Month: January 2011

Downgrading and Rooting Your HTC Desire HD

This post is pretty old now, and I no longer have a Desire HD. The instructions below might work for you, but I can’t say for sure, and I can’t help you if you get stuck. Your best bet is to head over to XDA Developers to find more up to date instructions, tools, and ROMS.

A few months ago I made the switch from the iPhone to Android – a HTC Desire HD (DHD), to be precise. I’m still formulating a post about my experience of switching (and Android in general), but today I want to document the process I had to go through to “root” my phone. Rooting your device seems to be a right of passage for Android owners and being the geek I am I didn’t want to miss out.

HTC recently released an OTA update for the Desire HD (v1.72) which locked down the phone to prevent “rooting” (jailbreaking by another name, as far as I can tell). I find it amusing that the “open” Android platform suffers from some of the same vendor lock-downs as Apple and the iPhone, but that’s another post for another day. What I didn’t find amusing was that this update hit my phone the morning I decided I wanted to root my handset.

Thankfully there is a large community of enthusiasts who dedicate their spare time to working around issues such as this. Within a week or so there was a workaround. What follows are the collated instructions I used to downgrade my DHD to a rootable firmware, apply the root, install a recovery image, and install a custom ROM. These instructions are pulled from a number of different forum threads and blog posts across the internet.

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“IIS Express Website Here” Shell Extension

One of the cool things released earlier today by Microsoft was IIS Express – A lightweight but fully-featured and self-contained version of IIS 7.5. It runs on Windows XP and above, even if you already have IIS or another web server installed.

What’s really cool (I think) is it can be run a) from the command line, and b) from any directory. This makes it incredibly flexible. That said, I don’t want to have to fire up a command prompt every time I want to start a server instance in a particular directory… Wouldn’t it be much easier to have a right-click “IIS Express Website Here” context menu option in Windows Explorer? Of course it would :-)

I’ve thrown together a shell extension using some registry edits, adapted from original work here and here, so all due credit to Phil Haack and Tuna Toksoz. What it does is add an option to your Windows Explorer context menu to start IIS Express in the selected directory, using a random port number. You can then use the handy System Tray icon to launch the site in your favourite web browser.

There are two versions of the .reg file in the Zip file – one for 64bit Windows, and one for 32bit. Only the 64bit version has been tested (certified working on my machine), using a standard WPI installation of IIS Express. Only run the .reg file suitable for your platform. Use at your own risk – I am not responsible for anything which breaks!


UPDATE 18-Nov-2012: I’ve made a copy of the source over at GitHub, for those of you who can’t access the Dropbox link, or want to fork the code for Windows 8, etc. You can access the repository here: IIS Express Here on GitHub

Microsoft Releases a Tonne of Cool Web Tools

I’m excited to announce the release today of several products:

  • NuGet
  • IIS Express 7.5
  • SQL Server Compact Edition 4
  • Web Deploy and Web Farm Framework 2.0
  • Orchard 1.0
  • WebMatrix 1.0

The above products are all free. They build upon the .NET 4 and VS 2010 release, and add a ton of additional value to ASP.NET (both Web Forms and MVC) and the Microsoft Web Server stack.

A whole stack of awesome being released by the Web Platform teams today; an updated (open-source) framework, new community-driven package management tool, a new development web server, a new embeddable database, improved deployment tools, a new (open-source) CMS, and a new development tool.

Microsoft as a whole might get a lot of things wrong, but their Web Platform teams have been on fire these last couple of years.