What turns on a Software Engineer?

MVC Hero LogoOther than the obvious beer and curry, engineers usually get a buzz when something works. They get a bigger buzz if it’s particularly useful and could be used by others. This happened to me when I was building a complex web page. I decided to spilt it down into simpler parts; divide and conquer with each part of the page having its own data. Sounds like a good idea!

All went well for the read-only elements, but the parts of the forms that needed to be saved just didn’t work. Having found an elegant solution to the problem I thought I would write an article and share it with the rest of the development community.

The article, published on Code Project, ASP.NET MVC Partial Views with Partial Models, outlines how to solve the problem of posting back data from Partial Views by taking the example of a company address where part of its content is the postal address. The postal address, when implemented as a partial view, can then be re-used in other pages such as a sales address. Once this problem is solved large pages can become more manageable.

Chief Technical Architect
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Posted in Articles, In The Press, Technical

Windows 10 – Disabled Hardware Drivers & Automatic Updates

Windows 10 Logo

As an acknowledged geek within my family, I embraced the chance to move my personal desktop PC from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 as soon as I got the chance. Everything went smoothly with the upgrade (which was a pleasant surprise) and I really like what Microsoft (MS) have done in improving the user experience. However, after closer inspection I noticed that not all the hardware configurations had migrated successfully – my USB Bluetooth adapter wasn’t showing in the Task Bar. A quick look in Device Manager identified the problem, Windows had disabled it due to stability issues with the driver.

Taking a pragmatic approach, as the hardware was quite old I assumed that this was probably something that MS hadn’t got round to supporting and I decided to wait until a Windows Update was released to fix the issue. Weeks went by without any sign of an update, so I trawled the web for other people who were experiencing the problem to see if there might be a solution. To my surprise I found several people reporting similar issues. After a bit of trial and error I eventually discovered that the drivers provided by the hardware manufacturer were the cause of the problem. Having uninstalled the manufacturer’s software via ‘Programs and Features’[i], uninstalled the device driver via Device Manager[ii], rebooted and re-attached the USB device to auto-install the generic Windows 10 driver, it started working again. Voila!

Device Installation Settings Dialog

Device Installation Settings Dialog

Two days later I started my PC only to find my Bluetooth device had been disabled again. I wondered what was going on. But after scratching my head and looking at properties of the device in Device Manager, I found that it was because a new device driver had been installed via Windows Update. Okay, no problem I thought, I will just repeat the procedure and hide this specific update… but hold on a minute, this is Windows 10, with automatic updates and no capability to control which updates are applied. After another trawl of the web I came across several posts that pointed to hardware device installation settings[iii] that enable control of whether device drivers are installed automatically. After making this change, Windows Update will not automatically install the latest manufacturer driver over the generic Windows version.

Several weeks later I was doing a bit of housekeeping on my PC and checked the status of the Windows Updates and found that although it hadn’t installed the new driver it was still prompting me to do so. This got me worried; what if this was blocking other updates from being applied, or another of my family inadvertently accepted the prompt? So I went back on to the web to see if there was a means of removing it from the internal list of updates to be applied. To my surprise and delight, not only was there a host of convoluted workarounds, but a MS Knowledge Base article providing a download that you can run to ‘Show or hide updates’ for Windows 10 (KB3073930). I found that a reboot was needed in order for this to register on Windows Update when you search for new updates. I think am I there now… 🙂

Show Hide Updates Troubleshooter Package Dialogs

‘Show or hide updates’ Trouble-shooter Package Dialogs

End Notes

[i] Right-click the Start button (or press Windows Key + X) and select ‘Programs and Features’, select the software associated with the 3rd Party hardware and click ‘Uninstall’.
[ii] Right-click the Start button (or press Windows Key + X) and select ‘Device Manager’, select the hardware type and expand it to display the specific device for the driver you want to uninstall, right-click the device, and select ‘Uninstall’ from the pop up menu. If shown, tick the ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ option and click OK. Windows will uninstall the device and delete the driver software.
[iii] Right-click the Start button (or press Windows Key + X) and select ‘Control Panel’, select ‘System’ or ‘Security and Security > System’ and select ‘Advanced system settings’ from the left hand menu. Click the ‘Hardware’ tab, click ‘Device Installation Settings’. In the dialog select ‘No, let me choose what to do’ and the ‘Never install driver software from Windows Update.’ and click ‘Save Changes’.

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Posted in Articles, Technical

Happy Anniversary

Anniversary Cake

We celebrated our first year of trading with champagne and anniversary cake on the roof top terrace of The Varsity Hotel & Spa in Cambridge. With picturesque views of the historic city and brilliant weather, the roof terrace was the perfect place to celebrate our first year of trading and enjoy the spectacular cake we commissioned from hand-crafted-cupcakes.co.uk.

Thanks to all our clients that we have worked with over the last year, including:
Elster Group
Frontline Distribution
Lafayette Photography
Marshall Leasing
Seymour Distribution

Team Photo

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Posted in Anniversary, Our Team, Press Releases

Excellent sessions at @SPSUK and @MicrosoftSB


Excellent day at SharePoint Saturday 2014 hearing about new developments in Office365 – Delve & Office Graph, the new .NET and JavaScript libraries for Office 365 APIs and the Power BI tools for Excel and Office365. Followed on Monday by a thought-provoking morning spent at the Microsoft SMB Mini-Summit at Microsoft UK sharing tools and techniques for connecting with customers.

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Posted in Events

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella praises UK startups and digital infrastructures

Satya Nadella Great day spent at Future Decoded 2014 on Tuesday at the ExCeL London to hear Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella praises UK startups and digital infrastructures and listen to some great sessions on what’s new in Digital Strategy, Office365 and Azure at the SMB Hub.

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Posted in In The Press

Great fun at the Mind Your Head Challenge on Friday evening!

We enjoyed a great evening at the Headway Cambridgeshire Mind Your Head Challenge on Friday at the University Technical College, Cambridge coming up with new ideas for products and services aimed at improving the quality of life of people with acquired brain injury. Looking forward to the Pitching Event on Friday 28 November 2014.

Mind Your Head Challenge, Cambridge 3rd October 2014

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Work Placement at CSE

AtWorkJoseph Stevens has spent two weeks working with CSE and can now add an understanding of ‘Office Open XML documents’ and ‘C# Language Integrated Queries’ to his skills. He is now returning to complete his A-levels and leaves us with a tool that enables us to automatically populate some of our Word templates. We have enjoyed working with Joseph and wish him well with his studies.

We are sure that being presented with a ‘real-world problem’ and asked to solve it is a relatively challenging prospect, but Joseph has handled it admirably.

Here, in his own words, are Joseph’s thoughts on the challenges he faced.

From my work experience over the last couple of weeks I have increased my programming knowledge and gained some valuable skills.

The task I was set was to create a C# program that generates an invoice document from a template. I enjoyed learning how to manipulate  Word documents from code. I also enjoyed learning how to make code more maintainable and readable as these are skills that I can use in the future. What I found most difficult was creating a table in Word (via code), this required some complicated coding, not to mention that I spent two days figuring out how to append a row! Overall, this experience has been very useful to me and I would recommend this company to anyone.

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Watch CSE as we Grow!

Cambridge Software Engineering LogoCSE’s strong team force is destined to grow as we collaborate to support more blue chip client’s as well as SME’s. “What makes us different and stand out from the rest you may ask?”  We deliver honesty and trust, if there is a cost effective solution outside of CSE, we will inform and advise as partnership is a strong ethos. Offering the best solution that will save time and improve economies of scale for our clients.

Posted in Our Team, Press Releases

Cambridge Software Engineering joins Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce

Our business development continues to evolve with new partnerships that we will be bringing details of soon. In the meantime, we are delighted to have become members of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce and be included in the latest issue of their CONNECTED magazine.

CambsChamberofCommerceIcon_Cropped Cambs Chambers Logo


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Cambridge Software Engineering joins the Mind Your Head challenge

We are excited to be involved in the Headway Cambridgeshire ‘Mind Your Head’ challenge; joining other Solvers and Sages on 3rd October, 2014 to develop ideas for new products and services that will help improve the quality of life of people with acquired brain injury.



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