MVP Status renewed for 2013

I’m glad to announce that I’ve been renewed as a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in the Visual Studio ALM domain for 2013!  Smile

MVP Logo

Every year I’m challenged on my contributions to the Visual Studio ALM community, and my efforts with this blogging site have been rewardful (but not only). Year 2012 was a year of transition for me, moving from Paris to Bordeaux, with personal events to manage (I know I’m no exception), but I feel more comfortable to dedicate more time to my expertise this year.Happy new year

 

The time for Champagne wine, foie gras (unavoidable when we celebrate new year in France) and good resolutions is over, let’s hit the road, I’ve plenty of ideas and areas of work for year 2013!

And by the way, happy new year to you fellow reader! Smile

Snagit + SkyDrive, just what I needed…

Noticed my cool screenshots and captures ? Ok, lame intro, but I’m so pleased with those tools…

I’m using Snagit for my screenshots and editing, then I set it up to save my files in my SkyDrive folder, so my work is backed up on the fly. I feel I have only advantages so I’m sharing this small combo.

As a technical blogger, the features I need

  • A handy screen-capturing interface, capturing pieces of screen with a pixel precision
  • The ability to add graphical objects on top of my shots: notes, squares, circles, arrows, text easily
  • The ability to modify those graphical objects without impacting the base image
  • Cool borders effects (torn, blended, etc.)
  • A lot of editing options for the graphical objects
  • A view of all my recent shots (a kind of explorer list)
  • The ability to name my screenshot with my own policy and save them all in sequence to a specified folder

I’ve been striving for this on the internet, with the first three features in mind. There are not that many offers. I tried the most popular free screen capturing tools, but I was disappointed. I started to look for non-free tools, and Snagit just did it too well.

image

All the aforementioned features are fulfilled by Snagit. To my eyes, the strengths of Snagit are:

  • “.snag” files: images are saved in a proprietary format that allows quick editing, and support quick modifications without altering the original image, this is so important to me
  • Easy interface with many options
  • I can save my favorite arrows and text formatting parameters in the quick style bar, this is good for my blog identity and helps keeping it homogenous (and productive)
  • I almost never go through a Save file dialog, files are automatically named, placed and saved in the right place

Custom profiles for different screen capturing contexts

To achieve the latter point, I set up a Snagit profile for my blog entries and tied it with a particular key combination (CTRL+SHIFT+S), so that the regular Print Screen key would still trigger Snagit, but not in the context of my “blog” profile, thus, not polluting my blog screen captures folder.

image

I’m sure I’m not using a quarter of all the features, I just use what I need and I’m very happy like this.

Cloud for easiness

Outputting files directly to a SkyDrive folder provides even more comfort. All my work in progress, my live writer drafts and their snag images are backed up on the fly.

SkyDrive

I could use DropBox, but I’m more and more using SkyDrive because of its great value. 7 Gb free for a starter, and I bought an additional 20 Go for 8€ per year (that is the price of a basic lunch for me). DropBox is cool and I’ve loved it for quite some time, I’ve earned up to 8,75 Gb of free space just by convincing people to use it! Upgrading DropBox adds 100Gb for 99$ per year, there is no middle ground, too bad.

SkyDrive has been updated with cool features recently, it has now a proper trash bin, a selective file history (not for all file types, as strange as it sounds Sad smile ), and is able to sync from multiple folders on the same machine.

I was a Live Mesh lover, and SkyDrive is my new hero, cheap, works well, I’ll be fully satisfied with it when it has a file history for all file types, not just office files.

Today, I’m using both, DropBox for my personal files, and SkyDrive for all my professional needs and techie archives. And having my work being backed up in real time saved my life a few times already, since I’ve had bad experiences with my SSD, I’m becoming good at backuping stuff now…

Hi there, yet another ALM blog!

Welcome to my new blog in English! I’m so glad it’s live now, and to be honest it has not been very difficult, I’m right in the standards : I chose Arvixe as my hoster and the very well known WordPress as blog engine which I’ve been using to set up another Web Site. Now I just need a bit of work on the appearance (banner and pictures) to make it match my profile : .NET, ALM, gaming nostalgia…

I have another blog in French but there are so many people I can’t reach because of the french language barrier : the fact is that I regularly face with specific cases with Team Foundation Server that I’d be glad to share and eventually get feedback. I’m constantly trying to improve my knowledge of the tools and how I can set up good practices. There is still a lot to do around TFS to make things better, even with standard solutions. I’m just delighted that it is usually quite easy to adapt TFS to my clients needs.

I’ve been doing some interesting work with TFS recently, I’m thinking about my biggest client at the moment which I won’t name, but it doesn’t matter does it ? I want to share some bits of my thoughts, my problems and solutions, pieces of code I’ve written and the like.

I’ve introduced myself a bit in the about page of this blog.

Let’s start talking about “real” things now Winking smile