Friday, September 24, 2004

My Mad scientist comes out

Okay, maybe this is a bit nuts, but I think it'll kill 2 birds with one stone. I read this article on glaciers slipping into the ocean. Now, I'm sure it's the global warming issue speeding them up. But I got to thinking about how governments are planning to try to colonize mars.

The secret, they say, is having water there. Well, why not chop up these glaciers, load them into thermal containers and launch them into space. They can sit there, out in the giant freezer of space, and when you need 'em, bring 'em down to the Mars surface. Nasa has certainly shown that they can drop things out of the sky.

That way, you won't raise the ocean level, and you can get a nice cool drink of water on your next Martian holidy.

My two cents.

In programming news, I created a Windows service and it's working perfectly. It triggers a stored procedure which returns 2 tables and tags the data as being read, all in one transaction. These get packaged into a dataset, which is then written into a tab delimited file. This file is e-mailed to our customer so that they can see what orders were placed on their images.

I also realized that my error tracking web service has been performing quite well. It's simply a web service that takes an error message and some specifics and dumps it into my error tracking database. I have my web sites, windows service, and windows forms applications all dumping to it.

This has allowed me to better resolve issues, sometimes before the customer even knows what has happened.

Our windows form application that we provide to all our customers is in full swing now. Haven't had to do an update to it lately, but if so, I simply put the new version on our webserver. The application polls a web service at startup (if it has a net connection) and the webservice compares the running application version to the version stored on the server. If needed it passes back the files and the app is restarted. This is allowing me to update the app, the update utility itself, and the database (very rarely).

Another web service this app calls to checks for services we offer, allowing us to offer new services through the program without having to do an application update.

And of course it then sends jobs that are ready for processing to a 3rd web service which interacts with a web form for final order options, loading everything into our nice Order Processing database.

That's the 'so far' for me. It's been a haggard, yet productive, summer here. This fall I will INTENTLY be reshaping our project workflow, and hopefully learning nUnit and other testing procedures.

Keep the comments coming. I can post more information about how I accomplished these tasks for anyone who needs help.

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