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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
A seasoned developer's little discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks


This Week I Learned - Week #145

This Week I Learned -

The Azure Desired State Configuration (DSC) Extension, which can be used to upload and apply a DSC configuration on an Azure VM, was introduced in August 2014. It is currently at Version 2.13

Building Azure VM with ARM templates consists of two rough steps: building a JSON template file and executing the New-AzureRmResourceGroupDeployment cmdlet, which then reads all of the logic inside of this JSON template file to feed the Azure API the parameters it needs to provision a VM...a simple Windows VM will require at least a 140 line template

Installing Azure PowerShell via WebPi/MSI or Install-Module differs in several ways. One difference is that the WebPi/MSI method installs the PowerShell modules to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Azure\PowerShell\, whereas Install-Module downloads them to C:\Program Files\WindowsPowerShell\Modules.

Resource Manager APIs and PowerShell modules are incompletely (or simply not) documented, and .. many features are missing or half-baked.

The Visual Studio ALM team maintains a Feature Timeline for TFS and VSTS to augment their UserVoice site.

The Visual Studio Team Services maintains a Service Blog that tracks outages and reports on service status 

A Visual Studio Team Services account allows 240 minutes (4 hours) per month of Build (XAML) / Build and Deployment services & 20,000 virtual user minutes per month of  Cloud-based Load Testing. By default, you can run one job at a time. One job can run up to 30 minutes long. To run more than one job at the same time, or to run a single job up to 6 hours long, you can buy Build and Deployment Hosted Agents. You can also buy Private Agents. “Basic” access to 5 users is free with your account

The "Blank App" template in Visual Studio 2015 isn't really blank after all. By default, it includes a number of NuGet packages you might not want in a simple project. Weston Thayer created a Truely Blank App template that has most of the NuGet packages removed and turns off the frame rate counter as well.

Is Microsoft (with 2014 revenues of $86 billion and 128,000 employees) truly agile?  The Developer Division is about 4,000 people, working in hundreds of teams, each of 10 to 12 people, working in 3-week sprints.It has implemented Scrum at scale...the Developer Division of Microsoft..is not only implementing the regular practices and methodologies of Agile, Scrum and DevOps for itself but also promoting them for others.

The free Microsoft Press ebook Enterprise Cloud Strategy shows you how to assess your application portfolio, design the programs and processes, and manage the organizational change as you move your IT ecosystem to the cloud.

OpenAI is funded by a billion-dollar grant from Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who has been outspoken about the long-term dangers of AI, and other technology heavyweights.

* Rafael Corredoira and Lori Rosenkopf studied the patents filed by semiconductor companies for almost 15 years, from 1980 to 1994. In doing so, they built a database of 154 firms and 42,000 patents. For every patent application filed, the applicant also cites existing patents that the new idea borrows from or builds upon. That allowed the researchers to study linkages formed between companies when talent departed. If employees move from one firm to another, the researchers would be able to see the effect of employees’ ideas on the new firm because those employees would be likely to cite patents from their old firm in their new patent applications..departing employees have a cross-pollinating effect on the ideas of both organizations.

..in Malaysia, a country where Islam is the most widely-followed faith but large minorities follow other faiths, including Christianity. In 2007, a court ruled that non-Muslims (and Christians in particular) could not use the word "Allah" although that happens to be the Malay or Bahasa word for God. The Islamic authorities reasoned that Muslims might be confused, and tempted to go astray, if they came across people of other persuasions addressing a deity which only Muslims fully understood - The Economist

Oscar Pistorius’s (the Paralympic athlete who was convicted of murder) tragic flaw was an excessive paranoia regarding intruders, which manifested itself in an enthusiasm for guns

Qantas tops the list of safest airlines for the third year running; the Australian carrier has been fatality-free during the jet-engine era (its last crash took place in 1951). It is joined at the top by other big names including United, American, Lufthansa and Emirates

"If I have seen further it is by standing on the sholders [sic] of Giants" - This has recently been interpreted by a few writers as a sarcastic remark directed at Hooke's appearance. Although Hooke was not of particularly short stature, he was of slight build and had been afflicted from his youth with a severe kyphosis. However, at this time Hooke and Newton were on good terms and had exchanged many letters in tones of mutual regard. Only later, when Robert Hooke criticized some of Newton's ideas regarding optics, Newton was so offended that he withdrew from public debate, and the two men remained enemies until Hooke's death.

India is the second largest producer (after China) of potatoes. Potato is a modified stem, masquerading as a root vegetable

State-owned fuel retailers Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) revise rates of petrol and diesel on the 1st and 16th of every month based on average oil price and foreign exchange rate in the preceding fortnight.

* On the premium paid for self, spouse, children and parents, the maximum deduction that can be availed is Rs 25,000 a year, provided the age of the individual is not above 60. If the premium paid by an individual is towards health policy for his or her parent who is a senior citizen of age 60 or more, the maximum is capped at Rs 30,000. A taxpayer may therefore maximise tax benefit under section 80D to a total of Rs 55,000 if his age is below 60 while parents age is above 60. For those tax payer individuals who are of age 60 or more and are also paying health insurance premium for their parents, the maximum tax benefit under section 80D would therefore be a total of Rs 60,000 - The Economic Times

The product of a year and a half of writing, the novel, Moby-Dick; or, The Whale (1851), is dedicated to Nathaniel Hawthorne, "in token of my admiration for his genius", and draws on Herman Melville's experience at sea, on his reading in whaling literature, and on literary inspirations such as Shakespeare and the Bible. Although the novel was a commercial failure and out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, its reputation as a Great American Novel grew during the 20th century.

Sherlock Holmes was weird in too many well-known ways. G K Chesterton's Father Brown, like Singapore-based detective fiction writer Shamini Flint's Inspector Singh, was short, fat and brainy. Like Singh he, too, was also constantly underestimated. Likewise, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot - pronounced Yaircule Poiro - was also short, stout if not fat and brainy beyond measure. And, of course, no one took him seriously. He was always referred to as that "ridiculous little man" by the British.

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