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February 2004 Entries

Got to get back to it...

Posting that is - it's not that I have nothing to write about, just no particualr inclination to write it...I will try to maintain at least one post a day on a vaguely interesting .NET related subject for the next two weeks - promise :-)

posted @ Sunday, February 29, 2004 8:30 PM | Feedback (0) |

iPod Love

Well, got my iPod exchanged...working perfectly now. Firewire just rules (as does USB 2.0 which I use at work) - got roughly 3000 songs transferred over in under an hour...this is really just the prettiest thing I've ever owned, I just can't fault the design in any way.

posted @ Friday, February 27, 2004 3:21 PM | Feedback (0) |

When good toys go bad...

AARGGHHHHH! Man I hate it when you get a nice fun gadget and it doesn't work...So anyway, I decided to buy myself a nice new iPod (20Gb model in case you're interested), got it home, read the instructions (for a change), installed the software, rebooted and plugged it in to the Firewire port on my main PC...nothing...nada...zilch. So I thought - well that's probably just the Audigy crappy Firewire version SB-1394...so I tried it on one of my other machines which has bog standard Firewire - nothing...so I installed the previously uninstalled Firewire header card for my motherboard on my main machine...nothing...so...

posted @ Wednesday, February 25, 2004 8:08 PM | Feedback (0) |

This strikes me as incredibly useful! AzMan - lets you assign your own permission types (like 'CanEatPizza')

Found this on Loren Halvorson's Blog...he (?) explains it best, so here's just a complete copy of what he wrote... Is anyone using AzMan? We are in the process of developing a common role based authorization layer for several of our applications and stumbled across the Microsoft's Authorization Manager. I had originally passed over it because I thought it was tied to Windows Server 2003, but it turns out that it runs on Windows 2000 which we are using in production, and Windows XP which developers use. On XP, just install the Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack and you'll get it.The...

posted @ Tuesday, February 24, 2004 5:11 PM | Feedback (3) | Filed Under [ Windows Server 2003 ]

Another short one...how to read the contents of an entire file into a Byte Array...

This just another one of thoise dumb little snippets that I always forget and is a bit of a bugger to find...so, if you for some reason (e.g., compression / encryption) need all of the contents of a file to be held in a byte array, here's the simplest way I've found to do it:byte[] inArr;using(Stream s=File.Open("myfile.dat",FileMode.Open)){ inArr = new byte[s.Length]; s.Read(inArr,0,inArr.Length);}

posted @ Tuesday, February 24, 2004 5:06 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET Code Snippets ]

Nested repeaters - new article on Codeproject and why you shouldn't do it that way!

Just been reading this article on Codeproject.com...hmm...I have a few issues with how he does things:DataBinder.Eval - I have what is becoming an obsession about this now - there's just NO NEED for this in most cases, it sucks in terms of performance (you can typically lose about 20% compared to the stongly typed method. I've posted a couple of times about this here and here.OnItemDataBound - now, I've yet to do a benchmark comparing to member methods (just reminded myself actually, I might do one this weekend). I use to use this method all the time for nested repeaters...

posted @ Saturday, February 21, 2004 11:15 AM | Feedback (2) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET Performance ]

Gettin' into SCRUM

I'm currently working my way through the book "Agile software development with Scrum" by Schwaber and Beedle [US] - gotta say, it's looking pretty good! I'm only about half way through but so far it looks like the only development process which may actually work for a company like the one I currently work at, problem is that we tend to do quick projects with very small teams (mostly teams of 1 developer with occasional design / business analyst input) and rapidly 'evolving' (i.e., horribly mutating) requirements - so the old monolithic development processes just don't fit with the way we...

posted @ Wednesday, February 18, 2004 8:12 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Books ]

Another link for me...again from ASP.NET... really good RSS class

Really nice control from Bipin Joshi for handling RSS feeds - so you can easily provide one from your site...

posted @ Wednesday, February 18, 2004 4:25 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Convert a DataSet to Excel in one easy step...

I found this really useful little assembly / code when looking for a simple, free way to convert a DataSet to Excel - couldn't be easier, just one line of code required for the conversion, here's the line I'm using:DataSetToExcel.Convert(ReportsDAL.GetSummaryStats(10, Page.FromDate,Page.UntilDate,Page.MailClientId,0,Page.MailAppId,(int)Page.MailJobStatus),Response);

posted @ Wednesday, February 18, 2004 3:43 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Visual Studio .NET is causing me pain!

You know when you get to the point where you're happily coding away then suddenly, Visual Studio .NET causes you to want to kill someone...two things are really bugging me right now:Editing stored procedures - so, you use the nice designer (I believe Da Vinci is the real name of this) to create a bit of SQL in your Stored Procedure, you save it and go back to the SP - every time, it becomes read-only, meaning you have to close down the edit window reload the SP to modify it again...grr...when it happens a few dozen times a day...

posted @ Wednesday, February 18, 2004 2:04 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Random ]

J2EE Development using Visual Studio .NET

I thought this was pretty interesting - compiles MSIL into Java Bytecode so you can run C# or VB.NET (or any other . NET language I assume) on J2EE application servers. At first glance, the question qhich arises is 'why the hell would I want to do this?' but think about iot, large corps have huge investments in existing Sun etc... hardware which already has pretty expensive (usually £80k+) application servers. Anyway, the way I noticed this was this link from the BBC looks like there's a chance (though no proof at the moment) that Mainsoft could be the source of...

posted @ Tuesday, February 17, 2004 9:12 AM | Feedback (0) |

Great article on CAPTCHA on 15 Seconds today - Fighting Spambots with AI

Found it as ASP.NET...this is rapidly becoming pretty much essential for any site where users can register and post text, blogs, forums, the lot...this article provides an extensive review of current uses of CAPTCHA, ways to break it and how to avoid those breaks : here's a brief bit about it from the first part of that article:Scientific research in academia is tightly coupled with today's technological revolution. In this article we will discuss the design, development, and use of CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart). We experience various forms of CAPTCHAs in our...

posted @ Friday, February 13, 2004 3:40 PM | Feedback (0) |

Yankee Go Home! Latest 'Mars Rover' Image...

I just love this...from Paschal's blog

posted @ Thursday, February 12, 2004 12:01 PM | Feedback (0) |

Firefox rules - no, not the dodgy Clint Eastwood movie!

Been playing with Mozilla Firefox - gotta say, it really is fantastic! MUCH faster than IE at loading pages, more standards compliant, skinning, better privacy settings...basically what IE should be (and would be if MS had any competition in that space IMHO). Oh, and I wonder if they know there's an awful movie with the same name?

posted @ Thursday, February 12, 2004 2:24 AM | Feedback (0) |

Where will it end?

Interesting story about George W. Bush trying to get rules to curb the proliferation of Nuclear Weapons - an admirable thing to do, Nukes are generally not good things. Did get me thinking though...the US has currently the single largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world, and they're the only country to have ever used nuclear weapons against another nation...hmm...makes me long for something like Arthur C. Clarke wrote about in the book 'The Trigger', a device which would deactivate all mechanised weapons instantaneously. It's sad that we managed to get into a state where we can't get rid of such...

posted @ Thursday, February 12, 2004 1:59 AM | Feedback (0) |

Brain Shutdown...oh and some semi-useful links...

Well, it's 1am, I have at least 8 hours work ahead of me but my Cerebral Cortex has unfortunately decided to cease functioning. I'm also listening to the .NET Rocks show where Chris Sells and Rory Blyth interview Carl Franklin...hmm...Carl si currently going on about some conference they had at Microsoft - feeling pretty isolated in my little flat in Edinburgh right now we never seem to get anything good up here and my company is really too small to send me on any conferences etc...ah well, just have to settle for observing from the sidelines.Well, I really should get back...

posted @ Thursday, February 12, 2004 1:42 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Random ]

New version of BlogJet - now with HTML Source Editing!

From Jon Galloway's blog, a new version of BlogJet - with a bunch of new features including, finally, HTML Source editing - this is fantastic news!New BlogJet! Well, it's beta, but I'll take it - it adds HTML source code editor!Download itRelease notes:BlogJet 1.0.0.14 BETA Release NotesFebruary 11, 2004FEATURES* HTML source editor with highlighting and code completion.* Indent/Outdent (for those who use <BLOCKQUOTE>'s).* Link text and target in Insert Hyperlink dialog.* Post Properties (allow comments/pings) for MovableType, Blogware and TypePad.* Link insertion with drag-and-drop.* Hotkeys for top-level menus.* New progress indicator.* New sweet icons for categories.* New About window.* DasBlog support.BUG FIXES*...

posted @ Wednesday, February 11, 2004 9:43 AM | Feedback (0) |

Very nice free bits and pieces from Lumisoft

I was hunting for some POP3 stuff in .NET when I happened across this thing, basically a fully-featured POP3 / IMAP/ SMTP / WebMail client written in C# with Source code for free! It's really nice and basically provides all the bits I need for my POP3 mail toy I'm working on (basically for handling bounced emails from a bulk mail system). I've yet to poke about in dasBlog to see how they do POP3. Anyway, Lumisoft, the company behind this also have a bunch of other projects which are really all pretty nice...

posted @ Tuesday, February 10, 2004 4:47 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ]

ASP.NET Resource Kit

Kent Sharkey writes that this is currently down again - seems that some people were a bit quick off the mark in posting the download...anyway, keep checking, apparently there's going to be a couple of pages with some more info about it there as wellFound out about this from John Mandia's blog, full of lovely components and other stuff for ASP.NET - you really should download it! I'll post a bit more about it once I've had a play...UPDATE: John just posted on the MsWebDev group with sopme details of the components it contains:Basically a few very useful components:* ComponentOneThis special...

posted @ Tuesday, February 10, 2004 11:53 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ]

Recruiters...morons!

Don't know why I expected any different, especially with this post...Talking to a recruitment consultant today...interesting experience...apparently my experience as a J2EE architect has no bearing at all on .NET - as the two are related in no way. Also the fact that I'm up against (according to her) 'guys with 3-5 years ASP.NET experience' puts me at a disadvantage - since I have no time machine. I don't know, I am seriously considering just packing the whole gig in - the problem is, there's no way for me to know which of the dozens of possibles these roles are...

posted @ Thursday, February 05, 2004 12:25 PM | Feedback (0) |

Moving on without making your old company feel bad...

Well, as you've probably gathered from recent posts, I'm seriously considering moving on to pastures new, this brings up a dilemma - how do I leave my old company (when / if it comes to that) without making them feel like they've done something wrong? What I'm trying to get at is, the place I work right now is a great little company, very little politics, nice small team, in short if you like that sort of environment it's ideal, my problem isn't with the company, it's with my skillset and development. You seen, whatever happens with the company I'm...

posted @ Wednesday, February 04, 2004 9:06 PM | Feedback (0) |

MonoDevelop - SharpDevelop on Linux w/ Mono

Just found out about this, MonoDevelop is a port of SharpDevelop to Linux using Mono (more news) it actually looks pretty good, I am really going to have to try this out - I'm all for MS but some clients just won't consider using MS products, being able to offer Linux / Apache based hosting for apps developed on MS platforms (maybe using MySQL) would just rule...

posted @ Wednesday, February 04, 2004 3:03 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ Random ]

ASP.NET Style Webforms for Classic ASP

Via Leon Jollans (on the MSWebdev list) - a really neat way to do ASP.NET like stuff in classic ASP...

posted @ Wednesday, February 04, 2004 2:25 PM | Feedback (0) |

Taking the leap...

I'm ALMOST decided that I'm going to move from full-time to contracting / free-lance work. Got my 'Start your own business' book, and am reworking my CV to be more suitable for this type of role...all I have to do now is actually get up the nerve to pack in my job...any tips, what's the best way to start contracting?

posted @ Wednesday, February 04, 2004 1:19 PM | Feedback (0) |

Couple of nice articles...

Got these from ASP.NET - yes, I am well aware that everyone who reads this will have seen these there...it's really just to remind me!Anyway, great article on DotnetJunkies about Base Pages - these are just incredibly useful when trying to build a web site which has common functionality between pages without using some sort of template system like MasterPages. The second is an article on WWWCoder on an email tracking system - which is really nice (and annoying, I just wrote this same functionality for a mail project I'm working on grr...). Anyway, that's it for now...better get back to work before I...

posted @ Wednesday, February 04, 2004 11:39 AM | Feedback (0) |

Excellent post on testing practices...I really wish there was an easier way to integrate 'Watson' into all applications...

Chris Pratley posted this lovely long post on bugs and testing, he also covers some stuff about 'Watson' that little dialog which pops up when an application crashes inside Windows XP, very interesting stuff...I just wish an application block were avaialble which lets me duplicate the functionality for all of my applications, imagine how handy that would be!

posted @ Wednesday, February 04, 2004 11:25 AM | Feedback (0) |

Grr...why is Visual Studio so sucky with Source Control!

I'm really at the end of my tether with VS.NET and source control. I'm working from home this morning, accessing the office Sourcesafe over my VPN using SourceOffSite - fine, SourceOffsite is a great product, just VS.NET seems to just lock up totally when accessing any form of Source control. I suspect (as I've used various types of source control provider) that the issue is with the SSAPI in VS.NET. Why is it that it's so much more pleasant to use SourceSafe with JBuilder (and now C# Builder) than it is with VS.NET? Just one more reason to stop using...

posted @ Tuesday, February 03, 2004 10:34 AM | Feedback (0) |

Oh dear..."Janet Jackson and the Publicity machine"...

Pretty sad really, why didn't they just accept it was planned...anyway, this article has the best pictures and the full story...(warning, contains picture of Justin Timberlake looking 'concerned' - not for the faint hearted)

posted @ Monday, February 02, 2004 3:41 PM | Feedback (0) |

Geek hero...someone actually called their child Version 2.0!

I just love this...especially as I'm currently going for me V1.1 (wonder if I should use that title :-))...

posted @ Monday, February 02, 2004 3:09 PM | Feedback (0) |

Consultancy in the UK...

Theoretically :-) if I wanted to become a consultant in the UK - how would I go about it, where would I find contracts? Does anyone know if it's possible to do this and still live in Scotland?

posted @ Monday, February 02, 2004 1:38 PM | Feedback (0) |

Wow - IntelliJ is doing IDEA for C#!

I used this IDE a fair bit in my Java days, all I can say is WOW! It really is an awesome IDE - check out some of the features! So I am really pleased that there's a plan to release a version of IDEA for C#. Found this on Stefan Demetz's blog...If Roy is reading...calm down...just breathe ;-)

posted @ Monday, February 02, 2004 10:18 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ]

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