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Paul Kimmel

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Hindsight is X-Ray Vision

April 16, 2010

Famous comic novelist Guy Bellamy is attributed with saying ";hindsight is an exact science";. My lifelong friend Jackson Wayfare calls hindsight ";X-Ray Vision";. I like both metaphors. There is nothing as simple as something proven after the fact. The circle makes rolling a lot easier than the square. Intermittent wipers invented by Bob Kearns-rumor has it that he lives out here by me in Michigan-seem so obvious. I remember my first 1975 Olds clunker, turning the wipers on then off when the rain was too light to leave them on. And, more recently, support for multiple monitors in Visual Studio 2010. Almost everyone has two or more monitors now, right.

In Visual Studio 2010 you can right-click on a code tab, select Float, and then drag those floating screens to your other monitors. You could drag windows like the Properties Window in Visual Studio 2008 to a second monitor, but now you can drag a document/code window. This is so simple and so useful you have to wonder why they didn't think of it a long time ago.

Sometimes when I write code I create a text document TODO list in the project. When I am working on multiple projects that TODO list comes in handy. Now I can drag the TODO text document to another monitor and run through the items without switching back and forth or scrolling those ridiculously small tabbed, vertical windows. Multiple monitor support is also great when you are doing something like writing a DynamicObject-part of the Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR)-against an XML document and the XML document is part of your project. Drag the XML document for reference to one monitor and code merrily away on the other monitor.

For a guy who has been around a while now and been through the Microsoft early days, what I like about Microsoft is that they equally seem to revel in reaching back to a somewhat obscure mathematical syntax-Lambda equations-to improve the programming experience and still find the time to make life a little simpler with something like multiple monitor support. My only MS regret is that I bought savings bonds in 1986 instead of Microsoft stock. X-Ray Vision.Guy Bellamy calls hindsight an exact science. My lifelong friend Jackson Wayfare calls it X-Ray vision. Either way, when an idea as support for multiple monitors in Visual Studio 2010 shows up, it is just seems so simple that everyone gets it.

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