December 2006 - Posts

29 December 2006
Five (Or So) Things You Didn't Know About Me
All the cool kids are doing it (notably one of my favorite bloggers, Alex Barnett so if he's doing it , why not): During my tenure at boarding school up north, I was an alpine ski racer (downhill and super-g being my preferred events) and did reasonably well. Unfortunately my career was cut short for reasons I won't go into here. It was one of the few sports I had any "natural" talent at. I do not have a college degree, though I did attend a few semesters of college (I was a chemistry major). After that fiasco I was formally trained in classic VB/ASP, and am otherwise self-trained (on the job or otherwise) in my .Net endeavors. I know a ton of programmers who went this route. I was a Macintosh user for the first decade of my computer using years, and did not even power up a Windows machine outside of school until I was 21. I have 5 piercings, but no tatoos (with no plans to get any...ever). I had hair down to my shoulders until I was 20. Extra credit: I was classically trained in upright... Read More...
28 December 2006
My Last Holdout Switches To Community Server
Hell hath frozen over...Bob has moved from subText over to Community Server (more info on his site here and here ) with some gracious help from BlogML . My job as a CS zealot here in NC is now done; most of the local bloggers I know are now on the CS platform. What's funny is that they have all run into the same gotchas for the most part, most notably how arcane it is to enable anonymous comments...seems like just yesterday I was yelling about the same problems. What's cool is that he found most of the answers he needed over on the CS.org forums...self sustainability rocks. So far he's enjoying it, and he's even whipped up some small mods to the default paperclip theme and has some nice brooding orange hues on his site. Now if I can just get him started on cranking out some CS mods! Read More...
25 December 2006
AMD Opteron 180 Dual Core Processor Upgrade -- Thank You Santa!
I've been in the market for a dual core processor for a while now, but have been waiting for some of the prices to fall as well as just letting the dust settle over at AMD to see what panned out for their socket 939 architecture. Santa was kind enough to bring me an AMD Opteron 180 Dual Core this year for Christmas (each core running at 2.4ghz). The upgrade itself was a little bumpy; initially my motherboard didn't recognize the processor as anything other than a generic AMD dual core CPU...turned out my Abit AN8 needed a BIOS upgrade in order to properly configure itself to get the most out of the new processor. Initially it was running at ~140 degrees F and was randomly locking up, and I noticed no real perceived performance gains...after reflashing the BIOS idle temperature dropped to 90F (decrease in voltage), and my machine really started to scream, not to mention my Vista CPU rating went up a full point from 4.0 to 5.0. Long story short, check for BIOS upgrades if you're dropping... Read More...
15 December 2006
Microsoft Releases Bug-Fix Version of Visual Studio 2005
Via eWeek : Microsoft has released to manufacturing Visual Studio 2005 Service Pack 1, which features fixes for user-reported issues. Service Pack 1 of the development platform also includes more than 70 improvements for common development scenarios, including new processor support for code generation and profiling, as well as performance and scale improvements in Microsoft's TFS (Team Foundation Server ). Although Microsoft has released the Visual Studio 2005 SP1 bits to manufacturing, official news of the release is not expected until Monday, sources close to the company said. So I guess we'll have it in our hands on Monday...not soon enough though, I've been swearing at VS all week. Read More...
15 December 2006
Comments Temporarily Disabled On JK.com
Comments will be temporarily disabled on JK.com due to some database issues (meaning I messed something up and am in dire need of a db restore...working with my hosting company even as I type this). I also will be moving my site to a new server within the next day or so, site uptime will be affected so apologies in advance. Read More...
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13 December 2006
XNA Studio Express -- Requires C# Express?
While I don't plan on being the next John Carmack , I was pretty stoked to see that XNA Studio Express went RTM recently. Except for one small problem...XNA will only run on machines with C# Express installed; the full blown non-express SKU's (Professional, VSTS, etc) aren't compatible. I do realize that an XNA Professional release is in the pipeline, but I'm not going to install C# Express just to play around with the XNA Express bits (even though it's very tempting). I think it's kind of silly actually, but I guess MS has their reasoning for this seemingly irrational requirement. Bummer. Read More...
08 December 2006
JetBrains Omea Pro Now Free
I can't find a link on the Jetbrains site with this announcement...I came across it in my feeds earlier this week; Omea Pro from Jetbrains is now free . I've been using Omea Reader for quite a while now as my main NNTP/RSS aggregator and absolutely swear by it, even if it is a bit resource heavy. Omea Pro builds on the capabilities of Omea Reader with these additional features ...mainly MS Outlook integration and search capabilities. I'll stick with Reader for now, but will definitely have a look at the extended features of Pro in the very near future. Read More...
06 December 2006
Digitally Imported Radio -- Techno Channel
Digitally Imported Radio (my favorite streaming music choice for years now) recently added a new channel to their repertoire: Techno . AAC stream , 96k stream , and 32k WMP stream locations. Not for the faint of heart, but it's great stuff to code to. Casual electronica listeners might be thinking to themselves "isn't all electronica also called techno?" Yeah, kinda...but techno in itself is also a sub-genre of electronica, and it's hard to describe so just have a listen first...you'll either love it or hate it. Sidenote: I recently came across this dandy over on Jon Galloway's site: Open Playlist In Windows Media . Essentially what it does is parse a .pls file for the underlying URL of the streaming media so that it can be played in Windows Media Player. Included in the package is a link to the Orban AAC codec for WMP , which of course allows for playback of AAC encoded streams in WMP. After a long run with WinAmp (5+ years) I have removed it from my system and am WMP only. Well, until... Read More...
04 December 2006
CS Tidbits #25: Disable Stale Spam Comment Auditing
I've been in the process of building some Community Server add-ins lately (namely a couple of Control Panel add-ins) and stumbled across today's tidbit: Comments that are deemed as spam (they have accrued enough points to be considered as such) and are also flagged as stale (they've been sitting in your database for x number of days) are cleaned up on a regular basis by the DeleteStaleSpamComments job which runs every x number of days that you configure it to fire. There are a couple of issues with this process: A) the job interval will get reset if the asp.net process hosting your CS installation restarts before the configured number of days pass by (which I will address in a future Tidbit) and thus will never fire, and B) while the comments are indeed deleted from the cs_posts table, they are archived into the cs_posts_deleted_archive table, so whatever space they were taking up isn't actually freed back to your database. The fix for this is easy enough...locate the cs_weblog_DeleteStaleSpamComments... Read More...
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04 December 2006
Casino Royale -- Fantastic Flick
I managed to catch a showing of Casino Royale over the weekend...it was excellent . The Wiki sums up a lot of my feelings about the picture...IMO it's a great movie that just happens to be a Bond flick. No deluge of cheesy one-liners or over the top special effects, the action sequences are as raw as they are physical...in short Craig's take on the Bond character is the best I've seen yet. The movie itself is engrossing and captivating, again not just some razzle dazzle light show attempting to woo audiences with a parade of gadgets...it provides a nice insight into the "softer" side of Bond. Highly recommended; leave your assumptions and pre-conceived notions at the box office window though. Definitely a must-see for any fan of the series. Read More...
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