Jason Nadal

Restless C#ding

June 2004 - Posts

Fighting With Hardware

Setting up a brand new machine, and I get hung up on the simplest part.

I can't get Windows Server 2003 to get an IP from my router, using DHCP. In fact, even directly plugging the machine into the cable modem, there's no IP address. 

Strange thing is if I bring the machine to work, and boot it up, it gets an IP just fine... wierd....

 

Update: the problem ended up being that the net card was set to auto-detect rather than Full-Duplex, and got choked up and chose Half-Duplex by mistake... wow...

NJ Dev Meet-Up Two: aka Geek Dinner
Sounds like a plan ... we got a pretty good response last time, and had a lot of fun...
Leave a comment on Scott's site if you're planning to attend...

I just got done chatting with Don. It's been quite a while since the last NJ Geek Dinner, so we would like to set another one up.

Date: July 7, 2004
Time: 6:30 PM
City:  New Brunswick
Location: Harvest Moon Brewery 

See you all there (and please leave a comment or drop me a line if you plan on attending)

Update: It looks like the Harvest Moon recently added wireless access from the bar.

[Via ScottWater]
MS Sql Server 2005 Express
Microsoft announces SQL Server 2005 Express Edition. It'll be great to have a low-cost lightweight SQL server, WITH it's own (slated for 8/04) "database manager and query analysis tool." I wonder just how the "click-once" technology in visual studio will be connected with this product (that feature's scheduled for Beta 3. It's great to see the next evolution of MSDE.
RE: Remembering passwords...
Sorin Dolha suggests in the comments to this post that rather than coming up with a unique password for each site, or having several remembered passwords, or resorting to the "whoops... I forgot my password" form on most websites that a methodology should be implemented instead. For example, if my methodology is the number of letters of the domain name, followed by the $ sign, followed by my first name, and some random year I like...say the year I first went online, then my password for amazon might be: "6$Jason$1990"; (or you could be more complex). Fun, easy, and annoying to hack. Great reasoning Sorin! This is another of those "Now why didn't I think of that first?" ideas...

It looks like the number of passwords that I have to remember grows linearly over time. Since I don't have the best mnemotechnic abilities I decided today that it is OK to just forget them. Then, I just tell the whatever-site-I-must-log-on that I've forgot my password and ask it to send it by email (or reset it) each time my cookie expires. Then I simply cut & paste the password from the received email and voila, everything seems to work fine. This also allows me to implement real cryptic passwords without any fear that I might forget them later.

P.S. Yes, I know that SMTP is not really a secure protocol... :-)

[Via Adi Oltean]
Free fonts!
Thanks for the link Paschal; good free fonts are available at DaFont [Via Paschal Leloup]
RE: Master-Page-Limitation in ASP.NET 2.0
How great is this? It would seem that dynamic master pages are in fact possible. I just wonder what this will do to page performance....

The concept of Masterpages introduced in ASP.NET “Whidbey” is really fascinating. But it seems to have one major limitation, which appears to make it quite unusable in bigger Web-Applications: There seems to be no functionality, which allows a developer to programmatically change the used Master-Page at runtime.

If you think so, you should read this article: http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/04/06/ASPNET20MasterPages/default.aspx

After reading this, you'll be able to change the MasterPage at runtime using the new PreInit-Event:

protected override void OnPreInit(EventArgs e)
{
  this.MasterPageFile = "OtherTemplate.master";
  base.OnPreInit(e);
}

Protected Overrides Sub OnPreInit(ByVal e As EventArgs)
   Me.MasterPageFile = "OtherTemplate.master"
   MyBase.OnPreInit(e)
End Sub

And after all, the concepts of MasterPages should work. :-)

Thanks to Scott Galloway (http://www.mostlylucid.co.uk) for his hint on this topic.

[Via K Samaschke & Scott Galloway]
RE: Credit Card Fraud
Things like this are all too common these days, and it seems that AOL is the usual first false charge. I wonder if this is really a matter of stealing card information, or rather if the card numbers are being randomly generated by a number generator or something? You would think there would be more protection for things like this, but social engineering is tough to protect against.

My wife was hit by credit card fraud last week - somehow, someone managed to get her credit card number and used it to make charges to

  • AOL - setting up an email account in my wife's name that even used our actual address, phone number etc.

After a call to the credit card company, my wife's card was quickly blocked and the illegal charges were refunded to us, but despite the fact that we did not lose any money, things like this do make you wonder how secure credit cards really are, especially when used on-line.

[Via Luke Hutteman]
Application Center Test, VS, and robots.txt
VS and ACT

While attempting to write some stress testing using Application Center Test (that name just seems backwards to me), and stress testing a site with Robots.txt denying access to our authenticated folders for those search engine bots, I came across some interesting issues:

1) Lack of recorded SSL support (hence the (C)2001 on the about page -- this product is clearly dated).
2) If it sees robots.txt, even if that file allows the "Stress-Agent" user agent it claims to look for, it won't run the test
3) Visual studio integration doesn't allow you to change the option to ignore robots.txt
4) Lack of recorded SSL support (this really does annoy me! -- especially MS' workaround which I may post on separately)

1/4 I may tackle in a separate post; as for 2/3, by editing the non-included "properties.xml" in your Application Center Test project in visual studio, you can turn off cookies with the following section of xml at the top of the file:

<DefaultValues >
<Project >
<ProxyEnable type="bool" value="false"/>
<ProxyName type="string" value=""/>
<ProxyPort type="long" value="80"/>
<KeepOneRecycledFile type="bool" value="false"/>
<RecycleSize type="long" value="20"/>
<LogPath type="string" value="(automatic)"/>
<LogEnable type="bool" value="true"/>
<CheckRobots type="bool" value="false"/>
<UseAbortiveTcpClose type="bool" value="true"/>
<SocketTimeout type="long" value="120"/>
</Project>
...
(the file continues on)...
Save and you're good to go...just right click your test, and the output window in visual studio should tell you the test is running.

Longhorn Hang Reporting

When windows crash under WinHEC Longhorn -- and believe me, they will -- you may try to end the task under task manager to get control of your machine again.  A new window pops up, similar to the Error Reporting from XP, this one's called "Windows Hang Reporting", aka dwhang.exe. 

Any information I can give to prevent my windows from choking in the future is well worth the effort -- be sure to submit issues as you come across them!

Posted: Jun 14 2004, 09:15 PM by thejay2 | with no comments
Filed under:
.NET Free TV Listings

Gotta Love it... I had purchased Pocket TV Listings, by ThumbsUpSoft, and really couldn't be happier with it.  The app is easy to use, the listings are good, and the interesting thing is that it looks like it's free now (must've been my emails every few months that I forgot my product key -- sorry!).

Now the .NET part... the listings now come from a web service client from Zap2It Labs -- some wierd part of Tribune Media (see newspapers, some television & radio, based out of NY; I got to rip apart one of their radio station studios, but that's another story for another day!)

Upon investigation on their site, there's a .NET class ready made to read the TV listings.... very cool stuff.  Now I just have to figure out what I'm going to do with this bit o' code :)

Update: you have to login w/ a free account to view the forum, but trust me, it's worth it!

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