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September 2004 Entries

Tip from Darrel Norton on getting the MSDN Library Code bits to work properly in Firefox

Umm...OK, I made the title overly descriptive...anyway, I stole this from here: Viewing MSDN code samples in Firefox or Mozilla browsers The MSDN facelift (not MSDN2) hosed the formatting of code samples in Firefox and Mozilla browsers. To fix it, add this to your userContent.css file (chromEdit is the easiest way to modify this file):/* Microsoft MSDN code stylesheet */pre{ white-space: pre !important;}posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 7:49 AM

posted @ Thursday, September 30, 2004 3:57 PM | Feedback (0) |

Ooh trippy...Jean Michel Jarre's new 5.1 masterpiece

Just listening to the new Jean Michel Jarre DVD / Album, Aero - if you haven't heard, this is a collection of many of his old tracks and a couple of new ones - the twist is that the album comes with both a DVD and CD, the DVD contains 5.1 surround sound versions of all the tracks. These surrounds sound versions are just fantastic, I hope that way more albums come in this form in future, it really does add whole new dimesions to the experience. The flash animation below is cribbed from his site - the DV actually...

posted @ Wednesday, September 29, 2004 8:35 PM | Feedback (0) |

RANT: Why does Microsoft keep adding breaking changes to the framework!

OK, so I thought that the ValidateRequest stuff was a fluke, a dumb mistake - I mean no company would introduce a breaking change to a production framework...even worse you can't even specify this in the web.config and have it work in all frameworks, well, one mistake, I can forgive that. But no, it's happened again with the HttpRequest UnsafeHeaderParsing, put simply this stops many applications from fetching web content by blocking 'unsafe' headers...fine idea, but it breaks existing code. Here's a crazy idea, why not make the <httpWebRequest useUnsafeHeaderParsing="true" /> tag required to turn this off instead <httpWebRequest useSafeHeaderParsing="false" />...

posted @ Wednesday, September 29, 2004 4:58 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ]

The long dark format of the soul

Well, I'm finally going to have to wipe my main workstation and reinstall - is it just me or is there always the creeping doubt that you've forgot to back something up? I was just reading a post on Pachal's blog about the Community Server stuff (which is where .TEXT has moved to). Rob Howard left a comment there reassuring us that there'd always be a free version of the CommunityServer products available (so, .TEXT, nGallery and ASP.NET forums as were...)...which is nice... Ah well, once I get my worksatation back up I can get on with attempting to destroy my blog's code

posted @ Tuesday, September 28, 2004 5:06 PM | Feedback (0) |

Comment stuff coming...

Haviong an issue with my setup right now (might have to reformat my main machine). In the meantime, please still use the is you want to leafve a comment. Thanks.

posted @ Sunday, September 26, 2004 10:12 PM | Feedback (0) |

Server Side Viewstate post problems...

Wierd, looked at my blog this morning and the post I put up with Server Side Viewstate stuff is messed un - and inactive! Not sure what's going on there, I'll get it back up as soon as I can...

posted @ Sunday, September 26, 2004 1:31 PM | Feedback (0) |

Calling all Scottish .NET developers

Reading Paschal's stuff on his Irish Developers group, this seems like a great idea. So, here's mine - I know there's lots of Scottish Developers and of those, a lot are .NET developers; what I don't know though is where their blogs are so what I want to do is put togther a list of all of these blogs; which I'll put in the right hand column and link from all of my future posts -as well as provide a page for seeing aggregated content from all those blogs. Only qualification is that you have to be Scottish (i.e., you have...

posted @ Saturday, September 25, 2004 7:17 PM | Feedback (1) | Filed Under [ .NET Scottish .NET Community ]

The one where and Email Exception logger 'seemed like a good idea at the time'

Hmm...I've spammed myself. I have this application at a customer's site which has an exception logging feature, so each exception logs to the local event log then sends me an email - great idea huh? What I hadn't thought of though is 'what happens if the event log gets full?' - tonight I found out. Turns out that if it can't write to the event log, it sends an email...there seems to be a bit of a bug though - something in there sees a failure to write to the event log as a loggable exception. Unfortunately, the event log...

posted @ Saturday, September 25, 2004 2:02 AM | Feedback (0) |

Wow, Hitchhikers guide in 5.1 Streaming Audio

Everyone knows I guess that the new Hitchhikers Guide is on Radio 4, what I just noticed (and am listening to right now) is that the WMP and Real streams are in 5.1 surround! Fantastic sound quality and (slightly excessive) surround effects aplenty!

posted @ Saturday, September 25, 2004 12:58 AM | Feedback (0) |

Server Side ViewState...remixed...

Been trying to find the original article...but I can't so I'll hunt it down later...this code is basically just a rehashed version of that other guy's original with a few of my own, first thisn to get the ViewState to live on your server: Use a BasePage class which all your ASP.NET pages inherit from, note I use a Config class referenced from Global to hold stuff like filenames, directories can just substiute the appropriate values (I'll cover this in more detail in a later post): So past this code into your BasePage: private static string FilePathFormat =...

posted @ Friday, September 24, 2004 11:41 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Removed posts...

Sorry, I've decided to remove the posts I put up about Microsoft recruitment. I've also disabled comments for this site, if you want to comment on a post please use the contact form for the time being - I'll be implementing a new comments system (which will require email validation) this weekend. I'm really sorry I've had to do this but recent comments have left me with no option... UPDATE: Umm...or I will, .TEXT seems a little resistant to this... UPDATE: Looks like there's a bug in the version of .TEXT I'm running, in the end I had to set...

posted @ Friday, September 24, 2004 10:15 AM | Feedback (0) |

Great post on 'Human Interactive proofs' or those screwy letter things where you have to type in some letters...

Stephen Toub has just posted that he's had an article go live on MSDN which has some really stunning applications of the 'CAPTCHA' technique for proving that people entering data are really human (or really smart animals I guess). This is simply the most complete article on the topic for ASP.NET I've ever seen! Great work Stephen!

posted @ Thursday, September 23, 2004 11:23 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Latest MSDN magazine CHM

FYI, as usual you can get the 'downloadable' CHM version of MSDN magazine here. Oh, and for furture reference, the url looks like this so, to get the previous one you would do this :

posted @ Thursday, September 23, 2004 1:40 PM | Feedback (0) |

Wanna be, wanna be, wanna be an MVP

OK, I've decided, I want to be an MVP, they seem to get all sorts of cool stuff (plus, BsC, DClinPsych, Msc are getting lonely after my name). So, here's a question to all of those in the know - how do you get to be an MVP (also, does being Scottish specifically exclude you from being an MVP - I don't know of any in my country!)

posted @ Thursday, September 23, 2004 1:15 PM | Feedback (0) |

Need to read this later... Has a great story on using a rubber duck as a debugging tool...I'll update this post later as to why this really hits a note with me... UPDATE: OK, I find this post just nails it as far as 'Essential Equipment' goes for me (well apart from the Chess set...that would involve WAY too much concentration..and the trainers...too lazy). Anyway, the rubber duck...quite often I can get stuck on a particular problem when coding (actually most often whilst debugging) and despite trying just about everything the solution is not forthcoming, my version of a rubber duck is our Technical...

posted @ Wednesday, September 22, 2004 10:06 PM | Feedback (0) |

New Toys!

Ah, I love getting new stuff (even if it technically means I'll be living on Gruel for the next month...). Today I got the ubiquitous Star Wars Trilogy DVD, a lovely new Lacie external 205Gb hard drive (which I think was a bit of a bargain at £128.44!) and the Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 Refresh DVDs (for which I REALLY have to get one of my machines set up!). I'm also expecting my snazzy new DVD Rewriter (I waited until now to get one that writes to ALL current formats). So, guess what I'll be doing for the next week

posted @ Tuesday, September 21, 2004 4:14 PM | Feedback (0) |

Early IIS 7 information

Just reading on Fritz Onion's blog about some information he has on IIS7, I have to say this seems really cool. It's always bugged me that ASP.NET was incapable of doing such things as intercepting the response stream and that HttpModules were essentially humbled as a result. Sounds like in IIS7 we'll be able to do all sorts of cool stuff we can't do right now (for example a totally ASP.NET based file uploader which just isn't possible right now...)

posted @ Thursday, September 16, 2004 4:13 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ASP.NET ]

Best BrowserCaps resource page...

This is a 'remind myself' thing; also because I tend to use this blog as a personal memory 'ting which I search on Google with the " searchterm" syntax. Anyhoo, a fantastic site on BrowserCaps - the thing which ASP.NET uses to decide on what HTML to send to what browsers can be found here...

posted @ Wednesday, September 15, 2004 2:54 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Article on per-row template selection for ASP.NET Repeaters

This is really nice solution to a particularly thorny problem - namely, repeaters can't normally change the template for each row. The problem which this solves for me is the creation of a small survey application where I can use this technique to allow the definition of different row templates based on question type; saves me a whole heap of Server Control hacking! Anyway, again...article by Rob van der Veer (cool name!)

posted @ Wednesday, September 15, 2004 10:29 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Interesting post on getting Mozilla XUL running inside Internet Explorer by Jean-Yves Cronier

Let the crossover continue! Jean-Yves Cronier left a comment on my old post about HTC inside Mozilla, he points to a post he left in the XULPlanet forum showing a technique to get XUL behaviours running inside of Internet Explorer using a simple HTC behaviour as a sort of interface layer. This is again, pretty cool - and would be even cooler if it could be extended to allow complete translation between all IE HTC behaviours and their XUL equivalent! Anyway, since this is posted on a forum I know nothing abot, I'll repeat the post here: I've reflected on possibilities offered by famous...

posted @ Sunday, September 12, 2004 11:46 AM | Feedback (2) |

Disheartened by ASP

Well, I've spent the past week working on an application written in Classic ASP - just a small update before we do a total rewrite in ASP.NET in a few months. I have to say, I am now slow as hell writing VBScript / ASP, I have no idea why, it's like the bit of my brain that's used to structure applications is just not capable of doing it in VBScript any more. I'm slow, inaccurate and really badly motivated working on this thing - and I really don't know why! Ah well, I have at least another week of this...

posted @ Friday, September 10, 2004 4:51 PM | Feedback (0) |

Interesting study on how people scan web pages.

Kent Sharkey posted a link to a study showing how people scan web pages. This is really interesting from a usability perspective as it gives indications as to how to improve the design of your pages to more easily highlight information you want users to take notice of / make the site easier to use. The site also has a bunch of hints on these items as well. The graphic below is one of the most interesting bits to me, shopwing what areas were given what priority on news homepages...

posted @ Thursday, September 09, 2004 12:13 AM | Feedback (0) |

Just for the record - I'm Scottish but I can't stand Franz Ferdinand!

I'm sorry, but these guys haven't even made one good song - a fairly decent riff in their first single but the rest of their first album is derivative crap. The Mercury Music prize is meant to reward innovative music. Belle & Sebastian or Snow Patrol are just so much more innovative and original than that bunch of arty farty poseurs...

posted @ Wednesday, September 08, 2004 6:58 PM | Feedback (0) | - Unsubscribed.

I never thought the day would come, but reading is just too cumbersome now. So as of a few minutes ago I've unsubscribed from the main feed. Ah well, it was fun while it lasted! So, how am I going to keep up...simple, I just imported the OPML from into Bloglines and I can read the whole lot at once. All that will happen is that will use more bandwidth as a result of this...not less! Ah crap, just noticed that Bloglnes doesn't let you view an aggregate of all the feeds in a single folder...time to dig out...

posted @ Wednesday, September 08, 2004 5:58 PM | Feedback (0) |

I'm really not sure about the new look

OK, so I'm aware the main page was REALLY huge but to be honest, all that's happened now is that the utility of the page has been reduced...couldn't they have just implemented compression?

posted @ Tuesday, September 07, 2004 12:48 PM | Feedback (0) |

One of the many reasons I hate shopping TV.

Right now on XXX they're selling 'magnetic therapy', they'd be as well selling magic beans. I mean, they're charging £100 for some dumb rotating magnet and claiming real medical benefits for this piece of junk. For a complete review of current research on magnet therapy have a look at this paper . The XXX site does also seem to make some ludicrous claims including 'increasing circulation' - I do notice they claim no real medical benefits and all the language is closeted in 'may' and 'might'. Anyway, for fear of being sued, I use evidence from the following sites as the source of my...

posted @ Monday, September 06, 2004 5:37 PM | Feedback (0) |

MSDN will you PLEASE sort out the TOC frame for non-IE browsers

It just seems like bloody-mindedness, even their snazzy new TOC doesn't seem to bother supporting Mozilla based browsers (especially love on the test page - 'just click on the link on the upper left' - in my browser, no link). OK, so I can see the 'use IE' point here (so, trying to force users to use their own browser) but it is REALLY annoying. Especially whn you feel ill (come on people, feel sorry for me, I'm burning up here!)

posted @ Monday, September 06, 2004 3:52 PM | Feedback (0) |

Sites I can't live without (or at least would find it irritating to be deprived of)

Scott Mitchell by way of Tosh Meston's blog asks what sites we can't live without...well, 'live' is a bit strong! But sites which I would be irritated if my access to them were denied / limited are (in no particular order) Google - my online memory - I take a disturbing amount of pride in my searching prowess! - I just love the main ASP.NET blogs site, lots of informed people Gizomdo / Engadget - gadgets, gadgets, gadgets, new, shiny...must be mine! BBC News - comparatively unbiased news, seems to provide the most balanced coverage of every event. Halifax - I...

posted @ Monday, September 06, 2004 1:41 AM | Feedback (0) |

Pah I hate having a cold.

Well, I have a rotten cold, thought it was getting better so I went to watch the Edinburgh Festival Fireworks; which is what the images below are from, there's a bit of the famous 'firework waterfall' and general banginess- click for bigger versions. Well, it got a little damp (it was raining, not from overexcitement ) ann I now have the cold which I thought I was gettting rid of making a none too subtle reappearance. Typically I used all my painkillers for the early stages and am now having to suffer from vicious sinus pain - choice is, venture out to...

posted @ Monday, September 06, 2004 1:13 AM | Feedback (0) |

Wow...Mark Anders is at Macromedia

Cool, Mark Anders (or someone claiming to be Mark) just replied to an old post of mine: Actually, I was at Microsoft untill exactly the date of Bob's, Aug 13th, when I joined Macromedia. Scott and I started the ASP.NET team back in Jan 98, and I ran it and the .NET Framework team until Dec, 2002. I then started a project called "Nautilus" to ... well I probably shouldn't say! :-) I'm now at Macromedia and really love it. While I can't really say what I'm working on at this point, it's a lot of fun and I think...

posted @ Monday, September 06, 2004 12:57 AM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ .NET ASP.NET ]

Nice post on rendering a PNG hit counter from ASP.NET

This is a really great post from Chris Taylor on a method of rendering a LCD style hit counter using ASP.NET. Chris mentions a bug using the Image.Save method for PNGs - which is a bit wierd...Anyway, nice code, nice post...nice!

posted @ Sunday, September 05, 2004 11:58 PM | Feedback (0) | Filed Under [ ASP.NET ]

Gmail Invites

I have 6 GMail invites going spare, leave a comment with your email address to get one...first come, first served!

posted @ Sunday, September 05, 2004 4:38 PM | Feedback (0) |

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