Lenovo Windows 7 Upgrade, part 2

So, it's now been 21 days and I'm still waiting for Lenovo to validate my free Windows 7 upgrade.  I have chased them up again, and this is the e-mail reply that I received today: "Dear David, Please, be patient, our team needs some more time for checking all received POPs. Once your POP is validated you will receive a confirmation e-mail. Best regards Jana".

My question is: when should a customers patience end and be regarded as bad customer service?

Alternative WCF ServiceHost

I'm writing a test harness that will try out different WCF services and allow us to fire test data at them.  But I also want to be able to override some of the behaviour of the WCF services during the tests.  So I've built some code to look inside the assemblies in a particular folder and determine if they contain any classes that implement the WCF service interfaces.  Then I can create instances of those classes at runtime and host them as WCF services inside my test harness.  This means that I can switch between various new WCF classes from the UI of the test harness.  However, when swapping the service at runtime, I was getting this error: System.InvalidOperationException: Service 'TestHarness.ATestService' has zero application (non-infrastructure) endpoints.  That's because I was now using a differently named WCF service than the one named in the config file.  So, this was my solution:


public class NamedServiceHost : ServiceHost


    public static string configName { get; set; }


    public NamedServiceHost(object singletonInstance, params Uri[] baseAddresses)

        : base(singletonInstance, baseAddresses)

    { }


    protected override void ApplyConfiguration()


        if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(configName))


            Description.ConfigurationName = configName;






I can use it instead of the normal ServiceHost class, like this:


NamedServiceHost.configName = "MyNamespace.MyService";

ServiceHost = new NamedServiceHost(singletonInstance);



Now I can tell the service host what name I'd like to use from the config file, rather than letting it pick based on the name of the WCF class.  Unfortunately the ApplyConfiguration() method is called from the constructor of the base class, so the easiest way to tell the class what configuration name you'd like to use is by setting a static property.

Round robbin

I was doing some simple load balancing tests on an application I'm building.  I wanted to load multiple queues from different places in my code using a simple round-robin approach.  A very simple thing to do, and this is what I came up with:


int index = 0, max = 10;


index += index >= max ? (index * -1) : 1;


...it will increment the index counter until it reaches the limit (10), then start back at zero again. I don't know why I find that line so beautiful, but I just do.  I like it when you can do stuff in a single line of code.

Visual Studio 2008 Command From Here

I wanted to be able to easily get to a Visual Studio 2008 Command Prompt and run commands from different folders on my machine, essentially like the Command Prompt From Here PowerToy but for Visual Studio. What I ended up doing was taking this information and adapting it, so that you don't need to hold down the shift key. This is what I ended up with:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\VS2008 Command Prompt]
@="Open VS2008 Command Prompt Here"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell\VS2008 Command Prompt\command]
@="C:\\Windows\\System32\\cmd.exe /s /k \"cd \"%1\" && \"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\\VC\\vcvarsall.bat\"\" x86 "

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\VS2008 Command Prompt]
@="Open VS2008 Command Prompt Here"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\VS2008 Command Prompt\command]
@="C:\\Windows\\System32\\cmd.exe /s /k \"cd \"%1\" && \"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\\VC\\vcvarsall.bat\"\" x86 "

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\VS2008 Command Prompt]
@="Open VS2008 Command Prompt Here"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Drive\shell\VS2008 Command Prompt\command]
@="C:\\Windows\\System32\\cmd.exe /s /k \"cd \"%1\" && \"C:\\Program Files\\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\\VC\\vcvarsall.bat\"\" x86 "

Like the original version, it assumes that Visual Studio is installed in the default locations.  But it is proving very useful...

Opening WPF Windows on a new thread

Recently I needed to open a new WPF window on a new thread. I was helped a great deal by this article, however the window that I needed to open did not have parameterless constructor.  In the end, this is the code that I came up with:

private void NewWindowThread<T,P>(Func<P, T> constructor, P param) where T : Window


   Thread thread = new Thread(() =>


      T w = constructor(param);


      w.Closed += (sender, e) => w.Dispatcher.InvokeShutdown();






This method, uses generics to specify the Type of the window that you're creating as well as the Type of the parameter passed to its constructor, for example:

string t = "Hello World!";

NewWindowThread<TitleWindow, string>(c => new TitleWindow(c), t);

Would work when TitleWindow was declared like this:

public class TitleWindow : Window


    public TitleWindow(string title)


        this.Title = title;



Now I can open different types of window on a new thread and pass parameters to them.

Lenovo Windows 7 Upgrade


I bought myself a new PC.  I’m pleased with it, a Lenovo ThinkCentre with a Quad Core processor.  It’s nice and fast and has excellent build quality, the first thing I did when I took it out the box was peek inside the case.


One of the reasons I bought from Lenovo was because they’ll give me a free upgrade to Windows 7.  I tried to avoid Vista completely, but as it turns out I will need to use it for a few weeks.  I can put up with that.  So, when my new machine arrived I filled in Lenovo’s on-line form to request my upgrade.  Part of the process is to prove that I really did buy a Lenovo PC, so I have to send off my proof of purchase (an invoice or a receipt).  I did that, which was easy because it can be done via e-mail.  All good so far.


But that is where things have stalled.  I can check my order on-line and it still says: 'Pending for Proof of Purchase'. I want to know that I will actually get my upgrade! After chasing them up via an e-mail (and it took about 5 days to get a reply) I get this: “Dear David, Please be patient our team needs some more time to check all received POPs. Once your POP is validated you will receive a Confirmation mail. Best regards Jana”.  It’s now been 11 days since I submitted my proof of purchase.  How long will I need to be patient?  Come on Lenovo.

Not my first attempt at blogging, but

Welcome anyway

...to my world.  Yeah OK, I've decided that I should have a blog.  I have been here before, started a blog added about two posts and then given up.  But I also should take down that ancient website that describes what I was doing about 10 years ago.  The best thing that I can think of replacing it with is a blog.  So this time I will just have to knuckle down and do some posting.  Plus, I'm not feeling well today, it's a saturday and so I had just as well take my mind off the pain by installing some blogging software.  Let's see how it goes this time...