February 2004 - Posts

"Emergency" programming
Thursday, February 26, 2004 2:30 PM

Had a “situation” today where some developers (new to .Net) had coded a 2 tier application on our dev servers, moved it into our UAT (User Acceptance test) environment and it wouldn't work. This was a simple 3 page app that simply saved some info in a database but it was designed/created with only 2 tiers in mind, and the UAT and PROD environment are 3 tiers. The DEV servers are not really 3 tier due to hardware purchase restrictions so all their testing before UAT worked fine.

Today comes, the app goes onto UAT, and simply does not work and cannot find the SQL server (web server no direct access to the SQL server). The programmer was on a course and someone else was standing in (very little .Net experience) in case there were probs.

Well panic set in as the app would not work. They give me a call and off I go, cutting code as fast as possible to separate out this app into 3 tiers. To make matters worse, it was coded in the VB.NET, and I am a C# only kind of guy. I haven't coded like this for a very long time and it was actually quite invigorating. Fingers flying, code pumping, I felt like a machine (I was being plyed with copious amounts of coffee tho...). About 3 hours later, the app was separated out into 3 separate assemblies, remoting was put in place so that the front end would remote to the DAL layer on the app server, which would perform the update, and deployed into UAT. Was it elegant...no way, but it worked, and got the app into UAT for the business to start playing.

Funnily enough, the course the programmers were on is a .Net course and when they come back, we can start the education process about what should and shouldn't be done to prevent this situation.

Anyway, enough of the fast and furious, back to the placid world of sensible well designed systems....

Authorization and Profile App Block - webcast
Tuesday, February 10, 2004 8:28 AM

The latest kid on the Application block is the Authorization and Profile application block. I haven't had a chance to get to know it very well yet but in our corporate envionment, this might come in very handy.

In order to get to know it better, there is an MSDN webcast here on this app block which should bring you up to speed pretty quickly.

Date:  Thursday, February 12, 2004
Time:  11:00AM-12:30PM Pacific Time (GMT-8, US & Canada)

by Glav | with no comments
XBox Woes - the continuing saga....
Sunday, February 1, 2004 4:50 PM

I posted earlier about some XBox problems I was having, and had a bit of feedback, so I thought I would update you on whats happened so far.

I had some suggestions, from boiling some discs, to running a DVD type cleaner through it. The DVD cleaner seemed the less intrusive of the solutions so I went and bought a cleaner for $20. Its a CD-ROM with about 6 miniature little brushes on it. Track 1 is an instruction intro, tracks 2 - 4 are the actual cleaning tracks. It took my Xbox about 20 minutes of ejecting, re-inserting, turning the Xbox off and on, before the cleaning disc was recognised, but finally the tracks came up. I listened to the 1st track, run it through tracks 2-4 to clean it, then did the same another 2 times to make sure it really was cleaned.

Beauty I thought, this should hopefully make it better, at the worst I will now have a clean leaser reading head to read my discs. However, almost no disc is recognised at all now. I recently bought Hunter: The Reckoning - redeemer for Xmas, but this disc is not recognised either like the 13 other titles I have.

I can't begin to tell you the frsutration I was feeling and if it wasn't for my kids in the same room, I would have let loose with a series of vulgarities, and picked up the XBox and drop kicked it out the backyard.

So now I can either a) pay $180 o get the XBox repaired, b) pay $250? dollars for a new Xbox, or c) ditch the black brick I currently own, sell my existing game collection (or trade them in) and buy a PS2.

Which do I feel like doing? Well currently the PS2 is looking pretty good. I know very well how technologically advanced the XBox is compared to the PS2, but I also know for a fact the state of a PS2 disc can be pretty shoddy and it will still work. I still have some PS1 discs that look like they have been cleaned with sandpaper, yet the next door neighbours PS2 system (and my old PS1) reads them, seemingly without issue. I hate to ditch my entire collection and start again, but I fear that if I pay $180 to get it repaired, they will either (by luck), test out some brand new games on it and it may work, thus I get it returned with a completely non working collection of games and $180 down the tubes.

Not sure what I'll do yet, I'll calm down, sleep on it, and see. Logically I'll probably get it repaired, but I have yet to convince my wife about spending almost $200 on the Xbox. A lot of my friends have PS2's so maybe they'll convince me otherwise....(the thought of drop kicking it into the backyard is still very tempting though...)

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