Archives / 2005
  • Tesco's UK - only 3,000 XBOX 360's at launch....!!!

    Just been told by a member of staff of Tesco, here in the UK that there's only around 3,000 XBOX 360's in Britain. I'm definitely guessing he meant 3,000 XBOX 360's at launch with Tesco's, which seems like an incredibly small amount for such a big superstore.

    I phoned a big Tesco Extra's store in Swansea, Wales. They only had 11 XBOX 360's in! And people had been waiting for them from 6'o clock...

    Surely MS must be putting some pressure on the production of these units! Get on with it! If you want to win the battle with Sony's PS3, better increase production! Sounds like the demand is enormous...despite the rumours of crashes and BSOD's etc.

  • Why don't we see any patches for Visual Studio .NET? (2002, 2003, 2005...)

    Frans has mentioned this on numerous occasions I believe, and this topic has reared its ugly head once again. Dan Fernandez' post back in March 2004, doesn't really address the reasoning behind it.

    Personally, I really don't see the difficulty for Microsoft in releasing publicly available patches or hotfixes for VS.NET. It happens for the .NET framework, all OS'es and Office products, why not for VS.NET?

    At the lowest level, it's only shuffling around a few bits and bytes for the affected binary files. Even with the different VS.NET product versions, they could release a patch for each version if needs be.

    Anyone care to comment on the reasoning behind this?

  • The pollution on the main feed...

    When I go through the main feed here on, the last thing I'm looking for is:

    - Posts in any other language but English. I'm saying that as a Dutch native speaker.
    - Simply regurgitated posts from (wait for it...)!!! Sometimes it even is regurgitation upon regurgitation...
    - How many virtual bucks your blog is worth.
    - Politics or completely unrelated things like non-technical news items. If I want to read the news, I'll check out the BBC, CNN, MSNBC and other sources, thanks.

    What am I looking for? Well:

    - Posts with technical content, related to Microsoft or competitive technologies.
    - Techical news items, gadgets, technologies, architecture, tools; as long as it hasn't been posted or linked to before on
    - Links to blog posts outside of which contain content similar to the above.

    I may have missed out some, please let me know your thoughts. If we all stuck to it (even only 80% of the time), the mainfeed would be much, much cleaner.

    I guess having global categories when posting, and the ability to exclude global categories on the mainfeed and for the RSS feeds (personalized setting) would help. Anyone know whether this exists in CS 2.0?


    I've launched the very first stage of my Photography Critiques community website,

    People that are interested can reserve their spot in the initial beta program, which is limited to 1,000 beta users.

    If you're interested in photography, please have a look.


  • Possible Bug : HttpPost and class name conflicts

    A colleague and friend of mine run into some very odd web service behaviour on ASP.NET 1.1. Anyone who can shed some light on this, please leave a comment. I have pasted his exact text describing the problem below.

    Included below is a minimal web-service implementation to recreate a problem
    I've encountered in a web service that has methods returning classes with the
    same local name (but in different namespaces).

    If only the SoapHttp protocol is enabled in the web.config, everything works
    as expected - with the different "Something" classes being serialized in to
    different XML namespaces as defined by the ResponseNamespace property of the
    SoapDocumentMethod attributes.

    However - if HttpPost or HttpPostLocalhost are enabled (the latter being
    enabled by default), and I browse to the asmx file in IE, I get this error :

    Types NsProblem.B.Something and NsProblem.A.Something both use the XML type
    name, Something, from namespace http://example/NsProblem/. Use XML attributes
    to specify a unique XML name and/or namespace for the type.

    If I un-comment both of the "XmlRoot" elements I get this error

    The XML element named 'Something' from namespace 'http://example/NsProblem/'
    references distinct types NsProblem.A.Something and NsProblem.B.Something.
    Use XML attributes to specify another XML name or namespace for the element
    or types.

    Now for the really strange bit : leave one XmlRoot attribute commented, and
    the other not, and it works!

    When it is working, the example responses (on whatever.asmx?op=GetArrayA)
    don't appear to tbe any difference!

    (aside: I also tried setting the responses to be different using Xml
    Serialization attributes, i.e. putting [return: XmlElement(... )] on the
    methods, but like the SoapDocumentMethod attribute this only seemed to change
    the response for the Soap method - making no difference to the HTTP POST

    Various workarounds are available
     - disable (remove) "HttpPost" and "HttpPostLocalhost" in web.config
     - Rename the classes (making the namespaces redundant)
    but I would prefer to be able to keep the class names as they are, and keep
    the HttpPostLocalhost enabled for testing / debugging purposes - and I
    anticipate needing to support 3 or more classes with the same local-name
    across different namespaces.

    ---- Minimal test case ----

    <%@ WebService Language="c#" Class="NsProblem.XmlTestSvc" %>
    using System;
    using System.Web.Services;
    using System.Web.Services.Protocols;
    using System.Xml.Serialization;

    namespace NsProblem.A
    //    [XmlRoot(Namespace="AAAA")]
        public class Something { }

    namespace NsProblem.B
    //    [XmlRoot(Namespace="BBBB")]
        public class Something { }

    namespace NsProblem
        [WebService(Description="Conflicting name problem example",
        public class XmlTestSvc : System.Web.Services.WebService
            public NsProblem.A.Something[] GetArrayA() { return null; }
            public NsProblem.B.Something[] GetArrayB() { return null; }

  • MSN Search textbox: make the thing wider!

    How annoying is that little MSN search input textbox. Especially if you specify a literal string query which contains several words and combine this with some other logical AND or OR search terms.

    Just quadruple its width!

    Google has had a decent textbox since its inception...

    You'd have thought the MSN folks would have learnt something from Google by now.

  • MD5 or SHA1 hashing - the easy way

    This is a typical example of a static method which IMHO is in the wrong namespace.

    If you're looking to use an MD5 or SHA1 hashing algorithm to hash passwords, a lot of people would start looking in the System.Security.Cryptography namespace. But the System.Web.Security namespace offers us the FormsAuthentication.HashPasswordForStoringInConfigFile() static method:

    string pwhash = FormsAuthentication.HashPasswordForStoringInConfigFile(password, "md5");

    The second parameter can be either "md5" or "sha1".

    As far as I'm concerned, simple hashing and enrypt and decryption methods (static) should've been in System.Security.Cryptography in the first place.

    What do you think?

  • Recruiter talk - ar5e and elbow

    Came across an interesting job description for an ASP.NET developer which shows that most, if not all recruitment agencies don't have any clue what they are talking about:

    "My Client has an urgent requirement for an .aspx savvy ASP.Net Developer to help out with a surge of work/projects. The successful Candidate will be able to demonstrate substantial development experience in ASP.Net & .aspx."

    Hmm. So, looks like you could have ASP.NET developers who are not .aspx savvy eh? They might be just .ascx savvy. Or maybe only .asax savvy.

    Anyone else out there who has come across some other hilarious job descriptions recently?

  • Tiny suggestion for IE7 - <Enter> in address bar should result in HTTP GET refresh

    A little gripe I have with IE when doing ASP.NET development is that when you've tested a page (with some PostBack), fix or add something and recompile, you'd usually want to refresh your page without re-posting, so not performing the postback. When pressing Enter in the address bar, nothing happens. The expected behaviour would be for the browser to perform a HTTP GET request for the current URL in the address bar. Pressing F5 obviously performs a re-post. Maybe the Cancel button on that dialog asking to re-post should perform a HTTP GET?

    And yes, I know this already exists in FireFox.

    What do you think? Surely I'm not the only one who finds this a pain in the backside...