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 »  Home  »  Authors  »  Ged Mead
Ged Mead

Ged Mead (XTab) is a Microsoft Visual Basic MVP who has been working on computer software and design for more than 25 years. His journey has taken him through many different facets of IT. These include training as a Systems Analyst, working in a mainframe software development environment, creating financial management systems and a short time spent on military laptop systems in the days when it took two strong men to carry a 'mobile' system.

Based in an idyllic lochside location in the West of Scotland, he is currently involved in an ever-widening range of VB.NET, WPF and Silverlight development projects. Now working in a consultancy environment, his passion however still remains helping students and professional developers to take advantage of the ever increasing range of sophisticated tools available to them.

Ged is a regular contributor to forums on vbCity and authors articles for DevCity. He is a moderator on VBCity and the MSDN Tech Forums and spends a lot of time answering technical questions there and in several other VB forum sites. Senior Editor for DevCity.NET, vbCity Developer Community Leader and Admin, and DevCity.NET Newsletter Editor. He has written and continues to tutor a number of free online courses for VB.NET developers.

Articles by this Author
» OOP Basics - Introduction to Inheritance
Published 05/15/2010 | Windows Development | Rating:
This article is the next in the series on the subject of OOP Basics.  It takes a first look at the important topic of Inheritance. [read article...]
» Creating a ComboBox with Individual ToolTips for each Item
Published 02/24/2010 | Framework 3.5 .NET Intermediate Interop Windows Presentation Foundation | Rating:

In this article, Ged Mead demonstrates an easy way to use WPF and Windows Forms Interop to create and use a ComboBox that displays ToolTips for individual ComboBox items.

[read article...]
» OOP Basics - Property Validation and Exceptions
Published 11/07/2009 | .NET Newbie Visual Studio 2008 Windows Development | Rating:
In this article, Ged Mead explains how to include validation in properties of a Class, how to throw and exception and how to use a Try-Catch block to handle the exception. [read article...]
» Object Oriented Programming Basics - Methods
Published 08/11/2009 | .NET Newbie | Rating:

In the previous articles in this series, we covered basic Constructors, Fields and Properties.

In this article, we will look at the ToString method, introduce the concept of Inheritance, use the Object Browser and learn about Overrides and Overridable. 

[read article...]
» OOP Basics - Constructors
Published 08/01/2009 | .NET Newbie | Rating:

In the previous Part, I created four fields and four corresponding properties in the Person class.

In this Part we will look at Constructors.

[read article...]
» Object Oriented Programming (OOP) - The Basics
Published 07/15/2009 | .NET Newbie Visual Studio 2008 | Rating:

This is the first article in a series that will cover the very basics of OOP.  It is based on a course I used to run.   When I first wrote this I wanted to create something that I would have found useful in my very early VB.NET days.  A really from-the-bottom explanation that assumed I knew nothing about OOP which would walk me through the basics.

   I hope I have managed to achieve this in this series.

Part 1 covers Properties and Fields

[read article...]
» How To Use The Visual State Manager(VSM) In Silverlight 2
Published 06/26/2009 | Visual Studio 2008 | Rating:

This article walks you through the steps involved in using The Visual State Manager in Silverlight 2.

Most articles seem to use the button as the demonstration element - probably because that makes things very easy.  But as soon as you move away from the small core set of elements such as button that have States preset for you, you will find that you need a slightly different approach.

In this article, I will cover both situations.

[read article...]
» CodeSMART 2009 For .NET
Published 11/16/2008 | Reviews Product Showcase | Rating:

   CodeSMART 2009 for .NET  is a developer tool that saves you time, helps you write better code and generally become more productive.

   Ged Mead reviews this latest version from AxTools.


[read article...]
» Windows Presentation Foundation: Flow Documents (Part 2)
Published 09/15/2008 | Windows Presentation Foundation | Rating:

  In Part 1, you saw how easy it is to populate a WPF RichTextBox with a XAML FlowDocument.  If you've ever previously struggled with trying to force a RichTextBox to accept an image - and place it exactly where you want it - in Windows Forms, then you'll welcome this new tool.

 However, for legacy reasons you might want to populate the RichTextBox with content that has been saved in RTF format.  In this part we will look at how that can be achieved.

[read article...]
» WinForms and WPF Interop - The Best of Both Worlds

  Whenever I see a question along the lines of "How can I include an image alongside each item in a list of items or use more than one font, or varying background colors?" I usually find myself muttering "WPF!".    This is a lot more sociable and positive than many of the things I mutter as I sit here each day, but finally I've realised that I need to do something about it.

  The result is this article, which works through the steps needed to harness the rich UI features of WPF to the more familiar paradigm of Windows Forms.

   The example used will show you how easy it can be to use a WPF control in a Windows Forms application and you can use this article as the stepping stone to creating your own.  The ListBox layout shown below will be created in WPF and ported over to be used in a Windows Forms application.  

WPF ListBox Control Example [read article...]
» Multithreading The Easy Way: The BackgroundWorker

  Sometimes you may need  your application to work on a slow or time- consuming task in such a way that your user isn't kept waiting unnecessarily while this is happening.

   The answer to this problem is to use multithreading.   Having seen many forum questions about multithreading, I know that many people are a bit apprehensive about tackling it.  However,  as it turns out, the BackgroundWorker component is versatile  and easy to use, providing a painless solution to this requirement. 

   In this article I will show you how you can  incorporate the BackgroundWorker into your projects to give your users a more professional and less frustrating experience.



[read article...]
» Windows Presentation Foundation: FlowDocuments (Part 1)
When WPF first came on the scene, one of the features that got a lot of air time was the display of documents.  Leading edge projects like the NY Times Reader and the British Library manuscript display raised a lot of awareness of the possibilities.  Strangely though, since VS 2008 shipped there doesn't seem to have been a lot of mention of this part of the package.  So I thought I'd take a look at how easy (or not) document handling really is in WPF. [read article...]
» OOP: Create, Collect, Sort, Save and Retrieve Objects
Published 03/18/2007 | .NET Newbie Visual Studio 2005 Visual Basic 2005 | Rating:

  Several recent posts in the VBCity Forums made me realise that it might be useful to have an article that dealt with some of the basic requirements when it comes to creating your own classes and objects.  

   Many beginners start by creating a simple game and this is often a good learning project so we will use this approach in this article.  Two key elements of a game application like this will probably be a way of creating Players and keeping a record of their High Scores . Users can log in to the game using their Player name and see their last score.

   As they play again in this session they might increase this score or start over from zero. They might even want to see how their score rates against other Players.    So we would need a way of creating a collection of Players and their Scores.  And as we usually want to see the Scores listed from highest to lowest, there will have to be a way to sort those Score values that are stored in the collection.

   Finally, it wouldn't be much use if the Scores were all lost each time the application ends, so we should also build in a way of saving the latest data to the hard drive and of course a means of retrieving  them when you need them.

   This article for beginners uses VB 2005 and shows you how to meet all these requirements.

[read article...]
» Professional Visual Studio 2005
Published 11/19/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:

  The average VB.NET developers' book starts  with the language and uses the IDE to help along the way.  This  book takes a different approach.  It starts with the IDE and radiates out from there.  (IDE-centric I think they  call it in the publisher's blurb).   It's an interesting approach, but does it work?

Ged Mead decided to find out.


[read article...]
» Application Settings in VB 2005
Published 11/09/2006 | .NET Newbie Visual Basic 2005 Win Forms | Rating:

   There may be times when you would like to give your users the opportunity to save various settings (and they would probably appreciate having the facility too!).   In the past, the SaveSettings and GetSettings methods were the usual avenue, but in VB 2005 you have some more flexible choices at your disposal.

  Ged Mead looks at these new tools.

[read article...]
» Book Review: Programming MS VB 2005: The Language
Published 10/17/2006 | .NET Intermediate Book Reviews Visual Studio 2005 Visual Basic 2005 | Rating:

   Francesco Balena has published his latest book on Visual Basic, this time turning his attention to the 2005 version of the language.

  Ged Mead reviewed this book.


[read article...]
» GDI+ Chart Success Part 7: Printing Charts
Published 10/16/2006 | .NET Newbie Graphics | Rating:

   In previous articles several variations of simple charts were created.   These could be viewed on screen but at some time or other you may need to print out hard copies.

   This article shows you how.

[read article...]
» Book Review: Murach's Visual Basic 2005
Published 10/12/2006 | .NET Newbie Book Reviews | Rating:

   Murach have been producing technical books for more than 20 years and have developed their own special style and a quite substantial, loyal readership .   Their latest offering is "Murach's Visual Basic 2005".

   Ged Mead offers an overview of this book.   

[read article...]
» Book Review: Mastering Visual Basic 2005
Published 09/19/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:


Sybex have published two versions of this book:  "Mastering Visual Basic 2005" by Evangelos Petroutsos and "Mastering Visual Basic 2005 Express Edition" by Evangelos Petroutsos and Acey J. Bunch.

   Ged Mead takes a look at what they offer .

[read article...]
» GDI+ Chart Success Part 6: Dynamic Line Chart
Published 08/22/2006 | .NET Newbie Graphics Win Forms | Rating:

   The static line chart we created in Part 5 could be useful in lots of situations, but what happens when you want the chart to be continuously updated and the line redrawn in real time?

   This article looks at some ways of doing this.


[read article...]
» Book Review: Beginning ASP.Net 2.0
Published 07/20/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:

  Wrox have published a wide range of ASP.NET 2.0 books for a variety of developer skill and knowledge levels.    This one is aimed at ASP.NET beginners.

  Ged Mead reviews this book.

[read article...]
» Review: The Book of Visual Basic 2005
Published 06/24/2006 | Book Reviews Visual Studio 2005 | Rating:

  Matthew MacDonald is a well-known and respected technical book author.    I already own and regularly use several of his previous .NET books, so when this one came out I was particularly interested to see if it came up to his usual high standard.


  Overall, I was impressed with the detail and clarity of this book which was firmly targeted at Classic VB developers who are ready to move on to .NET now that the promised improvements in VB2005 are finally here.

[read article...]
» Chart Success Part 5 - Line Graph
Published 06/06/2006 | .NET Newbie Graphics | Rating:

   In previous articles, we have looked ways of creating various Pie Charts and Bar Charts.  In this Part of the series, we are going to take a first look at another common type of chart, the Line Graph.


   As is often the case in VB.NET, there are several ways of achieving the end result.   Although I haven't chosen the easiest route this time, the journey takes us into some interesting GDI+ territory.

[read article...]
» Book Review: Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition For Dummies
Published 06/05/2006 | .NET Newbie Book Reviews Visual Studio 2005 ASP.NET | Rating:

    "Visual Web Developer 2005 Expression Edition For Dummies" by Alan Simpson is a recent publication in this ever-popular, long running series of books.

   Although not the usual 600+ page  coder's book, don't be too quick to write this one off as of no use, advises DevCity reviewer Ged Mead.  It may be more useful than you think.




[read article...]
» Book Review- "Visual Basic 2005 Express: Now Playing"
Published 05/14/2006 | .NET Newbie Book Reviews | Rating:

 If you are a complete newcomer to programming, you should seriously consider getting a copy of this book.  It never loses sight of the fact that beginners don’t always “get it” first time, every time and it uses non-technical explanations and good learning reinforcement techniques to show you the skills in the easiest, least complicated way possible.

    In the Preface to the book, author Wallace Wang sets out his philosophy:

“This book is dedicated to everyone who didn’t have the “right” education, test scores or job skills, but wound up succeeding at their chosen goal anyway.   If you want to learn or do anything in your life, such as learn to program a computer, go ahead and do it and don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.”


[read article...]
» Book Review: ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming
Published 04/25/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:
   Marco Bellinaso's latest book takes an approach that is unlike many other ASP.NET books.   Instead of showing fragmented examples for individual pages or features, the example in this book is an integrated end-to-end site (written in C#). The entire book and site has been written specifically for ASP.NET 2.0, to use the ASP.NET 2.0 features wherever they make sense. [read article...]
» Book Review: Building Applications and Components with Visual Basic.NET
Published 04/09/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:



Building Applications and Components with Visual Basic.NET

By Ted Pattison and Dr Joe Hummel

is published by Addison-Wesley as part of their Microsoft.NET Development Series.   



   Ged Mead reviewed this book for VBCity readers.

[read article...]
» Book Review: Visual Basic 2005 Programmer’s Reference
Published 03/31/2006 | Book Reviews | Rating:



    As VB2005 gathers momentum, so does the output of VB2005 books from the popular technical publishers.     


   Ged Mead got hold of a copy of "Visual Basic 2005 Programmer’s Reference" By Rod Stephens and found much to recommend it.    Read on for his review of this book ....


[read article...]
» ComponentOne Studio Enterprise 2006
Published 03/09/2006 | Product Showcase Software Reviews | Rating:

  The ComponentOne team have been producing good quality components for several years, covering the needs of developers in both Classic VB  and .NET.       The latest edition of their comprehensive components package is Studio Enterprise 2006 v1, now been updated for the 2005 version of .NET


  Ged Mead took a tour of the overall package and trial tested some of the components in detail

[read article...]
» Chart Success : GDI+ Graphics At Work Part 4
Published 05/10/2005 | .NET Framework Graphics | Rating:

 Back in Part 2 of this series we created a basic Bar Chart.  It did the job, but - let’s face it - it isn’t likely to win any prizes in the “GUI of the Year “ competition.

  So, in this article we will use the same basic approach, but will build a better  3D bar chart to give the display more depth, color and hopefully, as a result, more impact.


[read article...]
» Text Techniques (1)
Published 03/30/2005 | .NET Newbie Graphics | Rating:

Sometimes plain old standard horizontal text just won’t do the job.Maybe you need vertical text...

... of one kind or the other. The DrawString method of the Graphics Class holds the answers to both of these little problems.Read on to see how it can be done.

[read article...]
» Chart Success: Second Helpings of Pie. Part 3
Published 03/23/2005 | .NET Newbie Graphics | Rating:

The first two articles in this series introduced some basic graphics skills which were used to create a Pie Chart in Part 1 and a Bar Chart in Part 2. Both charts were elementary, but served their purpose. As the series progresses we will look at ways of building on these early steps and creating more challenging displays. In both of those articles the data was created in advance at design time and hard coded  into the project. In this article,  data will be taken from the user and used to create a pie chart. This project also introduces HatchStyles - a range of predefined patterns - to replace the solid colors used in the first Pie Chart example.

[read article...]
» Chart Success: GDI+ Graphics At Work. Part 2
Published 03/16/2005 | .NET Newbie | Rating:

In this series of articles, designed for newcomers to graphics in VB.NET, you will see how to create various kinds of charts. Charts are a great way of  displaying data in a way that is easy to understand, as well as being a useful way to become familiar with many of the core drawing methods which are available in the Graphics Class. In this article, we will build a Bar Chart from the ground up using double buffering to create a chart to display in a PictureBox control.

[read article...]
» Chart Success: GDI+ Graphics at work. Part 1
Published 03/06/2005 | .NET Newbie Graphics | Rating:

Charts are a great way of displaying data in a format that is easy to understand. A chart is a pictorial representation of your data. If it is true that a picture is really worth a thousand words, then a chart must surely be worth a thousand lines in a DataGrid. In this series of articles, we will look at various ways you can use the GDI+ tools in .NET to create a range of charts for a wide variety of uses. In Part 1, we will look at one of the easier options, the Pie Chart.

[read article...]
» Multiple Forms in VB.NET. Part 4 - Accessing Controls and Data on the StartUp Form
Published 01/25/2004 | Upgrading Win Forms | Rating:
In previous articles, we looked at some common problems that seem to have caused problems for many newcomers to VB.NET. In this article we will take a look at a specific area which appears to contribute more than its fair share of grief to many people in the early days of the .NET learning curve. [read article...]
» Multiple Forms in VB.NET. Part 3 - Using Events in Multiple Forms
Published 09/03/2003 | Upgrading Win Forms | Rating:
In the third article of the Multiple Forms series for .NET Newbies, Ged Mead walks you through a simple way of passing data between forms using an Event. In the example project, text typed into one form by a user is automatically and immediately also transferred to a second form. [read article...]
» Multiple Forms in VB.NET. Part 2 - Accessing Controls on Other Forms
Published 07/23/2003 | Upgrading Win Forms | Rating:
In this article, we will take an initial look at some ways of accessing other form's controls and passing data between forms; and our approach to this is going to be pretty much the same as in the earlier article. [read article...]
» CodeSMART 2003 for VS.NET
Published 07/11/2003 | Reviews Software Reviews | Rating:
Ged Mead (vbCity Leader XTab): "There are so many features that there isn't space to list them all. What I would say for sure is that there just has to be something in this package for everyone." [read article...]
» Multiple Forms in VB.NET. Part 1
Published 06/28/2003 | Upgrading Win Forms | Rating:
This article by vbCity Leader XTab is particularly aimed at VB6 Upgraders, although complete beginners will find it useful. It explains a variety of ways in which you can open and deal with multiple forms in VB.NET; techniques which are quite different from the VB.OLD ways. A downloadable Solution is included, which shows working examples of each of the seven methods covered in the article, plus an additional two methods not documented in the article. [read article...]
» Total .NET SourceBook
Published 06/10/2003 | Software Reviews | Rating:
Total .NET SourceBook from FMS Software is a code library which works both as a standalone library (accessible from the Start Menu) or as a Visual Studio Add-In (accessed from the VS Tools menu or as a dockable window in the IDE). Reade more… [read article...]
» Simple Steps in VB.NET. Building a Custom Control
Published 05/14/2003 | .NET Newbie | Rating:
In this article in the 'Simple Steps in VB.Net' series vbCity Leader XTab shows you how to create a simple custom control. You are taken through the procedures needed to enhance the functionality of the VB.Net standard Button control by incorporating features which will make your button more eye-catching. The article shows you how to create the user control by adding customised properties and events. The attached solution includes additional enhancements not covered in the step by step guide and also demonstrates how you can take the basic idea much further. [read article...]
» CodeBox for .NET
Published 05/11/2003 | Software Reviews | Rating:
Ged Mead (XTab on vbCity) reviews CodeBox for .NET - new product by Marco Bellinaso and Francesco Balena [read article...]