Mark Smith

ASP.NET, SQL Server, HTML, CSS and other random thoughts!
MSDN Ultimate Subscription Giveaway

If anyone is interested, we are giving away a free subscription to MSDN Ultimate (which has kindly been provided by SQL Server MVP Denis Gobo and has a list price of $11,899!).


All you have to do is leave a comment in the following blog post with 3 short answers on why you deserve it and what you will do with it:

and also make a post in the following forum thread so that we can contact you:


Thanks and good luck, we look forward to seeing you all there!

Get Free Typemock licenses – ASP.NET bundle launch

 Unit Testing ASP.NET? ASP.NET unit testing has never been this easy.

Typemock is launching a new product for ASP.NET developers – the ASP.NET Bundle - and for the launch will be giving out FREE licenses to bloggers and their readers.

The ASP.NET Bundle is the ultimate ASP.NET unit testing solution, and offers both Typemock Isolator, a unit test tool and Ivonna, the Isolator add-on for ASP.NET unit testing, for a bargain price.

Typemock Isolator is a leading .NET unit testing tool (C# and VB.NET) for many ‘hard to test’ technologies such as SharePoint, ASP.NET, MVC, WCF, WPF, Silverlight and more. Note that for unit testing Silverlight there is an open source Isolator add-on called SilverUnit.

The first 60 bloggers who will blog this text in their blog and tell us about it, will get a Free Isolator ASP.NET Bundle license (Typemock Isolator + Ivonna). If you post this in an ASP.NET dedicated blog, you'll get a license automatically (even if more than 60 submit) during the first week of this announcement.

Also 8 bloggers will get an additional 2 licenses (each) to give away to their readers / friends.

Go ahead, click the following link for more information on how to get your free license.

Posted: May 18 2009, 10:25 PM by ca8msm | with no comments
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Windows 7 Public Beta - Download Link

I've heard a few people saying they couldn't find the link to the public Windows 7 Beta link, so if you are one of these people, please visit the following page:

ASP.NET "Hacks" Series at LessThanDot

At LessThanDot, we've decided to release a series of articles, tips and tricks which will be known as the "Hacks" series. The first installment was the popular SQL Server Programming Hacks and this week sees the release of the ASP.NET Hacks. These hacks have been split up into the following categories:

    1 Applications
    2 Caching
    3 Controls
    4 Database
    5 Dates
    6 Debugging
    7 Email
    8 Encryption
    9 Files
    10 Images
    11 Javascript
    12 Objects and Classes
    13 Pages
    14 Sessions
    15 Strings
    16 Validation
    17 Visual Studio
    18 Web

We've decided to release these in the wiki so that anyone can contribute to them, so feel free to add anything else that you find useful.

LessThanDot ASP.NET Hacks:

SQL Server MVP - Denis Gobo

I just wanted to say a big congratulations to a friend of mine, Denis Gobo, on becoming a SQL Server MVP.  Denis has taught me many things over the last few years with regards to SQL Server and he continues to be a fountain of knowledge on the subject. If you don't already know Denis, I'd highly recommend subscribing to his blog and check out some of his posts and blog entries at LessThanDot.

Congratulations Denis!

Posted: Jul 01 2008, 10:13 PM by ca8msm | with 4 comment(s)
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Puzzle - Regular Pentagon

First of all, thank you to everyone who took part in the Friday The Thirteenths puzzle at LessThanDot. We had some great entries from all types of different languages such as .NET, SQL Server, VB6, VBA, ASP, VBScript, Javascript, Java, Perl, Ruby and Python! It was a great response from everyone and it was a very nice introduction to our first weekly puzzle so once again thank you to all contributors.

This week, the puzzle is entitled "Regular Pentagon" and the rules are:

Given a grid co-ordinate (x,y) as the centre point of a regular pentagon, and the sum of the length of the sides, return the co-ordinates of each point as: "Top", "MidLeft", "MidRight", "BottomLeft", "BottomRight" and the distance from the centre to each of the points.

This should work for any possible position of the centre point, and any length of the sides.

  • All Sides are equal length in a Regular Pentagon
  • x = horizontal scale, y=vertical
  • scale increments can be anything you wish.. mm, cm, inches, feet, etc (doesn't matter) - though only whole units can be used

For added points, make it work for any regular polygon (and even further added points for calculating the area)

Again, any programming language is acceptable and we are looking for interesting methods that you can come up with to solve the puzzle. Remember, it's just a bit of fun and we'd like to think it will enjoyable for you to come up with a great way to solve it!


Posted: Jun 16 2008, 06:14 PM by ca8msm | with 2 comment(s)
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Friday the Thirteenths

We've decided to do a recurring feature at LessThanDot and have a "Programmer Puzzles" section with interesting puzzles published. This week the challenge has been set to "identify all friday the thirteenths for a given timeframe". You can use any programming language you like, just please let people know which one you have decided to use!

LessThanDot - Friday the Thirteenths

Posted: Jun 09 2008, 03:11 PM by ca8msm | with no comments
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Microsoft Project - Velocity

Microsoft have announce details of project "Velocity", a distributed caching mechanism for .NET. The Velocity team describe it as:

"Velocity is intended to provide distributed caching (in memory) for all .NET applications – from enterprise scale to web-scale. We believe that there are many applications that need a distributed caching mechanism, and that there is, therefore, a need for distributed caching as a core part of the .NET platform. We expect to have more integrated support for this functionality with other parts of the .NET platform in our upcoming releases."

Velocity download details

Posted: Jun 06 2008, 09:18 AM by ca8msm | with 2 comment(s)
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SQL Server Programming Hacks

Denis Gobo has just gathered a great selection of what he calls "a collection of frequently asked questions" and posted them in a new collection called  SQL Server Programming Hacks. These include hacks from various categories such as:

* 2 Dates
* 3 Sorting, Limiting Ranking, Transposing and Pivoting
* 4 Handy tricks
* 5 Pitfalls
* 6 Query Optimization
* 7 Undocumented but handy
* 8 Useful Admin stuff For The Developer
Check out the full list here:




LessThanDot goes live!

This morning saw the official launch of LessThanDot, a new IT Community.

For more info on the site, please read my previous blog post on LessThanDot or come and visit us directly at LessThanDot.


The IT Community of the 21st Century:

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