Robert Robbins

A blog about using ASP.NET for web applications and my work experiences

  • Generate Test Data

    Entering test data can be a tedious chore. Recently I found a web site that makes it easier to populate your database tables with realistic data, This is a very useful online utility. It really saves me a lot of time because I often waste an incredible amount of time just deciding on a name for a fictitious user. I also waste time looking for real addresses, phone numbers, etc. 

  • ASP.NET For Punchcard Programming

    Recently I've been studying RPG II for the Infinite 36, an old IBM programming language that was designed for 80 column punchcards. RPG II is probably the most horrible programming language that man has ever devised. Sometimes your code is a single character which has to be in an exact column. There is also a fixed logic that you have to work around. But it is the matter of getting a character in the right column that gives me a pain. The Infinite 36 is an old emulator of the IBM System 36 for the PC. It has some green screen RPG editors but I prefer to use UltraEdit.

  • ASP.NET And Legacy MS-DOS Applications

    I'm currently studying FoxPro 2.6. For MS-DOS. Yes, the company I am working for is still using applications written for FoxPro 2.6! I have to run this old MS-DOS database system in Virtual PC. So the last programming book I've read was Charles Siegel's Mastering FoxPro 2 written in 1991. The applications are completely undocumented (grrrr!) so my first step was to create a data dictionary (aka database schema). In FoxPro this can be done through the command DISPLAY STRUCTURE.

  • Firefox Extension Development

    I've been working on my job skills to remain employable. A lot of people are losing their jobs and then getting depressed because they have nothing to do except look for a job. They should be spending their time more constructively. I don't have much to do at work so yesterday I worked through a tutorial on Firefox Extension Development. I use Firefox all day at work and home because its extensions are useful for web development. It will be cool to create my own custom extensions. Today I experimented with the localization aspect of a Firefox extension. There are several things that were left out of the tutorial.

  • World Wide Web - Internationalization

    I’m going to Paris France for my vacation this year! I’m very excited about it because I’ve always been a bit of a Francophile. Unfortunately, I don’t speak French so, being a IT professional, I’ve sought a technological solution for the language barrier. I’m not sure that I’ll need to speak any French because I’m going on a guided tour which should reduce my interaction with the locals.

  • Book Review - ASP.NET 3.5 Social Networking

    I recently finished reading the book ASP.NET 3.5 Social Networking by Andrew Siemer. I was very interested in this book because I want to build a social networking site designed for vloggers and ASP.NET is my area of expertise. Currently I'm working to customize the Elgg social networking web application using PHP because it is open source and has an active developer community.

  • Page Lifecycle Sample Code

    Yesterday I attempted to create an ASP.NET page which used every single page event in order to better understand how to use each event. You cannot find any sample code for many page events. I managed to write code for every event except Page_AbortTransaction, Page_CommitTransaction, Page_DataBinding, and Page_Disposed which aren't being fired for this page. I tried to use meaningful examples but some of the code may be pointless. Let me know if you see any mistakes or have suggestions for improvements because this has gone into my notes.