Archives / 2005 / March
  • June Events

    In addition to these speaking engagements, I've also got the following plans for June 2005: Tech Ed5-10 June 2005Orlando, FLI won't be speaking but I'll likely be one of their volunteer experts, doing stuff with MVPs, ASPInsiders, INETA, CodeWise/CodeZone, etc.  I'm looking forward to seeing many of my .NET community friends there, most of whom I haven't seen in over a year. Visual Studio 2005 DevCon16 June 2005Detroit, MII'm tentatively speaking on what's new with ASP.NET in 2.0.  I don't have a URL for this event yet.Update: Now have a URL and a definite speaking topic. more

  • Iraq Resistance 'begins to crack'

    Instapundit blogged this story: Iraqi resistance begins to crack after elections The Iraqi resistance has peaked and is 'turning in on itself', according to recent intelligence reports from Baghdad received by Middle Eastern intelligence agencies. The reports are the most optimistic for several months and reflect analysts' sense that recent elections in Iraq marked a 'quantum shift'. They will boost the government in the run-up to the expected general election in May. Read the whole article It would seem to me, and to others too I think, that the successful elections have done a great deal to secure Iraq.  In hindsight it seems incredibly foolish that some argued that the elections … more

  • After Action Report of US Reaction to Ambush

    This is a great account of how a single squad of US MPs managed to thwart a deliberate ambush being performed by several dozen insurgents.  Blackfive has the story, which includes a video that was taken from the insurgents -- apparently they were planning on showing it off on al Jazeera or something after killing and/or kidnapping their targets.  That didn't happen.  There are some learning points for anybody in theater, too, such as: Have a consistent load plan with extra ammunition in vehicles; leaders ensure all vehicles are the same CLS train everybody (and be sure to have CLS bags, even if you have to go with home-made ones) Cross train all soldiers on all weapons … more

  • Iraq's Insurgents 'seek exit strategy'

    Many of Iraq's predominantly Sunni Arab insurgents would lay down their arms and join the political process in exchange for guarantees of their safety and that of their co-religionists, according to a prominent Sunni politician. Things appear to be going rather well, despite what the MSM would tell most of us. Read the full article. Update: One exit strategy that would almost definitely work: Turn in Zarqawi. more

  • ZaneBug - an enhancement to NUnit

    Scott Watermasysk just pointed me to ZaneBug, which I immediately downloaded and started playing with (about 10 minutes ago).  From first impressions, it's pretty impressive.  It feels a little bit slower than NUnit, but I haven't had a chance to do any qualitative analysis of performance.  However, that's a very minor point.  It worked out of the box, and claims to be compatible with NUnit 2.1 and 2.2 tests.  I ran some of mine and it accepted them just fine.  Its UI is its strongest feature.  ZaneBug lets you see all kinds of output and reports, track perf counters during tests, repeat tests, etc.  It keeps logs of each test and lets you know things … more

  • Upcoming Speaking Engagements

    I missed ASP.NET Connections this week, but I have been slowly getting back into my speaking and training schedule.  I have two INETA engagements coming up in the next couple months: 28 April 2005.NET Developers Group in Central OhioTopic: Caching Best Practices in ASP.NET6pm at Microsoft Polaris Building 12 May 2005Greater Charleston .NET User GroupTopic: Caching Best Practices in ASP.NET6pm at Blackbaud For both of these topics I intend to discuss: Caching Pattern -- the right way check the cache for a value, and if necessary, repopulate it (article) Cache Management / Configuration Best Practices Micro Caching (benefits of caching for short periods of time) (article) Write Caching … more

  • Speaking at Fall ASP.NET Connections

    I found out a few days ago that I'll be speaking at the Fall ASP.NET Connections show.  I didn't make it to last Fall's, which I was also scheduled to speak at, which really depressed me.  It was going to be my first time in Vegas, and my birthday.  But it looks like perhaps I'll still get my chance, since it's still in Vegas, and it's once again spanning my birthday. You can view the full list of speakers and sessions for the show on its website. My sessions are: Caching Features in ASP.NET 2.0 with SQL Server 2005 Unit Testing and Build Management in .NET Applications (Part 1 -- .NET 1.1) Unit Testing and Build Management in .NET Applications (Part 2 -- .NET 2.0) Hopefully Whidbey will … more

  • Wilson UIMapper and CodeSmith Tip

    I'm sure this is documented as being a requirement, but if you miss that part and just get the error, you'll have a hard time associating the error with the requirement that corrects things.  In my case, I was trying to use the Wilson UIMapper package to build the UI config files for some assemblies I had built using Paul Welter's LoreSoft WilsonORMapper CodeSmith Templates.  Everything was going fine, I created the OR mapping file, then the OR classes, built them with a NAnt script.  But then when I got to the last step, generating the UIMapping files, I kept getting a System.Reflection.TypeLoadException, like this one: System.Reflection.ReflectionTypeLoadException: One or … more

  • Visual Studio Could not write to output file annoyance

    Every now and then my VS.NET solutions will fail to build because of an error like: Could not write to outputfile (filepath in /obj/ folder).  The file is being used by another process. There is a KB article describing this bug: BUG: Could Not Copy Temporary Files to the Output Directory But to be honest, that has never helped me one bit.  In my case, I'm not using a shared output folder, I am using Copy Local, and the project with the issues is only being referenced by Project References.  So that KB is worthless, but it's the only one I've found thus far. Sometimes I get things to work by switching from Debug to Release mode, or vice versa.  This usually works for one or two builds, … more

  • An Iraqi Comments on 2 Years since the war in Iraq began

    Husayn writes: It has been now two years since the United States, UK and other countries invaded our nation. It has been two years since Iraqis have had to live with daily violent attacks and rampant terrorism. It has been two years since our nation began being turned upside down. It has been two years since the road to democracy began.It has been a very hard two years. So many people have died, so much has been destroyed, so many drops of tears and blood have been shed, so many have been robbed of loved ones, and so many words have been spoken about Iraq, it's future, and this war. To may outsiders, like those who protested last year, who will protest today. This was a fools errand, it … more

  • Was George Bush Right?

    That's what people are asking all over the world.  The Washington Post featured an opinion column titled What's Left?  Shame.  Some excerpts: Those who claimed, with great certainty, that Arabs are an exception to the human tendency toward freedom, that they live in a stunted and distorted culture that makes them love their chains -- and that the notion the United States could help trigger a democratic revolution by militarily deposing their oppressors was a fantasy -- have been proved wrong. More: When a Le Monde editorial titled "Arab Spring" acknowledges "the merit of George W. Bush," when the cover headline of London's The Independent is "Was Bush Right After All?" and … more

  • VirtualPC Memory Limit -- Nero InCD

    Chris Wille pointed me to Nero InCD as the culprit when my VirtualPC machine wouldn't let me use more than 256mb of my 2GB of RAM.  He says now that this is fixed in the latest version.  Ben Armstrong also covers the issue of Nero InCD and VirtualPC, recommending uninstalling. What I've found works for me is to simply open up Windows Task Manager, go to the Processes tab, sort by Image Name, select InCD.exe, and End Process.  No need to uninstall (or install a new version of Nero).  I can still use Nero when I want for burning or whatever, but when I'm doing VPC I just stop it.  I'm pretty sure I don't need InCD using up resources 24/7 anyway. more

  • Internet Access from VirtualPC with Windows Server 2003

    Decided to install a fresh VPC for development, which is why I justified getting so much RAM in my latest laptop (the graphics card, on the other hand, was purely for CounterStrike / HalfLife 2).  Got it up and running in short order, but it didn't want to talk to the Internet.  I knew I'd seen this before but it took me about half an hour of googling to find the quick fix here:  The solution:  Windows Server 2003 looks at the DNS packet, sees that it is coming from a source other than the DNS server it requested the information from, and rejects it.  A simple fix for this is to manually assign the … more

  • Sql Tip: Update Fields on Tables across several Databases, at once

    There was a good thread on the Stored Procedure list today which included several solutions for this problem.  The latest and ostensibly best one so far can be found in the sql archives here.  That list, and the other lists on SqlAdvice, are great places to ask questions about anything database and SQL related. more

  • Bush Announces Iraq Exit Strategy: 'We'll Go Through Iran'

    From The Onion WASHINGTON, DC—Almost a year after the cessation of major combat and a month after the nation's first free democratic elections, President Bush unveiled the coalition forces' strategy for exiting Iraq. "I'm pleased to announce that the Department of Defense and I have formulated a plan for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq," Bush announced Monday morning. "We'll just go through Iran." Full Story (not for the satire impaired) more

  • Made the Board...

    Got a letter saying I've been selected for Captain by the board that met last November (2004).  Unfortunately I'm currently off of orders and not with a drilling unit, which means I don't actually get a promotion (until either I'm deployed from the IRR (again) or I find myself filling an O3 slot somewhere).  The list of names is in the latest Army Times.  I noticed two of my buddies who deployed with (and returned with) me to Iraq were also selected, but I imagine they're in the same boat.  I don't believe the board decision is retroactive to when the board met (at which time I was on active duty orders), which would be nice.  As it stands, it doesn't look like I'll … more

  • More Fun With Wilson UIMapper

    I've now gotten a fair bit further along, and have created my first custom widget for the UIMapper.  There is a sweet filepicker control (which also handles file uploading) called AWS FilePicker.  It's also FREE!  Anyway, I now have a FilePickerWidget working with the Wilson UIMapper.  It was actually pretty straightforward to get working.  Given that the AWS control is free, maybe Paul would bundle this widget with a later release or premium edition of UIMapper... more

  • Working with Wilson ORMapper / UIMapper

    I've been trying to get Paul Wilson's ORMapper and UIMapper to work for a small application I've been working on.  First, let me vent a bit.  The lack of documentation for these tools is very frustrating.  I would love to see at least a user-documentation area like the wiki that is set up at so that Paul's users could help build up the documentation themselves.  I understand he's busy, and I'm like him when it comes to the tedious parts of programming. Lacking documentation, some unit tests would have helped me to get a good grasp on things, but alas these did not exist either.  So I wrote some.  However, I quickly ran into a … more

  • ArmyTimes Article on Army Bloggers (and their tips for bloggers)

    Unfortunately they missed, but all the same, the latest issue of ArmyTimes has a story on Army Bloggers.  There are quite a few out there, and I've just added ArmyAdvice to the MilBlogs webring, something I've been meaning to do for some time. The print version also included 10 tips for posting your blog, which I can't seem to find on the ArmyTimes website.  I don't think they will mind if I rephrase them here so I can add my $.02 (and if they do mind I'm sure they will let me know): 1. Determine logistic needs (lists a few free blog sites).  This ( is the only free blog site I know of that is strictly for Army bloggers (but feel free to … more

  • Loss of a Friend

    I learned today that one of my friends whom I had the honor of working with for several months while I was in Iraq was killed a couple of weeks ago.  SSG Steffeney worked with me and my platoon from October 2004 until our unit redeployed in late December 2004.  During that time, we worked together closely, as one of my platoon's primary missions was to provide security for SSG Steffeney's EOD team, a job we took great pride in.  He was a very professional soldier and I enjoyed working with him.  His was one of the most important, and one of the most dangerous, jobs in Iraq, and I'm proud to have known him and served with him. More information. more

  • Finally Saw Redshift in Concert

    I finally saw Redshift this evening in Kent, where I live.  They're a local band that I've been listening to for a few years now but I've never managed to make it to a show before now.  They played at the Robin Hood along with Third Nature who were also very good and Bonk, who were loud and a lot of fun (Bonk was headlining - here's a review of another of their Robin Hood shows which sounds a lot like this evening's).  Anyway, check out Redshift's website if you're into rock music and download a song or two and see if you like it.  My favorites are Infamy and Holes of Light. more

  • Multiple Root Webs on XP Pro

    Steven Cohn has a nice hack for supporting multiple root websites on Windows XP Pro.  You can't do multiple simultaneous sites, but between this and the HOSTS file you can simulate any live site on your XP Pro box, which is a lot handier than having to remote into a Server install or use a virtual machine.  (and of course, the reason this is an issue at all is that developing a site that resides in a domain root is a whole lot easier when you don't have to try and switch between a dev environment that exists in a subfolder and a production environment that is in the root). more

  • List Options using CSS (e.g. avoiding HTML tables)

    I've recently been converted to the “kill all unnecessary tags used for layout” camp.  I've been working for the last couple of months on usability and structural improvements to and have reduced the total size of each page significantly.  The site flies now compared to a few months ago.  However, it still uses a lot of TABLE tags for the main body, since I've thus far only had time to redo the header using DIV tags and CSS. That said, I'm also working on a few applications that require some menu systems for the administration, and I've been looking at the easiest way to create a tabbed navigation (without 3rd party components, to keep things … more

  • Bill Gates Knighted

    Bill Gates was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II today. Gates will become a Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, an honor said to date back to 1917.Gates was recognized for his contributions to improving health and reducing poverty in parts of the Commonwealth and elsewhere in the developing world, and for his contribution to enterprise, employment, education, and the voluntary sector in the U.K., Microsoft said, in a statement.  more

  • Convert TivoToGo Files to Normal MPG for DVD Recording

    I've had a TiVo for a couple of years now and just recently installed the TiVo Desktop and TivoToGo software.  I immediately ran into the problem that it's impossible for me to burn shows to DVD without using Sonic's software (I already have Nero so why should I buy something else?).  Thankfully, there's a lot of stuff available on Google including this popular article on TivoToGo MPEG2 Descrypting (which didn't quite work for me) and this recent blog post on Converting .tivo to .mpg without Sonic. So far... no luck.  But hopefully I'll edit this in a bit with something that works.  At the moment everything seems to go fine but then when I try to open the resulting .mpg … more