Thursday, June 26, 2008

Another Reason to Establish a Buffer Zone With Mexico

Another example of Mexican violence spilling up into the South West.

Of course it is to policitally uncorrect to do much about the border with Mexico. I disagree. Time to start actually having a border.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

UFO's Over England

The below link is to a report of a multiple witness sighting that includes some video. The video could be a hoax, and as usual doesn't really reveal much. But the sighting fits the classic "lights with no sound" UFO type sighting.

Looks like the Isles could be having a minor flap. There was a sighting and a picture by some Welsh police last week as well.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Interesting Apps to Checkout

I'm in between projects at work, so I have a little time to kill. I've been doing a quick scan of all my stared RSS articles on Google reader (which is a great RSS app by the way) and I came across this list of useful applications for learning (both freeware and payware).

Out of this list, I found the following apps notable. - a free web streaming service - a site that host youtube type videos for learning. - a collaborate mind mapping site - a Flash game creator site for educational purposes

Friday, June 20, 2008

Useful Regex Link

I found a site that has several thousand regex examples today, might be of use.

All my other stuff is on hold right now, as I'm studying Windows Communication Foundation for an upcomming project at work.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Perot Charts

Remember Ross Perot? That funny looking guy who ran for president back in 88 that whipped out all those bad-@ss charts?

Well, he is back, and so are his charts. Check 'em out here-

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Movie Review: The Happening

I saw the movie "The Happening" this weekend. Let's just say this, big disappointment. Some people in the theater actually booed at the end of the movie. I liked some of M. Night Shyamalan(or whatever his name is)'s other movies (Sixth Sense, Signs, and Unbreakable). This movie pretty much blew chunks compared to those. Save your money.

Normally I wouldn't go out of my way to pan something, but this movie is such a politically correct themed piece of C grade story telling that I feal obligated to do my best to get people to pass this movie by. Too bad, as M. Night Shyamalan has produced some otherwise enjoyable movies. Maybe he should get away from the Hollywood crowd for a while.

Interesting though, usually he plays camo roles in his movies. I didn't see him in this one, maybe it is his way of saying "I was roped into this."

Anyway, see something else.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why America Is Great

Here is an article that shows why America is greater, and different, from the rest of the world. We might be in a decline, but our freedom of speech and freedom of religion really set us apart from the rest of the world, which is starting to back peddle on these freedoms. It is too bad that many liberals can't stand freedom of expression and beat the war drums for us to become more like Utopian (in their eyes) Europe.

Read on, ignore the author's subtle bias against freedom.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Roll Your Own Postback Event

I found out how to cause javascript to trigger a server side event by trying to make something happen with the Telerik control suite ( This might be of interest to some of you, and I believe if your updated control is wrapped in an ajax update panel a full post back may not even take place (at least with Telerik's controls the below technique seemed to work as an ajax enabled partial post back.

Experiment for yourself.


<script type="text/javascript">
function myfunction(param)
"<%= myControl.ClientID %>", "myargs");

And in your in your page code...

   protected override void RaisePostBackEvent ( IPostBackEventHandler source, string eventArgument )
base.RaisePostBackEvent ( source, eventArgument );
if ( source == this.myControl && eventArgument.IndexOf ( "myargs" ) != -1 )
// Do whatever here

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The One vs. The Collective (Developing from Scratch vs Using a Portal)

So my wife is starting a guild in Age of Conan. So I'm jazzed about creating the guild website. So, in my usual way, I just jump right into things. This is a great way to learn, but experience has finally taught me that this isn't the best way to get things done. So I decide to take a peak at existing guilds, and kind of do a feature comparison of what they have and get some ideas of what I should include.

In the process, I found some great looking guild sites with lots of features. I noticed a few of them where using SMF, tinyportal, and joomla. Just for the heck of it I downloaded SMF from here-

So far I haven't delved into PHP development (but I respect PHP a lot and toy with messing with LAMP every so often. Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to get a base install of the SMF forum up in about 10 minutes on my Host's Windows 2003 Server. Hats off to the developers who made SMF, great job.

But then I started looking at how to extend SMF and make it more portal like. I went to these spots for starters-

Everything looked very doable, but I started to realize I would need to dive into PHP a little bit to pull off what I wanted to accomplish. Plus I was a little worried about not having the full functionality SMF + others available to me because I'm running IIS. Plus the box is managed by my hosting provider, and I was worried about having to need admin rights on the box, so regardless of if all these concerns where legit or not, I decided to take a peak at some .Net based portals.

I checked out rainbow portal here-

It looked good, but then I seem to remember that my hosting solution might offer built in support for .Net nuke. So I did some research, and wa-la, dotnetnuke is awesome! I watched a quick video and I was sold. So the guild will go dotnetnuke.

In a way I'm sad. I think the open source - LAMP crowd have made some great free portal software. But for now my tie to M$ and my hosting provider being windows based, plus their built in support for dotnetnuke pushed me that way.

But back to my original concept. It seems like the internet and its various technologies have been out long enough now so that we are starting to see various frameworks and projects gel together. These projects are actively developed by a lot of bright people. I think I'm finally starting to get that unless you are developing an application for a very specific need, you are cheating yourself and your customers if you don't take advantage of portals that have been built, used, modified, and expanded on by hundreds of smart people like you or me. So, from now on my first step in development is to check out what others have done, what tech they used, and how and if I can use what they have done before specking out something myself.

I know many of you probably shaking your have been doing this for years (part of the due diligence cycle). I'm slow, but I think I get it now. And not just because of my portal search. All the various javascript frameworks and such have also brought me to this conclusion.

Oh well, better late then never.


Well, dotnetnuke might be all that, if you can get the thing running. I used by web host's "automated install" option. It did something, but there are errors all over the place. Plus there is ZERO documentation on my web host's site, or if there is it is in such an obscure location that I can't find it...sigh.

So I download the dotnetnuke starter pack. Something installed, but nothing new shows up in either vs 2005 pro or visual studio 2008 visual studio expess.

Let's contrast that to SMF...which I got up and running in 10 minutes.

Who knows, I might be doing something wrong, something is f'ed up with the latest dotnetnuke installation, I don't know. I'll give it another shot tomorrow and spend about an hour more on it, if that doesn't work dotnetnuke is fired and I'll look for something else.

It has to freaken work.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Javascript Sound: Options

Essentially you can't do sound with Javascript yet, but you can call a Flash Object with javascript methods.

In the past I've used Sound Manager 2.

To be honest, Sound Manager has always been a buggy head ache to me. I've got it to work as a streaming MP3 player before, and once it works it works, but once again I battled Sound Manager today and I decided to look for something new.

That is when I found "Mandy". Mandy uses Jquery to look for events to trigger a sound, and then through some creative DOM manipulation Mandy adds a flash object to your page and plays the sound. I got Mandy to work in one try, as opposed to about 45 minutes with messing with Sound Manager and not getting it to work.

So you might want to give "Mandy" a try.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Basic Asp.Net Javascript Invocation of a Web Service

Here is a Hello World example of a client side event calling a web service. The code will underlap the side bar, just copy and paste to get the full code.

A simple webform...

<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeBehind="Default.aspx.cs" Inherits="ServiceCallBackExample._Default" %>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
html xmlns="">
head runat="server">
<title>Untitled Page</title>
<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">


function Button1_onclick() {
ret = ServiceCallBackExample.SimpleService.SayHello(document.getElementById(
'Text1').value, OnComplete, OnTimeOut, OnError);

function OnComplete(arg) {

function OnTimeOut(arg) {
"TimeOut encountered when calling Say Hello.");

function OnError(arg) {
"Error encountered when calling Say Hello.");

<form id="form1" runat="server">
<asp:ScriptManager ID="ScriptManager1" runat="server">
<asp:ServiceReference Path="~/SimpleService.asmx" />
<br />
<input id="Text1" type="text" /><br />
<br />
<input id="Button1" style="width: 158px" type="button" value="button" language="javascript"
onclick="return Button1_onclick()" />&nbsp;</div>

The actual Web Service (SimpleWebService.asmx)

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Services;
using System.Web.Services.Protocols;
using System.Xml.Linq;

namespace ServiceCallBackExample
/// <summary>
/// Summary description for SimpleService
/// </summary>
[WebService ( Namespace = "" )]
WebServiceBinding ( ConformsTo = WsiProfiles.BasicProfile1_1 )]
ToolboxItem ( false )]
// To allow this Web Service to be called from script, using ASP.NET AJAX, uncomment the following line.
public class SimpleService : System.Web.Services.WebService
public SimpleService ()
//Uncomment the following line if using designed components
public string SayHello ( String Name )
return "Hello : " + Name;

Have fun.

ZDNet reported that Adobe launched an "Office killer" web based app called Might be worth a peak.