One of my favorite things to do when I worked on Star Trek was walk through the sets when nobody else was around, just so I could study the graphics. I'm sure you know about the giant Enterprise schematic in Engineering, but for the one person who doesn't: The huge cutaway view of the Enterprise is filled with little graphical inside jokes, like a hamster wheel where the engine should be, only two restrooms at opposite ends of the ship, NOMAD from the original series, and a few other things that we all figured nobody would ever get close enough to see . . . until one director (I think it may have been Paul Lynch, who liked to yell "Energy! Energy! Energy! Energy! And! And! And! And! And! ACTION!" at the beginning of each take) wanted to do a shot that started close on the cutaway, swept across it, and pulled back into a two shot of me and Brent. When he watched the rehearsal, and saw that there was a giant duck decoy and a "Speed Limit" sign in the middle of his shot, he was pissed. I'm sure the art department felt bad about that, but we all had a god laugh while they reblocked the shot.
Tuesday, June 28, 2005
It's nothing that you couldn't do your self with any decent image editing application (except for this). You can view a large size of the image by clicking on it. The original version can be viewed from here.
ASP.NET 2.0 introduces a number of special directories for application resources. These directories live as subfolders in the application root, have special names, and offer various shortcuts and conveniences to web developers. One such folder is the App_Code folder. You can drop a .cs file into the App_Code folder, even while an application is running, and the runtime will automatically compile all the code inside the folder into an assembly.The App_Code folder is one of those features experienced developers will shun in favor of class libraries. Other folders have definite advantages. For example, the App_Browsers folder will allow you to update browser definitions (browsercaps) for an application. In a shared hosting environment today, you'd have to clutter up web.config with new browsercaps. There are also special directories for skin files (App_Themes), resource files (App_GlobalResources, App_LocalResources, App_Resources), and web references (App_WebReferences). As always, the trusty Bin directory will also be around. Then there is App_Data. You can plop SQL Server data (.mdf) and log files (.ldf) into the directory, and have the engine attach dynamically by using AttachDBFileName in the connection string. App_Data will be a useful feature for people in shared hosting environments, where XCOPY and FTP deployment options are the only options available.
[Via K. Scott Allen]
I would like to see how the App_Data directory will play out in the real world. Most of the shared hosting plans have their own mechanism for handling client databases, it looks easy to add a database by just FTP'ing it in, but what about when you want to replace a database? You'll still need to detach a database first.
Monday, June 27, 2005
It all stems from Microsoft's relationship with IBM. For DOS 1.0, DOS only supported floppy disks.
Many of the DOS utilities (except for command.com) were written by IBM, and they used the "/" character as the "switch" character for their utilities (the "switch" character is the character that's used to distinguish command line switches - on *nix, it's the "-" character, on most DEC operating systems (including VMS, the DECSystem-20 and DECSystem-10), it's the "/" character" (note: I'm grey on whether the "/" character came from IBM or from Microsoft - several of the original MS-DOS developers were old-hand DEC-20 developers, so it's possible that they carried it forward from their DEC background).
[Via Larry Osterman's WebLog]
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Friday, June 17, 2005
Thursday, June 16, 2005
It would be cool if SQL Server had this feature. There have been a few times where it would have been useful, mainly with batch operations. In those cases, I wrote stored procedures to handle upsert operations. At the server level, it should be trivial to implement an upsert statement as opposed to manually coding it in SQL.
It caught my eye when I read Ashvini Sharma's blog.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Monday, June 06, 2005
We went with the cheapast Slip 'N' Slide, the $4.95 model. It was well worth every penny, I wouldn't get the fancy models, everything they want is in the basic model. I hooked it up and Kathryn had tons 'O fun with it while I tried to inflate her pool.
We have an Aero pool that we bought last year on E-Bay. It's a great little pool, but you can only inflate it with their rechargable pump and the pump needed a charge. While Kathryn was slipping and sliding, I was try alternative methods of getting that thing inflated. I have a small electric pump that I use for tires and I tried that, but after 20 minutes, it wasn't pushing enough air in. The Aero pool has a large opening for air, it's pump inflates the pool in just a couple of minutes. It was time to bring out the heavy artillery. I grabbed Anne's hair dryer it was the same diameter of the pool's intake. I was able to get the pool 95% inflated (close enough for toddler use) in about 40 seconds with the hair dryer.
By this time Laura was awake and wondering what was going on. She didn't like the pooln last year and I wasn't sure what her reaction would be this year. She was hesitant on going in, but when Daddy picked her up and swung her through the water, she started having fun. Then it time to go Slip N Sliding with her sister.
While Laura was napping and I was letting the tire pump attemp to inflate the pool, Kathryn and I broke out the squirt guns. We had some fun, but first we covered the rules of Squirt Gun.
- Don't squirt Mommy
- Don't squirt Grandma
- Don't shoot the dog
- It stays outside.
It turns out Aero has an AC only pump, but it costs almost what I paid for the pool. And it's out of stock.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Everything you ever wanted to know about color. I found the bits about color blindness to be very interesting. When we design programs and web pages, we always have someone with severe red/green color blindness use the program to make sure it's readable to him.
There are a couple of web sites that allow you to upload images and view them as they would appear to someone with color blindness. Try this one and that one.
When I was growing up, one of my friends that lived down the street had red/green color blindness. He would come out to the bus stop wearing strange color combinations. We would send him back in to pick other clothes. I assume that these days, his wife gets that task.
This is good article about the best practices for performing sting comparisons in .NET 2.0. It's interesting to see how code written for English can behave badly when used with other languages.