Archives / 2003 / March
  • TaskVision and integrated db security...

    We had to re-install TaskVision today. It had been living on an R & D machine that recently bit the dust. Since it was being used quite a bit when it went down, we decided to place the db on our production db server and the web services on a .NET server so that we would have max uptime, automatic backup, etc. Didn't think it would be a probem until I tried to log it. No dice, just threw back some vague error message about contacting the network admin. However, I could login to the webservice via a web browser. Weird. Anyway, it turns out that since we didn't use integrated security like the default connection string, the db password wasn't passed beyond the first request. I don't know how long it would have taken me to figure that out had it not been for the Windows Forms Forums.

    Is it just me or does it seem like there is much stronger feeling of community and a greater amount help from the community than with ASP 3.0? Whatever it is, it sure is great. 


  • Path.Combine

    I often see people using string concatenation to create directory names. Like this:

    string path = "C:\\data\\" + filename; < /EM >

    But there's a much better API:

    string path = System.IO.Path.Combine("C:\\data", filename);< /EM >

    Not only does this take care of the whole, "Do I need a trailing slash?" issue, but if you specify an absolute path for the second parameter, it will just return the second parameter. That means that someone can enter "foo" or "C:\\temp\\foo" for filename, and it'll do what you'd expect.


    This is a great little tid-bit... you gotta love this framework.. i have been working with it since beta one and I still learn something new everyday.


  • Wasted Hours

    I'm spending some time today -- and tomorrow -- writing my own calendar control for ASP.NET. Why? Because the one Microsoft ships absolutely, positively cannot render itself without polluting everything with inline styles. That's just lazy and inconsiderate. They make these decent (not great, mind you, but functional) style containers and CssClass properties, and then they say "oh, well, we were just kidding, here take some silver background".


    [The .NET Guy]

    This has frustrated me to no end as well, although I haven't yet taken the time to roll my own solution. Any chance you might have the code/assembly available for download when completed?


  • H to the izza, L to the izzo

    Halo is rapidly becoming a tradition at MS.  All over the company XBOX's are being setup with the sole purpose of playing halo.  Many teams have their rig subsidized by their morale budget.  We on the Windows Forms team wanted a more exclusive experience, so we started an XBOX membership program.  Its like a country club, except without the golfing.

    Team High Life  also has a standing halo tradition.  We've convened on just about every Wednesday night in building 50 since the magic evening of 11/15/01.  Playing with the Windows Forms team, on a single box is a blast, but there is nothing quite like 4 box, 16 way action.  Ask ChrisAn, he shows up from time to time.

    [Mike Harsh's Blog]

    This sounds awesome.. to bad my current company won't let us Quake much less buy us an XBox.. I will have to ask about this in any job interviews I have down the road.. ;-)


  • Olymars

    We've all had to write the same repetitive code over and over again such as the following in order to connect to a db.

    • Write SQL code and create at least 4 stored procedures per table in the database (Insert, Update, Delete and Select SQL statement)
    • Write SQL code and create custom stored procedures that will reflect the complexity of their database diagram (Example: write a SQL statement that can update several tables in one call, write SQL statement that can bring back data from several tables using inner join statement…)
    • Write ADO.Net code (using VB .NET, C# .NET or whatever language supported by the .NET platform) that is responsible for calling those stored procedures. Developers have to take special care with the parameters type to be declared as long as the parameters direction (input, output…)
    • Write abstract classes that map exactly to their database tables for easy data retrieving
    • Write Windows or/and Web forms that can manage (Add, Update, Delete) their database tables content

    Well supposedly the tool Olymars does this all for us.  Very, very interesting.

    So far after an intial appraisal it looks very cool.

    [Sean 'Early' Campbell & Scott 'Adopter' Swigart's Radio Weblog]

    I really need to set aside some time and play with this.. I have been putting it off for too long..


  • SIMP

    James writes:

    If you have not already found MSN Messenger Plus! then check it out. It adds alot of very cool features to MSN Messenger including the ability to automatically log the chats which comes in very handy since we use messenger all the time at work when talking about projects.

    If you haven't already, I would highly second Robert's suggestion of checking out Trillian.

    I started using it mostly because it let me use one application to connect to all of the major IM networks - but there's a ton of good features in there as well. 

    The logging is quite nice actually - when someone messages you, it shows the message history right there in the window. I always forget what I've talked about with who - so it definitely helps me not to repeat myself! And maybe this is available in other IM clients, but I find another nice feature is the ability to associate notes with a buddy. Again, I always forget who someone is, especially when it's some obscure handle they use.   

    [Loosely Coupled]

    I just wanted to add my two cents on messenger additions... SIMP is a sweet little app that encrypts your msn messenger conversations (provided the other end also has SIMP installed).. i have been using it for about six months and it is working great...


  • More samples..

    Looks like Microsoft is starting to roll out some samples that help with common pain points when developing apps for the Pocket PC.

    Guid generator (That's right, no Guid.NewGuid() on .NET CF)
    Notify Icon

    Hopefully, more will follow?

    [Sean 'Early' Campbell & Scott 'Adopter' Swigart's Radio Weblog]

    Sweet.. more samples, this time of the Compact Framework variety... i am still holding out for the TaskVision compact framework code... Thanks guys, and please keep 'em comin...


  • FTP Upstreamer project

    I want to gauge interest in a new project. How many of you out there (and I know there are something like 7 of you :) would actually use a utility that did the following:

    • Had a list of local directories and FTP servers/paths
    • Monitored those dirs (timer or file change notifications) for changes.
    • Upstream new files (based on file times) to the FTP server. This wouldn't be a full sync but would rather be a copy. It would never delete anything from the server.
    • Has a tray icon to let you know what is going on.

    BTW, this is a feature stolen almost verbatim from Radio. I think that it would be useful to break it out into its own utility.

    The real reason I would want this is that frickin' VS.Net doesn't have a way to deply an ASP.Net application to an FTP server. You can copy it or use FP extentions, but you can't FTP that guy up there.

    I would include source and an installer for this guy.

    If you are interested, email me at eightypercent at and I'll think about putting something together.[ Joe Beda's EightyPercent.Net ]

    Count me in.. I have been wishing for a utility with this feature set for a couple of months...


  • Sql Slammer Virus...

    We got hit with the SQL Slammer bug today... All the developers have had our test boxes patched since it hit the first time, but we forgot the demo versions of our sw that were running on the marketing/sales guy's laptop... took the whole network down for about three and a half hours.. what a pain...


  • Wish me luck..

    I am going to be out of town for the rest of the week because I have an interview with Kelly IT Resources in Kansas City to do some contract work (ASP.NET and C#) for them. If you have any information about the company you would like to share, please feel free to lemme know.


  • Crash Different

    Absolutely hysterical!

    Best Switch Parody Yet
    Posted in Geek Stuff at 10:45 PM Eastern 

    For those who haven't seen it yet, this is without a doubt the funniest Apple Mac Switcher Parody yet.

    from Derek's Rantings and Musings



    WOW! This is some really funny stuff...


  • Cool hack from CraigBlog

    I've been struggling with running as a non-admin ever since I took the plunge. I, quite frankly, hate it. Lots of little things don't work right, and it's a pain to have to figure out what's wrong just because someone decided to write to the HKLM in the registry or drop data in program files. Well today I figured out something that will save me a lot of pain. Running a command prompt as admin lets me do some stuff, but I've found that installs in particular tend to take a real login to work properly. Switching back and forth was getting old.

    I'm running RC2 of Windows Server 2003. Well, I realized that I've got Terminal Services at my disposal - so I can actually log in twice! Just open up a remote connection to an administrative desktop and park it. I changed the colors on the admin desktop to give me a visual cue as to where I'm at. I still run most things in the regular user desktop, but when I need to elevate myself to admin, all I have to do to get there is ALT-TAB. 


    Now this is a really sweet idea.