Dan Bright's .NET Weblog

May 2003 - Posts

Excellent Work Scott
Great job on building the wonderful community here Scott. This will probably be my last post for a week or two. Tomorrow evening I'm getting married, and Sunday we leave for our long awaited cruise. I'm starting to get a bit nervous now...
Enter the Matrix Game
I finally beat Enter The Matrix (PC) as Niobe. I racked up just over 3.5 hours to beat the game as her.

I had beaten it with Ghost in just under 6 hours, but it was much easier once I knew my way around the maps.

The final level "The Rabbit Hole" was much easier with Ghost though. It's always easier to ride along as a gunner then it is to actually drive, and boy let me tell ya, those caves are tricky!

Oh well, that's my recreational time for the year.

[Listening to: Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds - 03-29-03 - Boone NC - CD3 - 7. Long Black Veil.wav - - (00:00)]
Speaking of Open Source...
When Christophe mentioned the C# projects at SourceForge, it reminded me of an old project of mine that I'd like to reincarnate.

If anyone wants to help out with a project that I started a while back, check out SharpEdit. It's a text editor with syntax hilighting & other goodies via the SharpDevelop text control.

Check out a screen shot & some info here.

I pretty much abandoned development, but would like to start it back up with the help of some more experienced programmers.

[Listening to: Metallica - St. Anger Radio Rip.mp3 - - (00:00)]
Web Matrix Rocks
Well Nikhil definately made my day with this.

I think Sam hit the nail on the head with this one: "I have no idea what the next version of VS.NET will look like in the ASP.NET realm, but these screen shots seem to indicate right now that Web Matrix might be a more useful ASP.NET tool."

[Listening to: Black Dog - Led Zeppelin - How the West Was Won (05:40)]
Aggregators & HttpHandlers

Today marks the seventh day I have been using SharpReader as my aggregator. I just have to say that this is one neat tool. I have grown quite partial to the interface over the last few days, and I will probably use it exclusivly until something better comes along.

Scott mentioned incremental RSS feeds and posted some code to evaluate which headers that aggregators are submitting. This reminds me of something that I find very lacking in VS.NET. Don't get me wrong; I love VS.NET and I think its a fantastic development tool, but how, oh how, could MS totally omit HttpHandler support from it? at least give my syntax hilighting & IntelliSense for .ashx files... Please!

Anyway, I don't suppose the folks in Redmond are mind readers (yet), so I finally shot off my little request to mswish@microsoft.com about this issue.

Who knows... Maybe Nikhil has another surprise in store for us in the next Web Matrix release.

Windows 2000 MCP Exams for Free?

Neowin.net is reporting that MS has refreshed the "Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" & "Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows 2000 Server" exams, and for a limited time (2 weeks or so) they are being offered for free with the following promo codes (respectivly): ICAMWP & ICAMWS.

Pretty cool stuff, especially considering that my work is one of the local Prometric testing centers offering the tests.  I just signed up for both back-to-back (the codes DO work), and will hopefully be a MCP in two weeks!

I've been trying to motivate myself to take these since I finished studying (but not taking) the MCSE track for NT4.0.  I guess free is a good enough reason for me!

UPDATE:  Please actually read this post.  This was a 2 week offer which expired in May of 2003.

MS Virtual Server

Speaking of Virtual PC,

From eWEEK:

Microsoft Corp. is giving customers a preview of the pre-beta code for its Virtual Server, which it acquired when it bought the virtual machine assets of Connectix Corp. in February.

Anyone interested in testing this out can head on over to Betaplace and sign in with one of these Guest ID's and you can download the Customer Preview (Build 219).  You don't even need to fill out the survey, unless of course you want the chance to be a tester...

'vspreview'
or
'vscp'

(No quotes)

Its definately cool.  Imagine a web interface for Virtual PC 5.  Thats what you get.

Exchange 2003 + ASP.NET = Read the instuctions first...

Today I though I would be slick & install Exchange Server 2003 beta on my main home box.  "This should be easy!" I told myself...

Well, to install Exchange the box needs to be in a domain (or be a domain controller itself). 

Duh!

Even I know that.  So I go through the great "Manage Your Server" wizard in Server 2003 and made my box a "First Server" which set up everything for me.  DNS, DHCP, Active Directory, it all went great. 

By now I'm really impressed with the usability of Server 2003.  I haven't set up a domain network since my NT4 days, and its simply amazing the progress that MS has made in the administration configuration...

So I get everything working, and realize that it's time for me to go to school.  Oh yeah.  Did I mention that I have my final project presentation & final exam in my C# class today?  I'm pumped.  I know the material and my final project is a killer one.  One of my favorite aspects of my project is a web service that scrapes weather.com & grabs all kinds of info based on a zipcode or a city name. I learned tons about Regex while making it, and I'm quite proud.

I show up in the lab a bit early to test my deployment package (my final project is actually a WinForm client app).  After a bit of quirkiness getting the 7.1 MFC bits onto the demo machine that I needed for my unmanaged C++ DLL I load up my client and test it out.

But I'm getting an error with my web services.  None of them work at all.

Isn't that odd?

So I connect to the .asmx file to see whats up.  An exception?  File not found?  What!?  I franticly remote into my machine (thank Heavens for TSWeb!) and dive into VS.NET.

But wait!  It's all still here but I can't debug...  Very odd.  By now I'm freaking out.  This is one of the key aspects of my project and it just broke.  I know I didn't change/break my code. I know ASPNET has write access to the proper temp directories.... I know I didn't change anything!

But wait. I did change something.  My upgrade earlier in the day was so quick & painless that I had almost forgotten it (I am always messing with something crazy on my box). 

By some twist of fate I do a couple googles for ASP.NET + Domain Controller:

Running ASP.NET on a Domain Controller

By default, the worker process for Microsoft® ASP.NET (Aspnet_wp.exe) runs under the local machine account to restrict access to domain resources and provide a more secure environment. This will cause an error if you try to run or debug an ASP.NET application on a domain controller or a backup domain controller. On a domain controller, all user accounts are domain accounts and not local machine accounts, so Aspnet_wp.exe fails because it cannot find a local account named "localmachinename\ASPNET".

Whadaya know. 

Needless to say I got the project working, and think I got a pretty good grade.  More importantly I learned a valuable lesson.  Again.

Documentation is very usefull, but only if it's used.

w.bloggar is pretty neat...
Well, after fussing with this thing for a while under Windows Server 2003 I finally got w.bloggar to work. I have to thank Sam and G. Andrew for pointing me in the right direction, and Bill Zeller for writing the Winamp3 plugin to get my "Now Playing" working.

I'm still not sure why this thing works fine now, but wouldn't work for me at all yesterday.... Oh well.

[Now playing: Two Step - Dave Matthews Band - Live At Red Rocks - Disk 1 (09:21)]
Free Windows Server 2003 Anti-Virus Solution

I stumbled across this link in the microsoft.public.windows.server.general newsgroup & I thought I would share it with the crowd. This will take you to Computer Associate's site to download a full-blown promotional copy of eTrust Anti-Virus 7.

I have just installed it but it seems like a pretty nice AV.  It also saves me a ton of cash that I would have to spend on a Corporate copy of Symantec or McAfee AV solution.

I'm not sure how long the giveaway valid for, but it seems related to all of the Server 2003 launches going on now.  You may want to grab it while you can.

Also this is not a 30 trial or a crippled edition, but seems to be the full blown product.  Very cool.

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