Links to .NET books

This is a recommended list of books for those programmers working on technologies related to Microsoft .NET platform.

I will be adding the .NET books as well as those related interview questions as a handy reference for me and friends. The list will be updated on a regular basis. Feel free to comment if you know of a good book that is not present in the list.

C# complete Reference 3.0

C# complete Reference 4.0 (new version)

C# Pocket reference – a short and handy reference guide

ASP.NET MVC Interview questions

ASP.NET MVC Interview Questions and Answers

Douglas Crockford’s book “JavaScript: The Good Parts” is a must read for a developer working on front-end.

JavaScript in 10 mins

More free programming books at


Utility to list Programs in Add/Remove Programs

I wanted a simple utility to create a list of all programs listed in Add/Remove Programs on my laptop. I searched on net for the utility and got a vbscript code for the same. However I tweaked it to my personal taste. Here is the code:

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\cimv2")
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_Product",,48)

For Each objItem in colItems
WScript.Echo objItem.Name

Write this code in a text editor and save the file with the extension .vbs. Open command prompt, navigate to the directory where you saved the .vbs file. Type following command :

cscript temp.vbs  > temp2.txt

Open temp2.txt and you will see the list of programs as follows:

Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.8
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Feedback Tool
Windows Media Player Firefox Plugin
Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Service Pack 1
Adobe Common File Installer

By default, cscript command displays a logo when the script runs under CScript. The logo, which appears prior to any of the output from the script, looks like this:Microsoft (R) Windows Script Host Version 5.6Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation 1996-2000. All rights reserved.

You can get rid of the logo using //nologo option as follows:

cscript //nologo temp.vbs  > temp2.txt


This utility lists the programs that were installed using Windows Installer. That was my requirement. You can tweak it to lists programs installed using other installers too.

More about the Win32_Product WMI class is given on MSDN.

.NET tools/projects on codeplex

Here are some of the open source projects/tools developed in .NET which are available on codeplex:

1)      Silverlight Audio Player

2)      Managed Extensibility Framework – New in .NET framework 4.0, this framework can be used for creating extensible applications and components.

3)      MEF Visualizer Tool – Helps to see what is going on inside the MEF Composition Container. A visualization tool for MEF.

4)      .NET Gadgeteer – a rapid prototyping system for pluggable modules in place of plugging in electronic devices. The end user site is at To learn more, check out a Channel 9 Video on it.

Check out more on CodePlex.

Can Bing be another verb like Google?

I have been working on Microsoft technologies (including latest products) for last two years, but my experience with Bing (Microsoft’s revamped search engine; formerly known as Live Search or MSN search) has not been good. The number of search results is poor, it takes more time to return and display search results, among other things. Microsoft has great expectations (more than expectations it is their quest to outdo Google in online search space) from Bing.

As New York Times reported:

And if Bing turns into a verb like, say, Xerox, TiVo or, well, Google, that would be nice too. Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said Thursday that he liked Bing’s potential to “verb up.” Plus, he said, “it works globally, and doesn’t have negative, unusual connotations.”

The Inquisitr author Steven Hodson reports why Bing is a stupid ass name for a search engine.

To quote James Devlin:

One of the oft-cited reasons for Google’s success, other than the fact that it offered a decent ground floor product at a time when the world was full of search engine suckery, is that it had a name which was susceptible to being immortalized as a household verb. To Google is to search the web and to search the web is to Google.

Microsoft desperately wants this for Bing.

And goes on to explain the reasons for why Bing is the wrong name.

One interesting point is that, Bing is a recursive acronym – “Bing Is Not Google” same as GNU (GNU’s not Unix).

Only time will tell, if Bing can stand up to be compared with Google. Let’s wait and watch!

Microsoft Project Tuva: Feynman Lectures available online for free

I am currently reading ‘You are surely joking Mr. Feynman’ – a short sketch of Feynman’s life. Richard Feynman was one of the greatest physicist of the time and notably a curious human being (more about Feynman and his book, later). Feynman was a keen popularizer of physics in both his books and lectures, notably The Feynman Lectures on Physics. I was waiting for these lectures to be available online from the time Bill Gates said in the interview that he had bought the lectures and would make them available online for free.

These lectures are available online now as Project Tuva.
The Microsoft Research quotes:

Project Tuva presents Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard Feynman’s Messenger Series lectures within a new video player. This enhanced video player features searchable video, linked transcripts, user notes, and interactive extras.

Even though one might not understand the subject (or even if you are not interested in the subject), attending Feynman’s virtual class would be fun.

The project is sponsored by
1) Tony Hey, Corporate Vice President, External Research, Microsoft Research
2) Rick Rashid, Senior Vice President, Microsoft Research
3) Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation

And developed by Microsoft Reasearch along with Stimulant. The UI is designed well using Silverlight and video streaming is also of good quality.

Update: Feynman used to draw secretly, a semi-secret artist. His drawings are published as a book titled “The Art of Richard P. Feynman: Images by a Curious Character”. He declares-

“I wanted to convey an emotion I have about the beauty of the world…this feeling about the glories of the universe.”

More information is available at Brainpickings.

.Net Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1

There is some good news for developers working on .Net technologies. .Net Framework 4.0 and Visual Studio 2010 Beta 1 is avaialable for download.

Many exciting changes for ASP.NET are coming in the .NET Framework version 4.0.
This document gives an overview of many of the new features that are included in the Beta 1 release of .NET 4.0 and in the Visual Studio 2010 release.

New Features in the Visual Studio 2010 IDE and .NET Framework 4.0

New ASP.NET features

New VB.NET features

New C# features

More information about these features is avaialable on CodeGuru.

Superhero – The Developer’s Song

Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect, Bill Gates, launched the integrated computing platform – Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and BizTalk Server 2006 in India on December 9, 2005. Joining in the celebration was the Indian Rock band – Parikrama with a rock song just for our Indian developers. Called `Superhero’ the song is about the life of a programmer.

Get the lyrics or download the song. Enjoy!

I present the lyrics here….


Springs up from the bed with a crossword in his head,

A shiver shakes his spine thinking what the boss said,

Feeling like a mouse in the tiger’s den (ah right)

Missed the bus again, runs all the way to work,

Prays to all his Gods, even Captain Kirk,

Hoping he can make it in time for the bumpy ride.


Opens all the windows, as he shuts the door,

As the magic begins to flow, out to the fore


He’s no less than a super hero

can’t make him fall

Ones and zeroes, threes and fours

But not that bad a guy after all

Afternoon comes when everyone eats,

Staring down at lines on his L.C.D screen,

Cracking up the code, faster than the speed of light.

Evening bells ringing, had to meet his date,

Digits on his hand will have to make her wait,

Smiles at his phone, then tosses it aside.


Opens all the windows, as he shuts the door,

As the magic begins to flow, out to the fore


He’s no less than a super hero

Can’t make him fall

Ones and zeroes, threes and fours

But not that bad a guy after all.