Friday, December 23, 2005

Funny song paradies

Some of these are funny, some I've avoided. Bob Rivers Show

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Life and Programming Tidbits

I'm going to let you guys in on some updates on our life and some programming tips.

Last week my in-law's dog had to be put to sleep. Tuesday, this week, my wife's grandmother's dog had to be put to sleep. Being that we're a tight knit family, this has been hard.
Last night, Wednesday, we found out my father in-law's brain tumor is still growing, and there is a second one up there. They may try to operate if it has not spread to other parts of the body.
On the bright side, we will be moving from a 2 bedroom basement apartment to a 2 story half a house. A witness couple owns the building, and live in the other side. It will be more room for less money. And, we will be within minutes of where Steph works and the Kingdom Hall.

I'm working on a web page and windows service team. The web page takes information from a photographer about images they will post on our FTP server. The windows service will sit on the server, and watch for this information to be posted to the database server. It will then take the images, and resize them twice. One copy for thumbnails, and one for previewing. It will then activate the images on the website, and the photographer can group and adjust the images as much as he wants.

For info on windows services click here. It's very educational, and I'll be putting it on my Tech Links page.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

New ways to measure

Sometimes your at a loss for the exact way to say something. Now you have help. A list of alternative measurements. It only takes several microfortnights to read.

Text message your way to smarts!

Ok, your out on the road, or in a meeting, and you need info quick. Can't go to a computer to google, but you can on your phone. With no fancy software, just simple text messaging you can SMS google! Type your search and send to 46645. Check it out

And if you've already seen this, too bad!

Dangerous work

What we do when we go door to door is dangerous:
Read here

Once, my wife was threatened by an older lady with a hammer. My wife saw the hammer and asked, 'Doing some work?' The lady replied, 'I'll do more than that if you don't leave my property.'

Oh well.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

New books read and upcoming work

I'm working on another tutorial for improving the use of Datasets. I will post it in upcoming days.

I also updated my Clive Cussler list. 2 more books read, Nite Probe, which involved trains, and Dragon. A while, maybe months, back, I watched Sahara. I'm gonna start reading that one soon.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

GPS for sale

Take a look at this auction my brother has! Magellan 300 GPS! Great shape. Take a look.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cost of a hobby

It appears that recently, many of my family and friends have begun to make babies.
(My cousin, my friend Donny, and my friend Jackson)

While I in no way plan to argue the cute and cudlability of a new life, I think that for now my wife and I will stick to less expensive hobbies.

Let's face it, a hobby where you are locked into a project for 20 years, with a major expense, is a big undertaking. Compare that to something like, let's say, knitting. Yes it can be all consuming, but at your choosing, not at 3AM. And even a hobby as involved as, let's say, model trains doesn't have to be as expensive.

And if you get bored and put the hobby down for a period of months or years, you won't have the emotional and financial repercussions of psychiatric deficiencies.

Ok, honestly? My wife and I love kids, and all kidding (no pun intended) aside, our hats are off to all you loving parents who have begun one of the greatest experiences Jehovah god has given us. We're sure you'll all make wonderful parents. (Just let us hold them from time to time.)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

New items on my e-bay auctions

If you know of anybody that might want them, please pass the word around.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Interesting news of an Atheist

I looked through some of this interview. It's pretty interesting. It's an interview with Dr. Antony Flew, Professor of Philosophy, former atheist, author, and debater.

Here's an excerpt:
HABERMAS: ... Given your great respect for Christianity, do you think that there is any chance that you might in the end move from theism to Christianity?

FLEW: I think it's very unlikely, due to the problem of evil. But, if it did happen, I think it would be in some eccentric fit and doubtfully orthodox form: regular religious practice perhaps but without belief. If I wanted any sort of future life I should become a Jehovah's Witness.

Monday, November 21, 2005

For Monty Python fans!

Death with Big Pointy Teeth

Also, I've added a second page to my train section. And I shrunk some images, so it should load faster. I moved the quicktime to a different page. I will be adding some more pics tonight.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

2 years of Blogging!!!

Wow, has it been that long? Have I really been blogging since November of 2003? Yup, I have. I should do some sort of special. Ok, for today only, FREE ACCESS TO MY BLOG!!! Don't you feel special.

Linux is better than ever

My linux box is running better than ever. Not only is it serving web pages again, but it's also an FTP server, and I have it streaming Audio. (I am not opening FTP or streaming audio up to everybody as I don't want any issues to deal with.)

My dad can now FTP talks up to the server, so that a brother in his hall can log into the streaming audio and listen. In fact, I am streaming to another PC in my office, and accidentally restarted the linux box. The PC streaming had buffered about 1 minute, and picked up right where it left off.

I'm also still maintaining my site, and if anybody needs server space, let me know. You can see the latest progress of my train layout here.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Linux server is back up!!! Hooray!

Come to find out, I had a bad download of the Ubuntu 5.10 install iso. I downloaded it onto my linux box, and the md5 checked out, but then I put it on my windows box to burn it, and it must have gotten corrupted. So I downloaded it again, from the windows box, and the burn was fine.

So, I reinstalled last night, and today I'm restoring files and settings that were on the old system.

I have a 30Gb drive as my / partition, a 20Gb drive as a /fileshare partition (so my network can store stuff there), and a 6.5Gb drive as my /var partition, which holds my web files, so in the future, I won't be so messed up.

Check it out, if you notice anything wrong, please post your comments here. Thanks.

Monday, November 14, 2005

More Linux Progress

I've been playing with my linux system off an on all day. I tried 2 Ubuntu 5.10 disks, only to have them both fail. Ubuntu's installer has a disk checker. (I think it needs a network connection.) It said they were both bad. Since they both came from the same iso download, I downloaded again, and this one checked out. I'm going through the install now.

I have much to post there.

Current activity

I'm working on the Image Connection. I'd say this is revision 4. We're trying to simplify the grouping of images for photographers. The way it works now, is JavaScript 'moves' the image from one side to the other, setting a hidden input value to true. When the .Net is called to save the changes, it looks for all the flags and adjusts accordingly.

Currently the save process, where the data is saved to the database is VERY slow. I'm trying to see why now.

My Linux box is down. I had all my data on my / and /boot drive. I only had one drive. This drive crashed while trying to upgrade my distro. This may be my fault, but I'm not sure. In any event, I have my Linux drive slaved on my wife's system and I'm using explore2fs on the windows drive (my wife's system is Windows 98) to read and extract the files I want to save from my Linux drive. I will then wipe it, and do a fresh install.

However, I have some extra drives lying around, a 20Gb and a 6Gb. I'm going to have the 6Gb be my /var drive, which hosts the web page, and my 20Gb be a file share for my network. This way if my boot drive gets junked up again, I only need wipe it and reinstall. I think it'll be a good exercise.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Linux Upgrade Woes & My Web Site is down

Upgrading your linux Distro:
Step 1, uninstall all the old parts
Step 2, install all the new parts.

What happens when your CD kicks the bucket exactly in the middle of those processes?

Not good, is what happens. If you try to check out my site, it's not there. Sorry... working on it.

This brings up a good point. What kind of things do you look for in a site? What can I do to increase your viewing of it? (Besides bring it back up.)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How's about that

Take a look at my other Cuz on Justine's Blog!

Also, I have a LiveJournal site now, here:

What can I say about this one

Store Wars - Another Star Wars spoof.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What I did this weekend. Trains!

I worked on my N-Scale train layout. Take a look here.

Updated: I added a video of my train in action. It's quicktime. Sorry for the bad videography and lighting.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Another snippet of code I like

I was rather in need of this code when I developed it. I was getting an error on an SQL command, and couldn't figure out which parameter was killing it. I give you the fix:

Public Function giveParams(ByVal cmd As SqlClient.SqlCommand) As String
Dim ourString As New System.Text.StringBuilder
Dim i As Int32
Dim p As SqlClient.SqlParameter
ourString.Append(cmd.CommandText & "<br />")
' Walk each parameter in the command

For i = 0 To cmd.Parameters.Count - 1
p = cmd.Parameters(i)
ourString.Append("<td>" & p.ParameterName & "</td>")
ourString.Append("<td>" & p.DbType.ToString & "</td>")
ourString.Append("<td>" & p.Size.ToString & "</td>")
ourString.Append("<td>" & p.SourceColumn & "</td>")
ourString.Append("<td>" & p.SourceVersion.ToString & "</td>")
ourString.Append("<td>'" & p.Value & "'</td>")
Next 'p
Return ourString.ToString
End Function 'giveParams SQL


How to reduce Database traffic

Many, if not all, e-commerce sites use the common Shopping Cart template for customer order placement. This is where the user places items in the cart and at checkout the cart becomes an actual order.

I was taught this way. One issue we had, was storing the data in case the user leaves the site for some reason and would want to come back at a later time. This was resolved simply by storing all the shopping cart data in a database. Ours was SQL. (MS SQL to be exact.)

This worked fine, until you started to get a lot of users. This caused a lot of SQL traffic in the form of calls to the database for the current copy of the shopping cart. So, I needed to figure out how to lessen this traffic.

I noticed there were two types of shopping cart data needed. (Other traffic may be simplified, but the cart is the biggest baddie of 'em all.) We might need cart header information. This includes date, customer ID, type of order, etc. The other type of data was the full cart.

So, my first step to lessen traffic was to use only the header data when I could. This was simple to do, I only needed to create a smaller version of my stored procedure, and a method to call that procedure. Then, on all the pages that needed only header data, point to that new method instead.

How about the full cart? Sometimes we needed fresh data from the database, when a change might have been made or something like that. Other times I didn't. Well, if you've ever used .Net's Session object, you may know that you can store a whole dataset there across page refreshes. This is good because your app becomes more like a stateful app than a stateless app. But what is a good way to make sure you have the most recent data.

I came up with this code:

Public Function getCart(ByVal reset As Boolean, ByVal sessionId As Integer) As DataSet
Dim dsCart As New DataSet
Dim Session = HttpContext.Current.Session

'Get the cart dataset
If IsNothing(Session("tempCart")) OrElse reset Then
Call RefreshSession(dsCart, sessionId)
dsCart = Session("tempCart")
End If

If dsCart.Tables(0).Rows.Count <> dsCart.Tables(0).Rows(0)("ShoppingCartID") Then
Call RefreshSession(dsCart, sessionId)
End If

Return dsCart
Catch ex As Exception
Throw New ApplicationException(ex.ToString)

End Try
End Function

It allows you to use the cached copy, if available, and the fresh database copy if necessary. RefreshSession actually calls our stored procedure (through our database component) returns the dataset (ByRef) and saves it into the Session as well.

I found it beneficial to do some data checks to make sure we had a valid copy of the dataset from the Session object. I don't trust it, because I don't fully understand it. This probably is a performance hit, but overall, the steps I've taken have improved the web site performance tenfold.

You might also notice, that in this method I create the Session object, instead of using the Page.Session object. This is because I put this method into a module. This allows me to have write-once efficiency. I don't have to rewrite this code on every page that might use it.

I'd like to turn this entry into a help document at some point, so critiques and tips are more than welcome.

Check out this Atari on Ebay!!!

Click here to see my Atari on ebay. It's in good shape.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ain't that nifty

I wanted to try out Haloscan trackbacks for my blog, so I did it's automated install. It also installed haloscan's commenting, wiping out the BLogspot comments. (They're probably there, just turned off.) So, sorry your comments are koosed. I could fix it, but it's not worth the trouble right now.
commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Short Circuiting comparisons

This is simply using Andelse or Orelse instead of And & Or. Check out Ben's info
here. I still find this a great help in many areas.


Buying your kid that costume he wanted: $100
Buying candy for the kids that come to your house: $60
Gas for driving your kid from house to house: $30

Me walking into the store the day after holloween and buying twice as much candy as your kid got for $10, priceless!

Some have said holloween is becoming the most expensive holiday. Others have said it is the biggest drinking holiday. Can you picture it, kids filling the streets after dark in dark costumes with more drunk drivers than any other night of the year.

I sit here with my 50% off candy, enjoying the fact that I never had to put up with all that.

On a programming note, I'm still looking to get Mono working on linux. If anybody out there has had success, please, drop me a line. I haven't really dug into it yet, but would like the chance to try it out.

My linux server seems to be running good. I never have to check it. Not only is it serving my website (ok, maybe it's only 20 people a day, peak, but it still doing it) but it's also running a client.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Relief work starting already

Jehovah's Witnesses are an organized group of people, striving to live by bible standards and bring praise to Jehovah, the god of the bible.

They strive to show 'brotherly love' to their own as well as to others.

Here's a news story about their efforts:

And here's one about them also helping other people:

Resource restrictions often limit outreach to other Witnesses, but they do not turn a cold shoulder to their neighbors, even if they do not share their faith. They also stick closely to bible based beliefs. If individuals choose to no longer abide by those beliefs, that is their personal choice.

The official media site of Jehovah's Witnesses has this page telling about their relief work:

Posting my work at last

This past week I had need of posting SQL code on the web for it to be visible in a forum. I tried formatting it by hand. Being a long hunk of code, this was painstaking to say the least. So I figured, 'Why not right a tool!'. So I did.

You can download this little SQL to HTML converter from my new Files page here.

I hope to post more of my work in the future. If you have suggestions or fixes please post them here for now, or e-mail me.

Once again, on my home site. I've got the site running pretty good right now, with PHP includes to simplify page set up. I have a blank.php template that I use and just put my content in the middle. It's a beautiful thing. I'm using Bluefish 1.0 still. You can download Bluefish here.

My wife and I took a trip to Hawk Mountain this weekend. Got to see about 8 hawks or so, and had us a nice hike. Saw a couple of old plane. If I have time I'll post the best pics to my site. I got to use the Progressive capture feature of my new camera. (Minolta Z6) This allows to take a series of pictures, one after the other. It slows down when zoomed out, I believe due to the anti-shake having to work more. But I learned how to track an object to keep it in the frame while it's moving. Great fun.

Also saw Monster-In-Law this weekend. A funny movie.

C.O. MS meeting was great. A pretty good weekend overall.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Yea to me,

It's my aniversary. 3 Years of wedded bliss!

Monday, October 24, 2005

More Todo about nothing

Finally got my camera. If you want to check out some of the pics that come out of a Minolta Z6 check out Finally ordered it from, for the SAME price Broadway Photo was going to sell me a Z5. (They finally told me, after 3 weeks, they couldn't get it for the price they promised and I should cancel the order. When I asked for the manager they hung up and canceled it anyway.)

Notice, that's on my home site. I've been updating some of the links, there's a little more to do there, and I will be putting even more up soon. Check it out: (Shameless Plug)

You'll notice too, those pages are using PHP. PHP 4 to be exact. Hopefully I'll be able to stretch my legs a bit with that.

I installed Bluefish 1.0 on my linux box, giving me an HTML editor. It also does pretty nice with CSS and PHP. It has options for other web language, like Javascript and such, but I haven't tried them yet.

Guess that's that for now. TTYL

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A find from my travels

A cute link everybody could enjoy.
Beware of Dogs

Monday, October 17, 2005

Don't know what to say about this

StarWreck, a free film. It was done in Finnish w/ english subtitles. Most of it was good, 2 bad parts. A few funny parts. Interesting story.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Canon SDK revisited

There has been ongoing and active development of wrappers for the Canon SDK, mostly for the CD version of the SDK. This version deals with much of the consumer grade cameras. I started some work on the RC side of this, the 'Pro'sumer section, targeted at professional photographers. I never realized that my application for a source forge project was accepted, but it was.

There are now two links to Canon development on my menu bar.

(I also removed the link to my geocities site. As far as I know, my home based website has not been down at all. None stop Ubuntu Linux, though I might upgrade to the latest release.)

Plays to see

It's not just Spamalot that I want to see, but now, maybe even The Princess Bride!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


I recently ordered a Konica Minolta Z5, a 5MP, 12x Optical zoom, digital camera. I checked Yahoo! Shopping for the best price, and found Broadway Photo had the best price, and decent ratings. That was Tuesday. Later that day I received a call verifying my shipping info. When that was done the guy told me the camera would ship 'today', Tuesday September 27th.

By Thursday I did not receive a shipping notification, and I like to track my orders. I called and they said they had 'oversold' my camera, and would ship it when more came in in 5 days. (They did not specify business days or not.)

So, today it's Tuesday, the 4th. (One week from when I ordered, and still no shipping info.) I go to their website and this is what I find:
Holiday Notice:
We will be closed Monday October 3rd 1:00 PM EST through Wednesday October 5th. We will re-open our regular business hours on Thursday October 6th at 9:00AM EST.
All orders submitted after Sunday, October 2, 8:00pm will be shipped when we reopen.
We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your patronage.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A utility company's pictures of huricane destruction

Take a look at these

If you're wondering why you don't have power down there in TX, this might be why. (But then you wouldn't see this blog then would you.)

Monday, September 26, 2005

My current wanderings

In the beginning, god created the heavens and the earth. Before a child is born, a parent prepares it's room.

I've been reflecting on a few things, and please forgive me if I use this Blog as a forum to express my thoughts. (Programming information will continue later.)

I thought of the creative 6 days in relation to a parent preparing a room, and getting everything in ready for a child who is about to come into the world. I thought about how mankind, unscarred and innocent, was placed as a child in a 'new room' with all they need to exist and grow.

A parent will give their child toys, and objects, to learn about and use as they grow and develop. This parent knows, that a child may damage the toys, the room, or in other ways leave things in disorder. While these are not the correct actions, the parent allows them. They can be undone.
(Side story, I knew a family who had children, and a go-kart. This kart was used all over the lawn, which was of course ruined. When asked if it was all right that the lawn had been destroyed they replied, 'Grass can grow back, children can't.')

Is it wrong for the parent to give the child things that may be misused? Is the parent laying a trap to catch the child up? No! Discipline is not simply punishment, but it is guidance. Guidance is necessary to come to maturity.

Throughout their lives, children exert that they are 'old enough'. They feel that they have reached some level of maturity. A good parent knows that this is not so, and at times corrects the child. However, as the child grows, there will be times when the parent sees it appropriate to allow his child to experience life, and therefore test for themselves their maturity. There will even be times when this perception of maturity is founded, glimmers of advancement shimmering through. But this comes as more is allowed, through slow and careful allowances of freedom.

Mankind is going through such an allowance. They are experiencing all that is involved in life, in the hopes they will appreciate more what their parent is able to provide. How many of us look back on our youth, and realize how unappreciative we have been of our parents, how much they have done for us that, at the time, we overlooked. (At one point man was on a fast track to technical advancement, but was guided away, as a child would be guided away from power tools or appliances when they were to young to safely use them.)

The teenage years are a most tumultuous time. They are a time when even more, the child learns lessons on their own, even with marked results. In the past god has noticeably stepped in, guiding this young child of mankind. But man has grown. They have learned about themselves, their environment or 'room'. They have even begun to expand their comfort zone, as all children tend to do. But they are also trying to exert their own supposed maturity. And, as many children do, they wish to do it on their own.

The failings of attempts of the past have been overcome. The child has learned from their failed attempts to be 'adults', and try again, thinking that ‘now they know it all’. But many an adult will testify that there is still much to learn in the teenage years. Some even regret pulling away from the security of their parent’s watchful eye. And yet lessons must be learned, either by listening or by experience.

A time comes when the child needs to lose the last vestiges of childhood, those traits and tendencies that no longer serve them. They have to come to realize that the many things they were told and warned against are true, despite how they have tried to prove to the false.

Mankind is in their teenage years. They have been given the freedom to test their world, and to learn and grow. Their loving parent has watched, and allowed no harm that cannot be undone. But those last shreds of childhood WILL have to be left behind. And the relationship between the child and parent will be brought to a new level. And appreciation on the child’s part, and pride on the parent’s part, will be all that's left. And yet, the child will always be learning, learning from their loving father.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Am I a Wally?

Why do I feel like this?

Thursday, September 22, 2005

This article says that many men do not wash their hands when leaving a public bathroom. I find this believable, especially in restaurants. I usually wash before I eat, just to be safe. But I see men leaving after doing, well, you know, and never touching water, let alone soap. They eat with those hands?

Thoughts on life and stuff...

I am convinced that every female Hollywood star has a mirror at home. Not just any mirror, but a special mirror, in front of which, every night, they utter the words, 'Who is the fairest in all the world?'

Also, I'm currently reading 'A Tale of Two Cities'. This is a classic that somehow slipped through my net. I've noticed the horrendous things that happened way back when, and realized something. Revolutions and Civil Wars.
It's only really a Revolution if the new guys win, otherwise it's a Civil War. And these wars take place to change things, replace the government. But you know what? Even when the government changes, the country's past sticks with it. France's poor past is still a part of it's image, no matter what it's people did to try to right the wrongs.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Entering the world of Java

We recently hired somebody w/ a little bit of Java experience. We're hoping he can convert my cropping control to something more users will have access to. (Sorry, but we just can't shake some of these photographers and artsy people out of their Macs.)

When I see things like this:
public void paint(Graphics g) {
g.drawImage(img, 0, 0, imgWidth, imgHeight, this);

I think to myself, hmm... that looks familiar.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Vixen 03 and Cyclops

Vixen 03 was not as good as some of the Cussler books, but Cyclops was redeeming. Both had intrigue. Good reads.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Raise The Titanic! a Review

Reading through some of Cussler's first books, I recognize that he was still trying to develop his style, the style you see more consistently through his later books. However, Raise the Titanic! is a good read, really going into the outlandish escape of a good adventure novel.

I have Vixen 03 and Cyclops here by my desk. Maybe I can hold off on reading them. We'll see.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Iceberg, an Interesting read

Not quite the same as the other Cussler books I've read. He certainly did get better with age and time. But a good read none-the-less.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

What a nice group of guys...

on Channel9. I posted this question and got a bunch of conversation on it. Not always do I get such a response, but this discussion helped me look at things with fresh eyes.

My problem was that the designer view I was using to look at a SQL command (which talks to a SQL stored procedure) was not showing me, in a way that I recognized, what it thought I wanted for values. (Take a look at the channel9 post for the boring details.)

So here's a point for new programmers. (That was my goal, wasn't it? Helping new guys?) The designer is great, it speeds up development time, but sometimes it's good to check what's going on under the hood. It gives you more power, knowing what you can and can't do, and sometimes the designer does what you don't want it to do.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More items selling

I'm cleaning out my closet. Selling stuff I haven't used in ages. Take a look at the Buy my Ebay link over on the right hand side.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Subversion Source Control

Just ordered Practical Subversion to try and help me learn Subversion Source Control. We'll see how it goes. Anybody else out there use this?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Don't Leave Earth without It

This will provide much material for the Red Green Show. Don't Leave Earth without It shows us that silvery grey wonder tape can still do it all.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A new step

Since many of my friends are musically inclined, in fact, many programmers, I've decided to join them. I've gotten a guitar. An electric guitar to be exact. Actually, it was given to me by my brother-in-law who is moving and is taking his acoustic guitar with him. He also gave me a small amp and a distortion peddle.

I used to take piano/keyboard lessons when I was a kid, and have always wanted to get more involved in learning an instrument. A free instrument was very opportune. I've had many folks show me how to play a few strings here and there, but without a guitar of my own, it was all for not. Now I can strum along to my hearts content, and my wife's discontent.

Back to programming, I don't remember if I mentioned here or not, but we've implemented a home grown Project Management system. Basically, you can post projects, and update the status of them. I built it from the ground up, database included, using examples I've seen online. My boss loves it. Guess that's what matters most.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Read it. Boy, quite a bit different from his later works. Check my ratings by clicking on the Cussler link to the right.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Microsoft gets funny... on purpose.

Take a look at this site: Cracks me up.

Anyway, reading The Mediterranean Caper, another Clive Cussler book. What a change from his later books. More corse and risque. It's also interesting the character's personality changes. But still a good read.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Note about Visual Studio debugging

For some reason, when I would debug a web app in Visual studio, I cannot use the play button. That's fine. I usually click Tools - Debug Process, and select 'aspnet_wp.exe'. Then when you click attach you get a list of options. Common language Runtime is the only thing you really need to debug for most Web Apps (and most windows forms apps, though I can just hit the play/start button for those). However, I have had Native checked off too.

Debugging is a lot quicker without Native checked.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Reflections on ... it's been done.

I've learned more about Reflection. I was successfully able to use reflection to dynamically open an assembly, unload it, replace the file, reload it, and use it some more. Amazing.

Clive Cussler - I'm reading Serpent now. And Mediterranean Caper is ordered. Serpent is good, but the main character Kurt Austin matches Dirk Pitt, and it's a little confusing seeing this new name. Still, a good book.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Diving into Reflection

I've done some very miniscule things with reflection, basically just getting the version of assemblies. Now I find myself needing to access an assembly, then overwrite that assembly in the same code.

So, what I've found through digging here is I need to create a second app domain. I worked through it, did it, and was able to use the assembly from the app domain. But then I unloaded it to try to do the overwrite, and it failed. It was still in use.

It seems that even if you load something into the second domain, but try to get stuff out of it, like create an instance of a type (like an instance of a class) it still loads the assembly in your main or first domain. So, what I need to do, is in domain1, create an object inheriting from MarshalByRefObject, and create it in the second domain to do the work.

I'll be thinking about this long and hard.

In the mean time, I have been training my new apprentice. He is a PHP guy, and I'm bringing him to the dark side, I mean VB .Net side.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

I have a new apprentice

We've got a new guy at work, and he seems pretty sharp. I'm going to try to teach him some VB .Net. He has a PHP web design background. We'll see.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Um, That was weird

I just finished Valhalla Rising, a Clive Cussler novel about the never ending adventures of Dirk Pitt. I don't know quite what I thought of it. It kept me interested till the last page, then made me say 'Huh?'. I'll let you know when I've sorted it all out.

Also, I don't know why this blog is putting in a Clear: both tag.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

New Comments system

The Comments system I was using wasn't working very well. I've set this up to use Blogger's comment system. Go ahead, try it out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Back to Cussler

I just picked up another Clive Cussler book, Valhalla Rising. I'm up to chapter 8, and it's definitely up to Clive's quality.

If you're interested in my thoughts on his books, you can click the link to the right, Cussler books, in the books section. I will try to keep the entire books section up to date so you can find books that are helpful.

Monday, June 20, 2005

If you haven't heard of, the exploding whale

Here is another one that I cannot resist including. The exploding whale story has also been going around for years and has its own website. The actual event occurred in 1970 in Oregon. Video of the event is available on the Exploding Whale website.
I am absolutely not making this incident up; in fact I have it all on videotape.
The tape is from a local TV news show in Oregon, which sent a reporter out to
cover the removal of a 45-foot, eight-ton dead whale that washed up on the
beach. The responsibility for getting rid of the carcass was placed upon the
Oregon State Highway Division, apparently on the theory that highways and whales
are very similar in the sense of being large objects.

So anyway, the highway engineers hit upon the plan -- remember, I am
not making this up -- of blowing up the whale with dynamite. The thinking here
was that the whale would be blown into small pieces, which would be eaten by sea
gulls, and that would be that. A textbook whale removal.

So they moved the spectators back up the beach, put a half-ton of dynamite
next to the whale and set it off. I am probably not guilty of understatement
when I say that what follows, on the videotape, is the most wonderful event in
the history of the universe. First you see the whale carcass disappear in a huge
blast of smoke and flame. Then you hear the happy spectators shouting "Yayy!"
and "Whee!" Then, suddenly, the crowd's tone changes. You hear a new sound like
"splud." You hear a woman's voice shouting "Here come pieces of... MY GOD!"
Something smears the camera lens.

Later, the reporter explains: "The humor of the entire situation suddenly
gave way to a run for survival as huge chunks of whale blubber fell everywhere."
One piece caved in the roof of a car parked more than a quarter of a mile away.
Remaining on the beach were several rotting whale sectors the size of
condominium units. There was no sign of the sea gulls, who had no doubt
permanently relocated in Brazil. This is a very sobering videotape. Here at the
institute we watch it often, especially at parties. But this is no time for
gaiety. This is a time to get hold of the folks at the Oregon State Highway
division and ask them, when they get done cleaning up the beaches, to give us an
estimate on the US Capitol.
I saw this once in a higher quality AVI file. If you have a link to that, please drop me a line.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


Convention this weekend. Very excited.

We are separating our Wedding and Portrait customers to 2 different domains, one that will focus on each. On our portrait side, we are actually doing a subdomain for one of our customers, so that they can have their own customizations. Finished most of that last week.

Going back to DataMatch. We are holding off on camera integration, as this is proving difficult. But we are including cropping, and a host of other usablilty features.

Please note, on the right menu bar of this site, I now have my Channel9 posts. Channel9 is a site created by Microsoft Developer Employees to get better in touch with developers. I've gotten answers there faster than anywhere else. Check 'em out if you haven't already, and take a look at some of my posts if you think you can help.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Now why don't he write?!

No, I'm not dead. I haven't lost all human contact. Just busy.

How? Last week, my computer went down. I had already upgraded the RAM and CPU, now I did my motherboard, and hard drive, as well as get a copy of XP Home (Upgrade). Also, reorganized my desk and workspace, since I had to have the computer out and unplugged.

Working in the garden, studying, odds and ends.

For work, I am doing some site changes for a customer. For some of our big customers, we are doing customized pages. Also, I will be looking into getting somebody to do a Java cropping utility for use on the site. (To many customers don't have IE 6 with the .Net framework.)

So, that's it, not too much new. Oh, my linux box is also down. Looking to scrounge up some parts to see if I can get it going. We'll see.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Latest news

What's up? Hmm... Well, I'm not working on that Interop project for the Canon camera. Though, if you want to offer hints, types, ideas, or suggestions, I'm still taking them.

Currently I'm working on some Web projects.

In home life, I was announced as an MS. And I've begun collecting supplies and necessary equipment for beer making. Some bros in my hall are making their own, and we're going to work together to make a few brews. (I'm not a big beer drinker, but like the thought/science of making your own.)

Thursday, April 28, 2005

More books for sale

I'm selling some books on e-bay, at dirt cheap prices. Take a look at my e-bay auctions. (Link to the right.)

A Sad day

I was not able to complete the Canon project. We need to move on to other projects. I feel stupid. I cannot get it to work. I posted the job on

If any bids look promising, I will forward them to my boss.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oh... page 82, of course!

I've been struggling for the past 2 weeks, at least, on this Canon RC-SDK. I couldn't get my VB .Net code to use it, I couldn't even get the samples to work. I copied the RCSDK.dll file into my apps folder, but it just wouldn't work.

Page 82, that's right, 82, not 8, not 2, not PAGE 1, but page 82, 'Copy all of the modules copied to the Redist subfolder in the RC-SDK installation folder to the application
execution folder used by the RC-SDK.

All 22 of them? Wow! Ok, let's try that. Vioala! It works...

Canon RC-SDK 8.2

Please, if you've ever worked with this, and have some knowledge, or any of the Canon SDK's, please come here: Click to join CanonSDK
I don't like trying to wrap unmanaged code, especially when I'm confused. And this stuff has me confused. Any help would be great.

Click here to join CanonSDK
Click to join CanonSDK

Monday, April 18, 2005

Got my stuff in...

Hey, really came through. Got my 1.8GHz Duron, 512MB of RAM, and router, all for $130, (plus a rebate on the router) and 2 days early! Put it all together, my system is screaming. Tomorrow, I'll put it through it's paces.

I'm really having a hassle with this Canon code, getting the Canon 20D to talk to my software, and vice/versa. I gotta get that moving tomorrow.

I've got my router set to forward web requests to my Apache server, but the domain synced with my new IP address, so for now, my site is at:

Friday, April 08, 2005

Updates and such...

I'm cleaning up my sidebar, and still working on the Canon SDK. I had more to write, but blogger wiped it out.

Oh, that reminds me. I'm going to be working on putting my geocities site onto my Linux box. And I'll be doing more side projects, when I can of course.

Thursday, March 31, 2005


Well... I started wrapping a C++ dll again, this time for the Canon 20D. I like Canon's support for the SDK better. Deeper, clearer documentation, and the SDK supports several of their cameras. (Kodak had 3 DLLs which supported about 3 apiece.)

So, I'm working on that, but I might have a hook up with some folks who already did this in C#. That would make things easier.

Also, my article has been posted on Developer Fusion. COOL!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Inter-App communication

As in, two applications talking to one another. DataMatch had no cropping features, and it also had no way to get images from cameras. I began developing a while back an application that would recieve images from cameras.

So, this image is going to be a small utility that will capture from cameras, and crop images. I have set up 2 way communication, so that images captured from the camera can be entered into DataMatch, and images in DataMatch can be sent to this utility.

This is a good exercise for me, because we are looking to enlarge our software offering into a suite of programs. I will be able to share controls and libraries I've already created, it will really simplify the process.

In the Gran Turismo line of things, I'm up to 7 golds in the B class license tests. I'm working on the International B license, and I won my first car from the FF Car Challenge, a Honda Mugen Accord SIR-T.

Have a few issues with Linux still, but haven't had that much time. Got my service time up, have a talk tonight, and I may be giving a presentation on CSS in April.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Strange ad

Click here for the image - I use yahoo for e-mail, and they show many different ads throughout the day. I saw this one today. I don't think it will be up long.
Edit: I took the image off here, and made it a link, cause it bugged me.

My first tutorial

I posted a page which I consider to be my first real tutorial. It is called .Net Applets. It is also known as Hosting Windows Forms User Controls in HTML. I had some help editing the text, code, and layout, but the content is mine. It is how I express this concept, and I hope it helps you folks.

Currently it is hosted on GeoCities, but as my systems at home improve, I hope to host all those pages on my linux box. Currently I use my Windows box as a router, but hope to get a real router soon. When that is accomplished I will be able to go live with the site at home.

Other than that, cropping is finished. I do have Apache and PHP running on my Linux box. I've installed Mono, but have yet to get MonoDevelop started. Also, I do not have mySQL running. It says shutting down after the system starts up. I will investigate later.

In the mean time, I have bought my second car in Gran Turismo 2, I have gotten the two basic licenses, and the International C license. For the basic A, I have 5 golds. If I get all golds I win car... but I digress.

One more thing, current readings... Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. So far, I'm to chapter 10, and it's pretty good. Knights, jousting, fair maidens. That sort of thing. Older english, but not shakespear old.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The space revolution?

Many of us have learned bits and pieces of the 'Industrial Revolution' where industry, manufacturing, changed the social climate of the world.

I am wondering if there will soon be a 'Space Revolution'. While I have yet to see how space could change our day-to-day lives, I am noting more and more private and commercial adventures in this field. Take for instance Bigelow Aerospace. They are looking at putting hotels into space, already! (No kids, it doesn't have a pool, yeesh!)

And now it looks as if Jeff Bezos, founder of, is looking to set up a spaceport.

Of course, my explaination is simpler (following Occum's razor). I figure these guys are rich, and want their own X-Wings! Well, I do anyways.

Quirks, games, and other stuff

Boy, quirky... I get an System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException: 'Syntax error converting the varchar value 'TC002' to a column of data type int.' But in Query analyzer, no problem. It ended up that the query was trying to cast a field for an addition operation instead of a concatenation operation, one of the problems of using '+' for concatenation. I just did a cast as a varchar(50) on the field, and all is well.

I haven't been playing with my Linux box lately, though I did get PHP 5 running on it. I will eventually move my home site (not my blog) to that system, but I am having routing issues, as I am currently to cheap/poor to validate buying a router. I am using this windows box and internet sharing to pass requests to the Linux box, but it hasn't been working.

The reason I haven't been playing much with Linux, other than guests, has been pulling out my playstation. I am borrowing Gran Turismo 2. I know, it's an older game, but never before was I into racing games. But this is not simply racing. You can buy and sell cars, and soup 'em up to race with. Mucho fun!

Other than that, not much is going on. My cropping project is a success. We continue to tweek for usability, but it's functional. Still haven't heard back from the folks who were going to quote us on writing that piece of software.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

It is built

Okay, I did it, the fourth time. I got sound and network built into my kernel, which is optimized for PII with my video card and no SCSI.

I'm going to save this config, and try to trim it down some more. It builds AGP stuff, but I am using a PCI card right now. I want to see what else I can trim down. Compile time was quick tho.

Stinkin' computer thinks it knows better...

I was trying to run my clients only on RC5-72 equations, but they ended up doing some for another project. I had to go clean that up.

I just finished my third compile of kernel 2.6.11 and am now on to the fourth.

The first worked but no sound and no network. I found that 2.4.29 was using 486 optimizations, so I changed this build to use PII and no math emulation (since 486DX and newer chips have math coprocessor onboard).

For the second I copied the .config file from 2.4.29 and then had network in my list of configuration choices (when I ran 'make gconfig'), but it didn't get past 'Loading Linux-2.6.11...........'

The third recompile got past that, it got to 'BIOS data check successful' then the screen went black. Guess I koosed the command prompt video settings.

Now on to the fourth.

Sorry if this post has little detail. I had a nice long detailed post, but it got wiped out by blogger with an html error.

Monday, March 07, 2005

I compiled my kernel!

That's right, I've upgraded my kernel to 2.6.11. Gnome comes up, so I think it's a pretty good compile. 2 things tho, I wanted to have my network card and sound card compiled in, but they didn't. Guess I'll just have to compile again.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Rolling my own kernel

Going around online I was confronted with some PC peers who teased me about my old Linux kernel. (2.4.29 or something like that.) How was I supposed to know? I just installed the 'Latest' distrobution of Slackware, 10.1. I figured it had the 'Latest' kernel. Come to find out, the latest kernel (2.6.11) came out Wednesday. I'm gonna have to keep up on this stuff.

So what am I to do. Roll my own. Now, not my own kernel, but I am going to compile my own version of the kernel, choosing all the options I want for it and none of the ones I don't.

Now, I see the benefits of Linux. I can custom tailor the kernel, to include my drivers, and none of the ones I don't want. That has to be a performance benefit. Also, (I'm not compiling this, but will let it be a module) if I so choose, I can right to some of the cpus on the market! Wow! Boy, I could really do some damage...

Anyway, I'm doing my reading, posting my questions, and should be posting more info soon.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Ahh.... linux is home!

Got my network gear today. My windows box is working as router now, except during working hours when I'm VPN'd and the NIC connected to the cable modem is locked down.

Sound is working too. And at start up. I just put it into rc.local, right before the line for That worked fine, both sound and the dNet client are running.

Next step, Mono. Also, sound, my mp3s and videos sound like they're coming through a helicoptor, sputtering like. I might work on this tonight. But I want to take my wife out. With all this snow and being stuck home, she's getting antsy.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Steps for Slackware 10.1

I was just telling somebody about my adventure with Slackware 10.1. I don't have a working burner. My network is shoddy at this point. So here's the steps I did.

  • Download the boot/root floppy disk images

  • Download the software sets for slackware. (They have chucks of the OS and apps broken into software sets, like the basic OS is set A, games are set G...)

  • Download and set up an NFS server (demo), took 2 trys to get one that worked.

  • Unplug my windoze box from the Cable Modem and plug it into the hub with the Linux box

  • Boot off the floppies and give the installer my network settings

  • Reinstall cause I missed the Lilo step

And now I've got it running. It was a great learning experience.

Current activities

Slackware 10.1 set up. Things to do:

  • Get sound working

  • Set up mono, do some mono stuff

  • Get the box on the internet hosting my site

I'm waiting for some network gear my bro and dad were going to send me, but may just pick up a $9 NIC and a strech of cable. We'll see. (I'm going cheap and will use one of these boxes to route for now.)

Work is humming along. Current accomplishments:

  • Repaired DataMatch's install

  • Wrote a cropping Windows Forms User Control that can be used on the web as well. (This was while we were waiting for a quote from a contractor to do the same thing.)

I also loaded BitTorrent on this (Windoze) box. DL'd a few TV shows for testing.

Had some health issues this weekend. Put a damper on things, but was able to get to the wedding of some friends Saturday. Congratulations Ed and Becky! Hope you had a good time where-ever you went. (Ed surprised Becky with the honeymoon destination.)

ALSO: Put some more links on my Tech-Links page. I have to get my site off Geocities. I'm cheap, but I don't like what they do to my site.

Friday, February 25, 2005

I did it, I cobbled to gether a system.

First I had to get a KVM switch. Then I had to get a video card that would handle the KVM switch. I do not have a CD Burner, so I had to find a way to get linux installed without a CD. I don't have a router, so I needed to download files to my Windoze PC. Then connect the Windoze PC to my hub, and run the Slackware NFS install.

And I did. HAHA HAAHAHA Cackle cackle... (Thunder and Lightning!!)

Now I want to get mono set up on it, and Distributed.Net.

BTW, I'm running Slackware 10.1 on a 400MHz with 130Mb RAM and 6Gb Hard drive.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I'm here, just been busy...

That's what they all say. Anyway, figured I'd put a link to Novell. Funny stuff.

I just got a box for Linux. It's only a 400 Mhz. I need a KVM switch and some other stuff to get it up and running, but what are your thoughts about the flavor of Linux to go with?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Latest news

Getting pretty proficient with coding now. Feel a lot more comfortable. A while back we had a consultant come in and he taught me many techniques that I still use and find helpful. We also had him work on a couple of projects in areas he had less experience in. Those projects are not yet 100% and it's been almost a year, so I don't feel so bad that I'm still working on some stuff.

Feature creep, where features keep getting added to the project, seem to get things bogged down for me. But those other projects never did work right and we haven't added any features.

In other news, saw Phantom of the Opera last night. If you've ever seen the play, see the movie. If you haven't seen the play, see the movie then the play. Fantastic.

Sunday my wife's grandfather (mom's dad) died. We've been dealing with that. Friday I found out my father still has osteoperosis (sorry if misspelled). Wasn't just a mis-diagnose. He'll be living with that for the rest of this system.

So that's the good bad and otherwise. Let me know what you think.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Deep in enemy territory, the message must get out...

I'm deep in the heart of eagle land. If I don't make it out alive, the Patriot's will have it by the third quarter... shhhh... somebody's coming... Aaaagghg

Friday, January 28, 2005

Some days I depress myself...

Instead of Impress... Okay, Century Color Online forms, has been the bane of my existance in some regards. Never enough, always updating, never easy to work in. I was ready to hate ASP .Net simply because I never wanted to look at it again after working on these forms.

That's because I was being idiotic. (No, I'm not an idiot, just naive.)

For example, our Review order page. Basically, it was a simple page that used this:

Dim objRequest As System.Net.WebRequest = System.Net.HttpWebRequest.Create(url)
objResponse = objRequest.GetResponse()
Dim sr As New System.IO.StreamReader(objResponse.GetResponseStream())

Now, do you follow what that did? It did an HTTPWebRequest into a StreamReader. Then I stripped out all the form tags and other undesirable tags and other bad tags, and dumped the resulting huge string into a label control. At the time I thought it was pretty ingenious. Until of course I wanted that form to do stuff.

Today, in 2 lines of code, (and removing everything outside (and including) the form tags) I turned this page into a Usercontrol, I don't need to pull it through the HttpRequest string, and now, I can put functionality into it.

The only trick, and the reason I original went the way I did, is I want to be able to e-mail that form, and I was able to e-mail it just the way it was. Now I'll have to create a form that has this new usercontrol, and e-mail the new form. It'll still be easier than what I was doing.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Another link

Added another link, don't know why I didn't have it before. It's an article on the 4 Guys from Rolla site. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Stuff and stuff...

I knew that user controls couldn't be that difficult. They aren't. I'm working on simplifying code. I have several forms I work on, they have slightly different layouts, depending on what type of order the user is placing. But some of the controls, and therefore code, get duplicated. I am working to unify the code, making it easier. Therefore, I have added a link on my Technical Links page.

One other point... who's idea was it to so tightly pack coffee filters together! You really think they're useable after separating them first thing in the morning, with bleary eyes and fumbling fingers?!?!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Yesterday, about 5PM I went out to get groceries. Got back about 6 and noticed footprints in the snow. I looked around, cause I'm a little suspicous of footprints, and they went around the house, so I figured they were the landlord's.

Went to my book study at about 7:15, and came back about 8:45PM. At 10:30, as my wife was covering our bird, she looked out the window. This was the living room window. Since we just moved in, it just had sheer, lacey, curtains, so she could look right out. She asked me if I had walked up to the window. I hadn't. So I go out and look, and realize there is a new set of foot prints, similar to the first set, coming right up to and looking in our window. Definetly not our landlord.

So, needless to say, we were creeped out. The worst part is, my wife was home alone while I was at the book study. Thankfully nothing happened, except that we didn't get to sleep until after 1AM. We called the police and left a report, barricaded the front door, and locked our bedroom door. We also hung blankets over the windows so that nobody could peer through the sheers.

This morning, we realized that the footprints came to all the windows, even the ones surrounded by bushes.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Arrr matey!!!

Please click the link below to vote for the type of pirate I am.
Just to help you vote:

Okay, the two people who bothered to vote have voted, and I have decided I'm just a regular, run-of-the-mill, Jimmey Buffet kind of pirate.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Created a class to save User and App settings

In my previous post I mentioned how I needed to save some settings. I found this article on MSDN that helped me to write a class that reads and writes app settings to the CommonApplicationData area. It's pretty slick. I added on to what they had by checking for the path first, and if necessary, creating the directory and file.

Saved myself from a big mistake

Whoa boy... Thanks Ian for your help.

I wanted to save user settings for my app, in this case, the path to another app that they would need to use. That's no problem', I thought, figuring it I'd just dump it into the app.config file with the deployment settings. Ian posted this great article that taught me otherwise.

Instead, I'm going to roll my own AppSettings class, and save it in the users ApplicationData folder. Check it out... It's a good idea considering security is tightening everywhere.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I'm a nerd...

Ben Mawoo gota 56. Here's mine:
I am nerdier than 68% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Funny article

This article made me laugh, a feat no article had done in quite some time. This is what I thought was funny:
"I don't even know who the candidates are other than Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), let alone this Gere," Gaza soap factory worker Manar an-Najar told Reuters on Wednesday.

"We don't need the Americans' intervention. We know who to elect. Not like them -- they elected a moron."

And then there's this one. Reminds me of this video clip.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Best FTP software I've used

Ace FTP might be the first FTP software I ever buy. It's so simple, but has so many powerfull features. This FTP software let's you drag and drop, auto queues files, and will even give you a throughput graph for starters. And, if you're on dial-up and need to save some bandwidth while it transfers in the background, you can throtle the throughput. Check it out here.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Arthur Kenyon...

Saturday my grandfather passed away. Here is his obituary.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

New phone #, cable hassles, and sad news

I have a new phone #. I still don't have a cable jack in my office. And my grandfather died this evening. Now I am on the phone with Netzero who made unauthorized withdrawels from my account. Fun day.