(No, not me – my web server )
Yup, it’s true. After three years of being hosted in our spare room on a dusty and astonishingly noisy Dell PowerEdge 2300, I’ve finally gone through with my repeated threats and moved this site to an external host across the Atlantic, namely WebHost4Life. So far I’m pleasantly impressed with my new home – everything seems to be running smoothly and speedily, and the level of control I get over all the web and database settings is fantastic. Let me know if you spot anything untoward? One thing I’m aware of – quite a few folks are still trying to access my RSS feed at an outdated (and sadly now inaccessible) URL. To keep up to date with my witterings, you should point your aggregator of choice to http://feeds.feedburner.com/iannelson .
So, for the first night in ages, I’ve switched off the PowerEdge, and my goodness, what a difference it makes to the quality of life here in the flat! I’d forgotten what peace and quiet is like. I can hear my music, hear the tapping of my keyboard, and (crucially), hear myself think. Aaaah… The PowerEdge has been a quality piece of hardware over the years, and I was planning to reinvent it as a kind of dev/test machine to host occasional bits and bobs and try out beta software, but frankly I think I could rapidly get used to this reduced volume level, and now it’s probably destined for eBay. Or a skip. After all, any dev/test stuff can be done on Virtual PC / Virtual Server.
I love it when I’m surprised by those I know best.
A few nights ago, Jocelyn and I had finished playing a lengthy and tightly-fought game of Trivial Pursuit. We’ve recently bought the "Globetrotter" edition, as this is better able to provide us with a fair match (although being a UK release, there’s still a definite bias in my favour – the European questions have a tendency to inquire about classic British sitcoms, the Oceania topic is littered with references to Neighbours, and the North American section poses such quandaries as "how many cents are in a dime?"). Anyway, having finished the game, I was still in a quizzical mood, so was posing Joce some questions of my own. One of these was "Which duo founded Apple?". I didn’t expect a correct response (my wife has many talents, but she’s no geek), so I was surprised when she came back swiftly with "Jobs and Wozniak".
My shocked response – "How the bloody hell did you know that?!?" prompted this anecdote: "Well, the restaurant I used to work at [in San Jose] was close to Apple. One of them, Jobs or Wozniak, used to come into the restaurant a lot for lunch. They had business meetings, used to doodle plans on the napkins. Once I learned who they were, I starting keeping the napkins in case they turned out to have cool ideas of future stuff on them."
My mouth was dropping by this point. Yeah, I know, I’m easily impressed, but remember that I grew up in rural South Yorkshire, half a world away from Silicon Valley.
"Please tell me you still have the napkins," I begged.
"Well, no; you’re always complaining that I hoard stuff and the flat is cluttered…."
PS – Oh yeah, I won the game of Triv’. Like you had to ask…
I’ve just renewed my passport. It wasn’t actually due for renewal until next Spring, but it’s possible to renew them up to nine months ahead of expiry, and I’m kind of anal about doing these things in good time. So, for your amusement, here’s photographic evidence of the effect that (almost) a decade of beer and curry can have on a fresh-faced maths undergraduate:
Fatter face, smaller glasses, same hair. Fair enough.
Incidentally, I have to say that I’m most impressed with the speed of service provided by both Royal Mail and the Passport Agency. I mailed my application off on a Monday afternoon, and my shiny new passport landed on my doormat on the Thursday morning. Fantastic.
Now, where shall I travel to first…?
Another random bunch o’ links:
A November CTP of Enterprise Library has been released. It’s still missing the configuration tool, but it is aligned with .NET Framework 2.0 and is looking pretty good.
Microsoft have bought the excellent FolderShare, providers of innovative P2P software which allows you to sync folders across multiple PCs, share your files with friends, and access (and search) your files from anywhere. Alas, I’m prevented from using it at work due to a combination of firewall and SuperScout restrictions, so I’ll stick to moving my files around using my cute 80Gb Freecom FHD2-Pro and a copy of SyncToy.
2006 H1 will see Service Packs for VS2003 and VS2005. About time – though to be honest I hope not to still be using VS2003 by then!
An October CTP of the "Atlas" bits for ASP.NET has been released. This is Microsoft’s answer to the AJAX hype, and I really should try giving it a whirl soon.
Scientists debunk the cow-tipping myth. Shame.
Encrypt your web.config with ASP.NET 2.0 and VS2005 – an eight-minute screencast.
Audiophile – I love this page, which provides links to the most ridiculous "audiophile" products available. $240 for a plank of wood, anyone?
iLounge buyer’s guide – looking to buy someone an iPod accessory for Christmas? This guide should help.
Wired: History’s worst software bugs
Remember when the covers of software books used to show bridges or parallelograms? No longer – see the exciting cover of AW’s Build Master title.
ASP.NET 2.0 – "Man, it’s cool!". Oh, good grief…
Less hype, more info – a step-by-step guide to converting web projects from VS2002/3 to VS2005.
Security Guidance for .NET 2.0 now available on MSDN.
How to Disable Autorun for your CD-ROM drives. Wonderful – I hate those prompts telling me that an image exists somewhere on a CD-ROM, hence would I like to launch Picasa?
An eclectic bunch of (mostly techie) bits that don’t really deserve a post each:
Here’s a really useful Firefox extension that allows you to run Internet Explorer windows within a FF tab! IE Tab
It’s launch day! Visual Studio 2005, SQL Server 2005, and BizTalk
Server 2006 are officially launched at 1700 GMT today. Watch Steve
Ballmer launch the products here.
To coincide with today’s launch, DataGridGirl has reinvented herself as GridViewGirl! Yay!
I never realised this before, but it’s possible to use Forms
Authentication with SQL Reporting Services (both the 2000 and 2005
versions). This is really useful if you want to embed the
ReportViewer control in a web application that makes use of Forms
MS AntiSpyware is being renamed to Windows Defender.
I’m not the only person finding quirky behaviour in Visual Studio 2005.
Interesting series of articles by Matt Weisfeld about The Object-Oriented Thought Process.
It’s the little things in ASP.NET 2.0 that make me happiest – such as the app_offline.htm file
Lots of info is now available about the new generation of MS qualifications that I mentioned in July. I think
my plan of attack is going to be finishing off the MCSD.Net (two more
exams required), and then try the upgrade exams to MCPD….
I think that’s it for now. Incidentally, my mate Bruce claims to know two people who both have an allergic reaction to hearing the word ‘smorgasbord’. That’s just plain odd, isn’t it?
Received an interesting recommendation from Amazon this morning:
…I’d probably look something like this:
(via South Park Studio)
I’m experiencing another niggle with VS2005, on two separate development machines.
I have VS2005, SQL2005 and MSDN library installed. When I open help in VS2005, it launches SQL Books Online. I can’t find any way to persuade it to open up MSDN library instead, or to use this for the contextual help.
What am I missing?
UPDATE: The answer came via Scott Hanselman’s blog – turns out this is a known bug, resolved as "By Design". Hmmm.
UPDATE: I’ve downloaded the "MSDN Library for Visual Studio 2005" version. This seems to integrate well, and has a better search facility.
Permit me a quick whinge:
Three basic features of NUnit that aren’t replicated in VSTS unit testing:
SQL2005 backup maintenance plans don’t support auto-cleanup from subdirectories (as in SQL2000):
SQL2005 scripting options are (frankly) a pain in the arse, and I’m
hopeful that a third-party will soon release a tool to fill this
Don’t get me wrong, I’d rather be using VS2005 and SQL2005 than their
predecessors, but it’s bloody annoying that after such a long wait for
these tools they are lacking in some fairly obvious features.