Who needs Photoshop? I have Paint.NET!

Granted, I’m no graphics designer, so my graphic editing needs are pretty mundane. Still, I need to crop, resize, recolor, reformat, enhance, distort, and do all those other fun things to images from time to time. I also need to mock up web pages and graphics. I could buy Photoshop to do this, but I don’t have to, because I have Paint.NET — and it’s free!

Paint.NET: free, open-source image editingPaint.NET is a free, open source image editing application for Windows. It has a fantastic feature set and is rock solid — I have never had it crash, become unresponsive, or otherwise trash anything on my system, and that’s after using it for months (and using it on my 4 1/2-year-old underpowered home PC to do some image editing for Christmas cards).

If Paint.NET can’t do what you want out-of-the-box, then you can extend it. It offers a plug-in architecture, and there’s a nice collection of community-written plugins available to download.

Hats off to Rick Brewster and others for this fantastic product. It’s so nice that I’m going to donate as part of my drive to donate $5 per month to a free software product. Since I’m two months behind, the Paint.NET team get ten samoleans. Well worth it, considering Photoshop costs just a bit more than that.

My donation history to date far is as follows.

Stupid things to say: “Point your favorite browser to…”

I received an email today from Microsoft, “Introducing MSDN Online Subscriptions!” Very exciting for sure; I had no idea this is something new, as I’ve been downloading things from my MSDN subscription for years. But I digress. The “stupid thing to say” in this email is:

Point your favorite browser to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/subscriptions

Do you expect people to choose their least favorite browser? Or any browser other than their favorite? Or, does it even matter? Why even bother adding those words — why not just say, “Go to http://msdn2.microsoft.com/subscriptions“. This is an MSDN subscription e-mail; the users are likely to know what you mean.

To digress again… my subscription expired months ago. Why are they telling me to update my subscription to online only — shouldn’t they be trying to get me to create a new subscription? Oddly, the email includes my old (expired) MSDN subscriber number, which is meaningless as I can’t use it or renew it.

Try to order FIOS for Business online (really, try!)

On Monday, I’ll be back in the role of an independent consultant, so I’m upgrading services in my office so I can work efficiently. One thing I want to do is upgrade from a plain old DSL line to a business FIOS line. I have FIOS at home and I’m very happy with it, so it’s time for FIOS at work.

I went to Verizon’s web site and started the online ordering process for FIOS. I got to the page where I can pick my router, and clicked the NEXT button. Sorry, no can do; the button uses JavaScript, and the code has an error in it, so you can’t go any further.

JavaScript errors when ordering Verizon FIOS online

Maybe it’s an issue between the web site and Firefox. After all, we can’t assume that Verizon’s web programmers would support all web browsers, so I tried the same with IE7.

Server errors when ordering Verizon FIOS online How did things fare with IE7? Worse. Click the order button on Verizon’s Packages and Prices page, and get a nice ASP.Net script error.

I don’t know what’s scarier: the inability to submit an order form using Firefox, the inability to start an order form using Internet Explorer, or the fact that they don’t have custom ASP.Net error pages.

How to change a Visual Studio 2005 class project to a web project

I tend to create new Visual Studio projects using the class library template, then make it into what I want. Sometimes, what I want is a web project. Through the project properties view, you can change a project between a class library, windows application, or console application with ease — but there’s no easy way to change to a web project.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to do it.

Open your VS2005 project file (ending in .csproj) in a text editor. Add a new line (shown below) to the first , usually one of the first few lines in the file.


Save the file and reopen your project. Viola! It’s a web project. But there is a bit more to do. Find each <OutputPath> line, and set remove the Debug or Release (or any other) folder, so it just reads as follows.