Tag Archives: Tools

Cool Development Utility – xip.io

I stumbled across a mention of a free service xip.io that spared developers the hassle of editing their host file for every new development web site they needed to setup.  Having had to edit the host file many times this really appealed to me.  So I went to find out what type of black magic enabled this.

What I found was a very simple and brilliant solution from Basecamp (formally 37signals).  xip.io is a public custom dns service that given a [**domain name**].[**ip address**].xip.io returns the **ip address** specified. 

For example

**www.gabrewer.com.192.168.1.10.xip.io** resolves to **192.168.1.10** 
**dev.gabrewer.com.192.168.1.10.xip.io** resolves to **192.168.1.10** 
**dev.www.gabrewer.com.192.168.1.10.xip.io** returns **192.168.1.10** 

Since this is a hosted service it works for all devices that have an Internet connection including tables, phones and other Internet connected devices.

I always love it when I find a nice piece of engineering that simplifies my development experience.

Visual Studio 11 Beta – Dark Theme using White Background – Fix

Last night I was playing around with the Visual Studio 11 settings and something I did caused the dark theme to use a white background.  Reselecting the dark theme did not reset the background.  After consulting Bing, I found the fix.  This is a known issue with a simple fix.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/davedev/archive/2012/05/07/help-visual-studio-11-beta-dark-theme-incorrectly-using-white-background.aspx

Cool Development Utility: smtp4dev

The other day I needed to test the Mail functionality of an application I was developing on Windows 7 and I realized that the built in SMTP server had been removed.  I initially thought about just installing the free version of SmarterMail and configuring that but I decided to take a look and see what else I could find.  I ran across smtp4dev on CodePlex.  Codeplex Link

smtp4dev captures emails that are sent to localhost on whatever port you configure smtp4dev to listen on.  You can then inspect the formatting and content by choosing an entry in the list and selecting Inspect or View.

smtp4dev main screen

Inspect shows a window that lets you see the MIME parts (Source, Headers, Body) and the raw Message Source. View opens the email message in your default email program.

Message Inspect Window

smtp4dev even supports SSL/TTL allowing you to specify a certificate to use for the secure connection.

smtp4dev options

smtp4dev is an easy to use utility that provides some powerful capabilities that can make integration testing email functionality in your apps easier.