It’s taken days to put my new dev machine together, but totally worth it!
My old Core2Duo had a meagre Window Experience Index (WEI) of 4.5:
The new system, with the help of a 120GB Corsair Force 3 GT SSD achieved a bumper 7.9 on both HD and RAM performance! Overall, I’m only let down by my very reasonably prized duo-DVI NVIDIA graphics card, but a WEI of 6.7 still represents a massive improvement. Visual Studio now loads in the blink of an eye! :-D
After much research and consideration, I opted for the NZXT Phantom full tower, which is a little bigger than what I’m used to (I usually go for mid-towers). It looks great on the outside and is very spacious on the inside, so plenty of room to work with..
The case has pretty good air flow (with 7-fan cooling including an optional slot for a 200mm fan on the side) and one of the really nice things I like about this case are the fan controls at the top of the case (see picture below):
And once my LG 24″ monitor arrives I will finally hit the 3-screen sweet spot as suggested by Mr Hansleman, exciting times!
Imagine this, you log onto your production server with remote desktop and to your surprise the dreaded explorer.exe process has died and you’re staring at a blank, lifeless, blue screen (albeit not the dark blue variant which would mean something more sinister had occurred!) and there’s absolutely nothing you can do from here..
What do I do? I need to check the log/start a service/etc., the server is running fine otherwise, and restarting it is not an option.. the tried and tested CTRL+ALT+DELETE to bring up the task manager and starting the ‘explorer.exe’ approach won’t save you either because it’s executed on your local computer! Time to recite four letter word paragraphs in your head, directed at none other than Microsoft..
Fortunately, if you’re using Windows XP or later then you’re in luck, because to perform CTRL+ALT+DELETE on a remote PC you can use an alternative key combo: CTRL+ALT+End
Whilst we’re at it, there’s some other useful shortcuts you can use in remote desktop:
ALT + Page Up – switch between programs, equivalent to ALT + Tab
ALT + Home – brings up the start menu
CTRL + ALT + +(plus) / — (minus) – plus takes a snapshot of the entire remote desktop window, minus takes a snapshot of the active window
Google Chrome is a nice little browser, fast as hell, and it even bundles and updates its Flash plugin all by itself.
On the plus side, it means anyone running Chrome will always have the most up-to-date version of Flash player so good news for Flash game developers and web developers alike.
On the down side however, the Flash plugin it bundles itself with is the release build and you can’t use the Flash debugger with the release build. This caused a bit of pain for us when we tried to debug our Flash games in Chrome, but luckily we found a way to get around this in two simple steps:
1. open a new tab and type in about:plugins
2. you should see two entries for Shockwave Flash, disable the one in C:\Users\xxx\AppData
P.S. you can download the Flash player and debugger here.