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I’ve used Mercurial for seven years now and I am reasonably comfortable with it. Most of the time I’m using it at a fairly simple level and I’ve rarely had a major issue with it though I did once have to help a novice user who had become incredibly tangled. My only real issue with it is that I haven’t found a way to squash commits that I am comfortable using. Other than that I find it straightforward to use, it has a choice of nice GUI’s to use and it’s easy to explain to new or casual users.


This is one of the many issues that randomly occurs when you don’t expect it. Clearly something has changed but it’s rarely clear what. In my case this happened on a web service that had been running fine for a few weeks.

It was of those it works on my machine scenarios, which is a little frustrating as there were no patches scheduled on the server between now and when it was last published.

Fortunately the solution for me was simple I just added the following line to my main csproj file


This works for me as the web…

This is possibly one of the most annoying messages in Visual Studio.What worked for me may not be relevant to you but I have included some of the steps I undertook in the hope it will help others


Apart from the singularly unhelpful error, I also noticed that just one project in my solution refused to load. This turned out to be a Visual Studio specific error. Neither VSCode nor Rider had this issue. In addition to this the output gave a message that pointed at the project file that wasn’t loaded and claimed

Duplicated folder item found in the…

I have a web service that gets occasionally updated. This service was originally written for .net 1.1 and was later upgraded to .net 3.5 and now .net 4.7.1. It’s now being converted to .net core. (LTS)

For all these years, this application has been deployed to a file share as for this particular case it has been sufficient and effective. The only issue was about 10 minutes of downtime but this could be easily scheduled in to have minimal impact.

Now that we are upgrading to .net core we have hit a slew of issues. Some of these may be…

I use ServiceStack as the framework for all my web services. It’s a fantastic tool that’s much simpler to get to grips with than some alternatives. It’s also very powerful and I sometimes find that the sheer power confuses me when I am trying to set something up for the first time and when I have worked it out I realise I was overthinking it. One example of this is the Authentication mechanism. The sheer power and variety of options covered is pretty large. In my case I knew I wanted to setup API Key authentication. …

I’ve started using Rider a lot more than I do Visual Studio, I’m lucky in that I currently have both available. I still use both which partly depends on what I am doing but my go to ide is now Rider. It’s no suprise that there are some issues. Most of the issues I have are too small to worry about.

This morning however, I got a new issue. This was my first biggie with Rider. The IDE wouldn’t startup and just reported an error

IDE shows the Start Failed dialog with the exception stacktrace and the following text:Internal…

I use docker simply to run a couple of Dev servers. One of these is a nuget server so that I have local packages available. On the whole it works well. The only real issue has been when it wanted to update, but that was quickly resolved when the issue came to light.

A recent upate asked if I wanted to use WSL2, in preference to Hyper V, to which my initial response was “OOH yes please”. One docker restart later and all my containers were gone! …

On and off I have been using Macs for a very long time, certainly since the days when DOS was prominent. It has meant that I have been reasonably comfortable using them although I am far from an expert. There are things I really like about them and other things I’m more critical of, the same as for Windows.

The Good

Luckily for me I recently received a brand new Macbook Pro from work to replace my ageing one. It’s a lovely piece of kit and like all Apple hardware it’s nicely presented and pretty simple to get up and running quickly…

I’m lucky enough to have a new shiny Macbook Pro. Now I have VPN access there is a fair bit I can do, in fact all I need is for my Office365 access to be sorted and I will be able to do most things I can do on Windows. This is particularly handy when Windows is wanting to update as mine currently is.

I decided to start doing some proper work on the Mac. First steps were easy, cloning the first repo from Github went as planned. This however is where things started to go wrong. The first issue…

I recently decided to update my dotnet core sdk tools to the latest version. I did this by installing the latest sdk and updating my global.json file. If you read the MS documentation then all will be good, that however was not my experience.

The new global.json was

"sdk": {
"version": "3.1.407",
"rollForward": "latestPatch",
"allowPrerelease": false

All seemed fine until I ran a dotnet pack command — specifically dotnet pack -c Release which generated the error

C:\Program Files\dotnet\sdk\3.1.407\Sdks\NuGet.Build.Task
(198,5): error MSB4181: The "PackTask" task returned fals
e but did not log an error.

Although this appears…

Steve Ellwood

Senior IT Officer for North Lincolnshire Council

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