Chris Roberts


Welcome to my blog.


Clearing the Umbraco ImageGen Cache

Alternative Title: How to recursively delete sub-folders of a given name (and their contents) from the Windows command line.

ImageGen, the popular image resizing and manipulation component for Umbraco creates a folder called 'Cached' in each media item's folder. This contains an XML file detailing the contents of the cache, along with the cached images themselves.

Microsoft Surface: Keyboard Function Lock

The Microsoft Surface is (in my opinion) a great piece of hardware. I was an avid user of the original Surface RT, and now I'm trying out the Pro 2. I'm attempting to use this as a full-time desktop replacement. As such, and as a regular user of keyboard shortcuts, easy access to function keys is really important to me.

Unfortunately, the Type Cover keyboard relegates the function keys (F1-F12) to secondary keys, requiring the 'Fn' key to be pressed simultaneously.

Using RenderTemplate for On-Page Widgets in Umbraco

Much has been written about creating 'widgets' or sidebar panels in Umbraco.

In a recent project, we decided to implement our on-page widgets as 'pages' in the Umbraco content tree. This has a number of advantages. Users can be provided with a number of different templates and edit the content with familiar tools. It also means that we can create a central 'pool' of widgets which can then be added to pages using a content picker.

Apple vs Microsoft - The Surface Strategy

It's been a big week for technology with, among others, Apple releasing a new range of iMacs, a new iPad (already) and the 7" iPad Mini. Microsoft also released Windows 8 and their first tablet - the Microsoft Surface.

The technology press were at all of the main events creating lots of content and stimulating lots of debate, much of which was pretty polarized. Those in the Apple camp were hailing the launch of the iPad mini whilst dismissing Surface as a failure before a single unit had sold. Microsoft's camp also had its fair share of supporters claiming that 'Apple is in trouble' and that the iPad's days are numbered.

The Answer is Marketing

The question is a fundamental one, and one which doesn't appear to be asked by enough business owners or boards of directors.

It is simply this, "Who should own our website?".

The Danger of 'Not Invented Here'

Unsurprisingly, software developers enjoy writing software. So much so, in fact, that they will often choose to write every piece of software they need to solve a particular problem.

On the face of it you could argue that this is a good thing - after all, writing software is what software developers are paid for!