# Wednesday, 28 February 2007

I have installed an interesting application - BlogJet. It's a cool Windows client for my blog tool (as well as for other tools). Get your copy here: http://blogjet.com


"Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination." -- Albert Einstein

posted on Wednesday, 28 February 2007 14:49:40 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [2] Trackback
# Saturday, 24 February 2007

Well whadda ya know, I'm a dad... again. Let me warn you right now: This might get mushy so stop reading right now if you can't stand people going on and on about their children. I promise that I'll return to the regularly scheduled programming :)

I can tell you one thing right off the bat it doesn't get any less wonderful or weird the second time around. I did wonder how I'd be able to love both the little ones the same with two of them competing for attention. Turns out that the love simply grows with each new addition to the family. Isn't it wonderful how things just work themselves out sometimes?

The birth of my first born (and, don't forget, heir to my kingdom) was a pretty traumatic deal not so much because anything went wrong per say. We simply didn't know at any time what the next step would be, you get the feeling that the hospital staff thinks of you a person who cannot even begin to understand what is going on. incredibly frustrating when you think of yourself as a reasonably enlightened individual with equipped average intelligence.

This time around the opposite happened. My wife needed to give birth by C-section because our son apparently is equipped with the same path finding abilities as his father, i.e. next to none, thus he wasn't facing the exit properly. So we knew the date and time on beforehand which turns out to be pretty handy for planning :)

We started out the day before the operation by being informed of what was going to happen. Unfortunately the weather gods decided to dump a whole bunch of snow on us so the staff was pretty thin which meant that we spent six hours at the hospital waiting for a total of 45 minutes worth of information. Not the best way to start out but what are you going to do? I was just happy that we made it to the hospital at all :)

A C-section apparently requires every human being on the planet to be present in the operating room. We had doctors specializing in anesthetics, nurses, surgeons, assisting surgeons, more nurses, midwives, the whole shebang. I'm pretty sure I got my tax worth that day :) So maybe not the entire population of planet earth, a healthy percentage at least. It was pretty cool to watch what can only be described as a well choreographed dance happen around you. Everybody knew they function, when to do what, where to go next. Awesome, just awesome. Of course this brings my mind to the process of developing software, I think the bar may have been raising for where we need to go with our development efforts in the future but that's for a different post altogether.

All went well. Baby Christoffer was born February 23rd at 10:17 weighing 3100 g. and 50 cm. of length. He was born just 15 minutes after the surgery started. The entire thing was over in 45 minutes, the same amount of time spent by the staff telling us about it. Fun coincidence don't you think?

I'll never forget sitting holding my wife's hand and hearing for the first time the voice of my son as he was delivered into this world by capable hands. Of course I didn't cry I merely had something in my eye :)

Of course it's every parent's right to spam friends, family, and the internets with lots and lots of baby pictures but I'll spare you for now and only post a couple:

posted on Saturday, 24 February 2007 22:28:53 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [3] Trackback
# Tuesday, 20 February 2007

I recently took a look at NDepend to checkout whether I'd be able to do some analysis of our solutions with regard to code reviews and overall architural integrity. I must admit that I didn't get the tool, I went ahead and looked at some of the reports but the main window of the tool is just extremely busy. Finding heads and tails of it was beyond me in the 15 minutes I looked at it. Basically I decided that it generated some interesting reports but that it really wouldn't be all that helpful.

I'm thinking that I might have to give the tool a second chance having read Scott Hanselman's post Exiting The Zone of Pain - Static Analysis with NDepend. Getting a down to earth explanation of how to read the charts really made sense of some of the stuff I was seeing. However I still feel that the main window requires lots more investigation before I can effectively use it some anything. The real power of NDepend seems to me to be the query language which lets you find stuff like unused methods. ReSharper already does this for me but only in a very localized way, i.e. only the file I'm currently working on. Having the ability to do this globally in a solutions really appeals to me.

Back to NDepend for a close look.

Conclusion: First read Scott Hanselman's post on NDepend then go download and play around with it.

posted on Tuesday, 20 February 2007 13:28:50 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback

The tool which every .NET developer need but don't know about is out with a new version bringing us up to version 5. Check out what Reflector is and why you need it.

Download Reflector 5

posted on Tuesday, 20 February 2007 12:56:17 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback

Introduces features such as Windows Vista support and support for hardware virtualization found in newer CPUs. Also my experience is that you'll gain a performance boost with this version even on machines without hardware virtualization. My three year old laptop was none too happy about running VPCs on Windows XP with Virtual PC 2004. With Windows Vista and Virtual PC 2007 however everything seems to run more smoothly.

Download Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

posted on Tuesday, 20 February 2007 12:53:12 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [1] Trackback
# Monday, 19 February 2007
posted on Monday, 19 February 2007 10:15:58 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Sunday, 18 February 2007

I still need to run classic ASP pages at home from time to time. Me having migrated every single machine at home to Windows Vista presents a slight problem as getting classic ASP pages running under IIS 7.0 is far from obvious.

Right off the bat you'll need to enable error messages on IIS. IIS 7.0 introduces a concept which reminds me of friendly HTTP errors in Internet Explorer. basically you need to turn this off to see the actual error message. I was lucky enough to find a person called Mike Plate who encountered the same issue and wrote a post about it.

Also if you need to use the OLEDB provider to do database access to Access (heh) you need to check out this knowledge base article: Error message when you request an ASP page that connects to an Access database in IIS 7.0: "Microsoft JET Database Engine error '80004005'".

Mr. Legacy strikes again!

posted on Sunday, 18 February 2007 20:10:03 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Wednesday, 14 February 2007

Ah time flies when you're having fun. My former colleague Simon sent me a link to the web archive of Bolia from back in 2001. This version actually predates me by about a year as I didn't join the development team of the site until mid 2002. It still looked pretty much like the 2001 version at that time.

We did a major overhaul of the overall site design in 2003 and later in 2004 we went ahead and redid the checkout pages with the help of usability experts. The result of the usability work is something I'm still proud of today because it truly does make a difference. Finally 2005 introduced revamped catalog browsing with more elaborate presentation of the categories. Three new category presentations were introduced in various levels to allow for better presentation of their stuff. Top level with completely free HTML presentation or banner control from Commerce Server depending on what they choose to go with. Second level with a nice image and text presentation of the categories beneath. And finally third level with more text and an image along with the various materials for the products found in the category.

That's how it stands today. Most active development at this point happens in the backend with a strong focus on moving to the new platform.

Check out Bolia.com 2001. For reference this is our current design. I wonder when we'll move to Web 2.0 black :)

posted on Wednesday, 14 February 2007 09:09:33 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Tuesday, 06 February 2007

A couple of months ago our network setup changed here at the shop and I now have to check the "Use Default Gateway" on my VPN connection to get to any of our remote servers. This is really annoying as I can't get to anything on our other remote network which hosts stuff like source control while I'm connected adding to the overall time I spend on deploying stuff because I have to use my local machine as temporary waystation before getting to the actual live server.

I'm delighted to report that Steven Harman has what you need in his post VPN Connections and Default Gateways. The basic idea is to set up static routes to the remote network which negates the requirement of having to check the Use Default Gateway box. Great stuff.

posted on Tuesday, 06 February 2007 12:55:00 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [0] Trackback
# Saturday, 03 February 2007

It's both funny and a little bit disturbing how far Apple is willing to go in order to bring down Microsoft's Vista launch. To my mind Apple is [mis]using their MP3 player monopoly to slow down adoption of Windows Vista by releasing support articles stating stuff like,

"iTunes 7.0.2 may work with Windows Vista on many typical PCs. Apple recommends, however, that customers wait to upgrade Windows until after the next release of iTunes which will be available in the next few weeks."

Apparently there are incompatibility issues between Windows Vista and iTunes thus you should avoid upgrading to Windows Vista until Apple has released a newer version of the iTunes software. They're absolutely right I personally have witnessed one such incompatibility but it's important to note that it was about 6 months ago and the versions involved were Windows Vista pre beta 1 and iTunes 6 (not even sure Vista was called Vista back then). Also worth of note is that the incompatibility was purely cosmetic as the problem was that the Aero UI would shut off when iTunes was running. Everything else working without a hitch. The Java Runtime Environment version 5 caused a similar thing to happen. No big deal.

Also going as far as releasing software to address the "problem" seems a bit extreme. If such incompatibilities really existed why haven't anyone heard about them yet? Yes Windows Vista hasn't been out for more than a couple of days but that's only counting the general public. Developers and business have had access to Windows Vista for two months and I dare say that we would have heard something by now if a real problem existed.

Why is this funny? Well the Apple community are all up in arms about Microsoft are their evil ways but when it comes to Apple they're a closed minded bunch of drones all going, "Apple is so cool, Apple does no wrong". I have a law suit against Apple that says otherwise, I have a conviction of Apple that says otherwise, and now this.

FUD, pure FUD from wonderful Apple.

If an incompatibility really does exist should you wait with the upgrade to Windows Vista simply because you're iPod might not work? That's a big thing to postpone simply because of an "if" and an MP3 player. It all seems a bit snobby to me.

Let the hate-mail flow :)

posted on Saturday, 03 February 2007 12:54:48 (Romance Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Comments [12] Trackback