April 2004 - Posts

Call me Uncle Matt
30 April 04 11:22 AM | mhawley | 1 comment(s)

As I write this I think of Moby Dick, "Call me Ishmael"...

Yup, its a new beginning for my newphew. My sister just delivered a healthy 4lb 6oz baby boy at 10:43 AM.

The frightening thoughts - I'm an uncle, and my dad's a grandpa - EEK!

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MCSD Gods are against me
30 April 04 08:58 AM | mhawley | 3 comment(s)

Err, well another phone call the Thursday before my week of training confirms that it too, was cancelled. Maybe its a sign saying you should be a developer and only a developer - I really don't know why I want the MCSD other than the fact that it would be good to have. I mean, its not like I'm going to get a pay raise, or have my role changed at work. Maybe I'll just stick it on the back burner for now and ride on my MCAD at work (which btw has gotten me no where, gotta love companies who do that).

Okay, enough ranting for now, on to more important things...like reading blogs, and listening to the latest videos on Channel9, and seeing if there's any new stories on the Onion...did I say important?

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Registering for TechEd
27 April 04 11:08 AM | mhawley | with no comments

I think Microsoft is trying to get me to go to TechEd. This is the second time I've seen this (BTW - the image is not doctored):

Duplicated TechEd


This was taken from MSDN on the right hand side of the page. Maybe some logic should be put in so the same image won't show up?

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Erik Porter Saves Time
26 April 04 04:06 PM | mhawley | 3 comment(s)

Sounds like a nice headline for a newspaper, huh. I thought so too. Anyway, to the point of this post, I was struggling with formatting a Guid to the "registry" way of viewing it, you know - 32 digits separated by hyphens with curly brackets around it.

1st attempt - Code: String.Format("{{0}}", myguid)
1st attempt - Result: "{0}" <-- Which is very weird indeed, maybe a bug?

And then whammo! It dawned on me. I had just recently seen this post by Erik Porter...but I really didn't remember the meat of what Guid.ToString("N") meant (I hadn't pulled the post up yet).

2nd attempt - Code: myguid.ToString("N")
2nd attempt - Result: 23452345234235235242 (I know this isn't 32 digits)

Err - so that wasn't quite what I expected, but then again, I really wasn't sure what that "N" did. Ohh, so why not just open up the SDK docs, Microsoft had to have put something in there for the format I wanted. Ahh, sure enough, theres a "B" that gets what I want.

3rd attempt - Code myguid.ToString("B")
3rd attempt - Result: {2315123-2314-....}

Wahoo, Success! Man am I glad Erik saw & blogged about this the other week. Time saved, about 15 - 20 minutes wondering why the heck I'm getting {0} for the format of {{0}}. Thanks Erik!

PS - Whoever said blogs weren't a good source of information.

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dBase Column Names
22 April 04 02:15 PM | mhawley | with no comments

So for the past 2 days I've banging my head against anything replacable - wall, keyboard, desk - you get the idea...but WHY? Well I was trying to use ODBC to insert rows into a dBase file, and it was giving me an error: "Invalid syntax in Insert Statement". Just for reference, here's an example of my insert:

insert into DbfTable (DATE, COL2, COL3) values ('1/1/2004', '1', 'ERR')

So - whats wrong with this, nothing to me, my database developer, and a few other fresh eyes? Well...wait, "DATE"...could that be a reserved word? I think it is. By simply putting square brackets around that column name, magically things started to work. Go figure, right. So - just as a FYI if anyone else is having this problem, make sure that you double check reserved words as well.

Another NNTP -> Outlook Reader
22 April 04 11:14 AM | mhawley | 2 comment(s)
Just ran across NewsLook which is a NNTP reader for Outlook. Seems pretty promising, but I don't see why you would need it if you have NewsGator and my free NNTP Posting Plugin. NewsLook is currently in beta, and will cost roughly $40 USD when released.
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Job Shadowing is Fun
22 April 04 11:03 AM | mhawley | with no comments

I just had a student from a local high school job shadow me for about an hour or so. Overall, I think I left him with a very good impression on what development work is really like - well, in the sense that I spend some of my mornings doing bug fixes. I was able to show him how to diagnose & fix 2 different applications, 1 of which was alerted to me while we were working on the first application. However, I feel like I might have lost him at parts, because he hasn't done much programming himself, and has only really used BASIC (eek!) and HTML (ahhhh). I did ask him if he was lost at any point, and he said that for the most part he understood what I was doing. I guess thats a good thing, since he wants to become a game developer himself.

Job shadowing is fun, really it is. Well, if you're the person being shadowed that is. I remember when I did job shadowing in high school...I was so lost and my head was filled with so much information that I was just spent after those days. Plus, I never really did any programming job shadowing - so I really didn't get full exposure to what I would be dealing with daily, but I can say I was not dissapointed.

Have you done job shadowing/been shadowed? What were your experiences like?

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Free nTierGen
22 April 04 08:28 AM | mhawley | with no comments

Well, I think I should join the crowd and say I just received my free nTierGen license from Gavin.

The tool looks very well put together, however within 5-10 minutes of playing with it, I've already submitted 2 bugs. I doubt that will continue for the rest of my testing, but I do like how he integrates creating a remoting layer - very sweet.

However, sometimes I don't want to use tables as datasources or have it create stored procedures because they're commonly created by a guy at work for us, and they generally need to be a bit more complex than the simple insert, update, and delete procs. Maybe a nice addition would be to select created stored procedures as well and then create DAL/BLL layer objects off of that? I guess I'll post that to the forum as well.

Anyway, if you have a blog on weblogs.asp.net, you too can get a free version just by shooting Gavin an email with your blog address. Simple, easy, and FREE!

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Packing dBase Files in .NET
21 April 04 02:48 PM | mhawley | with no comments

Finally, a way to pack dBase files in .NET. Something we've been looking how to do for a LONG time at work.

Really, its just a query that you call on the dBase file, and you need the Fox Pro driver, but alas - they say it works.

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What are Agg Views
20 April 04 03:18 PM | mhawley | 3 comment(s)

So heres an interesting question - I've been using this weblog for quite some time now, and I just realized that I don't really know what "Agg Views" are. Now - before you go off your high horse, I know that they refer to RSS subscriptions in Aggregators (I'm not a moron), but my real question is, how is this stat collected? Is it based on RSS subscriptions to only my feed, or does that include the main feed subscribers as well? Anyone care to enlighten me?

Update: Scott and James expalined it very well. Thanks guys!

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