A Mind Lost

Anything and everything.

Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Express Edition

I like the Visual Studio IDE.  Unfortunately, I haven’t found a free-software alternative that offers the features of Microsoft’s IDE in an appealing and customizable way.  I’ve tried CodeLite and Code::Blocks, and a handful of other environments, but there’s always something that irks me about them.  I could bug the devs, or (gasp) contribute, I suppose, but instead I’ve taken the easy route and installed the Express Edition of Microsoft’s C++ environment.

While setting it up, I ran in to a small problem with the Windows SDK – it was failing with an unclear error.  It turns out that if a newer version of the Visual C++ 2010 x86 redistributable package is installed, the SDK setup program barfs.  Removing the redistributable package via Programs and Features allows the SDK setup to do what it’s supposed to.

The version I had was 10.0.4-something.

To use the newer SDK, it must be specified on a per-project basis via the project’s property sheets (Configuration Properties/General->Platform Toolset dropdown).

The Windows SDK Configuration Tool, included with the SDK, does not work with Visual Studio 2010 unfortunately.  I would imagine one could edit the appropriate registry keys to set the updated SDK as the default, but a couple mouse clicks isn’t that inconvenient.

While Consolas is a nice enough fixed-pitch font for editing code, I prefer and recommend “Envy Code R” by Damien Guard.  I find its slim, clean lines aesthetically pleasing (I also use it with MinGW in conjunction with mintty).  Eventually I may try to figure out how to get 64-bit builds working (via the Windows DDK), but for now I’m off  to find a decent Zenburn-like colour scheme for the IDE…


Here’s a few links if you’re interested in playing with VC++.  Note that these are all legal links to Microsoft’s website, not some shifty “warez” crap.

Visual C++ 2010 Express.
Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4 (ISO).
Windows Driver Kit v7.1.0 (ISO).


I think I need to practice my writing skills a bit more.  I usually get an idea for a post, but I peter out halfway through writing it.  While I generally manage to convey the main points I wanted to, reading over it reveals just how lacking/crappy the article is.  =)


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