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June 2004 Entries


Got one of those Nigerian bank scam things through the 'Contact' page on this here blog...which either means that a bot is currently submitting to .TEXT blogs or someone is doing this manually (interestingly, the IP was faked...a 192.x.x.x one)

posted @ Wednesday, June 30, 2004 8:55 PM | Feedback (0) |

.NET Framework 1.1 Service Pack 1 - FINALLY!

Just noticed this in a comment on Paschal's blog, looks like there's a new service pack on the way for .NET 1.1, don't see anything about what it includes but I'd guess it at least covers the June 2003 hotfix pack that handles the accessibility stuff. This is pretty big news and to be honest ikt makes more of a difference to my daily existence than the VS.NET 2005 stuff does right now!

posted @ Wednesday, June 30, 2004 7:59 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ASP.NET ]

I'm currently in one of those periods where I've got too much to do for the time available to do it. First, I've been working in VBScript / ASP for this site - which is in itself due an overhaul soon...hopefully to ASP.NET...this has involved using an address verification system...which is, how shall I say...fiddly. At the same time, I'm also planning what I have to do for the move to our new offices; I'm stuck with doing the network, server rebuilds,phones usual; writing a framework upon which all our future products will be based (which of course needs to...

posted @ Wednesday, June 30, 2004 12:46 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Random ]

Why...that just smells like pee my continued attempt to stave off a cold my body's been trying to promote to 'full blown plague' status for the past few weeks, I'm currently trying to down Echinacea Tincture - which oddly Boots don't mention on their website...I may be the victim of a joke and have been drinking slightly diluted yak urine or somesuch for the past couple of days...oh, also been downing Allimax Allicin - which has a NASTY website...come on, flash gradients!

posted @ Thursday, June 24, 2004 8:52 PM | Feedback (2) |

Stuff to post about

OK, I get sick of it too...but time for the customary moan about how I've run out of stuff to blog about. Complete nonsense of course, like everyone else, blogging goes in phases for me, I'll get back to it soon enough. I've got an absolute ton of stuff I have to finish; the Amazon localised server control, FreeTextBox .TEXT integration, Nested Repeaters article etc...Anyway, today I had plan ned to buy a bike but Scotland is currently being ruthlessly irrigated and my roof has sprung a leak (I mean, flat rooves, just me or was that a dumb idea from...

posted @ Thursday, June 24, 2004 9:46 AM | Feedback (0) |

Hmm...Line Upgrade or Third Party Hosting (long, pointless post warning!)

I have a decision to make, currently this site is hosted on my littile mini-itx server on my highly suspect 512k ADSL line, this has been perfect for my needs for a while now but now my traffic is really starting to ramp up - 15000 hits today and 150mb data transfer (that's with IIS 6.0 Compression at full tilt), so here's my dilemma: I want to keep the responsiveness of this site whilst retaining my ability to mess around with the bits on it with relative ease. The messing about with part is pretty important to me and essentially rules...

posted @ Tuesday, June 22, 2004 3:27 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Long & Rambling Random ]

Great timesaver if you're writing templated ASP.NET Server Controls

Andy Smith published a phenomenally handy code snippet on his blog which does a lot of the grunt work for generating DesignTimeHtml for Templated server controls for ASP.NET.

posted @ Friday, June 18, 2004 11:17 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET Code Snippets ]

Source Control stuff greyed out in Visual Studio .NET 2003?

One of our developers had a problem where his VS.NET 2003 installed on Windows Server 2003 was greying out all of the options under the Source Control menu - took a little while to find the solution but eventually discovered it here - so if you have this problem, run a tool called SSINT.exe from your VSS\Win32 directory.

posted @ Friday, June 18, 2004 1:37 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ VS.NET ]

XMLVisualiser Add-In from Ben Lovell

This is a really handy little add-in which lets you examine the content of XML bearing variables during debug sessions. I just discovered Ben Lovell's blog , lots of useful stuff over there...

posted @ Thursday, June 17, 2004 5:20 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ .NET VS.NET ]

CHM Reader for Pocket PC

I posted earlier about the MSDN Magazine CHM downloadable, just found a little CHM reader (in .NET yay!) on Codeproject, mobile MSDN magazine! (OK, so technically, always been mobile!)

posted @ Thursday, June 17, 2004 4:00 PM | Feedback (0) |

Latest MSDN magazine CHM download - so you can have the whole thing on your PC

I don't know why this isn't mentioned more, maybe a link or something! Anyway, as usual you can get the latest version of MSDN magazine here - this is a CHM, so whole magazine in a single file (makes mobile use MUCH easier).

posted @ Thursday, June 17, 2004 11:15 AM | Feedback (0) |

Bloke from IP leave sensible comments...

I don't mind, 'Testing please delete' or other such comments (I don't welcome them, but I don't really mind) but random typing is just annoying...that decides it, I'm going to finally complete my 'ultimate comments validation' solution...

posted @ Thursday, June 17, 2004 10:52 AM | Feedback (0) |

Great tip on helping you tell apart debug and release bulds

From Ted Graham, basically you just stick a conditional item into AssemblyInfo.cs - very neat tip! See his post for more details.

posted @ Wednesday, June 16, 2004 10:59 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ]

The most worthwhile blogs on the planet

In my opinion at least, the blogs to be found here have got to be some of the best around - you have; in no particular order:Keith BrownFritz OnionAason SkonnardMike WoodringDon BoxI mean, good god! Those are 5 of the high priests of .NET - look, just read their stuff!

posted @ Wednesday, June 16, 2004 7:48 PM | Feedback (0) |

Joel Spolsky on Microsoft and why Longhorn / WinFX could fail.

Basically, Joel covers a whole bunch of ground in this article, including issues like why it's not in Microsoft's best interest to support DHTML and advance Internet Explorer (which actually explains a WHOLE LOT!), and the basic problem around Windows - including why he thinks Avalon / Longhorn is a really have to read it, as usual it's a measured approach and very thought provoking!My opinion (as if you care :-)), it's tricky territory for Microsoft, as Joel points out, the Web is probably never going to be a big earner for Microsoft; desktop apps like Office etc require...

posted @ Wednesday, June 16, 2004 3:43 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Links Longhorn ]

ISAPI Programming

Anyone know a good book on writing ISAPI filters? I really can't find one; that's less than 7 years old - and therefore hopelessly out of date). I wrote a couple of filters in Visual C++ (umm...5 I think) a few years ago and I really want to get my skills in this area updated...I don't really fancy trawling through MSDN to do it...

posted @ Wednesday, June 16, 2004 12:43 AM | Feedback (0) |

I love Microsoft

There, I said it...even though they cruelly turned me down, though they are monopolists; which I don't see as as problem - let me ask, would you rather Scott Mcnealy was in charge? Even though they cruelly tease us with their Whidbey loveliness; I like the name Whidbey, VS.NET 2005 seems so impersonal. I don't care about any of these things, I have never enjoyed working in a language as much as I do with C#, ASP.NET is a joy to work with and I love being able to contact the developers directly - and get replies. Quite simply I...

posted @ Tuesday, June 15, 2004 8:52 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Random ]

Always a worry...when your applications undergo external security review...

One of the applications I wrote a while ago is currently undergoing a security / privacy audit...god I hate this stuff. Problem is that even with the best intentions, unless you spend trime specifically designing and developing your application from scratch to be secure - it just won't be. So tip for the day - go through your application, anywhere you have an external input (so, for instance user inputs text), do you check for string length, do you filter out html / html encode the output (obviously if you have RequestValidation enabled this bit won't be an issue). What...

posted @ Tuesday, June 15, 2004 9:12 AM | Feedback (0) |

Fear not your design worries are solved! (Well, as long as they extend to finding complementary colours)

If like me you've got a severe deficit in your design skills you can probably tell when colours don't go together but can't for the life of you figure out which ones do...well, salvation is at hand in the shape of this site - pretty nice really, gives you a set of colours which complement each other. I found this on a random trawl which took in this site

posted @ Monday, June 14, 2004 4:43 PM | Feedback (0) |

Really nice technique to solve the 'users seeing ugly RSS feed' issue.

Just noticed this at secretGeek's site, on his RSS feed he specifies an xslt and css file for the feed page - result, his users only see a nicely formatted page instead of the nasty XML view you usually see...I'll put this on mine tonight, it's always annoyed me that some visitors here just see the horror of XML...

posted @ Monday, June 14, 2004 3:39 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Random ]

Gift bag for new programmers...

From secretGeek - the ultimate Gift Bag for new programmers - very funny...and unfortunately very true...

posted @ Monday, June 14, 2004 2:45 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Links ]

Oh, and just noticed...SOS has had a few upgrades...

I use SourceOffSite a fair bit to access my company's SourceSafe DB, just noticed that it's had a few upgrades - which looks like it'll improve things a lot (like the old 'adding projects' bug which has caused me so many problems!)

posted @ Monday, June 14, 2004 9:33 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ]

SourceSafe operations really slow...could be your Antivirus software!

This is a *really* interesting issue for me - basically if you're using VSS and Realtime antivirus scanning you can REALLY slow down SourceSafe operations - this is especially true if you try to use VSS over a remote connection (like over a VPN). I first saw this issue mentioned on the MSWebDev group - and I can confirm it REALLY makes a different in access times. It also seems to cause problems for SourceOffsite (though it's nowhere near as bad). Current suggestions seem to be to disable real-time scanning - for me this is NOT an option. Anyone have any other...

posted @ Monday, June 14, 2004 9:31 AM | Feedback (0) |

Resharper 0.86 - the releases come thick 'n fast!

I posted previously about this, but this is just an update, Resharper is approaching it's release date and there's lots of improvements and changes still happening - I don't know whether JetBrains have a fantastic development methodology or they're effort isn't going that well - as a fan of one of their previous tools (which is probably the best IDE out there for any language IMHO) - I suspect the former is true!

posted @ Saturday, June 12, 2004 10:48 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Links ]

Brilliantly frivilous use of GIS technology...

Phil Winstanley just posted this to the MSWebDev list - for all UK peeps, this will find all 'amusing' place names near your postcode (hint, mine is EH3 7QA) :-). Oh, the guy who runs that thing also has a pretty cool weblog.

posted @ Friday, June 11, 2004 9:56 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Links ]

Fascinating tale of what can happen when trying to use Agile Methodologies fails

Lorenzo Barberi posts this story of a guy trying to introduce agile methodologies into a traditional corporate 'Waterfall' management culture. What's really interesting in this story are the 'lessons' he mentions: 1) I wasn't very good at defending agile practices, which probably made me seem less competent and less professional than I would have if I had been able to rattle off responses to challenges immediately. That's partially a matter of education, an area where I have gotten better, and partially a matter of my personality (INTP) where I almost effortlessly try to adopt the frame of reference of my...

posted @ Thursday, June 10, 2004 9:26 AM | Feedback (4) | Filed Under [ SCRUM ]

Totally pointless...odd search results...

So, search for "mostly lucid" you get all sorts of strange results!

posted @ Wednesday, June 09, 2004 3:45 AM | Feedback (0) |

Not sleeping...bugger!

Well, it's almost 3am and I can't sleep - very annoying! Anyway, thought I'd briefly post about what I've been up to of late, well here goes... 1. Work wise - mentioned previously we were using the SCRUM process at work now - so I'm just smoothing out the details of how we implement this, re-read the books I got on it, Agile Project Management with SCRUM (US) and Agile Software Development with SCRUM (US), these are both pretty short and give you a real feel for what SCRUM does for you as well as how to use it - one major...

posted @ Wednesday, June 09, 2004 3:22 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Random ]

Filthy Lucre

You've probably noticed the links and ads on the Right-hand column of the site: for the few of you who actually visit the site using a browser that is, the vast majority use RSS readers so won't see them at all... I'm really just experimenting with these things to see: 1. if they actually generate any kind of income2. to see how the schemes work They're actually pretty interesting and I don't think they're that obtrusive, the Google adsense ones work as an IFrame and are targetted towards what they see as the site content - which seems to be RSS...

posted @ Wednesday, June 09, 2004 2:40 AM | Feedback (0) |

Trying Resharper again...

I tried Resharper a few months ago - and to be honest it was interesting but none too stable. In short, the tool didn't meet my 'more trouble than it's worth' test. Anyway, I just downloaded the latest version (0.84) - it's now pretty awesome, used it in a coding session today and it does make things a lot easier, the 'namespace' insertion stuff is awesome - so you no longer have to remember namespaces - for example, just type StringCollection and a little popup appears with the right namespace and it sticks in a 'using' statement in your class.So, long story...

posted @ Tuesday, June 08, 2004 11:50 PM | Feedback (0) |

Grr...stupid crappy source formatting...and a challenge for all!

Typical, I had a method all sorted which let me past code into Dreamweaver in a nice formatted way not perfect but the stupid thing has stopped working...hmm...OK, here's what I need - anyone have a method to do this? I need a tool or some other way to past code straight into Dreamweaver which meets these criteria: Fixed Stylesheet - so not dozens of <p> or <font> tags. Does not use <pre> tag - this is important, pre just sucks for page flow Dynamically converts 'tab' code indents to &nbsp; tags Makes 'clean' HTML - so no...

posted @ Tuesday, June 08, 2004 11:30 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Help! ]

Trying out Google adsense

More out of interest for how it works rather than in the expectation that I'll make any money, I've added an ad box in the right-hand-column of the site. Pretty interesting stuff really, I'll leave it there for a while to see if 1. anyone ever clicks on an ad and 2. how many people get annoyed by it (though I fail to see how you can, the ads it's currently showing are mostly for RSS services and RSS Readers...) UPDATE (08/06/2004): To date I have made $0.59!

posted @ Tuesday, June 08, 2004 9:23 AM | Feedback (0) |

So I don't forget - DateTime formatting strings link...

This is one of the things I never remember - the strings used to format DateTime strings in .NET - well here it is...

posted @ Monday, June 07, 2004 3:05 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET Links ]

Dumb little update to the Amazon book it knows where you live!

I've been using Scott W.s little Amazon book control on this site for a while now - and it's pretty damn good, haven't made any cash from it as yet...but...well, it always bugged me that it was .com only as written - so if you were in the UK, by default it directed you to The version of this control on my site of course directs you to - not much use if you're not in the UK. What I have now done is incorporate the "Extreme Optimized IP to Country Lookup" stuff on Codeproject into this control so the little control...

posted @ Sunday, June 06, 2004 1:27 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .TEXT ASP.NET ]

Anyone know of a free tool for managing SCRUM projects?

As I posted previously, the company I work for is looking at improving out development process, with this in mind we're currently trying out SCRUM - thing is, I've yet to find a tool perfectly suited for managing projects using this method. My criteria are - free (or as near to it as possible), ideally .NET based and able to use the SCRUM process (so, Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, possibly some integration with VSS).; So how about it, anyone know of a tool that can do this?

posted @ Thursday, June 03, 2004 11:04 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET SCRUM ]

FreeTextBox 2.0 for .TEXT 0.95

Was perusing the ASP.NET Forums earlier when I stumbled across this post by Revjon (of FreeTextBox fame), his question was on whether plans exist for integrating FTB 2.0 into .TEXT. Well, I went ahead and did this for 0.95 - not perfect (there's a Javascript popup which I'll have to figure out how to get rid of) but gets the job done (and is cross-browser compatible). If you want to have a play, the files you need are in this archive - should (fingers crossed, I haven't tested this much!) just be a copy into your .TEXT directory (back up your original just...

posted @ Thursday, June 03, 2004 12:24 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .TEXT ]

New Viewstate article on MSDN from Scott Mitchell

Just noticed a new article on MSDN from Scott Mitchell which pretty much covers everything you need to know about ASP.NET Viewstate. This is one of these ones which will become my first suggestion for people who have questions on this most mysterious and misunderstood of ASP.NET topics. If you are an ASP.NET developer you just have to read this article - I promise you'll learn something from it! Oh, he also links to one of my blog entries on compressing Viewstate...which I am sadly chuffed about :-) UPDATE: Just noticed that Scott posted on his blog about this article - also...

posted @ Wednesday, June 02, 2004 8:26 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Just a reminder, Code Complete Second Edition due tomorrow (02/06/2004)

Had mine ordered for months now...but the big day finally approaches - Code Complete (US) is simply the single most essential book for any coder. I read the Draft a few months ago and have to say that the second edition is even better - buy it, read it, love it!

posted @ Tuesday, June 01, 2004 9:02 PM | Feedback (0) |

Brilliant General Architecture post from Scott Hanselman

This post by Scott Hanselman is just a brilliant starting point for beginners in application architecture (in any language actually). In my experience a good basic structure can solve so many problems in an application - and in many cases is a 'freebie', i.e., it doesn't really add any more development time. He does make an interesting point about DataSets in the Business layer...which I'd tend to go along with in the most part - if however you start to get objects which almost exactly replicate the structure of your DataSet...the benefits can be non-obvious - but decoupling your layers...

posted @ Tuesday, June 01, 2004 8:34 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ]

Back...and trying out a new more structured approach in the office...

Back from my (admittedly short) break - Dad's birthday which I really wanted to be at home for this year. We're trying to get a bit more structure going at my place of work, well we had some before but as we get busier and busier we need to get a more intelligent approach going. So, the approach we've gone for is the Agile approach using SCRUM - which basically provides a good fit for the approach we need - it's flexible, reduces distraction and works for single developers (many don't and are really based around team development). We're also starting...

posted @ Tuesday, June 01, 2004 1:55 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ Random ]

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