Martin Spedding's Blog

Adventures in a disconnected world

February 2003 - Posts

The danger of not keeping your domain information up to date

I had an interesting experience over the weekend. Since 1998 I have owned my own domain and use the web site mainly for development purposes as well as for my email. Naturally, I have already had to renewed my domain once. Well the problem is that when I registered the domain I was living in a different apartment and I had a different email address. Stupidly I had forgotten to update the domain owner information at Network Solutions which meant that I never received any email or snail mail to indicate that my domain registration was about to expire.

I only realised something was wrong when I tried to access my web site and I got back the message from the browser that it could not find the web site. Of course as I use the domain as my private email address it meant that I could receive mail and any one who sent me mail received a message back saying that the domain did not exist. Luckly I have a back email account with yahoo.

I quickly realised the problem and went to the network solutions /verisign web site in order to renew the account. Guess what response I got when I selected the link to renew a domain :" Sorry the site is being redesigned and is not available due to maintainence". Wonderful, no email, no web site and no way of renewing the account !!!

Luckly the network solutions site was available later in the day, I renewed the account and 24 hours later everything is working perfectly.

Experience gained from writing an ASP.NET application

I have just amazed my boss by producing a small ASP.NET application in just over a day. Naturally, whilst developing the application I learnt some good lessons which I think are worth sharing. 

The application displays information on the status of helpdesk calls. One of the services we provide is  an outsourced helpdesk to a number of companies. The user of the application  should only be able to view the reports they are permitted to see. This  means that the user must be first authenticated and then a check must be made to see which information they are authorized to view. In addition it was important that the user could filter and sort the data displayed. There was also a requirement for the some statistics to be displayed in a dynamically generated bar chart. In addition all the data is stored in a SQL Server database.

I decided that the first thing to do was to see what code samples  I could find on the web. For security I found this excellent article on MSDN http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/dnnetsec/html/SecNetHT03.asp

When writing the sorting, paging and filtering code I found this article very useful :http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnnews/2001/sept/Sorting/Sorting.asp

In terms of drawing the bar chart I found this article helped a lot :http://www.fawcette.com/vsm/2001_12/online/online_eprods/jgoodyear/default_pf.asp

In addition excellent resources like http://www.codeproject.com and CODE magazine http://www.code-magazine.com/ allowed me to create a visually appealing application very quickly. Of course I should not forget the Microsoft developers who built ASP.NET and the .Net Framework.

In my next post I will describe some of the lessons I learnt and give some tips.

A new start

It is always a strange experience when you start something new.After being a reader of many web logs I decided that it was about time that I started writing one. First of all, thanks to Scott for providing me with my new soapbox. He really has done a great job of putting together an ASP.NET web logging solution.

I suppose I should start by introducing myself. My name is Martin Spedding, I am English but I have lived for the last 14 years in Basel, Switzerland. I have been working in the IT industry as a developer, consultant and manager for the last 18 years, so I can still remember paper tape and computer memory being measured in Kb rather than Mb. It also means I been through the mainframe to minicomputer to personal computer revolutions as well as both ups and the downs in the industry

have developed in Java and with the Visual Development tools from Microsoft,. This included many enjoyable years of Visual Basic development. It was great fun for me to show people how much you could achieve with a tool that was often derided as being a “toy language”. So when it came to development with the .Net framework I was clearly faced with a choice: should I learn VB.NET or C#. As my last project had been in Java it really was a simple choice C#. Though I had really enjoyed coding in VB it just did not make much sense to me to develop in VB.NET as it tries to be C# but with twice the amount of typing. I was at the Orlando PDC in 2000 where Microsoft announced .Net and I remember having a heated discussion with the VB.NET team saying that in many ways they had killed classic VB and that VB.NET was certainly not VB 7. Sadly looking at all the traffic I see on the Internet it looks like many other people have noticed the problems I saw with VB.NET.

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