Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Power of Twitter

We are becoming a society of self absorbed individuals. It is all about me is the mantra. Some of us pretend to resist this, ignoring things like bloggs, twitter, iPhones, etc.... Others like myself try to embrace the change, and end up getting sucked into the "its all about me" world just like everyone else, even though my intentions I pretend are honorable. "Look at my new blog post!" "Look at my facebook quiz, did you take it?!?" "I've got 100 followers now on Twitter!".

Well, for those of you who like to ignore this trend and the tools of self promotion, here is a cautionary tale of what can happen if you at least don't understand the new medium. The me generation has the tools to punish you if act like an @ss.

Also as a side note, this article reveals how Google's search absolutely blows the competition away. I know M$ is trying hard to catch Google with Bing and Yahoo search, good luck :) The following quote is telling-

"All this - and Pete just posted the information THIS MORNING… Already a search for the headline, “Woman Sued for $50,000 Over a Tweet”, shows how viral this type of issue is: searching at Google shows 5,000 references to the article, searching at Yahoo! shows 6 results, and searching at Bing shows 34 results."

Source: (twitter) mparent77772

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Old Man Grumblings

I guess I'm getting old, as far as programming goes. I see a lot of fads blowing through programming (apparently many geeks are actually more prone to fads then aren't, and this is interesting as you would thinks geeks with their alleged superior intellects would be immune), some of the fads are good, some of them OK, some of them not, but apparently ALL demand to be followed with absolute faith else your code is yukky and you suck (even though many programmers who didn't use all this stuff put men on the moon, designed planes like the SR-71, managed complex nuclear physics codes, yadda yadda yadda, just fine without all these extra layers of abstraction.

I digress.

I guess my point is summed up here.

I might have blogged about this before, but I keep coming back to this, as it never gets old to me.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Not Digging Telerik

[Update] Someone from Telerik contacted me willing to help us out with our issue. That says a lot for Telerik and restores a good chunk of my faith in their controls and their support.

I like Telerik. They have produced some very cool controls to use with ASP.Net. Unfortunately the 2009 Q1 release broke all our controls at work. We normally inherit off of the Telerik controls and add some additional functionality. Whatever changes happened under the hood makes the Q1 + releases useless to us.

My job is to figure out a solution. So far no luck. Telerik says they don't support inheritance issues. Wish we would have known that earlier, or at least known to expect that existing working code will not be guaranteed to work in the future as is.

Sucks. Use this as a warning against becoming too dependant on 3rd party controls, as you can and will get burned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

70-536 Exam Prep

Ok, I hate getting certs. Did I say I hate it? Oh well, for those of you on the MCTS track for web development tacking the 70-536 exam, the following web page will be extrememly helpful.

Also, the Microsoft training books for the exam, though useful, are riddle with errors. Just an FYI.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

SQL Server Express And Abyss Web Server

Ok, I have an ancient (PIII 850 mhz machine with 1 gig of ram) that I'm using as a test server. I've got Windows XP Pro installed and I'm using the Abyss X1 Webserver instead of the throttled IIS 5 that comes with XP. I ran into one snag though, I couldn't get my ASP.Net app to talk to a SQL Server Express database when I pushed my ASP.Net project from my dev box to the test server. So I fooled around and got it working, probably in a very insecure way, but it will work fine for now. Here is what I did incase this will help anyone.

First, I moved the database from the app_data folder in the web project to somewhere else, probably not necessary but I thought it might help. I also attached to the database using sql server express studio and created a new login name that was different then the one I used on my dev box (did this both for global security users and then added the new user to the instance of the db...again may not be necessary).

From there I himmed and hawed until I came up with a connection string that works. Here it is roughly. Sql server express was installed in a named instance like this-


So my connection string ended in my web.config file for my project ended up like this.

<add name="somename" connectionString="Data Source=.\sqldev;AttachDbFilename=D:\data\test.mdf;Initial Catalog=reports;User Id=someid;Password=somepassword;user instance=true;Integrated Security=SSPI" />

Hope that helps someone else at least get going.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I love RSS (ATOM) feeds. I subscribe to numerous ones. I spend way to much time looking briefly through my feeds using Google Reader, staring feeds that I'd like to read later.

Well, I decided that all these stared links were pilling up, so I went about trying to unstar them, parsing the info and putting it into some useful state either in my brain or an Evernote notebook.

Well, it took pretty much a good chunk of the day, just to get through LAST MONTH's stared items. There is just no way I can process all the data, and as we have learned throughout history (using intelligence and wars as an example) data not processed is absolutely useless, and the time spent gathering it data that wasn't processed is essentially another definition of absolute waste.

So, I'm pondering going to a once a week RSS feed check, and really being selective about what gets stared, and hopefully processing data right then into info. I don't know if I can do this or not because I'm so addicted to real time info, but I really should, for a lot of reasons.

And I bet I'm not the only one out there who has a problem with this. So here are my rules.

1) Can I find this data relatively easily in the future? Yes->Ignore the data.
2) Am I at work? Yes->Star the data for later.
No->Process it (save/copy/bookmark) now.

That should cut down on the info glut. I'm trying to turn myself into a search engine, and that probably isn't helpful productivity wise.

Monday, July 06, 2009

We Lost An Interesting Person This Last Week

Amid all the celebrities dying the media over looked the death of a lesser known but important figure who died recently. On July 3rd, John A. Keel died. He wrote the Mothman Prophecies and many other books relating to the Fortean, my favorite being Operation Trojan Horse.

I was very much on the same page (or like to think so) with Keel's views about UFO's, Ghost, Faeries, etc... all really being the same phenomena, and that phenomena isn't extraterrestrial, but ultraterrestrial. Keel, though not a Christian, declared on several occasions that he wasn't really a "UFO-ologist", but a "demonologist" because he recognized the phenomena for what it really is. He, independent of a religion paradigm, came to the same conclusions I have and many others have about UFO's being something other and more complex then little green men from space or hicks out in the back woods who drank too much.

I admired Keel, as I admire anyone, who looks around the world and realizes (or really admits to themselves) that there is more then meets the eye as to what is going on in this fascinating realm we call existence. I admire his courage and the intellectual honesty to peer at the things that "don't make sense" if the world is exclusively a by product of random mutation.

Here is a pretty good article on Keel and his impact on the Fortean community.

I hope that Keel's journey lead him ultimately to Jesus, and that now John A. Keel is in peace.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

VS 2008 and PHP

Want a free version of Visual Studio 2008 that not only runs PHP, but also allows you to build win form applications using PHP?

Well then check the following link out-

Have fun!