Phil Scott's WebLog

Quite exciting this computer magic

  • And We're Back!

    With help from Terri from Neudesic I've revived my blog. With the blogging new platform, ASP.NET vNext and my move leading to Phil Scott vNext this seems like as good as time as any to hot-link a new theme from Bootswatch and get publishing some more. It's been around for over 11 years now, and looking back on some of my old posts I'm cringing at what I wrote and kind of proud of the other stuff. Go 2013 Phil and your bad-self. 

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  • Booting Windows 7 and VS 2010 on SSD in 18 seconds

    I've been doing quite a bit of work with VS2010 recently as we've prepared for our launch of our free ASP.NET 4 hosting, and I had a fresh install of Windows 7 without the typical cruft that comes with our environment. So I wanted to show how quick booting off of a SSD is. There are two pieces of hardware EVERY developer must have - multiple monitors and a SSD. I've said it over and over again, I have never seen a single upgrade improve the performance of a PC more than my X-25M drive since I first saw what the Voodoo2 could do.

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  • Watch Out for Request.Browser.MajorVersion in ASP.NET 2.0

    I awoke to 1500 exceptions published to me this morning from our public site running ASP.NET 2.0.  Not good times.  "Luckily" they were all the same: Value cannot be null.  It seems one of the components that we are using is calling Request.Browser.MajorVersion and blowing up on goofy user-agents.  In this case the user-agent of doom is "YahooSeeker/1.2 (compatible; Mozilla 4.0; MSIE 5.5; yahooseeker at yahoo-inc dot com ; http://help.yahoo.com/help/us/shop/merchant/)".  For whatever reason ASP.NET 2.0 cannot parse the MajorVersion out of that and tries to call int.Parse on a null value, causing an error.

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  • Installing Ubuntu on Virtual PC 2004

    I decided to give Ubuntu a try in Virtual PC to see how this distro works.  So far, I'm pretty damn impressed.  But getting it up and running in a Virtual PC wasn't quite as obvious as I hoped it would be.  Here are the steps if anyone else wants to try out this distro.  I basically just went through a default install, and when the thing booted up it freaked out on the display.  This is actually quite common with Linux distros that I've tried in Virtual PC.  Keep in mind, I'm not even too terribly sure how to pronounce Linux, so I just kinda faked my way through the steps.  You might know a really cool way to do some of these steps, and that would be great if you let me know

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  • Accessing the Html Header in ASP.NET 2.0

    I feel a bit silly for not figuring this out quicker, so hopefully I can redem myself by posting this to help people out.  Taking a look at the Page class there is a Header property that looks tempting to be able to do something like dynamically add a stylesheet.  The problem is that when you type in Page.Header it doesn't appear that you have full control over the header, even though there is the ever so tempting System.Web.UI.HtmlControls.HtmlHead class.  What I had been doing is throwing an id and a runat="server" onto the head tag in my HTML, which I really didn't like because an id tag on the head tag isn't valid XHTML 1.1. 

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  • The Curious Incident of the App_Offline.htm in your ASP.NET 2.0 App

    I've gotten more than three issues sent to me recently regarding why an ASP.NET 2.0 app suddenly starts throwing up 404 errors, and each time there is a single culprit: app_offline.htm.  I'd point towards some documentation, but honestly I just can't find any out there, so hopefully this will help people figure out what is going on.  When ASP.NET 2.0 sees this file, it basically shuts down the process.  This is useful if you need to over write a MDB file for example.  

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  • Deploying the ASP.NET 2.0 Personal Site Starterkit

    I've seen quite a few questions regarding how to deploy the Personal Site Starter Kit to a hosting account, so I thought I'd write up some guidelines on how to do this.  These directions have really only been tested with the MaximumASP's free beta account, but they should work with any of the other providers assuming they give you some type of SQL Server as the backend.

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  • Premature Jubilation

    Oliver Sturm sent along a couple of links to his blog where he's taken a much deeper look than my "oooooooh, pretty!" reception to the new image library that is shipping with VS2005.  And after taking a deeper look at these images, I've come to the same conclusion:  ugh.

    Like Oliver said, if you want an app that looks good (or aren't creating VS2005), then you might want to venture over to glyFX or my favorite Glyfz.  It looks like Glyfz is even offering their alpha-blended PNG images for free when you buy the Office 2003 style image set.  That's a deal in a half.  Now all I need is an excuse to throw away our UI to get my boss to buy the set...

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  • New Graphics with VS 2005

    Holy crap, just found these things in my Visual Studio 8\Common7\VS2005ImageLibrary folder.  In there you will find a zip file with about 800 images to use in your apps.  Unfortunately these all look to be 16x15 in bitmap format and not png or gif for the web, but hey, it's a start.  This is something I've been complaining about for years.  Should be great for winform toolbars, but not so useful for the web.

    No new icons though.  It looks like giving applications the rocket ship icon will still trendy.

    Post Script:  As I finished typing this up, this movie popped up in my RSS reader as an introduction to the VS 2005 Image Library.  Sweet!

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