() rather than Single(), even though that’s almost never what we actually want. Both operate on a collection and return one element from it. Both throw if no element is found. If […]
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Have a MSDN subscription? Then start using your free monthly Azure credits!

SEP’s got a handful of unassigned MSDN subscriptions. We recently started a project that uses Visual Studio Online, so those of us on the team were assigned subscriptions so that we could actually use the VSO service. We got through Sprint 1 and found out that the integrated code review support in Visual Studio 2013 […]
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How to use the Outlook Room Finder to schedule meeting

As anyone who has tried to find an available conference room here at SEP knows, it can sometimes be a real pain to find one that’s available at the time you need. It usually involved opening your Outlook calendar, looking at the calendars for every conference room at once, and trying to eyeball one that […]
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Beware of Improper Property Usage

Property abuse in C# is a pet peeve of mine. Properties are meant to represent data, and methods are meant to represent actions. When properties are used improperly, you create a breeding ground for misunderstandings and bugs. Take a look at MSDN’s guidelines on when to use a method instead of a property. See any […]
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3 Easy Steps For Creating Email Filters In Outlook 2013

Tired of getting meeting requests for things that you have no intention of ever attending? Me too! Luckily, rather than just grumble and moan, there’s something you can do about it! 1. Find the button you need to press. Seriously, this is the hardest step. I found Googling this surprisingly unhelpful due to the fact […]
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8 Lessons Learned Importing Legacy Data into a New System

Apparently, it’s not uncommon for business to create some tables in an Access database, pass it around to anyone who needs it, and basically treat it like a big Excel spreadsheet. Not uncommon, I think, because in the last year I’ve been tasked with importing 4 different Access databases from 2 different clients into a […]
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Have an NVS 4200M card in your laptop? Here’s how to use the laptop screen as a 3rd monitor

Last year I was issued a new laptop with an nVidia NVS 4200M video card. I was able to to hook two monitors up to it through a docking station and use the laptop monitor itself, for a total of 3 monitors. Good times! Recently, however, I had to get my machine reset so we […]
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TDD does not have to be a rigid process to have value

I like the idea of TDD, but some of the articles and blog posts I’ve read about it feel a little too much like they’re saying “Don’t question our cult! Do what I say!” to me. When proponents of TDD push the “You absolutely have to do it this way or you’re doing it wrong!” […]
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